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  1. #1
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    Buying online - sizing

    Hello, this is my first post here. I haven't ridden for 20 years and I'm going to get back on two wheels. I live in Japan and for my 183cm (6 feet) 95kg (210lb) body they don't sell properly fitting bikes so I have to import. I obviously don't need anything professional but I don't want to be lumbered with a *** either. I know everyone's advice is to ride a bike before you even think about buying it, but as you can see in my position that just isn't possible.

    So...I have found a bike that isn't too expensive, but I've never heard of the make (Cube) so no idea if they are any good (that would be my first question). I ran my statistics through competitivecyclist.com's fit calculator and got this:



    I have found this bike online (a Cube LTD CLS Pro 2009). They have 54cm and 58cm models in stock.

    At the Cube website I found these measurements for the two models they have in stock:


    and


    Could anyone help me interpret my measurements and tell me if either of these bikes would be suitable. As you see I am doing my research, but even though I realize I'm going to be taking a chance I feel like I'm running against a brick wall.

    Any help would be much appreciated from you pros.
    Thanks a lot.

    PS Regarding the Competitive/Eddy/French fits I'd go with comfort any day. In fact a lot of my cycling will be with my young children.
    Last edited by Marmite; 08-26-09 at 12:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    The chart that you posted is the geometry of the bike in measurement, rather imformitive actually basically it is just the size of the bike in centimeters. I personally don't know this bike but it looks ok, I am sure others more informed than I will add their impute. It is good to reserch what you want but be aware that you can add all you physical dimensions to calculate the the best bicycle but it really means very little. There are to many other variables that determine the bike you will be comfortable on

    Tell us more about yourself and how you want to use your bike, Immediate plans as well as what you speculate the future will be.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Do NOT obsess with the competitive cyclist results! They assume that you want to ride a drop handle, are willing to adopt an aggressive racing position. Even the French fit assumes a bike with a longer stem and drop bars, where you will be riding with your hands much farther out on the hoods. It's junk in the context of fitting a flat bar. If you do want that position, don't buy a hybrid. Buy a racing bike and the results will make sense in guiding a very complex fitting process involving stem and bar changes. If you want a hybrid, read this instead:

    www.bicycledoctor.co.uk/faq_framesize.html

    I'd guess you at a 54cm in most frame sizing systems. I'm 5'10 31'' leg and a 50cm on my cross bike, tops. I'd happily ride smaller. That would say a 54 for you, at most.

    A slightly small bike just needs the seatpost pulling out a bit more and possibly a longer stem. A slightly too large bike can be unrideable. And when two sizes are viable the smaller will be slightly lighter and tighter handling.

    Cotic, makers of the boutique super-hybrid, the Roadrat, would have you on a 54cm frame - but only just, as they suggest the 50cm for riders up to 5'11:

    http://www.cotic.co.uk/product/roadrat

    The Rat's geometry looks quite similar to the Cube - they're both Kona/Joe Murray steals, so the 54cm does seem the much safer bet.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    http://www.prodigalchild.net/Bicycle6.htm#FrameChart

    Best site I've seen for estimating bike fit. Nothing beats a test ride, though that can be a little hard when buying on-line.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  5. #5
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    Many thanks for your replies. Timber asked about purpose. Well, I don't intend to make cycling a hobby (certainly not racing of any kind) but would probably use it for weekend jaunts, with or without the kids. However, as I explained, since I live in the land of the Ferkawee (yeah, old joke) I have to import for my size so I want to buy something better, or at least longer-lasting, than I might buy were I back home and could change for a better model any time should I get into it.

    I'm kind of thinking the 54cm would be the best size for me. The reach on the 58cm is probably too long, I'm thinking. Well, the bike maybe too large in general.

    Most importantly, with my overweight frame my knees are not so good so I am concerned about getting the saddle the right height (so my legs can stretch out straight at the bottom of the pedal circle). So can someone confirm these measurements are correct for the 54cm pictured above:

    With a seat tube of 54cm (presumably middle of bottom bracket to top of tube) plus the pedal crank of 17cm* then it would need the seat pole 13cm to make up the length of my 84cm inseam? If so the 54 measurements seem safe to order, yes?

    *the description reads:
    Crankset: Shimano FC-M443-S 48x36x26T, 170mm, BB Shimnao BB-UN26, Chainguard
    I presume the 170 refers to the crank length.

    Thanks again folks!

  6. #6
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    The 170 is the crank length. However, your seat should probably be a little higher than your inseam measurement from seat top to pedal... Remember you will be riding with the balls of your feet, and at the bottom of the stroke your foot should be extended.

    I just did a search to confirm that I wasn't imagining the formula we used back in the 70's... And the pedal at the lowest point to the top of the seat should be about 109% of your inseam.

    Your Seat Height compared to formula

    As with any measurement, this is just a starting point. I have heard that foot size will impact the right seat height too.

    I am about your height, and about your same inseam, and if I had to choose, it would be tough.

    On most road bikes, I ride a 56cm, and have a couple of 58cm frames as well, so I can go to 58, but it is right at my upper limit, and those are traditional road frames, so I think the top tubes are shorter.

    I would probably go with the 54cm.
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  7. #7
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    Further...

