Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I have posted many times here in the last few months regarding questions on which bike to buy. I have been having a lot of trouble finding something that fits me well. I am 6'4" tall, 36" inseam with short to average length arms. My problem is on the very large frames my inseam fits well, but I feel too layed out due to my short reach. Or, I find a bike that feels great cockpit wise, but then I have a bunch of seatpost out to get the leg extension. I'ts driving me nuts, just when I think I have found the perfect bike someone else comes along and says it is too small, or the salesman will say that the size you need and then I feel stretched out. ARGH!!!!

I have heard of shops that do a professional fitting, but I don't know of any locally. I found one in San Diego (Trek Bicycle superstore), but thats quite a drive for me. Anybody have a shop in the LA area that they like that offers this sort of service. Also, does anybody know of a shop that sells both Specialized and Lemond? I like a bike from each and would love to test them out back to back rather than at different stores where I forget which one I liked better.

On a side note, I really like the way the 2004 Lemond Buenos Aries feels cockpit wise as well on the test ride. I was convinced this was the one. I then later went to another shop to look at another bike and they had a BA as well in the largest size (61cm) and there they said it was too small. I did have quite a bit of seatpost out (8" or so estimate), but that brought the seat in line with the stock stem. The stem has a fair amount of upward angle to it. So my question is if the large amount of seatpost extension brought the seat to a suitable location in relation to the bars on a stock setup, isn't this how much it should be extended by design? I dont believe there were any extra risers if any? How much seatpost extension is too much when shopping for a bike? None of the bikes I tested had the post past the min insertion point. Should I give up on compact geometry, based on my size?

So many questions, please help

Best regards,

Marc Webster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Sounds like...

...you may be better off with a custom bike than trying to make a stock frame fit. If you are measuring your inseam correctly (not the pant size you wear), then you have a longer torso with a 36" inseam. Have you asked the shops where you have test ridden bikes to put on a shorter stem like a 10cm? Not to tick off anyone, but who gives a damn what the salesperson says? If the bike is comfortable to you, then perhaps you would be better off listening to your body. Keep in mind that you should not evaluate comfort on a parking lot ride, but ask the shop if you can take the bike out for an extended ride. The shop may put a time/mile limit on the bike or might have an employee go with you.

In terms of the amount of seatpost visible on a traditional frame...much of this is personal preference or possibly an attempt to emulate the pros. If you have 8" of seatpost, but the bike is comfortable then so be it. Some people like to have a "fistfull" of seatpost showing and that is comfortable to them. With a compact design, you typically will always have more seatpost showing.

I am sure others will chime in here as well and offer additional information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Go to/Call Helens in Santa Monica

and speak with Sam. He handled my fitting and did a great job...I went back every month for 3 months afterwords to "dial it in", he was very helpful and I am a better rider for it. I know they carry Lemond, Can'dale, Trek, Colnago, Seven..among others...

Good luck...
 

·
SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
I think supergo does a fitting and you can change stems to be longer,shorter,more rise or less. Do one yourself to get an idea of the size frame,wrench science.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,876 Posts
Shorter Top Tube

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that European built frames tend to have shorter top tubes than U.S. built bikes. I've never compared the larger sized frames though.
~Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,160 Posts
RECORD the geometry...

If you find a bike that feels like it has the proper reach, find a geometry chart and see what the TT length and seat tube angle are.

When you find a bike that fits well vertically, do the same.

From these dimensions, perhaps a compromise can be found.

When you're trying out a bike, are you SURE that the saddle fore/aft adjustment is set properly, or are you merely adjusting the saddle height and jumping on the bike?

Saddle fore/aft position can make a big difference in the reach to the bars.

There are also short reach bars like the Salsa Poco that will reduce the reach by 1.0-1.5cm. I use them because I have my saddle set pretty far back for climbing and I have a short torso (long legs).

Stems length can be reduce to a little as 90mm is necessary and stem rise can add up to 3cm of height.

You obviously need to stay on the smaller side with regard to frame size (probably a 61cm). If you review the geometry of frames that you've tried, I'd be surprised if the TT length varied more than 1-2cm, which can easily be taken care of with a stem length adjustment.

Have you ever measured your saddle height accurately? This would help a great deal. Also consider using Speedplay pedals wiht Sidi shoes. This combination can reduce your saddle height up to 1cm, compared to LOOK pedals.

A common mistake that I see on this forum is setting the saddle too high. I used to set my saddle at least 2cm too high, forcing me to pedal in a toes down, heel up position that increased my required frame size. My rule of thumb is to be sure you can drop your heel 2-4cm below horizontal with the leg locked out at the bottom of the stroke.

A common recommendation is to have your foot horizontal with the leg locked out at the bottom of the stroke (Zinn in the latest Velonews buyer's guide). This forces you into a toes down position and it's a lot higher than I would use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the encouragement

Hey Guys,

I just got off the phone with a Tech at Lemond and he confirmed my suspicions that there bikes generally have a lot of seat tube exposed. Even the catalog shows riders with more seat tube extension than I had.

