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  1. #1
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    Bike fit question

    I am only 5’6” tall but I have the arms of a chimpanzee, er, person 5’’9” tall. When I was only riding road, I was a tough fit, at least until the compact frame was introduced. I got a SantaCruz 5010 last fall, size medium. Sometimes I feel a little cramped on the bars. I understand all the concepts of trail bike frame geometry design, etc, but here’s a question? Is it going to affect handling all that much to go maybe 10 mm longer on the stem? I don’t want to be doing any head first stuff down the trail, but I would like to get a tiny bit more room up front. Is it a thing to switch out stems on a trail bike? Or would it be a better concept to switch the bars for some with a little less rise/sweep? Along the same lines, with the bottom bracket being way back there, is the plumb bob test for seat placement relevant with this bike, esp with dropper post? Or could I just push the saddle back behind neutral and call it victory?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    I am only 5’6” tall but I have the arms of a chimpanzee, er, person 5’’9” tall. When I was only riding road, I was a tough fit, at least until the compact frame was introduced. I got a SantaCruz 5010 last fall, size medium. Sometimes I feel a little cramped on the bars. I understand all the concepts of trail bike frame geometry design, etc, but here’s a question? Is it going to affect handling all that much to go maybe 10 mm longer on the stem? I don’t want to be doing any head first stuff down the trail, but I would like to get a tiny bit more room up front. Is it a thing to switch out stems on a trail bike? Or would it be a better concept to switch the bars for some with a little less rise/sweep? Along the same lines, with the bottom bracket being way back there, is the plumb bob test for seat placement relevant with this bike, esp with dropper post? Or could I just push the saddle back behind neutral and call it victory?
    I've experimented quite a bit with fit on all of current bikes.

    My road bike has a 55cm ett with stock 10 cm stem. I test rode multiple road bikes with nearly identical measurements and it never felt too long. First ride out on my road bike, it felt too long lol. So I swapped out for a 9cm, 8degree rise. Felt too high. Now with a 9cm 6 degree rise it feels dialed.

    On my hardtail '04 mtb, it came stock with 58cm ett, 7.5cm stock stem (spec), 9cm stem actual. Recently I've been wondering if this was too long. I swapped out with a 8cm stem. I immediately felt cramped first ride. Second ride, it felt completely normal didn't think about it much.

    The point is, there's probably a range of sizing you can work within so if you go 1 size up with your stem you'll definitely notice it at first then just get used to it. It will steer slightly slower but whether you feel that difference is of significance long term depends on you and your preferences.

    Tl, dr: yes, it will fit, it'll be a little slower to steer, you probably won't notice or care after a few rides. But if you do, just change it back.

    I'm 5'8" with 30" inseam, long torso, relatively short arms for reference.

  3. #3
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    do you have bike shop nearby that might do a fitment? I struggled messing around with trying to fit my bike myself. It make a world of difference.
    Dont make me go all Jonathan Winters on this gas station.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    Is it a thing to switch out stems on a trail bike? Or would it be a better concept to switch the bars for some with a little less rise/sweep? Along the same lines, with the bottom bracket being way back there, is the plumb bob test for seat placement relevant with this bike, esp with dropper post? Or could I just push the saddle back behind neutral and call it victory?
    Absolutely. No problem at all to go 10mm +/- on a stem to adjust fit. Same with handlebar rise.

    KOPS/plumb bob isn't really all that relevant for mtb's. Some people fiddle with it to set saddle position, but it's going to get harder and harder to get KOPS to actually work the steeper your seat tube angle. You could try adjusting your saddle rearwards to see if that gives you the extra cockpit length you need before you start messing with replacing parts. If it works for you, great. If not, then start over with the adjustments.

  5. #5
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    Moving the saddle back will affect your comfort while in a static, seated position. That only counts for some of what you do on a mountain bike. What happens when you stand up? Who cares where the saddle is. focus on optimising handling by taking the saddle out of the equation entirely. once you have that down, then address the saddle position. if the saddle is too close and has you scrunched up on the bike or too far away and has you stretched out, and you can't put it in a comfortable position by means of moving the saddle with an offset seatpost, consider a frame with similar reach and stack measurements but a different seat tube angle.

    look at the overall reach/stack from the pedals to the grips. It might be wise to adjust it from that perspective. Ideally, you want a stem/handlebar to set setup for handling. If you need a stem that is more than 10mm longer than that for handling, you need a longer frame. The trick is that long frames are also taller and might sacrifice standover or have a stack height that is too tall for you.

    KOPS is bunk, don't waste your time on that.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:28 AM.

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