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Frame Size/Inseam Questions

Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

Frame Size/Inseam Questions

Old 10-04-17, 09:59 AM
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Frame Size/Inseam Questions

I am riding another's bike. My uncle kindly got it so I fit on it much better than I was; to do that he had to take off the back reflector. This isn't a problem for me at the moment as I am only riding for up to 5 minutes at a time, during the daytime (trying to relearn). Now the seat literally can't sit any closer to the stem (I think that's what it's called?). Looking for advice as he still said he thinks it's about an inch (1") too tall for me since now I'm tip toeing when I try to put my feet on the ground, but at least they touch a bit lol.

My inseam is exactly 24" (down to foot), down to ankle (which I've seen some places say is where you would measure to) my inseam is around 22/23". My uncle said he think's I would need a 19-21" frame. Would this be correct? My height is 4' 11" or 5'0" (don't sure which, I've actually got both when I've been measured) and I am just around 205 lbs (fluctuates up and down 5lbs or so either direction).

I'm asking for opinions since you all seem knowledgeable and I don't drive/would be hard to find a way to a shop to get custom fit at the moment, plus I don't have the money for a new bike and wouldn't want to ask a bunch of questions/take away time from somebody that is if I can't/aren't able to purchase anything at the moment.

Thank you so much.
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Old 10-04-17, 10:16 AM
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Tip Toeing is fine if the bike fits correctly for riding. The "fit" is when you are riding, not standing. You may or may not need the seat as low as you have it.

While sitting on the seat place your heal onto the pedal and rotate that pedal all the way to the lowest part of the crank stroke. In this position your knee should have only a slight bend to it. It should not be fully locked out, or have a large amount of extension left to fully extend. This is the sweet spot. If the seat is too low you will find your quads are getting tired very quickly.
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Old 10-04-17, 11:44 AM
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Try a bike fit calculator like this one:


and measure yourself as best you can in each step (repeat if needed to be sure). It might help to have a friend or family member do the measuring for some of the steps. Then you will better know the bike size that you will need. There's more to it than the inseam. For example, your torso length will help determine the top tube length for the bike's frame and also the stem length. I'd prefer a little shorter top tube and a longer stem in general. But that's my preference and folks can ride with shorter stems without a problem.
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Old 10-05-17, 11:31 AM
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If the saddle is all the way down, I'd say it is likely you need a smaller frame. But there are other things to consider in a fit. And as someone else mentioned, the fit for riding might be okay on that large frame, but can you safely mount and dismount it as well as straddle the top tube comfortably while stopped?

Calculators and online reading will help some, but nothing will beat just going down to a bike shop and seeing what they try to put you on. You don't have to buy it, but it will give you some ideas and insights to go along with any reading you do on the subject.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:17 PM
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21 inch frame is too big for you.
17-19 inch for you.
46cm to 48cm.
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Old 10-15-17, 06:06 PM
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Measure the frame from the center of the crank arm to the top of the frame seat tube (not the actual seat post). If the bike is too big you might find a more suitable one used at a local bicycle cooperative. If you can't afford one they might even give you one free or accept a small donation of cash, whatever you can afford to give. Bicycle cooperatives get lots of unused bicycle donations from the public and they redistribute them to people who want or need bikes. The folks there will also know what size you need and help you set up a correct fit. Google for a local cooperative in your location, for example if you live in Savannah Georgia <--click here

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 10-15-17 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 10-16-17, 03:02 PM
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Which inseam? If it's the length of the inseam on a pair of pants, it's the wrong point to measure. What you need is your 'cycling inseam' - the distance from the bottom of your pubic bone to the floor in bare feet. The competitive Cyclist website gives you a method to measure it. You'll need help.

My experience agrees with danmyersmn's. If you can touch the ground with he toes both feet at the same time, it may be OK. I know I can do it on my bike. The thing is, you never have to keep your bike upright from the seat - you either get off the seat, which allows you to put a foot flat on the ground, or you put your foot on a curb, say, at a light, for example.
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