Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

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Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:32 pm

Hi all...
Having some trouble with fitting a lady onto a road bike as she is a little vertically challenged (153cm). She currently rides a small framed CF road bike, with a top tube of 520mm, and a 50mm stem. The main issue she has at the moment is lower (L5/S1) back pain, upon hard hill climbing, or after about 50kms on the flat. Her form while riding is good, she is in a good position, with the bars about 5 rings up so she has a reasonably relaxed fit. She has a degree of elbow flexion in her riding position which suggests to me she isnt overly stretched out. I am not entirely convinced that a shorter top tube is going to be the magical cure, but having said that i think that she is probably at her maximmum reach with the above setup (520mm + 50mm). In conjuction to this she has compact, short reach narrow bars to help further.

The curret deometry of the bike is as follows:
Size 465mm
Top Tube Length 523mm
Chainstay Length 405mm
Head tube angle 72.5 degree
Seat Tube Angle 74 degree
Seat Tube Length 465mm


Included below is her figures as punched into the fit calculator at CC. Anyone have thoughts on the next move? Shes keen to upgrade to a full CF/Ultegra shod ride, but there seems to be a limited range of anything remotely close to the geometry suggested below.

> Subject: Fit Calculator - Your Measurements and Results
> Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 17:57:48 -0800
>
>
> Thank you for visiting competitivecyclist.com, and for making use of our Fit Calculator.
>
> Below are the measurements you entered, followed by our calculations for proper frame size and component positioning. You can refer to these numbers when choosing your frame and component package on-line, and you can keep them handy if you'd like to place an order over the phone.
>
> Measurements
> -------------------------------------------
> Inseam: 68.5
> Trunk: 63
> Forearm: 27
> Arm: 50
> Thigh: 53.5
> Lower Leg: 45
> Sternal Notch: 125
> Total Body Height: 153
>
>
> The Competitive Fit (cm)
> -------------------------------------------
> Seat tube range c-c: 44.3 - 44.8
> Seat tube range c-t: 45.7 - 46.2
> Top tube length: 47.6 - 48.0
> Stem Length: 9.2 - 9.8
> BB-Saddle Position: 55.8 - 57.8
> Saddle-Handlebar: 43.3 - 43.9
> Saddle Setback: 1.9 - 2.3
>
>
> The Eddy Fit (cm)
> -------------------------------------------
> Seat tube range c-c: 45.5 - 46.0
> Seat tube range c-t: 46.9 - 47.4
> Top tube length: 47.6 - 48.0
> Stem Length: 8.1 - 8.7
> BB-Saddle Position: 55.0 - 57.0
> Saddle-Handlebar: 44.1 - 44.7
> Saddle Setback: 3.1 - 3.5
>
>
> The French Fit (cm)
> -------------------------------------------
> Seat tube range c-c: 47.2 - 47.7
> Seat tube range c-t: 48.6 - 49.1
> Top tube length: 48.8 - 49.2
> Stem Length: 8.3 - 8.9
> BB-Saddle Position: 53.3 - 55.3
> Saddle-Handlebar: 45.8 - 46.4
> Saddle Setback: 2.6 - 3.0
>

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby gclark8 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:45 pm

The bike is clearly too big, look for one with 46-48cm tt and 650c wheels..

Giant had some OCRs in XXXXS a year or so back. I got one for Little Jackie. :wink:
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Nobody » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:22 pm

gclark8 wrote:The bike is clearly too big, look for one with 46-48cm tt and 650c wheels...
+1
Most bikes with 700c wheels bottom out at about 50cm effective TT.

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:27 pm

looking at figures, yep it looks that way... altho looking at the stem + TT length on the above fits, the reach is comparable to what shes on now...

which will pose the next problem.... getting a decent CF frameset in a TT length that short.... near on impossible....
looking at the trek site they offer a XXS in their lower spec bikes, but drop that size in anything mid to higher end...

any other manufacturers come to mind guys?

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Colin_T » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:07 pm

what about seeing a frame builder and getting a custom made aluminium or chrome molley frame instead of going carbon fibre?
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:05 pm

Colin_T wrote:what about seeing a frame builder and getting a custom made aluminium or chrome molley frame instead of going carbon fibre?


good fall back option if none of the major manufacturers make something suitable in size in CF...

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:43 pm

If we're talking lower back pain as in sacro-illiac joints, it could be a core strength and/or neuromuscular sequencing problem.

I have had the exact same symptoms.

Intitally thinking it was a bike fit problem, I went to see Steve Hogg at Roseberry. He cut the session short and gave me a referral to a manipulative physio in North Sydney, Martin Krause. martin solved the problem by straightening me out with some exercises and some therapy, and making some very minor tweaks to my fit - which included twisting my saddle a couple of degrees to the right. My posture had been a mess (he tactfully called me "complex") and pedalling technique in trying to compensate for that had terrible when we started.

