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  1. #1
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    Standover Height - How important is it?

    OK, so I want to buy a touring bike and I've been looking for a few weeks and after a lot of research I feel like the Novara Randonet would be perfect, especially now that they're on sale. It has everything I want and the price is right. The problems is 1) I live in a remote area and cannot get to a store to take it for a test drive and 2) the specs list a standover height of 31.5" and my inseam is only 28". The guys at REI have told me that standover height is not absolute and the bike may still fit me, but then, they're job is to sell it so me

    REi says I can always return the bike... is it worth it for me to buy it now while it's on sale, have a friend who lives nearby pick it up, and then wait till I can get down there to try it out (not for another 6 weeks) ... or am I just dreaming?

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    Senior Member NeezyDeezy's Avatar
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    IMO you should not buy a bike with a SO that is OVER three inches more than your inseam...

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy
    IMO you should not buy a bike with a SO that is OVER three inches more than your inseam...
    +1 - make sure you measure your stand over in bike shoes so you can compare apples to apples.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  4. #4
    jcm
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    I agree with NeezyDeezy. That's a stretch. Personally, I prefer a taller bike, but 3" too tall is too much. With a tour machine, most people will tell you that you should actually go a little short because of the load effecting the center of gravity. True, but not that many people really tour all the time. In fact, most people only tour a fraction of the time they own such a bike. So, knowing this is true for me, I prefer a taller tour bike as well as a road bike, since it makes a great all-rounder. But, I keep it at about 1" over. The inseam typically has enough slack so as to be a general rule only.

  5. #5
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    I can barely straddle my 25 inch trek 520 but once I'm underway I like it fine. Sounds like this bike would be impossible for you to stand over. This would be bad new if you accidently came off the seat and pedels. I havent tried mine loaded yet as paniers are still being decided.

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I occasionally do straddle my top tube if I stop away from a curb, so I do need a standover that works, and you probably do too. As well, the mismatch between inseam and standover makes me wonder if the bike is just too big for you. You'll have the seat down all the way and the forward reach may be too much. Do you have really short legs compared to your torso?

  7. #7
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    2007 Novara Catalog with geometry chart on pages 50-51

    The SO heights are in cm and will need to be converted to inches.

    There smallest size is 47cm showing a SO height of 78.9 and sure enough equals 31.1 inches. It is strange for a 47cm bike to have that high of a SO height.
    Last edited by georgiaboy; 05-06-07 at 09:18 PM.
    Would you like a dream with that?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy
    IMO you should not buy a bike with a SO that is OVER three inches more than your inseam...
    YES ,that's a good start. Some individuals ,like me,at at a height where we must choose between a very minimal clearance (ep. 1.5 inches) and a frame that's TOO small.This used to happen when bikes were measured :17 19,21,23,25,27,etc. ..21 = 53cm, 23 = 58 /1/2 WOW what hapeend to 54,55,56,57 ? I'll tell you,sorry,not available!. These days it's STILL the case with a few touring bikes,Trek for ep.,a very good touring bike,measured in the afformentioned fractional sizes.Fortunately 23(58.4) has a not so very high stand-over by virtue of the geomtry that Trek uses.Similarly,the 21 as a longish top-tube.At 5'10" with short legs(33.25 PBH) ,my inseam dictates a frame typically 54,55 or 56. Trek's 21"FITS me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybar
    OK, so I want to buy a touring bike and I've been looking for a few weeks and after a lot of research I feel like the Novara Randonet would be perfect, especially now that they're on sale. It has everything I want and the price is right. The problems is 1) I live in a remote area and cannot get to a store to take it for a test drive and 2) the specs list a standover height of 31.5" and my inseam is only 28". The guys at REI have told me that standover height is not absolute and the bike may still fit me, but then, they're job is to sell it so me

    REi says I can always return the bike... is it worth it for me to buy it now while it's on sale, have a friend who lives nearby pick it up, and then wait till I can get down there to try it out (not for another 6 weeks) ... or am I just dreaming?
    WAIT I just noticed.. how ARE you measuring your inseam? You'd need to be less than 5'4" to have an inseam as low as you state yours is. Atnatomic inseam,PBH needs to be measured correctly and accurately to be usefull, NOT pants inseem,PBH,are you SURE you know?

