Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-05-06, 05:22 PM   #1
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Philadelphia area
Bikes: In the market
Posts: 1
Bicycle sizing

I'm looking at bicycles for both me and my husband. Both are Peugeots. My husband is 5' 10" and I am 5' 0". The men's Peugeot is 58 cm with 27 1 1/4 " tires. The women's is 51 cm with 27 1 1/4" tires. Do these sound like good combinations considering our heights?


SuzieQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-06, 06:17 PM   #2
Senior Curmudgeon
FarHorizon's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Directly above the center of the earth
Bikes: Varies by day
Posts: 3,856
There's no real way to tell using the info you've given, SuzieQ. If the Peugeots you're looking at are new, then the shop selling them should help you get the right sizes. If the bikes are used, you'll have to decide on your own. The tire sizes make me think that these are not only used but also 1970's vintage.

In simplest terms, you must at least be able to safely stand over the top tubes of the bikes with feet on the ground and nothing touching the crotches too tightly. If you can't stand over the bikes, then you're likely to receive injury if you have to stop suddenly & end up sliding forward.

A second test is to just try riding the bikes. Do they feel right? If your arms feel too close or too stretched, sometimes replacing the part that holds the handlebars (called the "stem") can compensate.

There is much more nuance to fitting the bike to your body for maximum efficiency, but the two suggestions above can serve as preliminary tests as to whether these bikes are way out of line for you or not.

Good luck!
FarHorizon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-06, 07:42 PM   #3
Blue Order
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,283
Originally Posted by SuzieQ
I'm looking at bicycles for both me and my husband. Both are Peugeots. My husband is 5' 10" and I am 5' 0". The men's Peugeot is 58 cm with 27 1 1/4 " tires. The women's is 51 cm with 27 1 1/4" tires. Do these sound like good combinations considering our heights?


I'm 5'8" and ride a 58 cm bike with 27 1 1/4" tires, so it's likely that your husband will be fine with that size bike. I can't really answer regarding the other one. What you need to know is your leg inseam length. You and your husband can measure your inseams as shown here. Once you know your inseam measurement, you'll know what standover height to look for in a bike. The link I just gave you will also give you a formula for determining the correct frame size. However, I've found you can actually ride frames larger than what is recommended, particularly when the bike is a vintage bike. So for example, that chart recommends a 21" frame for me, although my bike, which was fit to me when new, is a 23" (58 cm) frame.

That's why you should know your leg inseam and the standover height. As long as you have at least an inch of clearance (i.e., standover height is 1" less than your inseam) you'll be OK.
Blue Order is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-06, 07:45 PM   #4
Jet Jockey
Banzai's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: St. Paul, MN
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD9, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Nashbar X-frame bike.
Posts: 4,244
Ditto what FarHorizon said. You must at least be able to safely stand over the bike. Approximately 1" of stand-over should set you up well. (I prefer close to 2")

However, I'll hazard a guess. 5'10" on a 58cm frame may work, but may be a little tight. I would guess a person of that height to be on a 56cm frame.

5'0" on a 51 cm frame...I have serious doubts. I'm 5'6" and 50 cm is about the outside edge of what can work comfortably. Now, allowing that I'm built like an ape (short legs, long torso), and that women generally have longer legs why I'm saying "serious doubts" as opposed to "no way".

If you can't see the bikes (internet purchase?), measure your inseam from floor to semi-firm crotch contact, in riding shoes. Then obtain a measurement for the "stand-over height" of the bikes, and then make sure your measurement clears that by 1" or 2.54 cm.
Good night...and good luck
Banzai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-06, 07:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,251
The best way to "fit" a bike is to ride it. Can't do that on an internet forum. "Standover" is a misunderstood concept. People buy bikes to ride, not to "stand over". Today, many bike shops are fitting folks so that there is two or three inches of space between the rider's crotch and the highest part of the top bar (just behind the stem). That results in having the hands positioned too low for a non-racing cyclist to be comfortable.

If you are not planning to race, look for the tallest frame you can stand over without the top bar pressing against your crotch when you are standing just behind the stem. A taller frame makes it easier to get the hands as high as the saddle, the position that is most comfortable for touring, commuting, and recreational and fitness riding.

On a test ride, make sure that the distance from the saddle to the bars is comfortable. Many road bikes are too stretched out for a female rider's shorter torso and arms, so a test ride is essential.
alanbikehouston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-06, 07:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 120
I would be surprised if the smaller bike fits. Your husband will be okay, maybe needing a longer stem at most, but I cannot imagine a 50-52 cm frame fitting a 5'0" woman. I am 5'8" and usually take 54-58 cm road bikes. My girlfriend is 5'1" and usually takes 44-48 cm road bikes. Old french bikes are usually more accomodating to smaller riders, but even there, you probably need a 47-48 at the largest. You will be hard to fit.
pHunbalanced is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 02:00 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 405
I'm 5'9" and a pinch and I bought a 58cm just because I kinda had to for the price. I have a 31 1/2 cycling inseam. My crotch bottoms out on the top tube. I still get about an inch+ of seat post but no more -The cranks are 175mm and I have large feet, though. Fits me fine. I don't plan on smashing my crotch on the TT anytime soon and the longer top tube is great since I have long arms. I'm actually glad I didn't end up buying a 54cm ..Don't know where my knees would have went.
Cause the more cyclists notice me the more I Love myself.
Cause the more cyclists notice me the more I Love myself.
sunofsand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 06:19 AM   #8
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
Little Darwin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,399
I am 6' and ride 56 cm (used to ride 58 when I was a youth)

I have a female friend who is 5' 2" who I think rides a 54 cm frame on her road bike. It might be a 52, but the bottom line is when I stand over it, it gives me about 1.5 inch of clearance instead of my usual 1/2 inch.

I don't present this as standard fitting rule, but just point out that the fitting varies... I can imagione a 50/52 fitting a 5' 0" woman... but would not make this a blanket assumption.
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last edited by Little Darwin; 07-06-06 at 06:25 AM.
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 10:19 AM   #9
broke cyclist
zebano's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Bikes: Cannondale F400; 1979 Star
Posts: 134
I;ll copy everyone else and say that tests are essential. I am 5'10" and ride a 56cm because it was used at a great price. I would prefer a 54 cm frame, but I'll take what I can get.
zebano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-06, 11:40 AM   #10
Pedal Wench
Senior Member
Pedal Wench's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,046
I'm 5'4" and I ride a 50 WSD, 51 compact geometry, and an older 48 standard geometry. It all depends on the specific geometry of the bike you're looking at.
Pedal Wench is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-06, 06:49 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,920
Your husband will have no problem finding a M size bike that fits.
At 5'0" you should discount any bike with large wheels (27" or 700c). Whilst some designers manage to squeeze these into small frames, the resultant bodged geometry makes a bike which is ungainly and generally too long. You need a smaller wheel size for a smaller frame.

There are 2 smaller standard wheels, the 650c which is for high performance road racing and the the MTB 26" which can be fitted with a variety of tyres for different applications. Fit 1" slicks for a fast endurance race, 1.5" for daily commuting and fitness or fatter knobblies for trail riding.
Check out Terry cycles for some smaller options
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:41 AM.