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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit: corrected inseam, sorry I had it wrong before, forgot to include the length of my tape measure.

About me:

Bike in question: 2015 Lapierre Sensium 58cm (XL) Specs and geometry below
Age: 32
Height: 6’ 3.75” (192.4cm)
Inseam: 36.5” (92.7cm)
Wingspan: 6’ 4.25” {193.7cm)
Weight: 195lb (88.2kg)
Flexibility/mobility (specifically in posterior chain): the worst you have ever seen

I’m a fairly strong athlete (although that probably comes mostly from skill, not pure athleticism), I still play very competitive volleyball, basketball and golf. Endurance isn’t my strength, but I feel like cycling could be my ticket to improving that. I have no interest in racing, but enjoy the thrill, speed and handling of a road bike and would like to work my way up to longer distance rides. Roads around me are terrible (like could be the worst in a developed first world country, seriously) so something to help smooth that out would be nice.

Short Version: not very flexible, have a road bike that has me feeling pretty stretched out and I’m unsure if upgrades/changes will get me what I think I want, or if I should just start looking for a new bike that suits me and my riding better even though that is probably going to end up costing me a pile of cash I would rather not spend right now.

Long version: I purchased a road bike last fall a bit on a whim (I had been thinking about it lots and definitely wanted one, just didn’t shop around as much as I maybe should have) and now I’m wondering if it’s the best bike for me. I have been riding the bike some and having a blast, but I feel a little stretched out and get some tension/soreness in between my shoulder blades and at the base of my neck and feel like I’m really reaching to get to the hoods on the bars. Spending any amount of time in the drops just doesn’t really happen right now. I have been reading and watching a lot of videos on bike fitting and making adjustments and I have things about as good as I think I can get them without starting to change parts (E.g. shorter stem, bars with shorter reach smaller drop etc).

The bike is considered an “endurance” bike, but looking at the geometry (specifically stack, reach and head tube length) it seems to be a longer and lower bike than most “endurance” bikes and that has me wondering if something a little shorter and upright would help. I also wish I had spent a little more and picked up something with a little nicer groupset (Tiagra vs. 105), wider rims and tires (15c rims, 25mm tires currently, see smooth riding comment above), and if I were to end up buying a new bike I would probably go with discs, although that alone wouldn’t make me want to upgrade to a new bike.

As indicated above with my measurements, I’m fairly “normally” proportioned but my flexibility is extremely poor. It is something I have started to work on, and will see some improvement in I’m sure, but I doubt I will ever be flexible by any standard. More time on the bike might lead to some adaptations as I’m certainly not in great cycling shape, and some of my discomfort could come from a lack of fitness or conditioning I readily admit.

All that being said, I’m unsure of what to do, I could start buying and installing parts to see if that helps the situation. I could pay for a bike fit at a shop, and see what they recommend (possibly buying parts but at least I would probably get the right parts), or maybe I just start looking for a new bike that checks all of the boxes that I think I want now that I have a little bit (and I mean little bit) of experience (fit, components, wider tires/more comfort etc). Based on my reading and research online bikes like the Trek Domane, BMC Roadmachine or Cannondale Synapse I think would cover my bases provided they fit.

Any suggestions are very much welcomed, I’m thoroughly confused and although I don’t want to spend a bunch of money, if I’m always sore and uncomfortable riding my bike, or wondering if something else would suit me better, I’m not going to ride it much and I’ve already wasted my money on the initial purchase.

If you made it this far, congrats and thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Specs and Geo

Bike Specs:

Frame: Sensium Carbon monocoque
Fork: Lapierre Carbon, carbon steerer
Headset: 1 1/8in 1 1/4in FSA Orbit C-33 44E
Bottom Bracket: Shimano SMBB7141B Press-Fit
Chainset: Shimano Tiagra FC4650CX04 50x34
Stem: Ritchey 4 Axis 6° Ø: 31.8mm
Seatpost: Ritchey 2 Bolt
Handlebar: Ritchey Comp Curve
Front derailleur: Shimano Tiagra FD4600BL 34.9mm
Rear derailleur: Shimano Tiagra RD4601SS 10-speed
Shifters: Shimano Tiagra ST4600L200ICX - ST4600RICX 2x10 speed
Brakes: Shimano Tiagra BR4600
Saddle: Selle Italia X1
Wheels: Shimano WHR 501
Sprocket: Shimano Tiagra CS460010228 10 SPEED 12-28T
Tyres: Michelin Dynamic Sport 700x25

