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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK,

To all of us newbies out there who ask which bike to buy and keep being told it's all about fit don't worry about the name or the color because all the bikes are good quality these days.

I read the forums and listened, but didn't learn until the school of hard knocks put my butt in bed the past week-n-half.

I was riding a size 56 bike when I SHOULD have been on a 54. Yeah it was ok with the seat all the way down to the frame and the bars pushed all the way up and toward me so I could reach. I figured no big deal it's a starter "cheap" bike and I'll know if I like the sport in six months then buy new in my size; what could it hurt!!! Well, I did like riding (Avid runner in great shape so adapted fast) and quickly got to the point I was riding 50 miles a day.

I noticed that when the crank pedal was at it lowest point (6 O'Clock - position) my knee sort of hurt, but hey I am a Marine I can take a little pain. Hmm stupid is as stupid does; so this past week on a 42 mile group ride something went pop and it wasn't the bike. I stopped and couldn't move without incredible pain.

ER Visit later; Slipped discs L4 and L3. The doctor (who is an avid biker) said there must have been too much strain on my back especially during high cadence. He said "You can either invest money in a bike that fits YOU properly OR keep coming into the ER and pay the hospital instead."

I learned my lesson. I've been on all kinds of meds this week ($350), to the Chiropractor everyday (50.00 each visit - 3 more visit to go = 350.00), and I have to go see a "Spinal Specialist" next week ... eeeekkkk scared about the cost there. No insurance, coming out of my pocket cash.

I had test ridden about six bikes and narrowed the decision to either a Cannondale or Colnago ... I had ordered the Cannondale, but the Colnago FELT better after another ride so I canceled the original order and opted for the Colnago because it FELT like it FIT better. Fit Fit Fit is all I can think now!!!!

I have to say thanks to all of you who keep on saying "FIT IS KING"!!! I bow out painfully to all of your YODA LIKE KNOWLEDGE!!!

Thanks again, I am buying a bike that fits ME NOW!! AND WILL PAY FOR A PRO FITTING AS WELL!!! The cost of the meds would have covered that ugh!!!!! :mad2:
 

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Lets make sure we all understand what you're saying here. You went to a LBS and were looking at either a cannondale or colnago and the shop didn't even give you a basic fitting before you test rode them? If that was the case the bells and whistles should have gone off to tell you to look at other shops. A reputable LBS with a knowledgable staff should be able to do a basic fit to determine accurately what size you need before you give them a dime. Getting a pro fit is a bonus, but you now need to heal your body before you can even test ride a bike that does fit. Good Luck on your recovery, put the bike you have on craigslist and make sure you are comfortable on your next bike (seat all the way down and bars jacked up is not comfortable) before you buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I bought the bike used from my accountant who lives about 600 miles away. He wasn't sure it would fit me so I didn't pay him until going to the LBS. The first LBS put me on the bike and said it was a little too big, but with the seat all the way down and bars all the way up it was "ok" for me to ride as a beginner bike for six month to a year.

I didn't think about it until now, but I have found a new LBS who I really think highly of because he took about 10-15 measurements when I walked in his store and he told me I shouldn't be on that bike because it's too big. I sort of took him as trying to make a sell at first since the other LBS said it was "ok" but went ahead and looked at bikes when I came in his shop a few days later.

I was hurt the week after looking / ordering. The new Colnago CLX will arrive next week.
 

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g8keyper said:
OK,

To all of us newbies out there who ask which bike to buy and keep being told it's all about fit don't worry about the name or the color because all the bikes are good quality these days.

I read the forums and listened, but didn't learn until the school of hard knocks put my butt in bed the past week-n-half.

I was riding a size 56 bike when I SHOULD have been on a 54. Yeah it was ok with the seat all the way down to the frame and the bars pushed all the way up and toward me so I could reach. I figured no big deal it's a starter "cheap" bike and I'll know if I like the sport in six months then buy new in my size; what could it hurt!!! Well, I did like riding (Avid runner in great shape so adapted fast) and quickly got to the point I was riding 50 miles a day.

I noticed that when the crank pedal was at it lowest point (6 O'Clock - position) my knee sort of hurt, but hey I am a Marine I can take a little pain. Hmm stupid is as stupid does; so this past week on a 42 mile group ride something went pop and it wasn't the bike. I stopped and couldn't move without incredible pain.

ER Visit later; Slipped discs L4 and L3. The doctor (who is an avid biker) said there must have been too much strain on my back especially during high cadence. He said "You can either invest money in a bike that fits YOU properly OR keep coming into the ER and pay the hospital instead."

I learned my lesson. I've been on all kinds of meds this week ($350), to the Chiropractor everyday (50.00 each visit - 3 more visit to go = 350.00), and I have to go see a "Spinal Specialist" next week ... eeeekkkk scared about the cost there. No insurance, coming out of my pocket cash.

I had test ridden about six bikes and narrowed the decision to either a Cannondale or Colnago ... I had ordered the Cannondale, but the Colnago FELT better after another ride so I canceled the original order and opted for the Colnago because it FELT like it FIT better. Fit Fit Fit is all I can think now!!!!

I have to say thanks to all of you who keep on saying "FIT IS KING"!!! I bow out painfully to all of your YODA LIKE KNOWLEDGE!!!

