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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 06-02-14, 03:54 PM   #1
omphalos
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What size bike for a 5'10 woman with a 36'' inseam?

I'm helping my girlfriend shop for a new roadbike or hybrid. She has a super long inseam measurement. We only have cash to try to pick up a second hand bike off craigslist, so she probably can't be too picky on the exact size, but recommendations for general guidelines would be super helpful.
Thanks in advance!

Last edited by omphalos; 06-02-14 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 06-02-14, 06:36 PM   #2
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Go thou and figure:
Bike Fit Calculator | Find Your Bike Size | Competitive Cyclist
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Old 06-05-14, 09:43 AM   #3
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If your girlfriend intends to ride a lot, say 75 to over 100 miles per week, I would be very picky about fit above all other considerations. Everything else can be swapped out as necessary but fit (or lack of) is permanent.
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Old 06-05-14, 09:58 AM   #4
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She is my height with an extra 4 inches of leg... I ride 52 - 55cm and have male friends my size who can't match my reach even though the saddle position is almost the same.

A hybrid may provide a more compact top tube to adjust for what I think will be a shorter reach as if she has exceptionally long legs she will have a shorter torso... finding a road bike might be a little trickier and she may have to ride the smallest size possible in her range to get the shortest top tube and may need to shorten the stem a little as well.

Her legs are disproportionately long for her height and her riding inseam (with shoes) will add another inch or so.
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Old 06-07-14, 03:38 PM   #5
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She may be happier with a bike with a 23" (58cm) seat tube than a 25" (63cm) not because of the height but because of the forward reach. It may be difficult to find a bike with a short enough reach. With a 23" bike, she'll need the seat raised up high, which may require replacing the seat post.
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Old 06-09-14, 05:45 AM   #6
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She is my height with an extra 4 inches of leg... I ride 52 - 55cm and have male friends my size who can't match my reach even though the saddle position is almost the same.

A hybrid may provide a more compact top tube to adjust for what I think will be a shorter reach as if she has exceptionally long legs she will have a shorter torso... finding a road bike might be a little trickier and she may have to ride the smallest size possible in her range to get the shortest top tube and may need to shorten the stem a little as well.

Her legs are disproportionately long for her height and her riding inseam (with shoes) will add another inch or so.
I agree about her proportions, but I can't say it's wrong. It might be a good idea to find the procedure for measuring PBH on the Rivendell site (rivbike.com) or other places you might Google and check the number. If what you told us has anything to do with fitting clothing, it's not at all likely to be correct.

The normal procedure is done barefoot, then the saddle height setting adds height to compensate for shoes that have more sole build-up than "standard cycling shoes," whatever that really means.

If you're going to try the Competitive Cyclist fitting routine, you need a correctly-measured PBH for her.

Last edited by Road Fan; 06-09-14 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:04 PM   #7
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I agree about her proportions, but I can't say it's wrong.
Ok, then I will. The o.p. wouldn't be the first guy who is sure his girl's legs go all the way up to Heaven. If I am wrong for doubting him, I will likely go to Hell, but I will risk it. Measure again, and then measure again. And if you are still coming up with 36" then I don't think it too much to ask, for all the other dimensions that an online fit calculator would want, to make any kind of intelligent response. FWIW.

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Old 06-10-14, 09:27 AM   #8
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Ms G Terry XL ? the typical female is benefitting from less reach

and that is where the shorter top tube becomes an advantage..

She goes to Waterford to get the frames of her Steel bikes made.. so a good investment , long term.
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Old 06-10-14, 09:58 AM   #9
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I'm not sure why we are assuming that the female in question has 'normal' proportions aside from inseam, and will therefore require a shorter top tube and/or bar reach than a male of equal height. Given what we have already been told, I would assume the opposite. I suspect, but this is may never be confirmed, that the inseam measurement might be overstated, but if it is at all close to being correct, then I believe a woman specific design will not help her achieve a comfortable riding position. Here in Portland, taller women ride men's frames and don't have any issue with it. In fact, shorter women ride men's frames as well. It's not about dimensions, its about style. Mixte, step-through style "women's" frames are not built the way they are because women are shorter in general and/or have shorter torsos and arms. "Women's" frames are built the way they are built to accommodate dresses and skirts and a less threatening mounting in general. FWIW.

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Old 06-14-14, 08:20 AM   #10
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Generally, I agree with Leisesturm - find out her true measurements and based on that find out some reasonable target dimensions for a frame for her. Use a frame sizing site such as Competitive Cyclist if possible.
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Old 06-14-14, 08:35 AM   #11
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Check this out: Learn About Bikes with Rivendell Bicycle Works There advice is solid and they are nice folks.
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Old 06-15-14, 12:11 AM   #12
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I'm working on a friend's road bike.

It's a 52cm with a super long seat post, but if you get it up that high, the bars are about 10" below the saddle.

A medium size hybrid with higher bars might be good to look at.
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