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  1. #1
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Frame size for 5'11'' man

    I hoping to get a friend of mine a bike for his birthday in conjunction with wife.
    He's 5'11" and has a normal build, legs look in proportion with his trunk.
    What general frame size would be a good starting point.

  2. #2
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Frame geometries (the length of the tubes and the angles at which they are connected) vary between manufacturers. If your friend is serious about riding, spend some time at a quality shop getting body parts measured. Knowing your friend's measurements will help find an appropriate frame that will fit him well
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    a good starting point, i'd say 56-58cm would be a ballpark top tube length. sure some 5'11" riders ride smaller and some ride bigger, but the majority will be in that range.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scotty_Iscariot's Avatar
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    I'm just over 6'1"(and long legged) and found that Scott bikes size down a bit-I bought a Speedster in the 56 frame size last year. As did a friend of mine. Perfect fit. Whereas i'd been riding a classic Raleigh with a 60 which was also a good fit for years. Good luck picking one the right size.
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    Beginning Rider wxmcpo's Avatar
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    I'm 6'0" and my Specialized Allez Elite is 58cm and is perfect. As already suggested I'd say your friend is probably in the 56-58cm range.

  6. #6
    Spin Meister icyclist's Avatar
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    While I would appreciate a new bike, I'd have to pick out my own, and so should your friend. I think it's Gift Certificate time. (Nice thought for your friend!)
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  7. #7
    big ring MIN's Avatar
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    55-57cm top tube (or effective top tube.)

  8. #8
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIN View Post
    55-57cm top tube (or effective top tube.)
    Right. I'm 5'11", long legs, relatively short torso, I am fine with a 56-57cm effective top tube which is typical for 56-57cm frames (90% of them are 56cm, 57cm is an oddball size). But your friend could need a 59cm top tube if he has more typical proportions than me, which could even push him up to a 58cm. Lance was 5'11" and rode a 58cm, I presume he needed the longer top tube.

    Seat tube length is rather irrelevant. EFFECTIVE TOP TUBE length is what will determine your reach on the bars and your position on the bike, that's really the key dimension 90%+ of the time for most cyclists. My MTB has an 18" seat tube (very short, I needed a longer 400mm stem to get the bike to fit) but the effective top tube is that 57cm number, which is perfect.

  9. #9
    Home, home again Pharmr's Avatar
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    I'm also 5'11" and I ride a 56cm Scott S10

  10. #10
    HWS
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    I'm 5'10 and ride a 58. The 56's I tried were a little too cramped for my liking. YMMV

  11. #11
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    I'm 5'11" and ride a 58 cm in Cannondale, Trek, & Specialized.

  12. #12
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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    I'm 5'11 1/2 and ride a 58 cm road bike with a 120 -6 deg stem.

    edit my top tube length is 58cm

  13. #13
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    6'0 and 58 cm

  14. #14
    Senior Member JMT114's Avatar
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    I'm 5' 10" and I ride a 55 LeMond, 56 Trek, 55 Giant OCR. So I would guess your friend would probably be somewhere between a 56 and 58.
    My name's Jim, but most people call me...Jim

  15. #15
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    55 or 56

  16. #16
    I like my car ShadowGray's Avatar
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    56cm sounds good.

    I'm 5'7 and I'm between a 52 and 54cm...

  17. #17
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    I'm 6' one bike is a 58 and the other is a 57. I's say 56-57 is about right.
    "people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both" Benjamin Franklin

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Based on the replies above, get the bike that seems best from a bike shop with the understanding that he'll most likely want to swap it for a different bike..... Explain the situation to the shop. This way, you get to have the actual bike to present without having him stuck with a bike he doesn't want. Be sure not to damage the bike or ride it. Do the test riding at the store and comapre it against other bikes.
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  19. #19
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    5'11 rode a 54cm battaglin for years, first bike the the sold me a 58cm centurion. right now i am riding a 55cm litespeed and a M giant ocr.

    If you cant get your friend to get the bike fitted, a Medium compact or semi compact frame might be the way to go.

  20. #20
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWS View Post
    I'm 5'10 and ride a 58. The 56's I tried were a little too cramped for my liking. YMMV
    There you go. Most 5'11" riders will be on a 56 or a 58cm.

  21. #21
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
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    If you're buying a bike for someone other than yourself, make certain the recipient can swap if for another size. That isn't always the case with closeouts or demo models.

    When you're down to 2 frames of similar size, it can come down to riding style. Do you like an aggressive position or more relaxed? A 56 will have more saddle to bar drop for most riders. A 58 might have less.

    Also consider that a 56 will typically have a shorter headtube, shorter cranks, narrower bars, shorter stem and possibly a different fork angle.
    Last edited by Lucky07; 05-27-08 at 11:41 AM.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member jupiter422's Avatar
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    Might consider a gift certificate to a bike shop instead. You can ask a million different people and the best you'll do is narrow it down to 2 or 3 possible sizes.

    I really don't understand why road bikes are still sized by their seat tube... The top tube length, being just about the only thing you can't adjust, is also the important one.

    pcad: can you post a picture of your MTB with the 400mm stem? I think that'd be pretty amusing to look at..

  23. #23
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jupiter422 View Post
    Might consider a gift certificate to a bike shop instead. You can ask a million different people and the best you'll do is narrow it down to 2 or 3 possible sizes.

    I really don't understand why road bikes are still sized by their seat tube... The top tube length, being just about the only thing you can't adjust, is also the important one.

    pcad: can you post a picture of your MTB with the 400mm stem? I think that'd be pretty amusing to look at..
    they're not.

  24. #24
    Senior Member gfrance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    they're not.
    ^^^ what on earth is a "medium", or "large" sized to anyway?

  25. #25
    Living Notoriously Well mr handy's Avatar
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    I'm 5'9"/5'10" depending on the day, and I ride a 54 cm felt.

    A bike for a birthday present would be a great gift, but I'm a believer in the theory that you need to get a feel for the bike before you buy it to see if it feels right.

    If you are buying the bike as a surprise, it might be best to set it up with the LBS for a fitting after the gift has been given, with a possibility if a frame swap...

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