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Gravel bike frame size

Old 10-05-23, 01:30 AM
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Gravel bike frame size

I'm buying my first gravel bike. First I had Canyon Grail 6 on my mind, but it is no longer available on Canyon's offering. Based on my height (182 cm) and leg length (86 cm) Canyon suggested frame size M for me. Since Grail 6 is no longer available I have been looking Merida Silex 400 as an alternative. Based on Merida's sizing tool I'm recommended frame size L. I'm looking for comfortable riding position and not so sporty. I don't have possibility to test ride Merida.

Now I'm wondering if I should choose frame size M or L from Merida. I'm leaning towards M as I would like to have more upright riding position, but still wondering Merida's own sizing tool recommendation as it was mentioned that more comfortable riding position would be achieved with L and more sporty with M.

Any tips/suggestions that could help to select right size?
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Old 10-05-23, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmari
Any tips/suggestions that could help to select right size?
There's only cosmetic difference between the adjacent sizes, so don't worry about it. Specifically, the difference is 15mm of reach and 19 mm of stack -- both are far less than the available range of adjustment in the seat post, saddle position, and stem length and spacers, so there's almost complete overlap in the potential setups. So, do you prefer the look of an extended seat post, or a slightly shorter one? Do you like the look of a slammed stem, or one on a few spacers? These appearances are the only differences.

I have had a 51 and 58cm Cannondale simultaneously, with exactly identical contact point relationships, without using any unusual components. That's an extreme example, but people obsess far too much over frame sizes that barely differ. If you are "between sizes" then it doesn't matter which you choose.



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Old 11-07-23, 12:08 PM
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FWIW - Canyon sizing seems to be different than most. They recommend smaller frame on average. So don't compare the two. Use the companies recommendations.
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Old 11-07-23, 12:26 PM
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Canyon's sizing is a bit unusual. I typically ride a 54cm road frame, which typically falls into the M category for most manufacturers who use S/M/L designations. With Canyon, however, my size would be a S. This is just the nature of their sizing format, and the way they label things.

If you are looking for a more upright riding position, a smaller frame isn't necessarily the better answer. Smaller frames tend to have a shorter stack height (shorter head tube), and would require more spacers under the stem and/or a more upright angled stem to achieve the same position as you would get on the next size up with just a shorter stem.

There is also the factor of where the frame size puts your weight over the bike. On a road bike, a smaller frame with a longer stem and seatpost is often the preference when deciding between two frame sizes. On a gravel bike, handling loose terrain tends to be more stable and predictable with your body weight further back behind the front wheel, so a longer TT and shorter stem may give a better result. Trek (for one) has embraced this concept with the geometry on their Checkpoint gravel bikes. Their 54cm frame uses a 57cm TT, which is 2sm-ish longer than their comparable road frame.
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Old 11-07-23, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Canyon's sizing is a bit unusual.
Yep.

Originally Posted by Eric F
There is also the factor of where the frame size puts your weight over the bike. On a road bike, a smaller frame with a longer stem and seatpost is often the preference when deciding between two frame sizes. On a gravel bike, handling loose terrain tends to be more stable and predictable with your body weight further back behind the front wheel, so a longer TT and shorter stem may give a better result. Trek (for one) has embraced this concept with the geometry on their Checkpoint gravel bikes. Their 54cm frame uses a 57cm TT, which is 2sm-ish longer than their comparable road frame.
This makes logical sense, but I did not know this before buying my gravel bike and did the opposite, by choosing the size that most closely matches the frame geometry numbers of my endurance road bike.
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