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How to measure frame size?

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How to measure frame size?

Old 05-15-24, 05:53 AM
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How to measure frame size?

Hi

How do I measure the size of the frame? I have tried finding the size on the frame and it just says S or XS, I donít remember. I got the bike when I was 15 and Iím 26 now, and I want to know if itís too small for me.
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Old 05-15-24, 06:16 AM
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That's a very small bike, appropriate for someone maybe 5'2" or so from the looks of it.

The closest thing to a measurable size would be the Effective Top Tube length, shown here:
https://geometrygeeks.bike/understan...%20tube%20axis.

Your height vs the ETT length would give us an idea if this bike still works for you.
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Old 05-15-24, 06:38 AM
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I measure the ETT length to 52 or 53 cm. I am 161 cm and my inseam is 72 cm.
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Old 05-15-24, 08:33 AM
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I thought it was the effective seat tube length that is the determining factor for most bikes today? Which is just a modification of the ancient way bikes were sized back when top tubes were horizontal. Effective top tube length for a road bike and maybe some others is many times the same measure or very close.

Likely the bike is considered too small for you if you've grown since being 15 yo. But if you are comfortable on the bike and it's doing for you what you want out of it, then it really doesn't matter. Though I'd recommend you find out what size is recommended for any other bike you purchase. But if you don't like how that size seems to fit, you can always try smaller or larger.
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Old 05-15-24, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Olgaimage
I measure the ETT length to 52 or 53 cm. I am 161 cm and my inseam is 72 cm.
Go to:
https://geometrygeeks.bike
search for your TREK model - name should be on frame, and the year of the model - close on year prolly will work fine.
The chart that comes up gives selection of size , selecting size then brings you to geometry measurements for that size.
...Visually, my guess to that size might be a 49 or 50, so prolly an XS ? Which for your height & inseam would be just a hair small.
But it certainly is workable for your current height/inseam. Seat adjustment and after that, maybe a slightly different stem (or maybe same stem...)
Seat adjustment may put you a hair higher than current seatpost allows, but replacement seatpost is very inexpensive purchase...
You can go to a bike shop and test ride a bike which might be one size larger -52 - but I don;t think you'd find much difference - 52 being on the large side for you...
(52 usually being labeled a 'S')
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 05-15-24, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Olgaimage
I measure the ETT length to 52 or 53 cm. I am 161 cm and my inseam is 72 cm.
Seems like a good size for you. If it is feeling a little short horizontally, slide the seat back a bit or replace the stem with a longer one

Originally Posted by Iride01
I thought it was the effective seat tube length that is the determining factor for most bikes today? Which is just a modification of the ancient way bikes were sized back when top tubes were horizontal. Effective top tube length for a road bike and maybe some others is many times the same measure or very close.

Likely the bike is considered too small for you if you've grown since being 15 yo. But if you are comfortable on the bike and it's doing for you what you want out of it, then it really doesn't matter. Though I'd recommend you find out what size is recommended for any other bike you purchase. But if you don't like how that size seems to fit, you can always try smaller or larger.
You can't measure effective seat tube length.

TT and frame size are only similar in middle sizes like 56. Small bikes have TTs longer than their size, and large bikes the opposite. As we see here with a likely size 48 with an ETT of nearly 53.
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Old 05-15-24, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
You can't measure effective seat tube length.
Why not?

If you can measure effective top tube length then you know were to measure to for effective seat tube length. While most bikes in the old days were measured from the BB center to the actual top of the seat tube some were also measured to the intersection with the top of the top tube and some to the centerline of the top tube.

And if you read a little further down on the page you linked then you'll see they list effective seat tube length. And take a look at the last part of that! I'd copy paste it, but their servers are down right now.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:08 PM
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I always figured you use a tape measure to measure from the center of that nut that holds the pedal arms to the bike to the top of the painted tube that the seat post is sticking out of.