It was gratifying that I had got my fit so close through rial and error, but freaky that those tiny little changes made the preceding months' therapy all suddenly click into place.

If I can just stop falling off my damn bike I might start making some progress. :x

Hope these thoughts are useful.

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby gclark8 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:15 pm

gclark8 wrote:The bike is clearly too big, look for one with 46-48cm tt and 650c wheels..

Giant had some OCRs in XXXXS a year or so back. I got one for Little Jackie. :wink:
Also short cranks, Jackie has 160mm on both her bikes.
Cheers,
George.

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Little Jackie » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:43 pm

Hi

George Clark is spot on when assessing bike fit for short people. I am 152.5 cm and the proud owner of an xxxxs Giant OCR, for which he did a flat bar conversion for me. I can attack any hill on it, and I am no spring chicken! I had a drop bar Felt before (he would tell you all the details), but, although it was supposed to be my size, I didn't realise that it was just too big, until I had a bike that actually fitted!!!!

Hope this gives you some ideas

Jackie

PS Even I could tell you (and I am not good at remembering measurements) that a 52cm top tube is far too big. I think my Felt was 49, I think the Giant is 47, but ask George

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:10 pm

gclark8 wrote:The bike is clearly too big, look for one with 46-48cm tt and 650c wheels..

Giant had some OCRs in XXXXS a year or so back. I got one for Little Jackie. :wink:


One of the ladies in my bike club is 152cm and races on 700c wheels. She has to order her frames, shops generally don't stock her size.
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:01 am

trailgumby wrote:If we're talking lower back pain as in sacro-illiac joints, it could be a core strength and/or neuromuscular sequencing problem.

I have had the exact same symptoms.

Intitally thinking it was a bike fit problem, I went to see Steve Hogg at Roseberry. He cut the session short and gave me a referral to a manipulative physio in North Sydney, Martin Krause. martin solved the problem by straightening me out with some exercises and some therapy, and making some very minor tweaks to my fit - which included twisting my saddle a couple of degrees to the right. My posture had been a mess (he tactfully called me "complex") and pedalling technique in trying to compensate for that had terrible when we started.

It was gratifying that I had got my fit so close through rial and error, but freaky that those tiny little changes made the preceding months' therapy all suddenly click into place.

If I can just stop falling off my damn bike I might start making some progress. :x

Hope these thoughts are useful.

thanks TG... nah she doesnt have any SI probs... more muscular and also a little bit of facet joint pain at L5/S1... throw in a little adverse neural tension in her sciatic nerve and all results in the above symptoms.... As u said, core strength is an important factor, and shes working on that

the facet jnt thing is a longer standing thing that i sort out from time to time (im a sports med doc and a manip pysio in a past life)

ps: speedy recovery from your fall... i read your post a night or 2 ago and nerly had a similar incident with a car yesterday... only thing that saved me from biting the bitumen hard was clinging onto the car for grim death... some how i got the bike back vertical and stayed upright....





Little Jackie wrote:Hi

George Clark is spot on when assessing bike fit for short people. I am 152.5 cm and the proud owner of an xxxxs Giant OCR, for which he did a flat bar conversion for me. I can attack any hill on it, and I am no spring chicken! I had a drop bar Felt before (he would tell you all the details), but, although it was supposed to be my size, I didn't realise that it was just too big, until I had a bike that actually fitted!!!!

Hope this gives you some ideas

Jackie

PS Even I could tell you (and I am not good at remembering measurements) that a 52cm top tube is far too big. I think my Felt was 49, I think the Giant is 47, but ask George




Thanks for the input jackie.. glad your all sorted....
currently loking at some Felts actually.... from looking around they probly make the smallest frames in both 650 and 700 wheels...


mikesbytes wrote:
One of the ladies in my bike club is 152cm and races on 700c wheels. She has to order her frames, shops generally don't stock her size.

what brand frame she ride mike?

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby hartleymartin » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:08 am

Sounds to me that she needs to ride on a frame with smaller wheels. Probably 650C if she's adamant on getting onto carbon fibre. You can probably find "juvenile-sized" bicycles that would suit her.

I get this same problem with kitting out some of my friends onto a bicycle. (I loan them bikes to go onto group rides) My sister is a bit taller at 160cm and at a stretch can fit onto a 49cm frame, but I just drop the saddle right down on one of my Raleigh Twenty's and she fits fine (could probably put on drop handlebars if she wanted them). Several of the girls in my youth group are under the 152cm-mark and only barely fit onto the little R20.
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:24 pm

anyone know of any manufacturers other that make TT of less than 500mm?
only ones i have found so far are Felt, who does a petite 650cc model in all component levels, and trek, who unfotunately drop the XXS sizing in anything above 105/rival gruppos.... have i missed any? cheers harry

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby hartleymartin » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:44 pm

Does she want to get into serious racing?

