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CAD8 Size and reach set up advice

Ridea10Ridea10 Posts: 19
edited November 2016 in Road buying advice
I recently bought a CAD8 I was advised that although I was between sizes I should get a 54 and use a longer stem if needed. Having taken it out a few times, whilst I felt ok but quite upright on the hoods, as soon as I went down onto the drops I felt hunched up like my back was too long and found myself shifting back on the seat to accommodate. I plugged my measurements into competitive cyclist calculator and it came back with pretty much the exact measurements from the 56. I've just managed to switch to the larger size, now despite only gaining 1.5cm top tube (1cm or so in reach) the hoods feel a mile further away. They also look further away from the stem. Is there something I am missing in terms of set up? Or is it possible the bars have different reaches? I've already swapped the stem to a shorter 100mm so the initial jump between sizes wasn't too big. having said this I feel 100% more comfortsble on the drops.

I Could use some help as I'm concerned I've made a massive error moving to the larger size

If it helps I am 179cm tall with a 83-84 cycling inseam

Posts

  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    You might find (as I did when comparing 54 and 56 Supersix Evo's a couple of years back) that the larger size also has a wider, and longer reach handlebar. I do wish more manufacturers would specify this on their websites. When it's just the one through the entire range (as per Specialized with the 75mm reach bars on their Tarmac) it's a lot easier to decide.

    100mm stem isn't all that small, I see many riders wanting the "pro look" because "you MUST have a 120mm stem at least" but then need all the spacers in the world to, as you say, feel comfortable on the drops. Keep pressing away with the 56 plus 100mm stem (which is what I'd choose as I'm the same height as you and my Tarmac has exactly the same measurements though I can't speak for your handlebar drop and reach) and you should be OK. If not it might be worth dropping a line to Cannondale and asking them what the drop and reach on their handlebars are?
  • Thanks for the response. My concern came around the fact the bike shop I bought the bike from went the the line 'go down a size with cannondale' and you'd normally be over 6 foot for a 56. But measurement wise all seems to add up to my height and like you say measures up to other bikes in 56 I have been recommended.

    Bar wise from a quick (not that accurate) attempt at measuring. It looks centre of the stem to the centre of the furthest point forwards on the bar is 90mm and to the top of the steep of the hood (where they are set up) 130mm. Based on the 75mm figure you gave this sounds like they are large bars. Does this also sound like an acceptable difference between the two or is there some movement I can make to the brakes?

    I have contacted cannondale already just waiting on them

    I am still considering eating my words and quickly asking the shop if they still have the smaller size, not sure if I may end up in a worse position going smaller though as it didn't feel good either
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    54cm should be the right size. If your having to size up to get your bars high enough sounds like you need something with a more upright position like a Giant Defy etc.
  • trek_dan wrote:
    54cm should be the right size. If your having to size up to get your bars high enough sounds like you need something with a more upright position like a Giant Defy etc.

    What do you base that on out of interest?

    No it's not about height I have the 56 slammed. And just 1-2 spacers on the 54. On the 54 i felt like i was always wanting to place my hands an inch infront of where they were in the drops. Or am I just not used to the position? I actually feel more comfortable reaching for the drops on the 56 with the same bar height. It's that I feel stretched on the top (hoods).

    I also felt a little twitchy going fast and got quite annoyed with my toe touching the front wheel on slow corner, is that a normal experience? Coming from a mountain bike background that was completely foreign for me.
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    Because the bike shop were right that 54cm is the correct size for your height. You can probably get away with either though depending on stem length as most people around 5' 10" can fit both. I'm 5' 10" and always size down as otherwise I struggle to get my seat far enough forward. Really though sounds like you just need a simple bike fit and get your basic fit dimensions right in terms of seat height/ setback and bar reach/stack. And yes toe overlap is perfectly normal for a road bike and yes it will take some time to adjust to the position.
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    That reminds me of the figures I had for the Supersix Evo bars. This was a real eye-opener. Not only did the bars have the 90mm reach you've mentioned (making the reach as big as a size 58 Tarmac) but it also made the steering quite a bit more laboured.

    In addition the standover of the Cannondale in a 56 is far higher than a Tarmac. That's why I like road bikes with at least a bit of curve in the top tube (TCR/Tarmac etc) for shorter legs, That way the bike feels short, yet stretched as opposed to, say, a Giant Propel with its massive standover. That bike in a 56 (M/L) feels huge, yet cramped.

    For the record I now use Deda Zero 100 road bars (75mm reach) on all bikes. Might be worth sourcing a set of them, or a Deda Zero 2 which can be easily found for around £20?
  • Looking at the stack and reach of the Caad8 if you used a 10mm longer stem and a 5mm spacer you'd be 1mm shorter and exactly the same height as 56 to the mm.
    The only difference between the two is the 56 can obviously made bigger, the 54 smaller. In the middle the frames the effectively cross over.

    I'm sure you'd be fine on either size, but the shop was right, you would generally go the size down.
  • trek_dan wrote:
    Because the bike shop were right that 54cm is the correct size for your height.

