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Thread: frame fitment

  1. #1
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    frame fitment

    I found a web site (Colorado Cyclist) that gave this formula for frames measured center to top C-T:

    inseam * .67 = frame size C-T

    I stood barefoot against a wall riding a book spine like it was a bicycle seat and had my partner mark the wall. 91 cm for me. His was 76 cm.

    76 x .67 = 50.94 cm for him (51cm)
    91 x .67 = 60.97 cm for me (61cm)

    But the site says riders 6' and taller might find inseam - 27 or 28cm more comfortable for frames measured C-T. That would be 63cm or 64cm for me. The Surly LHT only goes to 62cm. Should I be looking for a larger frame?

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    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    The more important measurement is top tube length, but that isn't the way frames are advertised. Most people agree that you don't know how you like a bike to fit until you've road awhile, say a couple thousand miles. If you look at the geometries of the Surly frames they tend to run a little bit longer in the top tube than most, so I would bet you will be fine, those calculaters are only for a ballpark figure. As long as the frame is within a size either way from ideal you can make it work by changing the length of the stem.

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    I went to the bike store today and tried a bunch of bikes. None were more than 60 cm, and those were too tall with 700c tires. I couldn't stand over them comfortably and without peril. Maybe I measured myself incorrectly before, or the ROT is just that, an ROT and not a gospel. I found that the 57 to 58cm frames seemed to fit the best.

    I tried several Trek and Specialized road bikes and hybrids, and even a mountain bike, although I'll be darned if I can remember all the model names. Most of the ones I tried were in the $850 to $1200 price range.

    The bike store guy helped me select them and set up the seat height for me and adjusted the handlebars on some of them before I rode them. I found that all of the bikes with drop bars, no matter how they were set up, caused me to experience discomfort in my neck, and I felt like I was riding blind because I couldn't keep my head up. I guess I'm not very limber. I liked the flat bars way better because I didn't have to lean over as much and my neck didn't hurt.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okra dictum View Post
    I found that all of the bikes with drop bars, no matter how they were set up, caused me to experience discomfort in my neck, and I felt like I was riding blind because I couldn't keep my head up. I guess I'm not very limber. I liked the flat bars way better because I didn't have to lean over as much and my neck didn't hurt.
    That's not uncommon. It takes a while to stretch the muscles out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
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    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Yes, it takes awhile to get your neck used to it. Make sure if you do run drop that they are at least the height of the saddle. Some people run an adjustable stem for awhile so that they can set them up real high and lower them as they get used to the position.

  6. #6
    nowheels
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    I'm introducing a new clyde to cycling over the past few weeks and we have been spending alot of time tweaking the rider position. He has never ridden a road bike, or biked lond distances for fitness. He also has complained about the neck.....but will give the drop bars a few more rides before we switch to a flat bar. he does not have any lower back pain or knee pain.......so were on the right track.

  7. #7
    Back after a long absence joelpalmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    The more important measurement is top tube length, but that isn't the way frames are advertised. Most people agree that you don't know how you like a bike to fit until you've road awhile, say a couple thousand miles. If you look at the geometries of the Surly frames they tend to run a little bit longer in the top tube than most, so I would bet you will be fine, those calculaters are only for a ballpark figure. As long as the frame is within a size either way from ideal you can make it work by changing the length of the stem.
    +1 to that. IT has been a huge issue for me because I have stumpy little legs (5'10 with a 28" inseam) compared to my height, which meant that my old MTB felt cramped all the time. If I bought my bikes based on inseam I'd be riding the same as my 5'5 buddy and would be folded like an accordion to get in position.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    There are road bikes, like the Trek Pilots, that keep the bars up a little higher to put you in a more upright riding position, thus easing the neck strain. I've never had any long term neck issues on mine. If I ride in the drops for more than a mile or two, it get a bit tough on the neck. I ride mostly on the tops and hoods so it's not an issues. I love the hand possitions of road bars and I'm very glad I went with them over staight bars. You can also add a higher stem and/or and steer extension to raise the bars up if the model you choose feels to low.
    2006 Trek Pilot 1.0
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1 View Post
    There are road bikes, like the Trek Pilots, that keep the bars up a little higher to put you in a more upright riding position, thus easing the neck strain. I've never had any long term neck issues on mine. If I ride in the drops for more than a mile or two, it get a bit tough on the neck. I ride mostly on the tops and hoods so it's not an issues. I love the hand possitions of road bars and I'm very glad I went with them over staight bars. You can also add a higher stem and/or and steer extension to raise the bars up if the model you choose feels to low.
    If I buy a model with straight bars and use that while I'm getting used to cycling (I am really not in good shape and I'm not limber) and maybe drop a few pounds, can I swap the straight bar later for a drop bar? I guess I'd have to swap out the shifters and brakes too so they fit the different bars.

    I just want to start out with a straight bar until I'm more comfortable with cycling after not having done it in 32 years. The drop bar bikes I tested just plain hurt me right now and they are kinda scary. The Trek 7.7 FX I rode had straight bars and was a dream.

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Look at putting a Trekkiing bar on from the get go.......

    More hand positions and the ride like a flat bar, but the multiple hand positions of the drop bars. As you build distance, you'll really understand why this can be an advantage and standard flat bar stuff fits a Trekking bar.


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