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Frame size preference.

Old 07-14-22, 04:30 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
There's another aspect to this I haven't seen mentioned. (Granted, I haven't read every post.) Weight balance between the wheels. I started my adult life at 6'1/2" with long legs and very long arms. I come far forward (if the bike allows) when I stand. I also sit forward on the seat both going hard on the flat and on hairy descents. So, bikes with either short front ends or long rear ends (again, for me) will be light on the rear wheel. Any dirt on the road and I skid the wheel climbing standing. Bumpy corners on descents are scary. But a bike with a long front end and short chainstays solves both these problems for me. (Well, bumpy cornering takes some other things being right also.
These are technique problems, not bike geometry problems.

When standing and pedaling, your hips should be just in front of the saddle. This puts your hips roughly above the pedal spindle, or slightly in front of it.

On descents, all of your weight should be on the pedals, with your thighs gripping the nose of the saddle.
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Old 07-14-22, 04:32 PM
  #27  
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Another option-depends on how what bikes you now have and the components on them. Would it be possible for you to buy a frame-used or new- that fits and which you or an LBS could transfer parts? You say you have 2 bikes in the wrong size, seems you should be able to "cannibalize" enough parts without buying too many. Of course, if the other bikes are very old, or can't find a frame, then ignore this. Might check with a bike co-op if there is one in your area.
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Old 07-14-22, 04:44 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
These are technique problems, not bike geometry problems.

When standing and pedaling, your hips should be just in front of the saddle. This puts your hips roughly above the pedal spindle, or slightly in front of it.

On descents, all of your weight should be on the pedals, with your thighs gripping the nose of the saddle.
I hear you. What I learned racing that was fast, efficient and worked is simply wrong and I should relearn to a slower, less comfortable life on the bike rather than seek out bikes and fits that allow my old ways of riding. Time to toss 220,000 miles of experience.

Thank you for straightening me out.
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Old 07-14-22, 05:42 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I hear you. What I learned racing that was fast, efficient and worked is simply wrong and I should relearn to a slower, less comfortable life on the bike rather than seek out bikes and fits that allow my old ways of riding. Time to toss 220,000 miles of experience.

Thank you for straightening me out.
My pleasure.

What you practiced was neither fast nor efficient, no matter how many miles you rode doing it. It can be hard to unlearn bad habits, but it can be worth it.
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Old 07-14-22, 06:02 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
40 yrs ago when I began cycling I was 5' 10 1/2" with a 32.5" inseam. At age 76 I am 5' 8 1/2" but with the same inseam. Back then a 54/55 was perfect for me. And, that is also true today. If I had to choose between a frame too big or too small I'd go with smaller to save weight. Otherwise Pagacar will start dropping me.
same, same for me. At 27 I was 6'0" had an 88.5 cycling inseam, now at 73 I'm 5'9.5" (maybe some shorter since last measurement...) 88 cm cycling inseam , long wingspan of almost 72" (182.5 cm) - so mostly all 'lost' in what was already a very short torso... When I go out to eat, I ask for a booster seat ! LOL!
rode 60 & 59 cm BITD, now a 58 is too big, because of 'reach' mainly from TT - I like a longer reach, with a greater percent forward from the stem/head. Even in the 'old days' a 59 or 60 with >58 cm TT was too 'truck-ish' handling, so 57 - 57.5 TT worked well. I now ride a 56 cm roadie (Tarmac) with 56.5 TT (horiz. measure) with a 12cm stem and it feels nice.
I still ride with significant forward torso lean, very comfy for back, arms, legs and butt... flexibility not an issue, yet...
anyway, NOT too Large and NOT too small - just right.
if you're a std/median human with Da Vinci proportions, a 'square' frame prolly works well, if you're long in torso, a little longer TT would prolly work fine, if short in torso a little shorter TT is often nice.
there are so many bikes to choose from, no need to compromise, if you know what you want or need...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 07-15-22, 08:22 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I have rejected more than a few makes that have short chainstays or toe overlap.
Toe overlap is an odd reason to reject a bicycle.

