Bike Fit and SPD's.....

LycraVirgin Posts: 55
edited January 2013 in Road beginners
My new toy has arrived from Wiggle, what a joy!
Couple of questions:-
I have never used SPD’s before and purchased some 105’s and Shimano shoes. Is there a procedure for positioning the cleat and spring for virgins? Or do I just suck it and see? The instructions don’t really give a lot away other than multiple safety warnings.
Also I don’t have any infrared sensors, cameras and software for measuring angles. Any cheaper way of figuring out the correct height of my saddle and my body position is correct? Bearing in mind I’m sat on the bike ,in the lounge with a bored looking girlfriend for advice.
My first impression is I feel stretched on the hoods but this is my first go on a road bike after years on a mountain bike. I do seem to be obscuring the front hub when on the hoods but it doesn’t feel particularly natural. Thinking get a shorter stem? But don’t really want to spend any more money.
I won’t get a chance to thrash her until the weekend but I guess that will be the acid test.


  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Your stem will probably be horizontal or pointing slightly downwards. Most stems these days can be flipped, i.e. taken off and put on the other way so they are facing slightly up from horizontal. My road bike was too much of a stretch at first and I thought of immediately getting a shorter stem, but I flipped the stem instead and it is now a perfect stretch for me to the bars. I would therefore try that first - it will make a bigger difference than you would think.
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    Wouldn,t worry about the stem until you,ve had your bike out on a few rides and actually tried yoour position.Also it may be right once you have sorted your fit.There are lots of utube clips about fitting your bike and easy to do and will get you in the ball park.I used them to do mine and my bike feels right.
    watch some vids and ebjoy your ride.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    I agree with the above, wait until you've actually ridden to judge the bar positioning. A road bike will encourage a more flat-backed position, which is quite different from an MTB or Hybrid, it's to make you more aerodynamic.

    To get a rough position for the saddle height, put on the shoes and put your heel on a pedal. Set the saddle height so that your leg is straight at the bottom of the stroke. This should be about right and with your feet in pedalling position, your leg will be slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke. From there make small changes up or down to suit your comfort after you've ridden it.
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
  • I have never used SPD’s before and purchased some 105’s and Shimano shoes. Is there a procedure for positioning the cleat and spring for virgins?

    When I first switched to clipless pedals,I set the cleats in a way that most closely resembled the position of my foot on flats,with the ball of the foot over the spindle of the pedal.However I started to experience knee pain.
    I read an an article that suggested setting cleats so that the ball of the foot should be slightly forward of the pedal spindle- problem solved.
  • tetley10
    tetley10 Posts: 693
    Get some pics up of your new bike as well!!!
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    basic bike fit generally as follows and in this order:

    1) saddle height so that your leg is almost straight when at the bottom of the pedal stroke and your heel on the pedal. That way you'll still have a slight bend when clipped in. Do both legs.

    2) saddle fore / aft position so that the lump below the kneecap is vertically above the pedal spindle when the pedal is at 3 o'clock. Use a plumb line. Do both legs

    Check 1) again.

    3) as mentioned above, reach can be adjusted somewhat by flipping the stem, moving the spacers above / below the stem, or by swapping the stem for a longer / shorter / steeper / shallower one. Again, the general rule of thumb about the bars obscuring the front hub when on the hoods is a good starting point, but feeling comfortable and in control of the bike are the key things to aim for.
  • Get someone to take a photo of you on the bike in a static position, then rotate your cranks (backwards if indoors) to several positions.

    Then just look at the photos and you can either judge by eye the angles or if you want to measure them from the photo. Its not going to be 100% exact but it will give you a good start point for the seat height & from this you can then look at the cleat position and your seat position.

    Plus as others have said there are lots of youtube videos out there to walk you through the steps, but take the basic approach and keep it simple.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Thanks for the tips, that gives me something more to work with.
    I’m sure my GF will only be too happy to take some snaps of me sitting on the bike in the lounge...... Last night she snapped ‘why don’t you just ride the F****ing thing’ I tried to run her through the importance of fit but she just rolled her eyes and stalked off. I will get a picture up tonight, she is a fine machine (the bike) ((the push bike))
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    hahaha! She does have a point though. Sort out the saddle height and position and go ride it. If you aren't getting knee pain, it is about right. Then think about the reach to the bars after you've ridden for a couple of weeks.
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
  • The GF walked in literally as I set this photo up ‘ O FOR F****..........’
    Here she is ..... A 2011 full carbon orion – 50% off courtesy of Wiggle. Thanks to the Bike Radar forum’s I ended up selecting her.
    Not sure about the white wall tyres ..... by pure coincidence my new shimano shoes are black and white..... I also have a pair of black and white shorts somewhere ..... Gonna look like a bit of a co** given I’m starting to go grey too.