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Noob to Road Bikes Does This Appear to Be the Right Size?

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Noob to Road Bikes Does This Appear to Be the Right Size?

Old 08-25-23, 03:07 PM
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Noob to Road Bikes Does This Appear to Be the Right Size?

Hi I'm 5'10 approx 32-33 inch inseam. Problem is I have short legs and a long body and somewhat broad. By most charts a 56cm bike should fit me and it was comfortable for a very short ride but the bike feels too small to me. I'm used to a size Large hybrid. I was wondering what people here thought. I really like the bike otherwise although I'm struggling changing the pedals.


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Old 08-25-23, 04:08 PM
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I use to ride way oversize vintage bikes. I felt more comfortable on them. But as I got bikes more in the proper size for me, while they felt funny, they were more fun to ride. Partly because they were more maneuverable, which some think is twitchy.

Have you double checked that it's a 56cm? Center of the crank along the centerline of the seat tube to the apparent intersection of the top tube is the usual, but not always measurement many makers used back then.

What problem with pedals? Left pedal is left threaded, right pedal is right threaded... usually. Some older bikes did other stuff. So try both directions. Helps to have a pedal wrench which is usually long handled to give you more leverage. Also getting the crank and wrench at an angle that lets you get good leverage against each other helps a lot.

That might be more a race geometry bike to give you a lower bar height. So maybe that is what bothers you about it. But someone that knows more about vintage stuff would have look at that head tube length and make a guess compared to the bike size unless someone can find the geometry charts for that bike.
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Old 08-25-23, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I use to ride way oversize vintage bikes. I felt more comfortable on them. But as I got bikes more in the proper size for me, while they felt funny, they were more fun to ride. Partly because they were more maneuverable, which some think is twitchy.

Have you double checked that it's a 56cm? Center of the crank along the centerline of the seat tube to the apparent intersection of the top tube is the usual, but not always measurement many makers used back then.

What problem with pedals? Left pedal is left threaded, right pedal is right threaded... usually. Some older bikes did other stuff. So try both directions. Helps to have a pedal wrench which is usually long handled to give you more leverage. Also getting the crank and wrench at an angle that lets you get good leverage against each other helps a lot.

That might be more a race geometry bike to give you a lower bar height. So maybe that is what bothers you about it. But someone that knows more about vintage stuff would have look at that head tube length and make a guess compared to the bike size unless someone can find the geometry charts for that bike.
Yeah I know the pedals are threaded differently. I only have an adjustable wrench and a set of Allen wrenches. I don't have a pedal wrench or a bike stand and the Allen wrench keeps slipping out. I'm just afraid to round off the pedal or screw up the Allen bolt hole. Rather just take it to a shop. I also don't have pedals and I'd like to ride Sunday
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Old 08-25-23, 04:20 PM
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I don't like using allen wrenches to undo something that is taking more force than it should. I've cracked the socket of some recessed allen set screws trying to get them out and the edge of the crack grabs the aluminum and it won't budge or you just round out the allen socket.

I wouldn't use a adjustable wrench either. If you don't have a open end wrench that will fit it, then take it to the bike shop. They might just loosen them for you in hopes you'll give them some future business. When I do stuff like that I usually buy something like a pair of socks, gloves, or something else.

Maybe give them a call first and just ask over the phone.
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Old 08-25-23, 04:31 PM
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The photos don't show anything of importance. IE how much seat post is showing (if the saddle is adjusted correctly for cycling shoes, not running shoes. And the stem length, yours looks like an 80 or 90 at best.) Back when those bikes ruled the world, it was not uncommon to run a 120 stem, which is much longer than what's on there now. Post some pics of JUST the bike AFTER the saddle has been adjusted for height and set back using cycling shoes. Then take some pics of you on it, (without baggy shorts). Barring all that, the answers here are going to just as accurate as the ones that come after "what happens after we die?" .

You have a nice bike there, I'm just trying to make sure you give it a fair chance. I think it can be made to fit you like a glove.
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Old 08-25-23, 04:56 PM
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Looks a li'l small to me, but then, I'm from the French Fit school.
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Old 08-25-23, 05:10 PM
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That looks larger than a typical Center-to-Top 56cm. The stem is also on the short side 90-100mm. The handlebar shape tends to make the brake hoods low. Your saddle is too low by 2-4cm.

