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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 5-year old frame that I think is too large. At least one bike shop has verified this. This season I've been riding a lot more and developed some shoulder problems. Tomorrow, my physical therapist (for the shoulder) is going to have a colleague do an evaluation and fitting of my current ride. What should I look for that shows he knows what he's doing?

A second question: If he is consistent with the bike shop that told me my frame is too large, he will tell me I need a shorter stem. Mine current stem is 130 mm on a 61cm frame with 58.5 cm top tube. How short a stem can I use before it starts affecting the handling of the bike? I ride in No. Cal. and it's very hilly with lots of curves on the descents.

BTW, I have a 30-year old Holdsworth (Reynolds 531) that I rode for 20 years that I loved, but the frame is rusted and I've been told it's unsafe to ride. My new bike never felt as good as the Holdsworth. Should I try to find a frame that duplicates the geometry of the Holdsworth?
 

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Collin's Dad
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Before you decide to run out and buy a new frame, why not duplicate at least the reach distance and saddle to handlebar drop that your old bike had on your new bike. Any change in stem length will change handling some as it alters your weight distribution, but it might not be a bad change, you just have to try it to find out.
 

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advice....

That fact that you're using a 130mm stem proves that the frame is not too large, at least horizontally. You could go down to a 110 or maybe even a 100mm stem with no problem. The steering will feel a bit quicker for a short time, but by the end of the first ride, you won't notice it.

Some people have the mistaken idea that a longer stem puts more weight on the front of the bike. To make a significant change to the weight distribution, the torso angle must get lower or the saddle must be moved forward. Even a 20mm change in the stem length will have little effect on the weight balance, because it doesn't make a large change to the torso angle.
 

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waterproof*
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To answer the OP's questions:
- you judge a good bike fit by riding; you feel efficient and (reasonably) comfortable, with no major sore spots popping up in the first couple hours.
-What should I look for that shows he knows what he's doing? You could always ask "hey, what's your background / experience / training in bike fitting? What tools and techniques do you use, which school of thought do you follow?
- stem length - yeah if you're running 130 now you could go to 90 and be just fine. I have one bike that's too big for me but I've set it up with a really short stem, like 40, for a more upright position. Handling is no problem.
- Should I try to find a frame that duplicates the geometry of the Holdsworth? Yes. Heck see if you can find a Holdsworth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Thanks. It sounds like my current frame will do just fine with a new stem. I'll see what the fitter says and take it from there. To respond to the last post - do they still make Holdsworth's? I thought they had gone away a long time ago.
 

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Albert Owen
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I like a slightly bigger frame, because I am not particularly flexible in my old age and I like being slightly stretched out without being too "bum in the air".
Too get a perfect fit, I switched from a 120 to a 100 stem with no problems at all. The steering is ever so slightly sharper, Initially the bike seems marginally less stable at 35+ mph down hill on the drops. This was solved by rotating the bars a few degrees forward.

Unless a frame is ridiculously wrong, things can usually be sorted with a little experimentation and adjustment.
 

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Calm like a Bomb..
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You have to be careful with bike shops telling you things when they want to sell you a bike. What fitting technique did they use to determine this? You will find that you can make some adjustments to get it where you need to be, and if you cant get an exact fit and you want to spend the $$ then get fitted before you buy the next frame and go from there.

I made same mistake I got fitted to my 1st road bike....aw a great deal and they told me it fit and made it kind of fit. After I started riding more I realized it was worth the extra $$ to me to get a 100% fit. So I went to my shop had them fit me , and then they told me what my frame options were. Although I really wanted a certain frame after my fit it was not an option and I am much ahppier now that I have a bike that fits me
 
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