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Post pics of your “too small” frame (and how you set it up)?

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Post pics of your “too small” frame (and how you set it up)?

Old 04-06-24, 07:21 PM
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Post pics of your “too small” frame (and how you set it up)?

We may be able to learn from others experiences in riding different sized frames.
Thanks all
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Old 04-06-24, 07:27 PM
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Old 04-06-24, 07:33 PM
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Lots of stem and SP.
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Old 04-06-24, 07:54 PM
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I can post the Ebay photos from when I sold it
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Old 04-06-24, 07:58 PM
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Old 04-06-24, 08:04 PM
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My UO-8 with barcon cables routed between the rack and the cylindrical Bellwether front bag.

Interesting situation: the top tube is almost an inch lower than those of my "just right" 55cm C-T frames, but the top tube is disproportionately long.
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Old 04-06-24, 08:09 PM
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I wanted a Schwinn Circuit from 1989, and the only one I could find was a 22" one. I'm 6' with a 34.5" inseam and I point my toes, so that's at least a size too small The SR seatpost it came wasn't anywhere near long enough, so I used a much longer Sakae. And the 90mm Cinelli 1E stem was way too short, so I used a 135mm Cinelli 1A. Also swapped the 40cm bar for a 44.



That worked reasonably well, except the saddle-to-bar drop was about a cm or so too much. If I went much farther than 30 miles, I'd get lower back pain the next day, especially if I spent much time in the drops. I solved that problem by getting a 23" frame, and a 24" frame and fork, and having the 24" frame's fork cut down and rethreaded to fit the 23", then swapping all the parts over from the 22", and used a 100mm stem in place of the 90, and went with the original 40 cm bar. Schwinn spec'ed a 40 cm bar and 100mm stem for the 23" bike, so that's how I went.


Still needed about 1 cm more seatpost, though, so back to that longer Sakae post. After 3 "shakedown" rides, it's getting really close to just right, but I think I'll replace the 40 cm bar with the 44, and get a 110 stem.

So, I ALMOST made a too-small frame work, but it was far enough off that I couldn't quite get there. I didn't want to go with a tall stem for aesthetic reasons, and it turns out the 23" just works better.
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Old 04-06-24, 08:24 PM
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Old 04-06-24, 08:32 PM
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Bella, a 1982 Raleigh Super Record in Royal Carmine, 54 cm


Blue Bella, 60 cm Libertas mixte

My normal diamond frame size was 26", way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Was 6'4", now 6'2", with hip replacements.
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Old 04-06-24, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac


Lots of stem and SP.
And a near-record long frame-fit pump, too.

Nice bike!
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Old 04-06-24, 08:49 PM
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I had a commuter with a too small for me frame. I put it side by side with another bike that was built for me using a "fit kit." I was able to select a seatpost and stem that resulted in the same relative position of saddle, bars and bottom bracket. The wheelbase was shorter, but it seemed to ride fine. I rode that bike thousands of miles. I found that a 90 degree stem gave some extra rise without looking too goofy.
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Old 04-06-24, 09:10 PM
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60cm Medici , moved on to new owner . Too small

59cm Raleigh , moving this one on , too small
I just don’t want to ride bikes that are not the right fit
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Old 04-06-24, 09:14 PM
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I ride a range in sizes without worry. From 53 cm to 56 cm and couple more like 56.5 cm. I'm 5' 8" but with a 33" cycling inseam each time I measure it. I really don't do anything different for them. They just may look odd to purist for how much seatpost or stem may be showing as I fit all bikes the same. Saddle height and setback is the same on everything and then the bar reach is measured from the center of the saddle to the center of the stem clamp for the handlebars. The one difference is I don't worry about having the exact same saddle to bar drop and then of course different handle bars will make things a bit different

Here's a sample of past/present bikes I'd consider small for various reasons.


A lovely ride that was passed on in hopes of one day getting a slightly larger one in better shape

The "maybe Oscar Freire" bike.

Shorter project bike

Another great ride and turned in one of my fastest paced rides last year

Just sold yesterday.

Another short one that felt like pure sex under me on the road. Passed on and am hoping to find a larger one.

One of this winters projects. Up for local sale now as it does feel small to me.

Sweet ride but just never felt all the great.

My vintage gravel bike no complaints but note the high stem and seatpost.
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Old 04-06-24, 09:22 PM
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@jamesdak - many of those bike have the same saddle but not all, measuring from the center of the saddle for similar seats I think works, I do wonder about the other saddles, I have found how I perch on a different saddle other than my typical will end up with a cm adjustment so that my knee ends up the in same position when the cranks are at 3 o’clock., with a plumb Bob dropped from a sharpie dot on my knee. This is a two person job.
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Old 04-06-24, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
@jamesdak - many of those bike have the same saddle but not all, measuring from the center of the saddle for similar seats I think works, I do wonder about the other saddles, I have found how I perch on a different saddle other than my typical will end up with a cm adjustment so that my knee ends up the in same position when the cranks are at 3 o’clock., with a plumb Bob dropped from a sharpie dot on my knee. This is a two person job.
So, how I do it is set the saddle height based on the top of any given saddle. Then the setback is done by hanging a homemade plumb bob from the measured center of the saddle for my reference point. Before the knee replacments last year I'd get bad pain in the knees if the setback was off or the saddle too low. Plus several of those pictures have saddles I don't normally ride on them. Like the Flite on the Olmo, my butt hates those. Should have picked better pics but I wasn't thinking. A lot of the pics above are from the sale ads after I swapped out my preferred saddle and put on one that looks good on the bike but that doesn't work for me.

