1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    TJM
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    Need more distance

    I have been riding my new Marin for a couple weeks now, and have come to the conclusion that the handlebars are a bit too close in relation to the seat. I end up sort of 'leaning' on my hands (not sure how to describe it) and a little hunched over. I think I would be a lot more comfortable if my hands were about 2 to 3 inches further forward.

    Would a longer stem be a viable solution for this issue? What handling/control issues would come with that?

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    What size stem is on there now? What size is the frame? How tall are you? How far back is the saddle? Is the saddle level?
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1088/2500

  3. #3
    TJM
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    Let me pull the shotgun pellets out of my skin real quick... :O

    Saddle is level, stem is 80mm, Marin Large frame, saddle will not be moved further back (it's as far as it can go), and I'm 6'1 or 6'2, depending on who's measuring.

    Forgot to add: I don't know how far back the saddle is, sorry

  4. #4
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    I'd try a longer stem. Moving the seat back works for that issue but it puts you out of proper position on the bike. Properly fitted, the front of your knee should be on the same vertical plane as the spindle of your pedal when that pedal is in the 9 o'clock position. Moving the seat up or back to adjust for reach issues will take you out of that position.

    So really, your best options are longer stem, larger frame. Changing the stem length will affect steering/handling.

  5. #5
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    It could be that the frame is too small for you ,top tube length is where you get the basis for reach. You could get a longer stem or wider bars or both. Google bike fit lots of info out there.

  6. #6
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    Even though you can't move the saddle back, you may want to check a couple of things on your saddle setup. A good starting place, as was suggested, is to see where your knees line up when your crank arms are at 9:00. Knees over pedal spindle is not a hardfast rule but it is a good starting point. Your seatpost may not have any offset. An offset seatpost may allow you to push the saddle back further.

    I am only mentioning the seat post because you will never get 2-3 more inches of stem from an 80mm stem, even if you overestimated that amount, you will be so far forward I can't imagine trying to ride the bike, especially downhill. But if you can move the saddle back slightly and try a little longer stem it may help.

    There are a bunch on threads on stem length and how it effects handling. For me I feel that with too long a stem I couldn't just lean one way or the other for slight steering changes because the bike wouldn't respond very well. It seemed I had to consciously steer to make subtle changes.

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

  7. #7
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    You'd be surprised what a difference a few mm can make. Just very slight changes can make a pretty large difference.

    Check around with your LBS's and see if any of them have an adjustable stem. You may be able to install that and ride around the parking lot trying different lengths and angles on the fly dialing in a better fit.

    Saddle position and knee relation to the spindle...while not a hard fast rule, you have to be careful going too far one way or the other. Results could range from loss of power to discomfort to knee injury. Again, bike fitting is a game of mm's. Make very small changes and document each so you can go back to it in case you found the right spot but didn't realize it until later.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    You'd be surprised what a difference a few mm can make. Just very slight changes can make a pretty large difference.
    That's what she said.





    Yes, I am 12.

  9. #9
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    I must be 12 too because I thought it was funny.

  10. #10
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    Finally got a 21" frame. A 19" can be considered a large frame too.
    I am 6`3" It makes a world of difference in comfort and handling. I think the geometry of an MTB is for you to carry your upper body on your hands. My post is not adjustable for level. I slid the seat back as far as it would go and I still feel like I am carrying myself on my hands. But, when I am turning and swooping in and out of obstacles I don`t even notice. Don't sweat the small stuff.

  11. #11
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    A 20mm setback seatpost would be a strong option. Next look at Ergon GS1 small grips to spread the load. A wider handlebar also eats up some of your upper body length. Some weight on your hands is a handling and cornering necessity. Ride more and you will get a stronger core to help with support.

  12. #12
    TJM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I must be 12 too because I thought it was funny.
    Then the three of us together are 36 years old! We can buy dirty magazines and beer! Right?

  13. #13
    TJM
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    I did the research before buying and it seemed that this was the right size frame, and the next one up would be too big. Maybe Marin bikes just don't fit me well?

    As far as the pedal location @ 90 degrees, it seems right - its a comfortable position and seems like it lines up right. The issue is that, because of this (as was mentioned by others above) I can't really change the position of the seat. I think I really will just need a longer frame That really sucks because I don't think I will be able to get as decent a bike the second time around.

  14. #14
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    If you move your hands further away you will end up with more weight on them?I think you should find a good fitter. Makes a big difference. also - how long have you been riding? if you are newish you need to give yourself time to develop your core strength and you will have less weight on your hands a (and less pain)
    Epic Flash Boris F65X + road bikes

  15. #15
    TJM
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    Haven't rode in the last few years but have spent over a decade in the military, so, not to brag but my core isn't really the problem I think

    Its not how much weight is on the hands, but how they are positioned. It seems that a little bit more forward is a more natural position for them. I wish I could make better sense of that but Im not that great at explaining

  16. #16
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    The way it was explained to me its not really core strength it is bike riding core strength, i.e. how much your body is used to holding itself into the optimum position on the bike. hips and rear straight up (not leaning forward) and bent forward at or above waist etc. this was during my first big boy bike fitting on a road bike and I have since gone back with both my mountain bikes. I do a lot of endurance events so I am really picky about my bike setups. Will you race? long rides?

    If nothing else maybe pick up a cheap stem and put it on for a few rides
    Last edited by donn12; 06-17-2014 at 04:58 AM.
    Epic Flash Boris F65X + road bikes

  17. #17
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Sorry for the shotgun of questions, but as you can see from the answers/suggestions, it is all stuff that is relevant. You might be able to make that frame work with some tweaks, but those will only get you so far.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1088/2500

  18. #18
    TJM
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Sorry for the shotgun of questions, but as you can see from the answers/suggestions, it is all stuff that is relevant. You might be able to make that frame work with some tweaks, but those will only get you so far.
    No I totally get it - it was just a lot at once lol. I don't know - I really hope I can make this frame work for me but it looks like a trip to the shop is in order for a fitting.

  19. #19
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    Maybe try flipping your stem to start. It won't cost you anything and will provide you with another data point if you can ride that way. It takes 10 minutes or less if you have the tools. But watch a video on how to loosen and retighten stem and top cap if you are not already familiar with the procedure.

    Measure height and distance from saddle of your bar before and after flipping so you understand what the real change is if you end up getting a new stem.

  20. #20
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    Scoot ypur seat back or tilt it back so the nose goes up some. This can move your weight off your hands some. If thats not enough then get a new handlebar stem.

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