Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I went from a medium 2004 FSR Pro to a large but rode that for 40 minutes and realized it was MUCH too big. The cockpit was 2 inches longer than on my hardtail, an 18" Gary Fisher I always thought was too big. I'm 5'8", 33 " inseam.

My road bikes are sized so that when I look at the bars, they're right in line with the front hub. This required a stem only 1 cm shorter than stock. I have comfortably ridden centuries on both bikes. Now I'm on a 2005 women's FSR medium, and it lines up like that perfectly. The stock stem is so short, though, and it feels like a much smaller bike than the large of course.

Does the line-of-sight idea work with MTBs too? It was the advice I got from several sources back in 2001 but now I can't find any confirmation anywhere. Is it bogus? I did go to wrenchscience and it recommended a 17 or 18. I want to be able to do some singletrack on this but it will be mostly fire roads.

The rep has moved the disk brake upgrade three times now...do I dare go back again?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,982 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
I went from a medium 2004 FSR Pro to a large but rode that for 40 minutes and realized it was MUCH too big. The cockpit was 2 inches longer than on my hardtail, an 18" Gary Fisher I always thought was too big. I'm 5'8", 33 " inseam.

My road bikes are sized so that when I look at the bars, they're right in line with the front hub. This required a stem only 1 cm shorter than stock. I have comfortably ridden centuries on both bikes. Now I'm on a 2005 women's FSR medium, and it lines up like that perfectly. The stock stem is so short, though, and it feels like a much smaller bike than the large of course.

Does the line-of-sight idea work with MTBs too? It was the advice I got from several sources back in 2001 but now I can't find any confirmation anywhere. Is it bogus? I did go to wrenchscience and it recommended a 17 or 18. I want to be able to do some singletrack on this but it will be mostly fire roads.

The rep has moved the disk brake upgrade three times now...do I dare go back again?
The line of sight thing is just a starting point and in my experience applies more to road bikes than mtb. Of course....if you're looking to ride in the same position as your road bike, then all bets are off.

Typically, an MTB will be set up so that you ride in a more upright position than a road bike. This will help handling on the downhills, but will be at a sacrifice...to climbing. I usually set up bikes to favor my weaker points....in my case, decending.

It's all personal choice. What do you want out of your MTB? At 5'8" with a 33" inseam (is that 33" pants inseam or "true" inseam?) your upper body is short in comparison. Most people of your size would not go for a large FSR...even a woman's version. If you feel too cramped on the medium, have the LBS put a longer stem on the bike...and / or move the seat back a touch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Blue Shorts said:
The line of sight thing is just a starting point and in my experience applies more to road bikes than mtb. Of course....if you're looking to ride in the same position as your road bike, then all bets are off.

Typically, an MTB will be set up so that you ride in a more upright position than a road bike. This will help handling on the downhills, but will be at a sacrifice...to climbing. I usually set up bikes to favor my weaker points....in my case, decending.

It's all personal choice. What do you want out of your MTB? At 5'8" with a 33" inseam (is that 33" pants inseam or "true" inseam?) your upper body is short in comparison. Most people of your size would not go for a large FSR...even a woman's version. If you feel too cramped on the medium, have the LBS put a longer stem on the bike...and / or move the seat back a touch.
I want to do trail riding AND singletrack..I like to climb. The main problem I see with this bike, forgot to mention, is that the seat comes to 3" above the bars. I rode it around a little and it didn't seem to bother me, but I'm afraid to really work it out offroad for fear of dinging it up too much to return. Also, the front susp doesn't lock out like the FSR Pro, and it's bouncier because it's set for a lightweight rider. Not sure I like that, but maybe it's because I'm used to the mens FSR and my old hardtail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,982 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
I want to do trail riding AND singletrack..I like to climb. The main problem I see with this bike, forgot to mention, is that the seat comes to 3" above the bars. I rode it around a little and it didn't seem to bother me, but I'm afraid to really work it out offroad for fear of dinging it up too much to return. Also, the front susp doesn't lock out like the FSR Pro, and it's bouncier because it's set for a lightweight rider. Not sure I like that, but maybe it's because I'm used to the mens FSR and my old hardtail.
3 " above the handlebars? That's really high. I've find that too high for even pure XC.

