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  1. #1
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    Bianchi San Jose stand over problems

    Hello all,

    I recently purchased a Bianchi San Jose. I'm 5'6 and have a 30 inch inseam. I went to a very reputable bike shop (rated very high in the city paper) in my city to check out the San Jose. I liked the look and single speed is very cool. I tried out the one they had on the floor (52cm). I though the standover to be a bit high because I have been reading that you need an inch or two for standover on a cyclocross bike. Mind you that the last road bike I had was almost 15 years ago and I don't remember the size or the fit as I was pretty young then.

    In the store I stood over the bike and lifted the front wheel up about an inch, but not more. The sales person said that the bike looked about right. When I got on the pedals and put my hand on the bars, the guy said that it was the right fit. I was excited and took the bike for a test ride. The ride was awesome. While I am on the bike riding, I don't feel cramped, my leg extension is good, I don't feel like the bike is too big. I have even taken it off some simple off road trails and the bike feels great. Riding is not the problem.

    Here's the problem though. When I stand over the bike at a stop, I can stand over the bike safely without hurting my self. There is a little bit of room. When I stand over the bike without shoes, my "stuff" is resting on the top tube. Again, riding is not the problem and I am able to stop put a leg down and take off again without trouble. However, I am wondering is this size is ok. I sat on a 49cm Bianchi Pista and it was too cramped. I sat on a 49cm Bianchi Veloce and the standover was good, but I felt cramped especially when I crouch down on the bars. In hindsight I am wondering if I should have waited and got the 49cm, but I was excited and bought the 52 based on the ride.

    Sorry this is so long, but I've been thinking about this for awhile and I've been riding the bike alot trying to figure out if I can find problems with the ride itself, but I cannot. This standover thing irks me.

    Please help.

    Jase

  2. #2
    Evil Genius oopfoo's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd worry about it too much. How often does one do a both-feet-down plant across the top tube in bare feet? Ride the bike. You'll do fine, and you'll enjoy your purchase.

  3. #3
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    What he said. I'm the same height as you, and found that 52cm (in general) just a tad big, but not an issue for road bikes. I own a 51cm LeMond, and though it had more margin of safety, I always felt it was just too small overall.

    Just to be sure, my latest bike has semi-compact geometry, providing more clearance for my boys, which probably more in my head then anything else.

    Enjoy your ride!
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

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  4. #4
    Junior Member GregC's Avatar
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    I'm 5'6" with a 30" inseam as well...I ride a 52cm Ibex X-Ray and it feels right on the money as far as size (29" standover). Riding a bike that feels cramped and does not fit would have sucked...You made the correct choice...stop worrying!

  5. #5
    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    My general rule is that a bike is too big if the one's pubic bone is supporting weight on the top tube while straddling the bike in whatever footwear one chooses to ride in. I consider any additional standover clearance to be a matter of personal preference.

    My advice is to get out and ride the hell out of the thing, instead of straddling it barefoot, obsessing about how much it touches your soft and danglies. I'm not being a smartass. Obsessing over sizing ruined my relationship with what was once my dream bike.

  6. #6
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    There are all sorts of trade-offs in making a bike fit, especially in this crazy specialty. It sounds like that bike is a near perfect fit. But just remember to wear shoes before waddling around while straddling the top tube. This is the way my bike fits as well.

    Funny, every time this subject comes up I mention that there's almost no occasion to straddle the tube in a race: well, last night I saw video of Sven Nys doing just that. The course had this really awkward hill the size of a minivan covered in mud that he could just almost climb on the bike, but would have to dismount to take a couple steps to finish. On one lap he actually tried it, pedalled as far as he could and then straddled the thing and goofy-walked it over the top and remounted. He didn't do that again. Anyway, he was wearing shoes, so had sufficient nadular clearance.

    Ron

  7. #7
    Flowers for mom Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Just wait until you crash or have an emergency stop. I learned the hard way. I refused to ride for 9 months after that. I just got a new bike to replace my new bike. Please be careful.
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    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

  8. #8
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    Hey Thanks everyone for your advice on this, and I welcome any more insight you can give me even though there are alot of posts regarding standover. I took some measurements and applied them to the wrenchscience website. They recommend a 52cm road bike based on my measurements. But from what I gather based on their recommendation as to reach, the 49cm (based on specs from the catalog) would have been too short. BTW, Spunkruss, I know you were just proving a point and that point was well taken as I don't want to ruin this "relationship".

