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New Bike - Sizing

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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.

New Bike - Sizing

Old 02-25-21, 04:21 PM
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chevmaro
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New Bike - Sizing

Hey all, I am going to purchase a second bike. I am trying to determine the best size for me. Currently I ride a 56 Supersix Evo 2017 model that has a 567/393 stack and reach. I run 40mm under the stem that includes the top cap. I run a 100mm stem with my seat almost all the way forward. Saddle height is 76.5cm. The bike is very comfortable to me and I haven't had any trouble since having my bike fit almost 2 years ago. When I had my fit, the fitter recommended a size 54 and said that I might be more comfortable with a little more setback. Each 54 I have owned or tried while shopping feels a bit to low in the head tube. I am curious what you all might think for the proper bike and size. I kind of want to get a SystemSix that is near the same geo as my SuperSix and set it up the same way. My shops carry mostly Specialized, BMC, Scott, Trek, Cannondale and Giant. Do you see any reason I should shop for a 54, or should I be going for similar stack and reach?

My measurements:
Height: 180cm
Cycling Inseam: 85cm
Wingspan: 184cm
Flexibility: Very flexible, I can palm the floor. Standing on my stairs, I can reach the stair below me.
Weight: 82kg

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-25-21, 07:26 PM
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A new size 56 SuperSix is not too much different in fit geometry than my size 56 Tarmac. Your 2017 SuperSix is about the same on stack and reach. I'm not too far off from your measurements either:

Height: 180 cm
Cycling Inseam: 87.6 cm
Flexibility: Have seldom ever been able to touch my toes. Right now with knees straight I can only get my finger tips about 8 inches above the floor.
Weight: 79kg

I've only 10 mm of spacers below my stem. Can't see why you desire to be so upright, but many do. I find it more comfortable to be lower than to sit more upright. I think a lot of times the position the fitter puts you in is how they gauge your experience and fitness. And also things you tell them about how you want to sit.

If you were to go back to that fitter today and want to get lower, probably again recommend the 54. The fitter could also just give you a shorter stem. But the being so upright bothers me. Especially since you say your seat is all the way forward. They might be right you just need the 54. But that is only for the SurperSix and bikes that are very close in geometry as is the Tarmac. Another model, even in the same brand might be entirely different size.

So are you not wanting to get lower? Might help to know what kind of riding you do. Just 1 hour trips or do you ride a couple hours at a time with a few 3 and 4 hour rides?

Or are you one of those that ride low with a 90° degree bend at the elbow? I've never been comfortable with that long term. That is what I get when I'm very aero.

Last edited by Iride01; 02-25-21 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-25-21, 07:55 PM
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I rolled into the fitter 2 years ago, a little fatter and with 55mm spacers under stem because that's how it came from the Cannondale shop. I complained of numb hands, but that turned to be solved with bars angled high, we tilted them low and turned my shifters inward a tiny bit. Then we moved from 55 spacer to 40. He said that is the hip angle that he starts most riders at, I thought he said 10 degrees, but could be wrong. All was good, no more numb hands and away I went. I never messed with it beyond that because it works.

I'm a recreational rider, group rides, couple rides after work during the week and one or two long rides on the weekend. During the week I ride for about an hour and weekend ride would be 2-4 or up to 40-50 miles. We have a lot of mountains around here and those long rides tend to be long climbs. I don't intend to be a racer by any means, but consider cycling a hobby with fitness perks. I typically ride about 100-150 miles per week. It has been winter weather and mostly on Strava the last couple months.
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Old 02-26-21, 09:38 AM
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I'm not a racer either by any stretch of the imagination. "Race fit" is another one of those terms that confuses people. Even "aggressive" is a term that confuses because it seems to make many think that is automatically a less comfortable position. But I can say... at least for me, it's been a more comfortable fit.

So just because you are a recreational rider as am I, doesn't mean you'll only be comfortable in a relaxed upright position. But if that is what you want, I'm okay with that. But the SuperSix probably isn't really the bike for you. You should probably look at road bikes that have much more stack. And there are plenty out there.

I might challenge you to remove most of those spacers on your current bike and try for a while. However if things are as you describe with saddle forward so much, then you might need a much shorter stem. If you don't like it after three or four hundred miles, you'll know something with more certainty. Don't cut your stem, just put the spacers on top. Then you can go back if that's what you prefer.