Generally speaking...pure XC riding the seat is above the bars...(1-3"), even though 3" is pretty high. Trail riding is close to even (give or take a little) and FR / Downhill bikes have the seat below the bars...sometimes significantly below the bars.

The bike should be set up the way YOU like it. If 3" is too big of a difference for you (it would be for me), then you either have the wrong frame...or wrong size frame....or it's not set up for you. Discuss this with your LBS.

If you want the bike set up for..say seat 1" above the bars......that should be easy to accomplish with your current frame. The LBS should have left at least 1" of additional steerer tube in place. If your current setup is 3" above the bars and there is already 1" or more of spacers below the stem, then you may need a different frame. If they put the spacers above the stem...then it's easily changed. Hopefully, the LBS did not already cut the fork steerer tube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Blue Shorts said:
3 " above the handlebars? That's really high. I've find that too high for even pure XC.

If you want the bike set up for..say seat 1" above the bars......that should be easy to accomplish with your current frame. The LBS should have left at least 1" of additional steerer tube in place. If your current setup is 3" above the bars and there is already 1" or more of spacers below the stem, then you may need a different frame. If they put the spacers above the stem...then it's easily changed. Hopefully, the LBS did not already cut the fork steerer tube.
the sales guy/mechanic indicated there wasn't much left to work with, like a cm or something. He said the women's models were meant for short-waisted, long-legged women like me but yet it seems to me with such a short bar setup on an XC bike, the rider would have to have average leg length.

I'm starting to get paranoid because I have been back so many times and he has switch components around for me so much. Like I am a real high-maintenance pain in the AZZ but I swear I am NOT, under normal circumstances!
 

·
There's no app for this.
Joined
·
5,369 Posts
Hokay, lemme have a try to help...

don't get frustrated, we can figure this out. I think. ;)

1) don't forget there's a women's forum on here and they can be way more helpful than us lowly men sometimes, if not all the time.

2) here's a set of links to bike fit that is pretty exhaustive, keep for a reference if you're stumped or need to know more than your shop guy.
https://www.cyclemetrics.com/Pages/FitLinks/bike_fit_links.htm

3) here's a site that splains fit, but more importantly, the "ripple effect" of moving one component and how it affects other parts and efficiency.
https://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1998/03mar/kronpa.htm

Last, my words: You have to throw out expectations from what you know from road biking. You should be able to sit in the saddle and feel balanced and comfortable in the cockpit (saddle to bars.) You've got a cm to work with the steerer tube and stem, and the steerer tube can be recessed below the stem cap a bit and still be totally safe, so that should be OK to add some spacer if needed. (2.54cm=1 inch) And there are stems that are 'riser' for more height.

I think you need to continue to work with the LBS, but also to get a bit more familiar with the feel of MTB over Road bikes. And I think we share your frustration because we can't see whatcher looking like on the bike.

anyhow, keep at it, we'll help as best we can.

Cheers, Jim

There are few pix of a comfortable looking rider, this is the best I can find, sorry...
 

·
I like Monkeys
Joined
·
886 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
the sales guy/mechanic indicated there wasn't much left to work with, like a cm or something. He said the women's models were meant for short-waisted, long-legged women like me but yet it seems to me with such a short bar setup on an XC bike, the rider would have to have average leg length.

I'm starting to get paranoid because I have been back so many times and he has switch components around for me so much. Like I am a real high-maintenance pain in the AZZ but I swear I am NOT, under normal circumstances!
I'm riding an '04 stumpy that it took me a year to fit. I was ready to sell it a month ago. I felt like there was too much weight on my hands. The measurements were identical (I thought) to my old perfect fitting fuel. So I used my lighter bar and stem off of my old bike. But the one thing they didn't publish in the specs was the headtube, shorter on the fsr. I added a 17 degree rise stem with risers to raise the bar and viola! The thing fits perfectly. Maybe trying a stem with more rise may help. Felt like a fool for not figuring it out sooner. YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
VaughnA said:
I'm riding an '04 stumpy that it took me a year to fit. I was ready to sell it a month ago. I felt like there was too much weight on my hands. The measurements were identical (I thought) to my old perfect fitting fuel. So I used my lighter bar and stem off of my old bike. But the one thing they didn't publish in the specs was the headtube, shorter on the fsr. I added a 17 degree rise stem with risers to raise the bar and viola! The thing fits perfectly. Maybe trying a stem with more rise may help. Felt like a fool for not figuring it out sooner. YMMV
I'm going to try that today...what are risers? A riser bar? I'll probably try the stem first before more rise on the stock bars.

