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  1. #1
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    Okay to ride a frame a size or two small?

    Quick couple of questions here. I got a Kona Splice hybrid bike for christmas last year(was not able to get the LBS to size me for the bike). The bike has a 17 inch frame size and I am an average proportioned 6 ft male. I have the seat raised to the correct height and while peddling is comfortable the bike is obviously on the small side for my size.

    Question is there anything I can do to make the bike fit me better?

    Also is it acceptable in the cycling world to ride a bike a little too small for you or am I going to look like a idiot in front of experienced cyclists? (stupid question I know)

  2. #2
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    I've been doing more research on it, and the general consensus is its better to have a frame that is too small than too big, so I guess I am okay.

    If I don't have any discomfort issues during or after riding I assume I am good leaving it as is. Correct?

  3. #3
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    I would get one the right size, 17 inch frame is super small for a guy your size.
    A guy your size needs a 24 inch frame. I am 5' 9 I like a 23 to 24 inch frame.

    I dont believe its better to ride small than big. In my experience big is better.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Question is there anything I can do to make the bike fit me better?
    longer seatpost and a different stem, perhaps ... a stem raiser (cables and such would probably come up short)

  5. #5
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    Cervélo thinks so:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cervélo
    ...
    "So, at Cervélo we use definitions of stack and reach, combined with our understanding of riding positions based on biomechanical data, to design a range of sizes needed to fit 98% of the population.

    This means that Cervélo has rational sizing: Go up a size, get more reach. Go down, get less."
    ...read more

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input guys. My seat post is long enough as I am able to get the saddle to the correct height. The reach is relatively comfortable, but I may ask the LBS about a longer stem.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    I dont believe its better to ride small than big. In my experience big is better.
    Why do you say that? I'm the opposite, providing either is equally comfortable.

    A smaller frame affords more fit options to accommodate changing needs, fitness, and goals. Smaller frames weigh less (all else being equal). A smaller frame with good seat post extension allows more vibration damping and bump compliance (if post is selected for those characteristics, esp. Ti and carbon). Smaller frames, in some materials, like steel and Ti, are stiffer and better handling (all else being equal). Smaller frames, with their shorter wheelbases, are more responsive.

    Aside from, in the really small sizes, loosing space for water bottles and difficulty shouldering (e.g. cyclocrossing), I can't think of anything to recommend a bigger frame, but I'd be interested to hear your rationale for preferring bigger.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  8. #8
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    Went to the LBS and tried/straddled the next size up (19 inch) of the bike I have and the top tube was very close to my crotch. Too close for my liking.

    I guess the 17 inch is the size that fits me the best in the bike I have, its comfortable for me to ride so it is what it is. Compact frame road bikes are the hip thing in road cycling now anyways...

  9. #9
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    If saddle height is good, reach is good, balance is good fore and aft as far as I am concerned standover is over rated in importance.

    I'm 6"4 36" inseam, 6 foot arm span, and ride a 58 cm, fits fine for me.

    I ride in comfort and don't worry if it looks to small.

  10. #10
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    I would get one the right size, 17 inch frame is super small for a guy your size.
    A guy your size needs a 24 inch frame. I am 5' 9 I like a 23 to 24 inch frame.

    I dont believe its better to ride small than big. In my experience big is better.
    The bike in the OP is a Mountain Bike-ish hybrid.

    Effective top tube of the 17" is nearly 60cm.

    (and looks like 21" is the largest size available)
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 07-17-14 at 08:01 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  11. #11
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaRider125 View Post
    Quick couple of questions here. I got a Kona Splice hybrid bike for christmas last year(was not able to get the LBS to size me for the bike). The bike has a 17 inch frame size and I am an average proportioned 6 ft male. I have the seat raised to the correct height and while peddling is comfortable the bike is obviously on the small side for my size.

    Question is there anything I can do to make the bike fit me better?

    Also is it acceptable in the cycling world to ride a bike a little too small for you or am I going to look like a idiot in front of experienced cyclists? (stupid question I know)
    If the bars are too low or close for your liking, yeah, change 'em up. You can get riser bars in 1", 2", 3" rise easily.

    I like riding MTBs a size small. Most folks would put me on a 17" but this 15" is just too much fun.

    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986raleigh View Post
    If saddle height is good, reach is good, balance is good fore and aft as far as I am concerned standover is over rated in importance.

    I'm 6"4 36" inseam, 6 foot arm span, and ride a 58 cm, fits fine for me.

    I ride in comfort and don't worry if it looks to small.
    Similar dimensions here, also ride a 58. It causes some initial confusion, but at 2nd glance people are like, 'huh...you actually look good on that bike'.

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