General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike Fit - have at it! Rss Feed  
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2013-10-26 3:50 PM

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Subject: Bike Fit - have at it!

In the hopes of a good old fashioned TriTalk bike fit discussion I offer you these photos on my latest acquisition.

A little back history. I sold my previous road bike earlier this summer because I never really loved it much. I had a lot of frustration with that bike due to shifting issues and the chain dropping frequently. I also had a terrible time (compared to my tri bike) riding up hills. So, no love lost I sold the bike. I have a tri bike which I do love and do the majority of my spring & summer training on that bike but I still wanted something a little more relaxed for trainer rides in the off season so I went looking for road bike #2.

This time around I knew I wanted something that shifts without all the grinding/dropped chains and a smooth ride. I called around to the local bike shops (local includes shops that are 1.5 drive away as I live in a rural area) but they had nothing in stock in my size. So,  I got it in my head that I could make do with a used bike and don't need something top of the line for what I'm going to do on this bike which is basically put it on the trainer and/or ride outdoors in the off season on the off chance we have a nice day.

Finally I found a guy in the city who resells used bikes and he actually had 4 different choices in what we figured was going to be near my size (based on previous road bike, current tri bike, height and inseam). *insert lecture about getting a proper fitting here*. I was headed to the city for a family reunion anyway so we made a visit. Of the four bikes he had, one was too big, one was too small, one was another entry level and I ended up with the bike pictured below. It is a 10 year old Raleigh Professional, steel frame, campy components. It shifts NICE and I really like it so far. The steel frame is surprisingly lite and very smooth (although I've only had it outside once so far).

I'm sure my fit needs some work so feel free to have a look *insert lecture #2 about going to the shop to get a proper bike fit*. My biggest issue is I feel like I have to reach too far to get to the brakes. Excuse the fact the my husband cut my head off in every photo . If a different angle is necessary we can give it another go.

 

 



2013-10-26 8:21 PM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
I don't have much to add, except that I love the remote-control holder mounted on the frame!
Do you mean you feel like you're reaching too far through the torso/ arms to get to the breaks/shifters, or your hands are stretching to get to them? I'm a girl with not overly small hands and I always felt like my hands weren't quite comfortable with the bars/shifters I had. Shimmys helped a little on my old road bike; now I have a WSD bike and having WSD shifters has made a huge difference in comfort.
2013-10-26 8:50 PM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
What level of Campy? I agree: you would be more comfortable if those levers weren't so far away. I think Camoy is adjustable WRT reach to the lever. Or possibly sliding them lower or a slightly shorter stem or less deep bar would work?
2013-10-26 9:31 PM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

All this is said with the caveat that these pictures may not represent a true depiction of your on-the-road riding...

1- Your seat may be a touch low. Not much, though.

2- Your locked elbows concern me. Could indicate a fit issue or a core strength issud, or both. I suspect that if you've just been rixing youf tri bike, yor core is somewhat weak, so your armsare having to hold your torso up (aero bars are great for speed, but bad for working your core). Fit-wise, i suspect that you're used to riding steep, so getting your weight back on the saddle is voing to feel strange. You should be able to take your hands off the bars when riding (without sitting upright) and not feel like you're going to fall forward. If you do feel like you're falling forward, your weight is too far forward.

3- Lastly, and this may totally be perspective, but the bars look a bit wide for you.

I don't think you got the wrong bike, but your body also looks very upright. Push that saddle back and it may solve both issues.

2013-10-26 10:39 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
You may want to turn your bars down a little. Typically your hoods should be level with the ground. This should give you more of a pulling effect on your levers with more of your fingers rather than pushing down on them with your pinky and ring fingers. If it makes you stretch too far with them level, try a bit shorter stem.

If you like the upright riding position that your current bar position appears to allow, you can try a stem with a taller angle, but your bars are still level for more optimal brake pull and better position riding in the drops. Right now it looks kind of like your stem is such that it gives you a bit of a racier position, but your bars are angled up to get you more upright.

Also, If you have an iPhone/iPad, you may check out a new app that is 2.99 in the app store called Bike Fast Fit. It will calculate your body geometry and give you "ideal" goal angles (you can use their reccomendations or research that yourself on the interwebs and make your own ideal angles) then you can adjust and remeasure until you feel right. I haven't used it yet, but dcrainmaker gives it a good review ([url]http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/10/automated-measurement-review.html).

ETA: I would also echo that you probably want to adjust those levers down a little (not sure how campy achieves this, but I bet google knows). That hand stretch looks a little rough on the wrists. And, raise your saddle a little. A quick check is your knee should be just about locked with your heel on the pedal on the down stroke.

Edited by Bradleykd 2013-10-26 10:45 PM
2013-10-27 6:24 AM
in reply to: trigal38


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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
Here goes the "bike fit lecture."

