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Old 05-09-10, 07:06 PM   #1
mtalinm
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fitting advice for short-legs, long-torso

Been looking through a number of bike-fitting guides and am finding myself the exception not the rule to posted guidelines. Of course I realize I should have this looked at by my LBS, but unfortunately I find that the LBSes I've visited try to steer me toward whatever they have in stock rather than what's best for me.

I'm of average height (just shy of 5'9") but have a 28" inseam, which is more what you'd expect of someone 5'4" or so. So, short torso and long legs.

The usual calculations put me at about a 49cm road frame, but when I test-ride bikes in that size although my legs are OK-ish it feels like I'm on a tricycle because I'm towering over the handlebars.

I think my best bet is to go with a slightly larger bike (52-53cm) so I can stretch out sufficiently but keep the seat a bit lower than I would on a smaller, more "appropriately" sized frame.

does that sound reasonable? other thoughts out there? thanks much.
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Old 05-09-10, 08:18 PM   #2
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Just for comparison. I'm 5' 8" with a 29" inseam. I'm riding a 56cm Specialized Roubaix Elite which fits great. If you get a bike with a sloping top tube you can buy a larger frame which helps to solve the longer torso problem.

My advice, since you're near a large city, is to find a professional bike fitter and have them measure you up and then, armed with that info, go shopping for a bike that fits those measurements. It would be money well spent.

Good luck, Jim
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Old 05-09-10, 08:37 PM   #3
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we're pretty much the same size...a 56 fits you?? wow. wouldn't've seen that coming.

where do you find a professional bike fitter that's not trying to sell you a bike? interesting idea.
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Old 05-09-10, 09:18 PM   #4
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+1 on a sloping top-tube.. that is your answer, either that or you'll have to go custom.

JimT, a 56cm roubaix has a standover of 31.5" ... you must be very cautious getting on and off the bicycle.
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Old 05-09-10, 10:01 PM   #5
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+1 on a sloping top-tube.. that is your answer, either that or you'll have to go custom.

JimT, a 56cm roubaix has a standover of 31.5" ... you must be very cautious getting on and off the bicycle.
i'm surprised to hear that too. I did the standover on a 56" trek pilot, which also has a sloping tube, and it was quite snug on the gentlemen...
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Old 05-09-10, 10:38 PM   #6
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+1 on a sloping top-tube.. that is your answer, either that or you'll have to go custom.

JimT, a 56cm roubaix has a standover of 31.5" ... you must be very cautious getting on and off the bicycle.
I just went and checked. In my slippers I can stand a little ways in front of the seat nose and can lift the front wheel of my bike almost 4" off the ground before "the boys" start objecting. Maybe I'm still growing and don't have a 29" inseam anymore..............after all I'm only 63. However, that said, I just checked on the Specialized website on frame dimensions. My Roubaix is a 2007 that I bought new in March from a small local shop here on the coast. According to the Specialized website, my 2007 standover height is 780mm (30.7") and the 2010 standover height is 801mm (31.5") just like you said. I don't know when the change occurred, but I feel fortunate to end up with the bike I did.

Jim
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Old 05-09-10, 10:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post

where do you find a professional bike fitter that's not trying to sell you a bike? interesting idea.
Example: http://www.bch.org/sportsmedicine/bike-fit.aspx

You can also use this online calculator for a do-it-yourself fitting: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
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Old 05-09-10, 10:53 PM   #8
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As others have said, find a bike you like with the "compact" frame type or sloping top tube to give you leg clearance with a frame size/tt that gets your upper body comfortable. Just don't over do it.
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Old 05-09-10, 10:59 PM   #9
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i'm surprised to hear that too. I did the standover on a 56" trek pilot, which also has a sloping tube, and it was quite snug on the gentlemen...
I saw your post about looking at a 2009 Roubaix. What size was it and how was the standover height on it?

Jim
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Old 05-09-10, 11:06 PM   #10
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Check out the Gary Fisher line form Trek. I've heard they adopted the famous Lemond geometry after booting Greg. The long torso geometry. I love the fit on my Lemond as I'm a long torso dude myself.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:21 AM   #11
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Don't be too concerned if the stand over is higher than your true inseam. I rode a bike for 8k miles with -1cm of standover clearance. When you stop or get on/off a bike you naturally tilt it to one side reducing the true standover.
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Old 05-10-10, 02:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
I think my best bet is to go with a slightly larger bike (52-53cm) so I can stretch out sufficiently but keep the seat a bit lower than I would on a smaller, more "appropriately" sized frame.

does that sound reasonable? other thoughts out there? thanks much.
Nope! Your seat height is determined by leg extention, and is not an area to compromise.

With the same problem on an existing bike, I ended up with a somewhat extended stem, and a saddle that would position far enough forward to get the fit. Sounds like I was working against myself, but that is what finally worked.

Hopefully, you won't have to go this route since you are getting a new bike instead of making an existing bike work for you.
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Old 05-10-10, 02:14 PM   #13
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Yup... Saddle height(from top of saddle to centre of the bb) is fixed, once you find that comfortable height write that measurement down and save it.

If you get a larger frame you will be dealing with a taller head-tube, which would make for a funny road racing bicycle fit since your slammed seat and jacked head-tube would result in an upright position even though you would still be stretched out. You could overcome this with a stem which has a real big drop, but when you get into off sized stems that usually means the bike is the wrong fit...
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Old 05-10-10, 03:37 PM   #14
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The sloping top tube helps, but I end up with a longer stem on every bike. I'm 6' with baarely 32" standover height.
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