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My bike doesnít fit...

Old 08-31-19, 08:26 PM
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Tulok
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My bike doesnít fit...

So, I re-measured myself and my bike because Iíve been experiencing some pain here and there and I donít feel as comfortable on my bike as Iíd like... I thought I had a little 62cm frame but itís actually 60 seat tube and 57.5cm top tube..

So when I kept all of the parts I knew fit me from my old 62cm iron man I had an 80mm stem. I blindly swapped that and my old bars and seat onto the new frame. And my hands hurt and sometimes my legs hurt. Not a lot...

The real issue is the seatpost. I have extended the post beyond the safe line but my B.B. to seat height needs to be about 89cm and I can only get it to 85, 84.5 safely.(I didnít ride it over extended. Donít want to risk messing up the frame)

Note to self... measure a bike donít eyeball it!

I have dumped even more time and money into this bike, content with it being ďthe oneĒ for a long time. But I never got out the tape measure! It explains a lot though. This bike never did feel quite right, but I thought it was because itís a touring type frame.
Anyone want to trade frames? (Iíll look in the pass around thread).

Last edited by Tulok; 08-31-19 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 08-31-19, 09:09 PM
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if you never do it again - consider yourself lucky.

without elaboration, a 60cm bike guy who also rides 62s bought a 'special' 58cm for good reasons and now has a bunch of 58s, because it worked. Head tube length is the classic measurement when buying a vintage that's a tad small. It's also why 13-14cm stems exist in my spares with set-back posts..

edit: a couple of pics might give this thread legs.

Last edited by Wildwood; 08-31-19 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 08-31-19, 09:43 PM
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My fitment and specific measurements have evolved over time, but I have set numbers now for saddle height, saddle setback, and saddle-to-brake-hood-"notch" reach. This tends to keep me in the 63cm-65cm range primarily and that's good for a lot of reasons. If something cool is too small, well, it's too small and I wish it well and move on.

Pictures, yes. Help us help you.

Top tube is but one measurement for reach from the saddle. Top tube, stem, bar reach, and brake hood "reach" (to the "notch" or kick up point) all add up. Many here and everywhere don't even talk about or take into consideration a bar's reach, and that can vary quite a lot!
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Old 08-31-19, 10:20 PM
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I will have my friend take pictures of me on the bike tomorrow! I used to have a sit bones to brake hood measurement but I donít know where I put it. That would be really helpful!

I keep feeling like I need to have the reach be shorter, but then it feels good if I drape my arms over the bars and reach out more. But if I rest on the hoods, my hands have a lot of pressure on the skin between my thumb and forefinger. So I think I need more reach, but a higher saddle would also do that simultaneously!
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Old 09-01-19, 03:04 AM
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You do sound cramped on this frame although a photo or two of you on the bike would be nice to see. It would be far better for someone experienced in bike fit to actually see you on the bike.

Seatposts can and do snap and extending the seatpost beyond it's limit is placing undue stress on the seatpost. If it's an alloy post and it does snap you don't get any real warning which can see the rider dropping down onto the broken stub of the seatpost. OUCH is an understatement! If it's an 'aero' post it is just that little bit more dangerous due to a finer cross section. You sound like you're pretty tall and are probably heavier than other riders due to your height along with the natural ability to put more power into your pedal stroke which puts you in a more dangerous position. Pushing the pedals forward results in pushing the post backward (and sideways) which is a primary reason for posts to snap due to metal fatigue. If you're lucky you fall off the back of the bike along with the saddle and the top stub of the seatpost.

Have a look at your seatpost and look for any nicks or cuts which is a natural place for a crack to start. if you do find a flaw in the seatpost you could polish it out thus minimising a starting point for a crack. Infact - chuck the current seatpost for a longer, sturdier seatpost if possible.

I reckon you're doing the right thing by trying to swap your frame for another frame. It's easier to go bigger than smaller.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 09-01-19 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 09-01-19, 04:29 AM
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Sounds like an issue with saddle to bar drop in addition to reach.
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Old 09-01-19, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
...and saddle-to-brake-hood-"notch" reach.
That is a very good tip. For many years I have always kept saddle to handlebar with all the other usual dimensions but with the wide variety of bars out there this makes a lot more sense. Thanks
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Old 09-01-19, 10:23 AM
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Normally a 2 cm difference should be easy to reconcile with seat position and stem adjustments. Many older bikes were sold in frame size increments of 2 in (= 5 cm) and it was expected that you could still optimize your setup.
But in your case it sounds like you might have already been near the low end of acceptable size range. 27 cm from seat tube to top of saddle is already quite a lot. You may have trouble finding a seat post long enough to get the same position on the new frame. If you do find one, also try getting the handlebars up higher as well as farther forward. That will take some weight off of your hands.
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Old 09-01-19, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. Last night before my ride I set up my stem, raised it about 30mm, and I rotated my bars back to get my wrist angle more straight. I also slid my seat slightly forward. I put my seat to the max line. (Iím 170lbs).