    Ok just wondered what you had based that on. I'm a little confused that all of the measurements seem similar to many other main brand 56" bikes and from getting a tape measure out it doesn't seem like they lie.

    I have has a response from cannondale who said 56 is right for my measurements but did not mention a bar difference just to confuse things further.

    I did check the stack and reach which is part of what I based the decision on as it wouldn't be much bigger. But the diference feels huge now

    I am swaying back toward's tucking my tail between my legs and going back to the shop before I dirty the bike up/they get rid of the 54 to be honest
  • I moved the seat forwards slightly and it seems to have helped however I am still quite stretched. I have the option to swap back. Advice? 54 with the option of a longer stem or 56 with a much racier and somewhat uncomfortable position on the top (will I get used to it?), or a shorter bar/stem combo

    My concern is I go 54 and it's comfortable in the short term but long term as my flexibility and core strength improves I will find it short?
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,256
    Ridea10 wrote:
    I moved the seat forwards slightly and it seems to have helped however I am still quite stretched. I have the option to swap back. Advice? 54 with the option of a longer stem or 56 with a much racier and somewhat uncomfortable position on the top (will I get used to it?), or a shorter bar/stem combo

    My concern is I go 54 and it's comfortable in the short term but long term as my flexibility and core strength improves I will find it short?

    You said you were running the 54 with spacers, so you can chop those down if you get more flexibility.
    You can also get a more setback seatpost, and as you say a longer stem (perhaps with a sharper angle), and or bars with a greater reach.

    If you genuinely have no idea, can't get a bike fit in quickly, I would go with gut instinct.
    Worst case you may need to sell it, or the frame on next year.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Going the other way...Are there any drawbacks to going down to a 90mm stem? This would put me in the same position as the stock 54 on reach. Which I can extend in the future....is it not the best of both worlds? Only difference is I will have to source or machine a short bearing cover at a later date if I want to go slammed on the front, feels pretty nice height wise just at 0 spacers at the moment though.
  • Ridea10 wrote:
    I moved the seat forwards slightly and it seems to have helped however I am still quite stretched. I have the option to swap back. Advice? 54 with the option of a longer stem or 56 with a much racier and somewhat uncomfortable position on the top (will I get used to it?), or a shorter bar/stem combo

    My concern is I go 54 and it's comfortable in the short term but long term as my flexibility and core strength improves I will find it short?

    You shouldn't really be adjusting the saddle position to compensate for reach. That should be set to get your knee position right etc.

    Nightmare this in between sizing.
  • MyNameIsEarlMyNameIsEarl Posts: 37
    edited November 2016
    Hi, I'm 178cm tall with a 83.5cm inseam and most size charts say a 56 frame. However, I also felt too stretched out and have gone with a 54 on both my bikes (Allez Sport/Ribble R872).

    The advice I was given is that the larger frame will give you a more stable, planted ride with slower steering, and the smaller frame will give you something more responsive with sharper steering. So it depends on your own preference.

    As others have said, if in doubt, go down a size.

    A shorter stem on a larger frame will make the bike twitchier.

    Sorry, I should add that I'm running a 110mm stem.
  • Ridea10 wrote:
    I moved the seat forwards slightly and it seems to have helped however I am still quite stretched. I have the option to swap back. Advice? 54 with the option of a longer stem or 56 with a much racier and somewhat uncomfortable position on the top (will I get used to it?), or a shorter bar/stem combo

    My concern is I go 54 and it's comfortable in the short term but long term as my flexibility and core strength improves I will find it short?

    You shouldn't really be adjusting the saddle position to compensate for reach. That should be set to get your knee position right etc.

    Nightmare this in between sizing.

    I did it by marking my knee position on the top tube when my pedals were level (front foot forwards) and striking a line to the pedal axle. I think I was just set back too far before. I've backed off the slammed front, tilted the bars slightly less aggressively and all of the sudden have opened up a lot more. Think I will just be geting a 90mm stem while I get used to it. I'm perfectly at home on a mountainbike with zero reach in bars an 45-60mm stems so I don't think I will have a problem with handling. Then I can gradually head back down and longer as I get more comfortable.

    I've just been using this: http://bikedynamics.co.uk/bikesizingbd.htm

    Which sizes me perfectly for the cannondale 56.
  • The secret is sawing your steerer down and throwing the box away as quickly as possible so you've no option to swap it and can get on with enjoying it.....
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    54cm Cannondale for your height. No doubt about it. You can certainly ride a 56cm, but for a proper race bike fit, go for the 54cm. I have two friends that're slightly taller than you; both ride a 54cm Cannondale. I am 10cm taller than you, I rode a 58cm Cannondale.

    A 56cm will force you into an upright position (due to the tall headtube) and you'll forever feel stretched out, hence you'll keep going down stem sizes. Your bike will end up handling badly because of the forced upright position = no weight on the front wheel. Further exacerbated by the fact you have long legs for your height.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,256
    styxd wrote:
    54cm Cannondale for your height. No doubt about it. You can certainly ride a 56cm, but for a proper race bike fit, go for the 54cm. I have two friends that're slightly taller than you; both ride a 54cm Cannondale. I am 10cm taller than you, I rode a 58cm Cannondale.

