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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 10-02-12, 09:54 PM   #1
delacrank
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Advantages to riding a smaller frame?

Hi, I am 6'0 and right now i am riding a 56 cm IRO which fits me just fine. My friend who is 5'11 1/2 has a surly road bike which is 54 cm: granted he has a longer stem and higher seat post then me.

The reason why i am asking this question has nothing to do with my friend's bike or mine; I am curious about frame sizing because recently i saw the Macaframa DVD again and i noticed how many of the riders were riding frames which just barely fit them (their knees were like very close to the fork and they all had seat post (which came damn near eight inches out of the seat tube) uncomfortably high.

What am i missing? Is it that their geometry is so aggressive that the short length of the top tube is compensated by the low reach to the handlebars? On my bike my knees have at least 2 - 3 inches clearance from the handlebars but the riders in the video have like little to no clearance yet they all seem comfortable on their bikes.

Someone please explain this!? I mean i could fit on a 53 or 54 cm bike which would mean my knees would be mashed up against the handlebars and then hips would be so low on the seat tube, that i would need such a high seat post as well and my arms would be jammed up as well which is also quite silly.

Last edited by delacrank; 10-02-12 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 10-02-12, 09:57 PM   #2
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You answered your own question.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:12 PM   #3
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Fashion.

Sometimes looking fast does not equal being fast.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:36 PM   #4
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what are the advantages┐ the question is posted in the thread title not in the content itself.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:36 PM   #5
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I prefer riding on a large frame where you have the seat almost all the way down, but the pedals are properly the right length so you have a slight bend at the knee. I dont see what advantage you have by having a small frame and the seat way up,,making you have to be more bent on the bike,,certainly if you are over 50 like myself this cant be good.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:45 PM   #6
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The only other advantage besides what was mentioned is smaller bike means slightly lighter, but lighter+comfortable doesn't mean faster either.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by delacrank View Post
Hi, I am 6'0 and right now i am riding a 56 cm IRO which fits me just fine.

i noticed how many of the riders were riding frames which just barely fit them (their knees were like very close to the fork and they all had seat post (which came damn near eight inches out of the seat tube) uncomfortably high.

I mean i could fit on a 53 or 54 cm bike which would mean my knees would be mashed up against the handlebars and then hips would be so low on the seat tube, that i would need such a high seat post as well and my arms would be jammed up as well which is also quite silly.
Building on that, what would be a logical conclusion? To me it sounds like there are no advantages to riding a smaller frame, especially one that is significantly too small. The only thing might be weight and saving space, both of which don't matter at all if the bike doesn't fit right.

It's just one of those things. Like riding track drops on a road bike. Looks good sometimes, but not practical. Or riding with their hands choking the stem. Or pushing stupid gearing. The list goes on and on.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:32 PM   #8
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The Macaframa DVD shouldn't influence any real world bicycle-related decision.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:36 PM   #9
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I remember Carleton has recommended that if you're between sizes to pick the smaller and do a bigger stem/seatpost but i think that's just for a little weight loss - not dropping 3 frame sizes.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:17 AM   #10
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Yeah, i guess there are a lot of bike fads, in the city there are a lot of guys who ride their fixies like that as well with these handlebars that are like big enough to fit your hands and the stem being so low on the fork you would imagine their shoulders and wrists would be hurting after a long ride. I do prefer bigger bikes because i like how high the top tube comes up on me and how easy it is for me to balance on the bike as well. I have heard the argument about lightness but i think there is a bigger following of smaller bikes due to the maneuverability particularly if you are making tight turns or getting in between small spaces.

Yeah, i also think weight can be an issue but not by much especially if you get all the right components, i was asking because right now my bike is a fairly light steel with Reynolds tubing but im thinking of getting a better quality bike made with Columbus tubing probably one of those older fashioned track bikes like the ones used in the Keirin Racing.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:44 AM   #11
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It's so more graphics can be seen on the seatposts - you know, the little height notch markers.

But more seriously, do you think that a smaller frame could aid in more maneuverability? Perhaps the riders on the smaller frames feel they can zip around on it better in tighter corners and the like - I don't know. I know in mtb'ing and sloping top tube frames in general, the longer seatpost extension does look cool - but again this just comes down to looks and not function.
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Old 10-03-12, 08:11 AM   #12
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It can also be argued that a smaller frame is going to be stiffer if it made from the same tubing as the larger one, but i would think fit should dictate frame size.
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Old 10-03-12, 08:36 AM   #13
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I think, and dont know for sure because I am not a competitive racer, that there a several advantages to riding small. If you look at racers they appear to be coiled springs on those frames, and when they take off it's like they are opening up, not over-extending. In my direct experience, they can be comfortable for long hauls for the same reason - you are a very neutral position, the drops are closeby and you get a good relaxing angle in your arms, the bike is lighter, the wheelbase is shorter and the bike feels tighter, your CoG is further forward, ..and the list continues. I'm not an advocate of small frames but the fastest century I've done was on a 54cm, and my default size is 56-58cm.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:44 AM   #14
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Talking about what professionals and competitive racers do is one thing but most of us are just commuter/recreational riders. I think this thread is more related to the other occasional frame sizing theads on here were the OP says something along the lines of "I hear you generally go a size or two smaller with fixies".
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Old 10-03-12, 10:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
The Macaframa DVD shouldn't influence any real world bicycle-related decision.
+1

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I remember Carleton has recommended that if you're between sizes to pick the smaller and do a bigger stem/seatpost but i think that's just for a little weight loss - not dropping 3 frame sizes.
Not for weight loss, but for the fact that it's easier to have a 1cm too small bike fit bigger than it is to have a 1cm too big bike fit smaller.

