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  1. #1
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    Frame size crisis - Need advice quickly

    Posted this is the frame size forum, but I thought I might do better in this forum since I'm 6'4" 225 lbs.

    Coming from a 20 year old rigid frame Cannondale, I just brought home my dream bike yesterday. Problem is, I'm not sure if I bought the right size frame. It's a 2014 Trek Fuel EX 7. Luckily, the bike shop owner is more than happy to exchange it since I haven't ridden it yet. I have posted a couple pictures to show what I look like on the bike. If you could please take a look and give me your opinions, I would appreciate it. I am not posting my size, the bike size or any of my dimensions on purpose. I would ask rather that you give me your opinion based solely on how I fit on the bike. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated since I would like to make a decision by tomorrow. Thanks!


    Please view the photos here:

    Trek Fuel EX 7 - frame size evaluation

  2. #2
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    Looks too small for my taste. Your knees are pretty close to the handlebar, your seatpost looks pretty excited ;~) , and the saddle is already kinda far back in the clamp.

    Bikes from 20 years ago had relatively short top tubes. So it is going to feel a little different to ride something more modern.

    Looks like your on an XL (at the most). I'm somewhere in between 6'4" and 6'5" (was 6'5" not too many years ago), and have ridden the Stache (very close to the same ETT as the Fuel 29er) in both XL (21.5") and XXL (23"). I have been somewhat used to bikes not always coming in a size that truly fits me, but after owning the 23" frame for the past 6 months, I much prefer it. I could have got by on the 21.5", but appreciate the benefits of riding a proper size frame.

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    I'd guess that was a L frame. Regardless, I personally would put you on the next size up if sticking with that bike. Standover is almost the same and a bit more seat tube in the frame is a good thing with that much showing.
    You have tried other bikes haven't you? Just checking as geometry is different across manufacturers and styles of bike.
    Also - it isn't your stem that needed adjusting - it is your hand position. That can be achieved with bars, stem or a combination of both. I'd look at a good set of high riser bars first, then get a stem that fits.
    You might find down the line that more steerer tube and spacers makes the difference you need. As wheels and suspension gets bigger, manufacturers are working harder to keep bar height down (not what you need). New forks would come with an uncut steerer, allowing you to have the stem higher before anything else. Just something to bear in mind.

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    It's irresponsible for a bike shop to sell a mid level bike and not fit you properly. Either get them to fit you or pay another shop to fit you. Money well spent.

  5. #5
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    Frame is too small... Seat post has got to be close to max extension. Which further magnifies the stem being too short. Take a pic of you standing over the bike.
    Bike Doctor



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Posted this is the frame size forum, but I thought I might do better in this forum since I'm 6'4" 225 lbs.

    Coming from a 20 year old rigid frame Cannondale, I just brought home my dream bike yesterday. Problem is, I'm not sure if I bought the right size frame. It's a 2014 Trek Fuel EX 7. Luckily, the bike shop owner is more than happy to exchange it since I haven't ridden it yet. I have posted a couple pictures to show what I look like on the bike. If you could please take a look and give me your opinions, I would appreciate it. I am not posting my size, the bike size or any of my dimensions on purpose. I would ask rather that you give me your opinion based solely on how I fit on the bike. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated since I would like to make a decision by tomorrow. Thanks!


    Please view the photos here:

    Trek Fuel EX 7 - frame size evaluation
    You didn't mention what size frame the Trek Fuel EX 7 in your photographs happens to be. What size is it? And what is your cycling inseam?

    I am also 6'4" and fit fine on most size XL bikes.

    On paper, the geometry of the size XL EX 7 looks about right with the ETT at 25.59, although it has a short head tube of only 130mm compared to the more appropriate 145mm of the size XXL (same head tube length that Niner specs on their size XL bikes) which helps get the bars up high enough for us tall drinks of water. Without ever having sat on either of the Trek Fuel EX size XL or XXL frames, I would probably be prepared to start with the XL and see if I could dial in the bar height and get stretched out enough on the bike to make it work. If not, I'd go with the XXL and have to use a shorter stem than my usual preference of 110-120mm. That's all from looking at the geometry chart on paper and comparing it to the bikes I ride.

