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Thread: bike fit!

  1. #1
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    bike fit!

    I ride a 2010 Redline 26" Monocog with a 17" frame. it has 27" bars and a 100mm stem. after putting some long miles on it, my neck and shoulders hurt. the stem is as high as it can go. I am not old or inflexible. I was told that I would benefit from a shorter stem, but it seems like i would need a tiny little stem for it to fit correctly by traditional standards.

    I have read a lot of "how to fit your bike" guides and everything seems to say that, after fitting your saddle position, your handlebar should be about in-line with your front axle when you look down at it from a neutral riding position. my axle, from this perspective, is waaaay behind the handlebar. in fact, I tried riding half a dozen different bikes of different sizes at the LBS and all of them feel the same way to me in this regard. is this rule supposed to apply only to road bikes, or might there something weird about the way my bike is set up? do I have freakishly short arms?

  2. #2
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    how tall are you?

    I am 6' tall and riding 20" XC Bike and having similar problem as well...got a shorter stem and longer bar on the way, will let you know how that goes...

    In the meantime, I do find http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO helps a bit posted from another thread...and just try to see what adjustment will make you feel more 'comfortable' rather than obsessed with what numbers makes it right...I find if I can move my handle-bar/grips closer to me and higher, I can make my back a little straighter/up-right, it reduces strains on my back, neck, shoulder and wrist...so that's why I am going with a shorter stem and longer bar to make it a more permanent change...and my short term solution was moving the seat lower and forward and twist the handlebar with the grips more towards me...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_c33
    how tall are you?

    I am 6' tall and riding 20" XC Bike and having similar problem as well...got a shorter stem and longer bar on the way, will let you know how that goes...

    In the meantime, I do find http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO helps a bit posted from another thread...and just try to see what adjustment will make you feel more 'comfortable' rather than obsessed with what numbers makes it right...I find if I can move my handle-bar/grips closer to me and higher, I can make my back a little straighter/up-right, it reduces strains on my back, neck, shoulder and wrist...so that's why I am going with a shorter stem and longer bar to make it a more permanent change...and my short term solution was moving the seat lower and forward and twist the handlebar with the grips more towards me...

    I have used the fit calculator and found that it works pretty good. The only problem that I have with it is that it doesn't seem to cover where to position your seat (or maybe I missed it somewhere). MBAction magazine had an article on how to position your saddle fore or aft using a string and a weight... Basically, with your cranks at the 3 and 9 o'clock positons you take a string with some sort of weight tied to the end (like a socket). You hold the loose end of the string just below the knee cap at the bump on your shin and adjust the saddle fore and aft until the weighted end is in line with your pedal shaft. You can probably do a quick search on the web and come up with pictures that better demostrate this. I adjusted my seat fore and aft and then used the competitive cyclist website calculations for saddle to handlebar length to determine what my stem length should be.

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    All those "fit tips" may or may not work---don't take it as gospel. Try a few different set ups and see what works for you. There are plenty of cheap stems and bars you can try out, then turn around and sell if it's not working out.

    If these XC type bikes just aren't feeling right, maybe try an AM bike, like an On One 456 with slacker headtube, put a short stem with riser bars. That should get you sitting more up right. If that doesn't work, go with a recumbent.

  5. #5
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    when I look down at my axle from a normal pedaling position, after adjusting my saddle height, angle and fore/aft position, and this is what I see:


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle
    I ride a 2010 Redline 26" Monocog with a 17" frame. it has 27" bars and a 100mm stem. after putting some long miles on it, my neck and shoulders hurt. the stem is as high as it can go. I am not old or inflexible. I was told that I would benefit from a shorter stem, but it seems like i would need a tiny little stem for it to fit correctly by traditional standards.

    I have read a lot of "how to fit your bike" guides and everything seems to say that, after fitting your saddle position, your handlebar should be about in-line with your front axle when you look down at it from a neutral riding position. my axle, from this perspective, is waaaay behind the handlebar. in fact, I tried riding half a dozen different bikes of different sizes at the LBS and all of them feel the same way to me in this regard. is this rule supposed to apply only to road bikes, or might there something weird about the way my bike is set up? do I have freakishly short arms?
    Don't worry much about people's comments. Some people just like to hear themselves talk.

    If you like your bike, then leave it alone. If you're curious, then buy a $5.00 short stem from the local bike shop's box of take-offs and try it out. Or ask a buddy if they have any old ones. It's so easy to throw a stem on that you should just try a couple if you want.
    Have fun!

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