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  1. #1
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    Standover Height Problem

    I've finally decided on a first bike, I got some fund (gotta love overtime) and can afford a bike now.

    I decided on the Motobecane Vent Noir from bikedirect.com. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ventnoir_x.htm

    My brother just got his first bike as well, a Trek 1.2. He spend like 1000 dollars after pedal and shoes. I would spend that amount of money too, if i had it. But I don't. At least I get better components then he does, I'm sure that will tick him off .

    The problem is I think their smallest bike is still to tall... I just measured my inseam, it's still 27". I'm 5'6", maybe 7, but its all torso (great for wrestling, maybe not so much for cycling?) The standover on their smallest frame (48 cm) is 735 mm, which is basically 29 inches.

    I've ridden motorcycles before with seat heights of around that and been fine, but that also a motorcycle, which is obviously different.

    So what should I do. It looks like a decent bike and I really don't want to spend that money, partially on those nice wheels, to have to trade them for 650's.

    Any advice?

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    You don't want a bike you can't stand over. Eventually, probably sooner rather than later, you'll have to hop off the saddle forward and you'll clank your junk on the top tube. It only takes once to show you why that's a bad idea.
    Did you measure your pants inseam or your "cycling" inseam? They're not the same, so there may be some hope there. Otherwise, though, choose another bike. You really don't want one you can't stand over.

  3. #3
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    Are you sure you measured corectly? If your inseam is as short as you say, compared to your height, any bikes you find with enough stand over will have too short top tubes to fit correctly. Are you buying the bike to ride or to stand over? Choose the bike based on top tube length, you will be happier in the long run.
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  4. #4
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    Find a bike with a sloping top tube. What good are fancy components if you aren't happy or comfy with the bike?

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    I've finally decided on a first bike, I got some fund (gotta love overtime) and can afford a bike now.

    I decided on the Motobecane Vent Noir from bikedirect.com. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ventnoir_x.htm

    The problem is I think their smallest bike is still to tall... I just measured my inseam, it's still 27". I'm 5'6", maybe 7, but its all torso (great for wrestling, maybe not so much for cycling?) The standover on their smallest frame (48 cm) is 735 mm, which is basically 29 inches.

    Any advice?
    If you're 5'-6" with a 27" inseam I think a 48 cm bike will be too small for you.
    Visit a bike shop and let them determine what size you'll need. Just make sure they size you on a standard frame bike and not a compact (sloping top tube) frame bike since the BD bike you're looking at is a standard frame.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    I've finally decided on a first bike, I got some fund (gotta love overtime) and can afford a bike now.

    I decided on the Motobecane Vent Noir from bikedirect.com. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ventnoir_x.htm

    My brother just got his first bike as well, a Trek 1.2. He spend like 1000 dollars after pedal and shoes. I would spend that amount of money too, if i had it. But I don't. At least I get better components then he does, I'm sure that will tick him off .
    A deal is only a deal if it has value. Pretty components and lots of cool stuff on a bike that doesn't fit is just a waste of money. While your bother is out enjoying his Trek 1.2 by actually riding it, your 'better' bike will be sitting in the garage because it doesn't fit.

    Go to a bike shop, spend a little more money and get a bike that really fits. Then you'll have a true deal and you can tick him off by riding him into the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    The problem is I think their smallest bike is still to tall... I just measured my inseam, it's still 27". I'm 5'6", maybe 7, but its all torso (great for wrestling, maybe not so much for cycling?) The standover on their smallest frame (48 cm) is 735 mm, which is basically 29 inches.
    Right size, right bike. Wrong size, wrong bike. You have special problems because of your size and proportions. Don't try to "make" a bike fit by purchasing one that is sorta the right size. Get the right one first. It's cheaper that way

    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    So what should I do. It looks like a decent bike and I really don't want to spend that money, partially on those nice wheels, to have to trade them for 650's.
    You can't trade 700C for 650C. They are different wheel sizes and need different frames to fit the wheels. They are not interchangeable!!!!!!!!...at least not with rim brakes. They would only be marginally interchangeable with a disc brake.

    A 650C bike would probably be a good choice for you but they are rather rare. That just means you'll have to pay more.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    The problem is I think their smallest bike is still to tall... I just measured my inseam, it's still 27". I'm 5'6", maybe 7, but its all torso (great for wrestling, maybe not so much for cycling?) The standover on their smallest frame (48 cm) is 735 mm, which is basically 29 inches.
    Your pants inseam is shorter than the actual measurement you need.

