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View Poll Results: Stand over clearance should be measured from top tube to...
"family jewels", "the boys", "kugel sack" etc. 7 43.75%
pubic bone 7 43.75%
some other way to measure standover 2 12.50%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-09-09, 06:13 PM   #1
common man
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Stand over height: measure up to the jewels or pubic bone?

Lots of threads on stand over height but no conclusive reasoning whether to measure it up to the family jewels or the pubic bone. Family jewels makes sense because as pointed out before, they are possibly the first to contact the top frame should you need to dismount quickly. That's not always the case (if the jewels are out of the way by luck) but I wouldn't chance it. Do the pubic bone supporters have a better reason beside it being easier to measure?

I am 5' 9 1/2" with a Fuji Absolute 2.0 19" hybrid bike. Sure, the 17" was probably my best fit but it was not on the LBS' floor and I got a really good deal with the 19". When I stand over the bike without shoes, my jewels brush over the top tube. When I put on sneakers, there's probably some but very little clearance (~.5 - 1 cm) between the top tube and the jewels. I can ride, control, straddle over, mount and dismount the bike comfortably. Now if I lift the bike so that it presses against the pubic bone (and not too hard btw) - then there is 1.5" clearance without shoes. Therefore, the 19" fits me fine if we go by PB method whereas it does not if we go by jewels measurement. I'm thinking of getting shoes with 1" sole thickness to add more clearance.

I ride for fitness in state parks / touring. There's always the fear that I may for that one time slip & fall or maybe crash into someone. In this case I may fall of the seat with bent legs onto the top tube. Even though it may happen rarely - that rare occurrence may be a very traumatic experience.

So my questions are: (1) PB or jewels to measure stand over and why do you say? (2) Does the 19" sound too big for me? (3) What are the typical sole thickness for bikng shoes? Is 1" too much?

Thank you all for your precious time.

Last edited by common man; 08-10-09 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 08-09-09, 06:58 PM   #2
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As high as you can insert something between your legs, without meeting an ommovable obstruction. (No insertions)
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Old 08-09-09, 07:46 PM   #3
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so you say to measure up to pubic bone. the "jewels" are movable whereas the pubic bone is not. ok - thanks. now why do you say this when we know that the "jewels" may possibly be the first to contact? i'm not questioning your answer but just want to know the reasoning. if (i am) obsessing too much - i apologize.
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Old 08-09-09, 08:01 PM   #4
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Just like you would be sit/straddling a pipe.
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Old 08-09-09, 09:05 PM   #5
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Like Wanderer says, bare heel to naked crotch. Measure to any of the dangling bits you want, but you will be getting a very small bike if you do - probably.

I'm not sure why you are considering 1" heels to add to your standover height. You don't really pedal with your heels, do you?
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Old 08-09-09, 09:09 PM   #6
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This has been discussed a lot, especially since the measuring of the seattube is a bit outdated since most modern frames has got a sloping toptube.

Also your total bodylenght is not the only interesting thing, your inseam is more important for the standover height.

I`ve seen peopel saying that the effective toptube lenght on the bike is the most important when deciding if the bike fits.

Also there is info that peopel used to ride much bigger frames "in the old days", and still a lot of peopel like bigger frames better, especially to get the bars higher up.

You can do a search (use the search option on the top of the page) and read earlyer postings on the topic.

How often do you stand with one foot on the ground like that? If nothing hurts there is no problem with contact.

Forget the heels, use shoes that is right for you.

Edit: Here is a link, you can find other pages and they might have slightly different opinions on some details.

http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_...g_a_frame_size

Look to the right down the page, you`ll find more about bike fittng.

Last edited by badmother; 08-09-09 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 08-09-09, 10:11 PM   #7
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I'll probably sound like a wise-guy (who didn't answer your question directly) but the definitions ain't going to matter if you hit "right", no matter how comfortable/confident you feel/think about the situation. I remember as a teenager riding a bike with "negative" standover clearance (I didn't know anything about checking for standover clearance either), when I got off the bike I leaned (lopsided-like) one leg down first and avoided straddling the top tube. I never had a top-tube "incident" with that bike, but I realize now that that was not an ideal situation.

I'm guessing about 3 inches below the pubic bone is the clearance I'm getting (I just checked and was surprised it was that much), that includes my shoes with about an 1 inch-thick sole (I ride regular flatform pedals). I'm going to say measure via pubic bone because that's where the "dead-end" contact would equal pain (seems like the "squishy" parts could move a lot to escape injury).

My original point was that there is a bar between your legs and you might hit it wrong and cause some pain (no matter what the "official" ideal clearance is) but (since you have at least some clearance) I think your fear is a bit overblown and you are relatively safe from a top-tube catastrophe.
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Old 08-09-09, 10:30 PM   #8
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Where's the "who cares" option in the poll? Didn't you ever ride dad's bike when you were a kid? Do you still have functionality? What a ridiculous fear sell this whole top tube clearance thing is. Maybe a better poll would be along the lines of how many of you have actually lost your balls due to top tube contact?

Get a frame that fits, if you're stupid enough to land on the top tube 1" ain't gonna make a difference...
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Old 08-10-09, 12:28 AM   #9
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You mean after I shaved my legs - I wasn't supposed to get castrated??
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Old 08-10-09, 05:01 AM   #10
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You mean after I shaved my legs - I wasn't supposed to get castrated??
Have you visited the Road Forums again?

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Old 08-10-09, 06:21 AM   #11
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WTF does the road forum have to do with anything?
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Old 08-10-09, 07:32 AM   #12
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poor wording on my part - i meant 1" thick soles (not heels rofl). i edited that. thanks for the replies.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:01 AM   #13
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All I know is that the boys had better be clear.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:41 AM   #14
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Have an older bike with a fairly level top tube (91 Trek 750 Multitrack hybrid). Used to be 5' 10", but am shrinking, so I'm probably same height as you. My Trek is also a 19. I do have a shorter inseam than a lot of guys our height (or smaller) at 29". I have a moderate amount of seat tube showing, ~5". It seems to work well for me so far.

My concern is Trek seems to have only 20" and 17.5". Twenty is MAYBE too big, but I'm curious about going to 17.5".

Seems to me that a LOT has to do with seat post height, especially given that many top tubes are angled these days. Nobody ever seems to mention seat tube exposed, but I think that plays just as much a role as other measurements...

No, I'm not in the immediate market for a new bike, but I sure lust after one.
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Old 08-10-09, 12:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
Where's the "who cares" option in the poll? Didn't you ever ride dad's bike when you were a kid? Do you still have functionality? What a ridiculous fear sell this whole top tube clearance thing is. :

..
Hate to say it but standover height is not the main criteria for a bike fitting. I have bikes that I cannot touch the ground unless I lean the bike over. Even on some Compact frames I struggle. And once I am on the saddle- I cannot touch the ground on any of my bikes, The feet are still a couple of inches short. But I do have the Crank to Crutch height right- the reach is perfect and The bikes fit.
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Old 08-10-09, 12:15 PM   #16
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WTF does the road forum have to do with anything?
Just trying to make a joke about the shaved legs.

Edit: Short legs-need suggestions-Touring/non-paved

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Old 08-10-09, 02:15 PM   #17
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It's a concern for me and the boys.If your not worried about singing soprano someday,standover height don't matter.

In the old days,being able to lift the bike about an inch or so was the rule around these parts.
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