    OK, so I discovered another place that seems to stock bigger bikes. This time in Japan (though too far to visit)! A bit of background: when I went into a local pro shop the guy basically said they don't sell bikes in my size in Japan (unless I import, which is what the above posts are about). Period. All I could do, if I want a proper fit, is buy the largest possible (e.g. a few of the Giants are sold in L size) and add whatever it's called to make the handlebar further from the saddle. So since then I've been thinking that bikes sold in Japan are for smaller riders, even if they are the same make as sold in the West. For example, a 54cm in Japan is smaller than a 54cm in Japan. Maybe the length of the seat post is the same, but on the Japanese version my knees will hit the handlebar. That's how I've been thinking, but I could be completely wrong.

    Anyway, I found this bike 2009 FELT QX70, sold in 48, 52 and 55 sizes. These are the dimensions (hope your screens are big enough ):



    If you notice at the bottom it says the 55 is suitable for height 185 to 205! How does that compute? I mean, the 54cm model of the Cube above is barely my size, so how can the 55 in this model be too big? I'm very confused...

    Thanks for bearing with me folks.
    Last edited by Marmite; 08-29-09 at 09:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Relax, this is very simple - really! ALL YOU HAVE TO IS MAKE SURE THAT MEASUREMENT "L" IS MORE THAN 3 INCHES LESS THAN YOUR INSIDE LEG, BUT OTHER THAN THAT CHOOSE THE LARGEST FRAME! So if the 550 gives you 1'', the 530 gives you 3.5'' and the 480 gives you 6'', go for the 530.

    You can then adjust length for your arms by fitting a new stem - or flipping the current one. But you probably won't want or need too.

    If you're fairly heavy, make sure you have at 38mm tyres on for the type of riding you're doing. Ergon grips and bar ends are also worth considering, and I'd always pay to upgrade a mid-price bikes tyres to something like Conti Contacts or Marathon Plus. Or for the ultimate in comfort fit Schwalbe Big Apples - the Nike Jordans of tyres - if the bike will take tyres that wide. Swap the brake pads to Kool Stop Salmons if you can, especially if you will ride in the rain. Don't choose a bike on how much you like the saddle either - saddles are easy to change and you should get a refund on the swapped out one if you do this when you buy. A WTB Speed V is a good bet for a heavy rider.

    As for the incompatibility of the sizing systems, it's a function of the exact frame geometry. Ignore it. It's that crucial "L" that matters. Remember that you were at the size borderline for the Roadrat anyway.
    Last edited by meanwhile; 08-29-09 at 06:00 AM.

  9. #9
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I am 6', 190 (down from 210) and have a 33.5" actual inseam (floor to crotch in bare feet.) I also have longish arms, and like to ride stretched out. I hate to feel cramped on a bike.

    My seat is raised about 1.5" in the seat tube, and my seat is slid all the way back on the rails (B-17).

    I do not rock in the saddle, when pedalling, and I even have bar ends on the handlebars to give me a little longer reach when I need it. 90%+ of the time, my hands are in the normal position.

    I ride a 61 in a Specialized Crosstrail, 08 model. It's really a big bike, but I love the way it fits me.

    I tried a 58, which really should have been my correct size, but it just felt small.

    On the 61, I get to ride leaned forward a bit, rather than straight up and down.

    How do you like to ride, and what is your actual inseam measurement? Stand up against a wall, barefoot, with a book pulled up tightly against your crotch, and held against the wall. Mark the wall at the top, and measure. If you have long legs, it's also likely you will have long arms.

    Answer more questions, and we'll give you more answers.

  10. #10
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    "Relax, this is very simple - really! ALL YOU HAVE TO IS MAKE SURE THAT MEASUREMENT "L" IS MORE THAN 3 INCHES LESS THAN YOUR INSIDE LEG, BUT OTHER THAN THAT CHOOSE THE LARGEST FRAME! So if the 550 gives you 1'', the 530 gives you 3.5'' and the 480 gives you 6'', go for the 530. "

    Not true. In reality, all you have to be able to do is stand over the top tube, with enough space to be able to lift the bike a bit. It's all about your comfort while riding.

    If I went along with this statement, I'd feel like the proverbial monkey making love to a football.

  11. #11
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    Another one I'm thinking about is the Felt Speed 50 with the dimensions below:



    I'm thinking this might be suitable. I'll be on the pavement (sidewalk) most of the time but I'm thinking to forget the dead weight of front suspension. Do you think the 56cm would be a suitable size for my 84cm (33 inch) inseam, 6ft (183cm) height? I won't race, just leisure riding. On this bike the 56 refers to the top tube c-c length yet says it's suitable for 175cm to 195cm height.

  12. #12
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    I'm on a similar situation to yours and based on pretty thorough research online (forums, opinions, diagrams, charts) I'm pretty sure you should be looking for an effective top tube length of 56-58, so I'd go for the 54 on the cube or the 56 on the Felt.

    Keep in mind that the measure of the Cube 54 is actual TT length. If you take into account the TT slope you should add a few centimeters which should get it to over 58cm effective so the Cube 54 is actually larger than the Felt 56.

  13. #13
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    I settled on the 56cm Felt Speed 50. Tell you the truth, forums/diagrams/charts left me none the wiser because they seemed to cover every combination and opinion possible. I know I've still taken a chance but I got it cheaply (50,000 yen including delivery and registration, about 540 dollars) so if I need to replace in a couple of years I won't feel so bad about it. Also, next time I'll have a model to measure off!

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