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  1. #1
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    return new bike wrong size?

    Hi, here is the situation. I am new to road biking having been primarily a mountain biker for a while. So, in late march, I purchased a 56cm cannondale r1000. I scrimped and saved, and also, decided to support my local business and get it there. So, I went in and tried a few bikes, and decided on the 56cm instead of the 54. Now, a little background on my local shop, it is packed with downhill bikes and freeride monsters, with a reasonable selection of road bikes. I felt pretty seriously stretched out on the 56 cm, and thought, "hey, this is what it's supposed to be like" so I got the 56. Now, after installing a shorter stem and getting a fizik arione with the long rails so I can jack it forward an inch or 2, I still feel pretty stretched out.
    I went into a more distant shop today, which is listed on the serotta site as a place to get fitted and the fit / road race guy, who is my height 5,10" (155cm) told me I should be on a 54, and so does the fit calculator on wrenchscience.com (which I found a month after getting the bike), and after getting on it, I felt much better, more in control and not totally stretched out.
    So, tomorrow, I'm going to go into the shop and see what I can do about a return/swap on a smaller model. what should I expect ? the r1000 has only been on the road since May as I got it in late march and the weather in April was too bad to ride in. the bike is in mint condition with the exception of a scratch on the chainstay where the guy at the shop did not install the little adhesive protector that came with the bike (I found out about that when I read the manual online, I did not get the protector with the bike).
    Should I expect a straight swap or a fee so he can sell my old bike at a cheaper price, it has a nice new stem and 2 attractive water bottle cages. I can understand a fee, as it's not a new bike anymore, but what would be reasonable?
    At this point I'm a little agitated that the shop guy did not steer me to an appropriate size, and that I did not research fit more before I got my bike. I'm tempted to go in there and piss away another 600$ to get the r5000 for absolutely no good reason other than to make myself feel better and see if it will help convince him to swap up the r1000.

    any advice would be great
    thanks everyone.
    -t

  2. #2
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    I think you can expect to get laughed out of the shop.

    Ebay anyone?

  3. #3
    Member climbo's Avatar
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    1. MTB to road always feels stretched out at first.
    2. 5' 10" is not 155cm (it's about 178cm) but if you are that tall, a 56cm is not far off right depending on your overall measurements. A lot of people your size ride a 56cm frame.
    3. It's your decision in the end, no matter what anyone says.
    4. Expectations? I wouldn't expect much, maybe they could offer to get you a different size and sell the other on consignment for you but it really depends on the shop and your relatinship with them.

  4. #4
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    thanks, I have a pretty positive relationship, and I'll see how it goes. Is it a bad idea to be sliding the seat forward to compensate?
    thanks
    -t

  5. #5
    "Great One" 53-11_alltheway's Avatar
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    You rode this bike for 3 months?

    That's way too long to expect them to swap the bike.

    Ebay is your best bet.
    "The Iron never lies to you. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go, but 200 pounds is always 200 pounds." -Henry Rollins

  6. #6
    Member climbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis
    thanks, I have a pretty positive relationship, and I'll see how it goes. Is it a bad idea to be sliding the seat forward to compensate?
    thanks
    -t
    yes, generally that is a bad idea.

    What size MTB do you ride, do you know the TT measurement on your MTB, what about the cockpit measurement? i.e. bar to saddle distance. You should be able to gauge your road bike size from what your MTB is set up like.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    at a certain point your seat too far forward will start to cause probs. i'd focus more on your stem and bar combo. ideally you wanna get your position over the pedals set for maximum effiency then alter your reach(top tube/stem/bar) to get the appropriate reach. of course it all depends on your leg length, but if all i knew was that you were 5'10", i'd pull a 54cm for you to try. the 56 might be too big, but you should be able to get close with it.

  8. #8
    "Great One" 53-11_alltheway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis
    Is it a bad idea to be sliding the seat forward to compensate?

    -t
    This is a tricky question. The time it would take to answer it would likely take up an entire page.

    In general, for typical rode bike riding position assuming you had normal length legs the answer would be no.
    "The Iron never lies to you. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go, but 200 pounds is always 200 pounds." -Henry Rollins

  9. #9
    Guinea Hood Ostuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis
    ...So, tomorrow, I'm going to go into the shop and see what I can do about a return/swap on a smaller model. what should I expect ?
    if you're willing to buy another bike from the same shop, you might be able to get the owner/manager of the shop to work with you. sounds like mistakes were made on both sides: you bought the wrong bike and kept it for a relatively long time before returning it, and they did not fit you correctly? so maybe you can work a trade-in deal that will be satisfactory for both of you? hopefully the owner/manager is a decent sort that will be willing to work with you. good luck!

  10. #10
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    Depends how involved they were when you bought your bike. If they 100% choose the bike for you, you should demand (politely at first) a full, free swap. Failing that, contact the local rep for c'dale and see if they can help.

    If they weren't involved at all, then it's on you.

    Somewhere in between, I think the shop should help you out.

  11. #11
    Guinea Hood Ostuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordOpie
    ...contact the local rep for c'dale and see if they can help.
    great idea...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ostuni
    if you're willing to buy another bike from the same shop, you might be able to get the owner/manager of the shop to work with you. sounds like mistakes were made on both sides: you bought the wrong bike and kept it for a relatively long time before returning it, and they did not fit you correctly? so maybe you can work a trade-in deal that will be satisfactory for both of you? hopefully the owner/manager is a decent sort that will be willing to work with you. good luck!
    I asked about fit, and he said that they were pretty anal about fit, I decided on the 56 but only after his suggestion. I'm willing to buy another bike from him, I came in a few times with fit issues and he said it was fine, and then sold me a new, smaller, stem. I bought direct from the owner. any feeling at what a decent trade in value would be?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Trogon's Avatar
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    First of all, you don't use saddle position to set your reach. Saddle position is used to place your knee in the correct position relative to the center of the bottom bracket and the cranks. Stem length, stem height and bar shape are used to set reach.

