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36" Inseam 5'10" Vintage Sizing

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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 dont 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. Its more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, youll 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.

36" Inseam 5'10" Vintage Sizing

Old 08-30-22, 12:03 PM
  #26  
63rickert
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You broke the Trek calculator. Humans do not have more than 50% of body height in inseam. Those who get close to 50% are long-legged women. So there is measuring problem here.

Assuming the measured height of 5'10" is correct that 24.5" Dawes (it is 24.5, sure of that from the photo) has way too much post up. Vintage seat posts were short. Campag 1044 posts were only 180mm.(straight part of post) and 70mm went in the frame for safety. A 23.5" Dawes would be large for a 5'10" rider, the 22.5" would likely work. When the Dawes was new 200mm posts did exist but we all saw them as very long.

Last edited by 63rickert; 08-30-22 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 08-30-22, 12:52 PM
  #27  
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My primary concern with any bike frame is the reach or distance from the saddle to the handlebars. Older bikes had short top tubes and were designed after criterium race bikes and not at all good for the average/normal rider. If the reach is too great and the stem is already short then the bike is too large. In the late 80's the rise of trathalons resulted in bikes like the Dave Scott Criterium that have more relaxed geometry and were great for general riding and for touring.

Easy enough to change out a seat post but it will also change your relative position over the bottom bracket which can affect climbing with a bike. But for a very short 7 mile commute this is not important.

One big advantage of a larger frame is more room to mount a rear pannier on a rack and have enough clearance that you do not hit it with your heels while pedaling. I usually ride a bike with a 22" frame but for touring I had a frame built that was a 25" one with relaxed geometry, including the fork rake.
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Old 08-30-22, 06:00 PM
  #28  
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Dawes of Birmingham was English and very traditional. Built with all-English parts way longer than was reasonable. They paid no attention whatever to fashion. They were not interested in criteriums. "Old bikes" use all different length top tubes. Depended on the designer. The number of designers who cared about crits was small.

Dawes Galaxy is a very well known bike. I personally have ridden at least three of them. Not one thing race oriented about them.
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Old 09-04-22, 08:17 PM
  #29  
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So the bike is, in fact, a 24.5", good eyes on that. The seat post is as high as it is, because that is where I need it to be for my leg to have a slight bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I couple of updates I've done the bike since my last update:

- kept the bars/stem/hoods in place as it feels comfortable now
- updated the BB to an IRD QB-95
- updated the crankset to a FC-7410
- updated the RD to a RD-7402
- updated the FD to a FD-7400
- I am currently building a set of wheels on Shimano 600 FH-6401 rear (ultraglide/hyperglide compatible 7sp) and HB-6400. I picked Pacenti brevet rims and Sapim laser spokes. Rene herse 700c 32c (Stampede Pass) extralight cased tires.
--- side note, my frame is 118mm spacing so keeping it at 126mm (which is where it has been with the 27 1-1/4" wheels) because I do not want to spread it any further (i.e. 130mm)

I've been doing a lot of research and still am not sure what I want, but trying to keep an eye out for a slightly smaller, high quality frame that I can move all of the new Shimano components over to. Raleigh International, Schwinn Paramount, certain model/year Miyatas, etc. I think a 60cm or maybe even a 58cm would be a better fit for me. Still open to recommendations on frames, I've been on a couple of 40+ miles group rides and shaving down some weight would be a welcomed bonus! It's not easy for me to keep up with the carbon bikes
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Old 09-05-22, 03:17 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
So the bike is, in fact, a 24.5", good eyes on that. The seat post is as high as it is, because that is where I need it to be for my leg to have a slight bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I couple of updates I've done the bike since my last update:

- kept the bars/stem/hoods in place as it feels comfortable now
- updated the BB to an IRD QB-95
- updated the crankset to a FC-7410
- updated the RD to a RD-7402
- updated the FD to a FD-7400
- I am currently building a set of wheels on Shimano 600 FH-6401 rear (ultraglide/hyperglide compatible 7sp) and HB-6400. I picked Pacenti brevet rims and Sapim laser spokes. Rene herse 700c 32c (Stampede Pass) extralight cased tires.
--- side note, my frame is 118mm spacing so keeping it at 126mm (which is where it has been with the 27 1-1/4" wheels) because I do not want to spread it any further (i.e. 130mm)

