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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
@mikesee: I really like your posts here, but I’m not sure why people like the Outside magazine author latch onto LLB’s fitting like it’s gospel. That’s something I’m curious about, especially given modern bike geometry.

As I mentioned, I don't know Lee. And I don't keep up with other bike fitters either.

The article caught my eye largely because I've read Joe Lindsey's writing for years and I have a lot of respect for him. He doesn't write anything he can't prove, he actually rides, and he thinks a lot about what he's going to write before doing so.

Those things used to be assumed, but it doesn't seem so anymore.

I was also interested in the article because I know way, way, way more people for who modern LLS doesn't work than for who it does.
 

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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
OP, I usually like your posts but this one wears a bit thin. I find zero shock seeing this now on the Lenz site https://lenzsport.com/bicycle-fit/ . That's a relatively recent addition, and one I saw them post about on fb recently.

Anyone draw any parallels between that and the Outside article, and what the initial post is poking at? Anyone know what bike manufacturer OP generally rides? Wink wink.

The times have changed. I loved my PunkAss Lunchbox but having moved onto more modern geometry (although carefully selected) I have a bike that is overall better hands down. And yes, including tech trails like Moore Fun, Dakota, and a trip out to New England for their tighter trails.
So, it's time to put on the tinfoil hat?

I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next girl, but you're off base. Devin Lenz is his own man -- what he does with geo isn't impacted by what I think, or vice versa.

Put differently, I didn't even know that was on his site.

Swing and a miss.
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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I agree with Peter of Yeti that 29" wheels have driven many of the changes, and it's arguably benefitted other wheel/tire sizes as well.

I had an '09 Trek Session 88 w/26" wheels that was one of the most natural-feeling bikes I've ever rode. I also had an '18 Slash w/29" wheels that I really struggled with.

9ers fundamentally corner differently, requiring more lean and countersteer. This requires a longer reach and slacker HTA. I went from that '18 Slash to a '20 Enduro and reach went from 460 to 491mm, HTA went from 65 to 64, and the differences for me were profound. The Slash felt like f/r balance was difficult to achieve and ft center felt dangerously short at times, despite it being about the same as my 26" DH bike. Enduro feels much more natural and intuitive to ride vs my Slash.

IME this is extremely complicated as geo is a sum of it's parts and riders are all different. I think that's why 29'ers sucked so much in the past, and it's taken so many years to finally make 9'ers that don't have that awkward feel the early ones had. My newest bike, a Transition Spur, feels very natural to ride, very intuitive and it's also easy to feel when you've got it right. Yes, technique is a bit more "forward" vs older bikes but this also makes bikes more balanced overall, you don't need to have your butt contacting tire on steeper terrain.
 

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Always in the wrong gear
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I feel like a 32" inseam at your height is long-legged. I'm a 32 and I'm 6'0"
sorry- maybe ambiguous? 32" isn't my cycling inseam. I guess I should say " I wear 30x32 Levi's". I'm sure if I did the "book in the junk" test it'd be closer to 30". I do know that my arms are almost exactly 5'9" tip-to-tip, same as my height.
 

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The thing that's easy to forget is you're not riding "forward" on the bike, at least you really shouldn't be. You're riding with weight centered. Ride a short bike, ride a long bike. Your weight should be centered until the need to move it fore/aft from center. Some bikes give you more range of that movement, but they don't "make" you ride front heavy or rear heavy when standing, unless your reach is way off. Then you really can't get far enough fore/aft. You might be more forward from something like, say, the seat tube...so it feels more forward maybe. It's about weight distribution though.

That was really poorly written. Too much coffee today. A way-too-short reach can get you back and probably too far forward. A way-too-long reach can get you forward but potentially not far enough back. Of course, chainstays affect that...This is probably why all of this can't be looked at in a vaccuum. Ignore this post. I'm rambling.
 

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The thing that's easy to forget is you're not riding "forward" on the bike, at least you really shouldn't be. You're riding with weight centered. Ride a short bike, ride a long bike. Your weight should be centered until the need to move it fore/aft from center. Some bikes give you more range of that movement, but they don't "make" you ride front heavy or rear heavy when standing, unless your reach is way off. Then you really can't get far enough fore/aft. You might be more forward from something like, say, the seat tube...so it feels more forward maybe. It's about weight distribution though.
Relative to older geo you are. It's even been called "forward geo", lol.


