@bobmac Here’s something that might help: 2 points on arm position in cycling – #1 |
Personally, I think bike fit is mostly voodoo. As a recreational rider, if you spend a lot of time in the pack cruising along and then punch the climbs, moving your bars lower doesn’t matter. In fact, if you’re riding for fitness, make your bars higher so you get a better workout by not being able to hide in the draft! For fitness watts/kg is really important.
If you want to be faster on the front, off the front or catching back on, your watts/CdA is really important and making your frontal aero profile as small as possible is really important. Smaller frame and lower body position can sometimes help you achieve that.
Maybe this will drive it home, Ridley bikes have the Helium as their lightweight, climbing bike, the Fenix for cobbles/endurance and the Noah Aero - all aimed at three different riding types. The geometry of all three frames are identical. The difference between the bikes is the tube shape and carbon layup “for comfort” or stiffness. When Andre Greipel, standing at 6’ 1/2” was riding Ridley bikes for team Lotto Sodal, he rode a size small (51 cm frame) in all three versions depending on the race. Further, he rode 40 cm bars and a 140mm -17 stem.
He is a world class sprinter. I am not.
I’m 6’ and I used to ride and race on a 58cm Ridley Fenix. I started riding and racing in the late 80s, so, I’ve got an old school view of bike fit. The bars were higher than I wanted so I eventually wound up with a 100mm -25 stem, It looked crazy, but, it made my reach exactly where I wanted it and I won several races on it with that set up.
My team mostly moved over to Specialized a couple years ago so I went with a 58cm Allez Sprint X1 w/ a 100mm -12 stem because this put my bars in exactly the same position as the Fenix with a crazy stem. I could just as easily ride a 56 Sprint w/ a 120mm -6 stem, but, I really like the Zipp SL Sprint stem and it only comes in a -12. I also went from 44cm to 38cm bars.
I read somewhere that 2cm narrower bars is equal aero reduction as removing 2cm stack height. I can’t remember where I read it, but, it makes sense.
My team moved over to 3T last year, so, If I get a Strada, it will likely be a 58cm w/ an ENVE 110mm stem because the reach is 10mm shorter on the Strada. ENVE makes a really cool stem system that comes with a shim that lets you do several different angles with the same stem. I can play with the shim until I find the height that works best because the Strada’s stack is 20mm lower.
That’s a long winded way of saying that if you don’t know exactly what size frame and stack you want and why you want that size and stack, just ride whatever you have until you can pinpoint something that makes you say, I wish X was different about my setup. If you can’t achieve that with a simple stem swap, then you need to buy a different frame.