What size road bike do you ride(attn short people)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Slider2699, Apr 24, 2003.

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  1. Slider2699

    Slider2699 Guest

    I've been getting differing opinions from my two LBS. I'm 5'6" and one shop tells me a 52cm is
    better, and the other says I need a 50cm. I currently ride a 52cm and my "jewels" touch the top tube
    when I stand over the bike. Nobody has a 50cm in stock, so I haven't been able to stand over or ride
    one yet. I have measured my inseam the best I can and from my pubic bone to my heel is 30.25 inches.
    I've consulted a couple of online fit guides and have received results varying from a 48cm to a
    55cm. Anybody my height and proportions have any advice on which way to go? I know the easy answer
    is to find a 50cm to ride in the bike I want, but evidently 50cm bikes aren't big sellers, and the
    LBS won't order one for me to try out......
     
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  2. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Slider2699" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I've been getting differing opinions from my two LBS. I'm 5'6" and one
    shop
    > tells me a 52cm is better, and the other says I need a 50cm. I currently ride a 52cm and my
    > "jewels" touch the top tube when I stand over the bike. Nobody has a 50cm in stock, so I haven't
    > been able to stand over or ride
    one
    > yet. I have measured my inseam the best I can and from my pubic bone to my heel is 30.25 inches.
    > I've consulted a couple of online fit guides and
    have
    > received results varying from a 48cm to a 55cm. Anybody my height and proportions have any advice
    > on which way to go? I know the easy answer is
    to
    > find a 50cm to ride in the bike I want, but evidently 50cm bikes aren't
    big
    > sellers, and the LBS won't order one for me to try out......
    >
    >
    I have a longer torso than you seem to, so my 30" inseam makes things even worse when trying to find
    a bike... I've found over the years that standover isn't as important as TT length. Compact frames
    were made for guys like us: short legs, with a long-ish torso.

    I would tell you to have someone fit you on a Serotta size cycle, or something similar to get your
    basic TT measurements and ST angle recommendations. After you get that data, then you can fairly
    reliably tell which frames are going to fit. For example: I know that I need to ride between 73 and
    74 degree seat angles with a 54-55 TT. If the bike I'm looking at falls outside those parameters,
    then I know to keep looking.

    Being "short" means we fall outside the bell curve of frame sizes. Since frames on either side of
    the bell curve typically don't sell as well as a 56cm, LBS owners are reluctant to order them "just
    to try." You have any friends about the same size as you are? How 'bout another LBS? Gotta be a 50cm
    bike around somewhere...

    If that still doesn't help, then you are just going to have to take a pig in a poke and adjust the
    fit with seatposts and stems.

    Mike
     
  3. Slider2699

    Slider2699 Guest

    "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> >
    > I have a longer torso than you seem to, so my 30" inseam makes things even worse when trying to
    > find a bike... I've found over the years that standover isn't as important as TT length. Compact
    > frames were made for guys like us: short legs, with a long-ish torso.

    Know any nice steel compact frames? I know the frame is the least important factor regarding ride,
    but I want steel. :)

    > I would tell you to have someone fit you on a Serotta size cycle, or something similar to get your
    > basic TT measurements and ST angle recommendations. After you get that data, then you can fairly
    > reliably
    tell
    > which frames are going to fit. For example: I know that I need to ride between 73 and 74 degree
    > seat angles with a 54-55 TT. If the bike I'm looking at falls outside those parameters, then I
    > know to keep looking.

    I inherited my bike from a buddy who gave up cycling for golf, so the price was right. It has a 55cm
    top tube, and I've always felt too stretched out on
    it. I have a lot of hand numbness, too, like I'm putting too much weight on my hands. I have the
    (quill) stem raised to its minimum safe insertion level, and I've monkeyed with saddle fore/aft
    positioning, but I still can't get comfortable. These factors lead me to believe my TT is too
    long. Am I on the right track?

