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  1. #1
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    Where to compromise? Standover height or weight balance?

    I'm trying to pick a frame/size for a cx bike I want to build. I've built a couple of bikes recently and I know my fit very well, but I'm a difficult fit because I have a VERY long torso and very short legs. I need a effective TT of around 565mm to 580mm, or better, a frame with a REACH of about 390-395mm.

    Let me say first that I *completely* understand that "standover height" is NOT a way to fit a bike. I'm not even considering fitting with standover. But there is the issue of whether or not one can actually stand over the bike. That said, here's the compromise I'm facing.

    I'm looking at the FlyX FR-602 CX disc frame. In the size 56, the reach is going to be too short unless I go with a size 120mm stem. Even there it's close. My worry with the 120mm (or 130) stem is not that stems that size are too long in general, but that they are too long for me. I have a long torso AND very short arms, so with a stem longer than 110 I find my balance is too far to the front of the bike. I have short legs with short femurs, so with my saddle position and my very long torso, extending myself out further in front of the head tube means getting a lot of weight very far forward...

    In size 58, the reach on the frame is just about perfect, and I can run a 110 stem and get all my stack and reach numbers correct. However, from what I can calculate, the standover height will be right at 32". My Soma Smoothie (in size 58) has a published standover of 31.7", but when I measure it it's a little under that. At 32" I can stand over the bike, but I am pretty much sitting on the top tube.

    So which way would you all go: get the smaller frame with a longer stem, and not worry about the balance being too far forward; or get the larger frame and not worry about standover?

    (Note: I'm also open to another open-mold carbon frame with a sloped top tube, but I've done a ton of looking and haven't found any out there...I"m partial to the Flyx 602 because I have a FlyX FR-315 that I LOVE...)

  2. #2
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    If that is really the trade-off you face, you should accept a borderline standover height and get the bike that allows you to ride comfortably. You only stand over the bike .001 percent of the time you are on it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
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    I am similarly proportioned (5'8, 29" standover) and I picked my road bike the "wrong" way, as described in your post. Small frame with enough standover to not wreck the family jewels at stoplights, long stem. Bike felt a little more squirrely at first, but I'm used to it. No comfort issues once I got everything tweaked, and no control issues either. Take that as you will.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, both. I'm tempted to follow Al's advice. I don't think I'm going to hurt myself getting on or off the bike, and the minor inconvenience of riding the TT a bit at lights will probably be worth it for a bike that fits better.

  5. #5
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    I too have longer torso and shorter limbs.
    My solution is to go for an adjustable stem.
    To maintain a comfortable body angle, the handlebar has to be higher than for those with normal torso and longer limbs.

  6. #6
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    Have you thought abot using a mountain frame? The sloping top tube should give plenty of standover and they tend to have a longer reach for a given frame size due to intended flat bars. Bar height may end a bit tall tho.
    Or, why not go custom?

  7. #7
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Larger frame. Having your weight not be too far forward is a big deal in how the bike handles.

    Ideally go custom; this is when custom bikes make sense but that is also obviously expensive.

  8. #8
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Standover clearance only matters when you are straddling the top tube with both feet on the ground, which is something I never actually do when riding. There is more room for things if you only put one foot down when stopping.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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