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Bike fit before replacing my bike (that doesn't, but might, fit...)?

Holmesy321Holmesy321 Posts: 37
edited August 2016 in Road buying advice
I bought a CAAD8 last year on cyclescheme and am coming up to being able to get a new bike (if I so wish). While I like the CAAD8, I don't think it quite fits me properly - lower back pain after only about 30 mins riding (moreso after work than before work, so I guess maybe due to tight back).

Current bike is a 56. I am about 179-180cm (so about 5'10/5'11) and my inseam is ~85cm (~33.5 inches) and I've played with saddle position and stem lengths aplenty.

I do wonder whether I have long legs for my height? And therefore the reason I don't get on with the CAAD8 is because the reach is too long for my torso. It was my first time riding a road bike and I didn't really know what would feel 'right'.

So I am thinking that if this is a problem with the frame fit itself, that could only be rectified through silly things like reversed stems and the like, that I would rather sell it on - losing a few quid - and get a new bike.


However I would need to make sure I get a bike that fits this time. Would you think I'd be better off going to get a fit on my current bike and then use the suggested fit to inform my new purchase? Hopefully they could just make it fit with minimal adjustment/component changes and life would be great and my wallet would be happy.

Was thinking of going to Sigma Sport in Kingston for the fit - open to suggestions.


Part of the reason I am now tempted for a new bike is the LBS has a couple of really nice 2015 stock bikes that they're trying to shift at ludicrous prices....


Cheers

Posts

  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I would try doing your own bike fit but do it slowly and take your time.

    Start with the saddle height. When the pedal / crank arm is in the lower position but in line with the seat tube your leg should be slightly bent and you should be able to lift yourself off the saddle a little. This does depend on flexibility. If the saddle is too high it will cause various aches and pains. A little too low is OK. If you rock in the saddle with toes pointing down at the bottom your saddle is too high.

    Next look up KOPS and use it as a starting position for saddle fore / aft position. It may need tweaking but will get it about right. Finally make sure your saddle is level by using a spirit level, but first use the spirit level to check how level the ground is.

    After all the above check your saddle height is OK again to be sure. The saddle adjustment is to get your legs in the right position and not to adjust reach.

    Next think about where you would ideally like the bar in terms of reach and height. Most people go for an inch or so of drop from the saddle to begin with and then adjust it to their personal preference. Try moving the spacers and also flipping the stem to reduce drop and also reduce reach. It is common for people to have the bars too low with too much reach to being with. Don't worry what it looks like the most important thing is to get the correct position for you.

    The position you are looking for should be comfortable, not give you aches and pains, have balanced weight distribution so you don't get numb hands or have too much stress on your back, and also allow you to slide back into the saddle with your hips rotated (bit hard to explain but once you get it you will understand).

    Good Luck !!!!
  • Holmesy321Holmesy321 Posts: 37
    Thanks for the reply. I've tried most of these things, using my webcam to check angles etc. and can't seem to get it right. Have played with stems, spacers, saddle fore/aft/tilt/height.

    One of the reasons I got the 56 instead of the 54 was on the recommendation of the shop I bought from, they suggested that (as I felt like I wanted a high saddle) the saddle-bar drop was too high on the 54. I do find that if I drop the saddle much more then I get a bit of pain below the kneecap sometimes when pushing hard.

    The trouble is getting my hips/pelvis comfortably rotated I think. When I get a chance to come out of the saddle and flex my lower back (rotating the pelvis forward) it relieves the pain - I think I have a fairly anterior pelvis tilt from sitting at computers too much(!), something I am working on..

    Usually it's a pain that I can feel every time I really push the pedal forwards, and moreso in the right side of the lower back. If I really concentrate on relaxing the back, pushing with the quads and make a consious effort to put more weight onto the bars (leaning forward more) then it seems to help... But this seems to leave my arms a bit straighter and my torso a bit lower than I'd like.

