# My Proportions Dont Match the Bikes I Find Comfortable

• 10-22-13, 09:01 PM
barrykai
My Proportions Dont Match the Bikes I Find Comfortable
I'm in the market for an endurance bike. I am 6'1, 34.25 inch inseam, arm length 27.25 inches and trunk 24.75. According to Bike Fit Calculator at competitivecyclist.com I need a top tube length of 54.5 to 55 cm. This seems very short. Currently I ride a 21 inch Fuji Absolute 3.0, with an effective top tube of 60 cm. I've ridden two 100K rides on this bike with very little discomfort. I rented a 58cm Trek Domane and rode it for 55 miles with only a bit of shoulder stiffness/discomfort which was surprising since I wasn't used to the new riding position coming from the flat bar Absolute. It had a 56.7 effective top tube (compared to 60 on the Absolute) but I felt a bit stretched which doesn't make sense. What's really confounding to me is that I rode a friends 61 cm Fuji Roubais and only felt slightly stretched with a effective top tube of 59.

I'm looking at 2 used Giant Defy's right now, one is M/L and the other is L. Their top tubes are 56 and 57.5. My first choice for an endurance bike is the Synapse but really just trying to find the best used bike deal on 5 different endurance bikes....Secteur, Sportif, Synapse, Defy and Domane.

Any ideas?
• 10-22-13, 09:04 PM
bbbean
Forget the calculator. The only fit that matters is you on the bike.
• 10-22-13, 11:58 PM
cyclezen
flat bar hybrids will feel different than a dropbar road bike - for a lot of reasons
here's just one - hybrid flatbar, your furthest reach is even with the flatbar, which is close to even with the end of the stem (or closer depending on how the bar curve is set). Roadbike dropbar, the common position is 'on the hoods' which, if you add the bar forward projection/curve, is anywhere from 7.5 cm to 11.0 cm further forward from the end of the stem.
so
removing some variables, like using same stem angle/length and saddle position behind BB, let's compare - your absolute with 60 cm TT + 12 cm stem = 72 cm, the trek Domane with 56.7cm TT + 12 cm stem + (taking a middle dropbar reach) 9.0 cm = 77.7 cm
so the 'smaller' trek 58 is a longer reach than the 'larger' absolute.
likely though, the trek 58 had a 10cm stem on it... so deduct 2 cm for a reach to the hoods of 75.7 cm - still further

what this shows is that you can't compare a Flat Bar Hybrid design directly to a dropbar roadbike...
the FlatBar Hybrid really fits more like a Modern MTB with road wheels.

fitting the road bike to match a hybrid position would be a mistake in the not too longterm of a few months.
Best is to consider the road bike position and work that for the best size and fit.

as for the online calculators, they work ok for many who are in the middle of body variances, less so for those at the extremes - and those where one or two measurements are not quite right - well they'll be all mucked up...

there are other differences... you'll just have to sort it out and make decisions
• 10-23-13, 08:09 PM
barrykai
Thanks so much for all that info!
• 10-24-13, 03:27 PM
fietsbob
Do you aspire to get a racing licence? then ' competitivecyclist.com' is supplying those goals ..

those who are just riding for the joy of cycling really dont need an Agressive Fit.

If the frame has a fairly long top tube, it can benefit fitting mudguards and not having your toes overlap the front wheel.

then you set up shorter, maybe more upright stem ..
• 10-26-13, 05:28 AM
Quote:

Originally Posted by fietsbob
Do you aspire to get a racing licence? then ' competitivecyclist.com' is supplying those goals ..

those who are just riding for the joy of cycling really dont need an Agressive Fit.

If the frame has a fairly long top tube, it can benefit fitting mudguards and not having your toes overlap the front wheel.

then you set up shorter, maybe more upright stem ..

The tool at Competitive Cyclist has a three directions you can choose: racing fit, the "Eddie Fit" which I think is based on Merkcx fitting ideas, and the French Fit which I think is directed at a touring or randonneur focus.

But, better comfort is better comfort regardless of the plan to race. If these tools help him, where's the harm?
• 10-26-13, 06:08 AM
Blue Belly
Top tube length doesn't mean anything unless all other geometry factors are the same. Point in case...I have an Merckx MX Leader with a Top Tube of 58.2cm & a Pinarello Montello with a TT of 56.5cm. The Pinarello is a bigger bike fitwise because the Distance from the cranks to the handlebars, on a horizontal plane, is longer. Head tube & fork are both the same angle, seat tube is completely different.
Find a competent bike shop with who sells the bicycle brand you want. Negotiate a price & tell them you want the best size for you. If they have enough sense between them, they will test fit you on another bike & help you figure it out. If they just want your money, they'll try to sell you floor stock.
• 10-26-13, 09:02 AM
DaHaMac
I've discovered that Stack and Reach are more meaningful measurements to me rather than top tube length. I still use standover though just to make sure that a frame is not so tall that I can't comfortably stand flat-footed.

Even so, my touring bike's reach is 3mm longer than my rando bike but the touring bike's cockpit is tighter (closer to my knees) due to handlebar design. The reason I say this is to say, a Local Bike Store is your most valuable asset in purchasing a bike. However, this is not a one-time visit sort of a deal but a relationship developed so that the LBS learns your riding style to recommend your best bike fit. It may not always be the most expensive bike either as my LBS steered me to a steel frame that was \$1500 less than the carbon bike or alternative steel bike I thought I needed. Such a relationship has brought immense joy into my cycling addiction.