I would scoot your saddle back a bit for now and consider a longer stem and perhaps different bar in the future. It should be as wide as your shoulders and no wider. I think the frame size is fine.
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Old 08-25-23, 07:00 PM
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Appreciate all of the input. For now I'm going to put flat pedals on it. I've had clipless before and didn't really like them. I want to use this for commuting too so I plan to just have running shoes. I agree the shorts don't help but I was in a hurry. I guess this isn't a stem I can just raise up a bit (quill?). Was kind of hoping that I could. I was able to get the one pedal off with ease (non drive). Despite trying to loosen the other one by turning clockwise (actually counter clockwise because I was on the other side of the bike/Allen wrench side) it wouldn't budge so I'm just going to take it to a shop.
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Old 08-25-23, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadWearier
Appreciate all of the input. For now I'm going to put flat pedals on it. I've had clipless before and didn't really like them. I want to use this for commuting too so I plan to just have running shoes. I agree the shorts don't help but I was in a hurry. I guess this isn't a stem I can just raise up a bit (quill?). Was kind of hoping that I could. I was able to get the one pedal off with ease (non drive). Despite trying to loosen the other one by turning clockwise (actually counter clockwise because I was on the other side of the bike/Allen wrench side) it wouldn't budge so I'm just going to take it to a shop.
You can raise a quill stem - loosen the bolt several full turns, then smack the allen wrench with a mallet to loosen the wedge down inside the steerer.

However, the stem you have doesn't look like it has a lot of extra length to come up.
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Old 08-26-23, 08:56 AM
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Bike frame size is fine. 5'10" would normally ride a 58cm frame (from that era) , with more avg body proportions, but the 56 is much better for longer torso & shorter legs.
Nice bike ! Me thinks a frame from 80-83 ish, with what seem to be somewhat newer components (can't really determine what they are.
Cluster looks to be a corn cob, so prolly not as much fun on hillier terrain...
When you get to the shop, have them check
Headset adjustment
BB adjustment
wheel trueness , and if tubular/sewups, then make sure you have a spare tire... gearing says 'race bike', specifically short, flat courses, Crit....
check brake pads for 'aging'
general condition of things needing lubrication, chain length, etc
I do recommend adhering to the 'minimum insertion' for the stem, my guess the 'min insertion' for the seatpost should not be an issue...
you can rotate the bars upward a bit, to provide a bit more comfort when riding on the 'tops'. Brake lever position should be ok.
If you're 'new' to road bike riding, 'Butt Hurt' will happen... tough through it, it'll get better. Takes a while, and don't blame it on the saddle, for now...
Enjoy! A very nice bike.
Ride On
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Old 08-26-23, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
Bike frame size is fine. 5'10" would normally ride a 58cm frame (from that era) , with more avg body proportions, but the 56 is much better for longer torso & shorter legs.
Nice bike ! Me thinks a frame from 80-83 ish, with what seem to be somewhat newer components (can't really determine what they are.
Cluster looks to be a corn cob, so prolly not as much fun on hillier terrain...
When you get to the shop, have them check
Headset adjustment
BB adjustment
wheel trueness , and if tubular/sewups, then make sure you have a spare tire... gearing says 'race bike', specifically short, flat courses, Crit....
check brake pads for 'aging'
general condition of things needing lubrication, chain length, etc
I do recommend adhering to the 'minimum insertion' for the stem, my guess the 'min insertion' for the seatpost should not be an issue...
you can rotate the bars upward a bit, to provide a bit more comfort when riding on the 'tops'. Brake lever position should be ok.
If you're 'new' to road bike riding, 'Butt Hurt' will happen... tough through it, it'll get better. Takes a while, and don't blame it on the saddle, for now...
Enjoy! A very nice bike.
Ride On
Yuri
Thanks Yuri! I appreciate all of the suggestions. The bike shop nearby popped the pedal off. Took all of three seconds and didn't charge me so this winter I owe them business. They charge $125 for a tune up but I'm not sure what all that entails. I will have them check those things and regrease BB maybe preemptively replace cables if I don't decide to have a crack at it myself.
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Old 08-26-23, 11:01 AM
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If you are wanting a little more height on the bars and the stem is already at max, then you can loosen the handle bar clamp and rotate the bars up so the drops point down toward your rear hub or lower. That'll raise those hoods up quite a bit. But it might make grabbing the brake lever a little more difficult while in the drops. Those old style brake levers were just at the dawn or maybe a little before the time when shift levers moved to the hoods.

If you are willing to re-wrap the bar tape, you can move the levers as well and maybe get a more ideal position for both hands on the hoods and hands on drops.

You can also get quill stems that will give you a longer or even shorter reach and also that will raise higher above the headset. But you need to figure out if that's really what you want. Otherwise experimentation can get expensive.
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Old 08-26-23, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by famhiking
If a 56cm feels too small, especially on longer rides, you might want to consider trying out a 58cm frame for a more extended ride to see if it suits you better.
Yeah. I'm going to get it road ready tonight and try to do at least 20 miles tomorrow to see how it feels. It may just be that I have been riding hybrids for a while and the bars just seem low. The top tube is definitely snug on the ol' beanbag when I straddle it so maybe if I rotate the handlebars and max out the stem it will seem ok. Sorry if that's TMI
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