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  1. #1
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    Windsor Tourist sizing help?

    This post could probably be in another section of the forum, but this will be used for touring so here goes.

    I'm having major trouble trying to find my ideal or correct frame size for a touring bike. I have a 28" inseam. Different websites tell me a 43 or 49 or 52 sized bike is what I need, none seem to totally agree. Last year I'd gone to the local bike shop to figure this out. They made no measurements of me, they just had me sit on a bike and said from there what size I must be. I test rode a road bike, which I could have sworn they said was a size 52, but I'm not sure, and they said this was my size. It was uncomfortable to me, so I test rode some hybrids. They seemed pretty sure I was a 17.5 or bigger, so that was all I was testing. 17.5s and 19 inches. Well, I went with the smaller one, and just decided that a bar swap and adjustment of the seat is all that is needed to make this a nice ride. New stem, new bars and it's still not comfortable for me. It's like my body is begging to either be more upright or more low and stretched. I really cant tell. I also have trouble sometimes swinging my leg over to get off and on. So NOW I'm thinking a drop bar could be in my future, especially since I'm planning on touring later this year. But I just don't want to spend $200 on a drop bar conversion only to still find the ride most uncomfortable for these long rides. So I'm holding out, saving my cash, and I see the Windsor Tourist for $600, which I think I can swing if I sell my current bike, but have no idea what size to get. And I'm not going back to the local bike shop to ask. I specifically went to them to find me the right sized bike for me but now I feel like they sold me something too big. Please Help Me!

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What size is your current bike? get out the tape measure .
    do you know what they measure to call frame size?

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    It's a 17.5" or 44.5 centimeter. It's a hybrid, so it has a rearward sloping top tube.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Now you need to know if the other one slopes as well.. and how much..
    43 or 49 or 52 are all viable if there is a radical difference in top tube slope.

    So, I often, use a top tube length, as well .. since with a sloping top tube
    shorter seat tube You raise the seatpost as required.

    measure a Virtual, a horizontal line between centers.. so neutral,
    whether a sloping or level top tube.

    A decent spec chart should give a virtual length if theTT is not level.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-10-12 at 12:37 AM.

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    Not sure what your saying. If you're comparing these two bikes, here is the link : http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

    The one I'm riding now is a Trek PDX : http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...n_utility/pdx/ , that is the size I gave you.

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    Wait, I will measure the top tube.

  7. #7
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    Top tube is approximately 19.5 inches. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you like a bike with a 19.5"/495mm top, tube fine.. Me, I have bikes in the 56~57 cm range
    though I like my 26" wheel trekking bike with a 55 top tube too ,
    stem swapping and steerer tube length are individual adjustment preferences

    internet ordering is a crap shoot if you are unsure what you want/need .

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    Yeah, I'm unsure what I want or need because the bike shop didn't help me much. They all (the Windsors) have longer top tubes, which sounds really good to me, I feel like I need to stretch some. I just dont want a bike that is too big where it doesn't give me much crotch space, or one too small either. I'm sure this wont be my last bike, so a small mistake in fit I can live with, but these sound like big differences in sizes to me. And I'm almost certain that the 52 is too big for me, but I just dont know. I'm drinking a few cold ones, so excuse me if I'm not understanding what your saying. Perhaps better to think tomorrow

  10. #10
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    El Vinster, While standover height is important, it isn't critical to ride fitment. It's not uncommon to tilt the bike towards you in order to swing your leg over the saddle.

    Unless you know exactly what you want/need I don't suggest buying anything you can't test ride. Another possibility is to try a set of butterfly bars on the PDX as it looks like it could tour.
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1_10000_200388

    Brad

  11. #11
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    First off I own a Windsor Tourist as do a few frequent posters here on the forum and it’s a nice bike with in general a comfortable geometry and should make a nice touring bike for you at a reasonable cost. What you do loose with such a purchase is the hometown touch of a LBS helping you with your selection and eventual fitting. It sounds like where you live you were not getting that anyway and that service isn’t indicative of all bike shops. There are good ones and bad ones and sounds like you dealt with one that was doing the absolute minimum to help you out. I know fietsbob has been trying to help you out but IMHO it’s next to impossible to do without seeing at least some photos of you on the bike in profile and then its only recommendations because two people with the same body size and shape may have a preference based around overall strength and core strength and how aggressive they ride etc. Going from a straight bar urban bike to a touring bike also throws in a lot to think about. What may be comfortable for a half hour on a hybrid bike would be awful after 4 hours on a touring bike. Drop bars IMO are at least in part needed on a touring bike because the allow changes in hand position and also body position and they can be used like a road bike would use drops to get more aerodynamic but can be used to get more upright to give some relief.

