Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a buddy who doesn't ride much but owns a nice Fuji Roubaix. He bought it so cheap he couldn't pass it up. He does Triathlons on it 2 or 3 times per year and a few rides. Say's his lower back always hurts. I looked at it and it is too big. He is stretched out on it. I recommended a shorter stem and compact bars. He probably can't move the seat up much without giving up power and causing knee problems. He refuses to sell and buy the right size. Anything else he can do? How short can he go on stem without getting wierd to steer? I was thinking an 80 stem. Is that about right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
I have a 50mm 30* stem on my roadbike. Purists out there will have a sh$t fit over that I'm sure, but I see no ill handling affects and the bike fits me very well (stem is a Ritchey if he's interested)

*disclaimers*: It's a size 44cm bike to begin with, so it's already tiny and it's already a fairly sensitive race bike (you can take that as "well, it didn't turn twitchy into unrideable" or as "well it was already twitchy so she doesn't know the difference"...whatever...)

So anyway, he can drop the stem length way down and get shorter reach bars. Depending on how much too big the bike actually is this may be a decent solution or it may not do anywhere near enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,474 Posts
vontress said:
He does Triathlons on it 2 or 3 times per year and a few rides. ?
Stem length has very little effect on steering. And if he's using aero bars, stem length is even more irrelevant because elbow pad location determines "stretch-out." One of the negatives of a bike too big is that saddle-to-bar drop is limited. But as long as he can get low enough in front, no problem there either. Of course, if his saddle height is determined by the maximum insertion of the seat post ("sitting on the top tube"), he should consider getting another bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
I'd be more concerned with the lower back pain. How too big is the bike? If we are talking it's a 60 and he should be on a 54, changing the stem might not solve the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bike is 1 size too big. He knew it when he bought it. He isn't riding in aero bars, so that's not an issue. He's extremely fit, making the lower back pain unusual. He gets the pain by mile 10.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,474 Posts
vontress said:
Bike is 1 size too big. He knew it when he bought it. He isn't riding in aero bars, so that's not an issue. He's extremely fit, making the lower back pain unusual. He gets the pain by mile 10.
What's "1 size too big" mean? How much too big, and too big according to the rider, a fit calculator, a fitter, a friend, Lemond's old "inseam x 0.65" formula? I'm asking, not ranting.

If you're talking the customary 2 cm between sizes, it shouldn't be a problem. Shorten the stem as much as needed and perhaps even move the saddle forward. If it ruins the mythical KOPS, so be it. In my experience, lower back pain can have many causes (one cause: not stretched out enough) and I would be hesitant to ascribe that issue to the large frame without looking at other possible causes.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
wim said:
What's "1 size too big" mean? How much too big, and too big according to the rider, a fit calculator, a fitter, a friend, Lemond's old "inseam x 0.65" formula? I'm asking, not ranting.

If you're talking the customary 2 cm between sizes, it shouldn't be a problem. Shorten the stem as much as needed and perhaps even move the saddle forward. If it ruins the mythical KOPS, so be it. In my experience, lower back pain can have many causes (one cause: not stretched out enough) and I would be hesitant to ascribe that issue to the large frame without looking at other possible causes.
I agree that lower back pain can have a number of causes, but if it's been determined that the bike is on the large side for the rider, it's likely the cockpit isn't cramped, alleviating that as a cause. As you say "how much too big" matters, but a shorter stem may be enough to minimize the riders discomfort.

Assuming the saddle fore/ aft is now positioned 'correctly' (for the rider), I disagree on making a saddle adjustment to compensate for reach. While I agree that KOPS is nothing more than a starting point, IMO/E there's enough evidence that most riders have a range that works well for them, and deviating far enough can cause other fit issues.

