Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    My Bikes
    90 Bridgestone MB2/3, 97 Lemond Zurich, 97 Waterford 2200, 95 Mondonico Futura Leggero
    Posts
    545
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Frame sizing: 58x56 vs 55x56 (and Lemond Zurich content)

    First some background:

    I have been watching for a Lemond Zurich for a while. I was pretty much under the assumption that I wanted a 57cm frame, so that is what I have been looking for. I mostly ride a 58x56cm Paramount and a 58x57cm Ironman. Both those bikes fit me pretty well.

    So when one showed up for a decent price on CL I went to take a look, although from the pictures I was guessing it was a 55cm. Before I went I found the 2000 Lemond Catalog, and there it lists the 55cm frame as having a 56.5cm top tube, and the 57cm frame as having a 57.5 top tube. This made me wonder if I could really ride a 55cm Lemond Frame.

    When I went and looked at the bike it was in great shape (less that 100 miles according to seller), but it was definitively a 55cm. After riding it a bit I decided it was worth a purchase. And after riding it some more this morning I think it feels pretty good. I can't help but notice that it has a pretty tall headset, and the non-stock stem is taller than stock.

    So my questions:

    If you take all this into account, is there really a substantive difference between 55x56 frame and a 58x56 I normally ride? I really don't see where there would be.

    So even though I would not have guessed that I could ride a 55cm bike, my inclination is to keep this bike. But I would probably still keeping a look out for 57cm frame to swap for it. Really not sure why.

    Pictures of the bike as I was riding it: I didn't have to change the seat height at all to fit me, but I did turn up the handlebars.












  2. #2
    Velophile Epicus07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix, Specialzed Allez Sport, Guerciotti SLX
    Posts
    1,028
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    FWIW I ride 55/56 cm bikes and I had to sell my 55 cm Buenos Aires because it was clearly too big.

    It really does fit like a 57 so if the seat tube doesn't bother you, i say rock it.
    2009 Specialized Roubaix - Long Distance Bike
    2002 Rodriguez Adventure - Touring Bike
    1996 Guerciotti PRX - Italian Steel Joy ride
    1996 Litespeed Natchez - Titanium Speed Demon (pics to come)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    8,655
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Top tube length should be good, the question is how much drop between the saddle and the bars do you prefer?

  4. #4
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    WA state
    Posts
    4,816
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The biggest difference is the head tube length. I ride a 58x56 and 58x57 bike as well, the 58x57 being a vintage one with a quill stem. The quill stem is at minimum insertion and cannot go up any higher. If the frame were 55x56 it would have too much drop for me to comfortably ride without a ridiculous stem. Your lemond appears to have a small amount of drop currently so I'd say if it's comfortable it's 100% fine and perhaps even a better fit than a taller frame. Also, if it has more drop than you're used to move the saddle BACK and it will be much more comfortable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    12,073
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sjpitts View Post
    First So my questions:

    If you take all this into account, is there really a substantive difference between 55x56 frame and a 58x56 I normally ride? I really don't see where there would be.

    So even though I would not have guessed that I could ride a 55cm bike, my inclination is to keep this bike. But I would probably still keeping a look out for 57cm frame to swap for it. Really not sure why.
    As long as your comparing flat top tube bikes to flat top tube bikes the short answer is NO, there is no perceptable difference.

    When I look for personal bikes my #1 requirement for sizing is the top tube size, I like bikes with 54cm +/- a half. At 5'8" I'm not going to ride a 60cm ST 54cm TT bike but any seat tube in the 52-56cm range is almost inperceptable to me as long as the TT is 54cm. The only diiferences are stem and saddle heights as others have mentioned.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    My Bikes
    90 Bridgestone MB2/3, 97 Lemond Zurich, 97 Waterford 2200, 95 Mondonico Futura Leggero
    Posts
    545
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies on this. Your comments on headtube size made me think, so I went and measured the headtube. As you can probably guess, the headtube is significantly shorter than on my 58cm centurion. But if you measure to the ends of the headset, it is just about the same. That tall headset on the lemond makes up most of the difference.