Thanks!
 

·
I like Monkeys
Joined
·
886 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
I'm going to try that today...what are risers? A riser bar? I'll probably try the stem first before more rise on the stock bars.

Thanks!
Yep, riser bar, the original was a riser bar that I took off and replaced with my old flatbar. The new stem with original Riser bars fit great and did the trick. Keep trying, now that I have my stumpy fitting correctly I really love it!

Good Luck
Vaughn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
JimC. said:
don't get frustrated, we can figure this out. I think. ;)

1) don't forget there's a women's forum on here and they can be way more helpful than us lowly men sometimes, if not all the time.

2) here's a set of links to bike fit that is pretty exhaustive, keep for a reference if you're stumped or need to know more than your shop guy.
https://www.cyclemetrics.com/Pages/FitLinks/bike_fit_links.htm

3) here's a site that splains fit, but more importantly, the "ripple effect" of moving one component and how it affects other parts and efficiency.
https://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1998/03mar/kronpa.htm

Last, my words: You have to throw out expectations from what you know from road biking. You should be able to sit in the saddle and feel balanced and comfortable in the cockpit (saddle to bars.) You've got a cm to work with the steerer tube and stem, and the steerer tube can be recessed below the stem cap a bit and still be totally safe, so that should be OK to add some spacer if needed. (2.54cm=1 inch) And there are stems that are 'riser' for more height.

I think you need to continue to work with the LBS, but also to get a bit more familiar with the feel of MTB over Road bikes. And I think we share your frustration because we can't see whatcher looking like on the bike.

anyhow, keep at it, we'll help as best we can.

Cheers, Jim

There are few pix of a comfortable looking rider, this is the best I can find, sorry...
How DO you get to post such a huge image? I'm having a hell of a time posting a dinky picture of my new FSR. :confused:
 

·
I like Monkeys
Joined
·
886 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
I'm going to try that today...what are risers? A riser bar? I'll probably try the stem first before more rise on the stock bars.

Thanks!
Just curious, how did the stem (and maybe riser bar) fix work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went to a longer stem but I think the same rise and took it out Sunday for a ride on a rocky trail. Overall the bike felt great, very light and I couldn't complain of pedal bob or anything like that, but my palms ached. I ended up raising my seat 1/2 inch for good climbing but maybe it's throwing too much weight on my hands. Seat is still 2 inches above the bars. But then, my hands hurt on my 50-mile road ride Saturday, too, on a 55 cm Bianchi that fits me perfectly. I think the culprit may be the unpadded gloves I was wearing both days.

Why is it so hard to find padded (full) gloves, anyway? I went through a pile of them at the LBS, none padded. I've heard that padding is for road only due to long hours in the saddle, then I've heard that padding was for MTB due to jarring.

Anyway, I may still go back to the LBS to see if I can get a higher rise stem. I like the lowrise bars the way they are and I don't really like the feel of being real upright on the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,982 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
I went to a longer stem but I think the same rise and took it out Sunday for a ride on a rocky trail. Overall the bike felt great, very light and I couldn't complain of pedal bob or anything like that, but my palms ached. I ended up raising my seat 1/2 inch for good climbing but maybe it's throwing too much weight on my hands. Seat is still 2 inches above the bars. But then, my hands hurt on my 50-mile road ride Saturday, too, on a 55 cm Bianchi that fits me perfectly. I think the culprit may be the unpadded gloves I was wearing both days.

Why is it so hard to find padded (full) gloves, anyway? I went through a pile of them at the LBS, none padded. I've heard that padding is for road only due to long hours in the saddle, then I've heard that padding was for MTB due to jarring.

Anyway, I may still go back to the LBS to see if I can get a higher rise stem. I like the lowrise bars the way they are and I don't really like the feel of being real upright on the bike.
It's nice that the LBS continues to work with you on this, but geeze...Don't they undertand the issues you are dealing with? Maybe I don't.

Anyway. The most likely cause for your hands hurting is that you have too much weight on them while riding...meaning you need to be more upright.....an issue for someone that doesn't want to be more upright. I'd suggest changing the stem to a higher rise...try to start with the bars around 1" below the seat.

