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Fitting a 58cm frame under a 5'3" girl-- Ideas?

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Fitting a 58cm frame under a 5'3" girl-- Ideas?

Old 11-11-09, 01:25 PM
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casualcruisin
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Fitting a 58cm frame under a 5'3" girl-- Ideas?

A friend of mine's dad found a beautiful, campy equipped, celeste bianchi crashed in a ditch. It was a little rusty and there were no bones near by so he took it and had it tuned up for her. Its frame is 58cm, she is 5'3". I don't know her inseam right now, but I'm trying to find out. Is it possible to make the bike rideable for her? We tried it as-is and it didn't work.

I'm thinking about putting some 165mm Sugino Gt cranks on it, I think they're compatible and I already have them. Also, I'm going to replace the chunky seat with something more low profile.

Some math... guessing a 73.66cm (29in) inseam. At full extension there's a reach of 58cm + 165mm = 74.5cm. Too far, and that's not even considering the seat. So, maybe some BMX cranks?

Is there anything I'm forgetting that could make this work? Of course, chances are the top tube will be too long anyway. I know they're not going to sell the bike, I'd like it see it used.

For the curious- It's a Nuovo Alloro with Nuovo Record components.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:34 PM
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NO !, get her the right sized bike, that is WAAAY too big, to the point of being dangerous, not just uncomfortable.

If she likes it, save it for when she's 5' 11" or more. Or swap the parts to the right size frame.


"...celeste bianchi crashed in a ditch..." Is it stolen ? Did he try to find the owner ?
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Old 11-11-09, 01:35 PM
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Yeah, what the above poster said. I am 6' and can ride a 58cm frame.....way, way too big...no possible way to fit it.

If it were a bit small you could insert a longer seat post...once it's too big you're out of luck.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:38 PM
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I am 5'8" with a 30" inseam (short legs). My bikes are 3 x 54 and 1 x 52. Swop the frame for a 50.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:45 PM
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Very bad bad bad idea. Even if it was possible to stretch her onto it, it would still be unsafe to ride.
Sell it and buy something that fits... like a 48cm or (probably) smaller... If the ditch-bike is in good shape it might be worth some money to someone - enough to buy a new entry level road bike that fits... or a good quality used bike.

My wife is 5'3" and she rides a 43cm (sloping top tube) frame.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:50 PM
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just take a hacksaw to it and adjust the geometry yourself. Its perfectly acceptable to do so
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Old 11-11-09, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by casualcruisin View Post
A friend of mine's dad found a beautiful, campy equipped, celeste bianchi crashed in a ditch. It was a little rusty and there were no bones near by so he took it and had it tuned up for her. Its frame is 58cm, she is 5'3". I don't know her inseam right now, but I'm trying to find out. Is it possible to make the bike rideable for her? We tried it as-is and it didn't work.

I'm thinking about putting some 165mm Sugino Gt cranks on it, I think they're compatible and I already have them. Also, I'm going to replace the chunky seat with something more low profile.

Some math... guessing a 73.66cm (29in) inseam. At full extension there's a reach of 58cm + 165mm = 74.5cm. Too far, and that's not even considering the seat. So, maybe some BMX cranks?

Is there anything I'm forgetting that could make this work? Of course, chances are the top tube will be too long anyway. I know they're not going to sell the bike, I'd like it see it used.

For the curious- It's a Nuovo Alloro with Nuovo Record components.
There is nothing you can do to that bike economically to make it fit her.
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Old 11-11-09, 02:39 PM
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Dang, thanks for the advice. I did some searching and if the bike was stolen, no one around here reported it. I'll keep an eye out for a small frame and look into doing a trade... if I want to transfer all of the components, what manufacturers am I limited to? 70's-80's Bianchi, or can I expect the threading to be universal?

Their plan to fit her on it was to strap wooden blocks into the pedals! As funny as it would've been, I had to advise against it.
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Old 11-11-09, 03:41 PM
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Swapping parts is "mostly" universal among frames of that era. I'm not sure if Bianchis have Italian threading. English threading is most common, and I think Italian is close enough that it can be used in some cases, but don't quote me. Seatpost diameter also varies a bit depending on the tubing used.

If you find a new frame, before you buy it, post specific questions in the Classic & Vintage forum, along with good close-up pics of the Bianchi.
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Old 11-11-09, 03:48 PM
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Several sizes too big. Sell it or possibly trade it at your LBS.
Edit: See if the local bike clubs have sale ads in their newsletters.

Al
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Old 11-11-09, 03:54 PM
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1. Inject human growth hormone.
2. Wait 5 years.
3. ???
4. Profit!!
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Old 11-11-09, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Swapping parts is "mostly" universal among frames of that era.
No, not really.

Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I'm not sure if Bianchis have Italian threading.
They most likely do from the '80s.

Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I think Italian is close enough that it can be used in some cases, but don't quote me.
I won't quote you because that is completely untrue.

Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Seatpost diameter also varies a bit depending on the tubing used.
Just a little bit, though... Seatpost is almost definitely 27.2mm, which remains the road standard.
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Old 11-11-09, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by casualcruisin View Post
A friend of mine's dad found a beautiful, campy equipped, celeste bianchi crashed in a ditch. It was a little rusty and there were no bones near by so he took it and had it tuned up for her. Its frame is 58cm, she is 5'3". I don't know her inseam right now, but I'm trying to find out. Is it possible to make the bike rideable for her? We tried it as-is and it didn't work.

I'm thinking about putting some 165mm Sugino Gt cranks on it, I think they're compatible and I already have them. Also, I'm going to replace the chunky seat with something more low profile.

Some math... guessing a 73.66cm (29in) inseam. At full extension there's a reach of 58cm + 165mm = 74.5cm. Too far, and that's not even considering the seat. So, maybe some BMX cranks?

Is there anything I'm forgetting that could make this work? Of course, chances are the top tube will be too long anyway. I know they're not going to sell the bike, I'd like it see it used.

For the curious- It's a Nuovo Alloro with Nuovo Record components.

As for the top tube switch to a Nitto Albatross handlebar. Its an elegant solution for fitting women to bikes that have too long of top tubes. Most appreciate a more upright riding position anyway.

However, the 58cm frame is really about two cm too big for what would make this an easy conversion. It might work, just not perfectly.

Most people don't really know much about bike fit, and certainly can't think outside the box when it comes to road/drop bars. You'll need a different stem when making the switch to the Nitto Albatross bars. Read about it at the Rivendell website.

As for not having drop bars, I wouldn't worry about it. Most cyclists have bikes that don't fit them anyway. They spend 99% of the time, if not more, on the hoods because their bike is too small.
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Old 11-11-09, 04:20 PM
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The heck with that! Top tube length matters not at all if she can't even reach the pedals.


... or the ground.
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Old 11-11-09, 04:48 PM
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I suspect that top tube height would also be unsafe for her. If she cannot straddle the bike and have both feet flat on the ground then the frame is too big to be safe. I realize that some people do ride frames which do not allow this but it is a poor idea IMO.
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Old 11-11-09, 06:11 PM
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I second the idea of selling it and using the money to buy a bike that fits. You could even put it up on Craigslist as a "for trade" post and see what pops up.
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Old 11-11-09, 06:25 PM
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Old 11-11-09, 06:37 PM
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+1 to flanso, it's the only practical alternative to a properly sized frame.
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Old 11-11-09, 07:12 PM
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Everything should be compatible with most other frames, except perhaps the bottom bracket and seat post. The cranks are probably square taper, with an ISO spindle. The bottom bracket could be english or italian threaded. If english, it will swap into the majority of other road bikes. If italian, you can trade/sell it and get an english threaded bb for your new frame with and ISO taper that will fit the campy crankset. Campy and Miche make them with english threads.

Other than that, its just seatpost size, whether the brake calipers use a recessed nut or not, and whether the frame was designed for 27" or 700c wheels. If 27", you might have trouble getting brakes to reach the wheels from the Bianchi, which are probably 700c. Anything of similar quality to your frame was probably built for 700s.

So look for a good chro-moly frame from the same era, preferably reynolds 531 tubing, Ishiwata 022, or Columbus. You can post in the ISO (in search of) and for trade thread in the "Classic and Vintage Sales" subsection of the Classic & Vintage section of this forum. Folks out there (like me) have garages full of good vintage stuff to trade. If you put up a nice Bianchi frameset, to trade for an italian steel frame in ~52cm, you'll probably end up with something nice. Remember to take good pictures.
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Old 11-11-09, 08:12 PM
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flanso, LOL, thanks.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:28 PM
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No! I have a 33 3/4" leg length in my stocking feet and I ride a 57 to a 59 depending on how it's measured.
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Old 11-12-09, 07:51 AM
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I'm sure this question has been beaten to death sufficiently but I'll add my recommendation that she gets the proper size bike. If you found a pair of size 12 shoes and the friend wore a size 6, would you have her wear them just because they were free?
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Old 11-12-09, 10:44 PM
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Old 11-14-09, 02:56 PM
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if I can make a suggestion? before you go and tear the bike apart and put the bits on another bike give us or the C&V foruma bit more information on the bike. you might be tearing something apart that might be of value to some one. maybe not thousands but you nver know. since it does not have index shifting you may even be able to swapp it with someone for somethign that fits with DT indexing.
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Old 11-14-09, 06:48 PM
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5' 3" tall? Her inseam would have to be at least 34" which would make her mostly legs and a very short upper body. I'm 6' even with a 32" inseam thus I ride a 55 or 56 depending on frame, but a 58 would be too large for me.

In order to get this bike to fit though there is a way...first get a band saw, cut the seat tube, down tube, top and the head tube removing about 8cm of material from each tube, then reweld the frame back together. Maybe it's a project you and your daughter can do together...at least in the process of doing it, you both can share in a good laugh together and have a moment you will treasure for a lifetime; that alone may be worth it.

Or on the practical side...darn, I hate that side, anyway you could fix the bike up and either dad can ride it or sell it.
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