  10. #10
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I think the published measures may be erroneous. It says the seat tube on the small frame is 47 cm, and the seat tube angle is 73 degrees (17 degrees from vertical). That means the vertical from the centre of the BB to the centre of the top tube would be 47*cos17 = 44.9 cm or 17.7". The top tube is only about an inch thick so round that up to 18.5" and the bottom bracket would have to be 13" off the ground to yield a 31.5" standover. Hard to believe it's that high, so perhaps the 31.5 is a mistake.

    EDIT just looking at the picture suggests the BB is not that high. 700 cm wheels are about 27" high, so the centre of the wheel hubs is about 13.5" off the ground. You can see the BB is well below that.

    Last edited by cooker; 05-06-07 at 09:11 PM.

  11. #11
    Happy Rider
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    Stand-over height, IMHO, means nothing if the bike is comfortable.

    My most comfortable bike is a BF, and the top tube is about a foot below my crotch--maybe more.

    Find a comfortable bike for you. I really don't think a forum can answer your question without feedback from data unobtainable from your body.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by card
    Stand-over height, IMHO, means nothing if the bike is comfortable.

    My most comfortable bike is a BF, and the top tube is about a foot below my crotch--maybe more.

    Find a comfortable bike for you. I really don't think a forum can answer your question without feedback from data unobtainable from your body.
    HE said he was in a remote area. Bikes are sized for a reason, a start-off point,not onlyis stand-over soimportantin and of itself,it does relate to the core size of the bike.Bikes need sizes,not just comfy -levels based on arbitrary,subject reasoning.

  13. #13
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    Well, thanks to everyone for the feedback. After a lot of phone calls I finally called the REI flagship store who had a 47cm Randonee put together (NOT an easy find!) and they confirmed that the SO heigh is indeed a bit shorter than the spec - closer to 30" rather than the 31.5 listed which is lower, (I've checked the actual SO heights of a few other models and found them to be lower in actuality than those listed) but I'm still doubtfull that it will fit me.

    One thing's for sure - it's AGONIZING shooping for a touring bike from a remote location and being short to boot! However, it's all good in that I'm refining what I need and learning a lot in the process. MANY MANY THANKS to eveyone who posted response - it's been really helpful!! -M

  14. #14
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    SO Height will vary w/ tires, if you find yourself running fatter ones than you get it with, that top tube will rise.

    That said, when you're off the bike straddling it, you can tilt it beneath you so you're not stuck on it like a balancing beam. Of course, if you have a 40# of panniers on either side tilting it may not be as graceful as you would hope...

  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    You might need to look for a tour bike with 26" wheels if there is such a thing.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Trek Al's Avatar
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybar
    Well, thanks to everyone for the feedback. After a lot of phone calls I finally called the REI flagship store who had a 47cm Randonee put together (NOT an easy find!) and they confirmed that the SO heigh is indeed a bit shorter than the spec - closer to 30" rather than the 31.5 listed which is lower, (I've checked the actual SO heights of a few other models and found them to be lower in actuality than those listed) but I'm still doubtfull that it will fit me.

    One thing's for sure - it's AGONIZING shooping for a touring bike from a remote location and being short to boot! However, it's all good in that I'm refining what I need and learning a lot in the process. MANY MANY THANKS to eveyone who posted response - it's been really helpful!! -M
    Sandybar: Same issue as you on the Randonee--I have an 'almost' 29" inseam (with shoes on), and had hoped that the 47cm Randonee would work--no such luck! I'm now looking at the possibility of a Surly LHT complete in the 46cm size--uses 26" wheels to drop the standover to 28"--price complete is comparable to a retail priced Randonee--around $900-$930.

  18. #18
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    Get something like a top tube, say a pump, and pull it up till it's like you are sitting on it, and get someone to measure that.

    It's true that the bike may well feel great to cycle even if the stand over is too high, Bike shops in light of this are happy to get you to try a bike based on TT length since you may love it on that basis and most people can't tell the correct TT as accurately as knowing they are too tight to the top tube. However I think you will regret, as others have said, having a TT that you can't stand over more or less flat footed, on a bike that otherwise fits. In fact a low TT is prudent if you are riding on any unpaved/graded roads.

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