HELP! I realized the bike I bought 6 months ago is too big!



kaian

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Aug 22, 2004
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I bought my first road bike last August. I didn't know much about sizing then and the guy at the shop basically just did the hub test and didn't make any other adjustments. Well, over time I noticed that it was uncomfortable for me to ride in the standard road position and that it was more than me just having to get used to it. I learned about crank length and switched my cranks to a smaller size (165mm) and I thought that would help, but I am still uncomfortable and now my tendinitis is coming back in one of my knees.

I found the site www.wrenchscience.com, measured myself and found out that the bike I have is way too big for me. I am 5 feet tall with a 27 inch inseam and the bike I have is a 2004 Specialized Allez XS which is a 50cm bike. I have standover room because Specialized uses a "compact" geometry, but the top tube and stem length is like 6-7 cm longer than it should be (yeah, I moved the seat far forward to compensate and found out that this could be negatively effecting my knees). Basically I found out that my size is somewhere around a 46cm (depending on how a bike company measures).

So, now I am pretty ticked off that I bought this bike and that the guy at the shop didn't even really help me out or adjust anything or even attempt to size me! It looks like if I want to continue enjoying this sport, I'll have to get something else. I'm just furious that I spent $ on a bike that doesn't fit!!!!! :mad:

Any thoughts or advice on this? Will continuing to ride a bike that doesn't fit be more likely to cause injury or strains?
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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kaian said:
I bought my first road bike last August. I didn't know much about sizing then and the guy at the shop basically just did the hub test and didn't make any other adjustments. Well, over time I noticed that it was uncomfortable for me to ride in the standard road position and that it was more than me just having to get used to it. I learned about crank length and switched my cranks to a smaller size (165mm) and I thought that would help, but I am still uncomfortable and now my tendinitis is coming back in one of my knees.

I found the site www.wrenchscience.com, measured myself and found out that the bike I have is way too big for me. I am 5 feet tall with a 27 inch inseam and the bike I have is a 2004 Specialized Allez XS which is a 50cm bike. I have standover room because Specialized uses a "compact" geometry, but the top tube and stem length is like 6-7 cm longer than it should be (yeah, I moved the seat far forward to compensate and found out that this could be negatively effecting my knees). Basically I found out that my size is somewhere around a 46cm (depending on how a bike company measures).

So, now I am pretty ticked off that I bought this bike and that the guy at the shop didn't even really help me out or adjust anything or even attempt to size me! It looks like if I want to continue enjoying this sport, I'll have to get something else. I'm just furious that I spent $ on a bike that doesn't fit!!!!! :mad:

Any thoughts or advice on this? Will continuing to ride a bike that doesn't fit be more likely to cause injury or strains?
There is nothing worse that a bike that doesn't fit and it won't get better. The shop ought to make it right,but probably won't. You should also be looking at women specific designs with 650 wheels in order to get a short enough toptube to get reach to the bars without jacking with bad seat position.
Sorry for your bad luck, but it happens all to often.
 

RC2

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May 21, 2004
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For one, 50 is the smallest size Specialized makes in Allez. But that doesn't mean they should have sold it to you (if you're right and a 50 is way too big that's pretty sh!tty on their part)... it's easy to find 47's around if that's your size.

In an ideal world the LBS should trade the bike that is the wrong size for the correct size. Of course they made their money on you and might not be willing to make things right, but you can try. I'd go back to the shop and ask who their most experienced fitter is, get sized, and politely ask what their policy is given that they recently sold you a different size.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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RC2 said:
For one, 50 is the smallest size Specialized makes in Allez. But that doesn't mean they should have sold it to you (if you're right and a 50 is way too big that's pretty sh!tty on their part)... it's easy to find 47's around if that's your size.
Yeah, and a 47 with a 700c wheel up front won't have a toptube that is any shorter. That's the rub with small sizes and 700c wheels.
 

kaian

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Aug 22, 2004
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I don't think the shop will take the bike back and I don't think they have a "fitter". It's a small shop and I bought from the owner. Since then I have established a relationship with one other good local shop (where I got my MTB) and have found other good shops within reasonable driving distances. Yeah, I'd like to stay in the 700 wheel realm if possible. I figure I'll ask around and see what's available at other shops. It just sucks because now I have to sell this bike I just bought and I may end up losing money!!! Some shops take trade-ins, though I don't know if I would get my money's worth. Perhaps ebay...
 

