I was looking at the Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 on their website. It looks like a nice bike, but I'm not sure how to read the sizes on "compact" bikes. I think the largest size was 58cm. Being 6' 4", I'm used to looking for a 62-64 cm frame. The sloping top tube on the Sherpa made me wonder how "tall" it would be if the top tube went straight across - parallel to the ground. Anyone have any thoughts? Doesn't the Randonee have this same kind of design?
The horizontal tt is 57 which is small for a normal 6'4" person. The standover height of 837 is at the center of the tt. I don't understand why they classify the bike as "touring" and then sell it with 52-42-30 road rings.
I don't like the idea of having 6 or more inches of seat post sticking up on a touring bike. Horizonal TT for me. I'm 6'6" and ride a 63.
I'm a sherpa 30 owner. I love the bike! I'm 5'10" and I thought I'd be riding the 55cm but the 52cm was much more comfortable and easier to control. As far as sizing and the seatpost... It does stick up a little more than you would expect on a touring bike. I'm fiddling with the stem right now, I'd like it to give me a little more upright ride just because of an old shoulder injury. I've heard alot of people comment on the road chainrings, however, since most of my riding is commuting and recreational riding, that's exactly what I was looking for. That is also why I like the STI shifters that come on the bike vs. bar end shifters that come on most classig touring rigs like the Trek 520, or the "soon to be available" Surly LHT. I'm not sure how much "loaded" touring I'll do in the future, but at least I have that option. As a clydesdale, I appreciate the good strong frame and the beefy wheelset.
When I test rode the 55cm, the owner of the LBS said that he felt that the frames ran a little large when compared to a standard geometry touring bike like the Trek 520. If you can get the opportunity to ride the 58cm I'd advise it. If you are used to a 62cm, it might be close. I had been riding a 54cm road frame and the 52cm sherpa 30 fits me pretty much exactly the same.
I haven't heard any Sherpa 30 owners critisize this bike. We all love the bikes. No, they aren't mainstream like a Trek 520, or Surly LHT, or Fuji touring... but in my opinion a better bicycle. I really love the feel of Reynolds 853 steel tubing! I think it's the best frame out there that you can buy "off the shelf." If it's heavy duty touring that you are after, then this bike might need some changes--
1. Switch out the STI shifters for bar ends (maintenance, reliability, and easier to get a handlebar bag on.)
2. Switch out the road chain rings.
3. Get a wider tire (my bike came with 28mm)
4. Switch out the saddle (I switched to the Brooks B17 Champion Flyer)
For me, I pretty much liked the initial set up for an "all-purpose" bike - commuting, rec rides, and touring.