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T-rex style body , struggle with cycling and fitting bikes

Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

T-rex style body , struggle with cycling and fitting bikes

Old 05-14-19, 02:27 PM
  #1  
jambon
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T-rex style body , struggle with cycling and fitting bikes

Hi folks,

I have always struggled with bikes both riding them and sizing them.

The problem is that I have the inseam or leg length of someone who is 6'4 = 6'5 but my torso and arms are more like those of a 5 foot 10 or 5 foot 11 person. I am 6 foot 2 .I have a 90cm inseam.

This translates into a problem as when I put my saddle at the correct height and correct fore aft then I end up very high and very far back on the bike so I feel very stretched out and the bars even with stems flipped seem very far below.

This wouldn't be a problem if I was into slammed stretched out racing positions but I am a more casual type of cyclist.

Its also awful to handle a bike when your perched that high . My center of gravity is so high I can not corner at anything other than a gentle angle.

I have tried things to bring handlebars up closer like riser stems/ nitto technomics etc . These are all well and good comfort wise and really help with the crazy saddle to bar drop but I find the handling and the sense of disconnect with the road when your bars are up that high really awful.

Custom frames are way too expensive for me ,

I have tried dropping the saddle height well below optimum and trying to just get used to that and let the muscles adjust but man there is nothing worse than hitting a steep hill and feeling like your saddle is too low to get proper power down.

The only riding that I have figured out is mountain biking . I have a dropper post and it means I only really need my ridiculously high optimum position for long climbs and for the rest I can pop it down and get my center of gravity nice and low.

I am now seriously considering a dropper for my road and touring bikes.

Another thing I am looking at is getting really long crank arms like 180 or 190 and very thin pedals with very thin soled shoes so I can get the saddle down 2 cm . Even that would help.

Surgery that removes some of my shin bone has also crossed my mind .

Anyone else have this issue ? Any ideas?
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Old 05-14-19, 03:16 PM
  #2  
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My 2˘ ........

Your proportions aren't too much different than mine. I'm 5' 11" and a little over 34.5" inseam. Long arms, hard to find a properly fitting long sleeve shirt. I grew up on oversized frames from the 70's to today. I still ride the old styles diamond frame road bikes from the 70's, and 90's.

A 59 cm frame is the smallest I feel comfortable on and have ridden very happily for 35 years a 25 inch frame (63.5 cm). BUT..... remember I'm on the old style bikes. The geometries and tube lengths grew differently as the frames got bigger back then.

A modern frame around 58 cm actually feels pretty good to me and so have modern 56 cm frames, but I've never ridden one for more than a few turns around a large parking lot as I've never seriously considered purchasing one.... yet.

So if you are wanting a road bike, then maybe consider a bike from the 70's to 90's. Or, just insist on trying out a size or two bigger at the bike shops when you go. Every LBS I've been to always judge me by my height alone and try to put me on something I'm not comfortable on.

As for long cranks..... I wouldn't. I'm not a fan nor believer in the proportional crank length sizing some one popularized in the 60'-70's. What you need to consider for crank length is whether you want to be a masher or a spinner.

Long cranks are generally for mashers that like low cadences. Short cranks are for spinners that like to maintain high cadences. The longer your cranks, the more you discomfort you may have when you are in a decent aero position which is what you should be in if you are truly road biking for endurance over long distance. Also, excessively long cranks can cause interference with your foot and the front wheel when turning at slow speeds or may strike the ground when banked for a turn.

I like to spin on a bike, so I have 165 mm cranks which are also about the size I had on all my bikes from the late 60's to today. I did try a 170 mm for a while, but I had a slightly noticeable pain develop behind my knee. I wasn't debilitating and it didn't hurt my performance, but I didn't want to wait and let it develop into anything. So after using 170's for four month or so, I switch back to 165's and the pain has never showed itself again.

Last edited by Iride01; 05-14-19 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:14 PM
  #3  
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Apparently nothing wrong with the bike or getting it fit to you, just a problem with your expectations. Go to a pro fitter, get a standard road bike fit, ride lots. You'll get used to it sooner than you think, and like it more than you think. Yeah, definitely go for the 180 cranks. Have the bike fit after you get them. Longer cranks would be better, but stock bottom bracket heights don't work well with longer cranks than that. Accept the stretched out position. It works better, which is the reason you feel weird with your current setup. With your back at ~45° and straightened out, your upper arms should make a 90° angle with your torso.

