More bike fitting tips for masters cyclists

Lyle Ellerbee

This report initially appeared on Velo Information

Have a query for Lennard? Be sure to e-mail him at [email protected] to be bundled in Specialized FAQ.

Dear Lennard,
Pertaining to your FAQ on fitting older riders permit me toss out two lessons I discovered for more mature riders. One particular is that with endurance geometry, there is no will need to get an oversize body to get the handlebars up higher enough, like lots of of us more mature riders were being employed to performing — a undesirable habit from the aged days. And 2nd, it’s really important at our age (67 for me) to have an understanding of how geometry influences stability and stability.

Also examine: Technical FAQ – Adapting bicycle in shape as you age

When I bought my 2016 Specialised Roubaix, it had the traditional slack endurance entrance close. I just did a test journey in a parking large amount, so I did not recognize how loose the steering felt at small speeds, like when climbing. When I did lastly notice, I wrote to you and figured out that what I was feeling was serious, and that it was all about “wheel flop” — a expression that at the time was new to me. This is a massive deal due to the fact several endurance and gravel bikes however have a fairly slack front conclusion, and I believe most more mature riders will presume that a slacker entrance close is much more secure.

In my investigations, I’ve run across two endurance bikes with much more intense, steady front ends. A single is the Cannondale Synapse, and the other is the 2017 and more recent Specialized Roubaix. There may possibly be others. In 2016 I was tempted by your customized titanium bicycle, and it turns out that would have been a substantially far better extended-expression investment, as I know you would have steered me, so to talk, in the right way.

Now that I genuinely know what a definitely very good healthy feels like, I wanted to make my 58cm 2016 Roubaix match a very little additional like the 56cm 2018 Roubaix. That in essence intended relocating the cockpit back about 2cm, so that my saddle position and subsequent angle of assault on the pedals is additional ideal. I experienced a pretty quick 90mm stem on the bicycle now, and I questioned you if heading to a extremely shorter 70mm stem will have an effect on the managing–would it make the wheel flop feel much better or even worse, or am I probable not to genuinely see the change? Your response was, “Yes, it will. On the other hand, you now have a pretty short stem and seem to be to be all right with the dealing with, and an further 2cm far more would not make significantly difference.”

I’m happy to report that worked shockingly nicely, with some unforeseen results. The saddle placement feels superior now — closer to a smaller bicycle. When I initial took off immediately after the stem adjust, the bicycle felt rather unfastened — far more so than ahead of, cruising at 10-15 mph — palms on the tops and hoods. I picture it’s heading to sense a small scarier the initial time I ride in a large crosswind. But it is rather stable at increased than 15mph, so perhaps that will be Alright. It was high-quality on the rapid downhills.

But when I went to stand for the first time, considerably to my surprise, the shorter stem took out a good deal of the flop. There is obviously one thing unique about staying vertical, with no authentic fat and the bars. The decrease leverage is evidently an advantage in that position. It does not sense locked in like a serious racing front stop, but the relative lack of flop is a large enhancement.

But even additional surprising was climbing. Again, considerably far better than just before. This may well also be a case of no real bodyweight on the bars, exactly where I’m primarily pulling back to steer, relatively than pushing to steer, yet again with fewer leverage. My two largest issues with this bicycle had been the flop when standing and climbing, so all round this feels like I got one thing for nearly absolutely nothing.

1 matter that actually did issue me a bit with the 2018 racing front close was the toe overlap, which I did not practical experience with the 2016 bicycle. I was startled a several moments on the 2018 bike, when earning really sharp, low-speed turns and puzzled if this was likely to be an ongoing worry. But I realized a number of months afterwards that I was not noticing it any longer. I appear to have unconsciously tailored my pedaling to prevent this. Yet another awesome surprise.
— Steve

Expensive Steve,
Which is fantastic you saved at it to locate a fit alternative that also improved your reduced-pace dealing with. That took perseverance when a lot of would have just thrown up their palms and been resigned to significantly less than ideal healthy and handling.
— Lennard

<span class="article__caption"> Short-reach handlebars with a tight radius might be a solution for riders seeking comfort without being stretched too far over the cockpit. (Photo: Ben Delaney)</span>

Small-arrive at handlebars with a limited radius may possibly be a answer for riders looking for ease and comfort with no remaining stretched much too far above the cockpit. (Photograph: Ben Delaney)

Dear Lennard,
With regard to the short article about fit/age and the obstacle of retaining a “pro” hunting bicycle, there is one particular selection that I believe a good deal of persons forget. Handlebars have a great deal of variance in their get to measurement which has the same in shape impact as stem size. In the final number of years, a lot of bars with shorter-get to proportions have been introduced. So, if another person has an more mature handlebar that may well extremely well have a arrive at of 90mm or extra, altering to a bar with 70mm of access may resolve their sit
uation even though currently being in line with their physical appearance/vainness ambitions.
— Scott

Pricey Scott,
Existing handlebar types with their shorter reach, shallower drop, and their complete-duration hooks extending back again much further than the vertical aircraft of the leading of the bar, have been a massive reward to tons of riders, and in individual helpful for more mature riders. The lowered access, mixed with the flatter top ahead area of the bar followed by a sharp preliminary bend radius and with modern lengthier lever bodies, present an simple changeover from driving on the tops of the bars out to driving on the hoods without the need of a major change in attain, and they offer a at ease system for the fingers with significantly less pressure on the ulnar nerve. The transition to a extensive radius bend with whole-size hooks and decreased fall suggests that more mature riders will actually use their drops, mainly because the fall and get to to that placement is not too intense for their neck to tackle.

On the “Merckx bend” bars of the 1970s and 1980s, the hands slid down alongside the curve of the bar down on to the top rated of the lever human body, which was shorter, skinnier, and usually experienced a hood that slipped all-around. It did not offer that great, flat platform for the hand. Hoping to prop up extra of the hand although it was angled down like that set pressure on the ulnar nerve at the base of the hand’s palm on the minor finger facet. The radius of curvature of these bars’ fall was frequent, dependent on the diameter of the mandrel made use of to bend the aluminum tube into the bar form, hence the lever needing to be positioned on its downward curve, and the ends of the hooks tended to come again to about the vertical aircraft of the bar prime, ensuing in a extended get to. Because of the lengthy access, the fall could not be lowered to the varieties of drops we see these days, mainly because, with the palms so much ahead, the wrists would hit the leading of the bar when in the drops, significantly when sprinting out of the saddle.

We’re privileged bar designers kept at it all of these a long time, from bumpy “ergo” patterns to the recent refined short-arrive at/shallow-fall models. Refined structure modifications can make a big variation.
— Lennard

Lennard Zinn, our longtime specialized writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a custom frame builder ( and purveyor of non-customized huge bikes (, a former U.S. national team rider, co-creator of The Haywire Coronary heart,” and creator of several bicycle books which includes Zinn and the Artwork of Highway Bike Maintenance,”DVD,” as effectively as Zinn and the Artwork of Triathlon Bikesand Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Servicing Guidelines and Ability Building for Cyclists.” He retains a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado University.

Observe @lennardzinn on Twitter.

For unique obtain to all of our fitness, gear, journey, and journey stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and equipment, sign up for Outside+ now.

Next Post

Seized Saleen Factory in China Slated for Auction

Photograph: Saleen It is been five several years considering the fact that Saleen introduced a partnership to expand into the Chinese market place and deliver considerable revenue to ease its financial woes. In 2019, The revived company experienced exposed five models ranging from a new iteration of the venerable S7 […]

You May Like