    I’m a strong believer in self-fitting once you really understand how it all works. The fitting you got on the Trek wasn’t really a fitting and the self-fitting you did after may or may not have made things worse. You said you feel like you ether need to get more upright or more stretched out low. That in itself is kind of going in both directions at once but I also think I understand (kind of) what you are feeling.

    In general as a frame gets taller the top tube gets longer and the saddle goes lower. A smaller frame then will allow a racer to use a long seat post and have super low drop bars because of the low point the stem engages the frame. The loss in the top tube length is made up with his upper body at more of an angle down and they can use a long reach stem. The opposite fit and the one I like for touring (once again my preference) is what they call a French fit larger frame lower saddle shorter stem etc. and of course less comfort space between the top tube and the crotch when standing over the bike and if you mount the bike by leg over cross tube then higher bar to clear. On a touring bike that’s a way to get on as you might have gear piled on the rear rack. So it is a concern. Or a fitting can be anyplace in between.

    I think fitting all starts with how you see yourself riding the bike and being honest with yourself if you are very athletic and see yourself leaning very far forward where in a static still photo it would look like you are off balance but in the real dynamic world the strong effort your legs are putting out are holding you up against gravity, (think of the photo of an Olympic sprinter coming off the blocks). Or will you be a less aggressive rider allowing your saddle to take some of your weight and the legs will be spinning the crank and the gears will be handling a higher cadence and making your speed correct. Most riders fall into the second group or in the middle someplace.

    For me the very first adjustment to be made if you fall into the more relaxed group is the fore aft location of the saddle in relationship to the centerline of the crank. Leg extension is important but so is saddle position. Having it to far forward in an attempt to relieve stress by getting what feels more upright does just the opposite it moves your center of gravity forward and now your balance is forward giving you that heavy on the hand feeling. Try standing with your heals against a wall and try and bend forward and touch your toes. Now move away from the wall and as your upper body moves forward your butt moves back and you stay balanced using your core muscles. That’s the feeling you want to have on a bike. As your core gets stronger your bars can go lower and aerodynamics will improve. For short fast downhill’s or short rides into a head wind you can let hands and arms do the work but in short order they will say enough. Saddle position fore and aft goes hand and hand with ability.

    I see myself as an older rider with fairly strong legs still and I can spin for long periods of time pretty well. I don’t ride at real fast speeds so wind resistance for me is important but not as important maybe as it is to some. So my Windsor is set up with a good size frame and higher drop bars that allow me to stay in the drops at least half of the time. When loaded the bike is more a pickup truck than a sports car. I messed around with my fitting a lot getting it to what feels best for me, and as I ride more I find myself lowering the drops thru the riding season.

    I wish somehow you could take someone’s inseam measurement and get them their perfect fit frame I just don’t see how in my experience. There is never enough distance in test riding a bike at a bike store to really tell much. And in your case going to drop bars it’s hard to judge off of a straight bar set up. I actually am glad when I got back into biking I bought a few garage sale old 10 speed bikes for cheap and played with fitting them to me and riding them a few 100 miles getting a feel for what I wanted frame and fit wise.

    Hope some of this helps out its pretty general and you will have to apply it to your needs. Here is what my Windsor fit looks like. Don’t be afraid to set your bike up for what you need and not what bikes look like in magazines. Maybe some of the other Windsor tour guys or anyone actually can show you their profile and also relate their riding level. I'm 6' tall by the way.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    El Vinster, While standover height is important, it isn't critical to ride fitment. It's not uncommon to tilt the bike towards you in order to swing your leg over the saddle.
    +1. My LHT has less standover clearence than what many would consider "normal," but the bike feels and rides great. Standover-wise I could have gone with the 58 cm because I am 6' 2" with a relatively short inseam for my height, but I went with the 60 cm because it fit me so well "above the crotch," where a good deal of my height comes from. I also have longish arms, so the extra reach is appreciated.