My 56cm Scott Addict has toe overlap. But so what? The only time my toe touches the front wheel is when I am standing still in a parking lot.
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Old 07-15-22, 08:28 AM
  #32  
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I would rather have the larger size. I can get the bars higher relative to the seat height getting the position I want. I like the bars to be the same height as the saddle without a huge rise stem.
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Old 07-15-22, 08:51 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
What is it with internet forums and absurd hypothetical questions?
What is it with internet forums and grumpy people with high post counts that evidently have zero left to contribute to a valid question? (No need to reply - you're now on my "list".)
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Old 07-15-22, 09:11 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Toe overlap is an odd reason to reject a bicycle.

My 56cm Scott Addict has toe overlap. But so what? The only time my toe touches the front wheel is when I am standing still in a parking lot.
I understand but for me, it infers a short front end and what would be a twitchy handling bike. I realize I am being very general but this has been my limited experience. I would also add that not having the inventory to test ride different bikes is a base rationale for my not knowing what direction I should be looking for my "last" bike. Many great posts and reasoning to consider but in the end, I am just damn frustrated and would like to try a variety of bikes that are not anywhere near my home at this time. I say this knowing I sound like a spoiled child. For me, time is my biggest enemy is time and it is not slowing down. Thanks for taking the time to post your observation as it is understood and I have to agree with it.
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Old 07-15-22, 09:19 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
I would rather have the larger size. I can get the bars higher relative to the seat height getting the position I want. I like the bars to be the same height as the saddle without a huge rise stem.
That's great, as long as the standover height is adequate, and the top tube length is not too long for you.

If the top tube is long, you'll end up using a very short stem that:

1. can't produce much of a rise,
2. is likely to cause "twitchy" steering.
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Old 07-15-22, 09:43 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I understand but for me, it infers a short front end and what would be a twitchy handling bike.
If "twitchiness" is important to you, the best indicator is the amount of trail.



Trail - the horizontal distance between the tire's contact patch and where the steering axis contacts the ground. Photo: road.cc

Trail takes some effort to calculate, and manufacturers usually don't report it directly, but these statements are true:

  • Lower head tube angle = more trail
  • More fork rake = more trail
  • Larger wheel diameter = more trail
  • Wider tire = (slightly) more trail
Some other things influence the steering, but they tend to be less significant than the trail.
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Old 07-15-22, 09:57 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
If "twitchiness" is important to you, the best indicator is the amount of trail.



Trail - the horizontal distance between the tire's contact patch and where the steering axis contacts the ground. Photo: road.cc

Trail takes some effort to calculate, and manufacturers usually don't report it directly, but these statements are true:
  • Lower head tube angle = more trail
  • More fork rake = more trail
  • Larger wheel diameter = more trail
  • Wider tire = (slightly) more trail
Some other things influence the steering, but they tend to be less significant than the trail.
Thank you. I, unfortunately, do not understand the importance of these stats but appreciate your attempt to educate me. I will look further, some time on Google, to better understand the effects of "trail" on my bikes handling.
Thank you again for taking the time to inform me and I apologize for my ignorance, Seriously, I really do appreciate your taking the time with me and that goes to all that have put up with my lack of knowledge on this post. Much appreciated.
Frank.
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Old 07-17-22, 11:16 PM
  #38  
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71 year old here. First road bike was 58cm. Now a 56cm in the same bike works better. Not exactly what the OP was asking, but the older/smaller seems constant.

Mike
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Old 07-18-22, 07:59 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by IcySwan1 View Post
71 year old here. First road bike was 58cm. Now a 56cm in the same bike works better. Not exactly what the OP was asking, but the older/smaller seems constant.

