Heartbroken - Can't find the right fit hybrid. Please Help!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Heartbroken - Can't find the right fit hybrid. Please Help!

    I am an avid recreational/fitness rider - about 100 miles per week. I ride mostly on paved country roads although I occassionally hit unpaved sections. Fairly hilly. I am 53 years old with arthritis so riding position is an important consideration. I had been riding a Gary Fisher Nirvana (2002) that had been treating me very well but decided to step up to something "better." My local bike shop sells only Cannondale and Specialized and suggested a Cannondale Adventure. I went for the Adventure 600 but soon found myself crippled after even a short ride - lower back pain (something I haven't had since my pregnancies) shoulder pain, wrists ached and the most awful knee and ankle pain that I couldn't walk when I got off the bike! I took the bike back twice for adjustments. They changed the handlebar, putting on one that wrapped back more (to match the one on my Gary Fisher) and moved the seat around. Nothing worked. They did agree with my assessement that my knee was bent too far back at 12:00 - I really couldn't get any power to the pedal until at least 3:00 or 4:00. When my foot was in the toe clip (that I had them put on for me) I felt as if my foot was too far behind me. I wanted more room between my body and the handlebars and my foot on the pedals and the front wheel. It's hard to describe, and I certainly can't put it in technical terms. When I moved the seat back to try to achieve the right posiition on the pedals, I was too far away from the handlebars so I was bent over at the waist, stretching my arms out. This, I believe, led to the lower back and shoulder pain. We finally agreed that this just may be the wrong frame for me and no amount of adjustment will help. So, I am now trying to find a bike that has the right geometry. Unfortunately, I don't know what measurements to look for in the specs. I don't know how to compare apples to apples, either. I have the measurements for the Cannondale and the Fisher but they are not in similar terms. How can I tell, on paper, if a bike could be a candidate, based on the Fisher specs). If I could narrow it down to a couple of manufacturers it would simplify my search. Any thought on how to define what I need?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by lybern
    When I moved the seat back to try to achieve the right posiition on the pedals, I was too far away from the handlebars so I was bent over at the waist, stretching my arms out.
    Could you have them put on a shorter stem? That way you could move the seat back, but maintain the same distance between the saddle and bars.

  3. #3

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    Try llbean.

  4. #4
    www.derbyrims.com
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    Fit measurements

    Quote Originally Posted by lybern
    I am an avid recreational/fitness rider - about 100 miles per week. I ride mostly on paved country roads although I occassionally hit unpaved sections. Fairly hilly. I am 53 years old with arthritis so riding position is an important consideration. I had been riding a Gary Fisher Nirvana (2002) that had been treating me very well but decided to step up to something "better." My local bike shop sells only Cannondale and Specialized and suggested a Cannondale Adventure. I went for the Adventure 600 but soon found myself crippled after even a short ride - lower back pain (something I haven't had since my pregnancies) shoulder pain, wrists ached and the most awful knee and ankle pain that I couldn't walk when I got off the bike! I took the bike back twice for adjustments. They changed the handlebar, putting on one that wrapped back more (to match the one on my Gary Fisher) and moved the seat around. Nothing worked. They did agree with my assessement that my knee was bent too far back at 12:00 - I really couldn't get any power to the pedal until at least 3:00 or 4:00. When my foot was in the toe clip (that I had them put on for me) I felt as if my foot was too far behind me. I wanted more room between my body and the handlebars and my foot on the pedals and the front wheel. It's hard to describe, and I certainly can't put it in technical terms. When I moved the seat back to try to achieve the right posiition on the pedals, I was too far away from the handlebars so I was bent over at the waist, stretching my arms out. This, I believe, led to the lower back and shoulder pain. We finally agreed that this just may be the wrong frame for me and no amount of adjustment will help. So, I am now trying to find a bike that has the right geometry. Unfortunately, I don't know what measurements to look for in the specs. I don't know how to compare apples to apples, either. I have the measurements for the Cannondale and the Fisher but they are not in similar terms. How can I tell, on paper, if a bike could be a candidate, based on the Fisher specs). If I could narrow it down to a couple of manufacturers it would simplify my search. Any thought on how to define what I need?
    The seat tube angle and top tube length are the most important measurments to compare one bike to another for fitting.

    But your handlebar bend and seat postion over the seat tube also effect reach and postion over the pedals.

    The seat postion over the pedals is somewhat limited by the seat tube angle. You can move the seat forward or back (moving the seat an inch forward effectively steepens the seat tube angle by 2 degrees), but then the reach to the handlebar changes even if the top tube length is the same as your older comfortable bike.

    Hope this helps.

    Sounds like you should ride the old Fisher until a bike with the same fit can be found.

    The Fisher bike frames are very good quality. Rather than getting a new bike, maybe upgrade worn out components on the Fisher such as the gear derailers and shifters and brakes and a more comfortable seat and new tires, instead of a whole new bike that may not fit well.

    A quality bike shop should serve you well by taking your new bike back in good condtion in exchange for a better fitting bike or the parts upgrade for your Fisher.

    - ray

  5. #5

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    If Fisher's geometry fits you well, then I'd say stick with Fisher. If you really want to move up to a better bike, I suggest one of their Genesis or Dual Sport hardtails (Big Sur/Ziggurat), or even a Cake full suspension.
    I've got back problems as well, and for some reason, GF's frames feel really good. When it's time for me to replace my current rig, it'll be a Fisher.

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