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56cm at 6'2?

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56cm at 6'2?

Old 08-07-13, 05:43 AM
  #1  
Tel0004
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56cm at 6'2?

I need some advise. I have test ridden everything from 56cm-61cm frames.

The 56cm felt a bit more natural. With the 58, I felt I was reaching a bit too much. Is a 56cm within the realm of possibility at my height?

I have a trek 7.2fx (hybrid) right now, and its a very upright position. It seems like most online sources say that a 56 is too small, and I'm worried that although it feels best now, it may feel cramped in the long run. Possibly since I am used to an upright position, I am not comfortable (as of right now) with the stretched out position of a 58, but if I bought a 56, I would find it too cramped? Does this make sense? Is a 56 within reason at 6'2, or is that way to small to even be considered?
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Old 08-07-13, 05:49 AM
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Could you post a picture of you riding the 56? I ride a 55 and I am 5 inches shorter than you.
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Old 08-07-13, 05:51 AM
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Yes, it certainly could be fine to go 56cm, but it depends on your body dimensions and the dimensions of the frame.

You've not given us enough info to say much more beyond that.
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Old 08-07-13, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Could you post a picture of you riding the 56? I ride a 55 and I am 5 inches shorter than you.
I am 2" shorter than the OP and ride a 54cm
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Old 08-07-13, 11:59 AM
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What's your inseam length? Height just won't tell us enough.

I'm only 5'10", but I have a VERY long torso and I'm quite flexible. It turns out that a 56 effective top tube is NOT long enough for me (I need 57-58).

At 6'2" with long legs (e.g. 35-36" inseam), you might well fit on a 56cm effective top tube frame – but it does depend on other variables, especially length of your legs/torso and your riding style/ability.
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Old 08-07-13, 03:11 PM
  #6  
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Do you have short arms?

I ride a 57/58cm -- at 5'8".
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Old 08-07-13, 05:36 PM
  #7  
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You are talking road bike with drop bars here? I will assume so -

If you have rather unusual proportions, it is conceivable that a 56 cm fits you at 6' 2". But it is a lot more likely that you aren't used to how a road bike with drop bars should fit.

If you are used to pedaling in a very upright position with bars high and close to the saddle, then a correct drop-bar road bike fit will feel very stretched out and low, until you get used to it. If you are not flexible (back, pelvis, neck) then it will take longer to acclimate.

If you pedal without much force and ride quite slowly, then even after you are acclimated, a drop-bar road bike may still feel stretched and low.

See, the drop-bar road bike positions your hands pretty far forward, your torso leaning forward at 45 degrees (if your hands are on the hoods and your elbows are straight) to close to 0 degrees/flat (if your hands are in the drops and your elbows are deeply bent). Imagine if you get on the bike and just hold that position, without pedaling or moving, it would get uncomfortable and pointless to support yourself like that on your arms and hands for a long time. But now imagine you are pedaling pretty hard and moving pretty fast. The force of your legs pushing down is now supporting your torso, the wind blast is also helping, and that low position is not only comfortable but is important because air resistance is the biggest obstacle you are fighting.

I guess what I am saying is that a drop-bar road bike is not right for all riders and rides.
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Old 08-08-13, 09:42 AM
  #8  
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Steeply sloping top tube? then the bars would be a lot higher.. for the frame 'size' which is a seat tube length..

always best to include top tube length.

5'9" & have a level top tube 56 with a 56.5 toptube, RB1 ..


Reaching too far? change the stem.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-22-13 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 08-09-13, 07:45 PM
  #9  
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When I first started riding seriously, in 2005, I bought a 56, and I'm 6'2". Bigger than that just felt like too much of a stretch. But in less than a year it felt way too small, and I bought a Specialized Roubaix in XL--which is a 58.4 cm. top tube. Been riding it ever since, happily. My son is 5'10 and he fits my 56 bike perfectly.
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Old 08-21-13, 01:39 PM
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I got my Trek in 58cm, I rode a 56 before I bought and really couldn't tell too much of a difference but decided to go bigger. It fits great. I'm also 6'2.
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Old 08-22-13, 12:59 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
I got my Trek in 58cm, I rode a 56 before I bought and really couldn't tell too much of a difference but decided to go bigger. It fits great. I'm also 6'2.
Same here - having the interesting experience of a Cannondale CAAD10 58cm, and I am 6'2" with a 33" inseam. As I have worked on my flexibility, it has become much more comfortable.