You don't have to get fit to a particular bike at the time of purchase. Any reputable bike fitter will fit you on a device that simulates a bike (for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called!). The fitter will give you the numbers that you can apply to any bike you are considering purchasing.

With this particular bike, as the other poster noted, it looks like your saddle might be a little low. More important, your reach does looked stretched out. While a shorted stem might be an option, I think that new handlebars are more appropriate. You can get new bars that are "shorter" and/or have shorter drops. Additionally, I'd be very wary of 10 old bars. Sweat can do a number on the metal and cause corrosion. I've seen more than a few bars snap right off under a hard effort. Getting new bars would get you a better fit and give you piece of mind that your bars are going to hold up (now that I put bad thoughts of catastrophic failure in your mind).


2013-10-27 6:29 AM
in reply to: pitt83

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Originally posted by pitt83 What level of Campy? I agree: you would be more comfortable if those levers weren't so far away. I think Camoy is adjustable WRT reach to the lever. Or possibly sliding them lower or a slightly shorter stem or less deep bar would work?

Chorus

Thanks for the ideas!

2013-10-27 6:39 AM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Originally posted by briderdt

All this is said with the caveat that these pictures may not represent a true depiction of your on-the-road riding...

1- Your seat may be a touch low. Not much, though.

2- Your locked elbows concern me. Could indicate a fit issue or a core strength issud, or both. I suspect that if you've just been rixing youf tri bike, yor core is somewhat weak, so your armsare having to hold your torso up (aero bars are great for speed, but bad for working your core). Fit-wise, i suspect that you're used to riding steep, so getting your weight back on the saddle is voing to feel strange. You should be able to take your hands off the bars when riding (without sitting upright) and not feel like you're going to fall forward. If you do feel like you're falling forward, your weight is too far forward.

3- Lastly, and this may totally be perspective, but the bars look a bit wide for you.

I don't think you got the wrong bike, but your body also looks very upright. Push that saddle back and it may solve both issues.

Yes, maybe 3 rides on a hybrid bike this summer but other than that all tri bike since probably May. And zero core work!

I'm probably being dense this morning but I'm not sure I understand what you mean. On the trainer I have taken my hands off the the bars while riding and moved to an upright position. I did  not feel like I was falling forward.

The bars feel wider than what I am used to for sure.

I did not like the saddle that was on the bike so I ordered a new one and JUST put it on so I'm sure it is not in a great spot. I just measured it to ride in the same position as my tri bike seat.

2013-10-27 6:43 AM
in reply to: Bradleykd

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Originally posted by Bradleykd You may want to turn your bars down a little. Typically your hoods should be level with the ground. This should give you more of a pulling effect on your levers with more of your fingers rather than pushing down on them with your pinky and ring fingers. If it makes you stretch too far with them level, try a bit shorter stem. If you like the upright riding position that your current bar position appears to allow, you can try a stem with a taller angle, but your bars are still level for more optimal brake pull and better position riding in the drops. Right now it looks kind of like your stem is such that it gives you a bit of a racier position, but your bars are angled up to get you more upright. Also, If you have an iPhone/iPad, you may check out a new app that is 2.99 in the app store called Bike Fast Fit. It will calculate your body geometry and give you "ideal" goal angles (you can use their reccomendations or research that yourself on the interwebs and make your own ideal angles) then you can adjust and remeasure until you feel right. I haven't used it yet, but dcrainmaker gives it a good review ([url]http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/10/automated-measurement-review.html). ETA: I would also echo that you probably want to adjust those levers down a little (not sure how campy achieves this, but I bet google knows). That hand stretch looks a little rough on the wrists. And, raise your saddle a little. A quick check is your knee should be just about locked with your heel on the pedal on the down stroke.

Ha, I just turned them up a little before that ride .

Yes, the guy I bought the bike from was all excited that I could race this bike not realizing that I already have a tri bike and just want this bike for a more comfortable position.

That app sounds cool, thanks for tips!

2013-10-27 6:47 AM
in reply to: SeeVee

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Originally posted by SeeVee Here goes the "bike fit lecture." You don't have to get fit to a particular bike at the time of purchase. Any reputable bike fitter will fit you on a device that simulates a bike (for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called!). The fitter will give you the numbers that you can apply to any bike you are considering purchasing. With this particular bike, as the other poster noted, it looks like your saddle might be a little low. More important, your reach does looked stretched out. While a shorted stem might be an option, I think that new handlebars are more appropriate. You can get new bars that are "shorter" and/or have shorter drops. Additionally, I'd be very wary of 10 old bars. Sweat can do a number on the metal and cause corrosion. I've seen more than a few bars snap right off under a hard effort. Getting new bars would get you a better fit and give you piece of mind that your bars are going to hold up (now that I put bad thoughts of catastrophic failure in your mind).