I've been doing a lot of research and still am not sure what I want, but trying to keep an eye out for a slightly smaller, high quality frame that I can move all of the new Shimano components over to. Raleigh International, Schwinn Paramount, certain model/year Miyatas, etc. I think a 60cm or maybe even a 58cm would be a better fit for me. Still open to recommendations on frames, I've been on a couple of 40+ miles group rides and shaving down some weight would be a welcomed bonus! It's not easy for me to keep up with the carbon bikes
A while back on ebay there was a higher-end old steel Serotta that had a custom-geo frame which would have fit you well.
Back in the day many/most? of these were custom geo and tubing to suit rider weight.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 09-05-22 at 03:18 AM. Reason: txt
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Old 09-05-22, 08:34 AM
  #31  
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Measurements with pictures

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
You broke the Trek calculator. Humans do not have more than 50% of body height in inseam. Those who get close to 50% are long-legged women. So there is measuring problem here.

Assuming the measured height of 5'10" is correct that 24.5" Dawes (it is 24.5, sure of that from the photo) has way too much post up. Vintage seat posts were short. Campag 1044 posts were only 180mm.(straight part of post) and 70mm went in the frame for safety. A 23.5" Dawes would be large for a 5'10" rider, the 22.5" would likely work. When the Dawes was new 200mm posts did exist but we all saw them as very long.
I should have supplied pictures earlier, but here are some showing how I took my PBH measurement (it's 0.5" taller because I'm wearing my cycling shoes in this picture). I also measured my wingspan, it is 76". Here are some pictures of me on the bike clipped in (pedals are the Shimano M324 so SPD clips on one side and flat on the other). I'm going to be actively looking for a frame once the wheelset is complete, but at this point have no real idea what geometry would be best for me. I'm going to research that more.





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Old 09-05-22, 08:17 PM
  #32  
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I don't know. O.p.'s proportions look more or less ... normal? They would have been best served just leaving us to wonder just what kind of genetic freak they were. Occam's Razor says they don't know how to measure their inseam. I don't care what the picture says. It did not show the entire path of the measuring tape so I'm calling BS, or poor technique. Easy enough to get 2" of error measuring yourself without help.
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Old 09-10-22, 08:27 AM
  #33  
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70" tall human does not have a 76" wingspan. Last photo shows leg at darn near lockout with foot angled down to stretch to pedal. The object is not to have a 'slight bend' in knee, the object is to get the pedals through bottom dead center smoothly without interrupting pedal rhythm.

It is not easy to see much with the ultrashort camera lens. It does look like this 5'10" rider is easily reaching the handlebars. Also looks like standover is not remotely an issue. 24.5" and 5'10" and no standover issue?
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Old 09-10-22, 10:08 AM
  #34  
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Well I'm not sure what else to say - I'm not making up these measurements for fun or as a joke. I guess I will either buy a couple of yard sticks or I will take a video and post it to YouTube. My arms are very long, I wear a 36" sleeve dress shirt. I measured my PBH with the help of my wife and came out at 35.5". I am not sure what you mean about standover, but the top of the top tube is about 34" from the ground (slightly down-sloping) and when I stand flatfooted and barefoot over the bike I do not contact the top tube (and I have room between me and the tube).

I had to have my wife shoot in wide-view just due to space limitations in the house, I can take more pictures outside if that helps.
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Old 09-10-22, 10:46 AM
  #35  
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Measurement Videos

Link to wingspan measurement video:

Link to PBH measurement video:
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Old 09-10-22, 01:22 PM
  #36  
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Curiouser and curiouser. I am going back to you broke the Trek calculator. Something just does not add up here.

The bike in the photos is not too big. Possibly on the large side but not out of bounds at all. I have never seen a 5'10" rider who easily operated a 24-1/2" frame. Have seen many make the attempt, none who did it at all well.

The saddle is too high. Try it lower. Just give it a try. The post will move up again if you can't cope.