Regardless, I don't think it matters much. If the bike feels comfortable, ride it. If it feels small, replace the bike, or at least make adjustments others have mentioned such as raising and pushing back the seat.
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Old 05-15-24, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Why not?

If you can measure effective top tube length then you know were to measure to for effective seat tube length. While most bikes in the old days were measured from the BB center to the actual top of the seat tube some were also measured to the intersection with the top of the top tube and some to the centerline of the top tube.

And if you read a little further down on the page you linked then you'll see they list effective seat tube length. And take a look at the last part of that! I'd copy paste it, but their servers are down right now.
Bikes with horizontal TTs had the seat tube measured center of the BB to the top of the top tube intersection, or to the center of the top tube intersection. Measuring to the top of the clamp extension was never the norm. All those Cannondales with the 3cm extension above the TT were ignored for geo information.

But what you are talking about (it sounds like), is using the top of the head tube to draw a horizontal line through where the seat post is and then measuring that height. There are two problems with that:
1. Head tube lengths are no completely divorced from bike size. Briefly, when compact frames were introduced, the HT length for a given size was the same whether the TT was level of sloped. But modern bikes are mostly not compacts. They have sloping top tubes that go from tall HTs to short STs. And, internal headsets add more length than externals.
2. Traditional "level TT bikes" already had sloped top tubes to deal with the fact that about the shorts HT you could possibly have with a level TT was on a 48. So if the bike was smaller than 48, had thicker tubing or the manufacturer didn't want the headset bearings super close, they raised the HT. But having the HT height of a 50cm bike didn't make a 47 into some other size.


The only real "effective seat tube" is when the manufacturer wants you to know that their "56" is the equivalent of a traditional level TT 56 frame, which means that it should fit people used to an old style 56. Which is pretty much what is done by most builders that name a metric size instead of SMLXL. WIth the notable exception of Colnago.
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Old 05-16-24, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Bikes with horizontal TTs had the seat tube measured center of the BB to the top of the top tube intersection, or to the center of the top tube intersection. Measuring to the top of the clamp extension was never the norm. All those Cannondales with the 3cm extension above the TT were ignored for geo information.

But what you are talking about (it sounds like), is using the top of the head tube to draw a horizontal line through where the seat post is and then measuring that height. There are two problems with that:
1. Head tube lengths are no completely divorced from bike size. Briefly, when compact frames were introduced, the HT length for a given size was the same whether the TT was level of sloped. But modern bikes are mostly not compacts. They have sloping top tubes that go from tall HTs to short STs. And, internal headsets add more length than externals.
2. Traditional "level TT bikes" already had sloped top tubes to deal with the fact that about the shorts HT you could possibly have with a level TT was on a 48. So if the bike was smaller than 48, had thicker tubing or the manufacturer didn't want the headset bearings super close, they raised the HT. But having the HT height of a 50cm bike didn't make a 47 into some other size.


The only real "effective seat tube" is when the manufacturer wants you to know that their "56" is the equivalent of a traditional level TT 56 frame, which means that it should fit people used to an old style 56. Which is pretty much what is done by most builders that name a metric size instead of SMLXL. WIth the notable exception of Colnago.
You keep making specific examples of unique things.

However it's pretty easy to measure effective seat tube length. Not sure why you think it's some magical number only a manufacturer can come up with.

And here is your link now that the sites back up.

Seat Tube Length

"Centre to Top" or C-T is the length from bottom bracket centre to top of seat tube. Useful because you can measure it and helps you work out how much seatpost you need.

"Centre to Centre" or C-C is the length from bottom bracket centre to the middle of where the top tube meets the seat tube. Was a bit more useful when bikes were made without sloping top tubes.

"Effective" is the length from the bottom bracket centre to the point where a horizontal line from the top of the head tube meets the seat tube axis. Less commonly used.

