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Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what?
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First post, so please bear with me.



I am looking for my first tri bike (used) and took everyone's advice and got a fitting. This was the first time I have ever attempted to get into the aero position. Based upon some flexibility limitations in my hip flexor (according to my fitter), being overweight, and having never ridden in this position before, I ended up with fit numbers outside the normal parameters.

The highlights are:

Saddle Height: 834 mm
Saddle Setback: -37mm
Arm pad stack: 773 mm
Arm pad reach: 463mm
Arm pad drop: -46mm
Frame stack: 631mm
Frame reach: 428mm

EDIT: 100mm stem, 172.5mm crank and a 155 mm specialized power comp saddle was used.

I am 6'1" with a 35'' inseam. I have approximately 210 lbs, down from 260 in the last year.

From what I've seen, the stack number is way out of whack based upon terrible flexibility. The fitter told me that with some trainer time and flexibility work over the winter I could get this number down.

So my question is, without a bike I cannot spend time on the trainer working on flexibility. Therefore, should I be looking for something that closely matches the reach numbers with as high of stack as possible and just work my way down over time?

Something like the 2014 Felt B series seems to have a higher frame stack (573 mm) and a narrow reach (436 mm) in size 58.

Thank you for anyone who takes the time to read this an reply. I greatly appreciate it!
Last edited by: QCTri: Nov 26, 17 9:43
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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Part of your problem might be crank arm length.

Also, which saddle were you using?
Last edited by: jimatbeyond: Nov 26, 17 9:41
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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I did an edit, but I was using a 155 mm specialized power comp saddle with 172.5 crank length.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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What other saddles did you test?

What other crank arm lengths did you test?
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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That's not crazy tall, but flexibility as a driver of stack is highly over rated. Exactly how inflexible are you in terms of a knees straight attempt at a toe touch?

If that is indeed the fit you need, (and I'm not convinced that it is) a 58cm B series with a few 1cm spacers + Profile bars adjusted up + a roughly a 9cm 30 degree stem would probably be more than enough stack, and keep that tight reach intact. Or a 58 P series. Or a 58 nearly anything with a non proprietary front end.

Going nowhere in the pool? We can help.



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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [FindinFreestyle] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for the reply.

Standing barefoot I can touch the ground with the tips of my fingers without bending my knees. The fitter mentioned my tight hip flexors when laying on a bench and bringing a bent knee towards my chest.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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Sounds like your fitter was seeking dysfunction. And located some. I wasn't there, and touching your toes isn't the end all be all, but at 6'1", 210, and decent flexibility, that stack and that drop are worth a second opinion. It probably won't change your bike size, but it might give you additional options, and it would almost certainly make you faster.

Going nowhere in the pool? We can help.



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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [FindinFreestyle] [ In reply to ]
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As Jim mentioned, crank arm length and saddle / posture are in play as well. That's not a top saddle for facilitating proper rotation.

Going nowhere in the pool? We can help.



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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [FindinFreestyle] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for the info. Unfortunately, right now a second fit is not in the cards. As someone looking for an entry level bike, a fit is already 20% of my anticipated purchase price.

From what I gather, the stack and drop are fluid while the reach is a little more static.

With that said, based upon the highest stack and the narrow reach, I am now looking at:

  • Blue Triad SP (575mm/432mm)
  • QR Kilo (568mm/424mm)
  • Felt B Series (573mm/436mm)

Any other tall and narrow entry level bikes I should be looking at?
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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Everyone else is pretty well covered it. That fit isn't great at all for identifying the right size bike for you.

Wrong saddle, flexibility limitation is nonsense (as a position-limiter) based on what you've told us, and if we could see pics I'm guessing the saddle height is a smidge too high as well (for the saddle you're riding).

This is ultimately the problem with fit first - it's actually pretty hard to do well and most people claiming they do it aren't providing any value at all. It's just a dog and pony show to keep you from only buying from the fitters that are good at it.

Listing things like crank length and the saddle used is essential information - if one thing was missing I would chalk it up to a mistake, but when nothing is listed I assume the fitter doesn't realize it's extremely important. Without knowing which saddle was used, fit coordinates are turn-by-turn directions that ignore the starting point. If you don't start at the right spot, taking a left and then a right and then a left won't get you where you want to go. But if you know where to start, then those directions can be extremely useful.

But even when it's listed, it can still be ignored. We have a competitor that has, on numerous occasions, told a customer our fit coordinates were bad when their setup led to bad results. But the bad results were because the competitor didn't realize you needed to use the same (or extremely similar) saddle to reproduce the same outcome. I know it seems like it should be Bike Shop 101 stuff, but not so much.

