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Is my bike too small for me ?

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Is my bike too small for me ?

Old 06-23-22, 07:43 PM
  #1  
TremblayFil
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Cool Is my bike too small for me ?

Hello everybody !

I just bought a beautiful red Bianchi from 1983. The frame was such in a good condition that I had no choice and bought it for 300 $ CAD.

But I'm afraid, after a few days, that it might be too small for me. The frame is 21 inches (53,5 cm), and I'm 5ft10 (almost 5ft11). I believe it's usually made for people from 5ft5 to 5ft7. But sometimes those numbers don't mean a lot, especially for someone like me who has short legs compared to my torso. I'm used to riding a UO9 Peugeot, which (I was told) has a very different frame geometry, and is an inch and a half taller (22.5) and has always felt good while riding.


Standover height is good on the Bianchi : there is exactly one inch of clearance. The saddle is also set properly (approx. 3-4 inches above the frame).

At first the reach felt a little short on the hoods, and the stack too low on the drops. But I remembered that my Peugeot has a very different frame geometry, and i never ride on the hoods on the Peugeot. So I raised the stem (to give myself a chance on the drops), adjusted the handlebars position (to allow better extension of the arms on the hoods), and set the saddle as far as possible from the stem. Everything feels quite nice now : my elbows are slightly bent and I don't feel like I'm too low or too close, even though my upper back gets a little sensitive between the shoulderblades (but i've always had very poor back muscles). And I would say that my overall look and feel on the bike are good.


My biggest concerns are the following :

1. When I pedal standing up, i feel like the bike is so small that my weight is almost fully distributed on the front wheel. My head goes almost as far as the extremity of the front wheel. When I climb uphill, i feel like the weight is so unevenly distributed that my bike becomes very sensitive to bumps or imperfections of the ground touching the front wheel. Is it just my position ? Is it just because the Bianchi is more sensitive to the road than the Peugeot ? Or might it be a sign that my bike is too small for me ?


2. Feet position while pedalling (flat pedals). Everything feels quite nice. But when one of the pedals in on top of the rotation cycle (noon) and that I apply pressure to go forward, the only direction I can push towards is the ground, as if my knee/leg was too much forward compared to the axis. What i mean is that most of the time, when the pedal is at noon, I feel like i should be pushing slightly in front of me (pedal slightly rotated) and not directly towards the ground. But it's hard to tell, since I feel like i'm on the very limit. If i'm stopped at an intersection and the road is going slightly uphill, it can make the start a little more difficult, for instance, since my legs are stronger pushing a little forward than downwards.


What do you guys think ? Thank you so much ! I might just have to sell the bike... :'(


(and of course there's a little toe overlap, but I don't believe it means anything...)


Felix

Last edited by TremblayFil; 06-23-22 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-23-22, 09:28 PM
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Bmach
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Pix of you on the bike would help.
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Old 06-23-22, 09:33 PM
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TremblayFil
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Since i'm a new member on this forum, i can't upload pictures yet (3 posts/replies 'til i can, i think)... will do as soon as possible ! Thanks !
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Old 07-01-22, 11:50 AM
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Start with getting your saddle height.

Height above top tube is irrelevant.

Height above crank axis is what matters. I just learned this recently.

https://cyclesimply.com/saddle-height/

Then adjust bar height/angle.
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Old 07-01-22, 01:01 PM
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phughes
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Start with getting your saddle height.

Height above top tube is irrelevant.

Height above crank axis is what matters. I just learned this recently.

https://cyclesimply.com/saddle-height/

Then adjust bar height/angle.
Nor is that important, or accurate for that matter, despite what many will tell you, since it disregards crank arm length, and shoe sole thickness. What matters is simply how you interface with the bike. I understand your point though.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/
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Old 07-01-22, 04:04 PM
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It's a good idea to make sure the stem hasn't been raised above the minimum insertion point.

At almost 5' 11" with proportionately short legs, you'll probably need a looong stem to get comfortable. I'm 5' 7" with proportionately short legs. I ride a 54 CM bike with a 56 CM (22") top tube. The standover is a little short for me, but it still works. How long is your bike's top tube (measured from center of ST to center of head tube)? If this bike is the right size for your legs, my guess is that the TT is too short for you - 'too short' meaning 'too short for you to get comfortable on, even with a long tall stem'.
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Old 07-12-22, 02:30 AM
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1983 bike 300cad,It is great VFM antique.
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