 

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Relative to older geo you are. It's even been called "forward geo", lol.


Are you though? Was the goal on old geo to ride with weight over the rear more than the front? I think shock-absorber arms should have always been the answer. Granted, we didn't feel stable on the old geo, but we would go OTB just as easy (easier) with locked arms, back on the bike...
 

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As I mentioned, I don't know Lee. And I don't keep up with other bike fitters either.

The article caught my eye largely because I've read Joe Lindsey's writing for years and I have a lot of respect for him. He doesn't write anything he can't prove, he actually rides, and he thinks a lot about what he's going to write before doing so.

Those things used to be assumed, but it doesn't seem so anymore.

I was also interested in the article because I know way, way, way more people for who modern LLS doesn't work than for who it does.
Not every LLS bike is created equal. Some cause me the same pain as LLB’s, others feel good to me. I don’t know the author, but his article comes across half-baked and slanted to only one perspective: LLB. There are so many other fit theories and applications that I found it reading more like an ad than something well researched. To me, that’s off-putting.

While, yes, i do agree that LLS doesn’t work for everyone, not every bike manufacturer is doing that. It’s not necessarily ideal for some types of riding, and other vendors do not have sizing that fits the edges of the height/fit spectrum (GG does not have a size 1, for example). And tall people I’ve been reading really do not like what the steep seat tube does for their riding.

With the industry’s decision to make the majority of hardtails and short travel 29ers only, it’s not easy to “size down” for short people. Like most things, this article feels like it’s trying to shoehorn everyone into Lee’s fit. And unless you’re the average male height range with the average ape index, this most likely won’t work for you.
 

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I really like Lee’s work and have benefited a lot from his theory of riding. (Him and Alex vibing on YouTube is filling a “stoner uncle wisdom” gap I didn’t realize I had.) But I think his fit methodology has some shortcomings.

The gist of Lee’s theory of fit is that the main pitch control mechanism for a bike is the lever arm from the hands to the rear axle with the bottom bracket as the pivot. Row the handlebars to apply force to the ground through the rear wheel; pull (or “anti-row”) the handlebars to apply force to the ground through the front wheel. I think that’s absolutely correct and a really key insight into riding dynamics. But the overall model and its application has some holes in it.

One of the weird consequences of this for the RideLogic model is that given two riders of the same height, it will recommend a longer bike to the rider with the shorter arms because they have a longer RAD. After all, the knuckle-dragger’s hands will be lower than the T-rex’s hands when they’re locking out a deadlift. Since the T-rex can pull the bar higher, the thinking goes, they can make better use of a longer RAD lever. As someone with a +5” ape index, this strikes me as beyond counterintuitive. After all, I’ve got way more row/anti-row range of motion than the T-rex, why reduce my leverage? Why is a deadlift lockout considered the maximum range of motion and not, for example, the length of the first pull of an olympic clean? Should women really be riding, on average, longer bikes than men of the same height?

A lot of this gets papered over with RAAD, which is the angle from the BB to your hand position, but in a world where stems are 45mm long, riser bars have 35mm of rise, and fork manufacturers won’t let you run more than 30mm of spacers, how on earth am I expected to get the handlebars on a bike with 630mm of stack to be high enough to hit those recommended angles? Slap some BMX bars on it?

Finally, the RideLogic model is really based around this single lever, which ignores the importance of the spatial relation between the rider’s center of mass and the tires’ contact patches. After all, that’s the triangle of support which allows us to turn. If a bike’s wheelbase is too short (as I can attest from years of personal experience), the rider has to lower their center of mass well past what’s biomechanically comfortable in order to keep from going over the handlebars or looping out. You can hip hinge all you want, but at some point you’re gonna need to bend your knees, and anyone who’s done a wall-sit can tell you it’s rough going supporting your bodyweight like that. Now, maybe that’s an issue for bike designers and not bike fitters, but the 480mm reach bike Lee thinks I should be riding had better be coming with a 60º head tube angle and 480mm chainstays, otherwise it’ll be a bad fit.
 