I'd stress you really need to sit on the bike. That is teh only way to be sure.
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Old 08-24-13, 06:47 PM
  #12  
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What is the 56cm measurement referring to? I have a 57cm Pinarello & a 60cm merckx. The distance from crank center is to head tube is shorter on the Pinarello. Geometry is a tricky thing which can't be determined by a general or brand specific number. You really need to break down the frame geometry to figure out the horizontal length of crank center to bars. I can't tell you what you should like. However I tend to think a 120cm stem length is a good place to start in factoring frame size.
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Old 08-29-13, 02:49 PM
  #13  
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I'm 6'4" (almost) and I ride a 58 cm Cannondale CAAD10 and that was from a professional fit. I just have a tall torso (it sucks trying to fit in most cars without hitting my head) so a 56 for someone shorter is totally reasonable. Another thing is from bike to bike a 58cm may fit different. I know I was looking at Cannondale and Trek and I fit better on a 60cm Trek and a 58cm Cannondale and the LBS said they see Cannondale run larger. Also, depending on how race oriented the bike is, they can extend the top tube length and shorten the head tube and have it still be the same "size" bike.
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Old 09-05-13, 05:02 PM
  #14  
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I'm 6'1" and ride a 56cm... I do have the long legs short torso syndrome... 35.5" inseam. I've been looking at new frames with Geo's I might like a little better Look 566 and Focus Izalco Ergoride. These frames are more comfort oriented than race though. However imo an endurance frame that fits you well is better than a race frame that causes pain or has a giant stack of spacers under the bars
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Old 09-19-13, 04:43 PM
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I'm 6'1", and I was riding a Trek 7.2 FX. I bought the bike size that was recommended to me by my LBS, a 20" frame, which translates to roughly a 51cm frame (although I've been told hybrid frame size is not the same as road bike). When I bought my road bike I shopped around a bit more, and rode a lot of bikes. I found that the 58cm frames gave me the most comfort in the sense that I wasn't cramped either on the hoods or in the drops. The 56cm I felt a little cramped on, especially in the drops, but I 'fit.' However, going from the smaller and upright FX I did feel very stretched out on the road bike. I was initially concerned that this was going to be a problem, but after my first long ride on my 58cm bike I was extremely pleased to find that none of my body ached that would have had I been riding the FX. I think a lot of my concern with the way a road bike felt actually stemmed from my lack of experience, and once I was riding the bike and used to the way it felt I quickly realized that this position and frame size was exceedingly more comfortable than my FX.

The moral of the story: go to a shop that actually knows how to size you, and have faith that once you get used to the new riding position you will be a lot more comfortable than you ever imagined possible
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Old 09-20-13, 03:15 PM
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I'm 6'0" and I like my 63-64cm frames just fine. Yes, I have enough stand over clearance, but I also like frames with a shorter top tube.

I also have found that I prefer a 73 deg or less ST angle, or else I need a saddle with very long rails to get it far enough behind the BB. FWIW, I've been riding since the 70's, and refined my own fit significantly in the last 10 years.

So as noted previously, body proportions and frame geometry both need to be factored into "what fits?" Experience, flexibility, and riding "style" are vital, too.
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Old 09-20-13, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
I'm 6'0" and I like my 63-64cm frames just fine. Yes, I have enough stand over clearance, but I also like frames with a shorter top tube.

I also have found that I prefer a 73 deg or less ST angle, or else I need a saddle with very long rails to get it far enough behind the BB. FWIW, I've been riding since the 70's, and refined my own fit significantly in the last 10 years.

So as noted previously, body proportions and frame geometry both need to be factored into "what fits?" Experience, flexibility, and riding "style" are vital, too.