One of these is often used as an overall measure of a bike's size.

https://geometrygeeks.bike/understan...%20tube%20axis
Note the part in red. They made no such reference in any of the section for top tubes. Though they did say it's a good indicator. And I basically do agree for reasons I stated in my first post. Though I'm not going to claim some manufacturers don't do other methods such as you said. Actually I think some might base the sizing on a ratio of the two and just convert that to a letter size or a CM size to keep with the customers current expectation and understanding of size. .
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Old 05-16-24, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
You keep making specific examples of unique things.

However it's pretty easy to measure effective seat tube length. Not sure why you think it's some magical number only a manufacturer can come up with.

And here is your link now that the sites back up.



Note the part in red. They made no such reference in any of the section for top tubes. Though they did say it's a good indicator. And I basically do agree for reasons I stated in my first post. Though I'm not going to claim some manufacturers don't do other methods such as you said. Actually I think some might base the sizing on a ratio of the two and just convert that to a letter size or a CM size to keep with the customers current expectation and understanding of size. .
Effective seat tube length is used by manufacturers, but it isn't a useful measure of a random bike because of the huge difference in stack height/HT length. So you can't derive it.

ETT is useful because it gets to the heart of the problem with sizing - reach. We don't care about the seat tube itself because sloping top tubes make stand over irrelevant to sizing. Once you have ETT you can ballpark the intended size of the bike and therefore the height of the intended rider.

So another way to say it is that ETT is an easy thing to measure the side of the bike, and that size is more or less the EST.

Last edited by Kontact; 05-16-24 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 05-17-24, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
Go to:
https://geometrygeeks.bike
search for your TREK model - name should be on frame, and the year of the model - close on year prolly will work fine.
The chart that comes up gives selection of size , selecting size then brings you to geometry measurements for that size.
...Visually, my guess to that size might be a 49 or 50, so prolly an XS ? Which for your height & inseam would be just a hair small.
But it certainly is workable for your current height/inseam. Seat adjustment and after that, maybe a slightly different stem (or maybe same stem...)
Seat adjustment may put you a hair higher than current seatpost allows, but replacement seatpost is very inexpensive purchase...
You can go to a bike shop and test ride a bike which might be one size larger -52 - but I don;t think you'd find much difference - 52 being on the large side for you...
(52 usually being labeled a 'S')
Ride On
Yuri
I just found out that the bike is a Lexa Compact 2013 (https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/c...mpact/p/15191/), so I was wrong by one year, I thought I got it in 2012. But I can't find it on geometrygeeks.bike, it may be too old. Apparently it was made in size 47, 50, 52, 54 and 56, but I can't figure out what size my bike is.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:38 AM
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So are you uncomfortable on your bike? Is it causing you any pains? Does your performance on the bike not seem as good as it should be?

If not, then why worry about whether it's too small for you? Take note that many threads here in this sub-forum are made by people that purchased what is considered the correct size bike for them and they also gripe about pains and other stuff.

If you are going to get another bike, you might not like the fit even if it is the same size as your current or if it's the size bike that is recommended for you.
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Old 05-17-24, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Olgaimage
I just found out that the bike is a Lexa Compact 2013 (https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/c...mpact/p/15191/), so I was wrong by one year, I thought I got it in 2012. But I can't find it on geometrygeeks.bike, it may be too old. Apparently it was made in size 47, 50, 52, 54 and 56, but I can't figure out what size my bike is.
It's either a 47 or a 50. Either is okay for your body size.

If you want a larger looking bike, you don't need a number to prove that it's alright to buy one.
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Old 05-17-24, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
So are you uncomfortable on your bike? Is it causing you any pains? Does your performance on the bike not seem as good as it should be?

If not, then why worry about whether it's too small for you? Take note that many threads here in this sub-forum are made by people that purchased what is considered the correct size bike for them and they also gripe about pains and other stuff.

If you are going to get another bike, you might not like the fit even if it is the same size as your current or if it's the size bike that is recommended for you.
My elbows start hurting when I use it too much. Also Iím just curious how optimal the bike is for me
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Old 05-18-24, 01:14 PM
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I'm not sure elbows hurting really says anything about the size. My elbows hurt sometimes, and I do pushups to combat that.

