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Old 03-01-10, 03:35 PM   #1
ooh9hokie
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Need Help Purchasing!!

I am a "newbie" when it comes to road bike purchasing. I've been to my local bike shop and they stuck me on a 48 in frame and I just felt too high (even though the seat was at the lowest setting) and somewhat out of control; however, the "expert" believed that it was the perfect fit for me. He said I looked good on it, but my main concern is spending money on a bike that I'm not comfortable on. I'm 5'2" and I found a bike on Craigslist that is a 44in frame. The guy at the bike shop said a 44in frame would be too small for me. What is your advice? Anybody?

Also, here are the specs for the 44in frame road bike I'm looking at (on Craigslist). Any thoughts on this deal? It is up for $350.


FUJI Newest Womens Bike
come with electronic counter and carry pouch.
frame - 44cm fuji altair 2 7000 series aluminum
fork - fuji carbon fiber
shifters - shimano tiagra triple
deraileurs (f and r) - shimano tiagra triple
crankset - truvativ elita triple (52/42/30)
wheels - alex a-class 650cc
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Old 03-01-10, 03:45 PM   #2
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That 48" frame may have been the right size AND too high.
You dont measure from the ground but from the bottom bracket where the pedals spin. If this is high off the grough, your whole position will be too high. It is a common fault of small frames.
Look for a lower bottom bracket height. take a ruler and compare if you like.
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Old 03-01-10, 04:07 PM   #3
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It takes courage and a bit of getting used to but you have to have the saddle at the right height for pedalling efficiency.

That often means that for us shorties- we cannot touch the ground while seated on the saddle. I can't- My legs are about 2" short.

Way to check is sit on the saddle and put your heel on the pedal. Then put the pedal at the bottom of it's movement and you should find that the leg is just straight with no bend in the knee. Then when you put the ball of the foot on the pedal and ride the bike- You should just have a slightly bent knee.

There is a lot more to saddle position than that but that is the first basic check. But if you are not happy about the advice given to you- then check with another shop. One thing I can tell you is that a bike that is too large- is not going to be comfortable. A bike just a bit small can be adjusted to fit but there is nothing better than the right size in the first place.

BUT- There is a frame type that suits us shorties and it is called a compact frame. I Ride Giants and their frames are compact. Basically it means that the top tube on the bike slopes drastically in comparison to a normal frame. Attachment is of my Giant OCR and you can see what I mean. It does allow the saddle to be lower-if you want- and better than that Giant and several other manufacturers do them in a womans fit. The womans fit normally has a shorter top tube and certain things like short brake levers- narrower bars and a different shaped saddle.

Edit---And that 46" frame will be 44Cm.
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Old 03-01-10, 04:33 PM   #4
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Also, here are the specs for the 44in frame road bike I'm looking at (on Craigslist). Any thoughts on this deal? It is up for $350.
DON'T even think about it! You've explained that you don't know what size is right for you, but you're looking at a bike you've never even sat on.

Go to another bike shop and another bike shop and another one, until you find a bike you feel comfortable with.

$350.00 seems cheap, but it will be a waste of $350.00 if it just doesn't fit you.
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Old 03-01-10, 09:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
It takes courage and a bit of getting used to but you have to have the saddle at the right height for pedalling efficiency.

That often means that for us shorties- we cannot touch the ground while seated on the saddle. I can't- My legs are about 2" short.

Way to check is sit on the saddle and put your heel on the pedal. Then put the pedal at the bottom of it's movement and you should find that the leg is just straight with no bend in the knee. Then when you put the ball of the foot on the pedal and ride the bike- You should just have a slightly bent knee.

There is a lot more to saddle position than that but that is the first basic check. But if you are not happy about the advice given to you- then check with another shop. One thing I can tell you is that a bike that is too large- is not going to be comfortable. A bike just a bit small can be adjusted to fit but there is nothing better than the right size in the first place.

BUT- There is a frame type that suits us shorties and it is called a compact frame. I Ride Giants and their frames are compact. Basically it means that the top tube on the bike slopes drastically in comparison to a normal frame. Attachment is of my Giant OCR and you can see what I mean. It does allow the saddle to be lower-if you want- and better than that Giant and several other manufacturers do them in a womans fit. The womans fit normally has a shorter top tube and certain things like short brake levers- narrower bars and a different shaped saddle.

Edit---And that 46" frame will be 44Cm.
This is great advice, stepfam! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain everything. I also appreciate your advice too, Michael. I think you were going for the same idea/same explanation. All of your advice has helped tremendously. It's hard when you're new at this. It is also difficult going into a bike shop and listening to them when you get the feel that they're just trying to sweet talk you and tell you all of this stuff when they KNOW you're good bait because you don't know otherwise. I also am not looking to spend thousands of dollars when I'm still such a "new kid on the block". I'd love to take what I learn from these forums and the bike experts at these shops and turn around and find something decently priced on CL.

Monkey, I appreciate you posting. I don't think $350 is necessarily cheap when they're trying to make a deal on CL AND it was probably only a $700-800 bike to begin with, which is fine by me. I'm not looking for anything top of the line by any means. I think it is just like you said, a matter of me going to sit on it. So I think I might just check out the 44" frame and see what happens. I like Stepfam's idea where you can adjust a 44" frame to make it bigger, but you cannot really adjust a 48" frame too much to make it smaller.

Stepfam, I was also looking at a female specialized bike so I know what you mean about the "female bike". It felt great - especially for someone who is short like me with short arms and legs.

Thank you to you three and if anybody else has ideas/thoughts/etc. please keep them coming! I appreciate everything.
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Old 03-01-10, 10:22 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity, why are you wanting a road bike?
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Old 03-02-10, 12:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ooh9hokie View Post
Stepfam, I was also looking at a female specialized bike so I know what you mean about the "female bike". It felt great - especially for someone who is short like me with short arms and legs.

Thank you to you three and if anybody else has ideas/thoughts/etc. please keep them coming! I appreciate everything.
Problem with all bikes is getting the fit right. This is why I say look at a few other shops and get their advice. One of them will talk to you and get the right size and type sorted for you.

Now I don't know how much you want to spend on a bike but I would not suggest secondhand--unless you are prepared to change a few things and repair a bit sooner than you expect to-----and I hate to say it- S/H is a minefield unless you understand a bit about bikes.

I like Giants and the link is to a Womans form of the bike I showed in the attachment. Mine is an OCR3 and this is the modern womans equivalent. In the last few years I have got better bikes but the OCR is still a bike I ride.

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...te/3881/36266/
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