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  1. #1
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    Road Bike Beginner; frame TOO small?

    Hi all,
    So, as stated I have just bought my first road bike (1992 Trek 400). This is not a fancy new bike, but I hope it'll teach me the basics and take some good bangings.

    Now, to the crux of the matter. I am 5"7. I believe my inseam is like 29" 30" tops; long torso, short legs. So, because of this I did not feel so comfortable on a 20" bike, which is within the 20"-21.5" range that is recommended for me. I instead went for a frame where I have clearance of at least an inch. I found this in with an 18" frame. The question; Should I be aware of any adverse effects if I ride a frame which is not recommended by industry standard measurements. I didn't want a frame chafing my "boys" yet at the same time I feel as if may road bicylcists disregard any danger of crotch crunching. Should I sell this one off and get a larger "recommended" frame, and learn on that? Or, should I stick with what gives me clearance and feels manageable (i live in new york city and could use a smaller bike I could whip around). Will I get the road bike experience if I stay at 18"? Most importantly, DID I JUST BUY A CHILD SIZE BIKE?!?!

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    This may help you.

    http://veloweb.ca/bike-fit/

    Can you post a pic of the bike?
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Gofast Racers are riding smaller frames with longer top tubes nowadays.

    sloping top tube , 20" may be fine.. as size is shorter , a measure to the top of a shortened join with the lowered top tube.

    the inside leg of trousers is not a good number. leaves out your feet.

    the physical distance of how high that you can pull a Carpenters square or similar object
    until physical contact with your crotch is more useful.. get a friend to mark the wall ..

    Have a bike, how far can you lift the front wheel off the ground until it comes agains your body?

    JRA on the road 2", Gnarly off roading you want more Standover clearance ..

    I feel I got a decent length of cockpit .. top tube + stem length,
    when, while riding ,. I can look straight down thru the axis of the fork steerer.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-04-11 at 12:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    After 16 years of MTB's- 5 years ago I went road. Bought a new basic OCR3 and it served me well. I bought the XS size frame and I am 5'6" with a 30" inseam. This is classed as a 49cm frame and although I did try the next size up- I preferred the fit of the XS. It was too small but it lasted me a year before my abilities outgrew the bike.

    B3.jpg

    Raised the seatpost to the correct level and bought a riser stem to bring the bars up. That bike fitted me well although it was never really comfortable. It sdid its job though and got me into road riding at a cheap price. It got me over a few hilly rides- and a few century rides so it served its purpose.

    Mind you-the next bike was the next size up- had far better components and fitted better. It also cost a fortune but still riding it and still doing the mountains and century rides although the next bike I bought was better for the mountains. Then there was the one for normal rides aswell so watch out- this bike game can become expensive.

    B4a.jpg B1.jpg B2.jpg

    I made the OCR fit and although it was one size too small- It did the job. And remember- all the first bike is there for is to tell you what the next bike will be--On type- fit- size and components.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  5. #5
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    Me on the bike, the seat maybe an inch or two risen above the bars

    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    This may help you.

    http://veloweb.ca/bike-fit/

    Can you post a pic of the bike?
    So i hope the image embedded and it isnt a DL. I'm not too savvy with forum image posts.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    I've posted a pic of me on the bike w/ my leg extended; maybe that can help out some more with the angles etc etc... I'm a bit worried that even though the clearance is good, the top bar may be too short and I'm not getting a good extenstion. Of course, I did read about bike fitting more than I tried to fit one, and I'm not quite sure how I "SHOULD" feel about my "form"...Thx for all the replies...and do give more advice

  7. #7
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    Gschultz, Looks generally fine to me (likely as small a frame as you'd want to ride, however), how does it feel to you? I looks like there will be some toe overlap (interferance between a foot and the front wheel) when slow speed turning the bike that you'll need to be aware of.

    Brad

  8. #8
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gschultz View Post
    So i hope the image embedded and it isnt a DL. I'm not too savvy with forum image posts.
    Looks good to me....happy miles.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Gschultz, Looks generally fine to me (likely as small a frame as you'd want to ride, however), how does it feel to you? I looks like there will be some toe overlap (interferance between a foot and the front wheel) when slow speed turning the bike that you'll need to be aware of.

    Brad
    Just took it out for my first real test and I do believe there is some toe overlap at slow speed, especially when I do (probably quite amateur-ly) do a little shimmy with the front wheel to get the bike biting the road on red to green light starts. But raising a peddle high and pushing it straight down should help me get straight starts with practice. Good prediction.

  10. #10
    Very Verbose Member
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    You need to get the ball of your foot back over the point where the pedal rotates. Stand flat footed on the floor, then raise you heels off the floor, not so you are really on your toes, but on the very strong ball of your foot. That part that you're supporting your weight on when you raise your heels slightly off of the floor is the part of your foot that should be centered front to back on the pedal. The very back edge of the pedal should barely reach the front of the arch of your foot.

  11. #11
    stays crunchy in milk
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    The size of the frame looks alright. If you are finding the cockpit a bit cramped you could always purchase a longer stem and/or a setback seatpost.

    I just installed a 120mm stem on my bike today (up from the 90mm it came with) and what a difference. Everything feels more natural and thus more comfortable.
    Give a man a fire and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    That bike looks fine- Perhaps you could bring the foot back on the pedal which may then need a saddle raise- but that bike is fine----Untill you get used to road riding- get fed up with the bike- don't like the colour- and have enough money for the next bike.

    Till then- ride and learn.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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