This is only if a person needs, for example, needs a 57cm bike but only has 56 and 58cm options.

This does not mean that a 54 or 55cm bike is an option.
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Old 10-03-12, 02:39 PM   #16
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Who has tons of exposed seatpost in macaframa? Or who is riding an ill sized bike? I am curious to know who you are describing.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:03 PM   #17
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Talking about what professionals and competitive racers do is one thing but most of us are just commuter/recreational riders. I think this thread is more related to the other occasional frame sizing theads on here were the OP says something along the lines of "I hear you generally go a size or two smaller with fixies".
I ride a single speed bike, so this is the forum im going to ask it on, what relevance does it make to a roadie or a mountain biker because for all i know they can give me advice which doesn't relate to my needs at all as a single speed rider. Maybe some people do go a size or two smaller with fixies maybe some ride with smaller cranks who cares; i asking for a general overview of all single speed riders not just what the average person who rides a bike does.

Last edited by delacrank; 10-03-12 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:16 PM   #18
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Who has tons of exposed seatpost in macaframa? Or who is riding an ill sized bike? I am curious to know who you are describing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvYSmv8GK_o at 3:58 and 4:44 Jason Yim is riding this blue fix with bullhorn handlebars, maybe its nothing but in my opinion he looks a little tight on that bike. I mean honestly i could have no idea what i am talking about and you could all say there is nothing wrong with the bikes and blah blah.

Riding today i realized that my knees were a little closer to the fork than i had imagined, but my stem was extended so my arms weren't so close to my body (i could just have a longer torso and longer arms). It is all relative to the rider to be realistic.

For all i know people who ride small frames could have been riding those bikes because they got a good deal on them or they didn't know better when they bought the bike so they made due. My second bike was a 52 cm IRO, i remember having to get a bigger fork and seat post to even ride the thing and it was really ridiculous but i bought the complete bike for 70 dollars cause it was all i could afford at the time and for a while I made due on it too.

I like the feed back and it has changed the way i view frame sizing, my opinion on track frames was waaaay too cut and paste before. I knew a messenger who road a 60 cm surly even thou he was only 5'7 - 5'8, he was much faster than me and been bike messenging for 8 years. He told me this story about how he hated the seat post showing and had been in too many situations where his post had bent or eventually broke or something to that extent (he was a little crazy). Then again when he was accelerating his hips were always rocking back and forth so . . .

Last edited by delacrank; 10-03-12 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:23 PM   #19
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I feel more stable on a bigger bike (longer wheelbase) and prefer the handling on a longer bike with a shorter stem than vise-versa. I feel more "in" the bike than "over" it on a bigger frame. Some will argue about standover, but i tend to sit on the saddle when i ride- not stand over the top tube.
I also prefer the aesthetics of a seatpost to frame size ratio that looks balanced. I hate to see a ton of seatpost and a 120+mm stem on a small frame....but personal preferences vary.....
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Old 10-03-12, 10:09 PM   #20
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I ride a single speed bike, so this is the forum im going to ask it on, what relevance does it make to a roadie or a mountain biker because for all i know they can give me advice which doesn't relate to my needs at all as a single speed rider. Maybe some people do go a size or two smaller with fixies maybe some ride with smaller cranks who cares; i asking for a general overview of all single speed riders not just what the average person who rides a bike does.
Being a "single speed rider" doesn't make you all the different than people with geared bikes and it is a vague way of describing how you ride. Your fit isn't dependent on the fact that you're riding a single speed. My fixed gears are exclusively road and I choose the appropriately frame for the kind of distance and speed I want to ride. I have taken the same frames and gone between geared and fg and back. The "needs" didn't change, just the rear wheel.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:35 PM   #21
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Being a "single speed rider" doesn't make you all the different than people with geared bikes and it is a vague way of describing how you ride. Your fit isn't dependent on the fact that you're riding a single speed. My fixed gears are exclusively road and I choose the appropriately frame for the kind of distance and speed I want to ride. I have taken the same frames and gone between geared and fg and back. The "needs" didn't change, just the rear wheel.
Turns out that i recently bought a tape measure and did some measurements on my inseam x .65 = 53.95 or something like that, so my friend was right for riding a 54 cm frame and all this time i have been riding a large frame. So, seeing other people ride a frame fitted to their body type seemed small to me, personally i am comfortable on the 56 cm and i don't think it makes much of a difference, i wonder about custom built bikes why some tube lengths would vary like the bottom tube from the top tube and the seat tube. But maybe thats for another thread.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:37 PM   #22
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When sizing a frame, seat tube is actually one of the last concerns.
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Old 10-05-12, 05:56 AM   #23
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Turns out that i recently bought a tape measure
Whoa...slow down there, buddy!
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Old 10-05-12, 07:33 AM   #24
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I can't speak for Macaframa or anyone else, but I personally ride a small frame because I have very long legs in proportion to the rest of my body. I would rather ride a 57cm with a 100mm stem than a 60cm with a 70mm stem. I hate how short stems feel on race bikes.
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Old 10-05-12, 10:48 AM   #25
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Just watched ten minutes of macaframa. I forgot how silly that **** is.
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