This forum has a lot of cranks. OP presents as honest and straightforward and sincere. Otherwise I would conclude from the pictures the poster is 6'3".

This is vintage sizing. I am vintage. I ride bikes from the Dawes era and earlier. I am 5'11". Big bike in stable is 23-1/2". The frame has over 80mm drop. I graze the top tube. Not much post up at all. 1958 English bike, just about when they started to ride them large and with little post. Otherwise that bike would be too big. The other main bikes here are 23" and 55cm c-c (or 56.3 c-t).
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Old 09-10-22, 01:36 PM
  #37  
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Why did you measure your inseam while wearing shoes? That'll add about an inch or more right there.

To put it another way, inseam numbers presuppose that the measurement is done in bare feet or in socks. Otherwise, the measurement is meaningless, since the thickness of shoe heels plus insoles throws the measurement off.

Last edited by Trakhak; 09-10-22 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 09-10-22, 03:58 PM
  #38  
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I ended up measuring both ways because some videos/sites said with shoes and some said without. With shoes its 36 and without is 35.5.

The way I have the Dawes set up right now is actually pretty comfortable so far (longest ride on it like this was 40 miles). Since starting this thread I have changed quite a bit, but the seat post height was risen because I was having some knee discomfort when it was lower, but that was also before I changed the crankset so I might play with lowering it a touch.

I think the Dawes is 98% set up perfectly, my bigger issue is that Im trying to upgrade the frame to a nicer one and Im struggling with what size or geometry to look for with long limbs and a short torso. Im thinking anything I could make anything from 58-62cm work with the sweet spot being around 59-60cm C-T? But thats really just a guess. The Dawes is 62cm (24.5) C-T as a reference point.
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Old 09-10-22, 05:22 PM
  #39  
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All I can say is that wingspan of yours puts you in a much easier position to find a suitable frame, than if it was similar to your height.

Ignoring things like dropout width on your old frameset [if you're ok switching wheels], my first thought for a U.S. available nice rim-brake steel frame and fork [with decent tyre clearance if you want it]
is the Spirit tubing Crust Malocchio frameset.

Has the horizontal top tube which is closer to ideal due to your inseam.

57cm is 572/388.
Frame reach would be ballpark.
Frame stack a little low, but you could bring the bars up a bit, using one of those old style steerer+stem setups.

Next size up has what I'd call closer to a relaxed height, but the frame reach [and wheelbase;ride feel] could be too long, unless you compromise by running a short stem length and/or short reach bar, a bit like your current setup.

Crust has a 57cm complete for sale also.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 09-10-22 at 05:26 PM. Reason: txt
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Old 09-10-22, 07:28 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
All I can say is that wingspan of yours puts you in a much easier position to find a suitable frame, than if it was similar to your height.

Ignoring things like dropout width on your old frameset [if you're ok switching wheels], my first thought for a U.S. available nice rim-brake steel frame and fork [with decent tyre clearance if you want it]
is the Spirit tubing Crust Malocchio frameset.

Has the horizontal top tube which is closer to ideal due to your inseam.

57cm is 572/388.
Frame reach would be ballpark.
Frame stack a little low, but you could bring the bars up a bit, using one of those old style steerer+stem setups.

Next size up has what I'd call closer to a relaxed height, but the frame reach [and wheelbase;ride feel] could be too long, unless you compromise by running a short stem length and/or short reach bar, a bit like your current setup.

Crust has a 57cm complete for sale also.

thanks for the recommendation, I will check it out! I have new wheels being built right now (pick up Tuesday) and they will have 126 spacing btw
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Old 09-13-22, 03:46 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
Hey from Tampa, Florida. I've been reading a lot on here since picking up an old (early 1970s) Dawes Galaxy from Craigslist a few years ago. I also just recently bought my daughter a Fuji Royale mixte (1980s I suspect). I've been trying to read here about proper fitting and frame sizing, especially for these vintage bikes. I think my Dawes, as much as I like it, is just a bit too large for me. I'd like to pick up a frame and start working on building it up to suit, and so here are some measurements in case anyone can help me out with suggesting a proper size. If it helps, I'm looking to find a 'top of the line' vintage sport touring frame (whatever that means). So maybe a Miyata 610, Bianchi Randonneur, Colnago Super, etc. I currently commute 7 miles each way by bike and only pack enough for the day - computer, change of clothes, etc. and like to push the speed as much as I can both ways.