If the seat height is correct on that bike, then it looks like an okay size. Trying different stems is a good idea though. Simple rules of sizing are that if your butt hurts, your stem is too short. If your hands hurt, your stem is too long.
As always, YMMV, and it might help to consult someone who knows about bike fitting.
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Old 05-19-24, 09:37 AM
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Why is the saddle tilted so far nose down? If you had it level, does it feel like you are pushing your butt off the back of the bike when you pedal? That might suggest that it's too small. Or your saddle too low.

If the bike is too small, then what would be your solution? If it's buy another bike, then why don't you just do that anyway?
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Old 05-19-24, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Olgaimage
I just found out that the bike is a Lexa Compact 2013 (https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/c...mpact/p/15191/), so I was wrong by one year, I thought I got it in 2012. But I can't find it on geometrygeeks.bike, it may be too old. Apparently it was made in size 47, 50, 52, 54 and 56, but I can't figure out what size my bike is.
Originally Posted by Olgaimage
My elbows start hurting when I use it too much. Also I’m just curious how optimal the bike is for me
Don't become hung up on 'Numbers', 'size - it's important, of course, but your bike should be well within you good size range...
In my 1st post, I gave you a link for the geometry and sizing - you can search for your bike and see/compare the geometry numbers/sizing of your bike model...
But there's other important things... you can do on this/your current bike... which should still 'fit' you well...
Below this line is a 'post' I just made in another thread... it applies to you also...
- - - - - - - -
saddle & position
saddle is often used for weight distribution - could work, but also 'not'...
pressure points from weight are: each hand, each pedal/foot, each siztbone (you have 2 on the saddle). That's always where the 'hurt' starts, and then transfers to other associated parts....
'weight' pressure change isn;t going to be changed quickly/dramtically - it can only be distributed in a way which reduces /distributes the pressure...
associated with that is muscle performance... move an element and you change both... aside from 'handling' skills, everything riding the bike centers on these - you rpower, you rweight and how you distribute/use them.
'Level saddle' - a good start point. depends on saddle... DON'T assume saddle rails are 'level' to saddle top surface - many are not

'Level' Cobb Saddle - rails not level... never assume
There are many shapes, sizes, dimensions of saddles from companies - some very different ... yours may be different from another model ...
don't be fooled by 'shape'... some saddles are flat, some have a high back - measure level from 'nose' to where your sitzbones rest...
fore/aft can help with putting more weight on butt and little less on hands - but often not THE Solution...
seat height - variable... for each rider and riding needs. Also a lot of variability...
Most/Best position for balance of power vs comfort is based on 'Posture/Position'

Good cycling Form / Position
Here's a rider enjoying his ride, having found his optimum position - comfortable forward lean FROM bending his elbows and rolling his elbows inward towards torso. The elbows and associated arm muscles are your shock absorbers for the shoulders, head, torso. Straight arms transfer road shocks to shoulders neck, and back down thru spine. Very upright torso transfers shock from saddle/butt up thru the spine to neck... Bend each (eblows/arms & Hips/waist) and the shock is 'absorbed'...
This guy is older/'seasoned' and carries a sizeable torso; but he's found his best' posture for riding his bike.
saddle height/extension : I've found that formulas can get you started... and also a simple method. Rolling easy on bike, put your heels on the pedal spindles & make comfortable pedal revolutions...
with your heels on pedal spindles, pedal backwards.
If you can do BOTH with smooth pedaling and NO rocking of the hips - you're close to your best setting height - small variations (mm's either up or down) after that to fine tune...
ANY SETTING - SMALL adjustments, in steps, and some riding between changing settings... (often multiple rides before next change)|
ONE CHANGE AT A TIME ! focus on one 'change', at a time...
acknowledge your 'weaknesses' and allow them to build ... a little bit of stress to the body, helps build those weaknesses - don;t baby, don;t bury yourself - cycling, like so many things, is a lesson about yourself.

check your saddle adjustment - apply/find good riding 'posture' to use when riding (I see MANY female riders who 'LOCK' their elbows with death grips on the handlebars AND HUNCH their shoulders up around their ears) - often an indication of poor upper arm strength) bend the elbows, do light exercises to help build your arm muscles, especially triceps). 'Pull/drop your shoulders down - unlock the elbows and shoulders (and often the wrists...).
A Different Bike size will NOT resolve these issues.

