Bacchetta Support

Recumbent Bike Fitting

The Perfect Bent Bike For You

setup1The following information is provided as a summarized view of proper fit and set up for your Bacchetta Recumbent Bicycle. For more detailed information and to learn how to make the necessary recumbent bicycle adjustments, please refer to your Bacchetta Owner’s Manual (also available on our web site) or visit your authorized Bacchetta recumbent bike dealer.

Frame Size

Your Bacchetta dealer is well qualified to assess and adjust the fit of your new recumbent bicycle, starting with the proper frame size. Choosing the correct frame size can be the single most important element in guaranteeing the proper fit and ride of your new recumbent bike. Below is a listing of our available models and frame sizes:

Cafe Bellandare Agio Bella Giro 20 Giro 26 Strada Corsa Carbon Aero
Standard Standard Standard Small 37.5″ Small 11.5″
Medium 41.5″ Medium 14″ Medium 13″ Medium 13″ Medium 12.5″ Medium 12.5″
Large 14″ Large 15″ Large 15″ Large 14″ Large 14″

The above numbers are the length of the boom on each of the individual frame sizes of our recumbents. You can check the frame size of your Bacchetta recumbent bike by measuring the boom from the center of the head tube (the area where the fork comes up through the frame) to the center of the bottom bracket (or center of your crank set).

Corsa and CarbonAero- Note that the boom lengths on these two models only differs by 1.5” between the large and medium frame. The remainder of the size difference on these large frames is achieved by adding 1” to the main tube, behind the head tube. The wheelbase on the large Corsa and large CA2.0 are 1” longer than the medium frames, using our fork. Wheelbase will vary some with different fork rake.

The different frame sizes allow you to choose a frame that best allows you to properly distribute your body weight over the frame.

X-Seam Measurement For Proper Recumbent Bike Fit

*The x-seam measurements shown for each of the individual Bacchetta recumbent models, are merely guidelines. Proper adjustment of leg length along with seat recline, all have the ability to greatly affect your x-seam measurement. Please keep these items in mind in choosing the correct frame size for your Bacchetta recumbent bicycle.

To determine the correct recumbent frame size, it is important that you take an X-Seam measurement. Different from the inseam measurement used on traditional road bikes, an X-Seam uses a measurement based on the entire length of your leg, which is a necessary measurement when purchasing a recumbent bicycle. Following are the steps, along with an illustration, of the correct method of taking an x-seam measurement.

  1. Remove your shoes and sit on the floor with your back against the wall.
  2. Make an effort to push your glutes (butt) as far as possible into the angle where the floor and the wall meet.
  3. Extend your legs in front of you with your toes pointing upward (do not point toes out).
  4. Have someone measure from the wall to your heel. This is your X-Seam measurement, which will be used to choose a proper size for your new Bacchetta bent bike.

We recommend that you have your Bacchetta recumbent bike dealer take your X-Seam measurement before riding!

After taking an accurate X-Seam measurement, your bike dealer can help you determine the correct frame size.

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Bacchetta Recumbent Bikes Fit Sheet

  1. Leg length/Pedal reach
    • While in your riding shoes and with your riding pedals on your bike, sit in your seat and move yourself into riding position (Note: most people find that once they sit in their seat and get ready to ride, they actually end up moving their butt forward a bit on the seat bottom).
    • Extend your heel to the pedal. When in this position, you should have a comfortable, straight leg. After this, drop down to the ball of your foot in your pedaling position. You should have a slight bend in your knee at this position. (See P.1) The rider P.2 was over extended and needed to move his seat forward a couple of inches. The rider in P.3 was too close and needed to move his seat back several inches. He also needed to recline his seat as well, which you can learn about in section two below.

    Notes: Remember that pedal reach is not only affected by your seat bottom fore/aft adjustment, but also by your seat recline. If you recline your seat more than a couple of notches, double check your pedal reach again.