Mike
Not what I asked for but the information I was seeking. Thanks as I have come across the same with my body and was concerned that I may be just making excuses for buying the "correct" size bike. I see that this can be a real thing. The last time I was at my doctor I was measured and weighed. I was surprised/shocked by the height number they came up with. Old age can be a real B#&@h.
Thanks for posting, Frank.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:53 PM
  #40  
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I have a long torso and long arms and at 70 I’m down to 5’8-1/4” from 5’8-3/4”.

I’ve been riding a 56cm for a long time. It is at least a size too big, but fore-aft balance, the saddle position to the BB, and how my arms stretch out to the bars without an abnormally long or short stem feels just right.

This may not be what you want to hear, but it really depends on the particular bike, not a generalized statement. Right or wrong, for me, everything is setup from the saddle position to the BB first. From there you can determine where the bars need to be. I probably won’t ride a bike so large I need an 80mm stem or one so small I need a 140.

Take angles and measurements from your existing bike and find one that will place you on the new bike. If you can fit on a smaller frame it probably will be a smarter way to go. I still have enough seatpost and a bit of straddle left, but one of these days I’ll probably need to move on. So far I haven’t spent enough time, but I’m not looking forward to it.

John
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Old 07-27-22, 10:48 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
There's another aspect to this I haven't seen mentioned. (Granted, I haven't read every post.) Weight balance between the wheels. I started my adult life at 6'1/2" with long legs and very long arms. I come far forward (if the bike allows) when I stand. I also sit forward on the seat both going hard on the flat and on hairy descents. So, bikes with either short front ends or long rear ends (again, for me) will be light on the rear wheel. Any dirt on the road and I skid the wheel climbing standing. Bumpy corners on descents are scary. But a bike with a long front end and short chainstays solves both these problems for me. (Well, bumpy cornering takes some other things being right also.

So, just getting the fit right does not necessarily get me a "good" bike. I take this seriously. Before buying a bike, I measure up the frame, draw it up on my CAD program overlaid with my other frames, see what I need for stem and seatpost to get the fit AND locate my center of gravity between the wheels. For me, very few frames pass both criteria. For most it is a matter off how much "not quite right" I am willing to accept.

I'd wanted a titanium bike since I did a quick ride on a Merlin in 1990. Early auts I created a program that calculated the needed stem and seatpos plus weight balance from the specs in brochures simply to quickly see what titanium bikes were worth investigating further now that Lightspeed, Merlin and others has several models and I was in a place where I could afford a $4000 dream bike. Eye opening. $4000 wasn't going to get me a dream bike, just a "B" fit or handling. So I now own two ti bikes that do it all but I had to pay the extra k for custom.

And all this has taken me (well, one bike) down a rabbit hole. Long top tube and front end, steep-ish to get the handling I love, short chainstays all seem to add up to high speed shimmy; not a major problem 14 years ago but now in my late 60s, I'm not as strong or fearless and have become part of the problem. (I thought I was doing myself a favor by getting a bike long enough that I could ride it with a 120 stem for perfect fit. Easy to find plus every racer of my generation knows Eddy Merckx and God both rode 120s. Now I know my ridiculously long stems on my other bikes are reliable wobble dampers.)
Oh, I could solve some of the weight balance issues by simply sitting further back on the saddle. Yes. And have a bike where I have to watch how I'm riding and force myself out of the sweet comfortable place my body loves to keep the bike happy. So instead of it being "my bike", I am the bike's "rider" and I am supposed to do what it wants. No thanks. I raced a bike long ago that worked perfectly without me making any compromises. I want and expect that.
All that said, I just purchased a 40yo frame from a forumite, Japanese race bike. I know a couple of measurements, no angles. Rust and $75 so not a lot to lose. I'll measure it up when I get it, stem and post accordingly, throw some parts and wheels on, ride it and see if it's a keeper. What I do know is that I have owned two Japanese race bikes of that era that were sublime fits. Maybe this Pro Miyata will share some DNA with my old Fuji Pro. If it does, I might be riding this rusty mess a long time!

Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
Balance, had not given that enough thought. I have been using "Bike Insights" frame overlay site to help me with my search for a new bike. I have rejected more than a few makes that have short chainstays or toe overlap. The lack of inventory at area bike shops is frustrating in that I can't go and ride a bike to see how it actually feels instead of looking at stick figure overlays. I fully realize that this is a problem for all of us, not just me. I am just venting I guess. I have had to use a very short stem with a 35 or 40 deg rise to keep my back from screaming after just 25 miles but this is not the cure-all I want as I can not get much more without a lot of backaches. My concern is that by moving down to a small from the medium I ride, I will cause instability in the ride on the highspeed downhills that are so prevalent here in my area. I don't want to have to drag the brakes as that kills any momentum I might use to help on the way up the other side. I really like my Topstone alloy, 105 11 sp, changed the cranks to 165mm and 37mm tires. It is just too long for me even with the short stem. I stretch and core exercise but the damage was done from two blown-out discs and spinal surgery has left me with too much scar tissue I believe. This is the reasoning I am using to move to a hybrid/fitness style to get a more upright position without going to a cruiser, straight up seating, as that is the worst as it stacks my spine and the bumps are brutal. I am thinking that walking is my next best idea and biking is going to be an around-the-block occasionally type of thing.
Thanks again all, Frank.
Frank.
Sortta catching up to this Thread, not having really read all the posts... But some interesting and pertinent comments, especially from those who came from riding in the '70s, 80's and early 90's.
I think we all (or many/most) rode bikes which might have been a bit too large or maybe way too large. LOL! Won;t go into the reasons, because, at this point, it only matters whether we have 'adjusted' our old preceptions or remained with old school.
But, with regards to 'Balance', Handling and general performance, weight and pressure distribution are key for many things; quickness, stability, safety...
There's a significiant difference between bikes which have a 58 cm TT coupled with a 9mm stem and a 56 cm TT with a 12mm stem (11 cm for many). I rode both. They both give roughly the same 'reach', but are very different in handling (front end design being a very important factor, of course). Weight/pressure distribution being a major contributor to handling. I rode some bikes with longer TT and shorter stem, because I was supplied with them. But it wasn;t until I was put on bikes with shorter TT and accompanying longer stem, that I felt more 'in control' and made greater progression in performance. That coming from greater confidence that I was 'stuck' to the road better, regardless of the conditions. I wasn't 'touring', so a bare road race bike was my primary vehicle.
That all has certainly been echoed in each newer generation of road bikes, whether 'race' or 'endurance'. "twitchy" handling is as much about front end design as TT, both contribute to what that might feel like. A bike which might not be 'twitchy' doesn;t guarantee it will be 'stable' on a fast descent, or be predictable in a close/fast group ride. Too far forward or back also might negatively affect bike handling, with influence from other geometry/construction parts of the bike.
In any case, a frame which allows more 'tuning' (variability in stem and saddle position) mostly will be better to get 'tuned in'. Too small a frame will again limit or create issues, not the same but similar to going too big... So, in the middle... LOL!
To address the OP's concerns...
Maybe before moving from what you have - modify and try. It might have a small cost, but may be worth it...
Try going from 37mm tires to 42 or 45mm - I've found there are 42mm tires which are quite 'fast/quick' and handle well, run at quite reduced psi...
Try a suspension stem - I have a RedShift Shockstop stem, with the softest elastomers being used. No discernible reduction in handling/control, but clearly a big improvement on rough road or off-road surfaces.
Try a suspension seatpost - the lighter, higher perf. kind - I didn't buy new, but repurposed a Rockshox suspension seatpost for my gravel bike - set to lightest, it's great and dulls many of the strong hits I get thru the saddle.
If the topstone still feels too 'long', get a good sized frame with shorter Toptube and try with all the new suspension goodies.
There are drop bars with 'rise' to consider.
I've been dealing with 3 badly herniated disks since my 20's, hereditary scoliosis, and generally greatly compressed disks. But thankfully no surgery administered. Just a life long decision to do things to help stabilize/support the problem areas....
I try to be consistent on strong core strengthening work, always working to keep as much flexibility, balance and suppleness as possible - given the issues.
so far it has helped. Sometimes I 'slack off', but always quickly reminded by the body, of the inattention. Yoga (done in consideration of the issues) stretching, and balanced strengthening of the entire body seems to be keeping me in the game.
I can't speak for anyone else, but my stubbornness is a strength, in this regard. Don;t give up, start or work from 'light' to stronger methods/efforts to improve the 'engine'. Patience and 'persistence' will always keep us at our best.
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: I bought a Poseidon X, because I wanted something more 'road' than my very nice CF mtb bike, for some of the local stuff which I can link with crappy sideroads... But wasn't thinking 'top end' need. I was blown away by the quality and performance of this $750 bike! Awesome.
Why I bring it up? I was worried it was gonna bet TOOO Short (lengthwise) some 2 cm shorter TT and 1 cm shorter stem than my 'shortest' preferred bike...
Well it rides Great ! and still allows me to get 'forward'... added a Shockstop stem, my Rockshox seatpost, and 42 mm tires - fabulous an fun, yet also fast.
For the OP - the frame is 'road' oriented, but with a quite short TT - a Medium has a 52.6 cm effective TT - this might be an option as an alternative for the Topstone... Full bike is $750, Frame is $299, - whichever, you can move your better components to the X and then figure out what to do with the topstone and remaining stuff. Just an option to consider, for staying with the kind of riding you enjoy... YMMV

