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  1. #1
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    What do you think about this frame sizing disagreement?

    Hello all

    These days I'm putting together a road bike build from an E5 frame. Paid an advance for the frame a couple of days ago, today I finished paying for it.
    However, I've been having an intense dispute with the dealer about the frame size.. He insists very much on putting me in a 52 frame, but I would like the 54 instead. He doesn't seem willing to fold, though.

    My height is 168cm/5'6.1'' and my inseam 2'8.7'' (both barefoot).
    I did some research online and apparently for my height/inseam, I'm right in between the 52 and the 54 - some sources say 52, others 54:



    http://www.scotbycycles.co.uk/size_g...398/7/0/popup/
    http://livingwiththegarminedge.blogs...st-for-me.html

    The frame was already delivered from the local distributor to the shop today, so a chance for changing it doesn't seem too good atm (even though the build won't start for another week, when all the parts for it are acquired and I get some free time to return to the shop).

    I wrote Specialized last night, and to make matters worse, their answer for me was to get a 54 (although I'm not sure if my particular phrasing of the question is to blame somewhat, I just didn't want a ''well, whatever fits you better'' kind of generic answer:


    http://specialized.desk.com/customer/portal/questions/1040126-allez-frame-e5-osbb-correct-size-for-me


    Today I got up into (no test ride possible on the downtown shop, only hop-on and give a few pedal strokes with dealer grabbing the bike by the side) an Allez Comp 54, and a Secteur 52. I honestly don't think I could have made up my mind from that alone, even more so as I'm new to road biking. Yes, the 52 felt a bit more maneuverable without any adjustments, and yet the 54 looked WAY nicer to me, put side by side with the 52 (which looks rather like a children's bike to me, compared to the 54). I'm aware this is not by any stretch a competing argument against a technical one, but I really wanted to get away with a 54 frame, even if it meant a bit of adjustment.


    Do you have any thoughts or opinions as to what I should do?
    Thanks much
    Why does the wind always blow cold, and always the wrong way? -Pain

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    How does the top tube fit you. Get the top tube right and the frame height will probably be right too.

  3. #3
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    Don't overthink this. With your dimensions, both 52 and 54 would probably work, it's just the matter of tuning in seat height and stem length.

    Also, inseam 2'8.7'' ? Does than mean 32.7" at the height of 5'6"? If that was measured correctly, you have very long legs and short torso for your height and I'd err on the side of the shorter frame (52). But still, that's within the tunable range.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Also, inseam 2'8.7'' ? Does than mean 32.7" at the height of 5'6"? If that was measured correctly, you have very long legs and short torso for your height
    Female ... I'm guessing.

    And as a similarly dimensioned female, I'd lean toward the 52 too. But that's also why I mentioned getting the top tube right ... those of us who have short torsos struggle with reach. You can raise and lower the saddle, but you can only go so short with the stem.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Female ... I'm guessing.

    And as a similarly dimensioned female, I'd lean toward the 52 too.
    Makes sense. But then, why not go with women-specific frame?

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Makes sense. But then, why not go with women-specific frame?
    No need. I've been cycling for 23 years and have never used a women-specific frame.

  7. #7
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    All I know, is that if you must make an error, it had better be on the smaller side, rather than on the larger side.

    There are few adjustments available to you when the frame is a slight too small. However, when the frame is too large, there just ain't too much you can do.

    Therefore, I'll cast my vote for 52cm!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    My inseam is 82cm barefoot.

    I'm a guy and yes I was thinking the same, if I'm right in between 52 and 54 (and it feels like that to me) then why not go with the bike I like the most and just make adjustments to it?
    But the dealer really stood his ground (two days in a row, now) and even asked a couple of guys from a neighboring shop today ''Hey, what (road bike) size do you think he (me) is?''
    Both hesitated, but then agreed on the 52, and afterwards, one of them told me I could be risking not being able to handle the brakes as good in a critical situation, which is of course a very compelling argument.

    The dealer's argument for not lowering the saddle (it was quite high on the 54 Allez Comp) was that it would look really not very good (aesthetic argument, same as mine), but the differences in length are negligible enough for me to dispute him:

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...meset#geometry

    Basically knowing I'm in between those two sizes, I wanted the bigger one (looks WAY better to me), even if it meant adjusting it here and there. But the salesman would not go along with it at all
    (even though the distributor has availability of the frame on all the sizes, so it's not a matter of he trying to get me stuck with some leftover merchandise or anything like that, I think).


    I guess I still would have a slim chance to get the frame changed, if I were to speak directly to the owner of the shop (who's always there, but coincidentally enough hasn't the past couple of days) with some good arguments.
    Why does the wind always blow cold, and always the wrong way? -Pain

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Sounds like the 52 would likely fit you better. Fit is much, much more important than looks ... unless you intend to hang the bicycle on the wall as art.

