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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

I have two bikes ( Serotta Fierte and a Cannondale R400) that I ride most and they seem to 'fit' totally different. One seems to have a shorter reach but when I measure from center seat post to center of stem they measure the same. Am I missing something there? Is there a more accurate way to measure 'Reach'?
Thanks for your help.
 

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Do they have different saddles? Your sit bones will settle in different places on different saddles, which could account for the difference. Also, when you set up the bikes, did you set the saddle position (fore and aft) in relationship to the crank or the handlebars. The saddle position should be set up relatively to the crank to achieve the same fit. Once you get the saddle in position, then you select a stem/handlebar combination to achieve the same reach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Set Up

I am coming to realize that saddle placement is , as you pointed out, a function of knee position first and reach is then manipulated via the stem. I am understanding that you adjust first things first....and saddle placement in relation to crank is paramount.
I do have different saddles and I am thinking I need to go back and verify the fore/aft on the crank is the same between bikes, then worry about reach.

Thanks for your indulgence, I am just learning this stuff.....
 

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You also have to take into consideration stem length, rise, and number of spacers. Plus the front end geometry. I set my saddles by taking a measurement from the handlebars to the tip of the saddle, then drop a plumb bob from the nose of the saddle and measure from the center of the bb. I might have to make an adjustment in height.

I find the best way to set up a bike is by using some type of method in your garage, then making small adjustments while you are riding. I read somewhere that they think the position of your foot (ankle) is more important than your knee position. Your foot is fixed, you change the position of your knee depending on where you sit on your saddle. I like to move around, so a saddle that puts me in the same spot all the time won't work for me.

The best way is to experiment and make small adjustments and keep track of what you are doing. Although I have drove myself nuts messing around with my bike. Sometimes you find out what does not work first.

Tarwheel is right-on. Get your saddle position set up first, then dial in your reach by changing stem lengths.
 

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I have 2 bikes that are the same size, but 2 different brands. I have them set up as closely as possible, but they sure don't feel the same. On my commuter I feel much more forward on the bike. I don't mean more pressure on my hands or leaning on the bars. I'm just physically farther forward on that bike. Reach, height, stem, saddle, kops,etc are all identical. On my race bike, I sit noticably more rearward, which to me is lots more comfy. I'm no mathematician, but I believe this is due to the different geometry of the bikes. The commuter has a longer wheelbase, blah, blah. The point I'm trying to make is that IMO/IME it's pretty unlikely that you'll ever get them to feel the same.
 

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Measure from the center of the saddle to the center of the brake-shift hoods—where you put your hands most of the time. That way you eliminate differences in handlebar design and brake-shift lever placement. Some people place a dowel rod across the hoods and measure saddle-to-dowel rod.
 

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first get the saddle placed the same in relation to BB, both height and 'set back' wise... if the saddles are the same it should be easy. then match bar height and forward projection, in relation to either the saddle or BB.
 

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This is all there is to it.
You might have to get a different stem, or different bars with a shorter or longer reach, to fine tune your overall reach.
Like FTF says, you have to start at the saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bikes won't feel the same

Thanks for your feedback guys. I will try the dowel rod method. I am coming to the realization that the bikes will not feel the same, they do have different geometries so they will probably never 'feel' the same. That is OK , that's why I have two , right?
I sure learned alot through this thread , Thank-you to all that replied!
 
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