Saddle Height - 31.25"
Seat Tube 24.5"
Exposed seatpost 4.75" from the top of the seat tube to the rails of the saddle (brooks swift)

I am 5'10" and no matter how many times I take an inseam measurement I end up getting near 36" (which breaks the Trek online size calculator). Any thoughts?
i have similar proportions 88cm inseam, 180cm height. Online calculators were of no use, my 57cm frame was too big although it matched my height. It turns out the key measurement is the top tube length : you need the top tube (+stem) to match your upper body, the seat post will have to extend to match your legs, if it's too short, buy a longer one. My perfect match is now a 54cm Top Tube frame. Sheldon Brown was correct about it !
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Old 09-20-22, 05:01 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
Hey from Tampa, Florida. I've been reading a lot on here since picking up an old (early 1970s) Dawes Galaxy from Craigslist a few years ago. I also just recently bought my daughter a Fuji Royale mixte (1980s I suspect). I've been trying to read here about proper fitting and frame sizing, especially for these vintage bikes. I think my Dawes, as much as I like it, is just a bit too large for me. I'd like to pick up a frame and start working on building it up to suit, and so here are some measurements in case anyone can help me out with suggesting a proper size. If it helps, I'm looking to find a 'top of the line' vintage sport touring frame (whatever that means). So maybe a Miyata 610, Bianchi Randonneur, Colnago Super, etc. I currently commute 7 miles each way by bike and only pack enough for the day - computer, change of clothes, etc. and like to push the speed as much as I can both ways.

Saddle Height - 31.25"
Seat Tube 24.5"
Exposed seatpost 4.75" from the top of the seat tube to the rails of the saddle (brooks swift)

I am 5'10" and no matter how many times I take an inseam measurement I end up getting near 36" (which breaks the Trek online size calculator). Any thoughts?
Are you measuring your inseam from the ground to your pubic bone, the "pubic bone height"? 36" and 5'10" sounds like your trouser cuff length. For me, I'm 5'6" tall, wear pants sized 29" long, and my PBH is 81.8 cm = 32.20 inches. From the PBH I multiply by 1.09 to find the "conventional" saddle height from the pedal axis to the top of the saddle, in your case 36"=91.4 cm. If you subtract the typical 170 mm crank arm length for a not-giant 1980s bike, you get a saddle height BB to saddle top of 74.4 cm, or 29.3", 29 ⅓ ". This is a lot less than 31 ", and I would say your saddle is too high based on your numbers.

If it works for you however, go for it. But if you had an old-time racing coach like Eddie B. or Genzing (coached Merczx), this is what they have both documented as their starting points with a rider.

As you can see if you look back to Iride's post #3, there is not universal agreement. I don't worry about it, I try to just say what I would do and think, then brace for incoming -- lol!