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Old 07-27-22, 08:00 PM
  #42  
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Today I took my daughter's Cannondale SuperSix EVO out for a second ride, this time a little longer at 20 miles or so. It is a 48cm frame, but a women's one too so a shorter top tube. But it actually felt more comfortable than my own 51cm bike, and I could ride it harder, bad knee notwithstanding. Also, I did get to ride my old Davidson in Seattle last week and it felt fine. I also brought it to Davidson's shop and he came out of the back to look at it and we had a good chat. He was particularly proud of the decals which after 40+ years have not peeled off. I mentioned that he supposedly did the paint himself because his painter was out of town and I was getting antsy, and he confirmed that it looked like one of his jobs. He told the story of when they were closing Elliott Bay Cycles Bob Freeman promised some customers that the shop would do the paint on a few restores. Bill Davidson ended up doing them himself since again the painter was off somewhere else. Anyway, if felt good to connect with the builder of this bike, given that it was in NYC for over 30 years and not floating around Seattle. I need to go back and do some more riding there.

I'm getting the itch for N+1. In spite of looking at Davidson's current Ti bikes, I'd still choose carbon.

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Old 07-28-22, 09:42 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Today I took my daughter's Cannondale SuperSix EVO out for a second ride, this time a little longer at 20 miles or so. It is a 48cm frame, but a women's one too so a shorter top tube. But it actually felt more comfortable than my own 51cm bike, and I could ride it harder, bad knee notwithstanding. Also, I did get to ride my old Davidson in Seattle last week and it felt fine. I also brought it to Davidson's shop and he came out of the back to look at it and we had a good chat. He was particularly proud of the decals which after 40+ years have not peeled off. I mentioned that he supposedly did the paint himself because his painter was out of town and I was getting antsy, and he confirmed that it looked like one of his jobs. He told the story of when they were closing Elliott Bay Cycles Bob Freeman promised some customers that the shop would do the paint on a few restores. Bill Davidson ended up doing them himself since again the painter was off somewhere else. Anyway, if felt good to connect with the builder of this bike, given that it was in NYC for over 30 years and not floating around Seattle. I need to go back and do some more riding there.

