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Old 05-18-2016, 02:33 PM
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pdmtong pdmtong is offline
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Fit: Vanilla Workshop philosophy (partial)

From their Instagram post today

Dialed. We do fitting different than what's common these days. The trend is toward a conservative, upright, safe position. Good for a 10 mile ride on a bike path, but without weight in that front wheel, the bike will never ride like a great race machine. We feel a responsibility to get people to that sweet spot for stiff, connected, sports car handling. #svfittour

Yes! Yes!! Thank you. Man I hate the upright trend.

The only reason I like more upright is because it makes my back feel a lot better due to a bunch of injuries that I sustained at a young age wrestling. let's me get out on the bike & feel like I did something awesome but not destroy my body in only a few miles.

it's counterintuitive, but the back muscles can actually engage and support the weight of the torso better in a deeper position. This frees the arms up to soak up shock and steer, rather than being locked out and holding the body up. Hard to show via the web. Depending on your injuries, this may not be applicable for you.

I use 160mm cranks. How does your fit system adjust for different crank lengths?

we carry different lengths of crank and adjust based on leg length and pedaling style ( masher or spinner)

Last edited by pdmtong; 05-20-2016 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:09 PM
beeatnik beeatnik is offline
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I like their let's make our less informed clients suffer (or not) style.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:27 PM
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false_Aest false_Aest is offline
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its not really insight.

just whispers on a windblown landscape.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:04 AM
nate2351 nate2351 is offline
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An upright fit works for some people but not others, same with a low fit. It's all about the rider and their body. You shouldn't force things.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:41 AM
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Tickdoc Tickdoc is offline
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I sure like riding behind the big guy with the upright trend, though ;~)
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:08 AM
fuzzalow fuzzalow is offline
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From the standpoint of optimizing a result for the purpose of sport cycling, Sacha White/Vanilla is entirely correct. And that correct racebike fit & position is a deeper drop - or as I have coined a phrase for: a greater angle of attack for the pelvis/torso unibody on the saddle and into the toptube & bars.

Of course there's more to it than simply striking a pose for that kind of position. But I know Sacha knows how to design the correct frame to meet racebike requirements as far as fit. And I'd see that as a frame that is designed more towards the long 'n' low side of the design spectrum.

Good on Vanilla for trying to "do the right thing" in doing what is actually in the best interest of their clients with concerning the fit, position and ride of a proper racebike. And for doing this whether the client knows this or not. But it is also safe to say that a typical Vanilla/SpeedVagen client is not coming off of a mass market big-box-bike manufacturer, who I believe has made head tubes longer and top tubes shorter to sell what they think an aging demographic consumer base wants to buy. But that's no racebike except for the decals and marketing - you might be able to get a racebike fit into one of those frames but I'd bet the typical customer would balk at the prospect.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:25 PM
benb benb is offline
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It'd be interesting if folks actually measured their front/weight bias with their fit and actually put their money where their mouth is, most of our bikes have heavy rear weight bias.

The disconnect for me, and Ti Designs had a GREAT video illustrating this is that lower positions by definition require higher pedal forces to counterbalance your upper body weight. Ed gave an example and showed how he moved to the tops when his cadence went up and power went down and then moved into the successively lower positions as he applied more and more power, using his upper body weight to help drive the pedals.

The thing is, if you're not racing and you're sitting in a pack of riders you're not going hard enough to hold the low position a lot of the time and you add in a long day in the saddle and bad roads and it's just too much weight on your hands.

There hasn't been much correlation between lower and better handling or "race like handling" for me. I've run between 2.5cm and 10cm of drop and some of the bikes handled better than others, my Trek Domane with 3.5cm of drop is probably the best handling bike I've had. I am thinking of raising the bars a little more. Last weekend I rode for 6 hours on Saturday. The position of that bike will never bother my hands solo, but for most of that ride last weekend I was sitting in and averaging 50% of my FTP. I am fine doing that if I ride on the tops but personally I will not spend that much time on the tops when I'm in a pack particularly if I don't know the riders REALLY well. The last hour I split off the group and significantly increased my effort on the way home. Averaged 17mph for the first 5 hours and 19.5 the last hour, in terms of watts it was about a +100w change that last hour. When I was riding at the upper end of my tempo zone by myself I wanted the bars lower. The whole rest of the day when sitting in dodging bomb size potholes and having to ride a few dirt sections I wanted the bars higher so I could get the weight off my hands at a lower power level while staying on the hoods to access the brakes.

I would wonder if companies like Vanilla do riders a disservice if the rider is not actually racing and they try and recommend a lowered position anyway.

Lennard Zinn has posted #s and rarely do race bikes have more than 40% of the weight on the front wheel apparently. More like 30-35%.

