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Old 02-07-08, 07:36 PM   #1
BikEthan
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Sizing questions, larger rider new to touring

I posted earlier about which bikes to consider I've done a bit of test riding and have some idea of what I'm looking at. So... here's the gist. I've test ridden the Altantis and the LHT a few times and the 520 once.

The Rivendell Atlantis:
66cm frame seems to fit me best. Honestly it feels like I would imagine a custom made bike to feel. I just feel right on this thing. I'm a little worried because it seems... well by todays standards it seems huge.

Trek 520:
25" (63.5cm) fits me second best. I'd probably spend another $500 or so to do some upgrades on parts that are weak (wheel set). I've been doing some reading and I'm afraid they made some design mistakes on this bike. The cranks don't allow for a small enough small ring. The fork doesn't have the best clearance for tires and fenders.

Surly LHT:
62cm bike fits me the least well but is probably second in terms of the thought put into the design and parts spec. But... it doesn't fit me well. They only make up to a 62cm seat tube with a 61cm top tube. The Atlantis has a 66cm seat tube and a 61cm top tube. Which, given the similarities, means that I should be able to make the surly fit by putting on some different parts but it just doesn't seem to work out that way in the end. I asked the shop to try a different stem and they did (which worked OK, but it still didn't feel right).


I don't really want to wait for a custom frame at this point and cost is somewhat of a concern (but one that I'm willing to forgo if it mean getting the bike that will really work/fit). But I still wonder am I crazy buying a bike as big as the Atlantis? At 6'2" 37"/94cm PBH, I'm literally half legs. The main thing I've noticed is that I hit my legs with the top tube when climbing out of the saddle and rocking the bike side to side (not something I'm used to, coming from mountain biking and smaller road frames, but probably not something I'll be doing a lot of when this bike is loaded anyway). Is this a problem, or is it as little of a concern as I'm guessing it will be in practical terms?

I'd still like to test ride the Rocky Mountain Sherpa but at 58cm with a short top tube I doubt it will come close to fitting me.

Again thanks to everyone for the information on the last post. I'll definitely post pics once I pick a bike and get it built up!
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Old 02-07-08, 07:57 PM   #2
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I'm 6 foot, 1 1/2 inches tall with a 36" inseam. I ride the 25" 520 and am pretty comfortable on it, but I still had to change out the stem with a longer one to bring the bars up level with the saddle. If you feel right on the Atlantis, I'd say that it's probably not too big for you. You could probably go with a smaller bike, but you'd end up having to change out components to get it fit up comfortably for touring. If you start with a big bike, then you just have to adjust everything to fit. I'd love to have an Atlantis, but I already own a customized 520. If I had to do it all over again though, I'd go with the Atlantis.
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Old 02-07-08, 10:08 PM   #3
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For me the right fit is the most important thing by far... followed by a stone reliable bike, particularly when it come to touring. From what you have said, it is an easy choice in my book... the Atlantis is your ride...nice quality too! Good luck.
Bill J.
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Old 02-07-08, 10:50 PM   #4
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If the Atlantis feels good buy it. I'm 5'10" but with short legs (31" PBH) and when I went looking
for a new bike a few years ago the bike shop put me on a 52" Volpe. I tried to explain that I wanted
the handlebars close to saddle height as I'm a "old fart", but they just didn't get it. Then I came across
the Rivendell website and went to a local dealer and rode a 56" Rambouillet. I felt great in the saddle,
but I was not used to having the seat tube so high when I came to a stop. But that only lasted a day
or so and now I can't imagine riding anything smaller.
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Old 02-07-08, 11:47 PM   #5
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You might try getting sized on a Serotta fit bike. A quick google search will tell you what this is if you don't know. Some shops will comp the price of the fit if you buy a bike from this. I did a fit when I bought my touring bike about seven years ago. After the fit, I chose a frame based on geometry that fit my body, and the features I needed for touring. Then choose components, wheels, etc to build the bike. After the bike was built the LBS put me and the bike on a trainer for some minor adjustments. My bike fits perfectly. I've never had any numbness or soreness related to the bike. Highly recomended. Good Luck!
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Old 02-08-08, 10:46 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the advice. I may yet try getting fitted on a size cycle but I'm guessing it will simply confirm what I've already observed. That the 66cm Altantis is the way to go for me.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:59 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice. I may yet try getting fitted on a size cycle but I'm guessing it will simply confirm what I've already observed. That the 66cm Altantis is the way to go for me.
Only you can decide what works for you. If you read the Riv page and don't want to puke, their advice might suit you

FWIW: They would apparently fit me with a bike 10 cm larger than I prefer. I am amazed at what a huge difference that is, but I prefer my bars 10 cm lower than they recommend so maybe it makes sense. In any case I was comfortable for the 4244 miles I rode it this Summer on the TA with a bike that is by their measure 5 sizes too small. If I were starting from scratch I would still buy the same size.