But again, with 40 mm of spacer under the stem, you might want to look at other road bikes so you don't need so many. And that might fix some of the issues you ask about. Especially that low feeling you attributed to a smaller frame.
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Old 03-09-21, 06:45 PM
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So I have been messing around with my bike fit. Correction above, my stem is 110mm long. I pulled 20mm spacers out and haven't been able to adjust. Getting neck pain. I don't know why 20mm makes such a big difference. Maybe with a shorter stem, or shorter bike I could be setup lower. I also tried with more setback and a shorter stem. That just didn't feel right. I measured 5.5 cm setback on current setup, with 110 stem and 54cm saddle tip to center of bar, 8cm bar drop. I believe bars are 75cm reach. After a couple weeks of trial and error, I just want another 56 Cannondale lol.
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Old 03-09-21, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chevmaro View Post
So I have been messing around with my bike fit. Correction above, my stem is 110mm long. I pulled 20mm spacers out and haven't been able to adjust. Getting neck pain. I don't know why 20mm makes such a big difference. Maybe with a shorter stem, or shorter bike I could be setup lower. I also tried with more setback and a shorter stem. That just didn't feel right. I measured 5.5 cm setback on current setup, with 110 stem and 54cm saddle tip to center of bar, 8cm bar drop. I believe bars are 75cm reach. After a couple weeks of trial and error, I just want another 56 Cannondale lol.
If being lower causes you neck pain, you are probably riding with a rounded back. See: Riding Position Discovery

Your fit seems a bit unusual. You have a long torso? Saddle well forward and a long stem? Most long-torsoed folks have their saddle well back and ride a size which still allows them to have a normal length stem, like 80-90.

You might tape your bike and or measure so you know where everything is (was) and then go through my bike fitting procedure to see what happens. How can I fitting my bike

People get used to all sorts of things, which doesn't mean that they're optimal things.
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Old 03-10-21, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chevmaro View Post
So I have been messing around with my bike fit. Correction above, my stem is 110mm long. I pulled 20mm spacers out and haven't been able to adjust. Getting neck pain. I don't know why 20mm makes such a big difference. Maybe with a shorter stem, or shorter bike I could be setup lower. I also tried with more setback and a shorter stem. That just didn't feel right. I measured 5.5 cm setback on current setup, with 110 stem and 54cm saddle tip to center of bar, 8cm bar drop. I believe bars are 75cm reach. After a couple weeks of trial and error, I just want another 56 Cannondale lol.
Just to add to some of the excellent points raised above;
I see you said that you tried with more saddle setback and a shorter stem but it didn't feel right. What didn't feel right about it?
I ask because based on how you are riding your current bike (saddle all the way forward with tall stack) suggests to me that your pelvis isn't rotated properly and you may be just very used to sitting too upright ('too upright' for a road bike anyway).
This isn't at all uncommon but it does cause two issues. One, if your pelvis is rotated back, you will feel scrunched up when trying to get lower and as you have found, experience neck pain.
Also, if your back is too straight / upright it isn't going to absorb shock very well and longer rides could be harder than they need to be.
-
So; adjustments. First of all; saddle fore and aft is NOT used to adjust reach; just making that point first but it does have an effect as you will see.
By moving your saddle back, to correctly balance your weight over the bottom bracket (read up on this first), might seem counter intuitive but it will likely force you to rotate your pelvis forward (imagine pushing your butt into the air). This will keep your lower back straight but allow your spine to stretch out more evenly. You then adjust the reach and height with stem length / spacers / handlebar tilt to suit. You should find that you're much more comfortable in this lower position than trying to achieve the same thing with a saddle too far forward.
If it's not what you're used to it may take some adaptation. As you are flexible you may well adapt quicker than some but if you have been riding 'upright' for any length of time it will probably take you a while to develop the core strength to support the lower position.
-
Personally I really don't like recommending frame sizes on line as there are SO many variations but I'm almost exactly the same proportions as you and although my bikes are custom they are essentially, effectively 56 tall (top to bottom) and 55 (front to back) so unless you need a super low stack (and it sounds like you don't) I would have thought the 56 more likely suitable.
Ultimately we can only recommend so much by typing at a keyboard based on a few numbers. If you need absolutes, go see a decent fitter. By that I mean a dedicated fitter, not a bike shop mechanic / salesman / fitter.
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Old 03-10-21, 02:46 PM
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Carbonfiberboy - Thanks for sharing the links. I will review. And I don't think I have a long torso, 64cm? Probably longer inseam. I measured again and went through competitive cyclist fit calc, just to see what it says. It does not show bar drop though and I didn't think 8cm drop was high up.

