Tall with long legs

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Labarum, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Labarum

    Labarum New Member

    Apr 24, 2005
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    I am 6ft3in tall, the same height as my 20 year old son, but if he is to ride my bike we have to lower the saddle at least 1.5". It would seem that I have very long legs, even for my height.

    Can any guru advise me how my proportions constrain my choices for a new bike?

    Working through the online fit progam at
    I get

    Inseam 34.5
    Trunk 26.5
    Forearm 15.25
    Arm 30.5
    Thigh 26.75
    Lower Leg 24.25
    Sternal Notch 62.25

    all in inches

    And my hieght is 6 ft 3 in (75 in). I am 55 years old and weigh 203 lb.

    Having returned to cycling after many years I bought a cheap second hand 23 in Halfords Gas Pipe special. 20 years old? 27 x 1 1/4 tyres.

    I have set the seatpost and handlebars as high as possible, but I still have to tip the handlebars up a little more than normal to reach the hoods with comfort. The few xlarge frames I have tried in shops offer me a pretty adventurous reach, though after eight weeks cycling with these drops I might now find them a little easier. Is it the case that modern bikes are made with proportionally longer top tubes than formerly?

    Are my proportions on the statistical edge? Will I find a stock fit?

  2. txzen

    txzen New Member

    Jul 14, 2004
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    I'm about 6'4", with a 36" inseam. All legs. A pretty normal upper body that isn't tall at all. There are issues.

    The competetive cyclist fit guide is a good one, I think. The one on Wrench Science is also good, but if you are like me, the extra long legs are factored into the frame size a little funny, and it was trying to put me on a frame that I really think was too large.

    On the CC fit, I think the "Merckx" or century fit worked out well for me, and probably would for you as well.

    I've heard it said that if you have long legs and a short torso, a Merckx is a perfect bike for you. Well, I got one and I do feel pretty dialed in. I have a 61cm MX Leader, and I think the combination of slack seat tube and top tube length work out very well. I have a good amount of seat post sticking out. The stem is a zero-rise, but I do have a few spacers under it - in all it's about the height a conventional quill stem would have given me, I think.

    You may be able to acheive a better fit with a full custom frame, but you have to ask yourself how much that is worth for you, and what sort of riding you plan to do. I think that looking at a couple of online fit calculators and riding a few different bike to get a feel for what feels good should be sufficient. A good bike shop helps too - many will work with you and swap out stem lengths so that you are centered on the bike correctly.
  3. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger New Member

    Feb 11, 2003
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    I would agree with the previous poster, that long legs can cause you to get stuck with a frame that's too big if you're not careful.

    I bought a Trek 5200 two years ago -- after initially being sized for a 62" frame, I tried the 60" and it felt much much better. I'm 6'2 1/2 and my inseam is about 35 inches.

    The 62" frame wasn't nearly as manageable as the 60. I made up for the extra length by raising the seat a little and getting a slightly longer stem for the handlebars.
  4. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
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    Same here - I'm 6'2" with 35 inch inseam. Tried a 62cm frame, but it felt a bit unwieldy. I'm now riding a 59cm frame with the seat and bars out all the way, and it fits me perfectly.
  5. roger89

    roger89 New Member

    May 29, 2005
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