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  1. #1
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Frame sizing dilemma: small guy likes big frame

    So, I realized I like frames which are 54 or even 56, except for the standover height - because I'm only 171cm tall, and have relatively short legs, too.

    Also, I like to have the seat relatively high for my height, too.

    So, am I condemned to use women's frames ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    I believe womens' frames would be even worse for you, they are built for more leg and less torso.

  3. #3
    cs1
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    Is that about 5'7" in inches? 56 would be a big bike for someone your height. I'm 5'9" with 32.5 inseam and a 56 is the max I can ride. How do stand over a bike that tall?

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    So, I realized I like frames which are 54 or even 56, except for the standover height - because I'm only 171cm tall, and have relatively short legs, too.
    Who really cares about stand over height? It means nothing. If you want more standover height, buy a compact frame.

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    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    Is that about 5'7" in inches? 56 would be a big bike for someone your height. I'm 5'9" with 32.5 inseam and a 56 is the max I can ride. How do stand over a bike that tall?

    Tim
    Back in the day when seatposts would bend or collapse when extended more than a few inches you would stand over the bike and if the tender parts weren’t being compressed the frame was considered too small. My old mentor said used to say; Ride it or get off!

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    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steev
    I believe womens' frames would be even worse for you, they are built for more leg and less torso.
    No, because women's frames allow me to stand over such a huge frame. I would have thought that's kinda evident.

    Someone said "compact frame". Yeah, that's true, it could work, but how many make compact road frames with a top tube with such steep angle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    So, I realized I like frames which are 54 or even 56, except for the standover height - because I'm only 171cm tall, and have relatively short legs, too.

    Also, I like to have the seat relatively high for my height, too.

    So, am I condemned to use women's frames ?
    As the other poster said, you'd probably be WORSE off on a women's frame. They will typically have a shorter reach versus Standover...

    I don't know if Diamondback exists in the same sense that they do in the states over in Europe (I'm not sure...) But they have an UNGODLY compact geometry. We're talking a 50cm seat tube (Center to top) to a 56CM Effective Top Tube.

    For reference, a Specialized Allez has a geometry closer to a 52cm Seat tube (Center to top) to a 56cm effective top tube.

    If they don't exist over there check if another company has a similar geometry setup. They can't be the only company that have a setup like that.

    Worst comes to worst I can smuggle one over, just pay for the frame, plane ticket, and my beer at Tavastia.

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    Some more info on compact frameness:

    Practically all modern frames (Except of course, say, a Rivendell or something similar) are a compact geometry. One of the primary advantages of this is that thanks to strong seatposts and easily-swapped stems, you can have just a few sizes and adjust to fit instead of having a multitude of sizes.

    There's also the penny-pinching aspect of you use less tubing, but that isn't really a real world advantage.
    Oh, and they're supposedly stiffer too. Makes sense to me anyway.

    However there can be a big difference in compactness from manufacturer to manufacturer. Both Specialized and Diamondback frames are a Compact geometry, however as I showed above the DB has a much shorter Seat tube. The seatpost is practically a flag on the dang thing. Raleighs, on the other hand... I've got one with right about a 54c, Seat tube (Center to top) to a 55cm Effective top tube. It's still technically a compact frame however the compactness is VERY miniscule.

    In short, check your frame specs very carefully.

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    Who really cares about stand over height? It means nothing. If you want more standover height, buy a compact frame.
    Agreed.
    Al

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    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TO11MTM
    As the other poster said, you'd probably be WORSE off on a women's frame. They will typically have a shorter reach versus Standover...

    I don't know if Diamondback exists in the same sense that they do in the states over in Europe (I'm not sure...) But they have an UNGODLY compact geometry. We're talking a 50cm seat tube (Center to top) to a 56CM Effective Top Tube.

    For reference, a Specialized Allez has a geometry closer to a 52cm Seat tube (Center to top) to a 56cm effective top tube.

    If they don't exist over there check if another company has a similar geometry setup. They can't be the only company that have a setup like that.

    Worst comes to worst I can smuggle one over, just pay for the frame, plane ticket, and my beer at Tavastia.
    Shorter reach actually suits me. So, does that mean that the only reason I like large frames, is because I then sit higher? Maybe I compensate for my shortness - could be a psychological thing

  11. #11
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    So, does that mean that the only reason I like large frames, is because I then sit higher?
    Seat post angle differnences aside, the only reason you will sit higher on a different frame size is if the bottom bracket drop is less.