Bottom line... Peoples needs and preferences vary greatly. I am probably near one extreme and Rivendell the other. Factor that into your interpretation of their advice, mine, or anyone else's.
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Old 02-08-08, 02:24 PM   #8
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Only you can decide what works for you. If you read the Riv page and don't want to puke, their advice might suit you
Hehehe Yeah. Believe me I read their site with a grain of salt but I try to be open minded about things like bike fit. It's a complicated endeavor and as you say to each their own. I don't mind riding in a much more aggressive position for shorter rides (my 62cm single speed has the bars about 3 inches lower than my saddle) but I'm thinking getting my handlebars up a bit higher will be good for loaded touring.

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Old 02-08-08, 08:46 PM   #9
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Hehehe Yeah. Believe me I read their site with a grain of salt but I try to be open minded about things like bike fit. It's a complicated endeavor and as you say to each their own. I don't mind riding in a much more aggressive position for shorter rides (my 62cm single speed has the bars about 3 inches lower than my saddle) but I'm thinking getting my handlebars up a bit higher will be good for loaded touring.
I always think of Rivendell as hardcore with lots of BS surrounding it. If you can get passed all the tweed bags and 650b wheels they have a no nonsense approach. I own an Atlantis 54.5cm and its the most versatile bike I have. Its a great tourer, a fantastic Century bike and a pretty good mountain bike if I swap the 26x1.25s I use on the road for 26x1.75 or 2.0. Rivendell makes comfortable bikes that will last, not a bike that will be out of fashion 10 years from now. Its an investment that will pay you back every time you ride.
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Old 02-09-08, 05:56 AM   #10
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I always think of Rivendell as hardcore with lots of BS surrounding it. If you can get passed all the tweed bags and 650b wheels they have a no nonsense approach. I own an Atlantis 54.5cm and its the most versatile bike I have. Its a great tourer, a fantastic Century bike and a pretty good mountain bike if I swap the 26x1.25s I use on the road for 26x1.75 or 2.0. Rivendell makes comfortable bikes that will last, not a bike that will be out of fashion 10 years from now. Its an investment that will pay you back every time you ride.
Another way of looking at it is that they make bikes that have already gone out of style at least 20 years ago. I am not knocking that. If they appeal to you that is great. They are exactly what some folks are looking for.

I would question that they have a no nonsense approach, an awful lot of what I read there sounds like nonsense to me. What I dislike about the whole Riv thing is the pompous explanations about how everyone else is wrong and they are right; and the BS about how you don't need to wear bike clothes because they are a uniform, but buy OUR uniform; and crap like their $100 hatchet. The fact that I don't personally like their ideas on bike fit and riding position is just icing on the cake.
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Old 02-09-08, 10:34 AM   #11
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Another way of looking at it is that they make bikes that have already gone out of style at least 20 years ago. I am not knocking that. If they appeal to you that is great. They are exactly what some folks are looking for.

I would question that they have a no nonsense approach, an awful lot of what I read there sounds like nonsense to me. What I dislike about the whole Riv thing is the pompous explanations about how everyone else is wrong and they are right; and the BS about how you don't need to wear bike clothes because they are a uniform, but buy OUR uniform; and crap like their $100 hatchet. The fact that I don't personally like their ideas on bike fit and riding position is just icing on the cake.
I agree about the hatchet and a lot of the accessories they sell, but the bikes themselves are top quality and the components are no nonsense. If you like steel and an upright position on the bike you'd be hard pressed to find better other than a custom. Rivendells will not be for everyone, but the bikes are a quality product. I'll probably never get on a Trek Madone, they aren't for me, but I recognize that they are lovely bikes
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Old 02-09-08, 10:58 AM   #12
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I agree about the hatchet and a lot of the accessories they sell, but the bikes themselves are top quality and the components are no nonsense. If you like steel and an upright position on the bike you'd be hard pressed to find better other than a custom. Rivendells will not be for everyone, but the bikes are a quality product. I'll probably never get on a Trek Madone, they aren't for me, but I recognize that they are lovely bikes
I agree that the bikes are probably excellent quality. I wouldn't personally want a bike fitted the way they recommend, but realize that it results in exactly the fit that some riders want. Some of what is on their site is pure BS and the general vibe puts me off as well, this to the extent that I wouldn't buy anything from them unless there was no other option. I would recommend them to someone else if I thought it would suit their personal style and needs.
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