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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 11-19-09, 08:44 AM   #1
Inertianinja
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standover or TT lengh - what sizing works for you?

i've been trying to figure out my size in a track frame by comparing measurements to my current road bike, which fits me perfectly.
of course, nothing matches up perfectly, and i wouldn't expect them to...

i've done a lot of reading.
some say to go with a bike that most closely matches my current bike. if so, then i'm at 55cm.
other say ignore standover height, and go for a match on TT length. in THAT case, i'm looking at bikes that are like 60cm.

for example - the Kilo TT.
my current bike is a 21.5'' / 55cm, standover 823mm, TT 585mm.
the 55cm KiloTT has about the same standover, but t 560mm TT.
the 57cm KiloTT has about the same TT length, but an 839mm standover.

so i'm confused. which measurement is more important?
should i expect at FG to have a shorter TT?


To put this in context - i'm shopping for my first FG; my (awesome) girlfriend wants to make it a birthday present, so i'm shopping around for complete bikes. i'm looking at the Kilo Stripper, Charge Plug Racer, the 2010 Fuji frames, etc. i've read the threads on those...if anyone feels like throwing in 2 cents on that, i'd be happy to listen.
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Old 11-19-09, 08:56 AM   #2
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I like to use the seat stay length as the most accurate indication of bike sizing...



Nahhhhhhhhhhh but seriously, go by top tube length.
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Old 11-19-09, 08:58 AM   #3
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A combination of top tube length and saddle to bar drop.
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Old 11-19-09, 09:05 AM   #4
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To put this in context - i'm shopping for my first FG; my (awesome) girlfriend wants to make it a birthday present, so i'm shopping around for complete bikes. i'm looking at the Kilo Stripper, Charge Plug Racer, the 2010 Fuji frames, etc. i've read the threads on those...if anyone feels like throwing in 2 cents on that, i'd be happy to listen.
My girlfriend got me a new bike too. I should have told her that I had also ordered one. Now I've got two. Not that I'm complaining...

I would get the frame with the top tube that most closely matches your current one, but provides sufficient standover. You can tinker with fit my using a longer or shorter stem, but you can't really raise your nuts to fit your bike. What length stem does your road bike have?
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Old 11-19-09, 09:15 AM   #5
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my current bike's measurements are kind of strange. it's a 21.5'' bike, but the ST is measured "509mm center of bb to TOP of TT", not center of TT. so it's not C-T, it's something else. stem is 120mm, it's a flat-bar bike. TT length 585mm effective

i've looked at 5 brands of FG/track bikes today alone (at work ), 3 sizes per brand. the only consistent measurement has been TT length, and they have all been much shorter than 585mm. for example:
Kilo 57cm - 575mm TT.
Charge Racer L ("seat tube length 620mm") - 566mm TT
Fuji Track 58cm - 570mm TT
Pista 59cm - 575mm TT.

i'm 6ft, ~33'' inseam, and i don't think i'm fitting on a 59cm bike. i definitely have some standover clearance on my current bike, but ~59cm seems big.

i'm really lost in these measurements, since each company measures their bikes differently.
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Old 11-19-09, 09:24 AM   #6
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i would get the frame with the top tube that most closely matches your current one, but provides sufficient standover.
+1
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Old 11-19-09, 09:58 AM   #7
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i guess sometimes direct human contact works better than Internet research

i broke down and made some calls. i spoke with someone at EigthInch, and he gave me some good info. the confusion was coming from my attempts to match the TT length, but apparently my current bike has a ridiculously long TT (trying to match a 585mm TT was putting me on 61'' bikes) with that out of the way, things are simpler. guess i'm going for 55-57''
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Old 11-19-09, 10:07 AM   #8
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http://www.frameforum.org/forum2/ind...2&st=0&start=0
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Old 11-19-09, 11:29 AM   #9
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a flat bar bike will have a longer tt since it's more upright i think. if you look at a mountain bike they have pretty long effective top tubes for their size. well, compared to road bikes.

in lieu of going to a brick and mortar shop or getting on similar style bikes at all to see what's your size, i'd go by standover.
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Old 11-19-09, 12:46 PM   #10
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i just re-measured myself for my "cycling inseam"
i didn't realize that you were supposed to do it from the base of your pelvic bone and NOT give any room for the balzaranos.
unscientific, for sure. i took a book here at work and measured it up against a poster, and then measured it to just over 3 sheets of paper (11'' each)
so apparently my inseam is 34''.
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Old 11-19-09, 01:09 PM   #11
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both can be fudged around with with seat post and stem adjustment. if you want to be able to get low, size down. if you dont race, size up.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:02 AM   #12
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If you guys could tolerate this for a bit longer, i did some more measuring and think i'm close. I'm getting the 09 pista. only question is 55 or 57.

