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  1. #1
    Senior Member burbankbiker's Avatar
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    I'm a MUTANT and might have guessed wrong

    ::A REPOST FROM THE TOURING FORUM SINCE IT DEALS WITH A CYCLOCROSS FRAME::

    So I ordered my Surly Crosscheck with 105 groupset the other day and I'm VERY VERY excited. However, I'm also nervous because choosing a frame size wasn't as easy as I would have hoped.

    I'm 5'8". The guy doing the order at the LBS, who was basically my height, said "I ride a 52cm, you're probably a 52." But he and another person there began debating as to whether I was a 52 or a 50. They decided to measure me. Apparently I'm a mutant because the measuring system produced completely whacky results and we were shortly joined by the owner and cycle-veteran of the shop. He said "You're a 54cm." Person 2 said "No I think a 52cm." He said, "Nope, let's get a 54 and sit you on it."

    So they got a 54 (not a Surly) and it did feel good. I ended up ordering the 54 Surly.

    However, I've heard that Surly's have a longer Top Tube. So here's the poser: Am I screwed by ordering the 54cm Surly (which has a 56cm top tube)? Should I change my order to the 52cm (which has a 54cm top tube)? What's the risk if the 52cm is too small? Or if the 54cm is too big? Is 2cm even that big a difference? Can it be compensated for in other ways like raising the stem?

    Did I just order my dream bike in the wrong size or did I choose the best compromise given two imperfect options?

  2. #2
    +++++++++++++++ xccx's Avatar
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    Bike fit related questions are always difficult to answer. but I'll attempt to shed some light on the situation...

    First, without knowing more about your proportions, it's difficult to make an assesment of fit. What it your cycling inseam? Do you have a long torso? How flexible are you? Do you have a few extra pounds in your midsection? The answers to these questions are all things that could factor into your bike fit.

    That said, I am 5'8" also, with a completely average build/proportions, and I would definetly not ride a 54 Surly. In fact, I'd probably ride a 50, or even a 49, because they DO have long TT's. Do you have an existing road bike that fits you? If so, you should take some measuements from that and then compare those to the geometry of the surly to get the best match. Or, you could sit on/test some other non-surlys in you shop, take some measurements and then find the best match that way. If I were you (and some might disagree), I would not worry so much about standover height. I'd put more emphasis on (effective) top tube and seat tube length. If you can approximate the best dimensions for the ST and TT, then you will likely come pretty close with the frame size. Just about everything else can be adjusted by swapping out stems, bars, seatposts, saddles, etc. But you need to get the frame size right...because obviously you can't adjust that.

    Based on the fact that i am 5'8", I am guessing that a 56 TT is going to be way too big for you. Even a 54 might be pushing it, unless you have a long torso, or are flexible and like being in a more aero position. But, the 54 might also be spot on -- it really depends. For me, a TT somewhere between 52.5-53.5 is perfect, and I generally use a 90-100mm stem -- but I am also racing cross.However, my cross bikes are fit almost exactly the same as my road bike...I dont subscribe to the school of though that a cross bike should be 1cm shorter in ST and TT. But if you do...then you most definetly got the wrong size.

    Sorry, I hate to bring bad news...but hopefully you can catch them before it comes in. Good luck and report back.

  3. #3
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    Purely as a guess: you are normal sized and not a mutant.

    As a cyclocrosser I'd think that you'd be better off with the 52. As a touring bike my guess is that the 54 would be better.

  4. #4
    Senior Member burbankbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xccx
    What it your cycling inseam? Do you have a long torso? How flexible are you? Do you have a few extra pounds in your midsection? The answers to these questions are all things that could factor into your bike fit.
    Well my torso is longer, my inseam is 30" (at least in pants), I'm reasonably flexible, and at the moment I have a few extra pounds in the midsection but their dropping fast.

    AHHH! I don't know what to do! I posted this in the touring section also since I plan on using this bike for around town, commuting, longer recreational rides, and light touring. The touring post got a response saying take the 54. The cyclocross seems to be leaning towards the 52. In my gut it now feels better to be wrong on the small side than wrong on the big side.

  5. #5
    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    My advice is to do one of two things:

    -trust your bike shop

    or

    -go with your gut feeling

    You will never enjoy your dream bike if you can't make peace with this sizing decision.

    FWIW I say go with the 52. Standover height may become a very big issue if you tour through areas that require you to stand over your heavily-loaded bike while stopping to wait for traffic.
    Last edited by spunkyruss; 12-30-05 at 10:55 AM. Reason: typo: "trust" was typed as "rust"

  6. #6
    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    ............. and you're not a MUTANT

  7. #7
    wildjim
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    Quote Originally Posted by burbankbiker
    Well my torso is longer, my inseam is 30" (at least in pants), I'm reasonably flexible, and at the moment I have a few extra pounds in the midsection but their dropping fast.

    AHHH! I don't know what to do! I posted this in the touring section also since I plan on using this bike for around town, commuting, longer recreational rides, and light touring. The touring post got a response saying take the 54. The cyclocross seems to be leaning towards the 52. In my gut it now feels better to be wrong on the small side than wrong on the big side.
    The stand over height for the 54 cm Surly CrossCheck is 31.2" It seems the 52 cm or less frame size would be a better fit as you could use a longer stem to adjust the effective top tube measurement.

  8. #8
    Senior Member burbankbiker's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I called the shop and changed the order to the 52cm.

    As for trusting the bike shop or going with my gut... 3 out of 4 people at the shop were saying 52 but the owner was saying 54. My gut was saying 52. So in essence, I'm trusting 75% of the bike shop AND going with my gut. That's better than trusting 25% of the bike shop and ignoring my gut.

    All your posts helped me decide it was the right decision. Thanks for that!

  9. #9
    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    This got a bit lost in the shuffle, but congratulations on your new bike!

    It's great to hear that you are confident in your decision.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildjim
    The stand over height for the 54 cm Surly CrossCheck is 31.2" It seems the 52 cm or less frame size would be a better fit as you could use a longer stem to adjust the effective top tube measurement.
    Think about this - he says his pant size is 30" inseam. That means that he has another 2" or so from the cuff to the floor if he's wearing the right size pants. And when you're wearing shoes that adds another inch.

    As I noted: if he intends to race cyclocross the 52 is a good size. If he intends to tour the 54 is probably a good size.

    And if ANYONE is stupid enough to trust "shop employees" over the owner they probably deserve what they get.

    In either case the bike will fit him fine. It's just that the specific use can determine whether or not that size is slightly more suitable for that use than the other.

  11. #11
    legalize bikes
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    i have a cross-check, i got the 52 because i wanted the 54cm top tube. one thing i dont like about have to get a size down is that i have a good bit of steerer on fork to get the stem high enough, which is still a bit lower than my saddle. i kinda wish that the surly frames were a bit 'squarer' as in 54 TT and a 54 ST, that would make the HT a lil longer so i wouldnt need so much steerer showing (my reasons are purely aestetic though). dont get me wrong, i LOVE my cross-check, it treated my well this racing season, and im looking forward to setting it up as a tourer someday!

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