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Old 03-24-07, 10:56 AM   #1
dijos
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how small can you go if you change your setup?

forgive my ignorance.

I have a 56cm that fits me just the way I want. The thing is, I have a really short stem, and nitto-dove-ish handlebars, which sweep back past the stem. If I was going to try to keep the same position, and put risers on (or any bars that don't sweep back), should I look at a smaller frame? will that just open up a new bag of problems? Would 53cm be too small? Opinions, if you please.
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Old 03-25-07, 03:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dijos
forgive my ignorance.

I have a 56cm that fits me just the way I want. The thing is, I have a really short stem, and nitto-dove-ish handlebars, which sweep back past the stem. If I was going to try to keep the same position, and put risers on (or any bars that don't sweep back), should I look at a smaller frame? will that just open up a new bag of problems? Would 53cm be too small? Opinions, if you please.
Getting a smaller frame to compensate for the new bars opens up another can of worms. Now you have to raise your seat a lot to get the proper fit. Then your seat height will be a lot higher than your bars. You might want to try an On-One Mary bar. It is a flat bar with swept ends. Check it out.

Tim
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Old 03-27-07, 12:25 PM   #3
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There are many stem options available, including various sorts of adjustable stems.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/147-Stems.aspx?s=0 lists some, but there are many others.

Some stems can be inverted; that might solve the riser bar issues.
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Old 03-27-07, 01:41 PM   #4
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Sounds as though the bike fits you but the top tube is too long. Without knowing the Bike or pics of you on the bike- It is a bit difficult. Then there is your height- and inseam.

I am a shorty at 5'6" Due to a problem I like to have a short top tube. I went to a small frame and it fits-and changed the seat tube. May seem ridiculous but have you tried any Women specific frames? These do have a shorter top tube to cater for the longer legs of the females.
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Old 03-27-07, 06:27 PM   #5
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If your seat is already high on the 56cm frame, consider maybe getting a bigger frame. That's right, I said bigger. It may seem counter-intuitive, but at the same time, look at the frame: The seat post comes out of the seat tube at an angle. When you put your seat up higher (as in, what you'll have to do if you get a smaller frame) it also pushes the seat back at the same time. So, by going to a smaller frame, you could actually increase your reach to the bars even though the top tube is getting smaller. If you go bigger and have your seat further down, you could, in effect, reduce your reach to the bars even though your top tube may be getting a little longer. Sheldon Brown opened my eyes to this on the sizing portion of his website. Not to mention, as cs1 mentioned, a smaller frame will put your seat way higher than your bars. That sounds uncomfortable to me. Rivendell bike works also tend to believe that larger frames make for a more comfortable ride. I started riding bigger bikes and tend to agree. YMMV, of course.

BTW - If you're worried about smashing your junk off the top tube on a bigger bike, consider this: When was the last time you really had to jump forward off of your seat and straddle the top tube? I NEVER HAVE and have been riding bikes for decades. Maybe if you were riding a mountain bike off road in really treacherous terrain, this might be an issue (which is why a lot of mountain bikes have sloping top tubes). But otherwise, for normal riding, you'll probably never have to do that (and if you do, then there's probably going to be more pain in store for you than just the pain that is caused by smashing your goods off the top tube). I wouldn't advise getting a bike that's REALLY HUGE for you, but one that is a little shy of the-bike-shop-recommended 1-2" of top tube clearance would be okay ESPECIALLY if you do find that it makes you more comfortable while in the saddle.
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Old 03-27-07, 07:23 PM   #6
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Check for knee-over-pedal-spindle adjustment of the saddle also. Could be the short-stem is to make up for a slack seat-tube or a saddle that's slid too far back. In which case, sliding it forward would help and give you a longer stem for more stability. In fact, if your bike has a slack seat-tube angle of 72-degree or such, upgrading to a larger bike with 74-degree seat-tube might be the right move.
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Old 03-27-07, 09:40 PM   #7
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thanks, everybody. I chanced across a bike that is way too small for me this weekend, and I learned that the high seatpost is not a solution. my 56cm puts me in a pretty upright position, a little more upright than the Rivendell recommendation, with about a fistfull of seatpost. It's great for errands and general noodling around. I have a short inseam and long arms, so it makes bikes a little more difficult to fit. I hear what you're saying about moving up to a 58; I'll have to try it, too.
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