i've posted on here before. i'm looking for a new ride--a cross bike that i can use for commuting, group rides, maybe a little bit of light touring, etc--yes, the dreaded "all-around" bike. i don't have much room in my apartment or my wallet for multiple bikes. i've been riding track bikes for years now (my knees are begging me to stop), so this will be my first real geared bike in a long, long time (since before i stopped growing!).
my question is about top tube length. i'm very short (5'4") and female (so i have a short torso), and i've recently realized that, despite having worked in a shop for years and fitted many other people on many other frames, i've never really been able to find the perfect top tube length for myself. mainly because every track frame i've ever owned has been just-barely-small-enough-for-me so i've never had much of a choice. i'm always ridden with 80 mm stems and my seat all the way forward, you know? and even then sometimes it's been too long.
now that i'm looking at cross bikes, though, i seem to have a lot more options. top tube lengths seem to really vary on 47-49 cm bikes, depending on manufacturer, and i find myself unsure of just how long of a top tube i need. obviously much of this depends on preference, but i thought i would conduct a little informal poll.
so, a) for you 5'4"-ish people out there, what size TT do you ride comfortably? b) anyone have any tips for really finding the ideal TT length for yourself?
thanks in advance--