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  1. #1
    she
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    I think my bike may be a wee too big

    Somehow I think My bike is to too big. I have been reading the post of Goldfinch about comparisons and although Im 5'4 my inseam is very short. Its 29 inch and jeans are hard to find because even the "short "size I have to roll at least an inch. I have a mans xsmall bike (15 inch frame) but I have really no clearance. I think thats why Im having a hard time getting comfortable with it. Is that a good reason maybe I should sell this thing and get a new bike? HAHAHA really ....could it be why I have a hard time with it. Suggestions? Help?

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Does the XSMALL label also have a measurement posted in cm's ? What kind of bike?

    Gina is 5'4 and fits on a mens traditional road frame in a 51 cm with a short stem and narrow handlebars. She wears a 30 inch inseam in jeans.

  3. #3
    she
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    My bike is at work I just remeasured my inseam Im actually closer to 27 inch. The pants length is 29 inch and I still have to cuff jeans 1 inch. VERY short legs!!! This is my bike. http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/hybrid/route-3-0-12/ I dont think it has the cm size on it.

  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Oh wow! If you have clearance trouble with a sloping top tube like that...... Have you considered taking up jogging?

    Kidding, in order to be too big with that design, it would have to be way too big for you.

  5. #5
    she
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    gee Im so glad I joined this forum. HAHAHA just had a stupid moment didnt I LOL Its Ok I had a few others too. Thanks. So its back to fitting the bike to me. HHMMM about those handlebars. I think Im going to get the the LBS to fit me cause I cant seem to fit it to me myself. Its either the seat is perfect than I have trouble with the bars and I go in a circle with this. Thing is Im a DIY lady so its hard for me to ask help from them.

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    gee Im so glad I joined this forum. HAHAHA just had a stupid moment didnt I LOL Its Ok I had a few others too. Thanks. So its back to fitting the bike to me. HHMMM about those handlebars. I think Im going to get the the LBS to fit me cause I cant seem to fit it to me myself. Its either the seat is perfect than I have trouble with the bars and I go in a circle with this. Thing is I'm a DIY lady so its hard for me to ask help from them.
    I can't make out your problem cause you don't provide much info.

    But if you get the seat right, that's a good part of the fit completed. Why not lower the handlebars via the bolt on top of the stem, (loosen the top bolt then the stem will slide down into head tubetube of the frame then tighten the bolt (make sure the hb's are still straight)......... then loosen the clamp that holds handlebarsbars then swing he handlebars a bit back toward the saddle making them easier to reach.


    You can also loosen the bolt under the seat and slide the saddle forward on the rails putting you closer to the hb's. You'd have to readjust the seat height after that.

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    My bike is at work I just remeasured my inseam Im actually closer to 27 inch. The pants length is 29 inch and I still have to cuff jeans 1 inch. VERY short legs!!! This is my bike. http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/hybrid/route-3-0-12/ I dont think it has the cm size on it.
    That bike has a suspension fork which raises the head tube, reducing standover clearance.
    My 5'3" GF has the same issue, and I am just finishing building one of these for her: http://www.somafab.com/bvistapix.html

  8. #8
    she
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    Mr beanz I see what I did now after reading your post. I did adjust the seat but I didnt raise it. As for the stem I did raise it but I didnt adjust the handlebars. It seems like I did half what I should have. I was afraid to do too many things at once thinking it would totally throw everything out of whack. I will take care of it tomorrow. Thanks for the tips !!!!
    Shimagnolo thats a beauty of a bike!!! Lucky GF.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    I was afraid to do too many things at once thinking it would totally throw everything out of whack. I will take care of it tomorrow. Thanks for the tips !!!!
    .
    Totally understandable! I used to stress out about fixing a rear flat because I was worried about removing the back wheel. One day I said fo'get it, took it off and on about 20 times till I realized, it's just a thing that I can move and remove whenever I feel.

    I myself will mark with a piece of tape if raising the seat post, or use a marker to leave a point of reference when moving handlebars etc so that if I don't like the new position, I can always go back or halfway back.

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    Why don't you try riding the bike and have someone take pictures of you on it so people can try to diagnose the problem. That's what goldfinch did and it seemed to lead to some good advice from a variety of sources. You could edit your face out in Paint or something if you want to stay anonymous.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaDawg View Post
    Why don't you try riding the bike and have someone take pictures of you on it so people can try to diagnose the problem. That's what goldfinch did and it seemed to lead to some good advice from a variety of sources. You could edit your face out in Paint or something if you want to stay anonymous.
    That's what I do cause I don't want anyone here to know what I really look like!