  2. Seat Recline
    • Once you have confirmed your leg length, check your seat recline. For a beginner, you want to start with your seat in the sweet spot; not too upright and not too reclined. Look at some pictures of the more experienced riders, (See P.1) and then evaluate your own seat position.
    • Too Upright. (See P.3) If you’re too upright, you’ll close off your breathing and put your hips in an awkward position. Imagine yourself in your recliner at home. As soon as you recline the chair and put your feet up, your back reclines. This is the same motion on a short wheelbase recumbent. Experiment by reclining your seat a couple of notches before your next ride. (See P.3-2) If it feels good, recline it another notch. You can do this until you reach the point where it is beginning to get uncomfortable while riding and you’re losing power while climbing.
    • Too Laid Back. This is actually pretty rare with beginners. But, if you are having problems climbing or just do not feel comfortable at stops and starts (and your leg length is correct), try inclining your seat. Do this the same way as we discussed above, making adjustments 1-2 pin holes in the back at a time.

    Notes: Again, whenever you make seat adjustments, remember to check your pedal reach. For example, if you recline your seat and you are having problems reaching, try moving your seat bottom forward a bit.

  3. Riser/Handlebar Adjustment
    • For a majority of riders, the handlebar riser never needs to be raised more than 1” on bikes equipped with the B-Pivot adjustable stem. For the other riders, usually 2”-2.5” is the maximum needed. If you’re running a Stiffy setup, for bikes like Corsa’s with no B-Pivot, raise the riser by using headset spacers. We recommend 5mm spacers at a time until you reach the clearance you need.
    • Handlebar clearance. Remember, on a Bacchetta recumbent your handlebars are in front of your shins and knees and not over them. When you’re pedaling, you really need only 1” of clearance. You may of course have more, but not at the expense of improper arm reach. (See P.4)
    • Bikes equipped with B-Pivot. Again, most people only need the riser raised about 1”, so start there. Make adjustments for clearance, by screwing in or backing out the stop bolt at the base of the B-Pivot (if you push your h-bars forward, you’ll notice a bolt at the center of the base of the B-Pivot, see P.4-1).
    • Stiffy riser with BFT. Make sure and use headset spacers if you raise your handlebars, and read, then read again the instructions for properly adjusting the BFT.
  4. Arm bend/Wrist position
    • For a majority of riders, you are looking for a slight bend at the elbow.
    • Too much bend. For beginners, avoid having your upper arm close to horizontal with your upper torso and a 90 degree bend in your elbow. If you are currently set up like this, then chances are your entire bike setup is off. Start fixing this issue by backing out the bolt at the base of the B-Pivot (See P.4-1) We find that most riders who have this issue also have the B-Pivot on their bike. Back out this bolt until the bars are pushed out, then go back and re-check all of the fit issues at the beginning of this tutorial.
    • Too little bend. (See P.2) If you’re mainly into recumbent riding for comfort and fun with performance in second or third place, focus on adjusting your bike for a slight bend in your elbow. Try this: extend your arms fully out in front of you with your hands out in front of you. Now, pull your hands back. When you’ve pulled your hands back and you have a slight bend in your elbow, that’s your starting point and is the optimal position for most riders on Bacchetta recumbent short wheelbase bikes. If you’re a performance rider, you can work towards a straighter arm for better aerodynamics.
    • Wrist positioning. We see a lot of people with wrists that are cocked down or up. Neither is right. What you want is your wrist in a comfortable handshake position. You can accomplish this by loosening one of the top load bolts (See P.3-1) that connect your handlebars to your riser and rotating your handlebars up or down. Note: when you re-tighten the top load bolts, make sure that you tighten them evenly. If you over tighten one bolt over the other, you risk stripping out these bolts.

    These are some basic adjustments. We recommend that you look at the pictures from the Bacchetta website and our Fit Page here at our site, then look at your own setup and if possible, have a friend look at a correct setup and then view you on your Bacchetta. Remember, if your fit/setup is off you will not feel comfortable on your Bacchetta. You can make all the seat changes, handlebar changes and riser changes you want, but if your basic fit is off, none of them will make a difference.

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