Bike size help



Equus123

New Member
Nov 11, 2005
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Hey everyone, I'm brand spankin new here. I've been into road cycling for the past few months and I have a question about which size road bike you all think I should get.

For starters I'm a female, 5'5.5", 126. I'm looking at getting a Trek 1500 for my first road bike. I think its a great bike for my price range (the bike store by me has ultegra front and rear derailleurs). When I first got into cycling (and had never gotten on a road bike before), i tried out a 52 and a 54cm bike. The 52 felt short front to back and the 54 was comfortable. Now, 4 months later, I'm interested in buying one and both feel comfortable in their own way. The 52 doesn't feel as cramped as before because I'm used to riding whereas I had never been in the position when I first got on it. Do you have suggestions as to which would "fit" me better? Thanks.
 
Equus123 said:
Hey everyone, I'm brand spankin new here. I've been into road cycling for the past few months and I have a question about which size road bike you all think I should get.

For starters I'm a female, 5'5.5", 126. I'm looking at getting a Trek 1500 for my first road bike. I think its a great bike for my price range (the bike store by me has ultegra front and rear derailleurs). When I first got into cycling (and had never gotten on a road bike before), i tried out a 52 and a 54cm bike. The 52 felt short front to back and the 54 was comfortable. Now, 4 months later, I'm interested in buying one and both feel comfortable in their own way. The 52 doesn't feel as cramped as before because I'm used to riding whereas I had never been in the position when I first got on it. Do you have suggestions as to which would "fit" me better? Thanks.
The real answer is no one here knows what will fit you better. You should find a BS with people you trust and can see you to the bike to help with fitting. Minor fit issues can be taken care of with stem changes within reason. How you feel on a bike will also change with saddle time and conditioning.
 
Equus123 said:
Hey everyone, I'm brand spankin new here. I've been into road cycling for the past few months and I have a question about which size road bike you all think I should get.

For starters I'm a female, 5'5.5", 126. I'm looking at getting a Trek 1500 for my first road bike. I think its a great bike for my price range (the bike store by me has ultegra front and rear derailleurs). When I first got into cycling (and had never gotten on a road bike before), i tried out a 52 and a 54cm bike. The 52 felt short front to back and the 54 was comfortable. Now, 4 months later, I'm interested in buying one and both feel comfortable in their own way. The 52 doesn't feel as cramped as before because I'm used to riding whereas I had never been in the position when I first got on it. Do you have suggestions as to which would "fit" me better? Thanks.


try : inside leg x 0·65 = frame size as a starting point .
 
It's worth it to pay for a 'fit kit' at a good bike shop. Normally around 75 to 100 bucks, but well worth it. Then have them set you up on the bike perfectly so you are comfortable from the get go.
 
el Inglés said:
try : inside leg x 0·65 = frame size as a starting point .
That gets one to 'nominal' frame size, which is basically meaningless,considering the different ways frames are measured and doen't even get to the more importaant TT measurement.
 
azdroptop said:
It's worth it to pay for a 'fit kit' at a good bike shop. Normally around 75 to 100 bucks, but well worth it. Then have them set you up on the bike perfectly so you are comfortable from the get go.
No BS here, but that also assumes the fitter knows what he/she is doing and can find their aZZ with both hands.
 
azdroptop said:
It's worth it to pay for a 'fit kit' at a good bike shop. Normally around 75 to 100 bucks, but well worth it. Then have them set you up on the bike perfectly so you are comfortable from the get go.

read keith bontrager´s thoughts about fit kits www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html


seems a lot of money for a lot of hot air
 
el Inglés said:
read keith bontrager´s thoughts about fit kits www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html


seems a lot of money for a lot of hot air
Better than a lame internet guess, or a internet sizing guide that has steered alot of people wrong. KOPS is like anything else, a place to start,and a good fitter is worth the money.
 
boudreaux said:
That gets one to 'nominal' frame size, which is basically meaningless,considering the different ways frames are measured and doen't even get to the more importaant TT measurement.

it´s a good start point for not buying a bike that´s really too small or too big , you can fudge around most other problems but that figure works fine on a standard diamond frame and can be adapted to compacts .
You know if your legs are long/ short for your body or that you have a longer than normal back etc what ever you buy you´ll find that , with time , you need to " adjust " things
anybody who tries to tell you there is only one way to set up a bike is talking through his bum .

time trial or track or cyclecross or roadrace all have different priorities and " one size fit´s all " is marketing bullsh*t .