    060411h by mrbeanz1, on Flickr

  12. #12
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    I'm 5' 6" but am mostly made up of torso. My inseam is close to 27-28" range. The shortest pants I can find are 30" in most, with 29" available in dress sizes. I usually need things hemmed as well. Recently, I've been wearing work boots with my jeans because the heel provides some lift.

    My road bike does not have a sloping top tube, and I ride a 50 cm frame. I could probably get away with a 51 or 52 according to some shops, especially on bikes with a sloping tube.

    The key is to just spend time getting on and off the bike without touching the top tube (especially guys), and making sure the rest of the bike fits you properly. If a bike does not fit you correct, it will be hard to get comfortable on and will cause other issues.

    Another solution if you are a small person is getting smaller wheels and tires. Your bike currently has 700c wheels. Changing to 650 would lower your bike slightly.
    New Clyde and Commuter
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    @beanz - that smiley star is exactly what I had in mind.

  14. #14
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    That bike has a suspension fork which raises the head tube, reducing standover clearance.
    I agree. Even though it has a sloping top tube that bike has an awfully high standover. My strictly calibrated internet bike photo eyes tell me that that's probably the 17" model in the photo. The wheels including tires are probably 28" in diameter. The approximate center of the top tube looks like it's about and inch and a half higher than the tops of the tires so that puts the standover at 29.5". I'm gonna put the 15" standover about an inch and a quarter lower than that - 28.25" - pretty darn high for someone with 27" inseam.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 08-19-11 at 02:04 AM.
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    she
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    Ok just woke up and saw so many wonderful advice here. I did kind of feel the bike was a little too big for me . What im going to do probally is get another bike. Unless some one tells me that I could do something to make it smaller with spending a whole lot bucks here. Im actually looking on craigslist now to see what I find. You guys are great!!!

    Wxduuf ypu gave me the biggest indicator that I bought a too big bike. Your inseam and the problems related are twins.
    Changing to 650 would lower your bike slightly
    Would that help much? I would just need to get a set and put them right on?

    Shimagnolo next bike will have no sloping tube if I can help it. Any suggestions?

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    she, Any possibility of a photo of you riding the bike? Without any of us able to personally help there's the tendency to shotgun viable well intended suggestions.

    Proper fit primarily depends on how you and the bike mesh when riding. Stand over is a consideration, but not the primary concern.

    Brad

  17. #17
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    First, I would try having a fitter work with you on your current bike. If it turns out not to fit no matter what maybe the fitter can suggest possible bikes that would work better in styles you like.

    I won't get another bike without working with a bike fitter. Technically, my old hybrid should have fit me. The standover was fine. The size extra small. What I didn't realized was that the reach was just too far. If I moved the handlebars, which were somewhat adjustable, closer in to me to improve the reach, then they were too high. If I had them at close to the correct height then they were too far away. So, I ended up with a new different kind of hybrid bike that fits me just fine. Now I am starting to look for a road bike and want to be meticulous about fit.

    I like the idea of bikes with smaller wheels, they do bring the bike closer to the ground. My are only 26 inch wheels. My inseam crotch to floor is 27.5 and I have plenty of clearance on my Cannondale Quick extra small. But I think that you likely would be cramped on my bike as the reach is really close. Your torso is going to be much longer than mine, given your height. There is the option of a mixte type frames like Shimagnolo mentioned that should work for you and they have standard size wheel.

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    Somehow I think My bike is to too big. I have been reading the post of Goldfinch about comparisons and although Im 5'4 my inseam is very short. Its 29 inch and jeans are hard to find because even the "short "size I have to roll at least an inch. I have a mans xsmall bike (15 inch frame) but I have really no clearance. I think thats why Im having a hard time getting comfortable with it. Is that a good reason maybe I should sell this thing and get a new bike? HAHAHA really ....could it be why I have a hard time with it. Suggestions? Help?
    According to their geometry chart, your Raleigh has a standover height of just a little under 27". That's right at your inseam. And with the high front end due to the shock, you don't have much room for the standover. I'd agree that the bike is the wrong size. I'm in the minority when it comes to opinions on standover but I think it's the most important measure of bike fit for women and especially small women. If you can't straddle the bike with your feet flat on the ground, the bike doesn't fit you.

    Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it with this bike. You can't change anything to lower the standover. The best course of action would be to start new. Next time avoid the shock to lower the front end. Also look for smaller women designs -not "'women's" bikes with a step through frame but bicycles designed for women. Trek, Specialized, Jamis, Cannondale, etc all have women specific designs. Unless you are going to ride off-road, avoid suspension forks. Also take a tape measure and actually measure the standover height - and stand over the bike. If you don't have an inch of space between you and the bike, look elsewhere. If the shop tells you "it'll fit" and you don't think it does, speak up! Insist that they get it right or go elsewhere.

