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  1. #1
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    Bought a Surly LHT Frame. Me 5'6", Frame 46cm. Will It Work?

    I bought a Surly LHT a few weeks back on CL. Being 5' 6" and the frame 46cm I was sure it was too small for me, but it was at such a great price I figured I could buy it, slap some wheels and bars on it to see if it will fit, and if nothing else sell it for more than I paid for it. It's just been sitting in my room, and it is time for me to come to a conclusion, and start building it, or sell it. One thing I'm needing out of the bike is an upright position, to keep pressure of my wrists. It looks like I could do that if I bought a new fork, since the uncut steerer is 300mm... but I then wonder if the extra long steerer will interfere with riding no-hands (and look just plain goofy). Here's some pics below, which should give you an idea what I would look like on the bike if it was built. The (second) pic is of me straddling the bike, standing on a couple boards, which would put me at the height I would be if I was standing on about 180mm cranks (though I would be using 170). The (first) is the same thought I'm holding my hands about where I would like the bars to be (and yes I should have been crouching as if I was sitting... but I didn't, and the camera batteries are dead, so I can't redo it right now). The 3rd pic it the LHT next to my Speed 7... which I would like an inch or two further reach from, but can't seem to get. 4th pic, me stand behind the bike. So from the information given here, what do you guys think? Have you heard of anyone my height riding a 46cm LHT?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dangercoyote; 04-25-11 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mauriceloridans's Avatar
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    I think you need about a 55c frame. If you want upright position try back swept bars. However I have made undersized frames work for me with XL seat posts (maybe even offset) and a long riser stem. I don't think you should cut the steerer either, use lots of spacers.

  3. #3
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Maybe if you've got stubby arms and legs. I'm 5'6" and like 52-54 in classic road bikes.

    Man those dungeon pics are pretty scary!

    To compare the bikes, put your cam on a tripod, or 5-gallon bucket, chair, whathaveyou and aim it precisely at the edge of one of the vertical boards of your garage door.

    One at a time photograph each bike positioned so that the BB shell is centered on the edge of the vertical garage door board.

    Open one in the GIMP (Photoshop, whathaveyou), import the other one onto another layer. Half the transparency.

    Lower bar height might make the reach feel longer. If still to short, might wanna go for the longest stem you can get. Seems to be about 130mm these days, readily available. Then there's always barends, Trekking bars, mustache bars, etc. for more reach.

    Just don't knee your stem.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 04-25-11 at 04:12 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  4. #4
    AEO
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    is that LHT with 26" wheels or 700c?
    for 5'6, a size between 48 to 53cm should be workable.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  5. #5
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Here's an example pic from when I was trying to get bar height and reach to match between two different bikes. It was pretty easy reachwise because they had almost exactly the same effective top tube length, just had to fiddle with stems to get the height right.

    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea sounds small , But Maybe you have enough parts in your bin,
    to equip it, and re-sell it, then get one that fits with the proceeds.

  7. #7
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    I agree it's too small. Getting the bars near seat height is going to require a looong steerer and a big stack of spacers. It will indeed look odd and the weight distribution could be a problem.

    I expect a 54 cm frame would be a lot closer to right.

  8. #8
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I'm gonna say a 50 or 52 would probably be the right size. A 46 is too small. The smaller sized LHT's have long top tubes relative to their seat tube height, and it's really the top tube length you should be most concerned with. I'm a shade over 5'7" in my socks, and I ride a 52 LHT which has an effective top tube length of exactly 54cm. For me, the 54cm top tube is the key. My cycling inseam is 31.5" FWIW.

    In a traditional road bike I typically ride a 54cm frame, but it does depend on the top tube length.

  9. #9
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    My vote is also that it's too small. A bike that fits feels twice as good as a bike that doesn't, no matter what you do to it. I've learned this lesson many times and still continue to buy 62cm road bikes even though I'm 5' 9" because the deals are too good to pass up. I end up selling all of them eventually.

