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Thread: Can we talk about lame fitting?

  1. #1
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    Default Can we talk about lame fitting?

    So today I am out on my 34 mile lame ride in Michigan. We wait for a dude coming up from behind and when he catches us he is riding a brand spanking new (2nd ride today) Serotta Coeur d'Acier with SRAM Rival. Looks great. Except it doesn't. It is far too tall. Massively tall head tube. Lots of slope. Shortish looking top tube and about 2" of spacers beneath the stem. The bars are about even with the saddle.

    This rider is relatively young (30s) and is very, very fit. No issues requiring the odd position, according to his own words. My riding partner here knows him because the new and proud Serotta owner did his fitness evaluation this winter at some sports medicine lab. The new owner is a sports medicine dude.

    We ride about 15 miles together and the guy praises the ride quality of the Serotta. This I don't doubt for a second. But he then tells how during his fitting process he tried different positions on the bike and in this position he produces substantially more watts for a given heart rate than in other positions.

    But he looks terrible on the bike and the proportions of the bike are really effed up. And apparently he claims to race. There is no way this bike will handle properly at 35 mph in a criterium or windy 'S' turns bumping shoulders in the final 2 miles.

    Now I don't want to get all high and mighty and eurotrashy, but just look at the M-SR video for 15 seconds and you'll see absolutely not one single rider who rides like this guy or a bike that fits like that.

    What's the deal with the watts? There was discussion about Pruitt's fit methods and how he put a bunch of big name riders on shorter, higher stems. WTF? I am not a rocket scientist and I don't play a sports physiologist on TV but they must be coming up with some lab info that just doesn't work in the real world of bike riding.

    This guy has a brand new, terrific bike that looks to me like it just fits like shit and is based on some 'comfort' position on a fit cycle.

    To those of you know know bike fit and physiology and real bike riding/racing and everything else comment on how this crap goes from a fit cycle to a piece of metal that looks like a circus bike?

    And I am not a Serotta hater. Not in the least. My CIII was a revelation for me. A game changing bicycle. But it is a real race bike designed for that purpose. They can build bikes.

    How does this stuff get out of their factory???

    Just delete this if it is too inflammatory. But I think it is relevant because a person just spent thousands of $$$ on a bike that really will not serve his purpose. At all. And that does everyone here a disservice, especially the experienced builders/fitters who know WTF they are doing.

    Comments, please.
     

  2. #2
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    Have him take a close look at your bikes. They have some of the nicest proportions I've seen.

    -Eric
     

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergott View Post
    Have him take a close look at your bikes. They have some of the nicest proportions I've seen.

    -Eric
    Thanks. That's very flattering. But I am not special. I think most folks could ride what I ride. But I brought my Merckx into a dealer once to talk about just copying it in a Serotta steel C d'A frameset and the fitter called it 'extreme'. He then talked about shorter, higher stems, etc. I lost interest. I know that you just had them copy your Colnago and I guess they'd do that if I told them to.

    But I have zero training in fitting. I just know what works for me. If I fit nicely, so be it.

    But others could too. I think some of these 'fit systems' are a total farce if what I saw today is the result. Excuse my pompous attitude, but I call it how I see it and what I saw today made me P.O.d.

    I know that a bunch of experienced racer/builders post here and I am curious about their thoughts on this subject. Some of this may be why Jerk is going to make/market bikes and I want one. Because they look like they'd fit great.
     

  4. #4
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    There is not much you can do reasonably in these situations unless asked maybe it's best to just be supportive? Hey, you care.

    Dewd, tell me about it. Today I rode hard for about 8 miles...pathetic isn't it...with some young guys. One of them is rocking his hips badly and it's odd because he really does not even have the saddle high enough. Soooo finally I say "dewd I think your saddle is too high" and he tells me that he just got a fit from XXXXXX who is a very well respected local fitter. Soooo tell me how much higher did XXXXX put your saddle and how long had it been low? Apparently he had been riding with a low saddle for about 1 yr. and the fitter moved him up 3/4 of an inch in one shot. Folks don't ever do that....your hamstrings and calves won't like moving up that much esp. if you were stuck real low for a while. Eff me what can I say? Not alot other than "hey maybe that is the right saddle position my brother however let's call it a "target" and go ahead and move your saddle down 1/2 the distance than ride like that for a while and creep it up slooooowly. Whaddayahthinkaboutthat?

    Eff me Saab2k it's goes on alot and there is nothing you can do other than give folks a gentle nudge and to KNOW who you can trust and let folks know.

    I'm out.

    PS nice rant.

  5. #5
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    TT,

    I said nothing except how nice his bike looked. And it did. But the fit made my eyes water.....

    It's too late, the welding and painting are done and he's on the road with it. I am glad he's happy. But I wish the fitters were taught that a racing bike is not made by La-Z-Boy. Or Ekornes for this Eurosnob.

    They can be a challenge. But are more rewarding for the rider who will face the challenge.