zaskar

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Aug 3, 2003
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I almost bought a Specialized Tarmac from a lbs. they were trying to throw me on a 54 cm they were just eyeing me. i went to another shop where they measured me 2 times and said a 52cm. i measured 3 times on wrench and got same figure. ordered my 52 Kestrel frame and it fits pretty good.also my other bike was to big, nothing i couldn't deal with but never got comfy on it. the guy who measured me said most people buy to large of bikes. Ebay is a very good idea i sold a few things on there. i have these wheels for sale now.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=58099&item=7134064456&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
 

gclark8

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Apr 13, 2004
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I agree with boudreaux, a 46-48cm top tube frame with 650 wheels. Where I live, many of the local 5' tri ladies have there bikes custom built . There is not much off the peg, Felt have some small frame with 650s... many are expensive, the F90-650 may be OK.
 

jasong

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Nov 24, 2003
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You could throw a smaller stubby 50mm stem on there and see how well that mitigates the problem. Unfortunately at that size, it'll be tough to just buy a new inexpensive frame and move the components over, because it seems that at that size, wheel clearance becomes very tight and like someone else said 650s become popular. For people that might want to go from 57 to 54, there are a lot of decent aluminum frames that go for around $100, and one could just move over the components. Only crank length might be a consideration, but price diff between selling those and buying new ones might not be too bad. Sell the high dollar name brand frame and you could break even, doing the work yourself. Of course, a new budget wheelset would cost around $100. Nashbar sells a decent cxp22 / sora wheelset for $90. Maybe there's a 650 equivalent. You may not break too far off from even if you can transfer the components yourself and sell the frame and wheels.
 

lohsnest

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Oct 10, 2004
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kaian said:
I bought my first road bike last August. I didn't know much about sizing then and the guy at the shop basically just did the hub test and didn't make any other adjustments. Well, over time I noticed that it was uncomfortable for me to ride in the standard road position and that it was more than me just having to get used to it. I learned about crank length and switched my cranks to a smaller size (165mm) and I thought that would help, but I am still uncomfortable and now my tendinitis is coming back in one of my knees.

I found the site www.wrenchscience.com, measured myself and found out that the bike I have is way too big for me. I am 5 feet tall with a 27 inch inseam and the bike I have is a 2004 Specialized Allez XS which is a 50cm bike. I have standover room because Specialized uses a "compact" geometry, but the top tube and stem length is like 6-7 cm longer than it should be (yeah, I moved the seat far forward to compensate and found out that this could be negatively effecting my knees). Basically I found out that my size is somewhere around a 46cm (depending on how a bike company measures).

So, now I am pretty ticked off that I bought this bike and that the guy at the shop didn't even really help me out or adjust anything or even attempt to size me! It looks like if I want to continue enjoying this sport, I'll have to get something else. I'm just furious that I spent $ on a bike that doesn't fit!!!!! :mad:

Any thoughts or advice on this? Will continuing to ride a bike that doesn't fit be more likely to cause injury or strains?
Well, based on what you've said, there may be a way... You could possibly sue the owner of the bike shop based on the legal doctrine of "Detrimental Reliance" You basically want to rescind the contract based on this doctrine.

Recision of Contract Annulling a contract and placing the parties to it in a position as if there had not been a contract.

In this case, the bike owner sold you a bike that was too big for you. You are basically new to biking and have no idea of sizing a frame. The bike owner, being the expert, has an implied duty to find you the right bike that fits you. Based on his expertise, you relied on him to get you that bike.

The elements that make up Promissory Estoppel or Detrimental Reliance are:

1. A clear promise.....
2. Reasonable reliance....
3.Promisor knows about your reliance....
4.
 

meb

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Aug 21, 2003
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jasong said:
You could throw a smaller stubby 50mm stem on there and see how well that mitigates the problem. Unfortunately at that size, it'll be tough to just buy a new inexpensive frame and move the components over, because it seems that at that size, wheel clearance becomes very tight and like someone else said 650s become popular. For people that might want to go from 57 to 54, there are a lot of decent aluminum frames that go for around $100, and one could just move over the components. Only crank length might be a consideration, but price diff between selling those and buying new ones might not be too bad. Sell the high dollar name brand frame and you could break even, doing the work yourself. Of course, a new budget wheelset would cost around $100. Nashbar sells a decent cxp22 / sora wheelset for $90. Maybe there's a 650 equivalent. You may not break too far off from even if you can transfer the components yourself and sell the frame and wheels.