Trent Nix
Tri Shop - Plano, Texas
http://www.trishop.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
F.I.S.T. Advanced Certified Fitter | Retul Master Certified Fitter
Last edited by: trentnix: Nov 26, 17 16:11
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [trentnix] [ In reply to ]
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Attached was the only photo included with my report.

My understanding was this “fit” would help me find a frame that fits my body. I would then dial things in whenever I brought whatever biked I ended up with back to the shop.

It doesnÂ’t sound like this was all that helpful in finding the appropriate bike, which is disappointing based upon the cost.
Last edited by: QCTri: Nov 26, 17 16:23
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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QCTri wrote:
Attached was the only photo included with my report.

My understanding was this “fit” would help me find a frame that fits my body. I would then dial things in whenever I brought whatever biked I ended up with back to the shop.

It doesnÂ’t sound like this was all that helpful in finding the appropriate bike, which is disappointing based upon the cost.
No doubt it's disappointing. And far too common. I'm guessing the bike they'd put you on has no relationship to the report whatsoever.

Let's look at your fit coordinates and compare to a few bikes. Your armpad stack was 773 (to the top of the armpad from the center of the bottom bracket) and your armpad reach was 426 (from the center of the bottom bracket to the edge of the armpad closest to the rider).

A Felt B-series in a 61 has an armpad range of 714 to 793 if you use all of the spacers and flip the stem up to get to that highest point. But the reach on that bike has a minimum (armpads in the rearward position and mounted flush but behind the base bar clamp) of 463 mm, and you're FOUR CENTIMETERS behind that. So unless you are ridiculously long-legged, short torsoed, and have a metal rod through your cervical spine (or have a giant gas tank attached to your mid-section like me), that position is extremely unlikely to be appropriate.

Consider the Felt B-series in a 58 - if you flip the stock stem up and use all the spacers, it gets up to 748 mm for the armpad stack maximum. That means you'd need a +25 stem and use all of the spacers to arrive at those fit coordinates. The reach range on the 58 has a 444 minimum (again, using the stock stem and mounting the armpads in the aft position and behind the base bar clamp) - still 2 cm in front of you.

But the fact that you have such a shallow narrow armpad reach but still have a few cm to come forward on the saddle is more evidence that you fitter wasn't very skilled.

My guess is that, if fit appropriately, the 58 or 61 would be an okay fit in the B14. But I could have told you that if you'd just told me how tall you were. The fit report you got provides very little use in determining your bike size.

Trent Nix
Tri Shop - Plano, Texas
http://www.trishop.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
F.I.S.T. Advanced Certified Fitter | Retul Master Certified Fitter
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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QCTri wrote:
Attached was the only photo included with my report.

My understanding was this “fit” would help me find a frame that fits my body. I would then dial things in whenever I brought whatever biked I ended up with back to the shop.

It doesnÂ’t sound like this was all that helpful in finding the appropriate bike, which is disappointing based upon the cost.
Looking at your fit my suspicions are confirmed - saddle a bit too high, wrong saddle, and position is more upright than necessary.

Fact of the matter is, that fit isn't terrible based on what I see day-in, day-out. It just isn't very good.

Trent Nix
Tri Shop - Plano, Texas
http://www.trishop.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
F.I.S.T. Advanced Certified Fitter | Retul Master Certified Fitter
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [trentnix] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for all the insight Trent.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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Man I feel for you. I paid for a couple Bad fits before doing it myself with help from guys on here including Trent. ST will hopefully get you straightened out.
Last edited by: Fishbum: Nov 26, 17 18:36
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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If you weren't fit on several saddles and crank lengths, you should ask for a refund.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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Your fitter sounds like a classic charlatan or an idiot.

Start a thread like everyone else for your fit by internet session. ST can get your straightened out.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [QCTri] [ In reply to ]
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You may as well ride a road bike.... I had a fitter do that to me.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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jimatbeyond wrote:
If you weren't fit on several saddles and crank lengths, you should ask for a refund.

Nah, we all know "fitter" are perfect. From what I have read, most fitters do not have the tools to deal with different crank lengths.

Wow, 20% of the cost of bike and some wonder why so many are turned away from the sport.

IMO, for a beginner, just guy a used bike. It really is not that hard to get a decent fit by just reading stuff on line.

Oh well, yes, for many, I think paying a fitter is a racket, just like paying to have ones TV adjusted. But, just my opinion. :)

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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
jimatbeyond wrote:
If you weren't fit on several saddles and crank lengths, you should ask for a refund.


Nah, we all know "fitter" are perfect. From what I have read, most fitters do not have the tools to deal with different crank lengths.