    I dunno.... :cheers:
     

  6. #6
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    With such a rich tradition in racing, does it seem odd that Serotta isn't more aware of such a discrepancy or deviation from what they knew to now?

    I also know eff all about this, but their history speaks so highly of their work and now the bikes seem to be a drastic departure (fit wise). Not in quality.
    Dave Bradley...not the grumpy old Hogwarts caretaker "Mr. Filch" or the star of American Ninja 3 and 4.

    formerly "Mr.President"

  7. #7
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    once the tubes started sloping,
    the genie was out of the bottle...


    -g
    Attached Images Attached Images
     

  8. #8
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    Next time you're out riding and see this guy snap a pic. I think it'd be cool to see.
     

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    There was a picture of a Responsorium on the Serotta forum that made my head hurt. It's not there anymore but some of you may have seen it. What makes it worst is that I know the guy. He bought a Bianchi at a shop in Firenze and the owner spent quite a bit of time fitting him. The Bianchi was a 54 with a decent seat to bar drop. He later bought a Cervelo with all the whistles and bells and it was a 54. He decided he liked the look of my Pegoretti and wanted a Responsorium. He found one with a nice paint job and bought it. It was a 50. A few inches of spacers, a rising stem, and about a foot of seatpost and he was good to go. Just about the goofiest $8grand bike I had ever seen.
    I heart burnt bikes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnymossville View Post
    Next time you're out riding and see this guy snap a pic. I think it'd be cool to see.

    I need an Oakley Cam® for exactly such missions. There is a dude on the rides in VA Beach with a Trek with 6 inches (possibly more, I am not exaggerating) of spacers.
     

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    I need an Oakley Cam® for exactly such missions. There is a dude on the rides in VA Beach with a Trek with 6 inches (possibly more, I am not exaggerating) of spacers.
    Virginia Beach eh? I used to live down there. Probably saw the guy myself. LOL
     

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.President View Post
    With such a rich tradition in racing, does it seem odd that Serotta isn't more aware of such a discrepancy or deviation from what they knew to now?

    I also know eff all about this, but their history speaks so highly of their work and now the bikes seem to be a drastic departure (fit wise). Not in quality.
    I don't think it has anything to do with racing. Ben needs to move X amount of frames per month to maintain a viable business. He literally needs the phone to ring or receive a fax X amount a times per day to survive. He trusts his dealers to make sure that the product is a good one. His business in no different than most. Racing doesn't come up in their meetings I'm sure except when it makes sense from a business stand point. Just one business owners opinon.
    Ultraendure.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnymossville View Post
    Virginia Beach eh? I used to live down there. Probably saw the guy myself. LOL

    It's a very temporary thing. I'll be bidding out of there in June or July. Hopefully back to Washington DC so I can ride with TT and the rest of the kewl folks and do the Bike Rack rides and especially so I can to the Hayne's Point lunchtime torture rides.

    These two cities are so different it's hard to believe they're on the same planet. I am a DC guy far more than a Hampton Roads guy. Nice folks down there, but too flat.
     

  14. #14
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    you had me at serotta.....
     

  15. #15
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    I agree about the Hampton Roads. While I liked a lot of people down there the riding wasn't very good (to put it mildly). I actually feel sorry for the people who ride seriously down there. They do great with what they have to work with though.
     

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    once the tubes started sloping,
    the genie was out of the bottle...


    -g


    so true...

    also threadless steerers have allowed much more room for vertical extension than the old quill stems ever did, nothing wrong with them but more room for abuse.
     

  17. #17
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    I have no idea if this would work, but if he were to remove most of the 2" of spacers and got a stem a cm longer is it possible that the bike could be an effective racer? Are there reasons why the bike would not handle well, if the riders contact positions were changed to put him in a more aggressive position?
     

  18. #18
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    That isn't safe.
     

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackB View Post
    I don't think it has anything to do with racing. Ben needs to move X amount of frames per month to maintain a viable business. He literally needs the phone to ring or receive a fax X amount a times per day to survive. He trusts his dealers to make sure that the product is a good one. His business in no different than most. Racing doesn't come up in their meetings I'm sure except when it makes sense from a business stand point. Just one business owners opinon.

    Brother I hear you.

    I guess it is just Serotta's philosophy now. They do make some fine bikes.
    Dave Bradley...not the grumpy old Hogwarts caretaker "Mr. Filch" or the star of American Ninja 3 and 4.

    formerly "Mr.President"

  20. #20
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    I, too, have seen ill fit on many a Serotta over the years, particularly the customs. Too much head tube and too little seatpost, makes me want to crash just looking at it. The sloping top tube can put an even odder look on a bike. Not just Serotta, look at many folks on custom Sevens and a few other brands. I think they might just outsmart themselves in an attempt to please customers, build custom bikes (sized by someone at some shop - what makes all of them experts?) and do it on a large scale. Seems like a bit of a risk if you are of average height and build.

    I can see a few millimeters or a degree of angle here and there to accentuate different attributes, but I scratch my head as to where some of these configurations come from. Money talks I guess. The build quality is flawless though
     

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