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  1. #1
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    Few questions about road bike..

    Hey guys,

    I found a good deal on a road bike in the area for $30. I plan on using the frame and a few other little things, and building the rest up over the winter time. I do have a question about the size though. The bike is a 26" Ross Professional and measures 34" from the ground to the top of the frame. My questions are:

    1) I am 5'9, is a 26" bike normal for someone my size? (I'm assuming the 26" part refers to the tires and not the frame)

    2) I will probably need the seat positioned at a lower stance, which makes the handlebars a bit higher than the seat. Is it possible to get a new stem that positions the handlebars at a lower stance so my seat is sitting a bit higher than the handlebars?

    A picture of the said bike for reference:



    Thanks for any and all help. As you can probably tell, I am a noob, but we all need to start somewhere

  2. #2
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    That bike is too big for you. Keep looking.

  3. #3
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    26" is the size from the crank axle to the joint of the top tube/seat tube. It is the right size for someone about 6' 2". Even if you could get the seat a bit lower you would find that you were too stretched out to reach the bars. The stem holding the bars can be lowered a bit but not all the way down to the frame because of the gear shifter attachment. If you have any tall friends you should be able to recover the $30 or more because the condition doesnt look too bad.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses guys. I asked because the guy I was going to buy it off of is 5'8 and claims it worked fine for him. What size bike should I be looking for if I am 5'9?

  5. #5
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    I'm 6' 4" and this is a bike more my size! I would say, start looking in 54cm to 56cm range and go from there.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    This is what a 54 cm and a 56 cm should look like. Of course, it varies from bike manufactures. Either that guy was really stretched out on that bike or he is lying his @$$ off. I'm 5'9, and no way would I be able to ride that bike comfortably.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkowa092 View Post
    Thanks for the responses guys. I asked because the guy I was going to buy it off of is 5'8 and claims it worked fine for him.
    He lied.

    Look at the saddle. Notice how it's as low as he could possibly make it. Notice also that it's pushed as far forward as he could get it. If he could, he would have made the saddle lower and closer to the handlebars. Those are NOT signs of a bike that "worked fine" for him.

  8. #8
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    I'm not sure we're all talking about the same thing here. A 26-inch frame is really big--I'm 6'4" and ride a 64cm, which is about a 25. You're quoting the WHEEL size, as somebody already pointed out, and that has almost nothing to do with whether the bike fits you.
    The 34 that you're measuring (assuming you're going to the top of the top tube) is the STANDOVER height, and it's important only if you can't stand over it, so the bike whacks you in the junk if you have to hop off. The same measurement on my bike is a hair over 35, so 34 is pretty high for you.
    You can lower the seat until it hits the frame (not ideal, but you can), and having the seat lower than the bars isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have most of my bikes set up that way now, because I'm not as limber as I used to be. Don't worry about that. But DO worry, as somebody else said, about the top tube length. If you have to stretch out too far to the bars, you'll never be comfortable (you can buy stems that are shorter horizontally, but they can only do so much and the bike is only worth putting so much money into).
    It's disappointing to abandon a project when you're excited about it, but based on the information you've given, you might be better off looking for a smaller frame.

  9. #9
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    I'm not sure we're all talking about the same thing here. A 26-inch frame is really big--I'm 6'4" and ride a 64cm, which is about a 25. You're quoting the WHEEL size, as somebody already pointed out, and that has almost nothing to do with whether the bike fits you.
    The 34 that you're measuring (assuming you're going to the top of the top tube) is the STANDOVER height, and it's important only if you can't stand over it, so the bike whacks you in the junk if you have to hop off. The same measurement on my bike is a hair over 35, so 34 is pretty high for you.
    A 26" frame is 66cm, and a bike that big with the geometry indicated by the photo would have a stand-over in that neighborhood. And you're right, it is REALLY big for a person who is 5'9"...Trek calls slightly smaller bikes "extra large". A 5'9" person is a little shorter than average height, and probably would fit on a "medium".

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    First road ride I did on a road bike was a 50 miler. Borrowed a road bike from a friend and this bike was far too big for me. BUT- Sitting on the saddle- I had to raise the saddle and inch or so- Could reach the pedals and the bars. The only time I had to worry was if I stopped but off the saddle-tilt sideways and foot down.

    As a bike to get you started- If you can ride it- It will be suitable. But there is a lot to be said for a bike that fits properly.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  11. #11
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Yes, too big, sorry. You don't say where in PA you are. This one is available in Bath, near allentown?
    http://allentown.craigslist.org/bik/884275830.html
    May still be a little big, note the difference in the the headtube area, ( the part where the badge is affixed, if any )
    From a picture, that is one clue to the size.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the responses guys, very helpful. I am located in Reading, PA. Bath is about an hour from me, which isn't bad at all. I have a Trek 3700 hardtail currently which I am riding. I just figured I would start a road bike project so I can have a choice of which bike to ride come Spring. I might just stick with my hardtail for the time being, and put away a little bit of money each week. Then, if my interest in bike riding continues to grow, I might buy a nicer road bike (Trek 1.5 is what I am looking at - around $1,100). That way I can go to a bike shop and get one that fits me perfectly. The size combined with the nicer parts on the 1.5, would make my riding much more enjoyable.

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