I think Jasong's numbers seem proximate getting the stem-top tube length corrected. Just in case that isn't enough, there are some pivottally adjustable stems found more often in the comfort/mountain bike areas that might work if you have the smaller diameter road handlebars.

165mm cranks sounds oversized for someone 5'. If you're having knee trouble, I'd consider shorter cranks.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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kaian said:
Yeah, I'd like to stay in the 700 wheel realm if possible. .
Trying to stick with 700c will just get you another bad fitting bike. A TT can only get so short with a 700c wheel up front,and you are already there. You also end up with geometry and handling compromises. 650 is the only smart way to build a small bike.
 

lohsnest

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Oct 10, 2004
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lohsnest said:
Well, based on what you've said, there may be a way... You could possibly sue the owner of the bike shop based on the legal doctrine of "Detrimental Reliance" You basically want to rescind the contract based on this doctrine.

Recision of Contract Annulling a contract and placing the parties to it in a position as if there had not been a contract.

In this case, the bike owner sold you a bike that was too big for you. You are basically new to biking and have no idea of sizing a frame. The bike owner, being the expert, has an implied duty to find you the right bike that fits you. Based on his expertise, you relied on him to get you that bike.

The elements that make up Promissory Estoppel or Detrimental Reliance are:

1. A clear promise.....
2. Reasonable reliance....
3.Promisor knows about your reliance....
4.
Please disregard...
 

kaian

New Member
Aug 22, 2004
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I couldn't find shorter cranks than 165mm that will work with my bike. So, that's not an option. I think the knee issue has more to do with my seat being moved forward to compensate for the long reach.

If I can sell my bike and get close to what I paid for it, I think it's best for me to just buy something else in the same price range that fits well. I don't want to spend money modifying a bike that is too big only to find out I am still having problems. Trek makes a 1000 WSD that has similar components to the Allez Triple for $500-something. This might be the way to go. Or get something used on ebay that's even nicer for cheaper.

I am more of a MTB'er and just do road riding for fitness and fun. Nothing serious like racing, but I still need the bike to fit when I'm doing 30, 40 or 60 mile group rides.

I don't think I'll follow up with legal action and I doubt the shop will do much for me if I complain. I just know that I will not buy anything from them again!
 

spiel

New Member
Jan 29, 2005
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My LBS sold me a Specialized Allez Elite 27 in a 58 two years ago just by looking at me. I was coming from MTB and didn't know anything about road bikes. My back, arms and ankles hurt like crazy after every ride, especially those long MS150 rides (3x a year). Guess what size ended being my correct fit? 54 :rolleyes: I sold it to a friend and I went back and shared some pleasant words with the salesman (NOT).
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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kaian said:
Trek makes a 1000 WSD that has similar components to the Allez Triple for $500-something. This might be the way to go. Or get something used on ebay that's even nicer for cheaper.
If it doesn't have 650 wheels, you will just be throwing more money away. There are a number of 'WSD' bikes that try and slip under the radar using 700c wheels,but they just don't fly. Check the TT length on your bike from the manufacturers website,and use that as a comparative number when shopping anything else. You will find that the TT can only get so short with 700c and you will also be buying into geometry and handling compromises to get there. This small frame and 700/650c has been beat to death,but the 650 always wins. No BS.
 

lohsnest

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Oct 10, 2004
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lohsnest said:
Please disregard...
Alright then...you could have probably won a recision of contract, but since you are pretty sure you can get most of it back, the damage is minimal. Best of luck
 

lohsnest

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Oct 10, 2004
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boudreaux said:
Why? Bar association pull your mail order attorney certificate?
Hey Boudreaux, instead of insulting people all the time, maybe you should try to realize that there are others out there, like you, that are also trying to help people and may just have differing opinions. Your negative attitudes and tirades often detract from the good that you do on these forums.

By the way, I have my degree in business management and my minor in business law from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Contracts law was a major part of my curriculum.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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lohsnest said:
Hey Boudreaux, instead of insulting people all the time, maybe you should try to realize that there are others out there, like you, that are also trying to help people and may just have differing opinions. Your negative attitudes and tirades often detract from the good that you do on these forums.

By the way, I have my degree in business management and my minor in business law from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Contracts law was a major part of my curriculum.
Always interesting to see what one can catch with a good troll.