    And if you're new to the whole cycling thing, putting your saddle about the same level of your handlebars is not a bad idea ... it's more comfortable. Then, if you want to lower your handlebars after a while, that's up to you.


    Aside from looks, why would you want a bigger frame?

  10. #10
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    Smaller frame will allow you to get even further into a racing pose since your seat will look higher if looks is what your after. As a fairly short male with short legs, I have to agree that it is easier to adjust a smaller bike than a larger one.

    Re-read your original post and if you are 5'-6" tall with a standover of 32.7", it stands to reason that your upper torso is shorter than normal. I would definitely stay with the 52CM as I think you will be stretched out a bit farther than what you will feel comfortable with. That is unless you are buying 36" long sleeves when it comes to buying dress shirts.
    Last edited by ratdog; 05-10-13 at 06:33 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    With the info provided, 52 would be my recommendation, though you could almost certainly achieve the same fit on either a 52 or 54 with proper selection of components and adjustment.

  12. #12
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    52 is a better fit. That said, the toptube differential between 52 and 54 is on 1cm but the headtube is a whopping 2.5cm. That is a lot. If you like an agressive position, 52 is better. But if you like the relaxed position with taller headtube then a different bike geometry is prob a better route.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Both charts seem to say a 52cm would be good, although the second chart has you on the cusp.

    I also think the 52 is a good choice, but both may be acceptable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SpeshulEd's Avatar
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    Try a fit calculator...remember, if you put crap in, crap comes out. Get a friend and measure for real.
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

    Your height and pants inseam don't mean much when sizing a bike.
    Hey guys, lets go play bikes!

    Strava

  15. #15
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    Isn't there some place you can go in order to test ride both bike sizes, just to see for yourself?... Something like that to me, would seem very irritating.

  16. #16
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    In my experience the most important dimension is effective top tube. And, ignoring everything but your measurements, I would put you on the one that is 53.7cm.

    And then I would note that is a lot easier to adjust a small frame bigger than it is to adjust a big frame smaller.

    But hey, it's your money and the customer is always right.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    ... the customer is always right.
    i dont know who first said this
    but he was wrong

    customers are frequently wrong about many things

  18. #18
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You cannot go by charts or size decals on the bike.

    Test ride for fit is the only way.

    I have three bikes, 2@60cm (so they say and one at 61 cm).
    The one with the 61 cm sticker is the smallest
    [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

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Straddle the top tube, lift the bike , how much air under your wheels?

    step thru frame this is N/A, of course .



    Folks that had a bike that fit OK, before,

    have a huge advantage, if they measured it.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-10-13 at 09:21 AM.

  20. #20
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    32.7" -- you could clear my 57cm bikes if you wanted to. I'd be really tempted to get the 54 and swap stems until it fit perfectly, but that's me.

    Best thing of course is to try them out first.

    P.S. Those "recommended size" charts would put me on a frame one or two sizes smaller than I prefer -- phooey!
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 05-10-13 at 10:34 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  21. #21
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Unless you are looking to be in a very aggresive position, I'd say the taller headtube on the 54 is a big advantage. Slightly less drop, slightly more reach is a good idea in my experience.

    It is fashionable to fit people to smaller frames these days, but I'm not convinced that it's a good idea.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  22. #22
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    No matter what size is right for you I can't imagine a shop telling you that you're getting a 52 whether you like it or not. You're paying for it so demand the size you want or go elsewhere.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    No matter what size is right for you I can't imagine a shop telling you that you're getting a 52 whether you like it or not. You're paying for it so demand the size you want or go elsewhere.
    Most shops will help you get fitted by swapping out stems if needed. Think about the responsibility the shop would carry if they told him a 54cm bike would fit and then could not make enough adjustments to actually make it fit him well. THe shop will always err on the side of caution unless the customer insist & they both come to an agreement that the buyer has no recourse if the shop cannot fit him properly.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    P.S. Those "recommended size" charts would put me on a frame one or two sizes smaller than I prefer -- phooey!
    you are probably thinking in the older level-top-tube frame sizes. I would normally ride a 63 or 64cm level top tube frame but with sloping top tubes I have ridden 58 and 60 very comfortably. Don't be fooled by the number attached to the size. There is little or no comparison that can be assumed between two bikes simply because they are both called '52 cm'

  25. #25
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    you are probably thinking in the older level-top-tube frame sizes. I would normally ride a 63 or 64cm level top tube frame but with sloping top tubes I have ridden 58 and 60 very comfortably. Don't be fooled by the number attached to the size. There is little or no comparison that can be assumed between two bikes simply because they are both called '52 cm'
    Indeed, which means I completely ignore what the seat tube measures and go by the effective top tube length (at least that's what I assume "top-tube length, horizontal" means in these charts.)
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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