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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 03-26-08, 09:53 PM   #1
AFCFORME
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Downsizing

im looking to get a single speed/fixie and am having trouble finding the bike i want in my size. Im a 56 in a road bike and my LBS said it was fairly common for people to "downsize" when dealing with fixies are single speeds. Is this pretty common or are they just talking out thier ass to sell me a bike?
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Old 03-26-08, 09:57 PM   #2
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of course you gotta buy a small bike so you can put a huge stem on it.duh
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Old 03-26-08, 10:00 PM   #3
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Ask him why you would downsize. If you ride a 56... get a 56.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:05 PM   #4
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That guy is just trying to sell what he has in stock, don't buy a wrong sized bike, you'll regret it.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:05 PM   #5
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He said alot of people do i for comfort.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:17 PM   #6
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Upsize the test ride length and see what you think about their downsize suggestion.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:39 PM   #7
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Yeah, i only rode it for a few minutes and it felt fine. But then again im still pretty new to roadbike and fixed/single speeds in general so who knows. Why must life be so difficult!!!
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Old 03-26-08, 10:58 PM   #8
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People downsize for performance, not comfort. Get the correct size. Also, find another bike shop.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:44 AM   #9
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yeah, they are just trying to unload what they have on stock. when i bought my first big boy bike, i walked into my lbs and told them my height(5.8"), and low and behold they happened to have the bike i wanted in my size, and it was the last that they had in stock, so they cut me a deal. so i end up buying a 56, but being a total nOOb( who took the bike on a test ride), i did not dawn on me for a few weeks that i was riding a bike that was too big for me. I'm babbling, sorry. buy a 56 if you know it fits.
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Old 03-27-08, 01:08 AM   #10
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What the shop might mean is that a 56 road bike and a 56 track bike are waaaay different. The difference is in the higher bottom bracket. Most, not all, of the time you will be more comfortable on a 2mm smaller, numerically, TRACK bike. Now this does NOT include a bike with road geometry set-up as a singlespeed. i.e. Jamis Sputkik vs. Fuji Track Pro. The track bike 56 will have a higher top tube than the 56 road bike. Ride both and decide for yourself. As long as you have a comfortable distance over the top tube and your junk isn't resting on it you'll be fine.
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Old 03-27-08, 02:13 AM   #11
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Check out THIS PAGE (esp. "The Traditions of Road Riding and Our Three Styles of Fit") and use the calculator. I found it really helpful.

Last edited by Wotan; 03-27-08 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 03-27-08, 06:45 AM   #12
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great link wotan.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:38 AM   #13
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Some people think sizing changes a lot because of a higher bottom bracket, but the difference is minimal when you only adjust seat tube by a few cm's. Buy the size that fits you unless you are buying a frame that is notorious for riding big. I think people claim bareknuckles size large, but I dont really notice it on mine.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:08 PM   #14
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He said alot of people do i for comfort.
he's talking out of his *****. usually people go up a size for comfort as long as the tt isn't too long; as this lowers the seat to bar drop. going a size smaller is just going to increase your seat/bar drop, put more weight on your hands, and mess with your back if you're not conditioned to ride in that position.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:10 PM   #15
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he's talking out of his *****. usually people go up a size for comfort as long as the tt isn't too long; as this lowers the seat to bar drop. going a size smaller is just going to increase your seat/bar drop, put more weight on your hands, and mess with your back if you're not conditioned to ride in that position.
Just because people already are discussing fit here, I've always wondered what people feel is an acceptable seat to bar drop? like, I know what feels comfortable to me and what doesnt, but a lot of guys I know ride loads of seat to bar drop, and I thought mine was borderline excessive. What would you guys say is excessive?
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Old 03-27-08, 12:24 PM   #16
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Just because people already are discussing fit here, I've always wondered what people feel is an acceptable seat to bar drop? like, I know what feels comfortable to me and what doesnt, but a lot of guys I know ride loads of seat to bar drop, and I thought mine was borderline excessive. What would you guys say is excessive?
there is no "acceptable" seat to bar drop, its all relative and different from person to person. you also have to consider the riding style and the application of the bike. having a large drop to put you in a more aero position for performance purposes is cool, but i wouldn't want to commute or cruise around the city on that setup. as far as excessive seat/bar drop.....when you're really uncomfortable from the position(too much weight on your hands, pain in your lower back/neck) thats when its excessive.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:34 PM   #17
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there is no "acceptable" seat to bar drop, its all relative and different from person to person. you also have to consider the riding style and the application of the bike. having a large drop to put you in a more aero position for performance purposes is cool, but i wouldn't want to commute or cruise around the city on that setup. as far as excessive seat/bar drop.....when you're really uncomfortable from the position(too much weight on your hands, pain in your lower back/neck) thats when its excessive.
alright, I figured there wasnt like, a "your seat to bar drop should be x inches" thing, but i wasnt sure if maybe "x inches is too much" existed as a general guideline.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:53 PM   #18
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What the shop might mean is that a 56 road bike and a 56 track bike are waaaay different. The difference is in the higher bottom bracket. Most, not all, of the time you will be more comfortable on a 2mm smaller, numerically, TRACK bike. Now this does NOT include a bike with road geometry set-up as a singlespeed. i.e. Jamis Sputkik vs. Fuji Track Pro. The track bike 56 will have a higher top tube than the 56 road bike. Ride both and decide for yourself. As long as you have a comfortable distance over the top tube and your junk isn't resting on it you'll be fine.
what i was gonna say.
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Old 03-27-08, 01:39 PM   #19
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Top tube length should be the deciding factor.
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Old 03-27-08, 01:45 PM   #20
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If your seat to bar drop is such that you're only comfortable riding on the tops of your deep drop track bars, you're doing it all wrong.
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Old 03-27-08, 02:12 PM   #21
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He's talking out of his a55 because his mouth knows better.
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Old 03-27-08, 03:43 PM   #22
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I don't see why downsizing for a track frame (under particular circumstances) makes so little sense to people?

