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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-28-07, 09:18 PM   #1
thestoutdog
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Do I need a new frame?

I'm fishing for advice, help if you can please. In 2006 I bought a 58cm '05 Bianchi Volpe for $509 new. After riding it for some time now, I think I acted too fast. I'm 6'4" 268lbs, 34ish in inseam with real long arms, and I think my trusted steed is too small for me. I replaced the stock shock seat post with a solid one, a B-17 and a threadless headset riser. It's close to being a comfortable ride, but not totally. I use it for running errands, fitness, trainer, and some short touring(though I'd love to do some longer trips). I'm wondering if I should just tough it out with what I've got or try to find a bigger frame. I don't want to spend a fortune, and would love to just swap most of the parts to the new frame. I've had my eye on the LHT, but my LBS guy says the Cross Check would be better suited for me. Any advice would be welcome, as my wife is sick of me looking for "yet another bike"m and would just like to find a really comfy ride. Thanks.
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Old 08-28-07, 09:56 PM   #2
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That does sound a little small for your measurements. Do you have any pictures of yourself on the bike?
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Old 08-28-07, 10:07 PM   #3
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You need a 62cm-ish frame. Same dimensions sans long arms. Mine are average. I ride 64cm. I rode a 58 and wished I had never bought it. I sold it a month later and went with the 64. I would recommend a 62-64 (depends on if you are 6'3.5" rounded up or 6'4"-6'5" ish) frame with a 110mm stem (for the arms). Just a guess.
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Old 08-28-07, 10:12 PM   #4
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I'm 6'1 and ride a 58. I've ridden a lil Bianchi (54) we have that I know is a bit too small for me. Only ride it once or twice a year cause it looks lonely. I can do 25 miles before I start feeling really cramped. That's after a new post and stem.

I'd go with the bigger road frame. I have a bud that's 275 and maybe 5'7 that does great on roadies!
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Old 08-28-07, 10:45 PM   #5
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One of my* bikes is a 58 cm and I'm a 5'8" woman...
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Old 08-29-07, 12:25 AM   #6
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One of my* bikes is a 58 cm and I'm a 5'8" woman...
That doesn't sound too good! I would bet if you did a poll, you'd find 99% of the riders riding 58's are 6-6'1 men. The other 1% bought the wrong size! I know a gal 5'10 riding a 56, perfect fit.
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Old 08-29-07, 01:38 AM   #7
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That doesn't sound too good! I would bet if you did a poll, you'd find 99% of the riders riding 58's are 6-6'1 men. The other 1% bought the wrong size! I know a gal 5'10 riding a 56, perfect fit.
There are alot of people that just don't conform to the average joe frame sizing calculations. Look in the MTB forum and there are guys 5' 8" riding 19-20" mountain bikes. I'm not being smart but its up to her to say if she bought the wrong size, not you.

Thestoutdog, only you can tell if you need a bigger frame. When it comes down to it alot of people can give you the guideline sizing but in the end if you feel better on a big frame then that is up to you. I'd suggest trying out a few different size bikes before you buy, a good bike shop is a good place to start. You don't even have to buy it there after.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:12 AM   #8
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That doesn't sound too good! I would bet if you did a poll, you'd find 99% of the riders riding 58's are 6-6'1 men. The other 1% bought the wrong size! I know a gal 5'10 riding a 56, perfect fit.
Yep, I'm 5' 11 1/2" rounded up to 6'. I was right in between a Trek 56 and 58. I went with a 58 with a shorter stem.
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Old 08-29-07, 07:16 AM   #9
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There are alot of people that just don't conform to the average joe frame sizing calculations. Look in the MTB forum and there are guys 5' 8" riding 19-20" mountain bikes. I'm not being smart but its up to her to say if she bought the wrong size, not you.
You're both kinda right! I have really short legs. If my legs were as long as the rest of my body, I would, indeed, be about 6'. I only have one 58 cm bike, and I don't mind riding it all, but my 56 cm is a better fit. The 58 cm doesn't cause any problems... basically I try to get the largest bike I can stand over, and the 58 cm bike I cannot* quite put my heel down barefoot over.

However, besides that, there are different theories of fit, and I like the feel of the old "One fist of seatpost" rule- I know it's not "in vogue" right now. Maybe it's because I'm not a real strong rider yet, or my sense of balance isn't so great, but I feel much more centered and steady on a larger bike. I do ride a 55 cm bike (that's as small as I can go without feeling cramped) and I like that, too. My Riv (I think it's a 58, but they said a Rivendell 58 is the same as a 56 in most bikes--I didn't understand that) is a perfect fit.

I just sold a WSD bike that I got at a garages sale. I hated* this bike, I felt like the center of gravity was about a foot off. The bike shop said I wasn't a good candidate for a WSD. I sold it on Craig's List, and the woman who bought it had the same short legs and tall height that I had. I mean, I tried to talk her out of getting the bike! We compared hip bones and height and everything. She bought the bike, rides it over 100 miles a week, and just wrote me and told me she was thrilled with the bike.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is..you just gotta go ride the bikes. Even these height numbers don't mean what they used to, unless you really understand bike geometry and have ridden enough to see what you think with different top bar lengths. These guys are giving you a range of sizes that should work for you unless you have something unusual going on.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:23 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the help. I'll try to fit my big 'ole butt in a camera frame with my bike. Sounds like I may need a bigger frame though. Hmmm...
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Old 08-29-07, 09:46 PM   #11
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There's some minor changes you can make too - different stem, different bars, setback seatpost.........