    I need a setup that facilitates this without leaving me compromised in the other areas (whether this be on my current bike, or a new one with different geometry).
  • I would get a fit on the existing bike, the fitter may be able to come up with a solution which will save you a few quid. If not, they should provide you with your correct measurements for a new bike (and advise you on what may fit best if you take a few bike options with you).

    If you are down South, a couple of the more recognised are Bespoke Cycling and Cyclefit (both central London). For a proper fit and physiological assessment be prepared to pay £200 or so :cry:
  • Holmesy321Holmesy321 Posts: 37
    Aye I'd looked at bespoke too, but have heard that they have a very 'race' oriented fit mindset, whereas I think for the time being I'm more concerned about being a bit comfier than faster!

    Yeah the money is a bitter pill to swallow, but I'd hate even more to pay it on this bike, then get a new one and have to get one on that too if it wasn't comfy - so I'd have to get it right first time.
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Not really true re Bespoke. Yes, they do a lot of race bikes and most of the guys there do race but they'll respond to your requirements.

    I've had two fittings there and they spent plenty of time getting me into the sort of position I wanted, with their input. One was for a custom frame so I was very keen they got it right.
  • Holmesy321Holmesy321 Posts: 37
    Cheers for the input. They are more conveniently located, and I have heard plenty of good things too!

    Which one did you visit?
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Holmesy321 wrote:
    Cheers for the input. They are more conveniently located, and I have heard plenty of good things too!

    Which one did you visit?

    The first fit I had was with Chris at Farringdon and the second was with Nigel (I think) at Gresham St.
  • prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 792
    Cadence Performance in Crystal Palace used to do a bike purchase service, you go in with your current bike and maybe the geometry of one or two you are looking to buy. They take a look at your current fit and recommend which bike might fit you best, then when you have bought the new bike you can return and they will do a proper fit on the new bike. I can't seem to find a link to it on their website now, but it might be worth calling to see if they still offer it.
  • Prhymeate wrote:
    Cadence Performance in Crystal Palace used to do a bike purchase service, you go in with your current bike and maybe the geometry of one or two you are looking to buy. They take a look at your current fit and recommend which bike might fit you best, then when you have bought the new bike you can return and they will do a proper fit on the new bike. I can't seem to find a link to it on their website now, but it might be worth calling to see if they still offer it.


    They're fairly local too, I should probably go visit regardless!


    Though doesn't that process kind of imply that your current bike fits you?
  • prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 792
    Holmesy321 wrote:
    Prhymeate wrote:
    Cadence Performance in Crystal Palace used to do a bike purchase service, you go in with your current bike and maybe the geometry of one or two you are looking to buy. They take a look at your current fit and recommend which bike might fit you best, then when you have bought the new bike you can return and they will do a proper fit on the new bike. I can't seem to find a link to it on their website now, but it might be worth calling to see if they still offer it.

    They're fairly local too, I should probably go visit regardless!

    Though doesn't that process kind of imply that your current bike fits you?

    Yea do, it's a great shop with really friendly staff. I wouldn't say that it implies your current bike fits, I guess it's just a starting point for them to look at and maybe tweak a little. If they thought it was too big I'm sure you could try a couple of different sizes of bikes that they have for sale. Personally, as someone who was quite new to cycling at the time and couldn't quite get my head around all the implications of different measurements and geometries of a bike, I found it reassuring to speak to someone who knew what they were talking about before I spent £1500 on a new bike. The return visit after I'd bought the bike was handy too. I'm considering going again soon as I'm looking to buy a new frame and feel my position has changed a bit in the 2 years since I last had a fit.
  • Quite often in a bike fit process they'll fit you on some sort of jig in order to get your 'ideal' fit and only then transfer that to your bike. So you wouldn't lose anything by going for a fit now, if you can translate it onto your current bike without doing strange stem lengths etc then great otherwise you can use the fit information to get a new bike and to set it up once you've got it.
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