  13. #13
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    +1

    My experience, picking your bike by inseam length is probably the best way to insure you get the wrong size. I think you need to ride similar geometry bikes however ou can get your hands on them, and find your correct size by trial and error.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    trouble with bikes direct is they require more knowledge from the buyer,
    so people show up here, rather than call them.

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    You need to measure the saddle to bar reach of the bike you currently use and compare it to the new bikes. Salsa website lists the reach of its bikes, which is what all bike sellers should do, but you'll have to call BD and ask them to measure it for you. You might be unsure about the comfort of your current ride in which case it likely is too stretched out but you haven't diagnosed the problem. If it's too cramped it's hard not to notice. You can measure the tip of the saddle to the center of the bars and guess what amount of reach will be comfortable, more or less, but even 15mm can mean the difference between comfort and pain. Fortunately you can easily change the reach with a new stem and they aren't expensive but if you get a bike frame and it's too large you'll never achieve the reach you need with drop bars and then must resort to swapping out the bars for flat swept-back bars. It seems to me the only way you can be certain about reach is first-hand knowledge by trial and error. You try stems that are too short and some that are too long and by this method find the exact sweet spot. The dimension of pedal to saddle length or top tube height isn't that important when determining what bike to buy. You can easily adjust that dimension by raising or lowering your saddle. If the bike you end up buying has a saddle post that's too short then you buy a longer post. If the top tube height is a problem then you've chosen a frame way too large.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-11-12 at 10:17 AM.

  16. #16
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    I appreciate all the help from you guys. Sounds like buying a bike online right now could be another bad decision for me.

    In all truth, when I test rode the PDX, it had the swept back bars that made the rider a bit more upright, and I found this terribly awkward. So I had the shop swap out the stem and bars for something that was perhaps too far forward but similar to what this years models now have, and when I test rode it seemed pretty tolerable, so I brought home my new bike. The more I rode it though, especially for anything longer than half an hour, I was seriously discomforted (achy back, shoulders, wrists hurting).

    I've moved my seat forward most the way, and this helps a bit, though not optimum for my legs and I found the bars are too wide, so I ride with my hands more center, off the grips and over the brake and shifters themselves. I've found from a few seriously windy days that riding low with my elbows bent sometimes even attempting to rest my forearms on the bar seems to relieve a bit of tension on my back, and I can do this comfortably for quite sometime, except for the cramping in my elbows of course. This leads me to believe that a shorter stem (so I can move my seat back) and narrow drop bar is my answer, though I'm also playing with the idea of buying a shorter stem, shorter flatbar, bar ends and aerobars. Both solutions would probably cost about the same, but the flat bar approach would leave me very little room for lights and accessories. I'm wondering which would be the best or if I should just sell this and try once again to buy a new one.

    For what it's worth, I'm more of a comfort rider, and only ride aggressively when I'm fighting a headwind which seems quite often lately or overflowing with energy. And I'm rarely overflowing. And I'm still not sure how the PDX handles loaded with gear. Seems like I have a long ways to go before I can start touring more than 20 miles. I'll probably do some bike measurements later this week before I mess around with anything. Till then I will search out all the info I can about proper fitting, maybe I can find someone locally who can fit me properly.

    Again, thanks for the help.

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    Oh, and Bradtx, I've thought about the butterfly bars, but reading peoples reviews of them, I'm not sure that this is really a solution I am looking for. But for the price, it certainly couldn't hurt to try them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Vinster View Post
    Oh, and Bradtx, I've thought about the butterfly bars, but reading peoples reviews of them, I'm not sure that this is really a solution I am looking for. But for the price, it certainly couldn't hurt to try them.
    That too is my opinion. That style of handle bar has been popular in Europe for quite some time and slowly gaining popularity in N. America. If I were building a flat bar tourer I'd give them a try.