Major improvements!
Here are are some pics at mile 85 of todays ride. My feet hurt, and my lower back hurts, and my neck aches a little. I guess raising the bars helped? I had to ride on the horns more than I like, I prefer to ride in the hoods curve not ride like twin joysticks. Haha.
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Old 09-01-19, 11:24 PM
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Thanks for the photos and it looks like a nice bike. I can fully understand wanting to make it your long term bike. As I intimated earlier, it is difficult to comment on a bike fit from a photo and the angle the camera position to you, the subject, can change our (the viewer's) perspective but it's much better to have a photo or two, or three than nothing at all.

The third photo shows your right leg extended quite well but your heel is down and I'm wondering if this is your natural riding position?

My view is that it does look small for you but not as bad as I imagined. Your body looks like it's pretty well in proportion to your height - no disproportionately long legs or arms, etc. I'm also a little perplexed as to why you like a very short stem as I would naturally start at a length of, say, 120mm. Perhaps you do have disproportionately longer legs and my initial opinion of your body's proportions is incorrect?

Is there any way of putting your components back onto your old frame and take some setup measurements? It sounds like your old frame was a better fit?

How long have you been doing these long rides for? Is it a case of just putting up with the pain until your body gets used to it? Perhaps aching wrists, neck and back might come from riding second rate roads and riding long distances? Road vibration often transmits through the front fork to your hands causing pain. It could go some was into making your whole body react to a poor road surface. You are riding a long way. You may need to develop methods of relieving your body from your constant riding position to alleviate foot pain, etc. while out on a ride.

My son is 6' 3" and I have tried to give him 62cm frames with 130mm stems but he still complains that the bike is too small. You, on the other hand feel a more compact riding position is more comfortable. Everyone is different. The comfortable position is what you are after and your old bike was much better for you. I, on the other hand usually ride a 58cm frame but I honestly can't drop my frame size to 57cm as I feel too cramped loosing power and it starts to hurt my body more. I can, however, go up in size to 60cm and be comfortable. I even have bikes with a 62cm seat tube and can ride them with more comfort then a 57cm frame. But.....everyone is different.

Seeing your old frame was a 62cm, I think that is a good place to start your quest for a good quality frame. I really hope you can re-assemble your old frame enough to take some set-up measurements and perhaps start your frame search again. I would probably sell the frame you just bought and look for another 62cm frame. You may loose valuable money doing this but if you are going to be riding long distances, it will be worth it in the long run. Don't disregard the top tube length as these can change significantly on a 62cm frame. And....an 80mm stem does sound really short. I recommend looking at Italian style frames that often have a longer seat tube to the top tube.

If my frame is 'my size' I'd probably set myself up on the bike in stages. First, I'd set my body on the bike. Height of saddle to give a slight bend of the knee whilst the pedal is at it's lowest while actually riding and saddle position backwards or forwards to position my knee correctly. An indicator of knee position I have sometimes used for a road bike: With you in position get a friend to drop a vertical line down from the front of your knee and see where it intersects your foot on the pedal while the pedal crank and foot are at a 3 o'clock position. I have been told it should intersect at roughly the pedal axle position. Sometimes a re-positioning of the saddle can adjust this position.

After this, I would adjust my handlebar reach. On a frame the correct size and using an average length stem, the reach should automatically be reasonably close to right. Thats why I do this adjustment second.

All this can change depending on the frame's geometry as well as the purpose for the actual bike. I've had frames with very relaxes seat tube angles (70.5 degree) and upright seat tube angles 975 degrees). As well as differing tube lengths. Basically I try to achieve the same position for my body but the purpose of the bike can change that.

Perhaps paying a good bikeshop to measure you up for frame fit might be money well spent. But finding a bike fitter that actually knows what he/she is talking about might be another difficulty.