Geometry Chart:

Bicycle frame Text White Slope Line
 

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I think that your first step should be to buy a stem that comes up at a greater angle than the one you are presently using. That will bring your handlebars closer and higher, which could possibly be all you need. At the very least it will be an improvement and will let you know if a different bike could be the answer. It would be an inexpensive change and if it improves but doesn't fix the situation you would have a better idea as to whether what you want can be achieved.
 

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If I missed it forgive me. I don't see any indication of mileage you have under your belt. I suggest a good 500 miles plus before changing stems, spacers, etc... It takes a little bit of time and miles for your body to adjust to your bike. I'm not sure if it's muscle memory or not but it takes a bit to adjust. After that any incremental change you make will resonate and have some real meaning you can compare to an original base point.
 

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If your roads are that bad, I would get a gravel bike. They have big tires and you can run like 60psi. Get one that has more an endurance geo. The alum ones are not as spendy. Based on your flexiblity, I would look to a one up size frame if the bike is not real enduro geo. Just get rid of that other bike on fleabay.

If your just going to get another race bike, just change your stem, etc. to get your fit. But as you stated about the roads, those other bikes are not going to make the ride any smoother.

With a gravel bike, you can get another set of wheels set up with 25mm tires that you can do fast road rides if you can find smooth roads.
 

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If I missed it forgive me. I don't see any indication of mileage you have under your belt. I suggest a good 500 miles plus before changing stems, spacers, etc... It takes a little bit of time and miles for your body to adjust to your bike. I'm not sure if it's muscle memory or not but it takes a bit to adjust. After that any incremental change you make will resonate and have some real meaning you can compare to an original base point.
His post stated that he purchased the bike last fall, so I think that we can assume that he has had enough time in the saddle to adjust to the present position.
 

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I think that your first step should be to buy a stem that comes up at a greater angle than the one you are presently using. That will bring your handlebars closer and higher, which could possibly be all you need. At the very least it will be an improvement and will let you know if a different bike could be the answer. It would be an inexpensive change and if it improves but doesn't fix the situation you would have a better idea as to whether what you want can be achieved.
Yep, that's all I'd do. 58cm is not "too big" for 6'3" rider, if anything, a bit small. Raise the handlebars a cm or two and see what happens. The stretch might be coming from the increased drop. That saddle has to be pretty high for that 33" inseam.

Everybody starting out riding drop bar bikes has flexibility issues, and minor pain in the shoulders and neck that add up over a long ride. But nature designed mammals with strong backs! We originally got around on all fours, positioned much like riding a road bike. So give it more time, a year, as the muscles adapt and body gets fit.

Meanwhile accommodate the little aches and pains by carefully determining where they're coming from and then figure out why. A slight adjustment is frequently all that's needed.
 

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The starting point for ensuring proper fit is to make sure that your KOPS (knee over pedal spindle) is correct. While that's not necessarily a hard and fast rule, it's a good starting point to ensure you can transmit power to the pedals most efficiently. Once that is established, you can start playing around with different stem lengths and stack height. Get that point correct before changing other variables.
 

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I agree with Fredrick about size. The frame is not too big.

The pain you described is often related to poor riding "posture ". Do not let your shoulders push up or back. Make sure they are slightly forward

I'm not going to assume how many miles you do or don't have, but I would work on my flexibility before changing anything on the bike. You also did not say anything about your abs. This area of the body is often overlooked, but it is a cause of many issues.
 

