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Old 08-09-10, 01:50 PM   #1
ranrnic
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Need help with choosing the right size bike

Ok, I ran across this site while researching what size bike I should purchase. Glad I found it, some great reads. Back to why I'm at my first post. I'm looking to get my first road bike, coming off a mountain bike. I understand that the feel will be different and will take a few rides to get used to. I went in to Performance Bike with a buddy who is also looking to get a road bike and decided on the Fuji Roubaix 2.0. The guy helping us had me test a 56cm bike and said that was the right fit, I put some trust into what he was saying because again, I never rode a road bike and figured he's had experience getting people on the right sized bike. The part that threw me off is that my friend rode the same bike and pretty much was told the same thing. That would be fine but I'm 5' 9" and he's 6'1". I put the bike on layaway just to make sure I got the sale price and double points.

When I got home I went online and entered some numbers on Competitive Cyclist as well as Wrench Science and both suggested that I go with a 52cm bike. Again, I'm 5' 9" tall, have a 30" inseam and weigh 225 pounds. I'm not sure if the guy just saw me and figured big guy (not height ) and said 58cm. I just want to make sure that I'm getting the right size and not just helping the store clear out inventory.

Long story short: 5' 9" tall, 30" inseam, 225 pounds...what size bike should I go with.
Bike I'm looking to get: http://www.fujibikes.com/Road/Perfor...ubaix-2-0.aspx

Thanks,
Randall
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Old 08-09-10, 03:33 PM   #2
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There have been lots of posts on this forum, as recently reported in [1], where people have been told that bicycles fit them simply because the bike shop wants to clear out inventory or sell a bike from the floor. Before spending a lot of money on a bike, particularly your first road bike, I would consider this. Go to the same or other bike shops and test ride (or at least test-sit) on smaller frames and see how they feel, keeping in mind that slight adjustments can be made by adjusting the stem, saddle angle/position, etc. Go with what feels best to you, don't just take some guy's word for it. Also, do take into consideration what you've read, and what standover height makes sense for your inseam, noting that this varies a bit among bicycle manufacturers.

Don't give the bike shop your trust out-of-hand. Do lots of reading on your own, and consider that since you're new to bicycling, less-than-honest people may try to take advantage of that. Perhaps post in one of the regional forums or ask any friends you know who bike as to which bike shops in the area are reputable.

That being said, I don't mean to give you too cynical an impression. Just do some research on your own, and take the time to comparison shop and comparison talk, especially if you're ready to drop some serious money on a bike. Buying a bike that isn't the right fit may cause you to give up cycling and to waste money.

[1] http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-a-bike-store

Last edited by csimons; 08-09-10 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 08-09-10, 04:28 PM   #3
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Randall:

I would have to say you might be a 52cm with that bike. However, if you went to another bike you might be a 54cm. I would say in a perfect world and your leg length is even with your upper torso length then you would be a 54cm with a (top tube c-c 54cm). However with the measurement you have give me the 52cm bike has a c-c 53 and this should be idea for you. Going with a bike with too long of a top tube will put stress on your back and shoulders. However, without seeing you it is very hard to determine. If you with the 52cm make sure to try a 120 stem, Make sure the seat post is a zero offset, a negative offset seat post can give a false top tube length. Which put your hip behind the crank axis instead of aligned with the crank axis. I believe that top tube with a 110-120 stem would work. Just like the last guy said ride the smaller bike. Send me an email if you have any more questions. I professionally fit cyclist and triathletes and I am currently writing a book on the Optimal Bike Fit.