    So - what size of Fuel is that you are pictured sitting upon? Almost looks like an L in the photographs with you sitting on it. But I also realize the shock of how big we are at 6'4" which makes almost any 29"er look like a 26"er compared to shorter riders.

    Me, at 6'4", in profile on a size XL Niner...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8632716847/" title="Swanson Blur by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8126/8632716847_84d6494a69_z.jpg" width="640" height="425" alt="Swanson Blur"></a>

    And the bike set up to show seat post, stem, bar height...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8585093181/" title="JETPostRide by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8250/8585093181_e6e1a450e9_z.jpg" width="640" height="416" alt="JETPostRide"></a>

    Keep in mind, the Niner XL has a 145mm length head tube (equal to the size XXL Trek Fuel). Cycling inseam for me is sort of short compared to other guys that are 6'4" at only 35.5". But my arms are long. I ride a 64cm road bike.

    Here's my size XL RIP which has a 120mm fork (equivalent of the Fuel EX), but the RIP also has a 145mm head tube which allows me to ride without any spacers using a 120mm fork. Seat post showing certainly is less than your pictures, but could be due to my cycling inseam and use of 180mm cranks which lets me sit a tad lower than if I was using 175mm cranks.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8671710371/" title="XCRIP9Tires by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8261/8671710371_1869c844c7_z.jpg" width="640" height="403" alt="XCRIP9Tires"></a>

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    Okay - and now for my specs. I'm 6'4" with a 37" cycling inseam and 36.5 inch arms. I'm pictured here on a 21" frame.

    Now that I can reveal more info... I have neck issues, so being too far bent over is painful for me. I prefer a dose of comfort, rather than an all-out aggressive riding position, especially since I'm not a super aggressive rider. But yet I don't want to compromise too much as I would like to improve my riding skills.

    I feel cramped on this bike, mainly due to my knees feel like they are coming too high on the pedaling upstroke. Keep in mind, this is my first time buying anything like this, so it's all new to me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Okay - and now for my specs. I'm 6'4" with a 37" cycling inseam and 36.5 inch arms. I'm pictured here on a 21" frame.

    Now that I can reveal more info... I have neck issues, so being too far bent over is painful for me. I prefer a dose of comfort, rather than an all-out aggressive riding position, especially since I'm not a super aggressive rider. But yet I don't want to compromise too much as I would like to improve my riding skills.

    I feel cramped on this bike, mainly due to my knees feel like they are coming too high on the pedaling upstroke. Keep in mind, this is my first time buying anything like this, so it's all new to me.
    There you have it. With your leg length and arm length, I'd opt for the size XXL to get the front end up a bit and rid yourself of what looks like a pre-set endo position as that front fork compresses. You will be able to dial in the bar height even better to take pressure off of your neck. The XXL is not that much bigger than the XL, but you will enjoy the taller headtube length and with your inseam, be able to dial in a very nice position. Just don't cut the fork's steerer tube too short, too soon. Leave enough room for you to experiment and get comfortable with your fit before the final cut.

    Luckily, you mentioned your dealer is game to swap to the larger size. I'd do it pronto.

    And keep in mind - unless you are dealing with a salesman at the LBS that is 6'4" or taller - they have no idea what it is like to be our height and dial in a fit on a bike. Really - they don't. At 6'4" and above, we are no longer part of the average height that the industry targets. You have a chance here to really get a good fitting bike by going up to the next size.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/8682277767/" title="Tall Chart by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8120/8682277767_39c36df17d.jpg" width="373" height="366" alt="Tall Chart"></a>

    You could also plug your measurements into the Zinn Cycles fit calculator to see what is recommended. And you have the ablitliy to choose casual, recreational, or aggressive fit. It will confirm the size you really should be riding on the Fuel bikes.

  9. #9
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    You'll get another 15mm in bar height by getting the XXL without losing most anything else. Loads of standover anyway - a little longer ETT but that can be managed with bars and stem

    Or look at different bikes Are there other dealers or other brands near you? This bike might not be your dream bike - just the nicest bike you think you've tried so far.