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

    You want some clearance between the bike and yourself (but you don't need very much clearance). You should be able to straddle the bike and lift it up a bit. Go check out some bicycles to see this in action (so to speak).

    You need less clearance with a road bike than you do on a mountain bike.

    If your torso is unusually long relative to your legs, the horizontal top-tube measurement could be an issue with a small bike. That is, if you go smaller than you need-to for standover height, the horizontal toptube might be too small.

    You certainly want a bike that fits but it has to fit your torso too (ie, the horizontal toptube length also has to be correct).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 06-08-10 at 10:30 AM.

  8. #8
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    First off, I feel I must say I have nothing against Bikes Direct. I have looked at the bikes they sell and they look like great value for the money.

    However, there are disadvantages when you buy a bike online - the two major ones are fit (your problem) and warranty (not a problem unless you have a problem).

    The advantage of buying a bike from a brick-and-mortar LBS instead of online is that you can touch, sit on, and probably even take a bike for a test ride. For someone who knows exactly what size of bike he wants this is not an issue, but if you are not sure, buying online is a crapshoot.

    Getting slightly better components is less important than getting a bike that fits. A 105 derailleur will not make the pain stop when you are lying on the side of the trail with a ruptured testicle.

    Also, there is no performance difference between Sora and 105 when a bike is properly set up (except maybe the hub bearings, but not many bikes even come with Sora or 105 hubs - almost all companies spec Taiwanese and house brand wheels to save $$$)... and often individual components can be found for very cheap if you shop around for upgrades.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    You get your cycling inseam or pubic bone height (PBH) by standing in stocking feet, back to a wall. Have a gf, bf, wife, mother etc take a hard cover book of generous size and about a 1 inch spine and shove it up into your crotch with enough force that you either can feel it pretty darn good or your feet feel like you are getting light. Place a mark at the intersection of the book and the wall. Measure this distance. Now, multiply your PBH by .883 and set your saddle height from center of crank (BB) to the crown of the saddle.

    Your standard frame size is the PBH times .67, that will give you the frame size or seat post, center to top sizing. Some people and in fact most competitive type cyclist go a little smaller than this result.

    Your pants inseam is not your cycling inseam, I wear a 32 pants usually and have a nearly 34 inch PBH (5-10.5)

    Get a sloping tube, compact frame geometry, bicycle, like the Trek etc.
    Last edited by Loose Chain; 06-08-10 at 11:50 AM.

  10. #10
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    I took all of your suggestions to heart and went to the local bike shop today. The manager worked with me and after trying me on a couple of bikes, he told me to give him a second. He came back with a Cannondale Caad. It was new old stock (a 2008). He told me to come back on Saturday and try me on a couple bike, but he said that bike might be a perfect fit. I would still get great components but also get the LBS treatment. When I get my bike they have a certified fit specialist hook me up, then they will readjust for free after a few weeks riding (he said since I'll be riding everyday to work and back, by then I'll need one) plus 30% off anything in the shop. The best part was the bike costs 800 he said, which is only 100 more then BD, and I would have to pay to get the BD bike fit.

    So I go back on Saturday and hopeful end up with a bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    So I go back on Saturday and hopeful end up with a bike.
    Nice. But what the heck size is it???

  12. #12
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    He said I fit 50cm, he thought close to 52.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    He said I fit 50cm, he thought close to 52.
    http://www.cannondale.com/gbr/eng/Pr...ltegra-Compact

    Assuming it's the same geo as the bike you are looking at.

    50 -> 29.64 inch SO
    52 -> 30.10 inch SO

  14. #14
    Senior Member trek2.3bike's Avatar
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    I have almost your measurements. I've spent a lot of time in order to learn that only a bike with 650 wheels will fit.

    All the 700 wheel bikes, no matter if the frames are designated 44, 45, 46 or 47cm, will have a 70 cm (30inch) standover height because of the wheel diameter. That puts the top bar right IN your balls. Just where you never want it (ask me how I know).

    The conclusion is that ONLY the Trek WSD bikes in 43cm with the sloping top bar will fit you safely. Mine required a handlebar raiser, an entended stem and a setback seat post but it fits perfectly (given that NO ONE builds a stock bike for short men, NO ONE). I only had to pay extra for the seat post.