As you said at the beginning of this thread, "My bike doesn't fit.....". Your seatpost has to be extended well past it's safe limit to find a comfortable length. You need a different bike.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 09-02-19 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 09-02-19, 12:31 AM
  #11  
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I'd say your saddle height looks like it's in a good spot. Saddle setback as well. You seem most natural in position in that second photo, IMO. A 62-64cm frame (CTT) with a shorter (57cm or so) top tube seems like a good fit. That classic bar profile/drop in combination with those 8-speed levers is also increasing your reach. Compact-profile bars would, set up correctly, disallow an elevation drop (where the tops of the hoods transition to the tops of the bar) and a smooth bar-to-hood-top transition would allow a flat plane for your hands to rest on, getting you pretty darn close to your second photo where you're riding "on the tops" (of the bars). You're pretty darn close, just need to find a frame to play along.
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Old 09-02-19, 06:44 AM
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You look a little crunched up around the neck and shoulders. Maybe experiment with a lomger stem.

Earlier this year I moved my seat a few mm forward. This resulted in neck pain that didn't go away unit I went with a 1cm longer stem.

If I've learned nothing else in decades of cycling, it's that small changes can cause big differences in fit and comfort.
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Old 09-02-19, 12:57 PM
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Adding a couple of notes here.

If a bike's saddle is too low, the rider will find themself sliding rearward on the saddle, perhaps even past the rear edge, in search of leg extension.
This then forces the rider to reach further forward to the bars.

I also often see riders using too much saddle setback, and so then needing a shorter stem to restore a comfortable reach to the bars.

So a bit of raising and moving forward of the saddle corrects at least a couple of the problems that I see.

"...I also slid my seat slightly forward. I put my seat to the max line...."

Glad to see that some of my favorite "fixes" seem to have paid off!
But don't let the MAX line affect where your final bike setup ends up, just get a longer post. I'm also a lightweight, and since a forward saddle position further reduces bending force of the post I can certainly bring the line out of the lug a good bit while experimenting with fit.

The foward positioning of the saddle also eases the effort of the rider's getting out of (and back into) the saddle, which can improve the preservation of valuable momentum during such position changes, and also spares the rider's tired knees.

Last edited by dddd; 09-02-19 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 09-02-19, 01:09 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
If a bike's saddle is too low, the rider will find themself sliding rearward on the saddle, perhaps even past the rear edge, in search of leg extension.
This then forces the rider to reach further forward to the bars.
Thank you!!! This has been my problem and I couldn't figure out how to stop trying to slide off the back of the saddle when I ride. I thought I needed a bigger/longer bike. I'll try this.
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Old 09-02-19, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
Thank you!!! This has been my problem and I couldn't figure out how to stop trying to slide off the back of the saddle when I ride. I thought I needed a bigger/longer bike. I'll try this.
Your very welcome! I hope that this works as well for you as it has for me.

Also, the saddles I use have a bit of rise along the rear half of the saddle top, which gains me some leg extension without moving as far back. See photo, notice that only the front half of my saddle is actually level:


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Old 09-03-19, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
Thanks for the photos and it looks like a nice bike. I can fully understand wanting to make it your long term bike. As I intimated earlier, it is difficult to comment on a bike fit from a photo and the angle the camera position to you, the subject, can change our (the viewer's) perspective but it's much better to have a photo or two, or three than nothing at all.

That is true. A 2 dimensional image can only convey so much.

The third photo shows your right leg extended quite well but your heel is down and I'm wondering if this is your natural riding position?

I would like my saddle to be higher. I never noticed that I dropped my heels like that. Itís a holdover from MTB cornering and control techniques. I do it habitually when I coast on any bike because I trained myself to always do it on my MTB. But thatís only useful when Iím standing crouched, or with my seatpost dropped.

My view is that it does look small for you but not as bad as I imagined. Your body looks like it's pretty well in proportion to your height - no disproportionately long legs or arms, etc. I'm also a little perplexed as to why you like a very short stem as I would naturally start at a length of, say, 120mm. Perhaps you do have disproportionately longer legs and my initial opinion of your body's proportions is incorrect?

I believe that raising the post and stem made the fit much closer. I also think that I may think I need a short stem because of what @dddd said about me sliding off the rear of the saddle. I never considered that before, but on my old MTB I raced, it was much faster for me with the saddle forward and higher than I initially thought it should be. I also had a pretty long reach on that bike. But never felt uncomfortable (other than the unnatural grip angle of all mtb flat bars)

Is there any way of putting your components back onto your old frame and take some setup measurements? It sounds like your old frame was a better fit?