Would I look for womens specific bars or something like that? I think I'd have to go to the shop for that!

 

2013-10-27 8:50 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Bars are in different widths and I agree you look like yours are a little to wide.

I agree with others thoughts as well, about locked out elbows which may mean your bike is a little long for you. . Pushing seat forward not backward I would think a better option as well as possible shorter stem. If you get a shorter stem, maybe get a adjustable so you can play around with the angle and see what works best.

I'd like to see another photo directly from your side taken even with you not higher, with your leg in bottom of your pedal stroke position.

With the new saddle fit changes again as saddle height and position is not the same between brands and model.



2013-10-27 9:01 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by briderdt

All this is said with the caveat that these pictures may not represent a true depiction of your on-the-road riding...

1- Your seat may be a touch low. Not much, though.

2- Your locked elbows concern me. Could indicate a fit issue or a core strength issud, or both. I suspect that if you've just been rixing youf tri bike, yor core is somewhat weak, so your armsare having to hold your torso up (aero bars are great for speed, but bad for working your core). Fit-wise, i suspect that you're used to riding steep, so getting your weight back on the saddle is voing to feel strange. You should be able to take your hands off the bars when riding (without sitting upright) and not feel like you're going to fall forward. If you do feel like you're falling forward, your weight is too far forward.

3- Lastly, and this may totally be perspective, but the bars look a bit wide for you.

I don't think you got the wrong bike, but your body also looks very upright. Push that saddle back and it may solve both issues.

Yes, maybe 3 rides on a hybrid bike this summer but other than that all tri bike since probably May. And zero core work!

I'm probably being dense this morning but I'm not sure I understand what you mean. On the trainer I have taken my hands off the the bars while riding and moved to an upright position. I did  not feel like I was falling forward.

The bars feel wider than what I am used to for sure.

I did not like the saddle that was on the bike so I ordered a new one and JUST put it on so I'm sure it is not in a great spot. I just measured it to ride in the same position as my tri bike seat.

The point was to take your hands off the barz WITHOUT sitting upright, and not feel like you're going to fall forward. If you DO feel like you're falling, then your weight balance is too far forward and needs to move back (via moving the saddle back, maybe requiring a more set-back seatpost). After that, then address the reach to the bars. DO NOT move the saddle to achieve reach.

2013-10-27 9:34 AM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Originally posted by briderdt

Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by briderdt

All this is said with the caveat that these pictures may not represent a true depiction of your on-the-road riding...

1- Your seat may be a touch low. Not much, though.

2- Your locked elbows concern me. Could indicate a fit issue or a core strength issud, or both. I suspect that if you've just been rixing youf tri bike, yor core is somewhat weak, so your armsare having to hold your torso up (aero bars are great for speed, but bad for working your core). Fit-wise, i suspect that you're used to riding steep, so getting your weight back on the saddle is voing to feel strange. You should be able to take your hands off the bars when riding (without sitting upright) and not feel like you're going to fall forward. If you do feel like you're falling forward, your weight is too far forward.

3- Lastly, and this may totally be perspective, but the bars look a bit wide for you.

I don't think you got the wrong bike, but your body also looks very upright. Push that saddle back and it may solve both issues.

Yes, maybe 3 rides on a hybrid bike this summer but other than that all tri bike since probably May. And zero core work!

I'm probably being dense this morning but I'm not sure I understand what you mean. On the trainer I have taken my hands off the the bars while riding and moved to an upright position. I did  not feel like I was falling forward.

The bars feel wider than what I am used to for sure.

I did not like the saddle that was on the bike so I ordered a new one and JUST put it on so I'm sure it is not in a great spot. I just measured it to ride in the same position as my tri bike seat.

The point was to take your hands off the barz WITHOUT sitting upright, and not feel like you're going to fall forward. If you DO feel like you're falling, then your weight balance is too far forward and needs to move back (via moving the saddle back, maybe requiring a more set-back seatpost). After that, then address the reach to the bars. DO NOT move the saddle to achieve reach.

Ohhh, ok. I get it now!

 

2013-10-27 9:36 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

And just for fun I found this photo of me on my previous road bike from last October and my elbows are locked out there too!

2013-10-27 11:29 AM
in reply to: trigal38


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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by SeeVee Here goes the "bike fit lecture." You don't have to get fit to a particular bike at the time of purchase. Any reputable bike fitter will fit you on a device that simulates a bike (for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called!). The fitter will give you the numbers that you can apply to any bike you are considering purchasing. With this particular bike, as the other poster noted, it looks like your saddle might be a little low. More important, your reach does looked stretched out. While a shorted stem might be an option, I think that new handlebars are more appropriate. You can get new bars that are "shorter" and/or have shorter drops. Additionally, I'd be very wary of 10 old bars. Sweat can do a number on the metal and cause corrosion. I've seen more than a few bars snap right off under a hard effort. Getting new bars would get you a better fit and give you piece of mind that your bars are going to hold up (now that I put bad thoughts of catastrophic failure in your mind).