    Brad

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    You can try a shorter stem combined with shorter reach drop bars. Some drop bars like the Midge have about 60mm of reach while most Nitto bars have around 100mm, so bars alone can make a huge difference if you're already using a short stem. I'm a tall guy and find that larger frames now have insanely long top tubes. The largest frames are built for people who resemble professional basketball players IMO. Not sure if the smaller frames are proportioned the same way but if your saddle is all the forward and if your hands are next to the stem instead of on the hoods or in the drops this is an indication that your current ride has a reach potentially 100mm or more too long for you. Long climbs will have you wanting a shorter reach than flat rides, so maybe subtract a few more cm again. One thing about the butterfly bars is they extend backwards to decrease the reach, but like u-shaped cruiser bars they require different brake levers and shifters. If you don't have your own personal reach dimension figured out it's really a gamble to buy a new bike.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-11-12 at 10:26 AM.

  20. #20
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    If your cycling inseam is ~28 inches and you're of average proportion, that'd make you about 5' tall. FWIW, you're too short for any of the Windsors to fit properly. BTW, the 29" standover on the 43cm model is with a sloping top tube.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Vinster View Post
    This post could probably be in another section of the forum, but this will be used for touring so here goes.

    I'm having major trouble trying to find my ideal or correct frame size for a touring bike. I have a 28" inseam. Different websites tell me a 43 or 49 or 52 sized bike is what I need, none seem to totally agree. Last year I'd gone to the local bike shop to figure this out. They made no measurements of me, they just had me sit on a bike and said from there what size I must be. I test rode a road bike, which I could have sworn they said was a size 52, but I'm not sure, and they said this was my size. It was uncomfortable to me, so I test rode some hybrids. They seemed pretty sure I was a 17.5 or bigger, so that was all I was testing. 17.5s and 19 inches. Well, I went with the smaller one, and just decided that a bar swap and adjustment of the seat is all that is needed to make this a nice ride. New stem, new bars and it's still not comfortable for me. It's like my body is begging to either be more upright or more low and stretched. I really cant tell. I also have trouble sometimes swinging my leg over to get off and on. So NOW I'm thinking a drop bar could be in my future, especially since I'm planning on touring later this year. But I just don't want to spend $200 on a drop bar conversion only to still find the ride most uncomfortable for these long rides. So I'm holding out, saving my cash, and I see the Windsor Tourist for $600, which I think I can swing if I sell my current bike, but have no idea what size to get. And I'm not going back to the local bike shop to ask. I specifically went to them to find me the right sized bike for me but now I feel like they sold me something too big. Please Help Me!
    Moving your saddle almost all the way up get you closer to the stem, true but the crank doesnít move forward so your feet are lagging behind. The result of this is a feeling of closing the gap forward and being more comfortable but in doing this you are actually putting more weight on your legs and arms. Once you gain discomfort in one place the urge is to adjust someplace else. When you are in this position itís very hard to support the upper body weight with your core muscles. Try taking your hands off the bars without sitting upright if you feel like you are going to fall forward then you are putting too much weight into the hands. Touring requires you to be in the position that best distributes everything equally on the bike thus giving you the longest comfortable ride you can handle. That may not be the most aerodynamic or the fastest position. It might not be the most efficient for your legs but should be most efficient on your body overall for the greatest number of miles.
    When I start feeling hand/ wrist pain I sometimes shift my butt back to the very back of the saddle. This extends my reach and lowers my back line but I can feel the weight transferred from hands to abs and lower back. The other thing I will do is ride quite upright by moving hands to the tops of the bars or the hoods and maybe drop down a gear and ride a little slower shifting weight from arms to butt for a bit. Ten minutes in a different position will be all it takes and the drop bars are what give me all the positions I need to do that. I donít have that real low position in the drops but I will do what you suggest and bend my elbows. This is a hard position to ride in for a long time but into wind or picking up speed on a downhill works for me and being able to move around up and down helps the most for me. So when you hear multi hand positions for me that also means multi back and body positions.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  22. #22
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    These bikes are pretty cool. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/nano.htm The small wheels create more torque so they would be great climbing and the fat tire width would make them sure-footed. Best of all they have short reach which would make them comfortable. They would make a great errand bike for cities like SF and Boulder but you could also set them up for touring. I'm tempted to try one. People seem to really like them. http://www.google.com/search?q=Bikes...ient=firefox-a
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-11-12 at 07:04 PM.

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