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  1. #1
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    Frame size question

    I am new to street riding, used to do mountain riding when was younger and more in shape. I just bought a cannondale synapse and love it, but am concerned that they sold me one with a frame too small. I am 6`2" and they sold me a 56cm frame. They fitted me for the bike by: raising my seat 5 inches and put ext bar on handle bars (specialized brand, length unknown approx 5inches). Any thoughts

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snjfisk View Post
    I am new to street riding, used to do mountain riding when was younger and more in shape. I just bought a cannondale synapse and love it, but am concerned that they sold me one with a frame too small. I am 6`2" and they sold me a 56cm frame. They fitted me for the bike by: raising my seat 5 inches and put ext bar on handle bars (specialized brand, length unknown approx 5inches). Any thoughts
    Unless your torso is unusually short, the bike is too small. I'm 6-foot-4, and I usually don't ride anything smaller than a 60cm.
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  3. #3
    Arrgghh me hearties! damian_'s Avatar
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    I'm 6'2", with medium length arms and legs (I think!). 56cm is too small for me.

    One of my earlier bikes was a 56cm Felt frame, which required both seatpost and handlebar extensions. Rode this for many thousands of kilometers with no (back/muscle/arm/leg) problems. When my next bike had a bigger frame, I realised how the 56cm didn't really fit me at all.

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    Thanks for the reply. That's what i have been thinking to. I should have 58 or 60cm frame at least?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Unless your torso is unusually short, the bike is too small. I'm 6-foot-4, and I usually don't ride anything smaller than a 60cm.
    Yep. I'm 6'4" as well, and my preferred size (three road bikes) is 64 or 65. It's pretty common for shops to promise to "make it fit" when they have a bike in stock, but the customary approach is just to put on a longer seat post and imply that it's your fault you're not flexible enough to reach down to the bars. At least they gave you an ugly handlebar fix to avoid that....

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    I had a long discussion with the owner (who fitted me) and he stated most convincingly that due to length of my femur when he did the pendulum test of my knee cap to the pedal crank shaft made him slid me seat forward and that a bigger frame would not help. There was a lot of other points made. I am convinced I need to force him to get the correct frame???????

  7. #7
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snjfisk View Post
    I had a long discussion with the owner (who fitted me) and he stated most convincingly that due to length of my femur when he did the pendulum test of my knee cap to the pedal crank shaft made him slid me seat forward and that a bigger frame would not help. There was a lot of other points made. I am convinced I need to force him to get the correct frame???????
    Regardless of the dubious kneecap/pedal axle test, a 56cm frame is far too small for you. Unless you're built like...
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    point taken, I am headed back tomorrow. am set on getting 61cm frame. thanks

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    I'm 5'10 and ride 56cm frames

  10. #10
    dit
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    I am 5'9" and I also ride a 56cm ctc. I do use a short stem extension though.

  11. #11
    Zan
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    whoa this thread is making me a little concerned. I'm 5'8" and was told to ride a bike around 51-52cm. I was thinking of getting a used 50cm ride...

    I think i have a short torso and long legs... nothing really dramatic, but my hip level is almost as high as my 6'6" friend.
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  12. #12
    No weenie bikes here! Bob_in_Midland's Avatar
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    You didn't happen to buy this bike from Village Cyclery in Schoolcraft, did you??

    Your story reads very much like my experience with this particular shop in 2001 when I purchased a mountain bike from him. He insisted that the bike he sold me was the correct size, yet there were many reasons that lead me to believe that it was too small. I finally had to get Cannondale involved directly.

    Insist on a bigger frame, and if they start to give you grief about the fact that they can't sell your current ride as new, then just tell them to switch out the tires from the "new" bike. You may want to have Cannondale's phone number on you when you go in, and if you don't get satisfaction, just whip out your cell phone and call Cannondale directly while in front of the owner.
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    I went back and he wasnt too happy. His 22 years experience led him the think the 56 was good for me. However he did order me a 58 frame. He would have ordered the 61 but said I was crazy to get the 61. I am satisfied with this. He thinks all the adjustments for the fitting will be the same as the 56 which makes no sense so will see. I got the bike from the EasternShore Cycle in Daphne Alabama.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Threads like this do read a bit like trying to do a medical diagnosis over the phone, but the outcome sounds reasonable. It could be that the LBS prefers to err on the side of a smaller frame because of the ability to adjust the fit as the rider's strength and position change over time. We've just bought a new ride for my 5'6" wife because the men's small frame (Giant), her current ride, is simple too big to dial in properly. The 51cm women's Specialized would appear to be too small, but my wife has a very short torso.

    The Giant was purchased out of town at a high volume, 10 minute fit place. The Specialized we're buying at our LBS. We're paying more, but it's the only bike shop in town so keeping them in business is very important and we'll get a good fit and good follow-up service as necessary.
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  15. #15
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I am 6' and ride a 56 (sometimes a 58) so, I can envision a person 2" taller on a 58.

    I know some people my height ride 60 cm frames, but I feel fine on my 56 cm Of course, most of what I ride is vintage, and I lean toward touring and relaxed geometry, so that could make a difference.

