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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 05-18-07, 09:32 AM   #1
Sweet Giro
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28" inseam and fitting a Lemond Poprad or a Jamis Nova

Hi there!

I'm a first time cyclocross bike buyer and am trying to decide on two options. I'm 5'3", 125lbs, and have a 28 1/8" inseam. I'm planning on using my cross bike for commuting, touring, a sprint triathlon, and...in the distant future....a cyclocross race.

I really wanted the Lemond Poprad; however, the standover is too high in the 49 cm frame. The shop I'm looking at buying from as suggested that I get that bike and switch in smaller diameter wheels. What are my options for wheel diameter in rims that would fit this bike and what are some pros/cons for going with a smaller diameter rim?

I'm also looking at the Jamis Nova (although it is more expensive it has relatively similar components) in a 46cm frame. Can anyone weigh in with their opinion of my fit to either of these bikes?
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Old 05-18-07, 11:37 AM   #2
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yeah, I can weigh in.

I went through very similar trials and tribulations as yours in finding a bike for my wife, who has a 29" inseam.

The problem is once you get below 29 or 30" standover with 700c wheels, you start having to change the geometry of the bike in awkward ways, mostly to eliminate toe overlap. Usually, this means bringing the seat tube angle up, and pushing the fork angle out, so you get a very different handling bike than its bigger brethren (or sisteren). The biggest issue is that the top tube length is not able to be shrunk very significantly. What does all this mean? Basically, it's hard to get your body in the right relationship to the pedals and the bike.

The change in handling is not necessarily bad. My wife likes her bike very much, as I was able to make it work (just barely) Having to do it all over again, however, I would definitely look for a frame designed around 650c wheels, which I believe is what the Nova appears to be. Smaller wheels means that you can preserve the proper angles of the bike at a smaller size.

I'm not aware of any cons to having 650c wheels. Maybe it's harder finding road tires? I wanted 700c for my wife just so we could swap wheelsets. I don't know that a 650c wheelset would work in a frame designed for 700c--the biggest problem being the brakes (unless it's the Poprad disc).

My wife tried (but didn't like) the "Terry" geometry (reverse penny farthing--a farting penny, I guess--700c rear, 24" front)--I don't even know if they make a cross version of that, but you might want to take a gander at that kind of a frame as well.

This isn't a woman-specific thing, but if you are a woman, you might want to try asking in the women's forum, where they are more likely to have experience regarding small bike sizing.

Last edited by comradehoser; 05-18-07 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 05-18-07, 11:39 AM   #3
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The Nova is a solid 'cross frame, and the orange looks *****ing (I ride an '06).

Jamis is also run by a woman, if that matters. They're a good company, pack a lot in for the price point, and stand by their product.
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Old 05-18-07, 12:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by comradehoser
The Nova is a solid 'cross frame, and the orange looks *****ing (I ride an '06).

Jamis is also run by a woman, if that matters. They're a good company, pack a lot in for the price point, and stand by their product.
YES, the Nova is marginally smaller,the critical half inch or so in the 51cm size may do it,not just in theory, see for yourself in their specs on the Jamis site. Do bear in mind that you'll be in cycling shoes in any case, that adds OVER a half an inch to your height. I'm not your size but like you, I'm border-line with sizes. I've fretted-over such as a result, bought too-small bikes as well.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:55 PM   #5
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I checked and the 46 Nova may be designed around 700c wheels. It doesn't say on their site, and my LBS doesn't know, but I'm guessing it might be, judging from the changes in geometry.

I also wouldn't worry about standover as much as getting a proper top tube length.
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