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  1. #1
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    another frame size question

    I am 5'4'' and ride a raleigh heritage international 50cm frame. I ordered a jamis nova in 49cm frame. Most shops don't have bikes in my size so I don't have the luxury of trying everything out. Anyhoo, the raliegh fits me great but I don't have a lot of standover clearance. This does not bother me, it's never been a problem and the other proportions are perfect.

    I've been comparing the specs for the two bikes and it appears the standover for the nova might be a tad higher. The top tube is a tad longer, no problem because I can get a shorter higher stem, which I think I will have to do as the one that comes on it only has a 6 degree rise and looks longish in the picture. I am concerned about the need for standover riding cross bikes. On my road bike I have my topeak road pump on the top of the top tube because there is no room for it anywhere else, some of my tubes are not round making mounting the pump difficult. I put it on the top when I got it figuring I would just figure something else out but it hasn't been a problem so I've just left it there.

    We are having bad weather in these parts and my bike was supposed to come in today but I'm thinking it might be tommorrow or even next week. I'm getting antsy and impatient so I thought I would post my concerns here and see what response I get. I plan on using it for my bad weather bike, putting a rack and small panniers on for daytrips and stuff, riding smoothe off road paths and such, and maybe even cyclocross racing! Is standover as important for this? I'm under the impression that cyclocross is not as technical as mountainbikeing so as long as I can mount and dismount ok I'll be fine but I don't know.

    The smallest jamis nova uses 26 inch wheels. My dealer carries jamis and I did a little research and it seemed to meet my needs as well as any other brand. What do y'all think?

  2. #2
    SAB
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    Margo:

    I am new to cyclocross frames as well (see my post about the Bianchi Axis below). I plan on using mine for the same purposes as yours. I am about 5'6" with a 31" inseam for bike-fitting purposes. I usually have to order bikes too, before I can try them out for size - especially specialty items, like a 'cross bike. I couldn't decide either, so I just ordered my best guess. I picked up my 52cm axis yesterday and on the way home I decided it was too big. My 52cm Trek fits great, but 'cross bikes are a little different. The bottom brackets on these frames are rasied a couple of cm compared to their road counterparts, which makes all the difference. This is why the standover clearance tends to run higher by at least 1-2inches compared to a similarly sized road bike. The clearance on the 5cm Axis is 30.5" by the specs, but with those knobby tires it comes with I've got < 0.5" clearance, which I don't feel like is enough for me. Plus everything feels stretched out so I know it would handle better in a smaller size. You were right to order the next smallest size in the 'cross bike. As far as the standover you'll just have to wait and see how it feels - if it doesn't work then order the next smallest frame. From my (brief) experiences and what I've heard from others I wouldn't be suprised if you needed an even smaller frame in a cross bike - the Axis, for example, comes in a 44cm version! For now I'm taking my 52 back and will order the 49. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I still hadn't picked my bike up yet, maybe today. I would imagine there is some variation in brands also making size selection even harder. I'm amazed at how few cross bikes have sloping top tubes, you would think that would be more common than sloping road bikes?!?

    The next size down in the Jamis has 26' wheels which I guess isn't that big a deal for my purpose, I might have to consider that. I noticed that the given standover for the smallest cannondale is higher than the one for the larger jamis.

    I've also considered getting a 'bent, because I have this neck thing going on which limits time I can spend on the bike. I was going to wait until I am an old geezer but maybe I should reconsider.

  4. #4
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    I rode cyclo-cross in Europe for a number of years. I used 52cm. on the road and 53cm for cyclo-cross for the only reason I wanted the handlebars higher in relation to the seat. I also rode my seat slightly lower on my ícross bike. I never even considered stand over height, and I am a little confused as to why it is being discussed here.

    To me stand over height is something that should only concern the novice rider but once a person has graduated beyond that stage then the important issue is the height of the seat in relation to the pedals and the position of the handlebars in relation to every thing else; the top tube is where ever it happens to be. On a cyclo-cross bike with a higher bottom bracket you may not have the luxury of top tube clearance under your crotch, but by the time anyone is entering a sport such as cyclo-cross; they should have mastered the art of getting on and off the bike, and this should not be an issue.

    Please go to my website www.ProdigalChild.net click on 'Bicycles' for history, tech info, and pictures and references to my past cyclo-cross experience.

  5. #5
    SAB
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    I think everyone has different experiences. Clearly, the majority of cyclocross riders feel that standover height is important for easy portage, quick on/off, etc... Some don't and that's perfectly OK. I ride a 52cm rode bike and the 52cm 'cross bike was clearly too big for me. In particular the top tube was too long, throwing everything off. I test rode a 44cm and it was a little too small - so the 49cm should be perfect. Body proportions are different as well. For example, if you have particularly short legs but a relatively long torso then you may have to sacrifice a little standover clearance to have a bike with a long enough top tube. Just my two cents.

    SAB

  6. #6
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    Some people can dismount by simply sliding off the saddle and hit the ground running. I never mastered this; maybe my legs were too short. I would dismount by standing on the left pedal; swing my right leg over to the left side and bring it between my left leg and the frame so my right foot ends up in front of my left foot still in the pedal.

    Then Iíd jump backwards out of the pedal landing on my right foot. The reason I brought my right foot to the front was to avoid landing with my legs crossed. This sounds complicated but itís not and with a little practice this movement becomes fluid and natural and you hit the ground running every time. If you find it natural to land on your left foot you donít need to bring your right foot through to the front.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info, that's kind of what I was wondering about. Since I'm a female my arms are shorter so I ride with my seat about level with my handlebars and I'm still pretty aerodynamic. I am still learning about the specific techniques of cross racing. The only time I really payed attention to standover I wound up with a bike too small for me, go figure.

    I should have my new bike next week some time so I'll post my results with frame size guessing.

  8. #8
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    Well it came in! It looks like it's going to be a perfect fit! I didn't get to take it for a test ride because it's raining and they want to tweak the brakes and stuff but it looks like the proportions are going to be fine. I wound up with the 2005 model and it looks awesome! I may need a slightly higher rise stem but so far that's the only problem I see and I may do with the stock one fine.

    The bike looks to be of a higher quality than I was expecting. The fizik saddle looks awesome and it actually comes with real pedals. They are clip on one side and plain on one side. I will probably keep those for awhile until I decide on a better shoe/pedal combo. I was also expecting it to be heavier. I have campy on my road bike and shimano 105 on this one, I kind of like having different groups though.

    I was very surprized that I had any standover at all in my street shoes. According to the specs I shouldn't have. That's not something that normally bothers me because I'm short and if I have a lot of standover then the top tube is probably too short. I was afraid that it would be way too tall because of the cross geometry though.

    Just thought I would post this for people in the same dillemma.

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