  16. #16
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snjfisk View Post
    I went back and he wasnt too happy. His 22 years experience led him the think the 56 was good for me. However he did order me a 58 frame. He would have ordered the 61 but said I was crazy to get the 61. I am satisfied with this. He thinks all the adjustments for the fitting will be the same as the 56 which makes no sense so will see. I got the bike from the EasternShore Cycle in Daphne Alabama.
    At 6' 2" a 58cm still seems quite small for you. You don't indicate what your riding style is. That has a lot to do with everything. If you're young, limber and flexible then perhaps you can adapt to a smaller frame. Are you going to race? Bike shops seem to think that everyone who buys a road bike is going to actually race and wants their bike set-up like a (modern) pro. ie, a yard of seatpost showing and the handlebars slammed down as low as they can go. If your riding posture is more upright, you may have trouble getting the bars up as high as you like without resorting to the extentions and the like. A 58 is not much bigger than a 56 in that regard. I would have recommended a 60 or 61 as your minimum place to start. I went through this same experience years ago and consequently have owned a bike that really is smaller than I would have liked.
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    I do not intend on racing it. just riding 4 to 5 times a week. I did not what a low posture because it hurt my back, that when he put a specialized post extension that angled up more. now I am back where I started he said he would not order another bike, he ordered a 58, guess I need to cancel the order get a refund and go else where???

  18. #18
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    The headtube length of a 58cm frame is typically only marginally longer than the headtube of a 56cm frame. Which means if you needed an extension to get the bars up acceptably high on the 56 then you'll likely need it on the 58. IMO a shop that sells a frame to someone that requires an add-on extension for proper fit... well that's just wrong. But I know it happens alot. The decision is yours of course and bear in mind everyone likes bike fit a little different. I'm 5' 10" and my Bianchi is a 57cm. It's marginally too small for me. I would like it much better were it a 59cm or even bigger. But I listened to the shop... oh well. I know I can ride most 60cm frames very comfortably.
    Last edited by norwood; 07-15-09 at 01:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Walfredo's Avatar
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    I'm 6'3" and got a 58 cm. I love it and think it is perfect for me. However, I'm not built like you normal 6'3" person as my inseam is barely over 33". My torso and waist are really long and I have normal length arms for a person around 6' tall. My 58cm frame with 32" standover gives me more than inch but less than two. I also prefer my frame on the slightly smaller size, however the 60-61 wouldn't even allow me to standover the thing without my dangly bits nestled on the top tube. So I can't imagine how you could go with a 60-61cm frame. I would think the 56 or 58 depending on your dimensions and preferences.

  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but not every 6'2" rider needs the same size frame. There is a lot more to bike size fit than measuring your height- inside leg and that is your frame size. And a particular size frame is not for one size of rider only.

    I am nowhere near your height but I ride Giant bikes (And others- but stick to Giants for now) I ride an XS-an S and an M. How can someone that rides a medium frame that fits him- Also get an extra small frame to do the same? In frame sizes this equates to a 49cm to a 56cm frame. That is one big difference. I know Compact frames are supposedly able to fit a wider range of rider height etc- but normal frames can do the same.

    And I am not sticking up for the shop here- but realise that Differing body dimensions could make an unusual size of frame being necessary to fit certain people. I am one of the lucky ones in that I can make a wide range of frames fit me. And they do fit.

    And a 5" rise on a saddle is not unusual.
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    thats a nice set up. Guy at a shop told me to watch out on a small frame if you raise the seat post to high. It has a marking on it giving it the max height it should be raised. To high and it is at an increased risk of breaking, specially if it carbon??? I was fitted at another shop and a 58cm frame is just about right I think. Given my arm length a top tube length of around 58cm is correct.

  22. #22
    Zan
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    Is 5'8" with a 33" inseam odd?
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  23. #23
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snjfisk View Post
    thats a nice set up. Guy at a shop told me to watch out on a small frame if you raise the seat post to high. It has a marking on it giving it the max height it should be raised. To high and it is at an increased risk of breaking, specially if it carbon??? I was fitted at another shop and a 58cm frame is just about right I think. Given my arm length a top tube length of around 58cm is correct.
    The standard seat post on most bikes will allow a certain amount of height adjustment- but the Shop was right to tell you that you cannot go above the marking and still be safe- but you can always fit a longer seat post.

    And to prove the point- The Bianchi attached fits me perfectly. I know this is an MTB and the "Fit" frame size is smaller than on a road bike- but The next size up to a 16" was too large. This is a 14 1/2 frame and I get a lot of comments about it looking too small. That is untill they see me riding it and they have to agree- it is the right size.

    And to go even worse- I ride an offroad tandem. I am 5'6" short and my Co-rider is 6'2" The frame is a Large/medium and I can- with just a change of saddle height- ride on the front or the back. Mind you- if I was permanently on the front I would lower the bars an inch or so.

    And just to confuse you- I ride the 14 1/2" bianchi- a 16" raleigh- a 17" custom frame and a 19" Kona. All are MTB's and all have been adapted to fit me. Mainly because manufacturers have differing ways of measuring bikes but the difference between the Bianchi and the Kona is huge. But on all the bikes I can get the saddle height right- the bars at the right distance for me and at the right height. And they all ride beautifully and fit like a glove.

    And given a choice- I would take a frame that is a size too small in preference to one that is just too big.
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    You are right it is confusing you are all over the spectrum of frame sizes, makes my issue small potatoes. I agree with better going a little small then a little to big. Its easier to add then to cut off frame. I am happy with a 58cm frame. Top tube length of 58 seems to be right for me. Next size up is a 61 and think that will be to risky.

  25. #25
    Zan
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    off roading tandem...

    hmm... whizzing through the singletrack, trying to pick the fastest line... boosting the logs. That'd be such a difficult sport.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

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