You may need some gym work and stretching to acquire the necessary flexibility and confidence to ride. However, you don't sound like you have any physical issues.
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Old 05-15-19, 02:08 PM
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I have T-Rex arms, lol, and I managed on standard bikes but there's a huge difference riding a bike custom fit (I have a Bike Friday). Since my bike is my car as well, I had no problem justifying the additional expense.
I recommend, if your
budget doesn't allow a custom bike, that you spend the $ on a professional fitting. That will get you pretty close to cycling nirvana for a reasonable amount
of money; allow for some new parts (bars, stems, seat/post/cranks) based on the fitter recommendations.
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Old 05-15-19, 06:44 PM
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I love the term "T-Rex".


Normally I encounter that term being used to describe boxers with a short reach.
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Old 05-16-19, 02:25 AM
  #6  
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I'm kinda proportioned the same as you, but not as tall.

What I'd be doing is keeping an eye out for secondhand custom-geo road? frames; building one up.


Your post reminded me of a couple of Serotta bikes on ebay with custom geo (short-reach with longer seat tube length) I've seen:-

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Serotta-Nov...8AAOSwPLJc25lF

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Serotta-Ott...IAAOSw7OdcVwzJ
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Old 05-16-19, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Apparently nothing wrong with the bike or getting it fit to you, just a problem with your expectations. Go to a pro fitter, get a standard road bike fit, ride lots. You'll get used to it sooner than you think, and like it more than you think. Yeah, definitely go for the 180 cranks. Have the bike fit after you get them. Longer cranks would be better, but stock bottom bracket heights don't work well with longer cranks than that. Accept the stretched out position. It works better, which is the reason you feel weird with your current setup. With your back at ~45° and straightened out, your upper arms should make a 90° angle with your torso.

You may need some gym work and stretching to acquire the necessary flexibility and confidence to ride. However, you don't sound like you have any physical issues.
Thanks for the suggestions

This is interesting .

I have been set up in road bike type fits but I found the saddle to bar drop very uncomfortable , again my optimum saddle height means the bars are pretty low by casual cyclist standards with out riser stems or steerer extenders that make the handling feel like muck , that said I never actually gave myself a chance to adjust , i might investigate this
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Old 05-16-19, 09:42 AM
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Cool GP says:

High handle bars with a close reach to them..
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Old 05-18-19, 08:36 PM
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Your saddle position may be the problem. I recently found out that I can get my bar about 5 cm lower and further away than I had it, but only if my saddle height and fore/aft is EXACT. Just being off by 5mm made a shocking difference. (Being too low and/or rear was preventing me from getting into the more aggressive position.) Also need to make sure hips are rotated enough -- which that proper saddle position will more easily allow. (BTW, my proportions are nearly identical: 6'1", 91-92 cm inseam.)
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Old 05-19-19, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jambon View Post
I have been set up in road bike type fits but I found the saddle to bar drop very uncomfortable ,
People think that fits should be cozy comfortable from the start. But that is not true IMO. It might be for those that are already fit or young and limber enough to be easily adaptable. My experience is that the heavier and more belly I have, then the more upright I have to be to feel comfortable. However for long rides that means a sore butt and more energy used due to drag. However after my winter weight and belly start going away I can feel more comfortable in a much more aero position with the bars much lower than the seat.

It's not natural for me though to want to be in that position. So I have to work at maintaining that position over the first couple dozen rides of the new riding season. But I know in my head the more aero I am the more energy I'll have left at the end of a four hour plus ride. Also that aero position will give me a more balanced body position over the BB that the opposing force to the power I'm putting into the pedals will lessen the load on my butt. With your saddle being further behind the bb it seems to me you'd not benefit as much from your power going into the pedals lifting some of your weight off the saddle.

So for you with short arms and your seat all the way back makes me wonder if it's the correct size or just not set up right. I have long arms and my seat on my 60cm Paramount frame from the 90's is pretty far forward one the rails with my handlebars fairly low with respect to the seat. I'm thinking about dropping the bars the last little bit of that adjustment I have left on that bike now that I've come to tolerate that position better. However when I first started riding again, my bars were about the same height as my seat.
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Old 05-19-19, 07:59 PM
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There is also a relation between crank length and femur length. I still recommend long cranks to drop you center of gravity and eat up some of the leg length.
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Old 05-19-19, 08:01 PM
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A short crank would just force you up and further back...
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Old 05-19-19, 10:38 PM
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You didn't mention frame size? Start there, then adjust stem size. Beware high-speed stability vs low-speed control.
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Old 05-20-19, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dj Velotiik View Post
A short crank would just force you up and further back...
Crank length has nothing to with position other than saddle height. Fore-and-aft position is only about balance, otherwise known as weight on hands. Were that not true, recumbent riders would all be cripples.

Crank length in mm of (5.5 X inseam in inches) works for my wife and I.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:53 PM
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I'd need a 154 mm crank...
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Old 05-29-19, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dj Velotiik View Post
I'd need a 154 mm crank...
My wife rode a 170 just fine until I got her a custom crank. I don't think it's a big deal.
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