Richard, I see that some have answered that the stem/hub relationship is not how they fit up a bike. I use that method and like it a lot, so I'll say how I do it.
First, I think there is nothing that can be done to make a too small bike comfortable enough to consider a good fitting. So, if the bike is too small, I don't do the fitting and waste the customer's money. It has been my experience that those who "fit" themselves on the internet end up thinking they need smaller bikes than I think they do, some comically (tragically?) so. So first, the bike must be the right size.
Next, seat height. I use the heel on the pedal method. That should straighten the leg without rocking on the seat.
Next, fore and aft on the saddle with the plumb line just behind the knee cap aligning with the ball of the foot.
After those things are in place, the hub/bar alignment is done with the hands in the drops. From that position, I like for the bar to obscure the view of the hub. In other words, they will be in line with each other. There are some smaller riders that this hasn't worked for.
Handlebar height is up to the rider and has much to do with comfort. Most of my fitting is done for people who want to be comfortable for longer periods of time as opposed to actual racers. We tend to use a higher position than most racers but not less reach.
That's a pretty simple method but it has produced good results. I do not tell people that this is "gospel" or that they should never experiment or deviate from the resulting fit we come up with.
My ideas about bike fit involve the position of the rider in relation to the wheelbase of the bike. It seems to me that the hub/bar alignment in the hooks makes for good comfort and even though none of my bikes are twins, they all feel best when I use that method.
I hope we see a lot of opinions on this subject. I'm particularly interested to see what Ted Ernst will have to say about it.
Pacific Coast Cycles
> Ahoy !
> With respect to setting-up several bicycles of various sizes, I am seeking
> the "Wisdom of The List".
> May I ask please: Where does your front axle align with your
> handlebars/brake lever? That is: as viewed from the side, where does the
> front axle align fore-aft with respect to handlebars/brake lever?
> For instance: On one of my bikes, the axle aligns immediately behind where
> the brake cable passes through the brake lever body.
> Richard Cielec
> Chicago, Illinois; U.S.A.