as you may have guessed the "fitt kit " con has not caught on in europe but cyclists seem to cope quite well without .
get the cleats in the right place on your shoes and the rest is personal choice unless you can afford the full works of a pro ergonomics workout - as the pros use at times - but that costs thousands of dollars .
 
el Inglés said:
it´s a good start point for not buying a bike that´s really too small or too big , you can fudge around most other problems but that figure works fine on a standard diamond frame and can be adapted to compacts .
You know if your legs are long/ short for your body or that you have a longer than normal back etc what ever you buy you´ll find that , with time , you need to " adjust " things
anybody who tries to tell you there is only one way to set up a bike is talking through his bum .

time trial or track or cyclecross or roadrace all have different priorities and " one size fit´s all " is marketing bullsh*t .

as you may have guessed the "fitt kit " con has not caught on in europe but cyclists seem to cope quite well without .
get the cleats in the right place on your shoes and the rest is personal choice unless you can afford the full works of a pro ergonomics workout - as the pros use at times - but that costs thousands of dollars .
That's not the point. Certainly if you are in about the right place with size, adjustments to get proper fit can work. It's possible either size would work for the poster, but some people would have a preference for the larger or the smaller,and that knowledge may only come from sadddle time.... And we are talking road bike here.
 
boudreaux said:
That's not the point. Certainly if you are in about the right place with size, adjustments to get proper fit can work. It's possible either size would work for the poster, but some people would have a preference for the larger or the smaller,and that knowledge may only come from sadddle time.... And we are talking road bike here.


B ,Your points are well taken, for instances a 54cm Look frame has a 55.5 top tube.Center of BB to seat post may alos be 55.5 meaning a person 5'2" woulds have to lower the seat so much that it would throw off the angle to the bars by a large degree. Either way, too big for a person 5'2" and the post angle can vary and..... well way too many variables to consider without measuring the frame and the person.
People vary in geometry as well as different frames.
I recommend finding someone with at least 2 or threes years practical experience fitting bikes.
 
I guess one could just go with a compact frame and be done with it. :) Not as much to worry about with them.
 
azdroptop said:
I guess one could just go with a compact frame and be done with it. :) Not as much to worry about with them.
More BS.Considered TT length or does it matter to you. :rolleyes:
 
Too many variables. Either try out a bunch of different sizes or get neasure properly. Two people with the same height could have vastly different measurements in terms of inseam and arm length. In addition, upper vs. lower leg measurements contribute to the proper fit. A few bucks for a good fit will seem cheap if you buy the incorrect size. Check out a few bike shops and get plenty of opinions if there isn't one absolute source you can trust.

FWIW; my wife is 5'5", weighing 125lbs, is of average proportions and rides a 52 with a 100mm stem.

While a stem is not the fix for an improper sized bike, take that into account when you test drive various models. Also, a decent bike shop should set you up properly before you test ride, don't just hop aboard.

Good luck. Trek 1500 is a decent place to start.
 
boudreaux said:
More BS.Considered TT length or does it matter to you. :rolleyes:
I guess you have completely confused me now? I didn't think TT mattered a whole lot with compact frames? Anyway, I stand by my recommendation for a fit kit prior to purchase.
 
azdroptop said:
I guess you have completely confused me now? I didn't think TT mattered a whole lot with compact frames? Anyway, I stand by my recommendation for a fit kit prior to purchase.

TT length is the most critical frame dimension, since using too long or too short a stem to get the right fit will result in strange steering response. OTOH, seat tube length is widely adjustable via the seatpost w/o a big negative impact. IMO, "compact frames" are a marketing gimmick that only benefits the bike makers (fewer sizes "fit all").
 
thanks for all your help guys. i'm gonna go with the 54 and scheduled for a fit.
 
Good call. Just do it. As it's your first bike, and you're not going to be a pro anytime soon, get the size that the calculators say and adjust stem size, handlebar drop, seatpost height, crankarm length, saddle position, etc etc etc. As long as you have the TT figured out correctly, you can adjust everything else to get a good fit for a novice rider. In a few years if you learn that you really like the sport and want to up the ante on a high-end frame and components, then do the professional fit. It's just not worth the expense, nor does it even make sense when you won't even know your preferred position on the bike for a while to come (you may be fine with a good fit now, but once you become more comfortable and limber you may feel "cramped" on the bike that seemingly fit perfectly at first).


Good luck!
 
I personally subscribe tho the fitting concepts presented by Peter White at peterwhitecycles.com. Check it out.