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Old 02-05-08, 09:40 PM   #1
kayakboy
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Why I will never own or ride a Sojourn or Sherpa

They are too small! I like my 25" Supercourse (63.5 cm). And would love a 64-65 cm touring bicycle, but these two cool bikes are too small for a lot of riders. Touring rigs are generally not the biggest money making ventures, they should be built to stand the test of time. The quantity of bikes sold is quite low, why not make them up the line in frame size. (the largest is under 60 cm) Ramble: Off
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Old 02-05-08, 10:41 PM   #2
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I am not sure how tall you are but I am 6'05 and my Nomad, kind of an outsourced Sherpa, is one of my best fitting bikes. Actually, it couldn't fit me better. I just measured it and it is about 52cm to the ctr of the top tube but since it has a sloping top tube and a long head tube it works. I wouldn't base a good fit solely on seat tube length. At the far end of the spectrum are folders like Bike Fridays. They have a lot of happy tall customers and seat tube length is meaningless. I never heard of Sojourn but I wouldn't rule out the Thorn. I would send them your measurements and see what they say. A bike w/ a sloping top tube like the Sherpa will also pack much easier than a 64-65 w/ a horizontal top tube.
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Old 02-06-08, 05:49 AM   #3
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I don't have any idea how you like your bike to fit, but...
I have observed that lots of folks like frames that are as much as three sizes larger than I would prefer if I were their size.

Strangely enough this seems to be most prevalent among taller riders. I had to chuckle when I was in the LBS the other day and listened to this guy *****ing how bike X was nice but they only made it for "little" guys. When he got on his bike to leave (between 1 and 2" of seat post showing), it occurred to me that the bike he thought was only for little guys would have still been at least one size to big for him in my estimation. He seemed to be normally proportioned or if anything a little long legged and only moderately tall.

It seemed comical that this guy was *****ing about how a bike that would have had maybe 3-4" of seat post showing was way too small for him. I guess that it was particularly funny to me because I know that the shop guy he was complaining to rode that model of bike with 6-8" of seat post showing.

Wouldn't it be nice if the short guys liked proportionally larger frames and the tall guys liked proportionally smaller ones
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Old 02-06-08, 06:24 AM   #4
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Strangely enough this seems to be most prevalent among taller riders. I had to chuckle when I was in the LBS the other day and listened to this guy *****ing how bike X was nice but they only made it for "little" guys. When he got on his bike to leave (between 1 and 2" of seat post showing), it occurred to me that the bike he thought was only for little guys would have still been at least one size to big for him in my estimation. He seemed to be normally proportioned or if anything a little long legged and only moderately tall.
It doesn't help that everyone always sees how tall I am and immediately goes for the biggest bike in the shop to size me on. It threw me off when I recently bought a 58cm Sherpa which seems to fit well, but the LBS fit guy tried me on the 55cm first. I haven't been able to take it out yet since I live in Ottawa and the snow covers everything but now I sometimes worry it is too big for me because of his initial reaction to put me on a 55. I am 6'2". I was confident it was the right size when I was at the LBS but now I am not sure, and I'm worried i have fallen prey to just this sort of thinking.
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Old 02-06-08, 08:20 AM   #5
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It's all about the top tube length unless your jewels are getting squashed!
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Old 02-06-08, 08:54 AM   #6
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Bike fit is pretty complicated. Everyone will tell you something different. I'm 6' 2" 235lbs with a 37" pubic bone height. Rivendell would put me on a 66cm frame (which I've test ridden 3 times now and much to my surprise it feels really, really good). A 62cm LHT felt cramped and oddly stretched out (I believe this is mostly due to the handlebar being lower than the saddle). Most bicycle companies don't make frames any bigger than 62cm. While sizing generally takes into account seat tube length, few companies mention top tube and head tube length when sizing. Giving the abundance of threadless headsets these days head tube length plays a more important role in bike fit, as adjusting the height of a threadless stem is much more complicated than doing so on a threaded set up.

Things get even more complicated when you add on to this the fact that there is no standard for measuring the seat tube as mentioned in the late great Sheldon Brown's article on bike sizing.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html

My advice, take a lot of long test rides and take your time. Come back to the bikes that felt good the first time and try different sizes. If the sales person is trying to push you into something ignore them, you'll be happier in the long run.

My personal take on this issue so far is that I think most bike companies don't make bikes that are big enough for taller riders these days (yes even taking into account sloping top tubes). My 62cm IRO Mark V with an uncut steerer tube, 5 degree rise stem, and short rise mountain bars still puts the grips about 2 1/2"-3" below my seat. This is fine for a single speed/track bike that I race around the city but not so good for a touring bike.