  9. #9
    Tyro enternamehere's Avatar
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    hard to fit on san jose

    I have the same problem - at a hair over 5'8" I'm in between San Jose sizes. The 52cm felt cramped, but the 55cm seemed long. I did a lot of comparisons and decided that the San Jose is the best buy for single speed cross bikes (or for any single speed commuter set-up) and so when one 55cm came in I grabbed it. But I don't think I fit right! I have fiddled with the seat height and position, but I feel like I don't quite reach the bars easily and I am a little short on the standover. I bought the bike from a very reputable bike shop, where I was told that the fit was good. Now I'm considering getting a shorter stem, which wouldn't take care of the slim standover clearance but would perhaps help the reach. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to determine if a shorter stem would help, and how much shorter to go?

  10. #10
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    I'm 5'10.5" and vascillated on 55 vs. 58. The San Jose sizing kinda sucks, there's big jumps all around.

    I ended up buying the 58, I like the bars-almost-level-with-seat for commuting purposes. Standover is fine, I'm not bothered by nadular grazing, and have a few inches to hard contact. Top tube is a tad longer than I like. I put a 90mm stem on it, shoved the seat all the way forward, and it fits great now. I'm considering a Thomson seatpost to get some more adjustment range in the seat (no setback) and allow the rails to cushion bumps better.

    So have your LBS toss on a shorter stem (same rise) and give it a whirl. I bet that will help considerably. Most will swap one to try for yours to see what you think.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  11. #11
    Tyro enternamehere's Avatar
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    Shorter stem

    I was looking on the 'net at bike stems. There are so many! I bet there's a thread discussing them, but as they apply to the San Jose: what's the best rise, and how does it affect commuting comfort/performance? I think I'll seek out an 80mm stem because I enjoy a 90mm stem on my 54cm Allez. Also useful for those who worry too much is this website, which "debunks" common bike fitting myths: http://web.archive.org/web/199802010...Debunking.html

  12. #12
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    I went with a 17 degree Bontrager Sport I had lying around. I believe it is the same rise as stock. It's great.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  13. #13
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    Hi Jase1, I know this post is ages old, lol, but I found while searching for solutions my own nagging thought.

    I am also 5'6 with a 30" inseem. My bike is a 52cm nashbar single speed. The next size down was a 49cm. All sizing charts told me it's the best fit but when I do a standover, I'm touching the top tube.

    Don't know if this is relevant anymore but what did you end up concluding?

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    "Size " is length of seat tube .. standover is a separate measurement ..

    You dont have to Buy a too Big Frame, but it sounds like you Did.

    Inseam off your pants did Not include your Feet, did It?

  15. #15
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    I'm 5'7 30" inch inseam and I had a 52 cm Bianchi San Jose.

    Be aware its a classic CX bike and the bottom bracket is higher than on a road bike.

    I usually ride a 54-55 cm in a road bike and the 52 cm - one size down - in the SJ was spot-on for me.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Standover is probably the least important consideration in bike fitting. In 40+ years of cycling, I have never had an issue with it and most of my bikes have less than 1" of standover clearance. What you should be considered about is top tube and head tube length, which will determine how comfortable your bike feels while riding.

  17. #17
    A Schooner IS a sailboat Wspsux's Avatar
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    ^ that, only that^

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Standover is probably the least important consideration in bike fitting. In 40+ years of cycling, I have never had an issue with it and most of my bikes have less than 1" of standover clearance. What you should be considered about is top tube and head tube length, which will determine how comfortable your bike feels while riding.
    It depends on the riding. For road biking, yes, stand-over isn't important. For off-road, stand-over is highly relevant. Back to the OP's point, if you have shorter legs for your height, many brands of bike simply can't fit, especially ones with nearly horizontal top tubes. Long torso = long top tube = bigger frame. Short legs = no standover.

    Bikes with sloping top tubes are much better if you're in the short legs category. I see the Nashbar bike has a horizontal top tube. You likely can't fit it comfortably, either you're going to compromise standover or fit while riding. My advice would be to try different brands.

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