Last edited by Road Fan; 09-20-22 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 09-20-22, 06:12 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by ericlowney View Post
I just remeasured the inseam with the help of my wife this time, she got 35.5" so maybe slightly more accurate than my DIY approach. Interesting about the saddle heights... I just hopped on the bike and it does seem like I could probably hike the saddle further up and decrease the amount of bend I have in my knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I may end up riding it into an LBS this weekend so they can take a look at me and see what they think. I was aiming for an older frame just because I really like the ride of steel and the appearance of those chromed luggs that come on some models. I just think they look a lot better than some of the new steel bikes that are lacking that character.
For me the limitation on raising the saddle is not the formula I have discussed, but whether my hips are rocking so as to cause my perineum location to rub side to side on the saddle. This can cause abrasion in that location, mild to severe (with bleeding), and it requires time off the bike to heal. I really try hard to avoid it, it so screws up the riding season! So leg-straightening helps in terms of pedal power and possibly knee comfort and that feels great, but there is a downside or limiting factor.
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Old 09-20-22, 06:21 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
The only caveats I would add would be to do this all in CMs assuming the bikes are sized in CM. When I convert a 36" inseam to CM and do the math, I get a 60.8 CM frame measured C to C. And, be careful with measuring saddle height from center of BB because it won't work if you have bikes with different crank arm lengths. As I said this always gets me in the ballpark. From there it's a matter of adjustments. I'm just sharing what has worked for me.
Yes, I agree across the board!
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Old 09-20-22, 06:42 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
Perhaps it would tell you nothing except how to fit "Mr. Average", but a normal '70s aesthetic for that frame, would, IMO, be:
  • seat about 1" farther forward, and level
  • stem 1 cm or 2 cm longer
  • brake levers about 1" farther down the bars
  • bars rotated so the bottoms slope about half as much as they do now
With the high hoods and rotated bars, it looks like you are emulating more modern bars. Nothing wrong with that, as Seinfeld says. You could try the first and last items above without much effort. Maybe you don't need the other two. They would all basically shift your CG forward a bit. That will either feel better, or it won't.
On my old '70s bikes (bought and ridden in the '70s) (20 years old) I tended to slam a Brooks back to the limit of its meager rail length. I would also have put the levers down on the bars so the tips are in line with the line of the drop section of the bar. I also set my bar height just a cm or so below the saddle, and I still try to do that at 69 years old. I didn't and don't race, so there's a level of aggressive positioning I never did. I also agree with rotating the bars down for the ramps to be nearly level, perhaps a little bit downward.

I don't think there were many zero setback or high setback seatposts. The steel-clamp types put the front of the saddle lamp about in line with the seat tube axis and there was a similar dimension for the then state of the art Campagnolo two-bolt Record. Now we have products which give you up to maybe 2 cm more and of course zero setback posts. If you needed your saddle farther back BITD, you needed to get a bigger frame or a custom frame.
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Old 09-21-22, 06:36 AM
  #46  
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I thought it would be fun to share with you guys some of the bikes I have owned and how they were set up. Both the Trek and the Felt I had professional fits done, the Trek was after I bought it off of CL and it was 100% the wrong size bike for me at 54cm (look at all that seat post!). The Felt, the shop had me size down the frame because I could get into the position comfortably and I was racing in Triathlons back then. But interesting to look at the progression to the larger frames, ending at the Dawes at 62cm. These are all of the road bikes I have ever owned, I will be picking up another soon and am looking at frames at 58-61. Any frames at the bottom of that window I will need to either test ride or get a smoking deal on it because if it turns out it's too small/uncomfortable I want to be able to sell it. But I do want to ride one just to see how a frame in that range fits/feels.


Trek 54cm

Felt 56cm

Dawes 24.5"
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Old 09-21-22, 07:44 AM
  #47  
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Dawes looks great! I think I missed a few of the postings - you like the saddle with the clamp setting it forward like that?
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Old 09-21-22, 08:30 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Dawes looks great! I think I missed a few of the postings - you like the saddle with the clamp setting it forward like that?
You know you are the second person to recommend I flip it around, I'm not sure how it affects how I sit on the saddle or maybe it just looks weird? I'll flip it and see. I haven't noticed any discomfort coming from the clamp/saddle. I am still learning, but at least after 3 bikes I'm finally taking drive-side pictures; progress!
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Old 09-22-22, 03:00 PM
  #49  
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It moves the saddle forward, maybe 1.5 inches. For some people this is a huge change, for better or worse. If you habitually sit very forward on the saddle this might be more comfortable now than with the clamp behind the post.

But I'm not recommending one position or the other. I'm saying it is a variable in bike fitting and setup. What you choose CAN make a difference in how the bike works for you, positive or negative. I can't predict which position is better for you; to have the clamp or its equivalent ahead of the seat tube axis or behind it.

I would suggest just riding it the way it is, doing all your normal rides, races, stunts and chores. If it isn't correct you need to analyze the problem, look at teh possibillities and attack them in a logical order.
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Old 09-23-22, 11:17 PM
  #50  
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61 x 57.5 complete.
https://charleston.craigslist.org/bi...527874285.html
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