    So what was the purpose of such a tall headset on the lemond? I don't think that I have seen many bikes with such tall headsets.

    Jared

  7. #7
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    My Bikes
    Colnago Super, Fuji Opus III, Specialized Rockhopper
    Posts
    3,148
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One thing that few riders seem to understand about frame/bike fit, is that measuring tube lengths only tell part of the story. The dimension you discovered is called stack height. Stack height is the functional measurement of your frame's overall height. It's measured vertically from the bottom bracket centerline to the top of the headset. This is absolutely the most accurate height measurement because it can tell you where (how high) your handlebar is going to be in relation to your bottom bracket. Once you know this, you will know how much saddle to bar drop you will have at a given saddle height. If you just measure the head tube, it doesn't take into account differences in BB drop, fork length, headset stack height, etc.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  8. #8
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    12,073
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sjpitts View Post
    Thanks for the replies on this. Your comments on headtube size made me think, so I went and measured the headtube. As you can probably guess, the headtube is significantly shorter than on my 58cm centurion. But if you measure to the ends of the headset, it is just about the same. That tall headset on the lemond makes up most of the difference.

    So what was the purpose of such a tall headset on the lemond? I don't think that I have seen many bikes with such tall headsets.

    Jared
    Aside from allowing different headsets to be used the headset stach height isnt relevant. Head tube lengths have some relevance as mentioned by 'rat fink' but most of the difference can be made up for by raising/lowering of the stem. With my bikes I line them up side by side and get the handlebar centerlines equal. The one flaw in my theory is BB height as bikes with different BB heights will place the height in a slightly different position to the bars, in other words the saddle to bar drop will be different as mentioned by 'rat fink'. All of my bikes have traditional geometry so they're all very close in regards to BB height.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  9. #9
    Senior Member mazdaspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    WA state
    Posts
    4,816
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^ the only caveat IMO is that you can only lower the stem so much (that's why some racers ride smaller frames, to have more drop) and you can only raise it so much with most stems, so the stack height is indeed relevant for some people (like me, with long legs and a short torso).

  10. #10
    RFC
    RFC is offline
    Senior Member RFC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    My Bikes
    many
    Posts
    4,432
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It looks great. I saw that one that thought it would be a good buy. I'm glad you picked it up. If you want to sell or trade the stem, I'd be interested. It would be great on my Litespeed Ultimate.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    619
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Perhaps the seat tubes are actually the same size. One might be measured C-T and another C-C which could account for most of the difference. I have one bike which measures 56 C-C and 57.5 C-T so it is definitely possible.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    My Bikes
    90 Bridgestone MB2/3, 97 Lemond Zurich, 97 Waterford 2200, 95 Mondonico Futura Leggero
    Posts
    545
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks again for the all the comments. I did some more measuring, and put it up against some of my other bikes.

    It is clear that Lemond measured center to center. And it is clear that it has a relatively long top tube and effective head tube length.

    When you compare to my 58x57 ironman it really is pretty close (I think both centurion and schwinn meausred to the top, so there is 1.5 cm right there). I put them side by side, and the biggest difference between the bikes is that the top tube is just a bit lower compared to what you would expect on a bike that size( with a horizontal top tube).

    So as I said before, I am going to keep this for a while. I think I will trade for the 57 should one become available. But until then I see no reason not to keep this one.

    One more thing, this bike is very light. It really is a nice bike

  13. #13
    Senior Member javal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Örebro, Sweden
    My Bikes
    Monark sportser 1970, Monark sportser 1970ish, Monark folder, Mustand 1985, Monark Tempo 1999, Monark 318 1975, Crescent 319 1979, Crescent 325 c:a 1965, Crescent Starren 2002 (hybrid/sport), Nordstjernan 1960`s cruiser.
    Posts
    1,318
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Measurements are guidelines. If you´re comfortable thats the right measure. It seems to be dialed in for you according to pics. Grab it!
    the rider makes the bike - steel club member 198

  14. #14
    OldSchool
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
    Posts
    832
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    Top tube length should be good, the question is how much drop between the saddle and the bars do you prefer?
    THIS!

