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Abnormal Body Type - Bike fit discussion

DefUnctUKDefUnctUK Posts: 38
edited April 2016 in Road general
Hi,

Got a bit of a bike fit question, or rather looking for insights as to whether my reasoning seems sound. I have quite long legs for my height and a large +ape index (Height 176cm, arm span 188cm, inseam is a touch over 86cm)

On my Trek 1000, which is a 56cm frame, the drop from saddle to bars is reasonable visually (but still seems more than most) but i feel a bit stretched out, even with a 9cm stem. Although i can sit up more and it is my tourer, i find that even long term riding on the hoods can make me feel a touch stretched.

On my Wilier, i went for a slightly smaller size (cca 54 i think, it was their size M) and although i have a larger drop (approx 12.5cm) from saddle to bars, it feels more comfortable, even in the drops and with a 11cm stem. It also feels that my arms don't have to stretch too far forward. Would i be right in thinking that's because my short torso doesn't have to reach so far, and my long arms make up for the large drop?

I know it depends on what you want to do, but overall, it is better for someone with long legs / arms to have a smaller bike but with higher saddle / longer stem, or larger bike with lower saddle and short stem?

Either way i love riding both of them (although i may turn the stem on the trek over, to increase the up angle to make it a real tourer).

Posts

  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    It really comes down to what you feel comfortable with. It appears from above that you feel comfortable with a relatively large drop. Bikes with high stack - short reach such as the Giant Defy, Cannondale Synapse Specialised Roubaix etc will reduce the drop from saddle to bar - they are possibly a more natural fit to your body proportions, however, you may prefer more aggressive bikes( like your Willier appears to be). The Trek 1000 in size 56 does not seem an ideal fit for you and from recollection it has a fairly aggressive geometry thus its reach is possibly too long to be ideal for you.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    DefUnctUK wrote:
    I know it depends on what you want to do, but overall, it is better for someone with long legs / arms to have a smaller bike but with higher saddle / longer stem, or larger bike with lower saddle and short stem?

    If you want an optimal fit there probably won't be a choice. You'll want the tallest frame you can have with the shortest top tube. Ultimately, the key is getting the top tube plus stem length right. If your legs are long enough, you'll end up with a very narrow range where you can both comfortably reach the bars yet not knock your knees on the bars when out of the saddle - chances are there's only one size that won't rely on you having an enormous stack of spacers.

    The important thing is finding the frame with the correct geometry proportions in the first place. Trying to make a normal geometry bike fit is a bit of an unsatisfactory exercise.
    Faster than a tent.......
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