Good luck,
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Old 08-09-10, 04:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranrnic View Post
The guy helping us had me test a 56cm bike and said that was the right fit, I put some trust into what he was saying because again, I never rode a road bike and figured he's had experience getting people on the right sized bike. The part that threw me off is that my friend rode the same bike and pretty much was told the same thing. That would be fine but I'm 5' 9" and he's 6'1". I put the bike on layaway just to make sure I got the sale price and double points.
The guy at Performance was flipping burgers last week at Burger King.
Go to a real bike shop (that sells Fuji if thats what you want) and get fitted by someone who knows what they're doing.
BTW: I'm 6'-0" and ride a 56cm.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:41 PM   #5
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long story short, in a more traditional non-sloping TT diamond, a 56 is prolly on the very extreme upper end of sizing for you and there's likely gonna be a slew of bikes which would fit better (even a smaller Fuji ROubaix). And many 52s may be on the smaller extreme. These days, I see as many riders who are all balled up on too small a bike, as I see riders on too large a frame. There's a lot to fitting a road bike well. Perf-Bike sells good stuff, but in this case it may be a challenge getting the best match.
Don't lock yourself into the Fuji Roubaix. It's end of season and there'll be plenty of bike shops which might still have a bike which can fit you well and sell you it to you for a good price.
You've already done a good thing by your online investigations. Go check out some other shops and what they have to offer. There are good sales people out there, who will do a good job in assessing you and offer their best solutions.
Realize that you'll definitely be more 'over' your road bike than you are over your MTB, so it may feel strange at first.
If you have opportunities to ride bikes, ride as many as you can before you have to decide.
Good luck.
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Old 08-10-10, 12:48 AM   #6
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Thanks to those who replied. I found a LBS that carries the Fuji I have on hold so I'm going to see what size they recommend. Hopefully I get a better fitting than the glance over I got at Performance. I'll probably check out some other shops as well to see what else is out there. I'm hoping to stay in the $800 max range for my entry level bike.

If anyone else has any comments/suggestions, please share. Also, I live is San Diego (near Poway) in case anyone wants to recommend any shops. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-10-10, 07:51 AM   #7
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Just about every bike manufacturer has an under $800 road bike. Visit several bike shops and test ride all the bikes that appeal to you.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:46 AM   #8
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Used to be the first "standard" test was standover height. That's back when roadsters all had level top tubes.
You straddled thetop tube and would figure that you should "just" clear same when standing level. Ideally, you'd be wearing the shoes you'd be riding in.
That just gets you in the ballpark. Other fit items include reach; and it used to be the case that most roadsters seemed to by marketed to "serious" riders who liked or were capable of a rather stretched-out position on the bike. You saw a lot of rather long stems....
Then there's crank length, which might generate a whole (and rather long...) thread on its own.

The bottom line is that you should be comfortable on the bike, and have an efficient riding position that will let you generate power without injuring yourself.
If you feel like spending the bread, pay for a professional fitting. Most areas have at least one decent "roadie" shop with folks that have the equipment.
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Old 08-10-10, 11:37 AM   #9
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I am 5'8" with a 30" inseam and I fit quite well on my 54cm.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:58 AM   #10
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Ok, went to a few different bike shops today and even another Performance, and rode a few other bikes (Fuji, Giant, Felt, and another I forgot the name of that started with a M). Even got fitted at most (not Performance) and the three that took measurements all put me on a 54cm bike. Based on the bikes I rode and what fits into the budget, I'm narrowing my choices to:

2010 Fuji Roubaix 2.0: http://www.fujibikes.com/Road/Perfor...ubaix-2-0.aspx
Price out the door: $720
or
2011 Giant Defy 2 (link is for 2010): http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...ct/3882/37099/
Price out the door: $870

Both bikes felt comfortable, not too cramp or overstretching. My initial thought is that the Fuji is $150 less and I can use that money on upgrades but since this is my first road bike and I'm open to feedback, I wanted to see what the members have to say. You've all been helpful, thanks.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:28 PM   #11
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Get the bike that feels better. Don't worry about upgrades now. If you don't have these items already you'll need a helmet, cycling clothes, pedals (if you buy the Fuji), pump, seat pack, spare tube, patch kit, multitool, etc. so you aren't stuck at the side of the road waiting for help after you have your first flat or need a minor bike repair/adjustment.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:34 PM   #12
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either should be a great start. Seems it would come down to the shop in which you might have the most confidence in supporting the 'after sale' side of things. If something goes wrong (and sometimes it does...) does one shop give the impression that they might bend over backwards to make things right? Then shop support easily trumps a small price difference.
And the Giant '54' would be their M size, right?
ride em again - note small things like saddle comfort, bar width (good start would be barwidth = to distance between armpits), ask them if they'll set you up to start ridin with KOPS (knee over Pedal spindle) ... if they do that before you;re next test ride, you might notice more differences ... KOPS is not religion, but its always been a good start point for further tuning...
if you want to know more about KOPS, look it up...
seat height - start point
...seated on bike, with heels on the pedals over the spindle, pedaling backwards should have your legs fully stretched to max without need to 'rock' the hips to maintain contact. same, just a good start point (given no major leg or leg length anomalies). then adjust from there...
check each wheel for trueness and bearing spin. Even sealed bearings can be adjusted too tight.
check each wheel by holding at the axle ends and spinning - if you feel 'grab' or 'drag', the hubs should be able to be adjusted.
do for front and back...
a rough and grabby spin means a poor wheel adjustment or just a bad hub/wheel.
make sure the bike you get has a good set of wheels to start... crappy wheels are like draggin an anchor.
a decent wheelset is important
what pedals are you gonna ride? any difference there?
a tough decision when you get narrowed down, hope this helps...
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Old 08-17-10, 05:43 PM   #13
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Bike Fit