My frame is way small but it's a mountain bike so a different deal. I'd like to go bigger and better but the drought has dried my money tree up. So I'm fooling with it to make it feel bigger.
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Old 08-31-07, 10:02 PM   #12
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I'm 6'4" - about 36 inch inseam and my 64cm is just about perfect. Doesn't answer your question but might be helpful to judge your size.
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Old 08-31-07, 10:46 PM   #13
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IMO, a 58 is at least 6cm too small for you. I'm 6'4", 34 pants inseam, 37 sleeve, and my Atlantis and Rambouillet are both 64cm. Rivendell's sizing charts actually put me on a 65, but they were out of stock and I was in a rush; 65 wouldn't be too big for me.
I know it's a lot of money, but the move even from 62 to 64 made a huge difference for me. If I were you, I'd look around for a used bike and make the swap.
I haven't looked at the Surly Web site in awhile, but I was looking at a Crosscheck before I bought the Atlantis, and one reason I didn't get it is that it doesn't come in big sizes. See if you can at least borrow or test ride a 64cm frame--I think you'll be surprised.
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Old 09-04-07, 03:45 AM   #14
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Not sure about the Volpe's geometry...if it's sized like a cross bike (with a higher BB), then it might be closer to being the ride size. I've got a Kona JTS, and it's a 58...and I'm 6'3 and change. I'd ride a 60 or 61 on pure road geometry, but on a 60 JTS I'm not able to dismount comfortably.

Keep in mind that you got a good price to start with, and the bike is still worth quite a bit. You could sell it and buy a new one for not too much outlay, or just get a new frame and switch out the parts.
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Old 09-04-07, 04:01 AM   #15
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Of COURSE you need a new frame.

You need a 3x MTB frames (a dually, a hard tail and a rigid SS), 2x road bike frames (a full carbon race bike and a steel or scandium training bike), a hipster fixie, a 29er SS, a touring bike, a track bike, 2x recumbents (one regular and one trike), a unicycle, an offroad unicycle and either a trials MTB or a BMX.

Go on, you know you want to
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Old 09-04-07, 04:31 AM   #16
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There are alot of people that just don't conform to the average joe frame sizing calculations. Look in the MTB forum and there are guys 5' 8" riding 19-20" mountain bikes. I'm not being smart but its up to her to say if she bought the wrong size, not you.
i'm 5'9 and my bike is 16.5"!!!

these 5'8 people on 20" bikes must have extra long legs and generally look like a freak i reckon!
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Old 09-04-07, 10:41 AM   #17
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i'm 5'9 and my bike is 16.5"!!!

these 5'8 people on 20" bikes must have extra long legs and generally look like a freak i reckon!
Actually for me it's the other way. I've got stumpy little legs (29" inseam, 5'10) and have to use a larger bike because if I don't my back goes nuts from being folded up. I tend to run with my seats almost all the way down so I can get on without damaging the boys
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Old 09-04-07, 10:44 AM   #18
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Thanks to all for the help. I'll try to fit my big 'ole butt in a camera frame with my bike. Sounds like I may need a bigger frame though. Hmmm...
If you end up going for a larger bike and want to sell the Volpe give me a holler. A good friend (and his wife) has a Volpe and loves it. His was too small for me to ride comfortably (he's about 6 inches shorter than me) but I liked the feel and would like to add a cross bike to the stable at some point.
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Old 09-04-07, 01:19 PM   #19
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"I only have one 58 cm bike, and I don't mind riding it all, but my 56 cm is a better fit. The 58 cm doesn't cause any problems... basically I try to get the largest bike I can stand over, and the 58 cm bike I cannot* quite put my heel down barefoot over."

I'm somewhat like that too. I do all my riding on city streets and it seems every inch higher I sit gives me much better visibility to see over cars etc. I basically have zero clearance for stand over, but I've gotten in the habit of kind of "falling over" to my down side foot when I stop.
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Old 09-05-07, 11:19 AM   #20
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Might want to take a gander at a Soma Smoothie ES, as a reasonably priced, steel steed, available in sizes to 64cm. While there is nothing wrong with a Surly, I think Soma uses some nicer tubing, for about the same price. Might swap most of the bits over from the Volpe, and sell the frame on Fleabay. Bianchi frames usually bring a good dollar.
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Old 09-05-07, 02:59 PM   #21
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"I only have one 58 cm bike, and I don't mind riding it all, but my 56 cm is a better fit. The 58 cm doesn't cause any problems... basically I try to get the largest bike I can stand over, and the 58 cm bike I cannot* quite put my heel down barefoot over."

I'm somewhat like that too. I do all my riding on city streets and it seems every inch higher I sit gives me much better visibility to see over cars etc. I basically have zero clearance for stand over, but I've gotten in the habit of kind of "falling over" to my down side foot when I stop.
Bill, is there any reason why we shouldn't be riding bikes this size? I have a long torso, so the bike itself feels great. What are the downsides in a handling a "too big" bike, do you think?
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