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I used to have shoulder and neck stress too. I think Herbie has it right -- I was scrunching up my shoulders. The solution for me was to rotate my arms so my elbows were more downward facing which rotates your shoulders down too. I usually do a position check now every time I take a drink so that has kept the shoulder strain in check. I also started a stretching routine on off days. Bike comfort has gone up considerably for me after now several months of this and I can ride long distances and stretch out on the bike more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I missed it forgive me. I don't see any indication of mileage you have under your belt. I suggest a good 500 miles plus before changing stems, spacers, etc... It takes a little bit of time and miles for your body to adjust to your bike. I'm not sure if it's muscle memory or not but it takes a bit to adjust. After that any incremental change you make will resonate and have some real meaning you can compare to an original base point.
Not a lot. Probably 200km. We have a pretty short riding season here in Canada and I haven't been on the bike much due to a sprained ankle (volleyball) and a sore back/neck (MTB spill). Went for an easy ride this morning and I'm hoping to start riding more in the next few days.

If your roads are that bad, I would get a gravel bike. They have big tires and you can run like 60psi. Get one that has more an endurance geo. The alum ones are not as spendy. Based on your flexiblity, I would look to a one up size frame if the bike is not real enduro geo. Just get rid of that other bike on fleabay.

If your just going to get another race bike, just change your stem, etc. to get your fit. But as you stated about the roads, those other bikes are not going to make the ride any smoother.

With a gravel bike, you can get another set of wheels set up with 25mm tires that you can do fast road rides if you can find smooth roads.
I thought about that but I feel like my 29er Hardtail MTB is pretty darn similar to a gravel bike, but perhaps a road bike with 28 or 30mm tires and wide rims would smooth things out. Looking at my current bike with a set of calipers I think the widest tire I could get on there would be a 28mm, and that would require a new set of wider wheels...

Yep, that's all I'd do. 58cm is not "too big" for 6'3" rider, if anything, a bit small. Raise the handlebars a cm or two and see what happens. The stretch might be coming from the increased drop. That saddle has to be pretty high for that 33" inseam.
Please see revised info, I messed up, inseam is 36.5" and the saddle is pretty high, the drop doesn't look crazy, but perhaps it is a little too much in how that extends the reach given my flexibility? Also, FYI the stem (6 degrees, 120mm) is as high as the steerer tube will allow and angled up. I never really thought the bike was too big, just felt long to me and if anything the rest may be on the small side. In looking at geometries of other bikes online (like those I mentioned in my first post) often the size up has the same or less reach with a higher stack height and shorter stem which had me wondering about something shorter.

The starting point for ensuring proper fit is to make sure that your KOPS (knee over pedal spindle) is correct. While that's not necessarily a hard and fast rule, it's a good starting point to ensure you can transmit power to the pedals most efficiently. Once that is established, you can start playing around with different stem lengths and stack height. Get that point correct before changing other variables.
That is one thing I need to check (will have to ask my girlfriend for a hand). If anything my seat is probably too far forward trying to reduce my reach.

Thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate it. Any other suggestions please fire away.
 

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I think your Lapierre is too small, but if you sized up you'd likely get a longer top tube and that would not do much to fix your complaint of being too stretched out.

I would buy a shorter stem (buy a cheap one, maybe from eBay; this is just for fitting purposes) and flip it up. Due to the small size of the bike, the bars can't be set up that high. Lower bars tend to give the feeling of being too stretched out, even though the general assumption is bar height has nothing to do with reach.

Probably try a stem 2cm shorter than what you've got now, or just flip up your current stem.

I'm not a big fan of having paid-for fittings done for newer cyclists, but I'd rather see you spend money on a fitting than trying to guess yourself what you need and then buying a new bike. You're too new to cycling to squander your money on bikes to find what fits.

Pics of your bike setup, or you on the bike, would help. I'd want to iron out your fit issues before doing anything else.
 

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His post stated that he purchased the bike last fall, so I think that we can assume that he has had enough time in the saddle to adjust to the present position.
Apparently not. He has very few miles. I think he needs more than 120 or so miles for his body to adjust before he can reliably figure out what he may need. Just my opinion and not worth much. I say it from my own experience. I felt awkward and thought I should be moving and changing things to get the right feel. I believe it was advice here that said ride, and ride more then decide.
 

