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Discussion Starter #1
my belly seems to brush my quads then i am breathing hard. if i go to the drops(paralel to ground spot) my back flattens out and it doesn't happen anymore.--In the bottom of the drops I am less stretched out. would this be a sign of to much reach to the hoods?
so more drop, but shorter reach= better body position??
What is a good way to figure out reach?
i am trying to figure out my next frame geometry off of what I have.
thanks
 

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height difference???

It might help to post the height difference between the top of the saddle and the top of the bars. 8-12cm is common for an aggressive racing position.

I can't quite visualize your problem. Seems like you should always have more room when riding on the brake hoods and only increase interference when down in the drops.

A good rule of thumb for adequate, but not excessive reach is to use a stem length that is only long enough to eliminate knee to arm contact with hands in the drops and your fingers are witihin reach of the brake levers. A stem that's longer is of no value that I can see.

FWIW, a graphical analysis of stem height versus length will show that changes to either produce a similar change to the torso angle. The difference is that a stem length change moves the hands forward, increasing the angle between the arm and torso while a drop in height decreases this angle. If the angle between the torso and arm is too extreme, shoulder pain is likely to result.
 

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Hey B

I am going through this exact exercise, only I have a couple of weeks on you. Like C-40, I can't see how you can be more restricted on the hoods than down, but anyway. I currently have an old Peugeot that is an extreme French Fit (very upright). It is a 63 cm frame. It is extremely cumfortable and a good commuter but there is noticible wind. Last week, I test rode two Pinarellos, an F4 and a Galilleo (yes I was very lucky). Now I have a "bike fit" inseam of 34.5 inches (a rule of thumb: dress pant inseam + 1-2 inchers). That puts me anywhere from a 58.5 to 62 cm frame...by the book. So I rode the 58 Galileo and the 57 F-4. The 57 was the fit. Why? Top tube was 59, as is my 63 Peugeot. Also, I am coming to believe that the important height measurement is bottom bracket center to seat top. If the frame size+ seat post+ saddle gets you there, then the frame will work, provided the top tube is the right length. Of course, the back "flattens out" the smaller the frame, giving a more pro cyclist profile and less comfort because of more pressure on the arms, shoulders and neck. So if you are carrying a little too much beer effect, the larger frame might be more to your liking. Now, the other measurement that is as important is the distance from the front of the saddle to the handlebars (this will determine the stem length). And for you, this might be very important, and it depends on comfort. So what you need to do, go ride as many bikes as you can, if they are comfortable, have them give you those measurements. From my experience, published geometry, especially frame size, doesn't mean much. Can you imagine how much trouble I would be in if I had ordered a 59 or 60 Pinarello via the web w/o ridding one? Just a scarry thought. Any way, hope this helps some and I hope you are having as much fun as I am. Stamp
 

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The only reason I can think of is the shifters are mounted way too low on the bar (and I do see this quite often). See pic. The fix, of course, is to raise the shifters.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
here is a shot at explaining

3 inches of drop. hoods are way up there. It doesn't hurt and I use the drops a lot.
when on the hoods i bend more in my lower back. My back is really flexable. It looks a little wierd. I "hinge" a little below my ribs when my arms are extended on the hoods.
When i go to the drops it is closer,arms are more vertical and I guess I have better support. One other note is I have allmost no weight on my hands when on the hoods, i can lift both hands while pedaling easily. It "feels" like I have no drop. When on the drops i have more weight on my hands. I am thinking i need more weight forward and my core can't support the long reach .
 

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weight and support aside, I find it geometrically very hard to imagine having a lower riding position in the hoods. See pic. Obviously A-1 gives you a shorter reach.
 

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I think what B is saying is that the reach is really short on his frame so that when he is on the hoods, he is bending his elbows and swaybacking. When he drops down, he is straightening his elbows an thus straightening his back.
 
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