I'd say there is a slight advantage in downsizing just a little bit (a cm or two) if you're going to be riding the bike primarily in the city... if you'll be using it on the open road... I wouldn't bother downsizing...
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Old 03-27-08, 03:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by frankstoneline View Post
Just because people already are discussing fit here, I've always wondered what people feel is an acceptable seat to bar drop? like, I know what feels comfortable to me and what doesnt, but a lot of guys I know ride loads of seat to bar drop, and I thought mine was borderline excessive. What would you guys say is excessive?
There is no golden rule. We all know that by now. If you dedicate an hour out of every day to stretching and core exercises you will notice you can tolerate more and more drop. It's a function of of how flexible you are. If you can ride with your neck cranked back and have lots of flexibility in the lower back and pelvis you can handle lots of drop.

You can tell how flexible someone is by how they set up their bike. If they have a huge drop with their seat tilted forward you know they are not flexible because they are not able to rotate their pelvis back to take the pressure off the soft tissues, hence the tilt. You will also notice that many people with tons of drop ride on the tops 95 percent of the time... it would be way to uncomfortable to ride in the drops... or they ride with their hands right by the stem... inflexible... It's fine to have huge drop on a track bike, unless you are a pro you never spend more than 15 minutes on the bike... unless you are making an hour attempt... My track bike would be uncomfortable for anything other than the track!

My road bikes have at most 3 inches of drop and yes I ride in the drops at least 50 percent of the time. My touring bike has NO drop because I can be on it for as much as 8-10 hours in a day! My biggest drop is close to 4 inches and I wouldn't take that bike on anything longer than 2 hours. I'm not that flexible. But I am doing yoga and guess what, I'm more comfortable with drop now than I was a month ago.

I'd say go to the golden era for the rule of thumb. Most riders have nearly horizontal backs at time but their elbows are at 90 degree in the drops... can you do that? That is about the most I will go with or... if I can't use a cinelli stem and a 180mm campagnolo seatpost.. it's too small.
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Old 03-27-08, 04:02 PM   #24
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My conversion is a little smaller so I feel more confident in traffic. Thats just me though, I could ride a bigger bike and be more efficient though.
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Old 03-27-08, 04:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewardmike03 View Post
What the shop might mean is that a 56 road bike and a 56 track bike are waaaay different. The difference is in the higher bottom bracket. Most, not all, of the time you will be more comfortable on a 2mm smaller, numerically, TRACK bike. Now this does NOT include a bike with road geometry set-up as a singlespeed. i.e. Jamis Sputkik vs. Fuji Track Pro. The track bike 56 will have a higher top tube than the 56 road bike. Ride both and decide for yourself. As long as you have a comfortable distance over the top tube and your junk isn't resting on it you'll be fine.
It's totally subjective and circumstantial.

My track bike is the same as my road bike yet I have more seatpost showing on my track bike and the bottom braket is higher . That's because it has 170mm cranks as opposed to 180-185mm crank like my road bikes. Any smaller and I wouldn't be able to use my beloved campy seatpost (see above), with a track stem it has more than enough drop to get me way lower than my road bikes...

Also fixed gears on the road... why would you downsize? Presumably you want to ride this bike for longer periods of time than on the track and you might want to do a group ride, you will be dismounting regularly so you should keep that in mind. I think you would want to fit the same as your road bike, no? You are using it for the same type of riding... on the road, casual rides, etc... So why would you downsize? If your reason is that you ride only short distances in the city well maybe you should get a 3 speed, upright.
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