Would you be so kind as to post how your bike look? Just a side shot showing the bike, I'm curious to see how it (63-64 frame) is setup for your height.
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Old 09-21-13, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by terrya View Post
Would you be so kind as to post how your bike look? Just a side shot showing the bike, I'm curious to see how it (63-64 frame) is setup for your height.
Here are photos of my bikes, as well as me (dressed for bike work, not bike riding) on them. BTW, I'm 64 now, so less flexible than I used to be when bars 8-10cm below the saddle were fine for long distances. Now I like then at 0-4cm. I happened to take the pictures of me on my bikes just last week to determine the stem length and height for my "new" 1987 Marinoni down there at the bottom. Those three me-on-the-bike pictures were taken with the camera on a tripod and the bikes on a trainer at the same location, so the perspectives are identical. Hope this doesn't come across as TMI.

The first is my recently rebuilt 1979 Miyata 912 (63cm ctt ST, 58cm TT), purchased new. I was able to get more comfortable on this bike with a Selle An-Atomica saddle with its long rails to get the saddle far enough back to compensate for the 74 deg seat tube. My long legs seem to do much better with a long seat setback (tip of saddle 8.5-10.5cm behind the BB). The bars are about 4cm below the saddle.




This second set shows my 64cm Rambouillet, which has a more relaxed 72 deg ST (64cm ctt, 60 cm TT). Notably, Rivendell designed this bike with a lower BB, slightly sloping TT and extended head tube/steerer tube to allow the bars to be at saddle height without requiring a tall stem. I can get a Brooks B17 far enough back on an American Classic seat post that doesn't have any "extra" setback. (Yes, that's a Brooks Swift in the first picture. It didn't work with the bars that high, but a B17, slotted by SAA, is quite comfy.) You can see from the second picture that it has a slight but noticeably more upright riding position than the Miyata. Both these bike have about the same length stem (9cm). I end up about 1.5 cm farther behind the BB on the Rambouillet compared to the other two bikes, which all seem to be working fine.



Here's the Marinoni (63.5cm ctt ST, 57.5cm and 73 deg TT, I believe) during the build with a stem that's the right length (10cm), but a touch too low for me these days. I think the Brooks Swift is going to be great on this bike with the right stem height.
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Old 09-22-13, 01:21 PM
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Nice looking Piano ..
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Old 09-22-13, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Nice looking Piano ..
Thanks. That one fits my wife well, like her custom Erickson peeking in from the right. The piano and picture above it had a nice mix of horizontal lines to use for my comparison.

Sorry about the little ladder in front of the rear wheel. I with my two after-market hips needed to be able to get on the bikes quickly while the self-timer was running. No, I don't need it normally.

Back to the OP question: Riding the Marinoni with different stems has been very revealing for how small differences in handlebar position alter my comfort. I think that comfort tolerances get narrower with age and reduced flexibility.
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Old 09-23-13, 04:10 PM
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You're definitely taller than 6 foot! by the way...very nice bikes! I'm an old school kinda guy, and you've just made me realize why I miss my Miyata!

For some reason, my Specialized Allez 58cm fits larger than the 63cm Miyata I had. With a 120mm stem (had that on my miyata), the Allez was just too long regardless how far I pushed the seat forward.
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Old 09-24-13, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by terrya View Post
You're definitely taller than 6 foot! by the way...very nice bikes! I'm an old school kinda guy, and you've just made me realize why I miss my Miyata!

For some reason, my Specialized Allez 58cm fits larger than the 63cm Miyata I had. With a 120mm stem (had that on my miyata), the Allez was just too long regardless how far I pushed the seat forward.
I used to be 6'1" but just checked at the annual health screening and, yup, now I'm right at 6'0". Thankfully all the shrinkage is in my torso, so my bikes still fit with taller shorter stems.

I definitely follow the bike fit school of thought that you should start by putting saddle in the best place relative to the BB and pedals, then put the bar and brake levers in the preferred location relative to the saddle. In my experience, the best saddle location doesn't change much with fitness, flexibility or desired type of riding (except for time trial extremes), but the bar and brake locations do change with those factors.

What are the TT lengths and ST angles on the Allez and Miyata? I have access to old Miyata catalogs if you need information on them. FWIW, big Miyatas tended to have shorter TT's, and the racier models (710 and up) had 74 deg ST's.
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