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    Too late now. I just pulled the trigger on the larger frame. Should be here Wednesday. I'll let you know what happens! As far as trying different bikes, it's a good suggestion, but I'm so new to the new technology I wouldn't be able to discern the difference. The only thing I know is that I want a relatively plush ride over rocks and roots because my rigid frame is rattling the filllings out of my teeth. I think I'll have to ride the new bike for at least a year to really understand what it's like to ride with a suspension.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Too late now. I just pulled the trigger on the larger frame. Should be here Wednesday. I'll let you know what happens! As far as trying different bikes, it's a good suggestion, but I'm so new to the new technology I wouldn't be able to discern the difference. The only thing I know is that I want a relatively plush ride over rocks and roots because my rigid frame is rattling the filllings out of my teeth. I think I'll have to ride the new bike for at least a year to really understand what it's like to ride with a suspension.
    Nah...you'll figure that out in one simple ride - trust me.

    Your back, your neck, your arms, your wrists, your teeth and fillings, etc... will all congratulate and thank you on your purchase. Traction will improve as the suspension goes to work to keep your tires glued to the trail, and your confidence and speed will pick up.

    Enjoy that big boy when it arrives on Wednesday!!!

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    Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll let you know what happens after my first ride, which is hopefully coming on Wednesday. With the weather situation looking better for mid week in Rochester, NY, I'm going to take a half day vacation!

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    You'll be much better on the XXL...
    Bike Doctor



  14. #14
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    GET A FITTING SESSION DONE. The best money ever spent.

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    Beautiful scenic pictures of mountain bike riding in and around Rochester, New York

    Got the bigger frame and had my first ride! Bad news is my neck and back are destroyed after only about an hour on the bike. The seat is still way too high in relation to the handlebars. The good news is that this problem is easily fixable. I already got a slightly taller stem. Next step is to get either riser bars or a stem riser. A local shop has one in stock and I want to ride this weekend. Has anyone used a stem riser? Is this safe to use on a mountain bike? If not, can I use it temporarily to figure out my ideal riding position?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Beautiful scenic pictures of mountain bike riding in and around Rochester, New York

    Got the bigger frame and had my first ride! Bad news is my neck and back are destroyed after only about an hour on the bike. The seat is still way too high in relation to the handlebars. The good news is that this problem is easily fixable. I already got a slightly taller stem. Next step is to get either riser bars or a stem riser. A local shop has one in stock and I want to ride this weekend. Has anyone used a stem riser? Is this safe to use on a mountain bike? If not, can I use it temporarily to figure out my ideal riding position?
    Don't use a stem riser on a mountain bike if riding off road - or at least I wouldn't suggest it. Best to do the plumbing change with stem angle/length, riser bars, and or spacers (sounds like you don't have any steerer tube left to use, right?). Are your bars on the new size currently even with the saddle or lower?

    BB

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    As above - don't get a stem extender / riser. Get a high rise, short stem and the highest riser bars you can find.

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    Well I got the adjustable riser stem for nothing more than to evaluate different riding positions given my back and neck problems. Problem is, this is way up there - I think this is going to be difficult to emulate with a riser stem and riser handlebars. So why it is not recommended to ride the bike this way? What is it that can happen? I'm wondering if it's safe to do one or two rides to evaluate this position?

    Check out the photos of the new set up here:
    Trek Fuel EX 7 - View my frame size evaluation photos

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Well I got the adjustable riser stem for nothing more than to evaluate different riding positions given my back and neck problems. Problem is, this is way up there - I think this is going to be difficult to emulate with a riser stem and riser handlebars. So why it is not recommended to ride the bike this way? What is it that can happen? I'm wondering if it's safe to do one or two rides to evaluate this position?

    Check out the photos of the new set up here:
    Trek Fuel EX 7 - View my frame size evaluation photos
    New bike looks good. Getting the bars even - or around even - with the saddle for guys our size is indeed an experiment in plumbing when going with a stock bike build from an LBS that sells the name brand bikes. It's always easy for shorter riders - and in fact - many shorter riders are fighting a different battle than we are as they are trying to get their bars lower. But that's not our problem. Just to get the bars even with the saddle - or close to it - always requires some plumbing adjustments unless the head tube is really long. In terms of "why is it not good to use a stem riser for off-road riding?"...

