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  1. #1
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    Wrong size bike?

    I just picked up a brand new Fischer Cobia 19" for my first bike on Thursday night. I finally got my first ride in last night. My main concern and question is clearance. I found when I got on the bike last night everything seemed the right height and length but I have no clearance when I stand over the bike. When I say no clearance I mean the frame is actually pressing agaisnt me with no room for error as if I was riding a horse so much so when I stopped for a minute it was more comfortable to lean on one leg with the bike at an angle. From everything I have read I have the wrong size, but at the same time everything else fits me perfectly. I swear I had more clearance at the shop but I did have different shoes on which may have been thicker. I didn't have much more clearance but I had some instead of none which I have now. I am concerned that going with a 17.5 won't fit me as well but will give me clearance. Any thoughts for the newbie?

  2. #2
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
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    Thats what is strange is I wore pretty much the same clothing except for shoes. Then again I am starting to wonder if I ever checked clearance because I did try out a couple of bikes that night.

    I am hoping they don't give me a problem especially since I don't believe they had the next size down in stock so they would have to order one. I am also worried the fit won't be as comfortable in a slightly smaller bike.

  4. #4
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Standover height is the only dimension on a bike that can't be changed. You can get longer, shorter, or differently angled stems for your handlbars to adjust the angle you sit at and your reach. You can even get different handlebars. Saddles and seatposts? No problem. But you cannot change the standover height of your frame, and if that doesn't work for you, or is uncomfortable or wrong, then it will always be that way. Of note, as frames "grow" or "shrink" the chain-stay length tends to be the same, meaning if you put panniers on your heel clearance will also be the same no matter which bike size you get.

  5. #5
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brennok
    I am also worried the fit won't be as comfortable in a slightly smaller bike.
    From the sound of it your fit isn't as comfortable now. Try a frame with a comfortable standover. It can then be modified with a longer or angled handlebar stem, or a raised headset. Or depending on what type of bike it is, just tilt the handlebar. (I'm not familiar with the Cobra. Sorry.)

    You may be surprised at the fit though if you try the next size down. Often between sizes the differences are small but subtle, and it may actually be better.

  6. #6
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Standover clearance is only an issue for off-road riding. For road riding it just doesn't matter and infact top tube length is probably more important. A smaller frame will have a shorter top tube and cramp you a little although a longer stem can be fitted so my advice is that it comes down to use. If you are off-road riding then you probably need a smaller frame but if your road riding then your probably better off with the size you have.

    Regards, Anthony

  7. #7
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG
    Standover clearance is only an issue for off-road riding. For road riding it just doesn't matter and infact top tube length is probably more important.
    I agree...unless you're getting a wedgie. Which it kinda sounds like the OP is. That to me says "too tall".

  8. #8
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    Well I spoke to the bike shop and they pretty much dismissed it saying I shouldn't worry at all. Usually if you are fallin the bike goes one way and you go another. Oh well, not exactly what I expected to hear, but maybe they were thinking I was trying to get out of the bike. I figure I just won't worry about taking it off road for now. And yes to followup on banzai_f16 says, yes I do almost get a wedgie from the bike. Standing over the frame is the same as sitting on the seat for me. Is it possible to have negative clearance lol?

  9. #9
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Brennok...you might try going back in with the bike in tow and showing them in person. Ask them their opinion...make sure they know you aren't trying to get out of the bike, just making sure you don't have the wrong size.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite
    Brennok...you might try going back in with the bike in tow and showing them in person. Ask them their opinion...make sure they know you aren't trying to get out of the bike, just making sure you don't have the wrong size.
    Yeah I figure that is the next option and I will try when someone else is there.

  11. #11
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    If you stay with the bike, I would seriously consider a thin layer of padding along the top tube, just in case you land on it. Some thin foam pipe wrap should be sufficient. That will increase the wedgie effect, but as mentioned previously, one usually leans the bike when standing.

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