    > Being "short" means we fall outside the bell curve of frame sizes. Since frames on either side of
    > the bell curve typically don't sell as well as a 56cm, LBS owners are reluctant to order them
    > "just to try."

    You got that right, bub. There are two bike shops in my county. The first one I visited had a grand
    total of ONE road bike on the floor---a 56cm used Trek 5500. There were tons of BMX and comfort
    bikes. This shop is a Bianchi dealer, but not a single Bianchi on the floor. The owner was a
    chain-smoking elderly German man, and I didn't get a good vibe from him at all. The second shop was
    really nice. They're a Waterford/Gunnar/Litespeed/Trek dealer, but they only had three road bikes on
    the floor, all 54cm or larger. The associate with whom I dealt was really nice, but he couldn't
    relate to my problem, as he rode a 63cm. His TT hit me at my sternum!

    You have any
    > friends about the same size as you are? How 'bout another LBS? Gotta be
    a
    > 50cm bike around somewhere...

    I'm taking a trip to Gainesville(FL) this weekend. If anyplace will have a 50cm it should be a bike
    shop in a college town.

    > If that still doesn't help, then you are just going to have to take a pig
    in
    > a poke and adjust the fit with seatposts and stems.
    >
    > Mike

    If I err on the side of choosing a smaller frame, can I fix the fit with seatposts/stems?
    Thanks a lot!

    Mike
     
  4. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    "Slider2699" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've been getting differing opinions from my two LBS. I'm 5'6" and one shop tells me a 52cm is
    >better, and the other says I need a 50cm. I currently ride a 52cm and my "jewels" touch the top
    >tube when I stand over the bike. Nobody has a 50cm in stock, so I haven't been able to stand over
    >or ride one yet. I have measured my inseam the best I can and from my pubic bone to my heel is
    >30.25 inches. I've consulted a couple of online fit guides and have received results varying from a
    >48cm to a 55cm. Anybody my height and proportions have any advice on which way to go? I know the
    >easy answer is to find a 50cm to ride in the bike I want, but evidently 50cm bikes aren't big
    >sellers, and the LBS won't order one for me to try out......

    I'm with Mike S - the top tube length is more important - but also feel that it's silly to buy a
    bike you can't stand over properly if there are options (and there almost always are).

    From your inseam, I doubt you'd find many 52cm frames you could stand over without being "very, very
    tight". Keep in mind that different bikes are measured differently too (a 52cm center-to-top bike is
    the rough equivalent of a 50.5cm center-to-center bike).

    Most 50cm c-t frames will give you adequate standover height, unless they have very high bottom
    brackets or very steep seat tubes (ala some TT/Tri bikes). Just find one with the right "cockpit
    length" and you're set.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  5. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >"Slider2699"

    wrote:

    >I've been getting differing opinions from my two LBS. I'm 5'6" and one shop tells me a 52cm is
    >better, and the other says I need a 50cm. I currently ride a 52cm and my "jewels" touch the top
    >tube when I stand over the bike. Nobody has a 50cm in stock, so I haven't been able to stand over
    >or ride one yet. I have measured my inseam the best I can and from my pubic bone to my heel is
    >30.25 inches. I've consulted a couple of online fit guides and have received results varying from a
    >48cm to a 55cm. Anybody my height and proportions have any advice on which way to go? I know the
    >easy answer is to find a 50cm to ride in the bike I want, but evidently 50cm bikes aren't big
    >sellers, and the LBS won't order one for me to try out......

    At 5'4" with a 28.5" inseam, I rode bikes that were just too damn 'tall' for me for years so I know
    exactly what inadequate standover height really means. Yes, the TT length is more important than
    having a *large* amount of standover clearance but it only takes one incident to make *adequate*
    standover height seem awfully important. If your inseam at 5'6" really is 30.25" it would seem that
    you have a relatively shorter torso than me. A WSD bike might work well for you if that's the case.
    It's certainly worth considering, especially since WSD bikes- if you can find a LBS that stocks
    them- tend to have a little better size range on the smaller end of the scale. Failing that, if your
    budget will allow it a custom frame is another good option. One of the posters that replied to you
    in this thread- Mark Hickey of Habanero Cycles- built my bike about four years ago. The extra money
    I spent on a custom sized frame was the best investment I've ever made.