    Ideally, a longer headtube to fill up some of that real estate provides a nice housing for the steerer tube and for the forces to be distributed on the steerer tube at the head set top/bottom is the best way for the front of the bike to handle the forces and load. That would be the ideal way, but is usually going to involve either a custom build, or a speciality build (Zinn Cycles, Ventana, Quiring, etc...). It's a problem in road bikes as well, but there are more solutions in road frames with options for tall riders compared to mountain bike frames. The addition of the stem extender introduces one more piece to the plumbing puzzle and weakens the already multiple connection of steerer tube/stem/bars/headtube/headset. I don't think anyone is saying "hey, that set up could snap or break on you", but it is not an ideal set up for the forces encountered on the front end for off road riding - especially for a Clyde. I would trust it for commuting, path riding, etc..., but not for actual mountain biking.

    Longer head tubes?

    Zinn Cycles come standard in size HUGE with a headtube length on the Full Suspension bike of either 165mm or 177.8mm (depending on which size of frame one buys). Ventana comes standard with 168mm for size 21", 181mm for size 23", and 200mm for size 25" for bikes running a 100mm fork. Their frames designed for 120mm forks are about 20mm less in the headtube length than the 100mm fork designed bikes to account for the taller fork, but again - they understand tall. IMO - those are excellent lengths for riders that are 6'4" and over to come stock out of the box. Why big box brand bikes all come with shorter headtubes continues to be a major mystery to me, but at least it has gotten better over the past 10 years for the size XL and beyond 29"ers. You never would have seen 145mm headtube length before, but now several companies do that. In fact, my size XL (21") 2004 Gary Fisher Sugar 293 had a iddy biddy headtube length of 105mm which required plumbing to get the bars up (spacers, stem and riser bars).

    Here is an example of how Padre got his long head tube with a custom build a few years ago after he was tired at the height of 6'6" and dealing with having to use all kinds of "plumbing" to get the bars up...

    Is anyone inQUIRING about a new bike? I know I did.

    Another issue as we raise the bars up the steerer tube is that in effect, we are shortening our ETT which is one reason going to the larger frame was a good idea for you. With the previous 21" frame, and your bar height, you had shortened the ETT so much that you were too cramped on the bike. The slightly longer HT and ETT of the size HUGE that you now have gives you a little more room to work with and not end up being too cramped. You will still have to get the length of the stem correct to compensate for shortening the ETT as you go higher with the bars.

    Looking at your bike in the picture, I don't think it will be a problem to find a stem and bar combination that will closely match what you have with the stem extension gizmo and the adjustable stem.

    The question is how much steerer tube did Trek leave uncut when they shipped the bike? If I worked at one of those companies, I would make sure that all the XL and XXL bikes were shipped with an uncut steerer tube allowing each LBS to dial in the fit for their tall customers rather than hacking off part of the tube and leaving the customer to figure out the plumbing. But that's me. The only way I've found to work around it is to build my own bikes so I can order a fork with an uncut tube and have at it. That's always an option as well, to work out a deal with the LBS and trade the FOX fork that came on the bike for one that has an uncut steerer tube, and dial in the fit with spacers underneath the stem, and bars to get a cleaner interface.

    A stem with an angle that provides enough rise would get the slot for the bars up higher. Plenty of companies make such critters that you should look for (20, 25, 30+ degree angles) - Specialized, Profile Design, Salsa, Ritchey, etc... .

    A stem with such an angle combined with a nice riser bar will be a better interface to handle the forces of mountain bike than the stem extender you have on your bike at the moment. You can get riser bars with quite a bit of rise plus upsweep to fill in that gap to get the bars up there. Here's an example of a rider who used such plumbing to get his bars up where he desired...

    BikeRadar.com ? View topic - Degree angle of this stem? Advice on new stem *+ other bits

    Syntace even has the nifty VRO system which you can read all about here and see the bar options they have which would provide a system you can adjust and get those bars where they need to be on your bike.

    Syntace

    Syntace passes some strict tests for strength and durability, so I would trust their VRO system over using a stem extender. But I think you should be able to accomplish your bar position with spacers (provided there is enough tube still left), higher rise stem, and riser bars.

    There are charts, online tools, etc... available to help you figure out which stem, spacers and bar combo will get things up high enough.

    Here's one....

    Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net

    Plug in your headtube angle, amount of spacers, and the stem length angle to see how it compares to another stem. It tells you with the click of the button how much more or less reach and height you gain/lose when you alter the plumbing.

    Here's another...