    A 56cm will force you into an upright position (due to the tall headtube) and you'll forever feel stretched out, hence you'll keep going down stem sizes. Your bike will end up handling badly because of the forced upright position = no weight on the front wheel. Further exacerbated by the fact you have long legs for your height.

    I agree with you - looking up the OP's dimensions, he is 0.5" taller than me, and has an inside leg 1" less, meaning his upperbody height is theoretically 1.5"\3.8cm greater than mine.

    I know from other bikes (As I have long legs and a short upperbody) that my optimum top tube length is 545, and on a 54 frame I then go for a 90mm stem, and that fits me perfectly.
    I appreciate there is no way to compare flexibility, and arm length etc, but if I adjusted that setup for the OP, it would suggest a 120mm, or 130mm stem, which I believe was suggested up the page somewhere.

    it looks like either will fit to some degree, one way or another, but the 54cm has the capacity to give a more aggressive riding position, which I thought was the desired outcome.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Kajjal wrote:
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.

    This poor advice; being fixated with the position of your legs relative to the bottom bracket is a good way to get a poor fit on a road bike.
  • styxd wrote:
    54cm Cannondale for your height. No doubt about it. You can certainly ride a 56cm, but for a proper race bike fit, go for the 54cm. I have two friends that're slightly taller than you; both ride a 54cm Cannondale. I am 10cm taller than you, I rode a 58cm Cannondale.

    A 56cm will force you into an upright position (due to the tall headtube) and you'll forever feel stretched out, hence you'll keep going down stem sizes. Your bike will end up handling badly because of the forced upright position = no weight on the front wheel. Further exacerbated by the fact you have long legs for your height.

    So kind of opposite to a mountain bike long stem is more aggressive handling?

    Interesting. Certainly not doubting the experience but any ideas why things like the link I posted, competitive cyclist etc. Size me up for the 56 on reach etc? Is it more current to go for a more aggressive fit? I actually found a long thread which suggested a 56 cad10 (same geo) for my size but it was from 4 years back

    Just FYI legs are probably on the bottom end of what I stated. At 82.5-83
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    styxd wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.

    This poor advice; being fixated with the position of your legs relative to the bottom bracket is a good way to get a poor fit on a road bike.

    I think you have misunderstood my post i did not mention the bottom bracket, just gave general advice. If you have detailed bike fit advice by all means make suggestions.
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 927
    styxd wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.

    This poor advice; being fixated with the position of your legs relative to the bottom bracket is a good way to get a poor fit on a road bike.
    I have had a bike fit at Cadence Sport which is well regarded in that area. I have read a good bit about bike fitting from the people who should know their stuff about it. They all say get the saddle in the right place in regards to the pedals first and then adjust the handlebars to get the right reach etc.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    wongataa wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.

    This poor advice; being fixated with the position of your legs relative to the bottom bracket is a good way to get a poor fit on a road bike.
    I have had a bike fit at Cadence Sport which is well regarded in that area. I have read a good bit about bike fitting from the people who should know their stuff about it. They all say get the saddle in the right place in regards to the pedals first and then adjust the handlebars to get the right reach etc.

    So what's the right place for the saddle in regards to the pedals then?
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    wongataa wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.

    This poor advice; being fixated with the position of your legs relative to the bottom bracket is a good way to get a poor fit on a road bike.
    I have had a bike fit at Cadence Sport which is well regarded in that area. I have read a good bit about bike fitting from the people who should know their stuff about it. They all say get the saddle in the right place in regards to the pedals first and then adjust the handlebars to get the right reach etc.

    That's exactly how most people do it.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    You can't put the saddle in the "right" place unless you know where the bars are.

    Adjusting the position of the bars may/will require a change in saddle setback.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Three of Peter Sagan's bikes. Three different setups for three different races. I'm surprised he can pedal without his saddle being in the right place.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/p ... evo-34013/

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/arti ... mod-40636/

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/arti ... deo-37774/
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 927
    styxd wrote:
    wongataa wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    The trick with road bikes is to first get the saddle position right. It is purely to get your legs in the right place not to adjust reach. Then think about where if you had the choice you would want the bar, hoods and drops. This is in good part personal preference and there is no real rule book. People often find the reach to the bars too far and too low down on road bikes. You have to set the bike up right for you. I use short reach and drop bars to be comfortable riding in all three positions.

    In general it is easy enough to make a bike a little too small fit but next to impossible to make a bike that is too big fit.

    This poor advice; being fixated with the position of your legs relative to the bottom bracket is a good way to get a poor fit on a road bike.
    I have had a bike fit at Cadence Sport which is well regarded in that area. I have read a good bit about bike fitting from the people who should know their stuff about it. They all say get the saddle in the right place in regards to the pedals first and then adjust the handlebars to get the right reach etc.

    So what's the right place for the saddle in regards to the pedals then?
    It depends on the the the geometry of the rider, the flexibility of the rider, and the type of riding the rider will do on the bike.
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