Unfortunately I sold it about 6 years ago. Iíve had this bike for 4 or 5. I just never really rode it longer than an hour or 2, and I always thought I had just lost my form.

How long have you been doing these long rides for? Is it a case of just putting up with the pain until your body gets used to it? Perhaps aching wrists, neck and back might come from riding second rate roads and riding long distances? Road vibration often transmits through the front fork to your hands causing pain. It could go some was into making your whole body react to a poor road surface. You are riding a long way. You may need to develop methods of relieving your body from your constant riding position to alleviate foot pain, etc. while out on a ride.

It is probably At least partially the need for me to condition more. I have put in some very long days on the bike in the past, but I have only been adding the miles on starting this year after having about 4 years gap. I think a large issue is speed. With groups I ride with I often spend long times coasting and it always wears on me to be off power especially over the cracked pavement.

My son is 6' 3" and I have tried to give him 62cm frames with 130mm stems but he still complains that the bike is too small. You, on the other hand feel a more compact riding position is more comfortable. Everyone is different. The comfortable position is what you are after and your old bike was much better for you. I, on the other hand usually ride a 58cm frame but I honestly can't drop my frame size to 57cm as I feel too cramped loosing power and it starts to hurt my body more. I can, however, go up in size to 60cm and be comfortable. I even have bikes with a 62cm seat tube and can ride them with more comfort then a 57cm frame. But.....everyone is different.

Seeing your old frame was a 62cm, I think that is a good place to start your quest for a good quality frame. I really hope you can re-assemble your old frame enough to take some set-up measurements and perhaps start your frame search again. I would probably sell the frame you just bought and look for another 62cm frame. You may loose valuable money doing this but if you are going to be riding long distances, it will be worth it in the long run. Don't disregard the top tube length as these can change significantly on a 62cm frame. And....an 80mm stem does sound really short. I recommend looking at Italian style frames that often have a longer seat tube to the top tube.

I believe youíre right here. I believe that Iím highly intolerant of smaller bikes... my mtb is much longer, my cruiser which Iím comfortable on for 2-3 hours is relatively huge compared to a road bike. The root of the whole issue could be mostly down to insufficient saddle height.

I wish i could get my okd frame back, but it was stolen a week after I sold it.
If my frame is 'my size' I'd probably set myself up on the bike in stages. First, I'd set my body on the bike. Height of saddle to give a slight bend of the knee whilst the pedal is at it's lowest while actually riding and saddle position backwards or forwards to position my knee correctly. An indicator of knee position I have sometimes used for a road bike: With you in position get a friend to drop a vertical line down from the front of your knee and see where it intersects your foot on the pedal while the pedal crank and foot are at a 3 o'clock position. I have been told it should intersect at roughly the pedal axle position. Sometimes a re-positioning of the saddle can adjust this position.

After this, I would adjust my handlebar reach. On a frame the correct size and using an average length stem, the reach should automatically be reasonably close to right. Thats why I do this adjustment second.

All this can change depending on the frame's geometry as well as the purpose for the actual bike. I've had frames with very relaxes seat tube angles (70.5 degree) and upright seat tube angles 975 degrees). As well as differing tube lengths. Basically I try to achieve the same position for my body but the purpose of the bike can change that.

Perhaps paying a good bikeshop to measure you up for frame fit might be money well spent. But finding a bike fitter that actually knows what he/she is talking about might be another difficulty.

As you said at the beginning of this thread, "My bike doesn't fit.....". Your seatpost has to be extended well past it's safe limit to find a comfortable length. You need a different bike.

I agree with all of your bike setup methodologies, if I had been mentally vigilant I would have measured 4 years ago before I bought it. Then again before I built it up! Haha. I also can see from the pictures that the angle of my back is unnatural and I need to do some core exercises and stretching so I am able to properly take advantage of a longer reach.
Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
I'd say your saddle height looks like it's in a good spot. Saddle setback as well. You seem most natural in position in that second photo, IMO. A 62-64cm frame (CTT) with a shorter (57cm or so) top tube seems like a good fit. That classic bar profile/drop in combination with those 8-speed levers is also increasing your reach. Compact-profile bars would, set up correctly, disallow an elevation drop (where the tops of the hoods transition to the tops of the bar) and a smooth bar-to-hood-top transition would allow a flat plane for your hands to rest on, getting you pretty darn close to your second photo where you're riding "on the tops" (of the bars). You're pretty darn close, just need to find a frame to play along.