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  6. If your "jewels" just touch the top tube, I'm not too concerned about the height. It's not a
    mountain bike, so it's not as if you're constantly mounting and dismounting from it and, most
    importantly, when you do dismount from a road bike, your foot is probably on solid ground. The best
    reason for added clearance on a mountain bike isn't that you're going to land on the top tube in an
    accident, but rather that sometimes you put your foot down and it goes... down into the ground,
    because the soil is loose.

    If 52cm is a center-to-top measurement, that's not that large a bike. Some of your confusion over
    sizing is probably coming from the different ways people measure frame size. Center to center,
    center to top, center to center of imaginary parallel top tube, center to top of imaginary parallel
    top tube... all of these will give very different descriptions of frame "height."

    As others have pointed out, top-tube length is the single most important issue on a road bike. The
    50cm could be too short, or the 52cm too long. But check the geometry charts; sometimes the same
    model in two different "sizes" will have the same, or almost the same, top tube length.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    "Slider2699" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I've been getting differing opinions from my two LBS. I'm 5'6" and one
    shop
    > tells me a 52cm is better, and the other says I need a 50cm. I currently ride a 52cm and my
    > "jewels" touch the top tube when I stand over the bike. Nobody has a 50cm in stock, so I haven't
    > been able to stand over or ride
    one
    > yet. I have measured my inseam the best I can and from my pubic bone to my heel is 30.25 inches.
    > I've consulted a couple of online fit guides and
    have
    > received results varying from a 48cm to a 55cm. Anybody my height and proportions have any advice
    > on which way to go? I know the easy answer is
    to
    > find a 50cm to ride in the bike I want, but evidently 50cm bikes aren't
    big
    > sellers, and the LBS won't order one for me to try out......
     
  7. "Slider2699" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:CD%[email protected]...
    >
    > If I err on the side of choosing a smaller frame, can I fix the fit with seatposts/stems?
    > Thanks a lot!
    >

    Yes you can. I have fit comfortably on a large range of frame sizes (4 to 5 cm difference). I also
    bring my own measuring tape with me and I measure frames using center to top for the seat tube
    (because of different tube diameters I personally don't understand why it would be done any other
    way) then I measure the top tube center to center. Forget about what the manufacturer calls the
    frame. I'm looking for the top tube that will work with a stem from 100 to 120 and I'm looking for
    standover clearance of 1" or more. It gets a little more complicated in that the same length tt will
    be different because of different seat tube angles, but it's not that important because you can
    adjust with different stems. I own several bikes that all feel different. Whichever one I've been
    riding the most is the one that feels best. You get used to different bike characteristics.
     
  8. Slider2699

    Slider2699 Guest

    Thanks everybody! I revisited the Trek/Waterford/Gunnar dealer today. The owner was there, and it
    turns out he had a 50cm Schwinn Peloton frame in his storage room. It's a 2000 model, but was never
    built. We're going to transfer my 105 group to the new bike, and they're going to make sure
    everything fits. I got lucky. Reynolds 853 steel with a carbon fork(he added one) for a decent
    price. I'm looking forward to riding comfortably... :)
     
  9. On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 00:50:42 +0000, Slider2699 wrote:

    >> standover isn't as important as TT length. Compact frames were made for guys like us: short legs,
    >> with a long-ish torso.
    >
    > Know any nice steel compact frames? I know the frame is the least important factor regarding ride,
    > but I want steel. :)

    > I inherited my bike from a buddy who gave up cycling for golf, so the price was right.

    The price is right only if it fits, which it apparently does not.