Would I look for womens specific bars or something like that? I think I'd have to go to the shop for that!

 




I am not sure there are "women specific handle bars.". A lot of bike companies mix and match shorter/ smaller parts and then call the final product a "woman specific design." that in no way is a bad thing.

Just shop for different handlebars. You may wanna bring your whole bike in so the mechanic can get an idea of what you need.

Other posters have suggested moving the seat forward to compensate for the frame size. RESIST that line of thinking. If you have to move your saddle that far forward, you are asking for knee, back, bike handling, power, pedal stroke and other troubles.
2013-10-27 9:31 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
Originally posted by trigal38

And just for fun I found this photo of me on my previous road bike from last October and my elbows are locked out there too!




I like your bar angle better there, but they may be rolled too far forward.. lol. More comfortable in the drops and braking though! The locked arms in this photo look like a core strength issue, not being too stretched. Again, a racy position that you are holding yourself up on. Your saddle height looks better here too.

Edited by Bradleykd 2013-10-27 9:39 PM


2013-10-27 10:43 PM
in reply to: Bradleykd

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

I would like to see a picture of you in the drops......and after you've ridden about 30 minutes.

2013-10-28 7:20 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Ok so I looked up some dimensions from road bike #1 and compared to road bike #2. The top tube is the same length but #1 had a stem length of 90 mm, stem on #2 is 120 mm.

So I assume I should order a stem the same length as #1? And of course they come in all different price ranges (I'm looking on Nashbar) and I have no idea what makes one stem better than another.......

I'll work on more pics LB. The pics were taken after I had been riding for a while, not sure a full 30 min but more than 10.

2013-10-28 7:40 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
Two different brands and models, basically, unless you know that the geometry is measured exactly the same way, the fit numbers will probably be off (could even be significantly off).

There's no way to really tell if the saddle height is ok or not… from the photo, it's either just fine, or a smidgen too low. As pointed out, the handlebars are too wide for you; if you measure across your back, on the backside of your shoulder, you have a bony protrusion, the handle bars width should be the same as that measurement. Elbow should definitely not be locked, that means that you're quite off in your fit… which will be tiring for you shoulders, neck and core. Also, the hoods are angled up a bit too far, I bet you can't ride in the drops and comfortably reach the brakes/thumb shifters.

Before you guess what you need to do to get this fix, get a bike fit… by the time you buy 2-3 stems and 2-3 handle bars before finding something that works for you, use that money and get a fit, plus the cost of a single stem and a single handlebars… more than likely, that won't be more $, but could be less…

My fear is that this bike won't work well for you… it just doesn't look right and even to get it to function, it could be a lot of compromises...
2013-10-28 7:49 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!

Don't order your stem yet. Just because your old bike hat a 90 and this 120 doesn't mean 90 is right length for you. Beside the length the come with various angles. So getting both angle and length right is important. An adjustable stem may be an option to dial in what angle stem is ideal for you.

Were you able to download that app someone suggested?

2013-10-28 11:04 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Bike Fit - have at it!
Hey there!

Since the camera has a wide angle lens it can create an optical illusion, so I can't be sure of what I think I'm seeing.

I am assuming your elbows are locked just because you aren't 'really' cycling. Or maybe that's the way you ride, but it's not really a factor in whether the bike fits you or not.
I would like the saddle just a touch higher...say 1/2".
After that, I might want to see the handlebars a touch LOWER. It looks like you have some spacers there you could remove.
The VERY rough starting point for a bike fit (road bike) might go like this:

knee with 10-15 degrees bend at bottom of pedal stroke (seat height)
kneecap over pedal spindle at horizontal pedal position (seat setback)
torso at 45 degree angle
arms at 45 degree angle
arms and torso making 90 degree angle.

And that is with hands on the hoods.

And from there you move things around for comfort and personal body proportions.

Your handlebars should be rotated back down. If you were riding with your hands on the drops of the bars you wouldn't be able to brake or shift!




2013-10-30 3:53 PM
in reply to: JeffY

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Subject: RE: update!

I called my LBS and had a fitting today.

Thanks for all your suggestions because it gave me something to work from instead of "how does it feel?" "fine I guess...."

So he put the seat up a bit, and moved it back a bit. He changed to a shorter stem and lowered the bars since I had them turned up so much.

I was able to get a ride in right after the fitting (between rain showers) and it feels so  much better! It was a short ride, only 50 min but I didn't have any back or knee pain. I got a phone call during the ride and without even thinking was able to grab the brakes with no trouble at all and pull off to the side of the road. I can wrap my fingers all the way around the brakes now, ride in the drops, and have a natural bend to my elbow instead of them being all locked.

Thanks again!

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