Yes I think a 64/58 would be amazing! The STI shifters did increase my comfort but I couldnít quantify why. I want to try out a modern drop to get that nice flat area! A second ďtopsĒ sort of. .
Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
You look a little crunched up around the neck and shoulders. Maybe experiment with a lomger stem.

Earlier this year I moved my seat a few mm forward. This resulted in neck pain that didn't go away unit I went with a 1cm longer stem.

If I've learned nothing else in decades of cycling, it's that small changes can cause big differences in fit and comfort.
I definitely need to stretch out, itís like a catch 22 that sitting more upright causes more pain that seems to be cured by sitting even more uprightly
Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Adding a couple of notes here.

If a bike's saddle is too low, the rider will find themself sliding rearward on the saddle, perhaps even past the rear edge, in search of leg extension.
This then forces the rider to reach further forward to the bars.

I also often see riders using too much saddle setback, and so then needing a shorter stem to restore a comfortable reach to the bars.

So a bit of raising and moving forward of the saddle corrects at least a couple of the problems that I see.

"...I also slid my seat slightly forward. I put my seat to the max line...."

slightly forward really helped my knees especially. Noticeable difference. But I definitely need it to be higher.
Glad to see that some of my favorite "fixes" seem to have paid off!
But don't let the MAX line affect where your final bike setup ends up, just get a longer post. I'm also a lightweight, and since a forward saddle position further reduces bending force of the post I can certainly bring the line out of the lug a good bit while experimenting with fit.

The foward positioning of the saddle also eases the effort of the rider's getting out of (and back into) the saddle, which can improve the preservation of valuable momentum during such position changes, and also spares the rider's tired knees.


Thanks everyone for the very very detailed and comprehensive replies! I will for the time being rustle up a longer stem and I was going to get some new shoes soon as well, so I may spring for low profile SPDís which should give me 20mm or so of extension over my vintage LOOK 1st gen pedals and cleats as a holdover until I do something drastic.
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Old 09-04-19, 01:52 AM
  #17  
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You're doing a great job. I think everyone searches for a comfortable position. I used 'Rolls' saddles for two decades and was quite happy with them. I used to do some huge daily miles too. Then I bought a bike with a 'Concor' saddle and discovered a new level of comfort.

Your danger is doing some bodily damage with your big miles per week. Your need for a good and comfortable position is imperative.

Oh yeah, if you. (or anyone) are going the pick up the pace and try to ride near your max. then your heels come up and you move forward along the saddle. I think your heel was down in the third photo because you weren't peddling at the time. I bet your heel comes up as you are peddling.

My actual rough bike measurement before buy a bike: Of course I ask the frame size but to set it up for a test ride, I stand next to the bike and place my hand on top of the saddle. I then move the saddle and seatpost up or down to until My flat hand touches a particular and memorised point on my hip. If the seatpost is near its safe extension mark I know I will fit that bike. The only time this hasn't worked all that well was when I bought a Benotto that had a really low bottom bracket. It still fit me though.

I don't like putting oversized seatposts on vintage, horizontal top tubed frames as this is moving away from the design of the bike. I do, however like the seatpost to be extended to near it's maximum height.

As for the stem: Miguel Indurain always seemed to have his stem a little higher than what might appear to be normal. I think he had trouble filling his lungs with air if his stem was lower. Miguel was one or the world's elite bike riders.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 09-04-19 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:38 AM
  #18  
mechanicmatt
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From your pictures you do not look way off to me.

...I agree in purchasing a longer seatpost to give you greater heights adjustment. Setback looks okay to me.

One suggestion is to make one adjustment at a time. Don't get so obsessed over measurements. Get the legs and butt feeling good first and then work on shoulders and hands. Cramped feelings tend to need greater lengthed stems or longer reach bars, low back pain typically needs greater stem height or less reach, pain in the hands can go a lot of ways like handlebar shape or a variant of cramped cockpits.

If I am searching for general fit on a new frame, I will buy an extra long seatpost and a long throated stem at my preferred reach to start. That way I have plenty of adjustment possibilities from the start. Also, I will ride with handlebars not taped so I don't waste wrapping bars over and over until I figure what feels right height and handlebar style.

Good luck.
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Old 09-04-19, 07:46 AM
  #19  
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Saw the riding position shots. As I'm not specially trained at bike fitting, I'll merely say that I prefer less of a bend in my knee at full extension than you have. If I were addressing that situation for me, I would raise the seat a bit, and/or move it back a little. After this, I would assess my comfort regarding bar position.
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