    Habanero Cycles Stem Chart

    I think you are safe to evaluate the position you have with the stem extender and the adjustable stem. I just have reservations about either of those as a permanent solution.

    Not to worry - there are solutions out there for you. I've been through it all - especially back when front forks only came with 80mm of travel, and the size XL 29"er frames (and 26"ers) have very short headtubes which absolutely required a generous steerer tube length to handle the extra spacers which I would then use a 17 or 20 degree stem and riser bars to get the bars up around the saddle height. It's all just plumbing and you'll dial in your fit with it properly without having to use the stem extender.
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 11-03-2013 at 05:28 AM.

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    Wow, great post. Thanks for the wealth of information!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Wow, great post. Thanks for the wealth of information!
    Here's an example of typing in what probably came on your Fuel EX 7 for a stem (I'm guessing 120mm length with a 7 degree rise/angle and 40mm of spacers). I typed in the head angle at 69 degrees because it's not allowed to type .5 in the calculator. A simple stem swap to a 35 degree rise/angle stem that is 140mm in length would look like this...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/10628106196/" title="FuelStemSwap by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2827/10628106196_ab6d09380f_b.jpg" width="1024" height="570" alt="FuelStemSwap"></a>

    You would gain 60mm in height (2.36") just with a swap. Of course, you would also lose about 28mm in reach (bars would end up closer to you), but that pretty much mirrors what I am seeing in your photographs. But something close to that - be it 20 degree, 25 degree, 30, 35 degree, etc... with a riser bar of 2" would work.

    How many spacers (length) came on your Fuel below the stem? If you have that extender mounted correctly, I am guessing that the steerer tube is just slightly above the top bolt of the extender where it is mounted on the steerer tube. Is that correct? If so - I think it would be a piece of cake to mirror the set up you have with a simple stem swap and bars (if needed).

    Do your test rides as is and adjust the height, angle until you are completely happy and comfortable. Then measure from there in terms of trying to figure out what you will need for a permanent solution (stem, number of spacers, and bars). My simple guess is that with a stem swap and bar swap - you could easily gain 4.36" to even slightly more from how it came stock out of the box. I would think that would be more than enough and provide a more stable front end than the stem extender for safety's sake.

    Once you get your temporary fit with the adjustable stem and extender dialed in on your test rides, take some close up pictures (even toss in a tape measure in the pictures) so we know how far the bars are from center of the stem and how high above the spacers/top of steerer tube everything is. Then it would be easy to figure out what you need for the permanent solution.

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    Not sure what is was stock, because I have a different one on now and left the stock one at the shop. You can see the stock one here in the first picture. Not sure if you can tell from this pic:

    Scenic Photos of Mountain Biking around the Genesee River Gorge in Rochester, New York

    There were three spacers underneath it. I can tell you that my Cannondale measures 26.5 inches from handlebar to seatpost. I was perfectly comfortable with that reach. That same measurement the way I have the new bike set up with this adjustable riser stem is 28.5 inches. Feels really good sitting on it in the house. But I've got to get out and test it out to see how that feels after a long ride. I think I need a slightly more aggressive riding position than the Cannondale, without sacrificing too much comfort. On the Cannondale, seat height and bar height are roughly even with eachother, which seems about perfect. And that's about where I have the new bike set. I'll let you know what happens after a test ride. Thanks again for the help.

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    Looks like Trek specced a particularly shorter stem on purpose to match the wide handlebars. Odd they don't list the actual stem length for each size (or any size), but judging from the picture out of the box, it looks to be in the 100-110mm length. Looks like the amount of spacers if roughly equal to the stack height of the stem (somewhere between 22-38mm is what your spacer stack looks to be). The stem is a Bontrager Race Lite stem 7 degree. You can order that stem all the way up to a 40 degree rise from Bontrager. If it was in the length of 120mm with that angle, it would raise your bar height 58mm over the stock stem. Likewise, it looks like the low rise bars have about 15mm of rise. Bontrager has bars that have 50mm of rise (as do other brands and even some with more rise). So with a simple stem swap and bar swap you should be able to very closely mimic what you have it adjusted to now with the temporary gizmos.

