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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 06-01-11, 06:32 PM   #1
XringX
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Bike sizing.. I dont fit on the charts..

Ok, I dont fit on the charts.. Need some basic help.. And yes, I know my LBS will help me tremendously,,, but I dont have the money to spend on a decent bike unless I find something right on CL, and I dont want to waste their time when I cant buy...

So this is it.. Per my doctor this AM, I am 5'10 and 1/2 inches tall. My inseam, that I just measured from the bottom of the good stuff to the floor between my legs standing straight.. measures 30.5 inches. I weigh 255 (down 13lbs in 2 weeks!)

I dont fit on any chart.. Now, I dont look to out of proportion.. but I have always known that I had short legs...If I had proper legs I am sure I would be over 6' like my brother and dad.

So.. what size bike should I look for? 56cm be right based on overall height.. but 54cm or even less based on the legs...
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Old 06-01-11, 06:38 PM   #2
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You can be tough to fit. I think that you would do better on a bike with a sloping top tube rather than the horizontal top tube. Someone will come along and disagree with me but I would look for a virtual 56 seat tube with a 56 top tube.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:43 PM   #3
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If you get a compact frame with a sloping top tube, it will probably be easier to get something that won't take a really long stem to keep from feeling crowded. Bike sizing isn't exact. You may find a 52cm in one model works where a 56cm in another model fits as well. The only way to know is to ride them. And don't count on the CL ads being accurate on sizing either. I've seen all sorts of bikes that after looking at the photo were obviously not the size stated in the ad.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:48 PM   #4
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We're basically spot on in terms of measurements and weight and I'm on the Gravity Ave B 53.5. I'd go with the 54 if I were you, obviously everyone here is going to tell you to go to your LBS and see what works though.

I don't think you can go wrong with the 54 myself.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:51 PM   #5
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I'm about your height, with maybe a half inch more in inseam. I fit great on a "typical" 56 cm bike, but as others have said, anywhere from 54 to 56 is worth looking at. My roadbike has a slightly sloping top tube. It is a virtual 56, and it fits great. Your best bet is to find bikes in your price range, and go give them a shot. Ride them around a bit--and don't be turned off if the ad reads 54cm or 55cm." In my opinion, erring slightly smaller is much better than erring on the large side. You can always get set back posts, longer stems, etc. to compensate.

Go give a few a try...
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Old 06-01-11, 06:55 PM   #6
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A 52-54 (ideally a 53 if you can find it) with a longish stem (120) would probably fit you perfectly.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XringX View Post
Ok, I dont fit on the charts.. Need some basic help.. And yes, I know my LBS will help me tremendously,,, but I dont have the money to spend on a decent bike unless I find something right on CL, and I dont want to waste their time when I cant buy...

So this is it.. Per my doctor this AM, I am 5'10 and 1/2 inches tall. My inseam, that I just measured from the bottom of the good stuff to the floor between my legs standing straight.. measures 30.5 inches. I weigh 255 (down 13lbs in 2 weeks!)
I'm 5'10" with a 30.5" inseam. I ride a traditional 55cm center-to-top frame with a 55.5cm top tube and 120mm classic shaped stem (Litespeed Natchez, -17 degree stem).

If I needed 12 degrees of rise to get the handle bars to the same height (more rise in the stem means more of its length is going into making the bar higher) or an extra 1cm of handlebar height (the handle bars get closer as you raise them by any mechanism) I couldn't buy a long enough stem to make it fit.

I could probably go a little longer.

A taller frame wouldn't work as well on stand-over clearance and still might not make it (the same frame in a 57mm only has a 1cm longer top tube, although I'd gain 1.5cm in reach total due to the taller head tube).

Quote:
So.. what size bike should I look for? 56cm be right based on overall height.. but 54cm or even less based on the legs...
Depends how the frame is measured (bottom bracket center to center of top tube, bb center to top of top tube, bb center to top of seat tube, bb center to top of "virtual" seat tube as if the frame were built with a flat top tube, "virtual" top tube length measured center of seat tube to center of head tube), how long the top tube is, how long the head tube is (a taller head tube with the same "virtual" top tube length means the handle bars will be farther away at the same drop), seat/head tube angles (since you're going to place your seat tube based on where you sit relative to the pedals, a steeper seat tube with the same virtual top tube measurement will place the bars farther away), and other geometry options (sloping vs. flat top tube, bottom bracket drop).

It also depends on you. Beyond height/inseam you also have ape index, flexibility, physique (belly size limits how low you can go), riding style (for example when you're working hard reaction torque takes weight off your hands and a flatter riding position is more comfortable), and personal preferences (before brake/shift levers were designed to be mounted at bar top level I liked a high deep drop bar which is closer than a shallower bar with the same reach that put the brake hoods and drops at the same height).