    Al

  12. #12
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    ___________________________________________________
    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    Shorter reach actually suits me. So, does that mean that the only reason I like large frames, is because I then sit higher? Maybe I compensate for my shortness - could be a psychological thing
    It could be more than purely psychological. Typically shorter frames will have higher up BB shells in order to compensate for the longer seat tube. This is why, say, a 22 Inch frame is not even CLOSE to 2 inches taller than a 20 inch.

    (Oh god, we're switching between metric and Imperial! )
    (And yes, I'm aware that it wouldn't be quite 2 inches anyway because the tube is at an angle, etc etc. But the difference is more than it would be if it was purely raised.)

    The lower BB shell affects handling, albiet minutely. However minute differences can make a big difference in feel. After all, look at how many people (Myself included) swear by 175mm crankarms instead of 170s. You'd think 5mm wouldn't make a huge difference, but...

    This is why I ride a 57 instead of a 55, even though I have horrid reach on it (Too poor for a new stem... well at least with all the other project bikes that need my love...erm...money.)

  14. #14
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TO11MTM
    It could be more than purely psychological. Typically shorter frames will have higher up BB shells in order to compensate for the longer seat tube. This is why, say, a 22 Inch frame is not even CLOSE to 2 inches taller than a 20 inch.

    (Oh god, we're switching between metric and Imperial! )
    (And yes, I'm aware that it wouldn't be quite 2 inches anyway because the tube is at an angle, etc etc. But the difference is more than it would be if it was purely raised.)

    The lower BB shell affects handling, albiet minutely. However minute differences can make a big difference in feel. After all, look at how many people (Myself included) swear by 175mm crankarms instead of 170s. You'd think 5mm wouldn't make a huge difference, but...

    This is why I ride a 57 instead of a 55, even though I have horrid reach on it (Too poor for a new stem... well at least with all the other project bikes that need my love...erm...money.)
    Lower BB could be it. Because if it washeight alone, I could simply set the seatpost higher, but that's not what I'm after. My seatpost is relatively high, but not as high as it could, not even close.


    Quote Originally Posted by TO11MTM
    (Too poor for a new stem... well at least with all the other project bikes that need my love...erm...money.)
    Same problem here. Plus, not enough storage space for 'em. This is the greatest motivation I have to want a house instead of an apartement. But a wish it will have to remain...

    Also, not enough time. Which completes all the dimensions of the universe: not enough space, time and money.

  15. #15
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    So, I realized I like frames which are 54 or even 56, except for the standover height - because I'm only 171cm tall, and have relatively short legs, too.

    Also, I like to have the seat relatively high for my height, too.

    So, am I condemned to use women's frames ?

    You've posed an interesting question as to why you like a larger frame than would nominaly be thought correct and your only realy concerned about standover.

    Well firstly standover is irelevent on a road bike. On my first real roadbike standover just didn't exist. Maybe it was something like MINUS 3"! Nowadays on my custom 650c frame I've got only just clearance where I can feel the top tube under me but that's standover in my book.

    Would you be better off with a WSD frame?

    Actualy I think they would be worse for you because of steeper seat tube angles. Having read this thread I suspect the reason you like the bigger frames is that bigger frames have more relaxed seat tube angles which places your weight more rearward which then makes it easier to reach forward in comfort to the handlebars. I've looked at the geometry specs of many frames including WSD frames and rather than having genuinely shorter top tube lengths most if not all WSD frames simply have steeper seat tube angles which does shorten the top tube but not in the way you wan't. This simply moves your but forward which is the same as using a smaller frame which you don't like anyway.

    You could go custom if you wanted or had the money. Have a frame built with a relaxed seat tube angle, slightly lower bottom bracket to lower the top tube and they could pull the head tube back closer to the BB if you wanted shorter reach.

    Otherwise you need to acurately measure your current frame yourself and assess new frame options yourself by taking your OWN measurements and not relying on what others specify.

    The key measurements here are the top tube length in RELATION to the BB. You need to take a vertical line up from the centre of the BB and measure back to the seat tube or the saddle nose or both even and then forward to the centre of the steering tube. Its important that these measurements be considered seperate. You could also measure the seat tube angle if you happen to have the device required.

    All you realy need to do this is a tape measure ( a little bit of stiffness helps) and a plum bob/line to find the horizontal anchor on the TT.

    That and measuring the head tube length and that's about all you need to know for fit of the frame anyway.

    Regards, Anthony

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