Setting up riding position – bike fitting - article comments

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To prevent article pages from being miles long, but preserve all the useful questions and answers provided over time, I've decided to copy/paste the website comments to the forum - and "move" further discussions here.

These are the comments from the article:
Setting up riding position – bike fitting

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  1. Tony Neville
    27/07/2020 at 14:11
    What is the correct distance (cm) on a Trek Domane SL7 road bike between the front of the saddle and the centre of the clamp holding the handlebars. A rough estimate would be appreciated.
    • 3fd0d771d754ced79ca6b702635900b5.jpg

      27/07/2020 at 17:52
      I don’t know.
      That certainly depends on the size of the bicycle (also depends on the type of the saddle and stem length, but suppose we can assume that when comparing factory set-up bikes, those are similar/same between the frames of the same size).
      Also, it is worth noting that stack and reach are a more reliable way of determining bicycle frame size (and fit).
  2. bd10a96125e7218afa769ea342670350.jpg

    26/04/2021 at 11:12
    if you are new to bicycles then the most important thing to do is get a proper bike fit either at your local bike shop or from an a good rider,its not as simple as you may think,many things come into play to find the right bike,also if you are just starting to ride a bike give your body a chance to get used to riding,it takes many many months to build up your legs and your breathing,too often people give up on bike riding because they think its too hard,take it easy first then do a few slight hill climbs each week or daily,bikes are the best way to get fit or even loose a little weight,its good for your heart and lungs and it exercises all your body parts,its probably one of the safest ways to exerercise that i know of and you get fresh air for free,we are lucky in australia as we have concrete bike paths to ride on across most cities and we dont need to go near roads and cars,i will never share my bike on a road with cars,thats high risk anywhere,for me its either footpath or bicycle path.most bike paths here are shared with walkers as well,you will not climb a mountain if you are new to bikes but give yourself a chance to get used to the bike and you will actually enjoy riding.i often see 70 year old guys climbing those hills but they have been riding for a few years.i cant think of any better way to keep in shape but by riding a bike,but like i said go get the right bike that fits you.
  3. bd10a96125e7218afa769ea342670350.jpg

    26/04/2021 at 11:16
    sorry for the typo mistakes but i am not google i am human
  4. 4f01b077ff932759ed07175fc5ec489a.jpg

    20/08/2021 at 09:40
    “The heel method itself is precise enough for most recreational cyclists.”
    No! Tiptoe on the ground when sitting. City rides require frequent stops. If you cannot reach the ground get bicycle with lower BB otherwise you will ruin your knees.
    • 3fd0d771d754ced79ca6b702635900b5.jpg

      20/08/2021 at 10:13
      Hi Rudy,
      That is a common misconception, a mistake I see many people make.
      Configuring saddle height relative to the ground disregards the bottom bracket height. Modern bicycles are built with higher bottom brackets – in order to provide more ground clearance when going over any bumps and cornering.
      Old-style bikes could be set to an optimal saddle height (relative to the BB), with the rider still being able to reach the ground with their toes without getting out of the saddle.
      Modern frames, however, would require the saddle to be set too low relative to the BB in order to allow the rider to reach the ground while being in the saddle. That would mean more load on the knees while riding.
      I’ve explained these basic frame-design differences and bicycle fitting basics in this video:
      Bicycle frame geometry and bicycle fit basics explained
      It is possible to easily get on and off a bicycle at every stop, even if one can’t reach the ground from the saddle. I’ve demonstrated the technique in a separate video (so far only in my native language, but the moves work for any language and country 🙂 ):
      Starting and stopping with a bicycle
      So, based on my knowledge, education and experience, saddle height should be configured relative to the BB height, not relative to the ground.
      Different people have different experiences and different opinions – but this one is mine.
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    22/08/2021 at 08:25
    BB is high and unsuitable for a city ride on MOUNTAIN (not comfort) bikes. One cannot get off and on the bike in city numerous red lights – it is not feasible. The bike capitals of the world are Amsterdam and Copenhagen…people use comfort bikes and tiptoe at stopping. Do not confuse bikes use for sport with comfort city rides.
    • 3fd0d771d754ced79ca6b702635900b5.jpg

      22/08/2021 at 09:39
      Hi Rudy,
      Yes, some comfort bikes are still made with lower BBs. Not all though (at least from what I’ve seen).
      My city, Novi Sad, is like a Serbian Amsterdam. 🙂 A huge number of cyclists and very good cycling infrastructure. Many people here “tiptoe at stopping” – and then ride on with their saddles noticeably too low.
      I use a bicycle as a main means of transport (hauling groceries, transporting the kid, going anywhere). My city bike has a BB on the higher side. I’ve had no problems getting out of the saddle at traffic stops and getting back on. It beats having the saddle too low, especially when it comes to any load on the knees.
      If a BB is low, yes, one can reach the ground from the saddle, even when the saddle is at an optimal height. But regardless of that, I’d say that the saddle height should be adjusted relative to the BB, not relative to the ground – no matter what bike one uses.
      Of course, one can set their saddle lower than optimal, for whatever reason, and that’s their choice. Some people aren’t capable of starting or stopping without staying in the saddle. For such people, getting a low-BB bike is probably the best option – so there’s the least amount of compromise in terms of saddle height relative to the BB, while they can still easily start and stop. It is my personal opinion that the better course of action is training to start and stop without being in the saddle, but everyone chooses for themselves what and how they do things.
      My point being (“the bottom line” as the Americans say) that relying on the saddle-to-ground height can result in the saddle being too low compared to the BB, thus putting a lot more load on the knees when pedalling.
  1. warren mbaht
    30/01/2022 at 10:23
    two words. dropper post
  2. 5346c4e671f8dea8f51eaf0486d75753.jpg

    09/10/2022 at 04:23
    Thank you. This was very informative. Malta is not bicycle or motorbike friendly as we have poor infrastructure and way too many cars and careless drivers. However in the countryside we still have some space to cycle freely.
  3. 8e55c26ccb5e8dfd62d110507283658c.jpg

    29/01/2023 at 21:46
    Not very relaxed at all without straight back. Look how they sit on bicycles in the Netherlands.
    • d693f26dcd2fedd28dfc1ad7a66e01a2.jpg

      30/01/2023 at 12:31
      It depends on the riding style and conditions.
      Completely upright is not very nice with a strong headwind (as it often happens where I live in Autumn and winter). Also, every road bump goes straight into the spine (not sure how to explain it better) – so it can be less comfortable on bumpy roads, though that also depends on the bike type.
      There are pros and cons to different postures, but one still can make a given upper body angle setup be more or less well fitting and comfortable.
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If you can't find the answer to your question in this thread, please open a separate thread with your question/problem, in an appropriate forum section (this is the Riding and skills section).

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