Wow, 20% of the cost of bike and some wonder why so many are turned away from the sport.

IMO, for a beginner, just guy a used bike. It really is not that hard to get a decent fit by just reading stuff on line.

Oh well, yes, for many, I think paying a fitter is a racket, just like paying to have ones TV adjusted. But, just my opinion. :)

No paying a fitter with no clue and getting a result like above is unfortunately where the industry is, paying a good fitter and getting a proper result is money well spent.
Funnily enough, it seems the more they charge the more they don't know.
They are so hopeless they don't even know they are useless at fitting somebody, but he did have the fancy electronics and a fancy looking fit bike to fluff the customer out of their money.
I could make a bloody good thread by just posting up pictures of fits done by the pro's at a couple of local shops.
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [trentnix] [ In reply to ]
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trentnix wrote:
QCTri wrote:
Attached was the only photo included with my report.

My understanding was this “fit” would help me find a frame that fits my body. I would then dial things in whenever I brought whatever biked I ended up with back to the shop.

It doesnÂ’t sound like this was all that helpful in finding the appropriate bike, which is disappointing based upon the cost.
Looking at your fit my suspicions are confirmed - saddle a bit too high, wrong saddle, and position is more upright than necessary.

Fact of the matter is, that fit isn't terrible based on what I see day-in, day-out. It just isn't very good.

exactly.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
jimatbeyond wrote:
If you weren't fit on several saddles and crank lengths, you should ask for a refund.


Nah, we all know "fitter" are perfect. From what I have read, most fitters do not have the tools to deal with different crank lengths.

Wow, 20% of the cost of bike and some wonder why so many are turned away from the sport.

IMO, for a beginner, just guy a used bike. It really is not that hard to get a decent fit by just reading stuff on line.

Oh well, yes, for many, I think paying a fitter is a racket, just like paying to have ones TV adjusted. But, just my opinion. :)
I don't disagree, but how long would you estimate this takes? How long did it take you, for example?
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [lyrrad] [ In reply to ]
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lyrrad wrote:
No paying a fitter with no clue and getting a result like above is unfortunately where the industry is, paying a good fitter and getting a proper result is money well spent.
Funnily enough, it seems the more they charge the more they don't know.
They are so hopeless they don't even know they are useless at fitting somebody, but he did have the fancy electronics and a fancy looking fit bike to fluff the customer out of their money.
I could make a bloody good thread by just posting up pictures of fits done by the pro's at a couple of local shops.

Indeed.

The shitty-fitter business is still making money, clearly, so until we figure out how to ID and remove them, this will be a game of whack-a-mole. I'm not sure a public flogging by slowtwitch will shame any fitters into doing a better job, but a Wall of Shame would be nice to point folks towards to say, "hey, if you end up looking like this, the fitter's job is not done."

Also, didn't Dan write an article (series?) about how to prepare for a bike fit? I can't find it, and it seems like a useful thing to point to.
-J

----------------------------------------------------------------
Life is tough. But it's tougher when you're stupid. -John Wayne
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I don't have much experience fitting inflexible people. Is the problem that a fitter put him in that high position or something else?

Is Inflexibility even a problem?

I'm getting 144° knee angle (saddle not too high but I can see the toe down)
Hip to Femur of 95° which is a little open
Body to forearm of 80° (ok that's a little short)
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Re: Bike Fit: Unusually tall stack... now what? [karlaj] [ In reply to ]
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karlaj wrote:
The shitty-fitter business is still making money, clearly, so until we figure out how to ID and remove them, this will be a game of whack-a-mole. I'm not sure a public flogging by slowtwitch will shame any fitters into doing a better job, but a Wall of Shame would be nice to point folks towards to say, "hey, if you end up looking like this, the fitter's job is not done."

Also, didn't Dan write an article (series?) about how to prepare for a bike fit? I can't find it, and it seems like a useful thing to point to.
-J

i wrote that here. also, i told you guys how to identify good fitters. ask to see their work. they ought to have a portfolio. there is a field on our fitters database and you can search for those who ONLY have that portfolio field populated.

now, if a fitter does not have that field populated, don't go to him until he does. it's that simple. if he doesn't have a listing on our database, what is it the other 684 fitters know that he doesn't? at this point, if there's that many fitters who've got a listing there, when is it the fitter's lack of professionalism rather than a limit to our outreach that's to blame?

i can only provide so many tools for you guys! if you don't use them; don't know they exist; don't tell your friends/club/FB group they exist; hold fitters accountable to update and use the tools; if you don't read the articles; go in to a fitter with a list of deliverables; ask in advance on the forum for recommendations; i don't know what else i can do for y'all!


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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