The confusing world of bike sizing

The confusing world of bike sizing

When you go to buy a bike, you could be forgiven for thinking that bike manufacturers all size their bikes in a similar way and that as the size goes up, so the bike gets larger. Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth for many manufacturers. Historically, bikes were sized a bit like clothing – Small, Medium, Large and so on. Some folks  actually gave (and in fact still do give) the sizes numbers, but exactly what that number correlates to can vary – some makers use the height of the bike, others use the length. It is, in simple terms, a bit of a mess. Dan Empfield, the father of the F.I.S.T. protocol of bike fitting, proposed a method of bike sizing based around Stack and Reach. Start by thinking of a bike and now overlay a rectangle on top of it. Place the bottom left corner of that rectangle at the bottom bracket (that’s the bit the pedals rotate around). You should now be visualising something a bit like this (see left): Point 1 is our starting point. The Stack of a frame is the distance from point 1 to point 2 while the Reach of the frame is the distance from point 2 to point 3, where point 3 is the centre of the headtube. Since both the height of the bike and the length of the bike are important in finding a frame that fits you, this makes a far better method of sizing a bike than simply an arbitrary figure for either the height of the seat tube or the length of the...
Turbo-Drip-Tips

Turbo-Drip-Tips

Dripping onto your turbo? Hard-won evidence of your dedication to training and the challenge you’ve set yourself? Yes – without doubt. Contraptions to protect your steed from your hard-won drips?  A ‘nonsense’ say some.  They vary from fancy to basic, but whether you choose to protect your bike from the sweat actually making contact, or whether you prefer to wipe down after the event, be proactive in some form or other. Sweat is corrosive.  Those salty drips, drip after drip, aren’t beneficial to the life of those triangles of metal you spent your hard-earned cash on. The workshop reported an incidence last week of a front wheel being in situ for so long, in the line of fire from an incessant sweat drip, that when the bike was finally removed from the turbo and taken outside for a spin, an alloy spoke nipple snapped off – totally corroded! Similar corrosion has been seen in headset bearings. An extreme case is the actual snapping in half of a handlebar!  Admittedly, it was an extreme turbo’er, who’d sweated hard and long, but it just goes to show how deleterious drips of sweat can be. Catch it – or wipe it...