    Yes, bar height even with the saddle seems to be fine and dandy for anyone riding a size S, size M, size L. Nobody even glances twice at such a set up when they see it. Suddenly though, bike companies think that just because we are tall, that out of the box size XL and XXL requires us to be gymnasts to reach the lowered bar height that they have specced it with in the first place. Maddening, but as I said above - the industry builds their bikes for the "average" rider and it's rare they have somebody on the design crew and product crew that knows what life is like on a bike at 6'4" and above. The idea of us having our bars even with the saddle gets thrown out of the window and we are left to suffer in only one position - aXX high in the air, bars quite a bit below saddle in an aggressive, racing position (fine for those who desire that, but most prefer a more relaxed position just like all of the smaller sizes come specced with out of the box).

    Rant being said, you'll be able to dial in your fit with a new stem/bar combo.

  24. #24
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    OP, you might want to try some weekly physio for your back and neck if your HMO provides it. Like me, you aren't a spring chicken, and physio will help out a bit methinks.

    Drew 6'5"

    p.s. 185 mm HT on the 26er FTW!! (but I had to build the frame myself)
    occasional cyclist

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    OP, you might want to try some weekly physio for your back and neck if your HMO provides it. Like me, you aren't a spring chicken, and physio will help out a bit methinks.

    Drew 6'5"

    p.s. 185 mm HT on the 26er FTW!! (but I had to build the frame myself)
    185mm HT? Now we're talking for a mountain bike!!!

    My road bike has a 260mm headtube stock out of the box.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/10422995066/" title="P1010001 by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7354/10422995066_728bd25ce2_z.jpg" width="640" height="386" alt="P1010001"></a>

  26. #26
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    Yeah Bruce I know you're a big tall lanky guy like myself.

    I'm just a few days away from cutting some steel for the new road frame I'm building. The HT is 220 mm. Amazingly enough I can still get low enough in the drops to justify such a "short" head tube. The new ride is going to be very long with a 625 mm TT. Sram Force 22 gruppo arrived Friday!

    Drew
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    So today I got in a nice long ride - my usual Genesee River Gorge loop, plus riding there and back. The new riding position was much more comfortable, with only relatively minor back and neck pain after the ride. I found myself wanting for a higher bar height for comfort, but already I can see that my climbing is suffering at the current set up. So I might just have to find a happy medium between biking efficiency and comfort. And what I have now just might be it. I'll be doing more riding this week as we are expecting spectacular weather here in Rochester mid-week. Again here is the set up I tested today:
    Trek Fuel EX 7 - View my frame size evaluation photos

    On another note, this seat is killing my a$$. Are there any other seat options or gel seat covers that will help me deal with this? Sitting on about 3 square inches of surface area is simply not enough to my large 220 pound rear end. On my Cannondale, after I converted it over to basically a hybrid, I got a big comfy cushion seat and I love it. Makes cycling more enjoyable. But it wouldn't be a good MB seat. I'm looking for some middle ground on seat comfort.

  28. #28
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    As others have said, don't use that steerer extender long term. It surely can't be safe for offroading and you need a proper stem and bars. Glad you are becoming a bit more comfort able too. Seats are a tough one, as one man's sofa is another's torture device.

    Drew
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    Seats are easy. Don't get a big saddle.

    You do wear 'proper' cycling shorts don't you? Those with proper crotch padding? That you wear commando ie next to skin. If not - buy some. Wear them under other shorts if you have to, but pay the money and get them.
    The saddle should be for the boney bits, not the rest. Your boney bits are about the same size as everyone elses.

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    1st consider saddle discomfort because you don't have cycling shorts and your fit is improper.
    2nd GET A PROFESSIONAL FITTING. There are some of the most knowledgeable people in the world within 4hrs from you...... Vicious, Serrotta is in Saratoga just north of Albany.
    You've invested a lot of money and time to enjoy riding. What's a few bucks on a fitting? You can even try different saddles, bars, stems etc

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    The new riding position was much more comfortable, with only relatively minor back and neck pain after the ride. I found myself wanting for a higher bar height for comfort, but already I can see that my climbing is suffering at the current set up. So I might just have to find a happy medium between biking efficiency and comfort. And what I have now just might be it.
    Glad you are experimenting and dialing it in with your new bike. It takes time and many rides to find it, adjust, and adapt.

