Author Topic: New bike too big?  (Read 9732 times)

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Offline Mike52

New bike too big?
« on: July 10, 2011, 01:54:13 pm »
Feeling more weight on my hands and elbows. Is this a sign of a bike being a little too big? Any adjustments I can make that might help?

Offline aggie

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 01:59:48 pm »
You may be leaning forward a little too much.  You may be able to lessen that by getting another stem that is shorter and/or with more of a rise.  This will put the handlebars closer to you so you won't have to lean as far forward.  Check with your local bike shop.  They be able to let you try several different stems to see which one gives you the best fit.

Offline curdog

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 02:47:17 pm »
One thing you might check is the saddle. If the nose is pointing downward, the result is often too much pressure on the hands. I have more success with a level saddle or the nose pointing slightly up.
Good luck!

Offline happyriding

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 04:47:10 am »
Feeling more weight on my hands and elbows. Is this a sign of a bike being a little too big?
More likely too small.  A bigger frame will mean you won't have to raise the seat, which means the seat and handlebars will be at the same height.  Then the question becomes one of reach.  If you feel like the handlebars are too far away from you, then you need a frame with a shorter top tube, and shorter top tubes are usually found on smaller frames.  You could try a stem with a shorter length, but that may affect the handling(shorter stem = quicker steering).  With a smaller frame, you will have to raise the seat higher, and to get the handlebars even with the saddle, which will relieve the pressure on your hands, you will have to use a stem that sticks way up toward the sky.

The first thing you should try(because it's the least expensive) is to get the handlebars higher, which will probably require a new stem.  What kind of steerer do you have?  1" threaded or 1 1/8" threadless?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 04:57:09 am by happyriding »

Offline paddleboy17

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 01:03:43 pm »
I am going to reiterate that the saddle should be close to level  I like my saddles slightly, nose down.  If you have the saddle nose too far down, you will place more pressure on your hands.  It is truly amazing the amount of pressure that a saddle that is pointed down will in flict on hands.

If this is a new bike, did the bike store fit the bike to you?


Offline whittierider

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 01:21:17 pm »
(shorter stem = quicker steering)
and less stable, less responsive, and more squirrelly.  The handling gets worse in every way.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 11:03:06 pm by whittierider »

Offline Tourista829

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 10:16:07 pm »
Mike52, if the above suggestions do not help, may I make a suggestion, I would take the bike and yourself to a good local bike shop and get the bike fitted properly. A comfortable ride, priceless for the rest there is Mastercard. LOL

Offline Mike52

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 08:53:26 pm »
Thanks for all the info. Sorry to be slow getting back. I got a good deal on a used bike. So, new to me. It's a Surley LHT. 1 1/8 threadless. I knew I was on the edge size wise but deemed it worth the risk and was looking for tips to reduce my stretch. I don't think it's a real problem but I'm moving up from a hybrid and need to be cautious with overdoing it at my age. I moved the seat up about a half inch and it made a big difference. The handlebars are tilted downward which adds to the feeling of leaning too far forward I think. In viewing pictures of other bikes it seems to be about the angle of an average road bike but I've noticed many touring bikes have a more level setting from the stem to the hoods. I hope that makes sense. Any way adjusting the bars to raise the hoods a little seems like that might help. Are there any downsides to that?
sounds like I don't want a shorter stem due to handling issues. I think I will be fine anyway but would appreciate any comments on the bar angle.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 01:58:49 pm »
I'd suggest you take it down to your LBS.  Even if you don't want to pay for a full fit (and that's a good idea!), ask if they can watch you ride around the parking lot and see if you need a new stem.  With a 1-1/8" threadless, they're easy to swap out, and reasonably priced.

Offline happyriding

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 07:04:58 am »
I moved the seat up about a half inch and it made a big difference.

Huh?  Moving the saddle up/higher/closer-to-the-clouds should put more weight on your hands.  In any case, your saddle position (forward/back and up/down) is totally independent of the handlebar position.

If you have any spacers above your stem, then move them below the stem.  Also, consider buying a stem with a steeper angle, i.e. it points towards the sky more.  Your goal is to get the tops of the handlebars as close to level with the top of your seat as possible.  

If the ends of the handlebars point downward, towards your rear hub, that will level out the portion of the bars between the tops and the hoods (v. angling downwards).  You can also slide the hoods up the bars more so that the surface where your hands rest on the hoods angles upwards (v. flat or angling downwards).

Most LHT's I see have huge riser stems, with lots of spacers under the stem, which is an indication that the top tubes are too long.  If the top tubes weren't so long, people could buy a bigger frame, which means they wouldn't have to raise the seat so much to get a good fit, and therefore they wouldn't have to use huge riser stems with lots of spacers under the stem to get the handlebars level with the saddle.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 07:16:52 am by happyriding »

Offline bud16415

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2011, 02:26:28 pm »
Two cents from a older newbie.
About 5 years ago I thought about getting into riding again and day trips. I bought for almost nothing a old fairly high quality mtn bike KHS and absolutely hated everything about it except the gearing. Frame was way too small, the stem way to long, saddle to hard, and tires to soft etc. I upgraded to road tires a fat seat, upright stem, and riser bars. The difference was like night and day for me at that time, my abilities then and age. Constantly experimenting with the fit and reading on line fitting tips, sometimes ran counter intuitively to what one would think. Seat angle as mentioned above being one but also seat position front to back. My thoughts were always to take pressure off hands and arms move forward and in doing so you are moving the crank effectively backwards and taking strain off your core muscles and putting it on your arms. Not that my core was or is to strong but getting balance over  the saddle is amazing when you hit your sweet spot. I also found multiple hand positions a must and added the bar ends with extensions for a upright stretch position. With time and learning the effects of wind you will start making lower posture changes.
With wanting to ride longer distance and multi day rides with gear I found the Windsor and once again hated the ride position. Drop bars were quite an adjustment to say the least. Once I found my balance point in the new saddle it was fairly nice riding from the tops as I saw most people doing but I much preferred the drops all except how low they put me. I added an adjustable stem that allowed the bars to be raised enough that the drops are at saddle height not the tops. Things kept feeling better. I loved the STI shifters but never liked riding on the hoods. As I was now feeling good about staying in the drops a good deal of the time I lowered the STI's a good amount and the ergonomics were perfect for me. I thought about something like a cyclocross brake leaver on the top just to use for light braking or holding the bike when pushing and mounting and ended up using a mtn bike lever with dual cable.
The adjustable quill (stem) was bought as a way to see what worked and eventually replacing it with a fixed one, but I find myself still tweaking into lower settings so it will stay for now. It's very secure just maybe a bit heavy. I haven't experienced any of the "squirrely" steering issues mentioned above yet but seldom go downhill faster than 30MPH.
The final icing on the cake was when I did my bar wrap. I added extra pad (1/4" self stick foam from hardware store) in the pressure point spots under the bar tape. Well the second icing was dropping the 30T chain ring to a 26T, but that’s not fitting just old age.

My point in posting is IMHO everyone is dealt a different body starting into this, and a professional fitting if they take into account everything is a great thing to have done. There is also something to be said for learning as you go and making changes as you improve. Hope this helps someone reading and I'm sure I have committed many bike fitting crimes in my process. But whatever works I say.

First and Second bike below.

Offline Mike52

Re: New bike too big?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 08:47:01 pm »
Wow, thanks for the in depth and informative comments, Bud. I do have a fitting scheduled at the LBS. They are a little backed up right now but I think asking questions and tweaking my fit before going in should help me discuss the fit when they do get me in.
As an aside, to happy riding, I did say up when talking about saddle adjustment when what I meant was forward.