Here are some examples of some of the larger bikes various companies make.

Thorn Sherpa:
52cm C to C, 610mm TT, HT length unavailable.

Raleigh Sojourn:
62cm frame is 59cm C to C, 600mm TT, 190mm HT.

Rocky Mountain Sherpa (10 or 30):
58cm frame, 570mm TT, 195mm HT.

Novara Randonee:
59cm frame is 62cm from C to T, 580mm top tube, (HT length unavailable).

Trek 520:
63.5 (25"), 590mm "effective" top tube, 165mm HT

Surly LHT:
62cm frame, 610mm top tube, 210mm head tube.

Rivendell Atlantis:
61cm frame, 590mm top tube, HT length unavailable.
66cm frame, 610mm top tube, HT length unavailable.

Last edited by BikEthan; 02-06-08 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 02-06-08, 10:50 AM   #7
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Does it seem odd to anyone else that the Sojoun comes with 32 spokes ?
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Old 02-06-08, 11:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakboy View Post
The quantity of bikes sold is quite low, why not make them up the line in frame size.
You answered your own question. Companies only make these frames in sizes that sell. For the tall and short, custom frames are a solution.
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Old 02-06-08, 01:43 PM   #9
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I have the opposite problem, it's hard to find a bike I like that's small enough for me.
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Old 02-06-08, 02:09 PM   #10
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I have the opposite problem, it's hard to find a bike I like that's small enough for me.
Which IMHO is equally lame.
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Old 02-06-08, 04:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikEthan View Post
Bike fit is pretty complicated. Everyone will tell you something different. I'm 6' 2" 235lbs with a 37" pubic bone height. Rivendell would put me on a 66cm frame (which I've test ridden 3 times now and much to my surprise it feels really, really good). A 62cm LHT felt cramped and oddly stretched out (I believe this is mostly due to the handlebar being lower than the saddle). Most bicycle companies don't make frames any bigger than 62cm. While sizing generally takes into account seat tube length, few companies mention top tube and head tube length when sizing. Giving the abundance of threadless headsets these days head tube length plays a more important role in bike fit, as adjusting the height of a threadless stem is much more complicated than doing so on a threaded set up.

Things get even more complicated when you add on to this the fact that there is no standard for measuring the seat tube as mentioned in the late great Sheldon Brown's article on bike sizing.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html

My advice, take a lot of long test rides and take your time. Come back to the bikes that felt good the first time and try different sizes. If the sales person is trying to push you into something ignore them, you'll be happier in the long run.

My personal take on this issue so far is that I think most bike companies don't make bikes that are big enough for taller riders these days (yes even taking into account sloping top tubes). My 62cm IRO Mark V with an uncut steerer tube, 5 degree rise stem, and short rise mountain bars still puts the grips about 2 1/2"-3" below my seat. This is fine for a single speed/track bike that I race around the city but not so good for a touring bike.

Here are some examples of some of the larger bikes various companies make.


Rocky Mountain Sherpa (10 or 30):
58cm frame, 570mm TT, 195mm HT.
I ride a Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30. I feel that they run larger than the sizing shown on the frame. I typically ride a 54cm or 56cm road bike... more often the 56cm. I test rode the 55cm Sherpa 30 - it was way too big for me. The 52cm fit just right. I'm 5'9.5" with a 30-31 inch inseam. If Rocky Mountain is consistent, then I would expect the 58cm frame to fit pretty much like a 61 or 62cm road frame.
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Old 02-06-08, 04:23 PM   #12
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But on the other hand rumor has it you can get into a custom frame minus paint for as little as 500 bucks, name builder.
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Old 02-06-08, 08:59 PM   #13
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I ride a Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30. I feel that they run larger than the sizing shown on the frame. I typically ride a 54cm or 56cm road bike... more often the 56cm. I test rode the 55cm Sherpa 30 - it was way too big for me. The 52cm fit just right. I'm 5'9.5" with a 30-31 inch inseam. If Rocky Mountain is consistent, then I would expect the 58cm frame to fit pretty much like a 61 or 62cm road frame.
Which doesn't really solve the problem if you're looking for a 64cm or larger frame. But I do understand what you're saying. I'm probably going to go test ride the sherpa at a LBS when they get them in just to see how it feels.
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Old 02-07-08, 08:30 AM   #14
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Which doesn't really solve the problem if you're looking for a 64cm or larger frame. But I do understand what you're saying. I'm probably going to go test ride the sherpa at a LBS when they get them in just to see how it feels.
Not if I get there first!

I feel your pain. I can use the largest frame sizes, but it's always a bit of a compromise.

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