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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    I'm not fittet properly to my bike. Where do I begin?

    Hi friends. I have a problem. Even though I consider myself a relatively experienced cyclist I just can't seem to figure this one out.

    Last year I bought a used Santa Cruz Superlight amazing full suspension bike. Its a large frame and I'm 6'1" so I should fit it. Every time I'm on a ride (during and after) I have sore lower back, shoulders, wrists and numb hands sometimes. I feel comfortable in my riding position but obviously something is wrong. I tried sawing two inches of my handlebars which helped a bit on the shoulder pain but has come back since. I'm borowing a setback seat post so I can see if that helps. Other than that its a pretty standard setup with riser bars and a 110mm stem. Could my stem be too long?

    I know its hard to give fitting advice on a web forum but maybe there are some guidelines or videos out there, with some general info, that could be helpful. I can find lost about roadbike fitting but not much about mbt.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Keep going with one change at a time. A common problem is a seat that is road bike right but too high for trails. Drop it an inch lower and consider low rise bars which have 9* back sweep and upsweep also. That is too long of a stem for me 80mm is max for me. You can use Ergon GS1 grips rotated to move weight to the back of your palms by rotating the grip.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    If you have ridden a bike that fits, compare the geometry to this one and see what's different. And then make incremental changes to bring it there. So say the tt is 24 inches on the bike that fit but this one is 23.5, put on a longer stem or being your seat forward. Also don't neglect handlebar height, make sure you're at relatively the same height since that will affect the reach also.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 70sSanO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    A basic rule of thumb is that when there is too much weight on your handlebars you will get the sore shoulders, neck, numb hands, etc. Handlebars that are too low and/or too far away could be the is the obvious problem. However, saddle tilt can cause a lot of this if the nose is too far down. With the nose too far down you body is forced forward which puts too much pressure on the handlebar.

    A good indicator of incorrect saddle tilt is if a person feels like he or she are sliding forward on the saddle when riding and will have to push themselves back. In my experience it is better to error with the nose too high and then adjust is down than the reverse because it is easy to assume when there is no discomfort sitting on a saddle it is correctly adjusted.

    I'm more in the camp of setting up the saddle first, fore/aft/tilt, to keep my legs comfortable and then work the handlebar position form there, it does end up with a combination of fudging both here and there to dial it in.

    There are a few other things like brake lever setup that can impact your wrist angle, gripping the handlebars too tight, etc.

    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21

  5. #5
    Reputation: ElwoodT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    good advice here. Try rolling you bars towards you. Be-aware too, that a setback post isn't an ideal fix for this problem.

  6. #6
    Fat Is Where It's At Moderator
    Reputation: DiRt DeViL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Sounds like your posture is putting more weight forward and the cause could be several things, saddle tilt, low bars, too stretched and the list goes on so a set back will prolly make matters worse but give it a try to see how it goes.

    Play with your handlebar position (rise, sweep, etc), try a shorter stem or even raise the stem with spacers or get a stem with more rise.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Thanks! A lot of good info here. I'll get started

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I like the Peter White article. Ride on your favorite trails to test and tweak.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    I would shorten your stem as a first move. I went from a 105mm stem to a 40mm and it was soooo much better. I felt stretched out and knew my stem was too long. Your description indicates that, but you say you are comfortable which is contradictory. Borrow a much shorter stem and try it out. I sat on my bike and put my hands where they felt comfortable, then moved my bars to that position with a stem and bar rise change. Feels great now and love the increased control from short stem/wide bars. I never had much pain but I was pretty cautious until I got the fit sorted out. Use a stem calculator on line to predict where your bars are going to move to. Shortening the stem usually lowers the bars, so you might need higher rise bars to go with the short stem. This is where a LBS can really help with some loaner parts to try out.

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