    It has a 55cm top tube, and I've always felt too stretched out on
    > it. I have a lot of hand numbness, too, like I'm putting too much weight on my hands. I have the
    > (quill) stem raised to its minimum safe insertion level, and I've monkeyed with saddle
    > fore/aft positioning, but I still can't get comfortable. These factors lead me to believe my
    > TT is too long. Am I on the right track?

    Probably. If you don't want to consider a new frame, look into a shorter stem. They can be found
    very short, like up to the vertical part short.

    > You got that right, bub. There are two bike shops in my county. The first one I visited had a
    > grand total of ONE road bike on the floor---a 56cm used Trek 5500. There were tons of BMX and
    > comfort bikes. This shop is a Bianchi dealer, but not a single Bianchi on the floor. The owner was
    > a chain-smoking elderly German man, and I didn't get a good vibe from him at all. The second shop
    > was really nice. They're a Waterford/Gunnar/Litespeed/Trek dealer, but they only had three road
    > bikes on the floor, all 54cm or larger. The associate with whom I dealt was really nice, but he
    > couldn't relate to my problem, as he rode a 63cm. His TT hit me at my sternum!

    Standover must have been interesting....

    > If I err on the side of choosing a smaller frame, can I fix the fit with seatposts/stems?
    > Thanks a lot!

    Yeah, probably. Especially if you go with a compact design (I can't believe I'm recommending this!).
    Compact frames are designed so that fewer sizes are needed. This is a manufacturers/dealers
    advantage, which becomes an advantage for you under these circumstances. You may need to get a long
    seatpost, or swap out your stem, but this is a small matter.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The _`\(,_ | common welfare was my
    business; charity, mercy, forbearance, (_)/ (_) | and benevolence, were, all, my business. The
    dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
    --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
     
  10. BIGDIEFER

    BIGDIEFER New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Messages:
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    A GUY IS SELLING A 50cm SCHWINN PELOTON 2000 MODEL FRAME ONLY. THE PROBLEM IS HE DOESN'T KNOW THE STAND OVER HEIGHT. YOU hAVE THE BIKE BUILD UP ALREADY. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS THE STAND OVER HEIGHT? MY INSEAM (BAREFOOT) IS 29 1/4" (I'M SHORT).
     
  11. > A GUY IS SELLING A 50cm SCHWINN PELOTON 2000 MODEL FRAME ONLY. THE PROBLEM IS HE DOESN'T KNOW THE
    > STAND OVER HEIGHT. YOU hAVE THE BIKE BUILD UP ALREADY. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS THE STAND OVER
    > HEIGHT? MY INSEAM (BAREFOOT) IS 29 1/4" (I'M SHORT).

    Well, if you're happy standing on your toes and shouting (which is how it comes across when you post
    in all caps), it's probably fine! :>)

    OK, more seriously, if the guy is selling a 50cm bike, there's an implication that he has access to
    it. All he has to do is toss a couple wheels onto it (no other parts required). That plus a tape
    measure and you've got standover height. Just measure from the floor to the top of the top tube. 5
    minutes tops. No rocket science involved.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    "BIGDIEFER" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Slider2699 wrote:
    > > Thanks everybody! I revisited the Trek/Waterford/Gunnar dealer today. The owner was there, and
    > > it turns out he had a 50cm Schwinn Peloton frame in his storage room. It's a 2000 model, but
    > > was never built.
    We're
    > > going to transfer my 105 group to the new bike, and they're going to make sure everything
    > > fits. I got lucky. Reynolds 853 steel with a
    carbon
    > > fork(he added one) for a decent price. I'm looking forward to riding comfortably... :)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > A GUY IS SELLING A 50cm SCHWINN PELOTON 2000 MODEL FRAME ONLY. THE PROBLEM IS HE DOESN'T KNOW THE
    > STAND OVER HEIGHT. YOU hAVE THE BIKE BUILD UP ALREADY. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IS THE STAND OVER
    > HEIGHT? MY INSEAM (BAREFOOT) IS 29 1/4" (I'M SHORT).
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > >--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com
     
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