    In terms of bar height, comfort, and climbing - yes, that is the compromise one makes with the bar height being so high. It usually leads to a lot of sitting on the nose of the saddle while climbing to keep the wheel down. I, too, have been through periods of neck/back pain due to a crash/endo leaving me torn up for several months which seems to always result in me running my bars a lot higher during the recovery period before reverting back to lowering the bars just a bit under my saddle.

    Here's an example of my old Dos Niner during one of those recovery periods when everything hurt due to torn neck muscles, broken ribs, and a messed up shoulder. I had to use a 130mm stem with 17 degree rise, and a rather large spacer stack due to the 80mm fork and short head tube on the Dos Niner (and climbing was a bear during the recovery with the bars that high)...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/4467085657/" title="Dos profile by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2715/4467085657_c01f0d3c84.jpg" width="500" height="295" alt="Dos profile"></a>

    Thanks to a pair of crashes and excellent recoveries since that picture above, and adjusting my fork to go from the above 80mm to the current 100mm, I can finally bend over again in comfort. It seems the more stretched out I am these days, the more comfortable I am which was not the case years ago. So the updated Dos looks like this now...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7166535@N05/10412606696/" title="Dos by BBcamerata, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5489/10412606696_e0e3467f40.jpg" width="500" height="304" alt="Dos"></a>

    It's a nice balance of position to keep the wheel down on all climbs and to feel comfortable. I've been through the experimentation phase to find that balance on all of my bikes - many times. The tinkering involved to find that seems to be the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    On another note, this seat is killing my a$$. Are there any other seat options or gel seat covers that will help me deal with this? Sitting on about 3 square inches of surface area is simply not enough to my large 220 pound rear end. On my Cannondale, after I converted it over to basically a hybrid, I got a big comfy cushion seat and I love it. Makes cycling more enjoyable. But it wouldn't be a good MB seat. I'm looking for some middle ground on seat comfort.
    As mentioned above, a quality pair of cycling shorts is really worth the $$$. In the short time frame, a padded saddle will provide comfort on short duration rides - especially for short commutes, riding to the store, etc... . However, the less padding the better for longer distances as all that fluff down there will just press against blood flow and nerves making longer rides uncomfortable. The sit bones are key - no matter how much one weighs. The more riding you do, the less need to worry about the nether regions as the aXX adapts. I'm talking 5-6 hours minimum of riding per week. At that point and beyond, one's aXX doesn't care or feel any more - and you can just about sit on anything.

    Don't forget to keep your tire's air pressure in the 24-33 psi range as well for a guy your size. You go over that, and you may as well be riding a jack hammer in the woods making all saddles hurt.

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    Thanks again everyone for the advice - I'm taking it under advisement! All my riding shorts and pants are padded, but not with anything more than what appears to be a piece of fabric. These are old school, all many years old. I will definitely be looking to replace these with something new. Anyone have any particular favorite products? Do you use the ones with gel? Other?

    I am desperate to ride the bike, so tonight I went out and bought a cheap but comfy saddle from walmart just to get me through the next couple rides. I'm sure in time, as you say Bruce, I will get used to the stock saddle. But right now rear end is quite sore from this medieval torture device they call a bike seat. I'll let you know what happens after the next couple days of riding.

    And thanks for the advice on tire pressure. I think the LBS put 40 lbs. in there and it feels a little hard.

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    Although the concept of a steerer extender may intuitively feel unsafe, the fear may be irrational. IMO, A properly installed and tightened steerer extender is uncomplicated and is safer than a lot of adjustable stems (just never use it on a carbon steerer). At 6'5" 210 lbs, I have had a good experience with the steerer extender on my Trek 29er hardtail while mountain-biking and year-round commuting.

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    Incredible ride today. Checked out a trail system in a Rochester, NY suburb and it was just fantastic. The cheepo Walmart seat was perfect - for now. My riding position was nearly perfect, still a few problems with climbing but I'm having much better luck with standing climbs anyway.

    Uberpower, what brand of steerer extender are you using?

  35. #35
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    One of these will fit a total steerer (and extender) length up to 270mm and keep the whole thing together:

    Sette RS-D230 Headlock | Sette | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

    You will have to punch out the star nut, but that isn't terribly difficult if your old man is a television repairman that owns a righteous set of tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Uberpower, what brand of steerer extender are you using?
    Mine is called "Dimension Steerer Extender". I bough it on Ebay, but it's also available at other online stores.

