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Old 07-31-08, 08:22 PM   #1
goatalope
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Big man on a little bike

I have this pretty nice frame, but its tiny. Probably a 52. I'm 5'11" and usually ride a 56-57. Point is its way too small for me. Nevertheless, I'm thinking of putting a 120 stem and putting the seat back as far as possible and riding it.

Doable, right?
Will I be shunned?
Any structural concerns? (its steel)
Why are all the good frames I find either 52s or 62s?
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Old 08-01-08, 10:44 AM   #2
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Doable, right? Yes but you probably won't be happy with the results.
Will I be shunned? Depends whom you ride with.
Any structural concerns? (its steel) Probably not.
Why are all the good frames I find either 52s or 62s?
You're looking in the wrong places.

I usually ride a 55, friend gave me a 48 and I turned it into a fixie - it was fun for rides <5 miles.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:43 AM   #3
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I don't think you'll like it. Only so much "virtual" top tube you can buy yourself with a long stem and seat all the way back. I suspect it will still feel small to you.
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Old 08-01-08, 05:29 PM   #4
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I don't think you'll like it. Only so much "virtual" top tube you can buy yourself with a long stem and seat all the way back. I suspect it will still feel small to you.
+1 I'm 5'8" and ride a 54cm road bike. I got a 52cm frame I really liked, built it up as a fixed gear, but I could never get it to fit right. For me, I could almost get the reach OK, but the head tube was so low, I couldn't get my handlebars up high enough without resorting to a stem raiser.
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Old 08-01-08, 05:40 PM   #5
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Keep looking, you'll find something right. I usually can't find anything BUT 57-58cm sizes, and I ride a 62-63cm.

I'm not really certain what you mean about being 'shunned' but it's probably something that happens in well-civilized surroundings. I can tell you that where I live, anyone with a large (body) frame riding a too-small (bicycle) frame is a target for rocks and bottles thrown by ill-raised youth (providing they can tear themselves from their video games). You may not think you look like Krusty the Klown on his midget clown bike, but you just might to someone else.

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Old 08-01-08, 07:51 PM   #6
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Doable, right? <-- yes
Will I be shunned? <-- depends
Any structural concerns? (its steel) <-- nope
Why are all the good frames I find either 52s or 62s? <-- as somebody said, u are looking at the wrong places.


A 52 for you it is too small dude, not even with a 12 cms stem youll be right. U'll look just like a grizly bear riding a monocycle. 55 is like your limit dude, 54 its a no no !!! just in case we are talking about steel traditional geometries.

Good luck.
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Old 08-03-08, 05:44 AM   #7
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Doable, right? Yes but you probably won't be happy with the results.
Will I be shunned? Depends whom you ride with.
Any structural concerns? (its steel) Probably not.
Why are all the good frames I find either 52s or 62s?
You're looking in the wrong places.

I usually ride a 55, friend gave me a 48 and I turned it into a fixie - it was fun for rides <5 miles.
if you still have it - I'll take it!!
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Old 08-03-08, 05:46 AM   #8
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I do the "saddle back / longer stem" thing too - I am looking everywhere, trouble is I need a standover height of about 29" max, so I am limited to 49 cm frames with traditional geometry. I'm 5'8 though, so standover height aside I should probably be on a 50 or 51cm
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Old 08-04-08, 12:36 PM   #9
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To reiterate: your saddle should go where it makes sense for your legs, not arms. Adjusting your saddle backward to compensate for a short top tube is like using suspenders to keep up pants that are too short.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:18 PM   #10
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lol +1
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Old 08-04-08, 07:18 PM   #11
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Ha, I'm 6'1" and I ride a 53cm with a 80mm stem and a 400mm bar comfortably, though I was going for 70/500. I don't know how, but bigger bikes, longer stems and wider bars that I *should* be riding feel way to stretched and make me hurt all over.

My friend put me on his bike 54/90/420, and it sucked. If you are shunned tell them about me.

I don't have weird proportions or anything either - that is based on the assumptions that kids would have made fun of me in school and the competitvecyclist.com fit calculator which has me on a much bigger bike based on all my numbers.

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Old 08-05-08, 05:09 AM   #12
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If you push the seat back too far and extend the reach, you will close the angle between your upper body and your thighs. (extreme case, your legs will bump into your chest when you pedal). This is the opposite of what happens when you build up a TT bike and move the saddle forward by increasing the angle of the seat tube.

Your ability to breath and pedal with power will be compromised. Most riders can get more comfortable on an MTB that is too small because of the more upright riding position but they will need a longer frame for a road bike.
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Old 08-05-08, 07:28 AM   #13
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To reiterate: your saddle should go where it makes sense for your legs, not arms. Adjusting your saddle backward to compensate for a short top tube is like using suspenders to keep up pants that are too short.
Of course. I personally was speaking to the knee over BB sensation, totally irrespective of torso reach. I have the same problems with pedaling comfort on all three bikes i own, and each has a different reach and height difference between bars and saddle.
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Old 08-05-08, 05:53 PM   #14
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Is this bike too small for me? Is a fixie and is fun for 1/2 hour ride. Silver brazed Reynolds DB 531, Campy drop outs, Pragnat lugs. Made it in 1975 for my son.

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Old 08-05-08, 06:22 PM   #15
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If your 52 is a serious road bike style I think the guys are right and you won't be able to find true happiness with the fit.

I went through the same issue with a really nice Italian bike that was a hair too small. I finally gave up trying to make it fit without ruining "the look" through using odd stems and stuff and sold it.

However if you don't mind making it into more of a sit up casual cruiser style with Northroad bars or similar you may be able to make it work since that style of bike NEEDS closer spacing. It may look a little odd sort of like CharlesC's BMX fixie but if it works then what the hey.
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