If she just wants a really fast bicycle for going on club-riding, then consider a custom-built steel frame. With quality alloy wheels, bars, stem, seat-post etc you can get a bicycle that is extremely light. And more-over IT IS GOING TO BE A PERFECT FIT! It will also survive any spills better than anything CF.

Carbon Fibre: Oppy C7 - 7.3kg; Oppy C6 - 8.2kg; Oppy C5 - 8.4kg,
Aluminium: Oppy A4 - 9.1kg ; Oppy A3 - 9.5 kg; Oppy A2 - 10.2kg

This bloke's bicycle is 653 tubeset designed for Audax Riding, and was ridden in the PBP. It weighed 10.9kg before he started adding his bottles, survival kit, lights, etc. It is quite possible to get a steel bicycle that weighs under 10kg.

To put things in perspective, the difference in weight between the lightest CF Oppy and the custom steel frame was 3.6 kg - about the same as 3 bottles of water.

I would probably be inclined to recommend The 653 Tube-set and perhaps this excerpt from Wikipedia will explain why:

653 - Was a mixed tubeset which combined tubings of different steels; made up of 753 stays with 653 main tubes and 531 forks.

Following feedback from Eddy Merckx that a pure 753 frame was too harsh for certain stages of the Tour de France, Reynolds produced a 653 tubeset which combined 753 stays with 531 main tubes and forks. The 531 used was a thinner gauge than usual produced specifically for use in the 653 set. Eddy and other riders were very pleased with the result, which combined a light, ultra-stiff and efficient transmission with a more forgiving and comfy ride.
Last edited by hartleymartin on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:55 pm

hartleymartin wrote:Does she want to get into serious racing?


yes very keen.....

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:39 am

Dr_Mutley wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:
One of the ladies in my bike club is 152cm and races on 700c wheels. She has to order her frames, shops generally don't stock her size.

what brand frame she ride mike?


Image

I can find out what the brand of her other road bike and her track bikes are if you need the info
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby gclark8 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:49 am

Little Jackie wrote:Hi

George Clark is spot on when assessing bike fit for short people. I am 152.5 cm and the proud owner of an xxxxs Giant OCR, for which he did a flat bar conversion for me. I can attack any hill on it, and I am no spring chicken! I had a drop bar Felt before (he would tell you all the details), but, although it was supposed to be my size, I didn't realise that it was just too big, until I had a bike that actually fitted!!!!

Hope this gives you some ideas

Jackie

PS Even I could tell you (and I am not good at remembering measurements) that a 52cm top tube is far too big. I think my Felt was 49, I think the Giant is 47, but ask George
Image

Image
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:34 am

George, Jackies bikes are nice looking.

As she want's to get into racing, she should stick to 700c wheels, as 650c wheels will give her a small performance hit
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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:34 am

Dr_Mutley wrote:ps: speedy recovery from your fall... i read your post a night or 2 ago and nerly had a similar incident with a car yesterday... only thing that saved me from biting the bitumen hard was clinging onto the car for grim death... some how i got the bike back vertical and stayed upright....


Very, very relieved to hear you managed to stay off the pavement.

How did the driver react afterwards to the situation?

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:17 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
Dr_Mutley wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:
One of the ladies in my bike club is 152cm and races on 700c wheels. She has to order her frames, shops generally don't stock her size.

what brand frame she ride mike?


Image

I can find out what the brand of her other road bike and her track bikes are if you need the info


mmmm nice bike.. i see on the pinny site that theTT length of the smallest frames are 500mm.. aarrgghh! lol

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:20 pm

gclark8 wrote:
Little Jackie wrote:Hi

George Clark is spot on when assessing bike fit for short people. I am 152.5 cm and the proud owner of an xxxxs Giant OCR, for which he did a flat bar conversion for me. I can attack any hill on it, and I am no spring chicken! I had a drop bar Felt before (he would tell you all the details), but, although it was supposed to be my size, I didn't realise that it was just too big, until I had a bike that actually fitted!!!!

Hope this gives you some ideas

Jackie

PS Even I could tell you (and I am not good at remembering measurements) that a 52cm top tube is far too big. I think my Felt was 49, I think the Giant is 47, but ask George


Image


thanks for those pics george, your help and advice is greatly appreciated...
I think the Felt is where the money lies... going to hed off to a few LBS today that do felts and see what they have in... would be keen to see how she fits on either the petite (650) or small (700) frames... dont like my chances of fidning them in stock in adelaide however...