    Buying a bike that doesn't fit just costs you money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    gee Im so glad I joined this forum. HAHAHA just had a stupid moment didnt I LOL Its Ok I had a few others too. Thanks. So its back to fitting the bike to me. HHMMM about those handlebars. I think Im going to get the the LBS to fit me cause I cant seem to fit it to me myself. Its either the seat is perfect than I have trouble with the bars and I go in a circle with this. Thing is Im a DIY lady so its hard for me to ask help from them.
    You don't explain what your issue is.

    Your bike is listed as having a standover height of 26.4 inches. This is typically at the midpoint of the toptube. For sloping top-tubes, my opinion is that the listed standover height is somewhat smaller than the "effective/usable" standover height.

    You say your inseam is 27 inches. Generally, the measurement that people give for this is smaller than the "real" number. If you are talking about the length of your pants, then the number is smaller than the "real" number.

    Here's how to get the real number.

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_..._to_measure_it
    Last edited by njkayaker; 08-19-11 at 09:39 AM.

  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by she View Post
    Ok just woke up and saw so many wonderful advice here. I did kind of feel the bike was a little too big for me . What im going to do probally is get another bike. Unless some one tells me that I could do something to make it smaller with spending a whole lot bucks here. Im actually looking on craigslist now to see what I find. You guys are great!!!

    Wxduuf ypu gave me the biggest indicator that I bought a too big bike. Your inseam and the problems related are twins.
    Changing to 650 would lower your bike slightly
    Would that help much? I would just need to get a set and put them right on?

    Shimagnolo next bike will have no sloping tube if I can help it. Any suggestions?
    The problem with changing wheels is that it won't work. The brake bosses are in the wrong place and the brakes can't be adjusted to reach. The frame is built around 700C wheels. To change to 650C wheels you have to build the bike around them. That means a new bike. Looking for a bike with 650C wheels is a good idea, although a 26" wheel bike would get you the same thing without all the hassle of finding 650C wheels.

    There's no problem with a sloping top tube. However, yours slopes too much. Your fork has 63mm (2.5") of travel. That means that the front of the bike has to be 2.5" taller to accommodate that travel. Without the travel, the head tube on the bike would be lower. However, you can't just change out the fork to a shorter one. The bike is built around that fork too. Lowering the front end would increase the head angle and make the bike squirrelly.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I think the Trek FX series had mixte frame options for some of the bikes for 2011, but I am not seeing them for 2012. Maybe shops might have 2011s for good prices. Treks sure are nice bikes.

  22. #22
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    Another solution if you are a small person is getting smaller wheels and tires. Your bike currently has 700c wheels. Changing to 650 would lower your bike slightly.
    The problem with that is that the linked bike has v-brakes. Cantis and V-brakes, because they pivot below the rim, can't adjust enough for a smaller wheel.

    Now... the pic seems to show mounts for a front disc brake; if it had mounts for a rear disc, you could convert it to smaller wheels, disc brakes, and you'd be golden. But honestly... with that kind of price output to adjust the bike to fit, it'd probably be better selling it at a loss, and putting the money toward a bike that fits in the first place.
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  23. #23
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    Thanks everyone for the corrections about the small wheels. Didn't think about the brakes.
    New Clyde and Commuter
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Bear in mind this bike is still under construction for the 5'3" GF, so don't look too closely at the details like no chain/FD/etc. Note that carpenter's level is 24" tall:

    http://www.dim.com/~ryoder/IMGP0151.JPG

    This is the smallest Soma Buena Vista, (42cm): http://www.somafab.com/bvista.html
    Tires are 26"x1.25".
    Crank arms are 152mm.

    BTW Read what Soma says carefully about the brakes on the 42cm model. Also, they don't mention that you need to buy the dropout adjuster screws separately, (Loose Screws has them), and that you *must* have them in order to move the rear axle forward far enough to adjust the brake pads onto the rim and off the tire. Also, the rear brake bridge is so fat that you need a 13mm *front* recessed brake nut for the *rear* brake.

  25. #25
    she
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    So you all very helpful people I learn so much here. I took myself to the LBS and after learning that no I cant return this bike cause I now had it for over 3 months I had my self adjusted to it. MAJOR difference. I still think the bike is a bit to big(I cant touch the ground on tippy toes at all) and I will get a new one down the line....he made it more ridable for now. The handle bars were way to far out for me. and the stem was pulled up to bring it more in too. I just have to tweet the seat a bit more and then I think it will be managable. Thank you very much for all your help!!!!!

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