    BTW, every year Trek drops another model in the 43cm size. I have a 2.3 but it is not available any longer in this size. Only the 2.1 in aluminum and the 4.7 in carbon come in this size for 2010. But you CAN find NIB old stock on sale and have your Trek dealer get it for you. Here, for example, http://bikeline.com/articles/road-an...eouts-pg59.htm. Their '08 1.2 WSD is in your price range but the components are marginal. Since the 43cm size is disappearing and you aren't getting any taller, do what I did and stretch to get the best bike. The '08 2.3 WSD in 43cm is exactly what I have. It is worth the extra money. Remember with clearance stock you can always BARGAIN.

    It you want to talk about my experience finding the right bike for a short man, send me your phone number in a PM.

    P. S. Here's a best buy. Chicago Red/Pearl White '08 2.1 WSD in 43 cm for $919.99. http://thebikerack.com/sale/the-bike...ials-pg425.htm. BTW, the 08 and 09 treks come with carbon seat stays.
    Last edited by trek2.3bike; 06-08-10 at 07:29 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member trek2.3bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxduff View Post
    He said I fit 50cm, he thought close to 52.

    If he's not stupid, he is a lier. I met several when I was trying to purchase a bike. You ALWAYS "fit" what the shop has to sell.

    As Cyccommute says
    Don't try to "make" a bike fit by purchasing one that is sorta the right size. Get the right one first. It's cheaper that way.
    Last edited by trek2.3bike; 06-08-10 at 07:20 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek2.3bike View Post
    If he's not stupid, he is a lier. I met several when I was trying to purchase a bike. You ALWAYS "fit" what the shop has to sell.

    As Cyccommute says
    Take your time and try the bikes out and see if they can make it damn near close to perfect. If it is not comfortable, be prepared to say 'no' outright. There are adjustments that can be made to some aspects of bike fit (like forward reach, seat height, and saddle fore/aft) that can make a bike that is close into a bike that fits.

    What is a 'good' fit? Only you can answer that... it changes witht he riders dimensions, expectations, flexibility, expectations, and intended use. Try the bike and see what you think. If you think you feel too cramped, then you are likely too cramped. If you feel it is very good, it is likely very good.

    And make sure you are comfortable stepping on and off without smashing your crotch on the top tube.

  17. #17
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    nevermind the numbers. straddle over the top tube of your bike. move your boys to the side and lift the bike until it is pressing against your pubic bone with the same pressure that you feel when you're on a saddle. if you lift the wheels off the ground 2 or more inches, you're OK.

  18. #18
    Senior Member trek2.3bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by common man View Post
    nevermind the numbers. straddle over the top tube of your bike. move your boys to the side and lift the bike until it is pressing against your pubic bone with the same pressure that you feel when you're on a saddle. if you lift the wheels off the ground 2 or more inches, you're OK.
    If you use this rule of thumb, when you need (as you will) to pop off the saddle and put both feet on the ground the top bar WILL BE buried in your balls (since they won't be moved to the side). Neither they nor the top bar are going anywhere. So you have to eliminate possible contact. It is contact with your stuff that counts, not your pubic bone.

    Don't guess, be certain there is no contact.
    Last edited by trek2.3bike; 06-09-10 at 10:19 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ruffinit's Avatar
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    Your visit to the bike shop was a great decision. Go back and see what happens. Will it fit? Will it ride the way you like? Does it coincide with your pocketbook? These can be answered on your next visit. Remember that you haven't made any mistake unless you buy something that DOESN'T fit YOU.
    Nothing wrong with a new-old stock. You just aren't paying the premium for having the newest model on the block. It's still new.

    I've taken many, many folks bike shopping. The bikes that I know are of the greatest quality in their price bracket are not the bikes that they often come home with. Bikes are one of the most personal items you will ever buy, but you have to do the touchy-feelie thing especially when you aren't experienced at it.

  20. #20
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    trek2.bike3, LOL i appreciate the frank nature of your post. you're right, that rule of thumb gives no guarantees. my boys brush the top tube yet by my rule i have 2.5-3" of clearance without shoes. i often pop off the saddle to the top tube with very little contact.

    let's try it again. follow that rule of thumb. if you get < 2 inches, fogetaboutit. if you get >2 inches, carefully take a light soft jump while you're still straddling over the top tube. how much contact do you have? use this to decide how comfortable you are. if i jump vigorously on my bike, there is a little bit of contact but not enough to hurt. this approach is not perfect but it's very fast and easy. your way is better.

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