Thanks again, I am buying a bike that fits ME NOW!! AND WILL PAY FOR A PRO FITTING AS WELL!!! The cost of the meds would have covered that ugh!!!!! :mad2:

Ouch sorry you had to learn the hard way. I have found most of the folks on the RBR website give advice because they really want folks to enjoy riding not because they want to dazzle you with their brilliance. OK maybe some want to dazzle but I digress. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
 

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Another word from someone who has been there. I had a disc problem in my low back that made riding difficult for a number of years. I had to adjust my riding style quite a bit. Not so much climbing and higher cadence. Also had to find a bike that that took the big hits out of the road for me. Ended up with a Litespeed. I have to say the ti frame made riding so much more comfy for me. I can do long rides again. Every injury is different but take it easy with your recovery. Listen to the PT and your doctor. GOOD LUCK
 

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I had a bunk left knee for about 10 years now, had surgery on it earlier this year, PT'ed back up to form, had a pro fitting by a bike-physical therapist and I'm 90% pain free! I cannot ride my mtb or the spinning bike (as I found out today). They both cause my knee quite a bit of pain. My fit has to be 100% spot on or else it's curtains for the 'ol knee.
 

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This is interesting. I would have thought that if you indeed should be on a 54, you should have been able to make the 56 work reasonably well as a temporary solution, perhaps with a shorter stem. I'm puzzled as to why the 56 would be so far off as to cause major injury. Could it be that you simply ramped your mileage up too fast, and had a stress or over-use injury?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My legs are short and I think that was the main issue. I've had a bad back since the Marine Corps days, but it hasn't bothered me in a very long time; like 5 years. You maybe right about over-use, but I never really felt winded or just dog tired. I run marathons so I am in pretty decent shape. I will be careful not to do too much too fast getting back in the saddle though.
 

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jupiterrn said:
Ouch sorry you had to learn the hard way. I have found most of the folks on the RBR website give advice because they really want folks to enjoy riding not because they want to dazzle you with their brilliance. OK maybe some want to dazzle but I digress. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
+1 on "dazzle".
 

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I would o to a LBS that carries many brands...nothing wrong with having a general idea of what bike you want. But I would get fitted to those frame geos and see if it works, keep an open mind on what bike you want since the bike you wnat may not be the bike that fits you
 

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You got me thinking. I have a 56cm and I am 5'10". I have the seat high enough for my legs to be almost straight when the pedals are in the 6 o'clock position. The saddle height is higher than the handle (don't know by how much-need to measure). I had a guy (bike mechanic) who is my height tell me that I should try riding a 54 cm. I have need been properly fitted on the bike since I too bought this bike used. Should I be concerned?
 

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Suggestion. Don't go by feel when you buy a bike. Go spend the 200 or so and get a real bike fit. If you need custom geometry go get custom.

I was in the same position and I spent the extra money to get properly fit and what I "felt" and what the data showed was correct were two different things and as always the data proved to be right.
 

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I don't agree with the stem rise statement. I broke my neck about 4 years ago and for me to ride and be comfortable or to be as comfortable as possible I have to use a stem that will raise the bar enough so I don't put so much strain tilting my head back. I have a good size plate and screws in my neck holding everything together so theirs not much flexibility. If you've had an injury sometimes you do have to use them.
 

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-I was riding a size 56 bike when I SHOULD have been on a 54. Yeah it was ok with the seat all the way down to the frame and the bars pushed all the way up and toward me so I could reach-

This comment kind of bothers me tho. It seems to me if your seat is all the way to the frame and the bars that high, then that bike may be more than 2 cm too big for you. Most people can adapt a frame within 2 cm without such extreme measures. Especially with your health issues etc, I agree with the get fitted suggestions.

b21
 

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barry1021 said:
This comment kind of bothers me tho. It seems to me if your seat is all the way to the frame and the bars that high, then that bike may be more than 2 cm too big for you. Most people can adapt a frame within 2 cm without such extreme measures. Especially with your health issues etc, I agree with the get fitted suggestions.
That's a really good point. Even the guys who say you should size your frame big still say you should have a 'fistful of seatpost' showing. Looking at the photos of his bike, I don't think going just 2cm smaller would give him even that. His stem is ultra-short as well, indicating that his frame is giving him way too much reach.

Like everyone's saying, get fitted, man. :thumbsup:

...
 

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When did riding geometry drastically change? Or has it?

I am pretty new to being a roadie, mostly MTB. However this fit thing has mystified me, like the poster here I too bought the wrong size. The summer help at my LBS "How tall are you? Yep that looks about right..."

Today I paid 100.00 for a proper fitting, took about an hour. Wow what a difference in detail and I wanted a neutral party NOT selling me a bike they had in stock. I certainly got what I paid for, results: basically I am a 53cm (of course I know its more complicated than that but in general). This matched up to a friend who is roughly my size and went to a sizing at a different shop. Our results are expectedly close.

This brings me to my point, I was looking at 1994 56cm Slim Chance frame, but once I did my fitting and looked at the brochure specs I realized how wrong in size that is for me. I need about 53.5 c-c TT and the 56cm has a 57cm c-c top tube. I couldnt find a bike in his shop with that long a TT, a 58cm was 55.5. If 56 is roughly the middle of the bike world frame size why are most 5'10-11 (my guess is the average male height) people fit on 53's? What are the 5'3 guys out there riding? Were people in the 80's and 90's riding low and stretched?

Sorry, long rant but this post hit home with me as I had the same issue (not medically luckily, but certainly stiff knees). Anyone shed any history or light on this?
 

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I don't think most 5'10/5'11" guys are fit to 53cm frames actually, unless they have some pretty short legs.

I'm 5'10" with short legs, and most of the best books and LBS fitting methods seem to point me towards 54 cm frames (center-to-top). If I had normal length legs for my height, I'd probably be pointed towards 56cm frames.

TT length isn't such a big issue for me, since I have long thighs for my leg length and sit very far back on the bike, which compensates for my long torso/forward reach.

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