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Thread: Arm Overreach?

  1. #1
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    Arm Overreach?

    So I'm 5'10", 170lbs, with long arms and legs. I ride an 18.5 frame and am finding that I'm having to reach too far to grip my handlebars when seated. The middle to upper part of my back and shoulders hurt a bit when riding, so I think I'm over extending my arms when I'm seated. What can I do to correct this? I'm starting to wonder if a 17.5 frame would have been better. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I'm 5'10", 170 too. I can fit 17.5 to 19 in frames. I'm kinda in that in-between range, but I think I prefer the smaller cockpit on the 29er I'm riding now. That said, you can try to shorten your cockpit with a shorter stem, riser bars or both. If you have a setback seatpost, you can try a straight seat post, or nudge you seat forward a bit. Try one change at a time, and see if improves the bike's fit.
    --If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

  3. #3
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    I'm 5'10 250 I have a 30 inseam so short legs but a long upper body torso and I ride small frames 16 inch to 15.5 inch. If its a large fram and I have to reach out then my back hurts it feels like I am "riding" the bike not in a full agressive stance like on a smaller bike with a low standover which I can be agressive on.

    Cockpit and reach lenghth of the top tube is always most important

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Bike fit is a funny thing. Most people get pain from having their cockpits set up too long or low, but too short a cockpit can do it too.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/pain.html
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Informative. Thanks to all.

  6. #6
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    I'm almost 6ft and have a 17.5 (Virtual 18.5) Trek 8 that fits perfectly.
    The next size up felt too stretched out for me which would be your size.

    You can get a shorter stem perhaps...

  7. #7
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    I'm about 5 11 and just bought a 19 inch frame. Stand over clearance is okay for me but like you, It sometimes feels like I'm reaching out a bit much. It's not too terribly bad. I don't know how your seat post is set up, but on mine, I can move the seat forward a little bit. You might look into that and see if you can adjust your seat closer to the handlebars. Just an idea.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Adjusting saddle position to correct a reach issue is putting the cart before the horse. The single most important part of bike fit is locating your hips in the right place relative to the crank - screwing that up can have some pretty unfortunate consequences for your knees, as well as opening up a couple of other ways to get back and arm pain.

    Stems are cheap - I typically buy used ones for $10 if I'm experimenting - and easy to change.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    Adjusting saddle position to correct a reach issue is putting the cart before the horse. The single most important part of bike fit is locating your hips in the right place relative to the crank - screwing that up can have some pretty unfortunate consequences for your knees, as well as opening up a couple of other ways to get back and arm pain.

    Stems are cheap - I typically buy used ones for $10 if I'm experimenting - and easy to change.
    X2.
    I experimented sliding my seat one time...ended up with knee pain. Shorter stem, riser bars w/more sweep, or if you have room you can move the stem higher (move spacers under). All these would help make you less stretched out & more upright.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    Adjusting saddle position to correct a reach issue is putting the cart before the horse. The single most important part of bike fit is locating your hips in the right place relative to the crank - screwing that up can have some pretty unfortunate consequences for your knees, as well as opening up a couple of other ways to get back and arm pain.

    Stems are cheap - I typically buy used ones for $10 if I'm experimenting - and easy to change.
    I moved the saddle forward for today's two hour ride, and, unsurprisingly, this is exactly what happened: my upper back pain was eliminated, but my knees began to feel discomfort (kind of a tired/weak feel) toward the end of my ride. I'm going to readjust the seat to it's original position tonight for tomorrow's ride. I think shortening the stem is a serious option to consider.

  11. #11
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    I have recently replaced my stem because I felt like I was a little stretched out, especially after longer rides. I got a stem 20mm shorter and a bigger rise. I am so happy I did because now I feel like my bike is a perfect fit. It's really amazing what a difference 20 mm makes!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdmx
    I have recently replaced my stem because I felt like I was a little stretched out, especially after longer rides. I got a stem 20mm shorter and a bigger rise. I am so happy I did because now I feel like my bike is a perfect fit. It's really amazing what a difference 20 mm makes!
    What stem did you get? Size? Rise?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zerohnine
    What stem did you get? Size? Rise?

    I now have an Easton EA70, 70mm and 20d rise. My other stem was a 90mm 10d rise.

  14. #14
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    Ah well. Was worth a try anyway.

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