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advertised as a 58cm, but measures 56cm...what next?

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advertised as a 58cm, but measures 56cm...what next?

Old 06-02-22, 01:36 PM
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advertised as a 58cm, but measures 56cm...what next?

I spent months looking at framesets on EBay. I wanted an aluminum frame that was made in the US. (call it a fetish; I can live with that). So after agonizing over vintage Treks, Lemonds, CDales, etc, I stumbled across a LiteSpeed with carbon seatstays and front forks, alumnum main frame, and some unspecified titanium parts. It was advertised as a 58cm frame--I'm 6'-1", so this is my sweet spot. I negotiated a good discount and promptly received the frameset.

Then I put it together with odds and ends, mostly Ultegra mechanicals, a new crankset, cassette and chain. Also, a featherweight pair of Stan's wheels. But as I started to set up the saddle and bars, I found that I had to install a 120mm stem and slide the saddle all the way back to replicate the geometry of my favorite bike (a Serotta Fierte). Finally it dawned on me that this was a 56cm frame.

I considered tearing it all down and returning it to the seller for a refund. But hey, it's all together now--why not take it for a ride? So I did, and then I took another ride, and it's not a horrible fit. I think going to a 140mm stem and/or longer reach bars might do the trick.

At least as far as fitting into the cockpit. But I am a little disappointed in how it handles--there's sort of a vagueness to how it steers. Of course I'm comparing it to the Serotta, which handles like a Porsche. The Serotta seems to intuit just where you're going, and takes you there with precision and confidence. If you need to make an adjustment, deep in a curve, she says, sure, no problem, let me handle it. The LiteSpeed is more like--whatever...Even so, it has a wonderful response to the pedals--absolutely no mush in the works. And as stiff as the back end is, it gives back a cushy ride.

I'm thinking that the LiteSpeed would be happier with a shorter rider. That even if I achieve a comfortable fit with this bike, it's not going to perform as well as it could for someone whose weight is distributed more at the extreme ends of the frame.

So I am throwing all this out to the collective wisdom of the Forum. What would you do with this bike?

LiteSpeed Hyperion

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Old 06-02-22, 07:57 PM
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Just because the effective top tube length is shorter than your old 58cm frame, resulting in the need for a different stem length, doesn't mean it isn't a 58cm frame. The frame size refers to the seat tube length, not the top tube length.

That being said, Lightspeed seems to use small, medium, large, etc. sizing, so you have to look at their charts to see the actual measurements. They say their large is a 56-58cm frame, so...

If you can get the fit right okay. If not, why mess with it?
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Old 06-03-22, 08:58 AM
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56cm, 58cm or any other size means nothing unless you are comparing one specific make and model of bike.

When getting a different model bike or frame, you have to look at the entire geometry and stuff like stem length, bar reach and drop and crank length to see if it's going to be anything like the position you like on other bikes you might have.

And the seat tube angle will also have a big impact on how you feel about the bike if it is different than the others.
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Old 06-03-22, 11:13 AM
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'chutup and ride it. it could measure out at any "nominal size" and you still might love it or hate it. get it 'closeNuff' and go put down some serious milage. if you don't dig it after that, you never will, and it's back to the swap meet. no harm, no foul. such is cyclery.
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Old 06-03-22, 11:55 AM
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Perhaps the seat tube was measured center-to-top when you're used to thinking in center-to-center...
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Old 06-03-22, 12:12 PM
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By measuring the bike on my computer screen and using the 622mm wheels as a reference, C-T measurement of that bike is approx. 58cm.

I don't know what size Litespeed would have called that bike, but 58cm is not out of the realm of reason.
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Old 06-03-22, 12:24 PM
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When I look at a bike I am considering, the two numbers I want are TT (effective) length and ST angle. Those two numbers tell me where the line of the headtube and stem is and therefore, a lot about both reach and what my weight balance on the wheels will be. (Granted, these two numbers are more useful on older, quill stem bikes where the headset height doesn't dictate how high the stem is.)

And edit: to the Ops question - first, that seattube looks steep. That looks like a low-to-normal setback seatpost. Do you have the seat far enough back to be the optimum for you? (I see that as fit issue #1. That and seat height.) Perhaps a post with more setback is needed. Maybe even a lot more setback. Only after dialing that in, would I even start looking at where the handlebars should be.

Also that bike looks to have a very short front end. Maybe after pushing that seat back on the bigger setback post, your weight will be OK over the wheels. Until then, it looks to me like the front wheel will be too heavily weighted for best feel and handling, even with that very short rear end. Of course, I've never seen you on the bike, so I am only guessing.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 06-03-22 at 12:36 PM.
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