Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

· Adventure Seeker
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bike is a 56cm, and I'm 5'11" with a 32" leg length. Usually, I'm most comfortable riding on the curves of the bars than the hoods (not the drops, but the top curve behind the hoods). I'm one of the few people who cannot bend over and touch my toes. I've moved the seat around quite a bit, and it's almost comfortable riding the hoods. However, it's too far forward and my knees tell me I need to move the seat back more. I've checked the seat and handlebar height, and they're fine - the bar is nearly lever with the seat.
Would it be advisable to order a shorter stem? If so, has anyone had experience with doing this? Will I experience a noticeable difference in handling? Should I consider a smaller frame size with my next bike (which I'm hoping to get a real one in a year)?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Agree with the advice to get a good fitting done. Having said that, everything I've ever read, heard, and experienced myself (school of hard knocks and sore knees :) ) says that you set your correct saddle height and set back, and then leave the saddle alone and work from there regarding reach to the bars. Don't move the saddle around to establish comfortable reach to the hoods! Possible that you need a shorter stem, or possible you could solve this with shorter reach bars. Some of the compact bars have a relatively short sweep out to the hoods. In any case, wise to get a fitting done, rather than spending a lot on experimenting with different stems and bars. Plus, fitting will give you info you'll need if you're looking for new bike in near future.
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
IMO, both Blade and Look have given you good advice, but if a fitting isn't feasible right now, I'd start with resetting your saddle height (if it's been changed to accomodate bar reach). Next set the saddle to KOPS. It doesn't need to stay there forever, but it's a starting point. Last, adjust for any saddle tilt you prefer or, if you have no preference, set the saddle level.

If I understand your post correctly, you've moved the saddle forward to minimize your reach to the bars. If so, once you've readjusted the saddle, you'll probably find you'll need a shorter stem. You don't say the length you're now using, so I can't offer a specific size. If you want, measure it and post more info.

Last thought, If the bars are now level with your seat, I would keep the stem angle constant, and only experiment with different lengths.
 

· Adventure Seeker
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The current one is 100mm. I've had to move the saddle back a bit so my knees line up just behind the pedal axle. Originally I was thinking of going to an 80, but I'm thinking I might make it 65mm. I found a Dimension one for $21. Yes the seat is level, it doesn't feel right if it is not.
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
Peanya said:
The current one is 100mm. I've had to move the saddle back a bit so my knees line up just behind the pedal axle. Originally I was thinking of going to an 80, but I'm thinking I might make it 65mm. I found a Dimension one for $21. Yes the seat is level, it doesn't feel right if it is not.
Be careful of going too short with the stem, because it could affect handling. Also, make changes gradually, so I vote 80mm and even that is a (significant) 2cm change.
 

· haole from the mainland
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Another thing to consider is your handlebars. There are bars with less reach and drop. If you get a short reach bar plus a shorter stem (80 is okay, but I'd be reluctant to go with 65), you will be shortening your overall reach by about 3-4 cm, a pretty significant change.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,863 Posts
You can go to a shorter stem and one with more rise. Or you can bring your bars up higher by adding some spacers (if you bike allows you to do that). I've experimented with stems. A one cm in length and 1 degree diff in rise can make a big difference in comfort on a 40 mile ride.

Don't move your saddle around to compensate for reach. Get your saddle dialed in where you want it, then dial in your stem length. a lot depends on personal preference and what feels comfortable for you, combined with flexibility.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top