bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

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Gixermark
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bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gixermark » Sun Nov 18, 2012 16:33 pm

Hi Guys,

I started getting into cycling in the summer.... mainly as a means to dipping my toe into the triathlon scene.

having done my first sprint Tri, and now ramping up training for next year - I'm looking at better bikes, and also the set up of the 2nd hand Trek i bought.

The bike i have is a 54... with the saddle set at the 'right' level for me.... the height between teh top of the saddle and teh top of the handlebars isn;t that great (maybe 3 inches max) whereas on most bikes i see - the seat looks to be visibly quite a bit higher than the handlebars....

it looks like a 52 would be a better size (in Trek at least) ?

I've started to ramp the miles up a bit recently, and do get a little pain in back and neck - although that may just be getting 'cycle' fit and used to it....

other than that - what is the main reason/advantage to have the seat height quite a bit higher than the handlebars ?? I'm guessing the geometry of you body is less compressed - and maybe more able to drive teh pedals better/easier/longer ?

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Sprool
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Sprool » Sun Nov 18, 2012 17:59 pm

how tall are you?
Seat height has to be set according to leg length in order to optimise power and comfort. Handlebar height is set by stem (up or down flipping) and spacers but you can only vary this by a few cm at best.
Hence most bikes have seat a few inches above the bars unless you have really short legs, or have a touring frame built for comfort. If you're into triathlons then I'm guess ing comfort comes second to performance. Higher saddle gives a more aggressive aerodynamic ride, allowing more performance at the expense of comfort.

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elderone
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby elderone » Sun Nov 18, 2012 18:08 pm

there are some exellent utube vids on setting up your bike and goes into all the detail you want to get a good set up,though a proper bike fit is best way.
Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori

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Gizmodo
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gizmodo » Sun Nov 18, 2012 18:43 pm

Bikes are either designed to be 'relaxed' or 'sportive' which means you are sat up more straining your back less, or a more 'aggressive' / 'racing' geometry with a lower handlebar height meaning your back is more bent and you are more aerodynamic.

Check out some videos of Wiggo on his TT bike, his back is parallel to the floor, uncomfortable but aerodynamic.

Search using Google or YouTube for 'bike fit' or even better, pay to visit an expert in your local area to get a proper assessment.

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LegendLust
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby LegendLust » Sun Nov 18, 2012 18:47 pm

Gizmodo wrote:Bikes are either designed to be 'relaxed' or 'sportive' which means you are sat up more straining your back less, or a more 'aggressive' / 'racing' geometry with a lower handlebar height meaning your back is more bent and you are more aerodynamic.

Check out some videos of Wiggo on his TT bike, his back is parallel to the floor, uncomfortable but aerodynamic.

Search using Google or YouTube for 'bike fit' or even better, pay to visit an expert in your local area to get a proper assessment.


It's not uncomfortable. If you work hard on your core strength and flexibility then you can maintain these aero positions without discomfort.

Gixermark
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gixermark » Sun Nov 18, 2012 20:52 pm

thanks guys.... I'm ~5ft 7.5" or so ! the seat height is set ok (i believe) but visually looking at the bike the saddle looks a very similar height to the handlebars - its actually 2.5-3" in reality from top of saddle to top of handlebars

distance from centre of crank to top of seat is 70cm

i'm more interested as i am looking at buying a 'better' bike, and i think this one is too big... so would like to reseasrch a bit more before i buy another (possibly the wrong size)

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Gizmodo
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gizmodo » Mon Nov 19, 2012 09:15 am

Gixermark wrote:thanks guys.... I'm ~5ft 7.5" or so ! the seat height is set ok (i believe) but visually looking at the bike the saddle looks a very similar height to the handlebars - its actually 2.5-3" in reality from top of saddle to top of handlebars

distance from centre of crank to top of seat is 70cm

i'm more interested as i am looking at buying a 'better' bike, and i think this one is too big... so would like to reseasrch a bit more before i buy another (possibly the wrong size)

If you're looking to buy a new bike then you can't beat sitting on as many as you can in your local bike shops. Good bike shops will have a turbo trainer in store to allow you to sit on the bike to see how it feels. Good bike shops will also give you advice on what size frame is right for you, given your dimensions, current fitness level and future aspirations.

When you've narrowed down your choice to 2 or 3 bikes, ask the bike shops for a test ride. Any decent shop will let you take a bike out for several hours to see if it feels right.

Gixermark
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gixermark » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:13 pm

thanks....

I'm still interested in ball park height difference on bikes out there from top of saddle to top of bars to see how far outside the norm i currently am on this bike.

I'm idelaly looking at buying 2nd hand - hence want to get it right next time - as i think this one is a tad too big.. works ok, but for me next bike i want it to be right.

I will also swing by my LBS to see what they have.. and for advice etc

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smidsy
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby smidsy » Mon Nov 19, 2012 15:33 pm

Gixermark wrote:I'm still interested in ball park height difference on bikes out there from top of saddle to top of bars to see how far outside the norm i currently am on this bike.


There is no norm, only what is right for you. There are so many variables between machines and individuals that no worthy data can be had from a straw poll of the interweb..
Yellow is the new Black.

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jotko
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby jotko » Mon Nov 19, 2012 16:08 pm

A smaller frame should have less headtube height so in theory you will get more saddle to bar drop for the same saddle height.

Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends on what you are aiming for, your flexibility, how pro you want to look ;)

I am a similar height and have ridden 52s and 54s and I find that, for the same reach, prefer the larger frame with a shorter stem rather than vice versa. Then again I am almost definitely have a less aero position (I am sat up more) and comfort over distance is more important than raw speed/time.

Gixermark
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 20:30 pm

Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gixermark » Mon Nov 19, 2012 17:31 pm

thanks... that makes perfect sense - potentially a shorter stem would certainly make the reach easier........ currently i can't get into the drops at all..... a short stem would most likely allow me to - but i am thinking the (real) reason why i can't get to the drops is more likely due to the frame being that bit too big... so better to get the right sized frame rather than screwing about with stem size on the current bike.

I'm going to get this bike into the turbo trainer to play around with things this week - to date i've only ridden this bike outdoors... so not had a chance to tweak/adjust things nor realy think about the set up much

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Sandyballs
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Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Sandyballs » Mon Nov 19, 2012 20:04 pm

there are plenty of sites such as below that will explain a lot of the theory but you still need to test to make sure. The measurements given on this blog such as the multiply by .883 were spot on when i measured my seat height and i had a bike fit with Adrian Timmis at Cadence Sport to set my bike up.

http://coachrobmuller.blogspot.de/2010/06/time-trial-bike-fitting-part-1-of-2.html?m=1

Gixermark
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 20:30 pm

Re: bike size..... fit.. set-up etc

Postby Gixermark » Mon Nov 19, 2012 21:09 pm

Thanks, will have a play with that too


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