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Old 07-25-06, 04:07 PM   #1
KrautFed
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How many of you ride on wrong sized frame?

I can't find a local frame to build a FG/SS (flipflop) to save my life. I'm not wanting to spend a fortune, so that really inlies the problem. Of course I could order a $500 frame from the LBS, but thats waaay over my head.

I'm wanting to have 2 bikes, a multi speed beater/commuter and a fun FG/SS bike which actually could definitely be my full time commuter if I really liked it. My commute is 6-8miles and not too bad at elevation changes, but I guess its going to be a while before I score a FG/SS frame to use. In the meantime, I want to go ahead and ride, but the only local one I've really come across is actually the cheapest and nicest one! Its a vintage (late 70's - early 80's) JC Penny road bike for $25. I know I know... department store but this thing is in incredibly nice condition, and a few extra goodies like fenders & etc. The only downside is that its a 54cm frame... and I need a 60cm.

I know there's got to be some beater/budget commuters out there that are rolling on the wrong sized frame. Is it worth the $25 to score a nice beater/commuter even if the frame is way small than what I need?
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Old 07-25-06, 04:14 PM   #2
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Nashbar has an alu road frame for $119 that I'm sure you could convert to a fixie. In most sizes, the head angle is around 73 degrees so it will handle close to what a track bike handles like.
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Old 07-25-06, 04:14 PM   #3
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Garage, estate and moving sales, Goodwill and Salvation Army, LBS dumpsters, classifieds and municipal bulletin boards, Craigslist and eBay. You've tried them all and can't find a frame?
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Old 07-25-06, 04:17 PM   #4
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ebay or craig's list. Riding a 54 sounds like a stretch from a 60. I would pass.
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Old 07-25-06, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Nashbar has an alu road frame for $119 that I'm sure you could convert to a fixie. In most sizes, the head angle is around 73 degrees so it will handle close to what a track bike handles like.
I think the Nashbar frame has vertical dropouts...which would make it a pain in the butt to make into a fixie.
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Old 07-25-06, 06:45 PM   #6
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You could get a BD special (Mercier or Windsor). The 54 cm frame sounds small, but how long's the top tube? You might have knee clearance and toe overlap issues w/ a too-small frame.

BTW, I ride a frame size up and down from my ideal. The larger one's fine, but w/ the smaller one, there's the toe overlap issue.
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Old 07-25-06, 07:13 PM   #7
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According to the usually cited on-line fit calculators, I should be on a 51cm frame, at the most. My commuter is an old (1997) Fisher Tassajara with a 15.5" frame, which, according to those same calculators is too small. My road bike is 54cm, which should be too much, but the LBS said it fit, and I like the way it feels. <shrug>

I've decided that all that fit stuff is great if I'm going to race, but seeing as I'm just going to ride, I'll take whatever feels good. YMMV.
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Old 07-25-06, 07:14 PM   #8
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Seems to me you can fit a bike pretty well up to two sizes in either direction. 54 --> 60 is a bit of a stretch. Probably doable, but not nicely.
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Old 07-25-06, 08:41 PM   #9
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My size is about a 52, but I ride a 57 beater commuter which I got for free. Its not ideal, but besides the topbar clearance issue and looking a bit goofy having the seatpost too far down, the bike is actually quite comfortable. The longer wheelbase helps smooth out bumps and makes the bike less twitchy compared to my 52. I also find myself using the drops more because the handlebar is effectively 2" higher.
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Old 07-25-06, 09:21 PM   #10
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May I suggest an old ten speed lugged frame ? I like mine just fine ...
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Old 07-25-06, 09:39 PM   #11
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Heh... the last time I took my bike into Performance, I was talking to the lady and she looked over at the bike and asked me "Is that YOUR bike?" *I just nod* her: "There's no way you can ride that bike! It's WAY too big!" me: "Oh? I rode 650 miles on it last month."



I have 0 standover clearance.... I can stand over it, but it's touching.
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Old 07-26-06, 03:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrautFed
... and I need a 60cm.
Get the bike for 25$ - strip components if they are any good - sell frame for 25 dollars - lurk for a size 58 or 62. Keep the fenders and the other goodies you where mentioning
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Old 07-26-06, 05:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by huhenio
Get the bike for 25$ - strip components if they are any good - sell frame for 25 dollars - lurk for a size 58 or 62. Keep the fenders and the other goodies you where mentioning
Now that I think about it.. I gave my father a mid 80's Schwinn that could use some sprucing up... including new brake lines and calipers. I think it will be worth the $25 just to freshen up my fathers ride for him because I'm actually re-borrowing it as a commuter next week until I can get a set of wheels of my own.
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Old 07-26-06, 08:01 AM   #14
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I ride a 58, I'm 5'10" and should fit 55-56. I have the seat post real low, a short stem. It works well enough.
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Old 07-26-06, 12:44 PM   #15
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"Wrong Size" is kinda relative, isn't it. I mean, if it feels okay/good, then who cares what size it is.

My commuter is a bit large for me technically speaking, but it feels fine and I enjoy riding it.

Most important thing is how it feels to you.
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Old 07-26-06, 12:50 PM   #16
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I should be on 57, but enjoy a 50. The stem is one of those old 90* adjustable L shapes that go up and forward about 110mm, and it has a modern mtb long seattube.

