sitting up to much or not enough gap from here to there?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    sitting up to much or not enough gap from here to there?

    Hey Guys,

    Im still fairly new to the forums here and to the sport. Im loving all of it so far. I have a Trek 4300 2011 model.

    I went on my first trail ride last saturday and had a blast. I did bust my knee open on my stem with in the first 10 min of my ride tho. And that wasnt the last time that day I went over the bars. Ended up riding 7.6 miles that day out at Otter Creek. So it knocked me down but not out!
    I of course had the flats that came with the bike. So that might be part of the reason. However I do feel compressed on the bike(like im to close to the handle bars). I also feel to upright on the bike. I thought about taking the spacers out from under the handle bar to give my self a more aggresive sitting posisition but that wouldnt take care of the fact I feel a little to close to the bars and think thats why my crashes sent me flying forward cause I have to much weight up front.

    I have since upgraded to some cleats and some Candy pedals. (tried doing a wheelie in my nieghbor hood while practicing the clip in clip out thing and I might have fractured my palm, guess I dont have clipless pedals mastered yet) GOOD TIMES

    So my question after this long story is, what do you guys think? Should I invest in a longer stem? I believe mine is 90mm. And if I do get longer stem, should I leave the spacers alone or adjust those too?

    And something else I was curious about, I find it hard to slip on and off my seat to go downhills.. Is there a saddle out there that is slimmer in the back that wont break the bank?

  2. #2
    Derptastic
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    Sounds like your bike is too small for you. You could get a set-back seatpost and a longer stem, but that will only do so much.

  3. #3
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    Maybe. To my understanding tho you are to have a inch to 2 inches of space between your junk and the crossbar. I have 1/2 inch. When I entered my hieght into one of those online bike size calculators I was told to get a 17in. However Trek makes 16 and then 18 so I went with 16 cause that was pretty close to the junk any how. I know trek built there bike to give you a more upright riding posistion to inspire confidense but I dont particularly wanna ride that upright. I know I should have tried other bikes but I had a itch that needed scratched. So I got the bike and im gonna make it work till I have the funds to upgrade to a full suspension. That may be a few years.

  4. #4
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    Be careful not to go too long with the stem. It affects handling.

    Another thing to consider is a flatter bar if have riser bars. But first try moving the spacers. Look on-line for proper technique if you do it yourself so you don't end up with a loose headset. Basically, you tighten the top bolt before tightening the stem bolts so that the headset tightens up.

    If you have a good local bike shop, they should be able to help you out. Start with the inexpensive/free options first. I have a set-back seatpost and a 100mm stem on my x-c bike. I like an upright position, so I have a number of spacers and hi-rise riser bars.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Go ahead and flip your stem, or move it down in your spacer stack. It does close to the same thing to your riding position, and it's free. You may still want to try a longer stem, or you might be happy.

    My favorite saddle has a really narrow tail to facilitate getting back. It's no longer made and a lot of people hated it anyway. As personal as saddles are, it's hard for me to recommend something - see if your shop has a bin of saddles off of new bikes, and try some of those.

    How tall are you? I fear you may be looking at another frame sooner than you planned...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    Wēk Ss
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    It's hard to comment on anything without pictures. If your point of reference is a road bike, you won't be as low, so you will sit up more.

    I don't think Trek builds bikes for more upright riding positions. I'm not sure where you heard that. Just take a look at the pictures of their racing teams. More upright compared to roadies, which Trek also makes bikes for, yes it is. I'd gather, without looking it up, that the Trek 4300 is classic XC geometry, being that it is a bike for the masses.

  7. #7
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    The shop where you bought it may have some used stems to try before you buy. A small change in length can make a big difference. Try lowering your seat a tad for rough downhills. It's a compromise with pedaling efficiency that will allow you to get your weight back.

    The ett length/size of trek bikes varies between models. The 4 series and especially the 3 series have more upright positions than other models in the same size.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Go ahead and flip your stem, or move it down in your spacer stack. It does close to the same thing to your riding position, and it's free. You may still want to try a longer stem, or you might be happy.

    My favorite saddle has a really narrow tail to facilitate getting back. It's no longer made and a lot of people hated it anyway. As personal as saddles are, it's hard for me to recommend something - see if your shop has a bin of saddles off of new bikes, and try some of those.

    How tall are you? I fear you may be looking at another frame sooner than you planned...

    Im 5'8" I have a 29" inseam. Standover hieght is at 29.2". whatcha think?

    My bike is a 16" Frame

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    It's hard to comment on anything without pictures. If your point of reference is a road bike, you won't be as low, so you will sit up more.