I would agree with the guy about most sales guys were flipping burgers. Most bike shops do not educate their staff on how to properly fit cyclists. I have only seen a few good shops with credentials to bike fit. The bottom line is most shops are in business to sale and make a profit. They do not want to spend time with you to provide a quality bike fit.
Most shops will check your seat height and look at the reach and say "OK you are ready to ride".
The problem with this shotgun approach to bike fitting is you might have some muscle imbalance, previous injuries that will alter your fit. Flexibility is a huge component of bike fitting. When fitting I always prescribe an exercise program that addresses these issues. I look at everything from cleat palcement, knee angle, saddle position, crank arm length, stem length, seat tube angle, and head tube angle.

Website Link below:
http://kineticloop.org/optimal_bike_fit.htm
Or check out these guys:
http://www.fitwerx.com/splash/

I can say that most bike shops cause more harm than good with poor bike fits. Ask the bike shop if there sales guys are SICI fit certified. If not you need to find a new bike fitter.

Good Luck
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Old 08-17-10, 10:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranrnic View Post
Ok, I ran across this site while researching what size bike I should purchase. Glad I found it, some great reads. Back to why I'm at my first post. I'm looking to get my first road bike, coming off a mountain bike. I understand that the feel will be different and will take a few rides to get used to. I went in to Performance Bike with a buddy who is also looking to get a road bike and decided on the Fuji Roubaix 2.0. The guy helping us had me test a 56cm bike and said that was the right fit, I put some trust into what he was saying because again, I never rode a road bike and figured he's had experience getting people on the right sized bike. The part that threw me off is that my friend rode the same bike and pretty much was told the same thing. That would be fine but I'm 5' 9" and he's 6'1". I put the bike on layaway just to make sure I got the sale price and double points.

When I got home I went online and entered some numbers on Competitive Cyclist as well as Wrench Science and both suggested that I go with a 52cm bike. Again, I'm 5' 9" tall, have a 30" inseam and weigh 225 pounds. I'm not sure if the guy just saw me and figured big guy (not height ) and said 58cm. I just want to make sure that I'm getting the right size and not just helping the store clear out inventory.

Long story short: 5' 9" tall, 30" inseam, 225 pounds...what size bike should I go with.
Bike I'm looking to get: http://www.fujibikes.com/Road/Perfor...ubaix-2-0.aspx

Thanks,
Randall
If your cycling inseam is really 30 inches (your pants inseam is NOT your cycling inseam) then a 52cm sounds like a good point.
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Old 10-04-10, 02:49 AM   #15
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There are extreme variations from the norm: for instance, Salsa's Pistola is sold in compact sizing so you get the compact size bike that corresponds to your standard size bike you normally ride.

Non Wally World bikes like crank forwards are one size fits all due to the compact seat tube: you raise the seatpost and adjust the bars to your height.
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Old 10-11-10, 09:44 AM   #16
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If your cycling inseam is really 30 inches (your pants inseam is NOT your cycling inseam) then a 52cm sounds like a good point.
Randall:


I would say you are probably a 52 or 54 cm. This depends on the geometry of the bike and your upper torso compared to lower torso ratio. The upper torso will help you with the top tube length which is very important. I would have to say a 58cm bike is out of the question. The shop that tried to sale you that bike is looking for a sale and doesn't know how to fit s bike. I believe you needed to be fitted for your new bike. Spend the money and get properly fitted.

My Best
Mike
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Old 10-12-10, 12:20 PM   #17
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I'm 5'8" 30 inseam 52cm is perfect for me. Confirming multiple posts
with 54 included ,I'd say thats what your size would be.
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