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    I wouldn't ride my bike with a headset extender and adjustable stem like that. If there is one thing you dont want, its your stem, bars, fork steerer breaking as it will fudge you up big time. Check with the bike shop and see if you can swap the current fork for an aftermarket which will have an uncut steerer which will allow you to run more steerer spacers. Also get a set of 2" riser bars and a hopefully with that you can run a normal stem.

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    Okay, so here are my conclusions - and thanks again everyone for the advice, this is a great forum. My current set up gave me the ultimate flexibility in experimenting with different riding positions. I used the adjustable steering tube extender with an adjustable stem and tried different positions. I wound up with this being the best combination of comfort and ride-ability.

    Trek Fuel EX 7 - View my frame size evaluation photos

    Any higher up and climbing was near impossible. Lower and my back and neck were a mess. I've had several rides under my belt to really give it a good test. So now my goal is to achieve this riding position with a riser stem and riser bars if possible. Bruce, I like your suggestion of starting with 35 degree rise/angle stem that is 140mm in length for starters. And my solution to the medieval torture device (seat) is the cheap walmart saddle - at least for the time being. This thing is comfy. Then, in time, I'll get used to the stock seat.

    Check out this trail system we have in Rochester, which I've ridden twice now. The pics of the trails start 7 photos down on the page:

    Scenic Photos of Mountain Biking around the Genesee River Gorge in Rochester, New York

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrochester View Post
    Okay, so here are my conclusions - and thanks again everyone for the advice, this is a great forum. My current set up gave me the ultimate flexibility in experimenting with different riding positions. I used the adjustable steering tube extender with an adjustable stem and tried different positions. I wound up with this being the best combination of comfort and ride-ability.

    Trek Fuel EX 7 - View my frame size evaluation photos

    Any higher up and climbing was near impossible. Lower and my back and neck were a mess. I've had several rides under my belt to really give it a good test. So now my goal is to achieve this riding position with a riser stem and riser bars if possible. Bruce, I like your suggestion of starting with 35 degree rise/angle stem that is 140mm in length for starters. And my solution to the medieval torture device (seat) is the cheap walmart saddle - at least for the time being. This thing is comfy. Then, in time, I'll get used to the stock seat.

    Check out this trail system we have in Rochester, which I've ridden twice now. The pics of the trails start 7 photos down on the page:

    Scenic Photos of Mountain Biking around the Genesee River Gorge in Rochester, New York
    Just glad that you are out there riding and enjoying some exercise. Get in as much as you can before the snow hits!!! Those trails look fun. Nice colors right now that just beg for a beer after a ride and some chili for recovery.

    Post up a follow up picture once your new stem/bar combo arrives.

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    I ride those trails once and awhile while at the casino. In the spring check out SMBA. It's a trip for you but well worth the driving. Your new trek will love those trails!

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    Thanks for the heads up. I never even knew those trails existed. Definitely looks like the SMBA trails are worth a road trip.

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    Frame size crisis - Need advice quickly

    Consider going to your LBS to get measured for a proper saddle. I have a big cushiony gel saddle on my mountain bike and have a hard time riding anymore than 10 miles. I have the stock Bontrager small thin saddle on my road bike and it is a lot more comfortable for 30+ mile rides. The only reason I haven't followed my own advice is because I haven't ridden my mountain bike since getting my road bike.


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    I've been riding and loving this bike! Haven't done anything with the set up yet as far as a real stem and riser bars. My first step is to order the stem. You would think I could find one online. But you would be wrong. Searching the web for bike parts like this can be frustrating many sites don't list the angle or length of the stems. Or you have to look through hundreds of listings.

    Trek Fuel EX 7 - View my frame size evaluation photos

    Based on this set up, I measured 4.75 inch length of the stem or 120 mm and the indicator on the adjustable stem indicates a 20 degree rise. So that's what I'm looking for in a moderately priced stem. Anyone know where I could actually purchase such a thing online? I'm searched ebay, amazon and google and I'm flat out frustrated with the crappy web sites that sell bike parts. Any help would be appreciated.

  44. #44
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    20 degree in Stems | eBay

    Ebay results for a 120mm 20 deg rise stem.

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