I'm getting the itch for N+1. In spite of looking at Davidson's current Ti bikes, I'd still choose carbon.
Some years ago a woman in our club had a Davidson and what struck me most about that bike was the paint. I don't know who painted it but it was beautiful and every time I saw it I was impressed.
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Old 07-29-22, 11:48 AM
  #44  
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The new Cannondale build
Looks pretty good and rides great. The seat is raised for me, my daughter has it down at the yellow sticker. But now I understand somewhat the riders with the raised seat posts.

Last edited by zacster; 07-29-22 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 07-29-22, 07:18 PM
  #45  
cyclezen
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post

The new Cannondale build
Looks pretty good and rides great. The seat is raised for me, my daughter has it down at the yellow sticker. But now I understand somewhat the riders with the raised seat posts.
And that's a 48 ? Given where the saddle is (and assuming position works fine) I can't imagine you on anything bigger.
Ok, frame size between manufacturers doesn't mean similar geometry... But still...
You said your bike is a 51 ? Which make/model?
...just interested...
Ride On Yuri
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Old 07-30-22, 05:49 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
And that's a 48 ? Given where the saddle is (and assuming position works fine) I can't imagine you on anything bigger.
Ok, frame size between manufacturers doesn't mean similar geometry... But still...
You said your bike is a 51 ? Which make/model?
...just interested...
Ride On Yuri
My regular ride is a Kuota Kredo from 2005 with Chorus 10. Sizing keeps changing over the years. But now that you say it, I'll have to check as I've owned it that long and haven't really thought about it much. It could be a 50. The Cannondale in the pic is a bit small for me but still comfortable. And it is hard to say if I could ride it all day or not since I have a meniscus tear in my knee and can't ride it all out although it felt OK doing the ride that I did. And it is a woman's frame so it is a short top tube. I think the seat is at the high end of where you'd want to be though. I did a good job on the build though if I have to say so myself. No creaks, clicks, shifts perfectly both front and back, dead silent. It's been on 3 rides and the tape is already dirty.
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Old 08-07-22, 09:20 AM
  #47  
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For me, top tube length is more important than seat tube length. This is one reason I gave my 57cm C-T 1980 Peugeot PKN-10, which I otherwise really liked, to my elder son, who is 3" taller than me. My 1970 Peugeot UO-8 is about 53cm C-T (marketed as a 21" trame), but long in the top tube, so it works OK for me. All of my other road bikes are 55cm C-T with about the same top tube length, and this is my "sweet spot."

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Old 08-20-22, 10:34 AM
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Wow, I'm 71 and my height hasn't yet changed. Or less than 1/4", still at 73.25"

60 X 58cm has always been my size. When I wanted to ride the classic vintage euro bikes, my patience required I accept a range of sizes to obtain the bikes I wanted. So, my group runs from 58cm - 62 seat tubes. The 58cm bikes will be the first to go.

So I guess I would size up - but top tube length, stem length, seatpost set back, handlebar dimensions, and the specific saddle all play into making the fit a perfect dream. Or not.

the big problem with most modern bikes that come in 4 or 5 sizes, the jumps between them are bigger than in the past.
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Old 09-17-22, 01:24 PM
  #49  
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I prefer one size too small. In general I am long legged and I find going a size small helps with the geometry reaching forward- and I can always use a longer stem to get everything just right.
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Old 10-16-22, 05:15 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by cruiserandmax View Post
I prefer one size too small. In general I am long legged and I find going a size small helps with the geometry reaching forward- and I can always use a longer stem to get everything just right.
You are an example of fitting to your torso rather than your legs, or possibly splitting the difference. Many of us are of the age when the dealer simply put us on the largest bike we could straddle comfortably, and sent us out the door.

I had a different experience in 1970. The dealer just eyeballed me and said, "You look like a 23 and a half (inches--that's the way British and French frames were sized in the US those days), and that's what I got. Later I learned I could easily straddle 25 and a half, but I never went there. I spent a couple years bemoaning the possibility my bike was too small, and even rode a 24" for a couple seasons. But when I finally landed on my dream steel vintage bike, it was 60 cm with a 57 cm top tube. That dealer was right.
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