    I don't think Trek builds bikes for more upright riding positions. I'm not sure where you heard that. Just take a look at the pictures of their racing teams. More upright compared to roadies, which Trek also makes bikes for, yes it is. I'd gather, without looking it up, that the Trek 4300 is classic XC geometry, being that it is a bike for the masses.
    I'll Try and get pictures up tonight. Didnt think of that.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    First of all, the only person who has to be pleased with the fit of the bike is you.

    I'm just over 5'8", with a lot more inseam - 31.5" in pants, a little more "cycling" inseam. I never bothered to measure it precisely because I've always sized my bikes by feel. I ride an older Specialized Hardrock with a 590mm top tube and 90mm stem. I've experimented with larger and smaller stems, and at this point, I feel like I have the bike at its "sweet spot," at least for me.

    There are some things that screw up the comparability of top tube measurements across brands, but as long as the bikes are in the same class (XC hardtails, for example,) it's usually a pretty good way to compare sizes.

    For me, both the 16" and 18" 4-series Treks would be too small, at 553mm and 568mm effective top tubes respectively. I'd need a 130mm stem to have my preferred reach on the 16" Trek, and while I haven't tried a stem that long, the common attitude is that it messes up the handling of a mountain bike pretty badly.

    Trek 3- and 4-series bikes have short top tubes for a reason - many beginning, casual and utility riders are more comfortable in a more upright position. Many other brands do the same with their entry-level hardtails.

    Anyway, reach on a mountain bike comes down to personal preference.

    Since this bike is new, talk to your shop about the problem and see if they'll work with you. You may or may not be able to exchange for something else without losing a lot of money on the deal - probably depends on whether or not they can clean it up and sell it as new. I don't know what brands your shop carries. Within the Trek family, you need to go up to a 6-series to get to traditional XC geometry. However, the entry-level bikes with the Fisher label have G2 geometry, which translates to running a little long and a couple other minor modifications, and would probably give you a better fit without having to increase your price tag.

    I'd also ask your shop about inexpensive stems - sometimes they have a bin full of stems taken off new bikes before they leave the store, that they'll sell for cheap. Try a 100mm or 110mm stem. (I wouldn't go up by more than two sizes - it makes a surprisingly large difference.) Sooner or later, you'll find a length that causes wonky handling, but if you find your way to a length that gives you a good riding position first, you can stick with your original plan of riding this bike for a few seasons and saving for that FS rig you want.

    If you can't just exchange this one and a longer stem doesn't solve your problem, a new, more traditionally shaped frame can be had for as little as $120 online, although you're likely to bump into a few extra things you have to buy to make a swap.

    FWIW, I think that there are some trail networks that are just more fun on hardtails. You can boost jumps with them, convert them to use as commute bikes, race them on a sub-$3000 budget, and, of course, ride almost every trail that can be ridden on them. I'm not saying I'll never buy a FS bike or that it will never be my primary bike - I can imagine that happening when I finish the current round of education and have a bigger bike budget again - but I can't imagine giving up my hardtail. I think it's worth making this one really work for you, not just as a stopgap for some future bike. Every time I try FS bikes, I like them less, but I've also not had the opportunity to try one that's really designed for me.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    First, standover height is not a good indication of bike fit. The effective top tube length (ett) determines the cockpit length. The ett varies between different bikes of the same size, which makes sizing difficult for beginners.

    The geometry chart at trek shows a 16" 4xxx has a ett of only 21.8". The 18" is only 22.4". Given your height and because you seem to have a slightly longer torso/arms than average, I'm guessing you would be more comfortable on something closer to 23".

    Probably not what you want to hear, but you may want to trade for a bigger size or purchase a frame and swap the parts.

  12. #12
    Wēk Ss
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    It sounds like the bike has old geometry, circa 1990 and earlier (like my 1990 Specialized Rockhopper), in terms of reach. Going to a 110mm/120mm stem wouldn't be too bad, in fact that's what my Rockhopper came stock with (quill actually), not great, but not horrible. Newer geometry will require a different frame.

    You can pull your saddle back, getting your knee behind the peddle isn't necessarily a bad thing for recreational riding, as long as it's not too far behind. An inch or so is fine. Once you dial in your settings, changing frames will not have you guessing as much.

    The bike salesman should have fitted on you a number of bikes in the same price range to see which one you liked better. This would have come up during your rides around the block. Sadly, cleaning blood off a bike that's been on a trail will likely not be treated as new, if the store has integrity, but they should do what they can to take care of you and make sure you come back as a customer. It's not every day that you get new bike buyers.

    I'm not really a Trek fan, but when I go to my Trek store for accessories/knick-knacks, the sales people are always letting people take a nice long ride around the block, 20-30 minutes or so is not unheard of. Andrew mentioned the G2. I think that's a good call. I'd take it back to the shop and talk to the manager or sales person about moving to the G2 Wahoo or G2 Advanced, depending on which 4300 you have. It's not like the G2 Advanced costs more, they are almost the same price as the basic 4300!

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