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New to Road cycling and need help!

AmyWAmyW Posts: 4
edited November 2013 in Women's cycling forum

I am new to the world of Road Cycling and have recently bought my first road bike. I took the time to read a lot before hand and used many sites to determine what size bike I required. I am just after advice in the sense of whether or not the bike is the correct size after receiving it. Any help appreciated.

I have supplied a few images on myself on the bike. It feels un-natural as I am very much used to cheap all round cycle cross type bikes. I would just like advice before I decide whether or not this is right.

As it is the seat post is in the location that feels the best although I think with a little confidence I may be able to raise it slightly more.


  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Saddle height looks ok, although hard to tell without seeing you pedal the thing!

    If you're going to raise it, do it a few mm at a time. I would say having it to low is better than to high though.

    You look quite stretched, like the bike is a bit to long for you. You also look like you're sitting quite far back. Try moving the saddle forward a touch. I think you could probably size down and run a longer stem if you wanted though.
  • doug5_10doug5_10 Posts: 465
    +1 looks pretty good, try moving the saddle forward on the rails. Can't quite see from the pictures, but if it has a set-back seatpost, you can try an in-line one instead. Thats one spectacular full face helmet you've got!
    Edinburgh Revolution Curve
  • AmyWAmyW Posts: 4
    Thanks. So maybe a shorter stem and move the seat forward? Other than that looks ok? Is the seat about right height in frame? I see some have a lot of post showing? Thanks again in advance.
  • doug5_10doug5_10 Posts: 465
    A good rule of thumb to estimate if your reach is ok is whether the front wheel hub is obscured by the handlebars when sitting with your hands on the hoods. If its out front you need to move forward a bit or try a shorter stem.
    Edinburgh Revolution Curve
  • I recommend a Bike Fit. Your local bike shop should be able to set you up correctly on your bike and make the necessary adjustments. Have mentioned this on other threads, so no, I don't own a bike shop ;)
  • I'm no expert but you do look quite stretched out. Your arms should be a little more bent if you are going to be comfy on longer rides. You look like you might suffer with your shoulders and neck like it is.
  • You have a picture of you on the drops and tops but not on the hoods which is the 'normal' riding position. And tbh the big white blob blocking out your face isn't needed :)
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,350 ... /road-bike
    Go to this site it may help with your seat height adjustment.
  • AmyWAmyW Posts: 4
    Thanks for the replies. My main concern is whether or not the frame is the right size as I can tweak the fitting with different components. Would a shot on the hoods be a better picture? I can move the seat back and post another. One I have determined if it is right or not I can fit it or even get a bike shop involved. Also that site listed is one of the things we used to determine which size was suitable. With my measurements, this said 55 was right.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,350
    From the pictures you have posted the frame size looks OK IMO but more importantly do you feel comfy on it ie not stretched or cramped, without exact geometry sizes (reach, stand over etc) and your measurements the answers you get will be subjective. I suggest you adjust seat height etc and then go for a ride on it to see how it feels.
    Enjoy your bike riding.
  • The bike looks about right and it's a nice looking bike, but your arms look a bit stretched. A more usual riding position is with your hands on or just behind the brake hoods. Raising the stem slightly would bring the bars slightly nearer. The normal position on a road bike takes some getting used to and a few aches don't nessarily mean the bike is wrong.
  • Start riding and see what happens. Once you're used to it, lift the saddle, and see if it feels better or worse. If it feels better, repeat! When you've got the saddle good, see how your wrists are doing. If they struggle, maybe the bars are low. Try them higher, see what happens. Sense into your neck: is it strained looking up? If so, again, low bars may be the problem. Shoulders, are they happy? if not, shorten the stem.

    It's really all about getting used to the situation as it is, then listening carefully to your body, and altering the bike to suit. Don't change anything too much at once, never change more than one thing at once, and allow a few rides with each change to settle to it, preferably without thinking about the change you just made. Put some music on instead and enjoy the bike: the niggles WILL make themselves felt when the're ready to.
  • Sirius631Sirius631 Posts: 1,015
    All these replies and it seems that the traditional position setup methods have been abandoned.

    I can't assess your position (hence the aptness of your frame size) from those photographs, as you are not in either of the traditional positions.
      First get your saddle height right by pedalling backwards with your heal over the pedal axel. Each of your legs should reach full stretch with the pedal the furthest away from your hip (not quite the lowest position), without requiring you to rock your pelvis. The fore-aft position of your saddle should be checked with the cranks horizontal and your feet in the pedals. A plumb line through the kneecap of your foremost leg should pass through your pedal axel. After shifting your saddle, you should repeat the first step, as one step affects the other. With your hands in the curve of the drops, the angle that your upper arms make to your body should be a right angle. If the angle is more open/closed then you are too stretched/bunched up, and you will need a different length of stem. The stack height of your stem is more a personal preference, based on comfort. If you change this then reassess your reach.

    BTW, for child protection, you should have blotched the photo of your kid, on the wall. For the sake of friendliness, you could have drawn a smiley face on your blotch. :wink:
    To err is human, but to make a real balls up takes a super computer.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    Bike setup depends partly on how comfortable / upright a riding position you want. There is no one type fits all setup so just experiment a bit as described in the above post.

    Start with saddle height and remember it is better to be slightly low rather than slightly high. Too high and your hips will rock as you strain to reach down to the pedals. It should be smooth when pedaling.

    Next look up KOPS and use it as a starting point for how far foward / back to move your saddle. Again it is a guide and do what feels best to you. Going by KOPS my saddle is a bit too far forward as I find it more comfortable.

    Finally check your saddle to handlebar vertical drop and also reach. The greater the drop the racier the position. Again my drop being over 6ft6 by most setups should be about 3 inches but I prefer just under an inch again it feels right to me. My reach means on the bar I am upright with arms slightly bent, in the hoods longer / lower but again arms are relaxed and not locked out.

    Another tip is once you adjust one thing e.g. Saddle position it tends to affect other things. For example moving the saddle forward reduces reach and reduces your effective saddle height. You are aiming for a comfortable position where you weight is distributed for comfort and stability.

    Hope that is some help and good luck road bike setup needs to be more accurate than other types of bike :)
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