Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: St. Paul, MN
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD9, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Nashbar X-frame bike.
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That certainly sounds like the wrong size bike. I made the same mistake with my very first bike as well, tried it with my work clothes on (which includes a pair of boots), but found that sneakers were quite a bit shorter.
As a general rule, you need one inch of standover for a road bike or a bike you will always have on regular and near prepared surfaces.
Two to three inches for a bike you plan to ride on irregular terrain and occasionally trails.
Four inches for a bike you are no kidding going to be taking for some serious rock crawling, stumpjumping, and off the beaten path trail thrashing.
Hope that helps. My LBS was quite helpful in letting me exchange the bike, though since I wasn't smart enough to realize just how dumb it was to fit a bike in my boots, maybe the guy at the store could have called me out on that with a minimal amount of ridicule before letting me leave the store. Oh well. It worked out in the end, and now I'm the owner of multiple bikes and quite a bit more experienced with this hobby.