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just get a professional fitting. best sign the existing fitting isn't right is pain, but it could also result in sub-optimal performance.
 

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I thought about that but I feel like my 29er Hardtail MTB is pretty darn similar to a gravel bike, but perhaps a road bike with 28 or 30mm tires and wide rims would smooth things out. Looking at my current bike with a set of calipers I think the widest tire I could get on there would be a 28mm, and that would require a new set of wider wheels...
You won't need wider rims to go from a 23 to a 28 tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I think your Lapierre is too small, but if you sized up you'd likely get a longer top tube and that would not do much to fix your complaint of being too stretched out.

I would buy a shorter stem (buy a cheap one, maybe from eBay; this is just for fitting purposes) and flip it up. Due to the small size of the bike, the bars can't be set up that high. Lower bars tend to give the feeling of being too stretched out, even though the general assumption is bar height has nothing to do with reach.

Probably try a stem 2cm shorter than what you've got now, or just flip up your current stem.

I'm not a big fan of having paid-for fittings done for newer cyclists, but I'd rather see you spend money on a fitting than trying to guess yourself what you need and then buying a new bike. You're too new to cycling to squander your money on bikes to find what fits.

Pics of your bike setup, or you on the bike, would help. I'd want to iron out your fit issues before doing anything else.
Bike:


Me on bike:


I should have grabbed a pic with the pedals at 12 and 6 o'clock too but I never thought of it and my photographer is out for the day now. I think my seat height is pretty close (heel on pedal with knee locked out and almost bang on the inseam * .883 number) and my KOPS is within a couple mm.

Agreed on the spending money piece (I don't have a ton of spare cash floating around right now...), but if I need to spend a bunch, or look at another bike that fits/suits me better I would rather do it now while this one is still worth something and have something I'm going to enjoy for years to come instead of suffering for a few years, getting fed up, and quitting or THEN buying what I should have had from the start.

You won't need wider rims to go from a 23 to a 28 tire.
Although I realize that a 15c with a 28mm wide tire is fine as per the ETRTO table it is at the bottom end of the recommended rim width for a 28mm tire, and from what I have read online it seems that to really see the benefits of a wider tire (lower pressure, smoother ride and better grip) one needs a wider rim to compliment it. It would also fit with my need for a different wheel to accommodate my desire for an 11 speed drive train.

Thanks again for all your time guys, I do appreciate all the help extended towards a new rider like myself!
 

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First impression: whoa, your bike is too small. It's hard for us tall guys to find a bike that fits, especially from certain manufacturers. Most manufacturers don't make a bike that is big enough for me.

I'm 6"4.5, with a 37 inch inseam. I also played a lot of basketball and golf before I found cycling. My saddle height is 85.5 cm. I would not be able to fit comfortably on a 58. I ride a 61cm endurance bike and a 62cm Trek Madone. The issue with your Lapierre is the small stack. A reach of 39 is already pretty short; that probably isn't your issue. With poor flexibility you'd need a higher stack, in the 61-62cm range. My bmc has a stack of 621mm. Reach of 406mm.
 

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Here's what I'd recommend:

Take your bike to your local bike shop and have them check the fit and make recommendations. They may suggest a different stem, seatpost, saddle, crank length, or handlebar.
 

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First impression: whoa, your bike is too small. It's hard for us tall guys to find a bike that fits, especially from certain manufacturers. Most manufacturers don't make a bike that is big enough for me.

I'm 6"4.5, with a 37 inch inseam. I also played a lot of basketball and golf before I found cycling. My saddle height is 85.5 cm. I would not be able to fit comfortably on a 58. I ride a 61cm endurance bike and a 62cm Trek Madone. The issue with your Lapierre is the small stack. A reach of 39 is already pretty short; that probably isn't your issue. With poor flexibility you'd need a higher stack, in the 61-62cm range. My bmc has a stack of 621mm. Reach of 406mm.
This ^^^
The bike is defiantly to small for you. If you got this bike from a bike shop they really screwed up and should do everything they can to get you on the right size bike for as little $$$ as possibe.
 
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