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Mens 53 vs WSD 54. How different can they be?

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Mens 53 vs WSD 54. How different can they be?

Old 06-06-15, 12:48 PM
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Mens 53 vs WSD 54. How different can they be?

Hello everyone. I am a female, 5'6 and 3/4. Inseam of 31.

I currently ride a 53cm, full carbon, FUGI. (Top tube measures 54cm) It is a men's design bike. At the time of purchase, I rode at least 20 different bikes and this is the one that felt the best. I knew that it was a bit big however; it felt the best. Now that I have been riding it for about 4 years, I can tell it is too big. I went in and had the Retul bike fitting done. He said he would like to take me down a size, but at that time, I was not really thinking about getting a new bike. I didn't not ask specifically what size he would put me in. He made several adjustments, seat up 2.5cm, forward 3cm. I switched out my bars from 42 cm to 38cm. I went from a 90mm stem with no angle to a 70mm stem with a 17 degree upward angle.

Maiden voyage...pretty squirrelly. Any little movement is over reactive. I am not sure if this is just something I need to get used to or if it is just too much shortening of a bike that is too big. However....According to all of my measurements, I should ride a 53-54cm. I have a friend who owns a bike shop, he said he would put me on a WSD 54cm.

I am thinking about just buying a slightly used, WSD. I have been looking at the Specialized Ruby or Amira. I rode a Roubaix a few years ago on RAGBRAI, just for a few miles and fell in love. The bad part is, the closest dealer is 3 hours away. There is one on ebay right now that I am eyeing.

All of the information, plus everyone I spoke to tells me that a WSD 54cm is my size. Why is my Men's Fugi 53 too big yet a WSD 54 supposed to fit me??

Any thoughts or suggestions on this??

Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-06-15, 06:03 PM
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"Women's frame" doesn't have a consistent meaning among bike makers. The general idea is the bike is sized and specd for a person with long legs, short torso, narrow shoulders, who prefers a more upright position (and maybe likes white or pink). Sometimes this means a slightly shorter top tube, shorter stem, higher head tube, narrower bars, etc but not all of those things are for sure.

You could compare the geometry and specs of the Fugi with the Trek WSD, that would probably tell you what the differences, if any, are.
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Old 06-06-15, 10:02 PM
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You need to study the geometries between the bikes you are considering carefully.

WSD, as IMPLEMENTED is next to meaningless. Its a marketing term rather than something meaningful.

Do you feel better on the bike with both the seat moved forwards AND a shorter stem? The fitter obviously thinks that you were too stretched out. Shorter stems DO lead to more sensitive steering so you need to get used to it.

Were you set at KOPS(knee over pedal spindle), before the fitting? Moving your saddle forwards 3cm is a HUGE adjustment. If you were behind KOPS to begin with then fine. If the fitter has just moved you forwards of KOPS thinking of the reach only and ignoring your KOPS position then I would be inclined to move the saddle back again.

This is a prime example of where WSD goes wrong. Bike manufacturers simply move the saddles forward to reduce reach so it looks shorter on paper, rather than taking a more complicated approach of pulling the front wheel back. They just completely ignore proper saddle position in order to achieve a quick fix.

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Old 06-06-15, 10:25 PM
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Do you wear shoes that are too big? Or too small?
Same goes for a bicycle: proper fit is key.
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Old 06-08-15, 03:39 PM
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I've never been in the bike fitter always knows best camp. So 4 years ago this bike felt the best and after 4 years you know it is too big, but were you having any issues? Either you were not comfortable or didn't like the balance or some pains were popping up.

If everything was okay, no physical issues, but you just wanted to improve the performance, those are some pretty significant changes. As for sizing, the only way to really compare is to get the geometry of each bike,.. TT, ST, angles, wheelbase and lay them out together.


Added... I'm trying to figure out the need for a 17 degree rise on a frame that is too big for you.

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Old 06-08-15, 09:08 PM
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Oh, by the way, a shorter stem can feel "quicker" steering. A higher saddle can also feel a bit "tippy". The adjustments were large (2.5 up and 3.0 cm forward saddle, 2.0 cm shorter and higher on the stem). Your body position is now more upright. So the changes probably make the bike feel quite different. This is something you will likely get used to.

Not that a second bike is a bad idea. More bikes are always better than fewer bikes. :-)

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Old 06-08-15, 09:09 PM
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I would go back to your bike that you rode for four years and work on adjusting it.

Put it back to it's previous setup and change only one thing at a time.

I don't think Retul lead you right. If your old bike was too big, they should not be raising the saddle an inch, which is a huge adjustment. At this point you should have been only making changes maybe 3 mm at a time. If it felt too big, fix as follows:

Saddle height for good leg extension with no hip rocking and no knee pain. You should end up with a smooth spin that feels free.
Saddle setback for balance, not KOPS (then readjust height)
Saddle tilt
Reach to handlebar
handlebar height (then reach again)
handlebar tilt.

If after all this you can find a specific adjustment that you need and is maxed out, you need a new frame based on fit. Otherwise, you don't.
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Old 06-09-15, 06:51 PM
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Agree with the above
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Old 06-09-15, 09:46 PM
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I'm about your height, maybe a little shorter legs. I have men's 50, 52, and 54cm bikes. They all work. I prefer the 52 (53cm TT). Sounds like your fitter thought your reach was too great. The increase in stem height is to match your increased saddle height. No reason you couldn't go back to a flat 70mm stem unless your body won't do it. A WSD would usually have a shorter TT. A larger nominal size will usually have a taller headtube. If you want to go fast, you normally pick the smallest size that will work well because you'll be lower in the front and the frame will be stiffer. My 50 is that way but just feels too cramped. My 54 is a good cruising bike but the 52 is faster.
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