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  1. #1
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    looking for opinions on the difference between 49, 51, and 52 cm

    I saw the sticky thread about measuring yourself. And i'm going to do it. But here is my question about sizing anyway. I have a jamis sattelite sport that's 51cm. It feels a little high if I'm standing there with the bar touching my balls, but the bike is perfectly and enjoyably rideable. I'm looking into the Dawes SST 1 available at bikes direct in the sizes 49cm and 52cm. So the concern I have is, will the 49cm be too small? Will the 52 be too big. I went to a roadie shop today because I had to get a freewheel for a mountin bike. So I check out their bikes. Trek Domanes that post 56cm look a little smaller than my 51cm jamis. I tried a 49cm and a 52cm version of Trek's take on a cross bike (I actually liked that bike alot). Visually, they looked smaller than my Jamis, but not appreciably bigger or smaller than each other. Then when I threw my leg over, they both felt like the Jamis (close but not intimate with my nutty friends) and both seemed like they would be ridable bikes.

    So - how big of a difference is there between a 49cm and 52cm? If a 51cm steel Jamis road bike gives an enjoyable ride but sniff at the crotch on the stand over, should i be more afraid of the 52cm being to big or the 49 cm being too small.

    the bike in question: Save Up to 60% Off Road Bikes | Track Bikes | Fixed Gear | Single Speed Bicycles | Dawes SST singlespeed bicycles | Save up to 60% off list prices

  2. #2
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Don't buy a bike based on standover clearance. Use the top tube length to size the bike. I'm short and can't stand over many of my bikes, especially my track bikes because they have higher bottom brackets, yet when i'm riding them they fit perfectly. When I stop I lean the bike to the side and put only one foot down so I don't smash my junk on the top tube.
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JeremyLC's Avatar
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    Looking at the geometry charts I'd say the 52cm Dawes is closest. Still, use the fit calculator. Also realize that reach is more important than height. You can raise or lower your saddle more easily than you can change the length of your reach.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GhostSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    When I stop I lean the bike to the side and put only one foot down so I don't smash my junk on the top tube.
    So quote worthy.

  5. #5
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    I looked at the geometry charts for the Dawes 49, 52; the jamis satelite 51 (a bike i know works for me), and an SE Draft (a bike i tried at the shop that was a bit too big)

    Its amazing how little the difference there is when you break it down with a ruler. to me, the dawes 49 looks closest. the difference in standover between that bike and the Jamis Satelite is -31mm - abount half the length of my pinky. the standover difference between the dawes 52 and the jamis is a mere +4 mm. that is less than my pinky-nail. the SE Draft 52 was a whopping +14 mm. It's hard to beleive these small amounts make such a differnce.

    but you guys say that top tube is more important. the top tube of the length of the Dawes 49 was -5 to the Jamis whereas the Dawes 52 was +15. There are small distances.

    but, my estimation is that the standover would be just shorter enough to make it slightly more comfortable (-31) with an decrease in reach that seems insignificant (-5).

    Does that sound right to you guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
    Looking at the geometry charts I'd say the 52cm Dawes is closest. Still, use the fit calculator. Also realize that reach is more important than height. You can raise or lower your saddle more easily than you can change the length of your reach.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JeremyLC's Avatar
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    Which geometry chart are you using for the Jamis? The one I saw showed a 51cm Jamis with exactly the same length TT as the 52cm Dawes. I'll also repeat, standover is irrelevant, you aren't standing over it when you're pedaling.

  7. #7
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    i went back and looked. i made a mistake. here's the summary - and the question is: how much difference does 20mm of top tube really make? still interested in input, but i think this is ultimately going to come down to playing around with the tape measure. ultimately, i just don't want to be uncomfortable on city rides, and on a ruler millimeters look so small - and if i bought in a shop i'd never be fixated on the numbers, but the feel. that's the price of trying to save by buying online, I suppose.

    dawes tts 1 49 top tube 510 standover 730

    jamis satelite 51 top tube 530 standover 761

    dawes tts 52 top tube 530 standover 765

  8. #8
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    almost an inch is very significant, what's the stem length on the Dawes vs. your Jamis? If the Dawes is longer, go with the 49cm, which will also ensure safety to your little buddies...

  9. #9
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyLC View Post
    Which geometry chart are you using for the Jamis? The one I saw showed a 51cm Jamis with exactly the same length TT as the 52cm Dawes. I'll also repeat, standover is irrelevant, you aren't standing over it when you're pedaling.
    This. It's all about top tube. You can cheat it either way with seat and stem adjustments, but a bike with a shorter top tube will handle a little differently than the same bike with a longer top tube - - assuming same rider. Do the specs you have allow you to determine the reach, i.e. set back and stem length? Buying in the dark, I'd gauge my preferred size by top tube and reach. The way I see it room under the groin is a cautionary measurement for novice riders.

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