Hey Owenmeany, I have actually been working with Corey at Hellens, they were the shop that said the BA was fine. It's a very nice shop, and I found it by accident trying to avoid the freeway on return from Supergo. Hellens also gave me the best price quote too, so if I get the BA then that is where I will go.

Also, C40 mentioned to chart the sizes. I have been doing that for a few weeks now, and what I have found is I need a bike with a top tube somewhere around 585 to 600 mm. Anytime I go to anything above 600mm, I feel stretched out. The Orbea I tried had a 606mm Toptube, and we moved the seat all the way forward just to make it feel ok on the test ride. They offered to switch out the stem to make up the length I used in seat movement. I had orriginally been looking at an Orbea Mitis3, but I think I like the BA better, and it just felt like "this is the one" when I test rode it. I will use your method of finding saddle height you mentioned when I test ride the BA again on Thursday.

Thanks again all,

Marc Webster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,160 Posts
lemond geometry...

The Lemond BA in a 59cm has a 59.1cm TT length and a 72.5 STA. The 61cm size has a slacker 72 degree STA, which effectively shortens the TT length by 7mm to 59.9cm.

The 61cm size will require a 1cm shorter stem. More importantly, the head tube is nearly 2cm taller, which will greatly reduce the problem of getting the bars up to height.

It's a common mistake to think that you're curing a reach problem with a smaller frame and forgetting about a larger bar height problem.

When comparing frames, it's always important to measure the head tube length, including the headset, to get an accurate height comparison.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again C-40

As I mentioned before, I will be going to Helens Cycles tomorrow to ask some more questions and give the BA another look. I also plan to ride the Specialized Roubaix as well at Supergo. Anyway, I have noticed that I seem to be prefering a more upright position right now, and the BA offers that with a stem with a lot of rise. I am sure I can achieve the same thing with other bikes with a stem change as well. Maybe as my skills progress and I become stronger in my back I can then change over to a lower bar height.

I just test rode a Trek 5200 size 62cm (tripple ring) and it was nice as well, but it's just out of my price range ($2400 otd). I still think I am leaning toward the BA and these posts, and speeking with a lemond rep have offered me hope that it will fit OK.

Thanks again,

Marc Webster
 

·
SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
LeMonds are set up for a more streched out riding position so ride some others. Hey,how is Helens bike shop,say compaired to a supergo?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Shokhead,

Supergo is the place to go if you want a great deal, and they have what you need in stock. Supergo also has more components, clothes but much more less bikes. Helens on the other hand has way more bikes, some high end MTB bikes like turners and they have some very high end road bikes from manufactures like seven. I saw a seven that I would sell a kidney, lung and a a few toes for.

I rarely buy from supergo as I like to support my LBS. If I were to go with the roubaix, I would order it through my LBS closer to home. I have just been testing at supergo since they had my size in stock. My LBS use to carry lemond, but now they don't so I will order from helens.

Best regards,

Marc
 

·
SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
Wow,more bikes. I go to the SG in Fountain Valley and they have the most bikes i've seen in a shops so helens must be large.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
I find Helen's to be much more personable then Supergo. I know that pretty much everyone that works there are pretty hard-core riders. Supergo is, to me, just a big chain type store...

Every since I pick up my last ride at Helens, I have used them (almost) exclusivly. Always willing to price match without a complaint. If I need an adjustment, I can ride in and it will be taken care of quikly. And, if feel there are continueing fit issues, Sam has put me and my bike on the trainer to size up the situation.

Good people, good products.

Tell Sam John Brazier sent you...he'll hook you up...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ordered the Buenos Aires today

Hey Owenmeany,

I just orderd the Buenos Aires this evening. I did meet Sam, but I actually placed the order with Corey, since he was the one who had first shown me the bike last week and he should get the commision. I really like the store, and wish it was closer to my home as it will be less convenient to make regular trips for service. I actually found Helens by accident while trying to avoid the freeway after leaving Supergo after testing the roubaix. As I said, I am not a big fan of Supergo and also feel it is has a good deal of employees who are not that knowlegable in the bike industry. When I do go, I try and seek out the same few employees I trust to ask questions. There is a salesman at the Santa Monica store who is straight out of the used car market, very high pressure salesman. He scares the crap out of me. I saw him just take advantage of some poor guy selling him a mountainbike. He mangaed to sell the poor guy everything in the store and every time he complained that the cost was getting to high he just said you need this. He sold him a camal back, 2 water bottles and 2 cages, when the bike he sold him only had mounts for one cage. Go figure!

Don't get me wrong, supergo has it's place, and I will buy the things I can't get at my LBS from time to time. I just like the personal service and honest answers that you can get in a low pressure sales environment that the smaller LBS's offer.

Thanks again to all who helped me make this decision,

Marc Webster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Congrats! I rode a Lemond for about 3 years as my main ride, now it is being converted into a single speed. I love the steel on that ride. I am sure you will enjoy it. Corey is a cool guy too...


Enjoy. jb

PS Helens has a few shops that may be closer to you..westwood, somewhere in the Valley and somewhere along the beaches..(I think)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top