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One of the weird consequences of this for the RideLogic model is that given two riders of the same height, it will recommend a longer bike to the rider with the shorter arms because they have a longer RAD.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. Logic would say longer arms = longer reach therefore more comfortable on a longer bike
 

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I'm retried and after road riding for the last 2 1/2 years I decided to give MTB a try since everybody said it was so much more fun.

Finding a bike locally to try out proved impossible due to the supply shortages. I finally found a dealer 4.5 hours away that had the model I was interested in a size M/L which I thought was what I needed. After watching me ride it in the parking lot he thought it looked a little small but they also had a size L which they built up while I waited. Coming from a road bike they both seemed absolutely enormous. Being a noob I didn't really know what I was doing or what the bike should feel like so I took his advise and purchased the size L. Big mistake.

After riding it for 2 months on our local intermediate trails (and taking many spills) I came to the conclusion the bike was just too large for me. Luckily, by this time my LBS who I trust had received the same bike in a size M/L, just different color, so I went and talked to him. He offered to let me take it home and test ride it around (using the wheels and tires from my bike) to see if it was a better fit. By this time I had enough experience to know instantly that it felt 100% better and I was much more comfortable on it.

He couldn't do much for me on a trade-in but suggested I give The Pro's Closet a try to see what they would offer for the bike. Although it was a loss from what I originally paid it was still $1000 more than the dealer could do. So I took the hit, sold the size L and purchased the size M/L. And although it was a money losing deal for me I'm very glad I made the change. I've been riding 6 days a week, improving, steadily gaining confidence, really enjoying myself and I haven't been on the road bike in weeks.

And if you're looking for a low hassle way to sell a bike I would highly recommend checking out The Pro's Closet. The entire process was smooth as silk with great communication and immediate payment once they received my bike. My LBS boxed it up for free and I just dropped it off at FedEx. I have no connection to Pro's Closet, just a satisfied customer.
 

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I'd like the seat a bit lower but I have to trim the post because the water bottle lugs prevent the post from going down any further.
I can't imagine the bike fits you if the seat is too high at full drop. Obviously you want the knee ever-so-slightly bent, but the leg mostly straight while seated with the pedal down all the way. If you have to tippy-toe to get to the bottom of the pedal stroke, and the seat won't go down any more, the bike is too big.
 

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This makes absolutely no sense to me. Logic would say longer arms = longer reach therefore more comfortable on a longer bike
Lee's thinking is longer arms put your hands closer to your feet than someone of the same height with shorter arms...wait, that doesn't make any sense because that person would have to have longer legs to be the same height with shorter arms right? Wait, maybe his torso is long but his arms are short? o_O
 

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Lee's thinking is longer arms put your hands closer to your feet than someone of the same height with shorter arms...wait, that doesn't make any sense because that person would have to have longer legs to be the same height with shorter arms right? Wait, maybe his torso is long but his arms are short? o_O
This sort of thing happens all the time actually. Peoples proportions aren't really as regular/normal as you might think.

I have a buddy who is an inch taller than me. We both measured our RAD recently as we're trying to figure out what size new bikes to get in the future. And as it turns out, my RAD is 1-2in taller than his.

He has +3 ape index, while I have a + 0. And my inseam is longer than his (he borrowed my bike as a demo, and had to lower the seat by about an inch). So, apparently I'm all legs, with normal length arms. While he has shorter legs, and long arms, giving him a shorter RAD than me, despite me being an inch shorter.
 

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I can't imagine the bike fits you if the seat is too high at full drop. Obviously you want the knee ever-so-slightly bent, but the leg mostly straight while seated with the pedal down all the way. If you have to tippy-toe to get to the bottom of the pedal stroke, and the seat won't go down any more, the bike is too big.
My leg is slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke like it should be. I would just like to have the seat slightly lower than the handlebars. But because the seat post is quite long and the bottle holder lugs are in the way, seat even with the bars is as low as it will go. I want to trim 50mm off the post so I can have it a little bit lower.
 
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