INTO THE RIDE #43
SIZE DOES MATTER!
by Randy Schlitter
In bikes the size matters; it effects the ride, handling and in some aspects the safety. Our Crank Forward bikes like the Fusion and Dynamik, for example, do a wonderful job of fitting a wide range of riders. The one-size-fits-all is an aspect not well applied to standard bikes, and even some recumbents, but works well on the CF’s because of the slanted seat tube. The slant is critical- the photo below shows why. The Fusion has more slant, and thus a lower seat height, allowing the shorter rider to reach both feet to the ground. The same exact seat tube, but at a steeper angle increases the height required to reach both feet to the ground. Before recumbents and CF’s it was just accepted having to lean to get only one foot to the ground. Now that we are spoiled by this feature, it is often touted as a safety aspect. I whole heartedly agree, since I too have been spoiled by the convenience and security flat footing offers.
Just a bit of difference in angle can mean the difference between a good fit or not on a bike.
The reason for the steeper slant on the Dynamik frame is to allow stand-up riding. We may eventually bring to market a frame designed for stand-up riding for the shorter rider. This would entail a lower BB and shorter cranks (155mm) as mandatory aspects of the design. Incentive to pursue this is not quite there, as many riders are very happy using the Fusion or Cruz.
Recumbents do not escape the need for different frame sizing. In our line up we have only two bikes that have only been made in one size, the Rocket and Tailwind. The shorter rider is once again limited on these models, due to seat height. The outcome of a short rider on too long of a bike is not always bad if reaching the ground is safely accomplished. Having your weight more in the middle enhances ride and handling.
NEW SIZES IN THE STRATUS XP
29.2” to 40.7”
The current standard and XL size have done very well to address the bulk of the demographic; however, there are a few taller and shorter riders that could benefit from more tuned-in sizing. For them we have created a three inch longer and shorter version of the XP, Small and XXL. The size ranges of the x-seams are:
|Small||29.2” to 40.7”|
|Standard||32.2” to 43.7”|
|XL||35.2” to 46.7”|
|XXL||38.2” to 49.7”|
This does not come without added cost. The statistical truth of sizing dictates both the shorter and taller riders are fewer in number, and there is a real added expense in accommodating these sizes.
There is some confusion as to what size to pick because of X-seam overlap. The overlap is good for dialing in the perfect fit. If you would order a bike right at your limit on X-seam you may not have much adjustment option. A good rule of thumb is to size the bike with at least 1” extra X-seam over your measured size.
More size choices allow that perfect fit to happen.
Size does matter and hopefully the addition of new sizes to the Stratus XP and understanding the slant on our CF bikes will help you in determining the best fit, and therefore keep you into the ride. Until next month stay safe, and stay into the ride!