What is the best size frame for me? 168cm Female

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by wishes, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. wishes

    wishes New Member

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    Im a female, 168cm tall, average build (ie legs and body seem normal, not overly long or short on either).
    I bought an alloy bike a couple years ago which was a large frame .. and it is large lol.
    It was cheap at only $100 for an older pro bike. Now ive been getting more serious about my cycling and want to upgrade.
    I have the bike i want chosen, however im unsure what frame size i go for.

    I did try the Small frame which apparently is good for my height however because im used to the large frame it felt very strange.
    The guy at the shop seemed keen to sell me a Medium frame which would probably feel a bit more comfortable to me being used to a Large, however im wondering if in the long term i should be considering the Small frame if thats the one recomended, and just get used to it.

    What do you guys say? Get used to the smaller one because idealy its going to be more comfortable and better in the long term? or go for the medium ?
     
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  2. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    Do you have a chance to try this bike? Can you arrange for a proper fitting? That will make all the difference.

    I use a 56cm frame, but I could just as easily use a 54 with my dimensions, even though I'm 6'0". SO the details matter in how the bike fits, and ultimately how comfortable you are.
     
  3. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Ride the correct fit rather than what you are used to. Your body will respond positively in no time. "Strangeness" is not a good enough reason. :)
     
  4. melslur

    melslur New Member

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    There was a forum a few months back asking people to list their height and frame size. Mid way through, I summarised the results ( http://cyclingforums.com/t-177849-15-7.html) .

    For your height (a little over 66 inches), people generally rode a 52cm. I would not go larger than 54 cm unless you are certain that it feels too small.

     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    As benkoostra suggests, you can ride a range of sizes ...

    Based SOLELY on your height, but presuming you do have "normal" proportions, then you should begin your search with a frame with a 52cm top tube (c-c) ...

    The smaller frame (oh, don't get a compact frame unless it is signficantly less expensive -- that's purely an aesthetic preference on my part, so you can ignore it) will result in the handlebars being slightly lower if all other things are equal. Similarly, a slightly larger frame, will put the handlebars higher if all other things are equal.

    You can adjust the height of the bars with the stem -- some can be "flipped" to raise or lower the handlebars. Variations in the stem's length also adjusts the reach (as will different handlebars AND how the handlebars are situated in the stem).

    I'm 5'9" (175cm), and my bike frames generally have top tubes between 54cm & 57cm ... the stem length varies -- with shorter stems on the bikes with longer top tubes so that the net distance from the seatpost to the stem is approximately the same.
     
  6. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Females of the same height as a male typically have longer legs, shorter body, shorter arms, narrower shoulders, smaller hands and a wider hip.

    The manufacturers have recognised this and brought out bikes with shorter top tubes, narrower handlebars, closer brake leavers (sometimes), wider seats. You should try out some of these female specific bikes to see how they fit with you. Having said this, many females go for the the male bikes, changing the seat and using a shorter head stem.
     
  7. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    ==========================================================
    I agree - get a standard frame:) . I think compact frames look stupid = especially on a bike rack on the back of a vehicle - held there at a weird angle:eek:
    Just a personal opinion of course....

    Re sizing - I usually use the times(X) inside leg measurement by .67(for standard frame or virtual top tube measurement for compacts/semi compacts) and the seat adjustment and stem changes makes for the correct top tube measurement.
     
  8. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    If a compact frame performs well, then why judge it by its looks? This attitude is no different to those who buy based on the bling factor. Neither is objective.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there ARE indeed times when a ROAD frame with a horizontal OR nearly-horizontal top tube is better ...

    Supposedly, during high-speed descents, if the frame begins to exhibit a not-so-good-vibration, the remedy is for the rider to clamp their knees against the top tube ... that's very tough to do with a compact frame -- you would probably need to lean forward quite a bit to reach the top bar with your knees which may-or-may-not be a good thing to do.

    Either MY frames are "perfectly" balanced or I've never gone fast enough over a road with just enough variation to set up a harmonic "moment" in any of my bike frames ...
     
  10. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Yes, those all are pretty extreme situations. And given the pros and cons of both types only comes in in those extremes, the overall choice of one or the other comes back to a toss up doesn't it?
     
  11. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    You might give Zinn a shot! Just plug in your measurements and the system will give you a good starting point estimate.

    http://www.zinncycles.com/fitsystems/default_ie.aspx

    For the inseam measurement use a large book (held between the legs and snuggly against the pubic bone) rather than using a broom handle. This is the method many Tailor's use for inseam measurments.

    lw
     
  12. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    So we have moved away from "whats the best frame size for a 168cm Female onto compact vs full size and variants inbetween. The problem with wobbles, vibrations etc are usually because the forks don't have enough trail. You don't need to clamp the top tube if the bike handles properly in the first place.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Sheesh -- relax!

    I was merely clarifying ONE reason (beyond aesthetics) why a bike whose frame has a horizontal or nearly-horizontal top tube is better since the declaration was made that it was akin to the bling factor when it isn't.

    For the average rider who rarely exceeds 25kph, it doesn't matter; and, the additional standover is a good thing.

    For a 168cm female of normal proportions, as I suggested before, the frame whose TOP TUBE is probably as close to 52cm as possible is the best size ... smaller will probably result in too low a handlebar, and longer will probably mean too short a stem.
     
  14. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    LOL! Off topic already.... That was fast.
     
  15. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Hey we haven't even argued over the length of the cranks yet. I live in fear that someone will recognise me at the lights and beat me up over 5mm of crank.

    BTW, what your favourite bike colours ?
     
  16. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    For a woman? I saw some beautiful designs in the Cannondale range in a LBS.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    You can't get matching tyres in that colour.
     
  18. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    They have other colours, including a silver. It's just beautiful!
     
  19. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Best to get the shoes at the same time, so they match.
     
  20. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Buying a bike because it looks good is stupid - there is a lot of attractive crap out there - so don´t dismiss a compact frame for looks , they have a lot of advantages * if made properly ( not all giant clones are faithfull to the design concept )
    * it can enable a smaller rider to buy a small frame without having the usual problem of too little distance between the head races and sizing doesnot have to be quite so precise as a standard frame - you can finalise the bar position later with the correct , for you , bar stem at little cost . You can often get abetter frame for your money as the fabricator can concentrate on fewer sizes and the shops on fewer models to stock .

    re sizing : I heard inside leg * x 0.65
    *inside leg = groin to floor with feet 10cm apart at heels - you will need help for this , believe me .

    unless your name is Valverde or Friere then getting the seat height right is the most important the rest is a matter of personal taste or physical weirdness so don´t try to get too scientific about sizing as it tends to be something of a blind alley for most people and more designed about the needs of a few racers than jane public .

    remember it´s supposed to be fun , so have some .
     
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