There will be some frames that cannot be made to fit.

Paying for a one hour fit which results in the reach/drop you're looking for and viable frame geometries may be prudent.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 06-01-11 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erwin8r View Post
I'm about your height, with maybe a half inch more in inseam. I fit great on a "typical" 56 cm bike, but as others have said, anywhere from 54 to 56 is worth looking at. My roadbike has a slightly sloping top tube. It is a virtual 56, and it fits great. Your best bet is to find bikes in your price range, and go give them a shot. Ride them around a bit--and don't be turned off if the ad reads 54cm or 55cm." In my opinion, erring slightly smaller is much better than erring on the large side. You can always get set back posts, longer stems, etc. to compensate.
Within limits. There are a few 150mm stems and 140mm is the longest common size.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:16 PM   #9
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Within limits. There are a few 150mm stems and 140mm is the longest common size.
Absolutely agree. I wouldn't buy a bike if it needed a stem longer than 120mm... The best bet is to go out and ride the bikes. For example, before my Seven, I bought a "Small" K2 Mod 5.0. K2 claims the "small" to be suitable for 49 to 55 cm frame size requirements, and had a virtual top tube length of 55 cm. Way too small. I can breath on my 56cm bike... But once again, they are almost all different--go ride 'em.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:22 PM   #10
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6' tall with a 31" inseam here, I ride a 54 CAAD8.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:52 PM   #11
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http://www.bike.caloriesmadesimple.com/Zep/Specs.htm

I am going to go ride a 54cm of the one above.. See how it goes.. I have no clue what all those measurements mean.

Not sure if these components are any good....."-3Al/2.5V Titanium, stripped, no logos...
Complete bike, with 9spd 105 parts from a Cannondale, Coda Hubs, Mavic CXP 21 rims. Sweet, fast bike. Pedals included, unless you don't need em
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Old 06-01-11, 08:17 PM   #12
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Just another point of info for your sizing. I"m 5'10, not sure of my exact measured inseam, but I wear 30 inseam pants. My road bike is a 2007 Specialized Tricross Comp that I picked up on Craigslist. Size 56. It fits me pretty well, but I think a 54 would work ok for me too.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:26 PM   #13
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I'm 5'10.5", with a 30" inseam, currently 258 (down from 306 three months ago), and comfortably ride a 55cm Bianchi. Just my .02
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Old 06-01-11, 08:26 PM   #14
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I'm about 1" taller than you but with about the same inseam. My road bike is a 56 (Specialized Secteur) but my "commuter" (really a grocery getter and riding on the MUP w/ my wife bike) is a Kona Dew Plus 59cm.

If you're buying off CL, etc. I'd consider 54 or 56 for sure, possibly one size smaller or larger.
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Old 06-02-11, 02:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by XringX View Post
http://www.bike.caloriesmadesimple.com/Zep/Specs.htm

I am going to go ride a 54cm of the one above.. See how it goes.. I have no clue what all those measurements mean.

Not sure if these components are any good....."-3Al/2.5V Titanium, stripped, no logos...
Complete bike, with 9spd 105 parts from a Cannondale, Coda Hubs, Mavic CXP 21 rims. Sweet, fast bike. Pedals included, unless you don't need em
Airborne's are great bikes--frames made in Taiwan or something, adn only internet marketed in the US in the 90's and early 2000's... Not sure why they went away, although I hear they're back with aluminum frames. In any event, they got very good reviews back then. The Shimano 105 group is excellent--sounds like a fantastic bike. What are they asking for it?
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Old 06-02-11, 06:27 PM   #16
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He is asking $550.. He wont budge.. I just learned he is a bike mechanic and he says he knows it worth a bit more than asking because of the components..
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Old 06-02-11, 06:56 PM   #17
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I have some advice that can save you a lot of butt/hand/back ache.

Go test ride a lot of bikes at local bike shops anyway. Find a brand and size combination that works for you, and look for something similar on CR.

If you feel guilty about it, spend smaller bits of cash there over the next year (tubes, tires, chains, repairs, etc.).

On a side-note, I have the opposite problem. I have slightly longer thighs, and much shorter arms, than people my height are "supposed" to have. If I get a bike that fits my upper body, my knees knock my hands/wrists off the top bar of the handlebars. Bikes that fit my lower body make me feel like I'm laying on the top-bar.

The fix is easy. I prefer the shorter bikes, with a really long stem. It pushes the handlebars forward just enough so that my knees don't hit my hands/wrists.
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