    Sell for a profit (if you can) and get a frame that fits.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  10. #10
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    Too small seems to be the common consensus. Not what I was hoping to hear, but at least I know for sure now. I paid under $100 for it, so with out a doubt I'll be able to make some money on it. And it sure was nice to drool over the real thing in person, rather than in pics online. Thanks for the help guys!

    Btw, Lester. I don't have photoshop, do you know of any free software online I could do the same with?

  11. #11
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangercoyote View Post
    Btw, Lester. I don't have photoshop, do you know of any free software online I could do the same with?
    The one I mentioned, the GIMP, is free download.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  12. #12
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    Thanks Lester, I'll check it out!

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pick a girlfriend for a touring partner, who is the size to fit your bike,
    and enjoy the travel together..

  14. #14
    Seņor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
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    I'm a little over 5'6" with slightly under a 31" bike inseam. I ride a 50cm LHT. I tried a 52cm frame and decided to drop down a size for the 53cm TT and a bit more stand over height. I think you might make it work, but would be better off on a 50 or 52 depending on your particular fit issues.

  15. #15
    z90
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    I will not release the bicycle until my demands are met! I require a helicopter, $6 million in cash, and some new touring sandles.

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    i hope the issue is resolved by now, but 46cm is way to small for you. I have a 46cm lht and it is a bit small for me and I'm 5'2"! If you went for a lht, I hope you got a 700c wheel one. I am not big on the small wheels.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    And the next time have adequate lighting when you take the pictures.

    26" is not a small wheel, It is actually better if you seek a spare tire in,
    Like Bolivia, to have a Mountain bike rim.

  18. #18
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    The OP hasn't been around since December...
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  19. #19
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    Ha, I love those pictures. Very helpful.

    That's one of my favorite things on Craigslist. Right up there with "Bike for sale, red. $600 firm."

  20. #20
    spathfinder34089 spathfinder3408's Avatar
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    I usuall ride a 54 to 57cm. i am 5'11" . I got a rare 49Cm hybrid trek I really like. I got a seat (brooks) with a long rail so the seat could be moved back quite a bit. . That gave me proper distance from bars. Moved seat up in height and the bike works for me. Because its hybrid, I'm in the upright position anyway so length of top bar being shorter doesn't bother me. I am keeping my eyes open for a larger one, but for now it works great.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    The OP hasn't been around since December...
    That and he's standing on a platform barefoot. I think he can ride it at 5'6" with sneakers on and the right seat post and handlebars. Are there frames that fit better ? Certainly, but like another posted, build it and ride it with a gf for an even shorter person and everyone is happy.

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I usuall ride a 54 to 57cm. i am 5'11" . I got a rare 49Cm hybrid trek I really like.
    case in point, as to why stating Top Tube length + 'size' seat tube length
    needs to both, be stated to be clear.

    Given, sloping top tube throws off length/size proportion.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-05-12 at 11:58 AM.

  23. #23
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    I wouldn't consider anything smaller than a 54 cm.

  24. #24
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Sizing is different for the 26" wheel LHT as opposed to "normal" roadbikes with a 700c, and presumably the 700c LHT. I'm 5'11", tend to ride a 57cm roadbike, but when I got a 26" LHT, I went for the 54cm. Thought I'd go with the 56cm, but it was a wee bit too big. TBH, i think a 55cm would be perfect if they made one...

    I think the pics on this thread were funny; more so than the lighting, the blacked out face seemed hilarious... as if stalkers are going to see someone's face on a thread about an ill-fitting touring bike, and hunt the owner down.

    -rob

  25. #25
    Senior Member commo_soulja's Avatar
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    Me thinks OP is in witness protection, thus the blacked out face and dim lighting in a closed garage. He hasn't returned to this thread. Hopefully he's out riding and not taken out by the mob.
    Mythical Creatures Touched Me in my Bathing Suit Area.

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