Monday, November 18, 2013

Bike Fit 101: Stack and Reach - Part II

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how my wife was in the market for a bike, and how the concept of “stack and reach” factored into the process. Our challenge was to find a bike that had the stack Lindsay needed (58cm), without being too long on the reach (40.5cm). After researching the Slowtwitch database, we were able to narrow the field down to five that were reasonably close as well as easy on the eyes:

is there a Spruce Lake Triathlon?

BH GC Aero
Blue Triad
Cannondale Slice
Felt B12
Specialized Shiv

The Blue Triad (size ML) was the best fit on paper, but it proved to be quite elusive. A local Blue retailer didn't have any in stock, and surprisingly we couldn’t find any online in that size. The next size down was also a decent fit to Lindsay's stack/reach numbers, and we found a great deal for one on eBay. However, adjustability is still important, even if the stack/reach are close. We requested the expertise of bike fitter Mike Mamales (who fitted Lindsay in the first place) who discouraged this particular one due to lack of adjustability of the aerobars.

We were also unsuccessful in finding a BH GC Aero option in Lindsay’s size, and the Shivs we saw were a bit out of our target price range. We found a great deal on a new, 2013 Felt B12, and it looked like this was the one. However, Lindsay ultimately decided it looked a little too similar to my Felt B16… it's a great looking bike, but she thought we'd look like the Bobbsey Twins showing up at the Spruce Lake Triathlon. I thought we could get matching helmets, shoes, and sunglasses as well... wouldn't that be adorable? 

No, it wouldn't.

For some reason the Cannondale Slice was the last bike on the short list that got serious consideration, but it ultimately turned out to be the prettiest girl at the ball. As a bonus, a local retailer had it in stock, and Lindsay was able to give it a test ride. She sent them the stack, reach, and other measurements from her bike fit, which helped them prep it for her. They called back saying they were able to add spacers (essentially raising the aerobars) to hit the stack number, but in its current form the reach was a bit too long. In order to make it work, they swapped out the Cannondale stem for a shorter 
Zipp stem, shortening her reach to the aerobars.

At the end of the day, Lindsay got the bike she wanted, fit specifically for her. It's literally snowing as I write this, so she has some time to hone in her new position in the pain cave before hitting the streets.

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