Current Bike's seat tube length is ~55cm. (21.5'') C-T
I called EigthInch - they recommended a 55cm or a 57cm. C-T
I called a random LBS about the Bianchi - they recommended 55cm C-T
I spoke with BikesDirect about at KiloTT - they recommended "55cm C-C, which is 58cm C-T"

so i'm getting bounced back and forth.
i'm not planning on racing.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:09 AM   #13
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I'd get the 55. It's easier to adjust cockpit length by 2cm than worry about stand-over, all else being equal.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:12 AM   #14
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why not actually go to a LBS and sit on / ride some bikes? you're not obligated to buy anything, a bike is a big purchase. then go back and look up the specs online of your favorite fits. Best to support the LBS though, and they will support you..

no one's mentioned online fit calcs either, you could try those. this one seems decent. there are many.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:18 AM   #15
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i'm going to stop by a bike shop this afternoon, though i hate doing that when i don't intend to buy. the fit calcs put me generally inbetween sizes, so i was trying to figure things out based on the bike i have, which fits.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:39 AM   #16
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i'm going to stop by a bike shop this afternoon, though i hate doing that when i don't intend to buy.
I dunno, you should go into them with an open mind, rather than deciding what you want before even seeing it. It's how I found my Steamroller.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:45 AM   #17
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I dunno, you should go into them with an open mind, rather than deciding what you want before even seeing it. It's how I found my Steamroller.
i don't want to get off-topic, but i've had a couple of bad experiences with shops being uncool about my lack of knowledge, lack of interest in what they had in stock, etc.
i had one guy try to sell me on a bike that was clearly too small for me.
another guy - i asked him about FG bikes and he said "pph, why would you want one of those?"
another shop only had one FG in stock, not my size.
who do they treat nicely? the guys in there to buy trek madone's.

so i obsessively research online, bother you guys with my questions, and just go in there ready to buy.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:59 AM   #18
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understandable I guess, but not all bike shops are bad ya know? especially in this economy/offseason I feel like it's in their best interest to be nice/helpful. Of course some may try to sell you a less than ideal bike, but you're the one paying the $$ after all and like I said you're obviously under no obligations: if you don't like the bike or fit, or if they give you hard time, just bail. Nothing lost except a little time. If they're nice to you and you're not sure how to walk away, just tell them you are still weighing your options and want to sleep on it some. Make it clear up front you're just browsing if you want, they won't care.

Just my $0.02 for the LBS route; good luck to ya either way.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:07 AM   #19
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Yeah sorry to derailleur the thread, it's just that I was you a few weeks ago and I'm glad I went the LBS route and got to see a bunch of bikes in person and had my loads of questions answered. But I had the luxury of hitting up like 5 different shops within walking distance. If you live in a smaller town and have 1 LBS who are snobs, screw them then.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:39 AM   #20
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Yeah sorry to derailleur the thread, it's just that I was you a few weeks ago and I'm glad I went the LBS route and got to see a bunch of bikes in person and had my loads of questions answered. But I had the luxury of hitting up like 5 different shops within walking distance. If you live in a smaller town and have 1 LBS who are snobs, screw them then.
heh, i really have no excuse. i live in NYC, there are a million shops here. it's just that a few bad experiences and i'm kind of feeling some approach avoidance.
you guys give unbiased opinions, though.

i imagine most of you are around my height and build, and so the 55 vs 57 thing would be something you've dealt with.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:47 AM   #21
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Standover is only important if you stand over. With adjustable seat posts, swap-in stems, etc, the main thing is to get professionally fit by someone who is not trying to sell you a bike.
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Old 11-20-09, 12:05 PM   #22
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Standover is only important if you stand over. With adjustable seat posts, swap-in stems, etc, the main thing is to get professionally fit by someone who is not trying to sell you a bike.
I just went to a LBS.
it took a LOT of conversation, but I was told that my 21.5" Jamis Hybrid is more like a 58" frame. he didn't have anything for me to try.

I called every bianchi dealer in NYC, and they pretty much universally recommended the 57. only one had a 57 in stock, but was really not interested in building it for me.
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Old 11-20-09, 06:34 PM   #23
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i imagine most of you are around my height and build, and so the 55 vs 57 thing would be something you've dealt with.
not a great assumption, there seems be a pretty wide range of sizes around here. however I am actually close to your size, 5'11 with a 34.25" inch inseam, and the 57cm Pista was for me. So yeah 57 is probably for you, unless of course you have significantly shorter/longer arms than me (since reach/TT kinda matters most). It was a fun ride, and I almost got it in fact. But it still would benefit you to see em and/or ride if possible. That's odd he didn't want to build the 57 for you. It was an '09 and he wasn't interested in selling it?
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Old 11-20-09, 07:36 PM   #24
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In my experience, Top Tube length is far more important than nominal frame "size". I had to ride maybe 3 or 4 bikes before I found that I fit a 57.5 cm TT pretty well. But there's NO WAY I'd have gotten that info from an on-line calculator or asking someone with a build like mine. No one is actually ME.

Don't worry about the test bike being FG or whatever - it doesn't matter. I rode bikes I was sure I wouldn't like (and didn't), but the info on the geometry was all I was after.

Hint: Wear your normal cycling clothes, and take your own pedals.
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Old 11-20-09, 08:13 PM   #25
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Correct top tube fit is everything. Nothing worse than a cramped, too-far-forward position with a short top tube. Stand over height is really not an issue unless you like to straddle your bike with both feet planted. Ride the longest top tube you can comfortably fit. If a true velodrome sprinter, then drop down a size, but for comfort and correct posture, don't go short on the tt...my 03 cents
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