My preferred saddle are Fizik Kurves Chameleons but I can get along with all three of the Fizik shapes. Sometimes the Aliante won't work for me though with an aggressive saddle to bar drop. I also have a tendency now to prefer shallow drop bars...age catching up to me maybe. LOL!

I am curious to see what happens this year with both knees now replaced and my bowleggedness gone. Curious to see if some slight changes to saddle position will make a difference in comfort or speed. I'm just having problems still with the right knee. 5 months after surgery and I have a bad hitch in it for about the first 3 miles. So bad I lift off the saddle as I go over the top of the stroke on the right side. Then for the rest of the ride I have pressure/resistance to flex in that knee that never loosens up. It's trashed my cadence and speed right now and I hope it's not permanent. I was at full speed on the left knee about 3 months after surgery.
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Old 04-06-24, 10:58 PM
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genejockey, all along keeping the same knee angle at extension? Thanks for the explanation of your process
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Old 04-06-24, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
And a near-record long frame-fit pump, too.

Nice bike!
Tx, yeah that's a long one, I have a chrome one that is a bit longer but it seems to be a lesser model as the crappy plastic head and sleeve/grip do not come off like the regular one's.

This is one of my biggest bikes, 26.5in. bought it to verify the big silver Merz wasn't a fluke, neither are, they fit and ride so much better than most of my other bikes.


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Old 04-06-24, 11:07 PM
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That info opens up a big range of possibilities regarding pain and performance.
Q factor, pedal dimensions, shoe type or types, your flexibility, I would suggest a consult with an individual that knows ergonomics and cycling well.
‘Unknown if you ride with cleats, but I would be with some “float” and have the cleats set up to have as little minimal rotation of the foot in relation to the pedal axle.
No tennis shoes where your foot deforms over the pedal.

I spent my first 8 months of life in casts to correct being cramped in utero. Basically finished with straight legs with my natural stance toes out to varying degrees. I run my ankles very close to skimming the crank arms, anything different brings discomfort about my knee. For me, foot rotation float are not friends. My Mom did not have any stretch marks after her pregnancy.
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Old 04-07-24, 01:33 AM
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There are definitely a few lessons to be learned from this one. It's the smallest bike I've set up for myself to ride.



More seriously, I really wanted this one to fit.



A better solution in this case was to find the bike I wanted in a more appropriate size.



That's not a lot bigger, but I wouldn't be able to make the reach work on the next size up.
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Old 04-07-24, 03:09 AM
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Again with the stem and SP, and the bars/levers cranked way up to meet me.

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Old 04-07-24, 06:15 AM
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THe fabulous '87 MOndiale with the unusual Metallic Celeste paint slipped through my hands. I set it up like my regular bikes but even with the seatpost as high as possible, as well as stem, it just wouldn't work. Too bad for me it was a beautiful bike and as usual I lost money on it.




This run of frames must have gotten more 'metallic' than Celeste somehow. Most others I've seen this color, mostly Limiteds, were much more Cleste looking.



Sory for the lousy indoor pic but the weather was horrible that day. Despite the seller's claims of being "all original" it was a hot mess with mixed up gear. I made it beautiful with that Athena group but just couldn't make it work, especially the reach part.
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Old 04-07-24, 07:27 AM
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All my bikes are now 53 or 54 cm. In the, I found that a too small frame, in general, did not work so well, did ok on frames a bit too big. Also, what worked for others, often did not for me. There are many differences in peoples bodies, even if the same size and basic dimensions.
I wind up with trial and error, making small adjustments, and only one or two at a time. I start with the saddle height at 72 cm from center bb to the top center of the saddle, with the top of the handlebar an inch lower. The next step is getting the stem length correct. I dial it in from there. It’s a process.
As I have aged, a shorter reach and taller stack are needed.
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Old 04-07-24, 08:07 AM
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@delbiker1 - I have a road bike that I first used 50 years ago. I needed to shorten the reach a cm. Gravity strikes back. The event that rang the bell was my internist who measured my height when I was 52.
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Old 04-07-24, 08:28 AM
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I'm sure you already have the too small frame but let me just say, too large always works better for me.

I never worry about stand over height. I've learned to mount and dismount.
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Old 04-07-24, 10:32 AM
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Eagerly awaiting AdventureManCO and his response...
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