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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-18-06, 05:20 PM   #1
Briareos
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Newbie Question Regarding Standover Height

Ok, I did the whole "inseam measurement" and as far as I can tell, it's at 30 inches. Now when I see a bike that has a supposed 30 inch standover height, is that what I want? Or am I supposed to take a few inches off to give my "package" safe passage? I'd hate to buy a bicycle that isn't my size.

Friend of mine at college nabbed a Lemond Filmore (something like that) at 49cm size. I check their site and it says 750 standover height, which I think I'm ok with. But I'm wondering if the rest of the bike might be too small (5'7")? I don't want to have my friend bother sending me an entire bike by mail for no reason.

Sorry, I'm one of those people who doesn't like to screw things up and would rather over-research things than make a mistake and learn that way .

Thanks a ton!

-Robert
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Old 10-18-06, 05:44 PM   #2
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Go to a bike shop and get fitted for a bike.
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Old 10-18-06, 05:49 PM   #3
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no you are supposed to use that to find a seatube that will fit you with an appropriate amount of post showing. Standover height is meaningless unless you are mountain biking since you will never be standing with both feet on the ground.

lemond himself reccomends you measure your inseam and multiply it by .67 to get the c-t seatube measurement.

49cm is way to small for you. You should be looking in the 51cm range.
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Old 10-18-06, 06:01 PM   #4
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A lot of places charge for that, and it could be awkward if you know you're not buying one.

Make sure you measured your inseam properly. Stand against a wall with your legs shoulder width apart. Put a thick book in between your legs (binding facing up) and againt the wall. Lift it as high as it will go, then measure from the top of the book to floor. It's much easier to do with somebody else.

If you really do have a 30" inseam, then that bike might work for you. Standover height is more of a guidleine than anything. You don't really want a bike that has a standover 2" higher than your inseam, but it depends on the person too. There are other, more important measurements on a bike, and you should never size one just by standover.

In general Lemonds have a longer top tube than similarly sized bikes, which is something to consider.

You should see if there are any Lemond dealers in your area, and if they have any 49 cm frames built up, then try to ride one. You can at least straddle one and see if you think it might work.
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Old 10-18-06, 06:19 PM   #5
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=/

(took me a long time to write this post because I was eating homemade Mac n Cheese. Some questions may be redundant).

Thanks for the clarification!

Couple more (nub) questions:

1. What measurement is c-t?

2. What's the best way to measure yourself, for figuring out if you fit a bike that is online rather than in your local shop? My local shop is inhabited by trolls...

3. Can I still ride 49cm and not look like an idiot? Or will it actually be "bad" for my body.
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Old 10-18-06, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briareos
(took me a long time to write this post because I was eating homemade Mac n Cheese. Some questions may be redundant).

Thanks for the clarification!

Couple more (nub) questions:

1. What measurement is c-t?

2. What's the best way to measure yourself, for figuring out if you fit a bike that is online rather than in your local shop? My local shop is inhabited by trolls...

3. Can I still ride 49cm and not look like an idiot? Or will it actually be "bad" for my body.
1. from the center of the bb to the top of the seat tube.

2. There are plenty of guides online that will take into account measurements from your entire body and give you an ideal seattube, top tube, and stem lengths.

3. You can but you will probably have to buy a new stem.
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Old 10-18-06, 06:55 PM   #7
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I can't imagine buying a shorter bike would be physically bad for you. I bought a 53cm Steamroller and it feels WAY better than my 59cm schwinn. I am 6ft 2ish, but I have a short inseam at around 33inch. Ive been riding my bike for about a month now with no problems what so ever.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:23 PM   #8
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it's easier to fit into a bike that's too small than too large. I don't really see it being a problem on a 49.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Wind
A lot of places charge for that, and it could be awkward if you know you're not buying one.

Make sure you measured your inseam properly. Stand against a wall with your legs shoulder width apart. Put a thick book in between your legs (binding facing up) and againt the wall. Lift it as high as it will go, then measure from the top of the book to floor. It's much easier to do with somebody else.
...then your mom walks into the room when you and your "buddy" are holding a thick book between your legs and measuring things.

"No! Wait! Mom, It's not what you think. I'm getting a bike, see...!"

And you mean to say that that (even if mom didn't walk in) is less awkward than going to a shop and getting fitted for a bike?

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Last edited by carleton; 10-18-06 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankstar
Go to a bike shop and get fitted for a bike.
+1

Just walk into a shop. Say, "I'm interested in getting a new bike." and listen to the 10 minute dog and pony show. And the end you will have tried on a few road bikes for size and maybe even a test ride. And you will know what size fits you.

Edit:

Generally speaking, when standing flat-footed on the ground, straddling the top-tube, there should be one inch of space between the top tube and your hoo-has. To test, lift the front and rear end of the bike up at the same time and see how far both wheels get off the ground.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-18-06, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briareos
......................................
2. What's the best way to measure yourself, for figuring out if you fit a bike that is online rather than in your local shop? My local shop is inhabited by trolls...
.............................
This should get you started:

Bike Fit
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Old 10-18-06, 10:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton
+1

Just walk into a shop. Say, "I'm interested in getting a new bike." and listen to the 10 minute dog and pony show. And the end you will have tried on a few road bikes for size and maybe even a test ride. And you will know what size fits you.

Edit:

Generally speaking, when standing flat-footed on the ground, straddling the top-tube, there should be one inch of space between the top tube and your hoo-has. To test, lift the front and rear end of the bike up at the same time and see how far both wheels get off the ground.
That's such a bull**** thing to do.
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Old 10-18-06, 11:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapelike
That's such a bull**** thing to do.
Why is that?
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-18-06, 11:02 PM   #14
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Are you serious?