Ride On
Yuri

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Old 05-20-24, 03:26 AM
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Iride01 I think the saddle has always been that way. I leveled it a long time ago, and it felt the way you describe that I was pushing by butt off the back of the bike, so I changed it back. I didn't know what could mean that it's too small, so that's interesting.

I am strongly considering buying a new bike when I finish my exams this summer, also because I have been told that it's worn and not worth it to keep having parts replaced. I was just curious and I appreciate all your advice

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Old 05-20-24, 03:28 AM
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cyclezen Thanks, I will have a look into that. I searched for Lexa and apparently there is no information about the model from 2013, though.

I asked in the customer service chat on trekbikes.com if they could find out what size my bike is given the serial number, and they said 50, and according to their tables, it is not too small.
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Old 05-20-24, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Olgaimage
Iride01 I think the saddle has always been that way. I leveled it a long time ago, and it felt the way you describe that I was pushing by butt off the back of the bike, so I changed it back. I didn't know what could mean that it's too small, so that's interesting.

I am strongly considering buying a new bike when I finish my exams this summer, also because I have been told that it's worn and not worth it to keep having parts replaced. I was just curious and I appreciate all your advice
The idea that a bike is 'Worn out' is very funny... Some parts do wear out, and maintenance is always a good thing to have the machine work as well as possible.
But usually good (new?) tires, and after some thousands of miles - a new chain, are the usual things which need to be replaced with fresh/new. After many miles the cables and brake pads would need replacing. But that bike has many years and miles left in it - with the common replacements.
True for this bike, as well as 'New' becomes 'well used'.
Nothing wrong with wanting and getting 'new'. And nothing wrong with keeping the 'old' bike and freshening the stuff which 'wears'..
But maybe try setting up your current bike so it fits well for you? You'll learn a bunch as to what helps you ride well, and be able to make better decisions on 'New', when and if you come to that.
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 05-20-24, 11:19 AM
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OK... This is an important thread. But I am confused!

Back in the day, a frame size was posted with the STACK and REACH measurements. And a completed bicycle with the wheels on had measurements from the Floor to the Top Tube and maybe a reach. With new bicycle geometry and marketing demands it appears allot more complex.

So... Now days, what is the most common way to post a bicycle size?
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Old 05-20-24, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
OK... This is an important thread. But I am confused!

Back in the day, a frame size was posted with the STACK and REACH measurements. And a completed bicycle with the wheels on had measurements from the Floor to the Top Tube and maybe a reach. With new bicycle geometry and marketing demands it appears allot more complex.

So... Now days, what is the most common way to post a bicycle size?
Stack and reach are new. Size is generally a number based on real or effective seat tube length, and that serves the same purpose as a shoe or jacket size.
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Old 05-21-24, 05:14 AM
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Old 05-22-24, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Stack and reach are new. Size is generally a number based on real or effective seat tube length, and that serves the same purpose as a shoe or jacket size.
Still chasing this as I have had a few young-uns ask about what size bike to buy. I agree that the most important measurement would be Effective Seat Tube Length. I would also say REACH from the ESTL would also be important. But of the frames I see advertised on modern bikes these measurements can be elusive. I have plugged in some numbers on some of the bicycle web site Bike Fit Algorithms. Wow... What a mess... No wonder people are spending the money for personal bike fitting.

I guess if I were going to buy or sell a frame these days these would be the some important measurements to include in its description.

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