I'm probably wrong (happens a lot :D ), but it sounds like you started this journey into mtb by trying to assume a road bike position on the mountain bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I tried the men's large and it just seemed too big and I didn't want to go there again. I've been comparing the geometry for the men's & women's medium and they're practically identical--same head tube length, same BB height. just 28mm shorter wheelbase and 27mm shorter TT. I think I would have the same fore & aft problem and in fact that's how I ended up on the large originally. The LBS said look how far up my seat was going, and I knew it would probably go higher. My seat tube is still in the "safe" range, though I think they gave me an extra long one. It takes a real MTB ride with some good climbs before I figure out where the seat really goes, and I can't get that out the front door of the LBS.

I just wanted to err on the side of smallness for maneuverability. I think I'm real close but it DOES bother me that none of the LBS in my town give any thought to bike fitting, other than "how did that feel? was that better?" after a short ride.
 

·
I like Monkeys
Joined
·
886 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
Well I tried the men's large and it just seemed too big and I didn't want to go there again. I've been comparing the geometry for the men's & women's medium and they're practically identical--same head tube length, same BB height. just 28mm shorter wheelbase and 27mm shorter TT. I think I would have the same fore & aft problem and in fact that's how I ended up on the large originally. The LBS said look how far up my seat was going, and I knew it would probably go higher. My seat tube is still in the "safe" range, though I think they gave me an extra long one. It takes a real MTB ride with some good climbs before I figure out where the seat really goes, and I can't get that out the front door of the LBS.

I just wanted to err on the side of smallness for maneuverability. I think I'm real close but it DOES bother me that none of the LBS in my town give any thought to bike fitting, other than "how did that feel? was that better?" after a short ride.
I was stuck between large and medium and went with the medium. And then had hand problems EXACTLY like you described. With the seatpost extended and the shorter headtube of the medium I had a lot of drop to the bar. I still think you should try a stem with more RISE not length. Try a 15-17 degree stem with the riser bars that came on the stumpy. I went from a 100/6 degree to a 105/17degree stem. I finally settled on my bars being maybe a half inch below my seat and it feels great. No hurting palms like I had and you described. Sorry you can't get someone to really pay attention to the problem. It's worth a try.

PS. Love the Avatar...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
VaughnA said:
I was stuck between large and medium and went with the medium. And then had hand problems EXACTLY like you described. With the seatpost extended and the shorter headtube of the medium I had a lot of drop to the bar. I still think you should try a stem with more RISE not length. Try a 15-17 degree stem with the riser bars that came on the stumpy. I went from a 100/6 degree to a 105/17degree stem. I finally settled on my bars being maybe a half inch below my seat and it feels great. No hurting palms like I had and you described. Sorry you can't get someone to really pay attention to the problem. It's worth a try.

PS. Love the Avatar...
I did it, I went to the LBS and got the next higher rise stem. If that doesn't work then I'll try the higher rise bars.

Cheers mate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
I am 6'2" with a XL (21") GF Cake. When I demoed the bike (in the parking lot of course) it felt fast stable and very nimble. For pure XC it is awesome but I wanted to venture onto the technical trails more. First try, I felt like I was on top of a 6' tall step ladder. Every dip scared the crap outta me. I lowered the seat and it helped some but the tipping feeling was certainly still there. Once I got back home, I convinced myself that it was just the fact that it was my first time on the trail. The next week, I went to another technical trail. Same feeling. On the smooth level sections it felt great, but if there was a dig or even a log, uh oh.... After I got home, I ordered a 90mm stem (down from stock 105) to shorten the cockpit. I hope this helps.
 

·
I like Monkeys
Joined
·
886 Posts
MTDirtGirl said:
I did it, I went to the LBS and got the next higher rise stem. If that doesn't work then I'll try the higher rise bars.

Cheers mate.
Ping. How did that work out for you? Once I start following a thread I MUST follow it to it's logical conclusion;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
VaughnA said:
Ping. How did that work out for you? Once I start following a thread I MUST follow it to it's logical conclusion;)
Thanks for asking but I haven't been able to really ride it yet. It takes me at least a half hour with climbs before I know if it'll work. It doesn't look like the seat is any more than 1" above the bars now. (It didn't feel uncomfortable before, overall, but my sore palms were talking to me.)
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top