1 Sep 2015
HOW TO GET THE PERFECT ROAD BIKE FIT
So you’ve chosen the right frame size, but that doesn’t mean your bike fits yet. There’s a lot you can – should – do to tune your machine to your own physique. Why?
– To avoid injury
– To go faster and further
– For greater comfort and pleasure
Here are five ways to keep bike setup simple.
1. Adjust your reach
The stretch from the saddle to the bars determines your riding position. Ideally your spine should lean at around 45 degrees, and you’ll comfortably reach every part of the bars with your elbows slightly bent. An excessive stretch is quite common, especially for women, who often have relatively shorter torsos than men.
You can adjust the reach with longer/shorter stems or bars with a different reach. For example, the ultralight carbon and aluminum OS-99 CSI or the aluminum SL-K offers stem (pictured below) with its +/- 6º rise, which is available in every size from 70mm to 140mm, allowing huge adjustment.
Amongst FSA’s many stems is the SL-K, made from high-grade aluminum and weighing just 141g in 100mm length
2. Adjust your bar angle
Ignore the old advice about drops parallel to the ground – it will almost certainly put too much weight on your hands. Rotate the bars until you get a comfortable bend in your wrist and the hoods aren’t trying to pull your thumbs like wishbones. Height is also key. If you’re racing you’ll want the bar lower than the saddle, but otherwise level or even higher is fine. The defining factor? Comfort.
Carbon fiber damps vibration for enhanced long-distance performance, while a shallower drop, such as the 125mm K-Force Compact, is more comfortable.
If you’re racing, there’s still no need to suffer – the 150mm-drop K-Force New Ergo bar has large-radius curves and a wide, flat top to reduce fatigue.