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Thread: Frame size

  1. #1
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    Frame size

    Have an oppotunity to buy a 99' Cannondale T800. I want to build up a touring bike. I was wondering about size. It is a 23 inch frame, perhaps a little big, perhaps not. My road bike is a 55-56 cm frame (22inches). I need a little advice as to whether it is worth waiting for a little smaller frame. Thanks.

  2. #2
    jon bon stovie
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    it all depends on how much you value your genitalia if you have to stop suddenly...

    seriously though, i ride a 49cm road bike, which is slightly snug for me. instead of an inch of clearance, i have more like 3/4". not much of a difference, and it is something that i always keep in mind while riding. i would make sure that the geometries are not affected by the 23 in. frame. you might find that they are not as comfortable.

    i would say, have a test ride if possible. if you cannot, i would wait for a smaller frame.

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    It is likely too big. My 05 T800 in a Large (21") is exactly the same C-T as my Trek 520 which fits me fine, but the T800 is slightly large. Why? Because the top tube slopes upward to a tall headtube, and it is considerably taller. Plus the wheelbase is even longer than the 520! The Cannondales are just big, I think, but strong! So in your case, if the 23" is already a larger C-T than you normally ride, my guess is it will be too large for you. Suggest you hold out for a 21" and build that up.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the advice, I think it worth my while to search out a smaller one. It is worth getting it right.

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    normally you need to drop down 2cm in frame size for a touring specific frame/bike (compared to a known road specific frame/bike) to accomodate the larger, taller tires typically used for touring bikes.

    some touring frames are made shorter in the seat tube to make up for the big tires.

    also touring frames/bikes are usually intended to accomodate unpaved roads, thus you need bigger tires / more standover.

    you really need to ride before you buy.
    Last edited by seeker333; 04-22-06 at 06:43 PM.

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    There's nowhere near enough information in your post to make a guess at the right frame size for you. Every other post in this thread is mostly BS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    There's nowhere near enough information in your post to make a guess at the right frame size for you. Every other post in this thread is mostly BS.
    +1

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    Whether a 23" frame is too large will depend upon a number of factors-- such as how much clearance you have on your 22" bike, how high the bottom bracket is on the 23" bike, etc. Two 23" frames can vary on standover height, because of differing geometries. Touring bikes are typically selected with larger frames than racing bikes. If you've got an inch of clearance between the top bar and you, the bike fits. Of course, that's going by old standards. The new advice is to buy a frame that's too small for you, and consequently, you see a lot of people out there riding bikes that are too small.

    If the 23" bike fits (if you can stand over it with about an inch or more of clearance, and it's what you want, don't be scared off by the fact that it's bigger than your other bike.

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    In Uprgading Your Bike, Frank Berto charts specs for 3 types of bikes: A racing bike, a sport touring bike, and a loaded touring bike (page 21). Each of the bikes he charts is for the same size rider; the purpose of the chart is to show the differences between types of bikes. For a rider 5'10" with "average body dimensions," he has a 22 inch racing bike, a 22.5 inch sport tourer, and a 23 inch loaded tourer listed. Below the chart, he says "Note that the same rider uses a smaller frame for racing than for touring."

  10. #10
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    Cannondale has a compact geometry on their touring bikes, much more mtb like than is typical for a tour bike, so standover height isn't normally an issue with them. Not good or bad, but just something to consider. I would go to to the fit calculator at Competitivie Cyclist , get someone to carefully help you with the measurements, and then plug them into the website. I suspect hat for touring you would be happiest with the "French Fit", which gives you the most upright position, but also puts you on the largest frame. Take those numbers then and see how well the cannondale geometry will work with them. Without more info this is about the best advice I can give.

    Steve W.
    Who used to have a T800, but has replaced it with the LHT
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Sorry if my previous post was a bit harsh, but misinformation is harder to kill than a roach colony and we go through these issues here constantly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    Sorry if my previous post was a bit harsh, but misinformation is harder to kill than a roach colony and we go through these issues here constantly.
    No worries, he was getting anecdotal information and your point was valid, if, er, a little direct...
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

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    Frame size

    Well I have learned quite a bit the last few days. I really appreciate the input. It is a difficult thing to determine and there seems to be many theories as to the right fit. I have a better idea at what I should be looking for now, and I do realize that my entry was rather vague. Apologies to those who had to endure yet another newbie's inquiries and thanks to those with the patience and time to share a little insight. I'll hit you all with more questions as they come up. Cheers!

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn04
    Well I have learned quite a bit the last few days. I really appreciate the input. It is a difficult thing to determine and there seems to be many theories as to the right fit. I have a better idea at what I should be looking for now, and I do realize that my entry was rather vague. Apologies to those who had to endure yet another newbie's inquiries and thanks to those with the patience and time to share a little insight. I'll hit you all with more questions as they come up. Cheers!
    There's nothing wrong with a newbie question. Sometimes the answers are, however... unfortunate.

    There are three common sizing theories that I find highly suspect:
    1) If your seat tube is some percentage of your leg length, the frame is the right size
    2) The right frame size is based on a bike that gives you some amount of standover height
    3) Frame size should be determined based on top tube length.

    There are a number of secondary guides to fit that are equally suspect including handlebar hub obscuring tests, forearm length comparisons to cockpit length and plumb lines from knees to pedal spindles.

    They are all oversimplifications. "Fit" is a matter of finding the right riding position for the intended use and the physical abilities and disabilities of the rider. Since two riders with the same measurements may have vastly different objectives, and be different in age, fitness and general health, the exact same frame may be perfect for one and awful for the other.

    As different as riders are, so are frames as well. No single frame measurement is sufficient because there are no standards and a "56" from one manufacturer may be radically different from the same size from another manufacturer. A frame size is an exceedingly rough guideline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn04
    Have an oppotunity to buy a 99' Cannondale T800. I want to build up a touring bike. I was wondering about size. It is a 23 inch frame, perhaps a little big, perhaps not. My road bike is a 55-56 cm frame (22inches). I need a little advice as to whether it is worth waiting for a little smaller frame. Thanks.
    You generally want the largest bike you can safely ride as a touring bike so that you have as much room as possible for your equipment.

    Standover the top tube and lift the bike with a hand in front and a hand in back of you. There should be at least an inch of clearance under both wheels.

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    Frame size

    Thanks halfspeed, well said.

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    Cannondales run bigger because they measure to top of the top tube, whereas many others measure to the seat collar.

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