Bottom line, the more sizing is off, the more likely large (or incorrect) adjustments have to be made, possibly causing other fit issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
9/10 lower back pain has little to do with fit and more to do with riding style. If he is like the vast majority of triathaloners he's likely turning a massive gear at a cadence of 50. Watch him ride the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,749 Posts
Thoughts

Have your friend get fitted. My new bike is a size too large for me. They do not make a 59, I was split between a 58 and a 60. I felt a tad too stretched out. My lower back would slightly ache on long rides. I solved the problem by going to a shorter stem with a higher rise. Lower back pain can be caused by a saddle that is too high or too far back, besides other things. Getting your friend fitted is a good place to start. Ball park figure is when you are riding on the hoods or in the drops, your front hub should be obscured by your handlebars. This is kind of generalized and pooed, pooed by a lot of fit gurus, but when I ended up feeling comfortable, that's where I was.
 

·
Adventure Seeker
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
Dinosaur has given the best advice: get a real fitting. Sure, a good fitting will cost $200, but getting rid of the back pain is priceless! I had back pains before, and as mentioned, it was because the bike was too small.
Other input here is great, but without being given detail, (heck, even with for that matter!) any advice won't benefit much.
My thoughts: A poorly fitting bike, regardless of the price, is a bad deal. Think of it as a suit you gotta wear to work.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
Dinosaur said:
Have your friend get fitted. My new bike is a size too large for me. They do not make a 59, I was split between a 58 and a 60. I felt a tad too stretched out. My lower back would slightly ache on long rides. I solved the problem by going to a shorter stem with a higher rise. Lower back pain can be caused by a saddle that is too high or too far back, besides other things. Getting your friend fitted is a good place to start. Ball park figure is when you are riding on the hoods or in the drops, your front hub should be obscured by your handlebars. This is kind of generalized and pooed, pooed by a lot of fit gurus, but when I ended up feeling comfortable, that's where I was.
In your scenario, I think your advice is solid, but in a previous post the OP mentioned his freinds bike being 'one size to big'. To me, that means (example) he should ride a 54, but is on a 56. IMO/E two cm's changes things markedly from being between sizes.

But as Peanya stated (paraphrasing), not a lot of details to work with here.
 

·
Unlabeled
Joined
·
3,720 Posts
Back pain at 10 miles sounds like a problem beyond the bike fit being off by a few cm.

30 - 40 minutes on a bike that has a fit rider a litte too stretched out isn't going to hurt. If you took my 90 mm stem and replaced it with a 120 mm stem or put me on a bike with a top tube that's 3 cm longer it wouldn't hurt me on a 50 mile ride. I can reach another inch and a half without causing back pain.

Either the fit is way off or he has a back problem--flexibilty or muscel imbalance.
 

·
Ten Dollar Jockey
Joined
·
73 Posts
I know the feeling

Local bike store sold me a pretty expensive carbon bike - one size too big. I was experiencing pretty serious perineum pain. My riding buddies who race told me I needed to be fitted properly, and they recommended a great fitter at another bike store in town.

Didn't take him long to figure out the bike was too big. Perineum pain - long reach means sitting on your perineum not your butt. Shortened stem, moved seat. He told me we can do what we can, but the fit will never be right, and there will always be issues.

He never pressured me at all to buy a bike from him. He did call recently to let me know that his boss was selling his frame which is my size. I test rode it for a week - what a difference.

I bought the frame. They are transferring my stuff on Friday. Bottom line - you can spend $2000 on a fitting, but if the bike's the wrong size, it doesn't matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks. He won't listen after all. Reluctant to even put stem on at cost of $40. Let him ride in pain. I still learned a lot here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,474 Posts
vontress said:
Reluctant to even put stem on at cost of $40. Let him ride in pain. I still learned a lot here.
Well, that certainly kills the suggestion of a $200 fit session. Agree—nothing you can do.

One of my fellow riders has been attacking the first few feet of every hill around here with a furious sprint, only to die a few seconds later. Some gentle tips on climbing were given, but rudely rejected. So let him get dropped, each and every time....:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
452 Posts
Mount up one of these bad boys:


Maybe mount it upside down, to retain his "aero" positioning. :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
605 Posts
wim said:
Well, that certainly kills the suggestion of a $200 fit session. Agree—nothing you can do.

One of my fellow riders has been attacking the first few feet of every hill around here with a furious sprint, only to die a few seconds later. Some gentle tips on climbing were given, but rudely rejected. So let him get dropped, each and every time....:D

made me chuckle, thanks
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top