Inseam 85
Torso 64
Arm 66
Lower arm 36
Upper Leg 59
Lower Leg 55
Sternal notch 148
Total Height - 179
measuring closer to 179, not quite 180 as in my initial post. I measured myself yesterday.

aniki Interesting points, I'm imagining myself when I ride in the drops or super aero, my butt always goes back. Super aero like riding with my chin on the bars, or near it. Is this flexibility, or can we all do that? I know I am oddly flexible for my size. I can do the splits too lol.

Very curious now about round back and neck pain. I am going to look more into that.
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Old 03-14-21, 08:17 PM
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You have pretty long legs in proportion to your torso. You need a relatively short top tube length to feel comfortable while still getting ideal leg extension. As a result,.I think you'd need to try out a sorter stem first. Keep in mind that the saddle needs to be positioned in a way which gives you the best leverage over the bottom bracket, so by using something like maybe 60mm for the stem, you can slide the seat a little bit further back, still have an aero position, except this time with better balance over the bike and more leverage over the cranks.
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Old 03-15-21, 11:39 AM
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I ordered an 80mm stem to play around with. That would put me at the same reach as a 54 with a 100 stem which most of them come with. I'm also going to lower my bars to match a 54 frame size. I'll see how it feels with more setback and lower bars. That will help me choose frame size for my new bike.
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Old 03-16-21, 04:45 PM
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Read what Aniki said again, and more closely. Your saddle position would be the correct starting point for you, (assuming the frame is a good fit to begin with)

The stem would be one of the last things you should be considering.
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Old 03-16-21, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Read what Aniki said again, and more closely. Your saddle position would be the correct starting point for you, (assuming the frame is a good fit to begin with)

The stem would be one of the last things you should be considering.
I get that. I found comfort at 6.5cm setback. I think this is very close to where I need to be. I was able to achieve this with a 10cm stem and 54cm from saddle to middle of bars. I wasn't able to get more setback than that because with my current stem it increased the reach too far. I am trying with a shorter stem to see if I like more setback while keeping the reach approx. the same at 54cm.

I took a short lunch break and installed the 80mm stem, removed 15mm of spacers. Kept 6.5 setback and I did not feel lower on the bike. The bars actually felt higher then when I have more spacers and a longer stem. I only got a 5 minute pedal on the trainer. I won't be able to ride today too busy with work, but will test it out tomorrow.
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Old 03-16-21, 08:49 PM
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Youre still too caught up with numbers which won't help you at all. What about the angle of the saddle nose up and down? Have you tried adjusting saddle height? Do so in small increments and see if that works. Maybe a 60mm stem would've been a better choice. Maybe you need different handlebar dimensions or different hood/lever placement so that you can adjust the angle of the bars.

What about the reach? You know what sort of top tube length works well for you which is good (although does nothing to help you with what you're trying to achieve which is a matter of saddle.and stem adjustment), but rrach is more important.

I think a 60 or 80mm should be helpful.
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Old 03-19-21, 08:37 AM
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My goal from my testing was to get the correct frame size. Current bike is 56. I have been liking shorter stems, I tried 80 and like 90 and bars much lower. I can ride in the drops a lot longer than I can with the longer stems 100 and 110. My goal was only to get the correct frame size. I am convinced that is a 54. I am now going to pick up the new bike in a size 54. I know there is more to bike fit, but I will now be working with a local fitter.
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Old 03-19-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chevmaro View Post
My goal from my testing was to get the correct frame size. Current bike is 56. I have been liking shorter stems, I tried 80 and like 90 and bars much lower. I can ride in the drops a lot longer than I can with the longer stems 100 and 110. My goal was only to get the correct frame size. I am convinced that is a 54. I am now going to pick up the new bike in a size 54. I know there is more to bike fit, but I will now be working with a local fitter.
Try a 60mm stem
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