Vanilla sounds like the kind of place that would check my flexibility and say 10cm of drop cause I can lay my palms on the floor and touch my nose to my knee. It'd be fine for a crit bike but nothing else. If that's what they mean when they say race bike I guess that's fine but they should say crit bike.

If you sit up and ride no hands you reduce the weight on the front wheel to the maximum degree possible. And yet the bike doesn't fly out of control if you know what you're doing and the bike is well designed. So it's hard for me to see why 2cm vs 4cm vs 8cm of drop is going to make much of a difference.

Last edited by benb; 05-23-2016 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:51 PM
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pdmtong pdmtong is offline
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the folks who I have spoken with that have done an in-person fit with Sacha say he tries to get the weight balance centered between front and rear.

I would agree that looking at most folks there is a lot of rear wheel weight bias.

I have a pretty modest 7.5-8.0cm bar drop, 57.0 reach (tip to bar) on eTT 56.0 frames with saddle at 75.0. It is true that once I got lower and a bit further out (still on a 110 since the bar has a lot of reach) the descending balance improved a lot and the bike seemed to rail better.

although the bikes I have are all go fast geo, it is clear to me that my set up on said go fast geo still made a difference. Duh, I guess.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:29 AM
Kirk007 Kirk007 is offline
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I thought that lower position was why we use drop bars and not flat. I wonder how many folks running extreme drop ever use the drops other than the occasional sprint? I like to be able to go from the hoods to the end of the drops with no change in hip angle and without having to lock out my arms. If I want to get lower and longer I can go deeper in the drops and yes pedal harder to lift my rear a bit so that the hip angle doesn't close down too far. Or run deeper drop bars if you want to go lower.... Using Dave Kirk's balance test to determine setback I end up at around a 60/40/weight distribution. Getting to 50/50/would seem to require uber core work to carry that distribution without exhausting the hands and wrists. I find all of this interest though and plan on playing around with it some this summer.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:45 PM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
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John Cobb has some interesting ideas on this subject as well. I'm paraphrasing (so there's something lost) but he advocates rolling the hips as much as possible and essentially using the upperbody as lever to absorb bumps rather than relying too much on the arms. He drops the front end a lot -- not just for tri set-ups but road position too. I don't know how his ideas play out for the vast majority of riders, but he seems to be at least in the same ballpark as Vanilla. As Kirk007 says, it's fun stuff to experiment with...but our own physical quirks don't always allow us to fully follow different ideas.
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:40 PM
VoyTirando VoyTirando is offline
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For years I had my Pinarello and then later a few other bikes set up with classic Cinelli bars with deep drops, and a lot of drop from saddle to bars. Funny thing is, I barely ever rode in the drops. For one thing, to rotate the bars to get the tops flat for proper shifter mounting, it caused the drop to be even greater. Overall totally uncomfortable.

Fast forward to the last couple of years, both of the bikes I have set up to ride daily have a Nitto cockpit: classic bend shallow-ish drops, and maybe only 4 cm drop from saddle to bars... and now I ride in my drops for hours. Still not as much as the hoods, but what a difference.
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:21 PM
rallizes rallizes is offline
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Sacha is at Rapha in NYC this weekend FYI.

Perhaps it's already mentioned somewhere...
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:05 PM
ultraman6970 ultraman6970 is offline
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I do agree with how vanilla does the things, even i remember had this same chat with one forumite (do you remember md3000??) i met in the trail near by ... bikes are made to be fit and sit one way, if you site the guy the way they want to be sat in the bike then the bike and the weight distribution of the rider will be wrong, bike will not do what it supouse to do, specially if the rider insist in riding like seated in a desk.

Al of that is as simple as seeing how the bike moves from side to side or how the rider cant keep the bike straight to tell right away that the fit is wrong, sometimes is so simple as flipping the stem to notice huge changes even in the performance of the rider because now the bike is doing what it suppose to do. Fit is wrong the bike will behave wrong.

IMO great part of the problem are the shops and the way they always say yes to the client. THe client wants the stem 2 feet over the handlebar... ok there you have it... "my back hurts!".. ok lets put an aero bar so your back is stretched... and from looking at the guy you know the fit is wrong but they will sell the guy the aerobars and a couple of spacers to get the position more upright... so many examples around.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:24 PM
nate2351 nate2351 is offline
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At the end of the day Sacha has a very well controlled image to maintain.
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:02 AM
Ts55 Ts55 is offline
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I have a bit of an issue with this "fitter" since it does not seem they take any type of physical assessment into account for the fitting. Additionally, it seems as though they make a generalization that everyone should be fit the same way. But again, I will agree with what others have said. This company has an image to maintain, even if it is one that is incorrect for a lot of riders

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