The big key is knee clearance, and having a seat tube that goes high enough (old bikes didn't come stock iwth them). Lesser concerns are that a small frame will put you in a more racing position than the bike designers intended, and you may have knee pain if you sit too far forward on saddle and pedal hard.
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Old 07-26-06, 02:13 PM   #17
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I've got a suspicion that my frame's too small. I've got "proper" standover clearance, but I always seem to want my handlebars to be a bit further away from me than they are. I guess I just need a new stem.
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Old 07-26-06, 03:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godspiral
I should be on 57, but enjoy a 50. The stem is one of those old 90* adjustable L shapes that go up and forward about 110mm, and it has a modern mtb long seattube.

The big key is knee clearance, and having a seat tube that goes high enough (old bikes didn't come stock iwth them). Lesser concerns are that a small frame will put you in a more racing position than the bike designers intended, and you may have knee pain if you sit too far forward on saddle and pedal hard.
I am a solid 20" or 56cm fit on any bike. For many, many years, I rode a 17.5" mountain bike, because the bike shop said that was my size. In all fairness, a smaller standover is great for technical riding, but I always had knee pain using it as a commuter. To this day, I can't configure it to feel better, so I'm giving it to my brother, who is 2" shorter than me.

Thing is, I rode it for years because I loved to ride, and figured the knee pain was something wrong with me. Now that I've had a proper fitting bike, I couldn't ride a frame that is too small for very long.
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Old 07-26-06, 08:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by legot73
I am a solid 20" or 56cm fit on any bike. For many, many years, I rode a 17.5" mountain bike, because the bike shop said that was my size. In all fairness, a smaller standover is great for technical riding, but I always had knee pain using it as a commuter. To this day, I can't configure it to feel better, so I'm giving it to my brother, who is 2" shorter than me.

Thing is, I rode it for years because I loved to ride, and figured the knee pain was something wrong with me. Now that I've had a proper fitting bike, I couldn't ride a frame that is too small for very long.
I don't get knee pain any more. Sitting way further back for a while was a big help, but now I guess I've just found a slightly more back position to be natural. I'm finding that having more butt positions seems to work out so far.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:29 AM   #20
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I know this is a noob thing, but can anyone point me towards some reading about measurements/fitting for road bikes? I mean, like what the numbers actually mean and why you need to run xx dimension as opposed to xx dimension. Stand over, seat post, handlebars, etc.

Can anyone help me out? My LBS is of no help as they "don't need to measure anything, this looks about right for you".
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Old 07-27-06, 08:37 AM   #21
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If you find a suitable frame with vertical dropouts you can use a Surly singlelator to make it SS.



I would hop over to the SS/Fixie forum and see what they think. I am sure you'll get some good feedback there.
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Old 07-27-06, 10:33 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by KrautFed
Can anyone help me out? My LBS is of no help as they "don't need to measure anything, this looks about right for you".
Oh boy, I know what you're talking about. I bought a "performance hybrid" earlier this year & could never get comfortable on it - mostly sore wrists/arms from too much weight on the bars. I brought it in three times & they put me on a trainer & each time the response was *shrug*, "you look fine to me". I brought it to a LBS who does fitting & he took one look at me, one look at the bike & said "oh yeah, we'll be changing things". Two hours later I leave with a riser headset & the longest stem he has in stock. Turns out I should be on a 63cm frame (I'm 6'-4" tall), not a 55cm. Ouch.

Noob question from me - are hybrids sized differently than road bikes?
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Old 07-27-06, 01:24 PM   #23
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It is doable !

You can convert an old too small roadbike to something decent if you can find an MTB-length seatpost that fits and buy one of the old stem converters that lets you use an 1 1/8 mtb stem on a 1 inch headset meant for a quill stem. Find an old Mtb stem with suitable rize and length and use the old road bar (only 0,6 mm diameter difference unless old Cinelli bar, if Cinelli buy cheap Ritchey road bar in 25,8 mm diameter). i have an old small Sweedish Crescent SS bike that is at least 6 cm. too small, rides very nicely.
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Old 07-27-06, 01:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrautFed
I know this is a noob thing, but can anyone point me towards some reading about measurements/fitting for road bikes?
Sheldon "The Long & Short Of It" Brown is your friend. Get familiar w/ his site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeT
Noob question from me - are hybrids sized differently than road bikes?
No, but the geometry is different. The "size" usually refers to the seat tube length. However, the seat tube can be measured from center to center (BB to where the top tube joins the seat tube) or center to top (BB to top of the seat tube). Different manufacturers measure differently so two different 55 cm bikes may have different seat tube lengths.
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Old 07-28-06, 05:20 PM   #25
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No, but the geometry is different. The "size" usually refers to the seat tube length. However, the seat tube can be measured from center to center (BB to where the top tube joins the seat tube) or center to top (BB to top of the seat tube). Different manufacturers measure differently so two different 55 cm bikes may have different seat tube lengths.
I thought MTBs had higher BBs than road bikes, and so we all take a shorter seat tube measurement in MTBs. I also thought hybrids had MTB BB clearances.
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