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:24 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Dr_Mutley wrote:ps: speedy recovery from your fall... i read your post a night or 2 ago and nerly had a similar incident with a car yesterday... only thing that saved me from biting the bitumen hard was clinging onto the car for grim death... some how i got the bike back vertical and stayed upright....


Very, very relieved to hear you managed to stay off the pavement.

How did the driver react afterwards to the situation?


TG:
bit OT but bare with me guys... its a very long story and i have to admit it was largely my fault...
the incident involved a car going round a corner, and giving me a spray for no apparent or provacated reason... it was the typical macho male drinking a beer with his window down thinking i looked like a "poof" in lycra, and voicing this out the passenger window (while his wife was driving and his 2 small children were in the back)....

the silly boy didnt realise that the coastal road we were on had quite few slow roundabouts and with a tail wind, i was doing about 40 to 45kmh.... so wasnt long before i stealthly cruised up along side him and questioned how tough he was.... he literally shat himself... further up the road the car then swung into the bike lane just before a roundabout, giving me a nudge into the kerb... luckily i managed to cling onto the side of the car and got back upright and didnt hit the bitumen... funny thing is they pulled into a parking bay a few hundred meters up the road... was fair to say i was a little agitated by now, so i detoured into the carpark, and again questioned the antics of the occupants of the car...

in a flash the car windows went up and all central locking went on... the "tough" guy in the car suggested his mates were in a car further up and that i better get going or he would call them... was funny as i could see his top lip quivering as i was banging on his window... by now his children in the car were getting upset so i left it at that and cruised off....

Needless to say i would not suggest to anyone to do what i did, as in retrospect it was a very silly act, but i dont think this guy will be a pest to cyclists again anytime soon...

I am normally a pretty calm sort of fellow, however my agitated state was largely due to having a similar unprovoked act only 5km before this happened, by a L plate driver and 2 other beer drinking yobos in the car! After having to make a police report on the phone about this incident, it was fair to say i had very little tolerance for any further abuse... Was a wake up call to me however to keep myself in check, and also, not to ride during the holiday period in the afternoons!

now off to bike hunting at the LBSs :)

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby grasshopper » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:29 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:anyone know of any manufacturers other that make TT of less than 500mm?
only ones i have found so far are Felt, who does a petite 650cc model in all component levels, and trek, who unfotunately drop the XXS sizing in anything above 105/rival gruppos.... have i missed any? cheers harry

A sub-500 ett is indeed a rare species Dr Mutley. Glad you have found the Felts; good luck finding one to try. I found calling the distributor more productive than trying to get a LBS to stock a 650. Trek was doing a 650c (nominally called a 43cm) a couple of years ago but it was alloy - and specifically excluded from Trek's much-publicised test ride program. I didn't like it much, but I liked Trek's attitude even less.

The smallest WSD Specialized used to be 496mm and the smallest Lemond was 498 but these were both 700s with steep seat tubes. Teschner also theoretically had a sub-500 (xxs, alloy), but also a 700 and I'm not sure one was ever built up. The Giants still had a long geometry even when belatedly launched as WSD (the ett dropped minimally) last time I looked, so even the xxs 650c had an ett of 505mm! Ha. 650 BMCs are likewise long.

However, Cannondale does/did do a couple of 650s in the ballpark. The all C-DA model is a nice ride, and I got the feeling Cannondale was more helpful to the LBS in getting it into store. It was quite compact though, which might be of interest if standover is important to her. Sounds more like reach though.

If she's really keen on racing, there's nothing like custom though. Baum has a 650c test bike. :wink:

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:01 pm

thanks grasshopper for your advice/thoughts....
i'm somewhat more confused now, but in a way somewhat pleased. As expected no where in adelaide has any Felts in the 650s, or any CF WSD frames of anysize. The only felt found was a WSD alloy low end bike (sora/triple gruppo) in a Small (smallest of the 700s). Its geometry i think is similar to its CF counterpart, but alas it felt horrible to sit on (pardon the pun), and was a very similar fell to the geometry she is riding already.

Very interesting was a trip to a EMC2 dealer, who also carries the Giants. Unfortunately there was no WSD giants in stock to look at, nor any mens CF frames much at all. Tried a low end/alloy womens specific Xtra Small EMC2 with a TT of ~500mm and it felt very nice.... apparently the mens CF frame comes in an XS and might end up being an option... quite excited by this, but unfortunately, XS isnt available til jan/feb...

just looking at the smlest 700cc Cannondales at the moment, hopeful the Cannondale stockist might he ne here in town to sit on....

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Re: Another womens specific fit problem - any suggestions?

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:46 pm

Asked her tonight at the track. Steve Hog determined a top tube length of 496mm. Both her road bikes and her track bike have 500mm top tubes.

I'm wondering if the top tube lengths in your calculations may be a bit relaxed for racing? Perhaps she needs to see an expert such as Steve Hog?
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