Fixing Bike Fit Issues: How a Long Top Tube or Stem Length Causes Discomfort and How to Adjust Your Bike Fit
Are you experiencing discomfort in your hands, arms, neck, or shoulders when cycling? A common cause of such discomfort is a poorly fitting bike, particularly if your top tube or stem length is too long. This article will provide you with tips on how to fix bike fit issues caused by a long top tube or stem length, helping you to cycle in comfort and improve your performance.
To identify a poor bike fit, sit on your bike with your hands on the brake hoods and look down at the handlebars. If the hub of the front wheel is obscured from view by the handlebars, you may be overly stretched, causing discomfort. Additionally, your knees should be directly above your pedals, and your hips should be level when viewed from the side. Before adjusting the handlebar position, it is important to fix the saddle position relative to the bottom bracket and pedals.
Raising the handlebars is the easiest way to reduce your reach and decrease discomfort. This can be done by adjusting the headset or adding spacers under the stem. However, be aware that raising the handlebars will also raise the handlebar height, which can affect your bike's handling. Shortening the stem length can also reduce your reach and decrease discomfort. But it's best to experiment with different stem lengths to find the one that works best for you