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Thread: Bike Fitment

  1. #1
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Bike Fitment

    Just curious. I spent some time at the dealer, and they reccomended a 56cm bike for me. I am 5'11".

    The only reason I ask, is I have the seat almost all the way down on my Trek 1.5T. There are not even markings on the post there. Most riders I see have almost 12" of post showing. I have maybe 6" or less.

    I can straddle the biken and the bar is slightly touching (the boys) but I'm not resting on it.

    I feel if I got a smaller bike, with a higher seat, then I would have a more bent over angle to the handlebars. For this reason, I like the seat being down low.

    Do you see any reason I should have gone smaller?

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    No. Stand over height is not a major factor in fitting a bike. Reach to the bars and hence top tube length- Is. Those bikes you have seen with 12" of seat post are probably compact frames. In fact- I ride a 51cm frame at 5'6" short and a 30" inseam, so a 56 is probably in the ball park for your height
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Having the seat too low does not allow for proper leg extension while pedaling. ie, the leg should be almost straight at the bottom of the stroke. To get the proper bar height to go with this saddle position, a different stem height, angle and length is called for. To go along with theses ways to set the bar height, different styles of bikes will have different head tube lengths. Racing frames will have a very short head tube so that the bars can be set as low as possible. Comfort bikes will have a longer head tube because it is assumed that the bars will be up higher.

    It is common to see bicycle frames with a sloping top tube (called a compact frame). This type of frame will require a longer seatpost to get the saddle up to the same height above the pedals.

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    You can just barely straddle the top tube of the bike, but you have the seat so low that you have no seat post showing? I'm pretty sure the dealer's size recommendation will be a much better bet for you. Let them set you up on it too, because your seat has got to be way too low.

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I'm 5'-10". Bike fit is a lot like clothing.

    In some clothes I wear a medium, and in others a large. Even in those cases where there are numbers (jeans, dress shirts) it depends on the maker and the cut. Sometimes I wear a 33 sleeve, sometimes a 34.

    Bikes are the same way. I ride a 2000 58cm Trek 1000 and a 2006 56cm Trek Portland. Both bikes fit me perfectly. Because their geometries (like the cut of clothes) are slightly different, they fit me differently, and with different amounts of seatpost showing. But the fit of each is perfect.

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    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    You can just barely straddle the top tube of the bike, but you have the seat so low that you have no seat post showing? I'm pretty sure the dealer's size recommendation will be a much better bet for you. Let them set you up on it too, because your seat has got to be way too low.
    I have 6" of seat post showing. Bike feels good. If I was leaning any further, it would be painful. I might even get a slightly higher rise on the bars.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Personally I would go with the advice of the guy who fits bikes for a living before someone on the internet I have never met.

    Since you asked.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Two frames- One compact--The Giant- and the other a sloping tube conventional frame. Funnily enough- these two frames have the same amount of seat tube showing--But saddle to pedal reach is the same- Fore and aft of seat to pedal is the same. Difference is down to ther factors. Different bottom bracket height and Length of Cranks.
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  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    What trouser inseam do you wear? I stand 5'8", wear 30" pants, and find a 55cm traditional frame (horizontal top tube) perfect. However, as others have noted, top tube length is crucial, and the ideal frame gives you a proper back angle and a good standover simultaneously. If you are long in the arms, short in the torso, etc., you will either have to compromise somewhere or buy a custom-built frame.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    So how does the bike feel when you ride it? If it feels good, don't try to "fix" it.

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