Maybe because most bike shops are small businesses staffed by people making tiny pay cheques. The idea if walking in there under false pretenses just to get some fitting info is ****ing pathetic.

Edit: Here's where I'm coming from: if someone walks into the shop and has no intention of buying anything but just wants some information - fine. I'm all for talking shop w/ people and helping someone out. And if someone's just casually browsing and not seriously considering anything - fine. What I take issue with is someone coming in and not having the simple human decency to be truthful with me about what their intentions are. Maybe I read your post the wrong way. If so, sorry - my mistake.

If I had a guy walk in and ask the whole "I have no idea what frame size to look for" question I'd certainly talk with him for a bit about what ballpark size to look for. There's no sense giving him a firm answer because that doesn't exist. Worst case scenario, if I was busy with a paying customer at the time I'd ask him to hang out for a few minutes until I could get to him. There's no need to be sneaky about it ... you may not get an hour-long fitting session but you'll certainly get a straight answer and some decent hekp from most people.

Last edited by shapelike; 10-18-06 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 10-18-06, 11:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapelike
Are you serious?

Maybe because most bike shops are small businesses staffed by people making tiny pay cheques. The idea if walking in there under false pretenses just to get some fitting info is ****ing pathetic.
Agreed. But, that is part of owning a bike shop. Not everyone that comes in a bike shop buys a bike and the shop owners know this.

Here's what else they know:

- Bike shops only get about 10% markup on new bike sales.
- They make a like 50% on accessories and clothing. (tubes really cost like a $1)
- Think about how often people buy new bikes as opposed to tubes, tires, pumps, grip tape, saddles, etc...
- They make lots of money on service, too.
- Customers bring bikes to friendly bike shops.
- Many customers, once a shop wins them, are very loyal, no matter if they bought the bike from that shop or not.


So, if they can make a friend, they might still make some money.


Edit: and to say, "I'm interested in getting a new bike." would not be a lie. I'm sure if that shop had what he was looking for (used or new) that guy would buy it.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-18-06, 11:49 PM   #16
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In general, standover height is a really bad measurement to use for a track bike. Since they usually have a fairly high bottom bracket for pedal clearance, a bike with a normal standover will end up being too small. It is easier to fit a bike that is too small than one that is too big, but you tend to have problems with the bars being way below the seat. This can either be fixed with a long riser stem, or lots of spacers, but neither one is really a replacement for a bike that fits. I speak from experience here. Try riding a couple of bikes and figure out what feels right, then go from there.
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Old 10-19-06, 01:37 AM   #17
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I'd also like to chime in defense of the 'go to a bike shop' thing. If you're cycling, you will be going in to your LBS, sooner or later. Going in to ask some quick, general questions is a really good way to gauge how they'll treat you down the road.

A few shops I went to gave me a good ballpark in a few minutes, but said 'if you want to be professionally fit, then it's free with the purchase of a bike from us, or $X if you just want the fitting alone (usually $75-150).' They were nice. Nowadays, I give them money.

A few shops were rude... tried to push me into a certain brand, or type of bike, or gave me the brush off. I don't give them a cent, and warn other people away as much as possible.
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Old 10-19-06, 01:42 AM   #18
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go to competitivecyclist.com
they have a fit calculator and measure two or three time to get it right

edit: I always recommend going to your lbs fidrst because they are the guys who will back you up if something breaks.. get it instead of sendig it back and forth and paying shipping several times

most of the time a bianchi pista or fuji track can be had at a decent price this time of year
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Old 10-19-06, 02:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retem
most of the time a bianchi pista or fuji track can be had at a decent price this time of year
I don't know about other cities, but Toronto for example is having a big bike show this weekend. Nothing like Interbike, etc. ... but all the local shops will be there w/ tons of blow-out specials. If you know what you're looking for it could be a chance to get an amazing deal.
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Old 10-19-06, 07:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retem
go to competitivecyclist.com
they have a fit calculator and measure two or three time to get it right

edit: I always recommend going to your lbs fidrst because they are the guys who will back you up if something breaks.. get it instead of sendig it back and forth and paying shipping several times

most of the time a bianchi pista or fuji track can be had at a decent price this time of year
Thanks for the link! Very thorough. As for you mentioning the Bianchi Pista, it was my 2nd choice. I am seeing them for around 500 bucks or so which is just a tad out of my price range (my price range is woefully low). I was hopeful I'd nab my friends Lemond (which is still a possibility) but the Pista looks really sexy .

You also mentioned "this time of year". We'll the Bianchi's go down in price over the winter since it's considered "off-season" for biking? If so I might just keep suffering on my Diamondback MTB until the price comes down. The Pista in 51cm sounds just right for me.

P.S. Stop hijacking my thread children, for real.
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Old 10-19-06, 07:43 PM   #21
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Size comes down to many factors. I never go by standover alone--if I did, I feel the frame is way small for me otherwise. I'm 5'8" and ride a 54cm. Go figure. Much smaller, and I just wasn't happy.
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Old 10-19-06, 09:30 PM   #22
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I got fitted at my LBS and they sold me a 56cm frame Trek 1000.

After I got into riding I built up my own bike. It fits me perfectly and I could ride for hours on it - 60cm frame with 46cm wide drops. Much better for me. Sometimes they don't know everything and you really are better off going with what feels right.
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