    If you're really 5'10", in my estimation there is no way you should be on a 54. Of course, not knowing your cycling inseam, it's hard to say that for sure, but let's just say this - I'm 5'11" and I ride 57s or 58s. A 56 is a reach on the small side for me, and requires a 130 stem. If you polled everyone on the forum, I doubt you're going to find many riders with that height and an appropriate inseam riding 54s.

    My advice - take the bike back to the store, get your saddle positioned correctly and play with stem length and rise until you feel better. Cramming yourself onto a 54 might not be the proper solution.

  14. #14
    cellblock 5150 crosscut's Avatar
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    A couple of things here sound wrong. (To me and my LBS experiences)

    One: You should have been fitted on the bike once you/LBS decided on the size of bike. All of the LBS here in the Charlotte area do a free fitting to adjust seat height, stem length, etc etc when you purchase a bike. Thus you would have know what the proper "feel" would be and whether or not you are in fact stretched out. 56 doesn't sound too big for someone of you height but of course I don't know your torso length, etc.
    Two: If you would have been fitted and needed a shorter stem then the LBS should have exchanged the stem you have for the shorter one and not made you purchase it.

    I would ask for a fitting, first thing before demanding a new bike. Once the fitting is done, you might find that the riding position you suggest is stretched out, is in fact correct, but not what you are used to on the MTB.

    Good luck, and let us know what happens.
    KWITCHER*****IN!

  15. #15
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    The only way I could see a 56 being too small for someone 5'10 is if you're really really short in the torso and arms. Fact is, coming from an MTB you're going to feel like you're being drawn and quartered trying to reach the bars on a road bike. I've had mine about 2wks and I'm still not totally adjusted yet, though I'm getting there. My hands don't hurt nearly as much as they did, though I still think I'm ever so slightly stretched farther than I should be... For what it's worth, I'm between 5'7 and 5'8 and I'm riding a 56cm Fuji TeamSL with nearly identical geometry to your R1000.

  16. #16
    Metaphorically speaking ajst2duk's Avatar
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    I ride a 56 CAAD5 frame, am 5'11". I thought during the first few months that it felt too big, but now it feels perfect. Not sure if this is any help at all. During a subsequent fitting, my saddle (arione) was shifted right back so now I am even more stretched out. Weird, but now it just feels right.
    Land of the long white cloud

  17. #17
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    i'm 5'11" and ride a 55cm. i have longish arms and legs too, so i guess it's all relative to what you consider proper fit. i use 110mm stems(occasionally 100mm depending on the bike). one thing i can tell you anything over a 56cm would be a joke. i have more than a fistfull of post showing but less than two.
    personally i think this forum, which i enjoy, is a terrible place to get help for bike fitting.

  18. #18
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajst2duk
    I ride a 56 CAAD5 frame, am 5'11". I thought during the first few months that it felt too big, but now it feels perfect. Not sure if this is any help at all. During a subsequent fitting, my saddle (arione) was shifted right back so now I am even more stretched out. Weird, but now it just feels right.
    Your body adjusts, your core muscles become stronger and more limber... being stretched out becomes less of a problem. I've noticed this already.

  19. #19
    Guinea Hood Ostuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryogenic
    ...I'm between 5'7 and 5'8 and I'm riding a 56cm....
    me too.... maybe the guys are onto something and the fit issue may be not that serious?

  20. #20
    Guinea Hood Ostuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis
    ...any feeling at what a decent trade in value would be?
    that's gonna be the problem if it comes to that: if a bike's value is anything like a car - and i suspect it is - it lost a great deal of its value the minute it left the store...

  21. #21
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    You may be better off getting a 10 degree stem and some shorter reach bars. All in all that would cost less than the amount you would lose on trading the bike in.

  22. #22
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    First off, I'm 5'10" and I ride a 54. Over the years, I've been fit by a number of different shops on a number of different systems/calculators, and I've always come up with a 54. I own more than a dozen top end bikes sold to me by one of the best shops in the NE, and a few made by King Eddy after his factory confirmed my measurements. There are no absolutes or fixed rules when it comes to fit. Generally. most fit systems/calculators will get you in the ballpark of the right frame size. Then you need to work with your LBS to to tweak it.

    Listen to your body. If after three months, you think you are too stretched out, then you probably are. Being on a road machine doesn't mean that you should automatically feel uncomfortable. If you have already swapped out the stem and you have your seat jammed forward on the seatpost, your LBS should be getting the idea that maybe you bought the wrong size. You should speak with your LBS about the problem. Get a proper fit done before spending more money. Some shops will give you a break on a new frameset and/or help you sell your old bike. You should understand, however, that there's not much of a markup on complete bikes, and what you have now is a used bike worth about 50-60% of what you paid for it. Best of luck!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    5'7" - 5'8" on a 56cm? you must have some looong legs...

  24. #24
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    how long is the stem? does it have positive or negative rise? how many spacers are there between the stem and the headtube?
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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    5 spacers and a positive rise on the 100mm stem

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