    And if you're going the other direction (smaller to larger) you would also want to be a little concerned with standover height.

  15. #15
    Which bike should I ride? bullwinkle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Posts
    282
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Lemond's are known for having long top tubes. If you do find a 57 you might find that it's too big for you.

  16. #16
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    12,073
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bullwinkle View Post
    Lemond's are known for having long top tubes. If you do find a 57 you might find that it's too big for you.
    +1. LeMond advocates a more seat back seat position in relation to the BB which is often accomplished with a longer TT and less aggresive ST angle.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  17. #17
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    My Bikes
    Colnago Super, Fuji Opus III, Specialized Rockhopper
    Posts
    3,148
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^ While that is true, it should be kept in mind that more slack STA actually decreases reach. So, of two bikes with a 57cm top tube length, the one with the steepest seat tube angle will fit larger.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    My Bikes
    90 Bridgestone MB2/3, 97 Lemond Zurich, 97 Waterford 2200, 95 Mondonico Futura Leggero
    Posts
    545
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, because I can't leave well enough alone, I picked up a 57cm Zurich. Interestingly, this frame is two cm taller in the seat tube (57cm) but only only one cm longer in the top tube (57.5cm)

    This is an older version-- 1997, and it does not have the same tall headtube or headset. I am not sure why that changed in these frames.

    This one also has some upgraded components. The seller had upgraded to newer nine speed 6500 stuff. The seller still had the original shimano 6400 series STI's, crank and derailleurs.

    Now that I have both bikes, I am going to them both out for a while, and decide what I want to keep. My guess is the 57cm, but I am also pretty sure that I will need a shorter stem with that one.










  19. #19
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    15,653
    Mentioned
    49 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    A lot of the advice above, I agree with, but some of it confuses me. That doesn't bother me, because I've found my fit and can figure it out on my bikes. My suspicion is that what I do is indirectly compatible with what rat fink and miamijim both say, and others.

    To me, the one thing you're not going to change is the center of the BB, relative to the ground and where it is on the bike. I have a "triangle" on a bike that fits that uses that point as an immovable pivot point. I know the height of my saddle's "pelvic weld" from that point. I know the distance from that point to the center of my seat clamp, and the distance from the pelvic weld to the center of the seat clamp. I simply duplicate that triangle on all my bikes, and if I have, say, a 58x57 Ironman, which I do, instead of a 56x56, my "normal" size, I look at maintaining that triangle on the larger frame.

    This works for me, somewhat because I use the same bars on all my bikes, and nearly all the same size stems, +/- 5mm.

    When I gave up on finding a clean 56cm frame in a certain color, it was my goal to make the 58cm frame fit. The tt was 1cm longer, and the seat tube 2cm higher. The height is a no-brainer, just use 2cm less post, adjusted for differences in saddle and cradle height. The main thing I was after was to duplicate the distance from the center of the bb to the center of the stem clamp, and the reach from the pelvic weld of the saddle to the center of the stem clamp. I accomplished this by using a zero-setback seat post and using the saddle rails to give me what I needed as far as reach, and using stem height. It was mostly small adjustments until I got it right, but it worked.

    To date, I've been completely unsuccessful with making 54cm bikes fit me, no matter the stem length or seat tube height. I could duplicate the triangle dimensions of the bikes that fit, but just never got to where they felt right. Otherwise, I'd still have a Prestige.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    I'm not a doctor, but I watch them on TV.

    1982 Lotus Classique
    1987 D'Arienzo (Basso) SLX
    1995 Hot Tubes TT
    2006 Cinelli XLR8R-2
    2008 BMC Roadracer SL01
    2014 Wraith Hustle
    2014 Wraith Paycheck

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •