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PoorInRichfield 11-27-13 09:45 AM

Buying a Trek Domane... 56 or 58 cm?
It's time for me to retire my nearly 15 year old Trek 5200 and replace it with a 2014 Trek Domane. I was at the bike store yesterday and noticed that the frame angles have changed considerably since I bought my 5200. My 5200 has a 58 cm frame, but when looking at the 56 cm Domanes, the top tube looks pretty darn high, making me wonder if I need a 56 or a 58 cm frame?

I'm *almost* 6'1" tall, but apparently shrinking already do to age (my 40th birthday is just around the corner) or because I slouch too much :o (I weight 165 lbs if that matters.) The sign on the Domane at the bike store said that the 56 cm would fit riders up to 6'0"... which is obviously pretty close to my size.

What should I look for when determining if I need a 56 or a 58 cm frame since I seem to be 'right on the edge' between the two sizes? In theory, a 56 cm should be a tad lighter... would there be any reason why I shouldn't go with a 56?

gsa103 11-27-13 11:04 AM

The measurement of relevance is "effective top tube". It converts the sloping top tube length to an equivalent horizontal length. Vertical height is just a matter of properly adjusting the seat. I'd think the 58cm would be a better fit. Test ride both at the shop then decide.

fietsbob 11-27-13 04:08 PM

Can't see you on the bike so a blind guess.. I have a level top tube 56 road bike , I'M 5'10"

those have a sloping top tube.. the shop have both sizes ?, or do they have to order one, just one.

shopping in Person answers many questions posed by just looking at pictures theoretical issues of web surfing.

PoorInRichfield 11-28-13 01:48 PM

Yeah, the Domane's have a sloping top tube which makes sizing weird to me. From Trek's web site:


If youíre between sizes, itís generally best to go with the smaller size. Itís easier to make a smaller frame fit a little larger than vice versa.
I was supposed to pick-up the bike yesterday (a 56 cm Domane 5.2), but the mechanic who was assembling the bike said he wasn't happy with how it was shifting and didn't want to give it to me until he could speak with Shimano and find out what's going on. Because of the shifting issues, I wasn't able to actually go through the bit fitting process to ensure the 56 cm is indeed going to work. :(

Oh well... better to be working through these issues now while it's too cold to ride anyway than when it's 70 degrees out and I'm itchin' to ride! ;)

1938 Autocycle 12-02-13 07:51 AM

I am 5'10" and I fit like glove on a 56 road bike. I am no expert and I don't know Treks but I would guess the 58 would be better fit for you. Does the bike shop not help you with fitting the bike? You should really try both sizes or spend some time researching before you buy one. Would be a shame to spend years riding a bike that is the wrong size

PoorInRichfield 12-03-13 12:27 PM

I've got the 56 cm bike home with me now. Unfortunately, I have no pedals :( My LBS wanted to "give me a deal" and charge me $250 for Ultegra carbon pedals even though MSRP is $200 and I could get them online for $140, so I told 'em I'll get them online (as I don't like being ripped-off for no apparent reason).

W/o pedals, I haven't been able to do any fitment yet. My LBS said I need to bring the bike back with my shoes and pedals in order to do a fitment, which is fine I guess. I'm a little concerned now about the 56 cm in that when the seat post is maxed-out in height, it's debatable as to whether-or-not that will be high enough to give my legs the right amount of bend. It looks like it'll be very close. My new shoes arrive tomorrow and hopefully the pedals get here this week.

I'm sure glad I'm doing this now while it's too crappy to ride ;)

woodcraft 12-06-13 01:36 AM

I'm just going from a 57 cm 5200 to a Tarmac.

I rode a 58, & it was too big, got a 56.

I'm 6' w/ proportionally shorter legs, longer torso. The guy I bought the bike from was at least an inch taller, and had 1 1/2" more seat post showing.

I think you'll be happy with your choice & the seat post, but you could get a longer post if needed.

Can't you use shoes and pedals from your old bike to get started?

PoorInRichfield 12-06-13 06:02 PM

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I see that Trek sells the "seat cap" in 135mm and 175mm lengths... although they must be made of gold as they're $120. The bike appears to be fitted with a 135 mm.

My loverly Ultegra carbon pedals arrived yesterday. Using the quick "adjust your seat so your leg is straight when your pedal is down and your heal is on it" approach, when the seat height is maxed-out, that's the perfect height. Traditionally, that's how I've always set my seat height... or perhaps made it a little lower than that.

Is there any reason to think I'd need the seat higher than that? I went through's bike fit calculations and it suggests I should have a 58 cm (or thereabout).

The shop where I bought the bike will only do very basic measurements for fitment if I take the bike back. Anything beyond a basic measurement is $150+. At the moment, I don't see any reason why this 56 cm frame won't fit me, so I'm thinking I'm not going to go through the hassle of taking the bike back.

zx9rmal 12-17-13 01:59 PM

Assuming your 5200 fit you well, why not measure the seat height and use that for the Domane? You could also copy the fore/aft seat position relative to the crank arm. If the stem length is OK, then you should be good to go I would think.

Good luck with the new ride!

PoorInRichfield 12-17-13 04:55 PM


Originally Posted by zx9rmal (Post 16337671)
Assuming your 5200 fit you well, why not measure the seat height and use that for the Domane? You could also copy the fore/aft seat position relative to the crank arm. If the stem length is OK, then you should be good to go I would think.

Yup... I finally wised-up and measured the pedal-to-seat height on my 5200 and my ION, both were at about 37". That happens to be the absolute max height I can adjust the seat post (cap) on the 56 cm Domane, so yeah-me ;)

After reading the following article, of the 3 methods I could do at home, I came-up with the same seat height calculation of approximately 37", so I think I'm pretty safe keeping this 56 cm bike:

Here's my new machine... in "boring black" :rolleyes:

On an unrelated note, it seems like it's a lot "bouncier" on my rollers than my 5200. (Since it's snowing and well below freezing right now, all I can do is ride my rollers.) Even when riding as smooth as possible on the rollers on my 5200, there's a little bit of forward-and-back motion as the rear tire attempts to crawl over the rear roller and then rocks back. This small motion seems to be accentuated by the Domane's flexible seat mast. While I don't think I'll notice this at all in the "real world" (i.e., on a street), I'm inclined to think I might just keep my 5200 as a winter roller bike rather than sell it so my indoor training is a little smoother!

fietsbob 12-18-13 10:05 PM

Yea and the sweat won't corrode your new bike's parts..

digibud 12-22-13 09:34 AM

For future reference of others in the same situation I will add that when you are faced with two bikes that can both potentially fit you by changing a stem length your choice boils down to whether you want a smaller, more aero racy bike that will have you leaned down further (picture yourself on a tiny toy bike with a super long seat post where you are leaning way down to get to the handlebar) or a larger frame with higher handlebars that puts you in a slightly less aero, more upright position. My 58cm bike is "too big" for me now. I could easily ride a 56cm bike (I'm 6') and I knew it at the time I bought it but I was roughly 100lb bigger and could not comfortably ride the 56 when I got it so I have a very short stem on my 58cm and it's just fine. A lot of people can be comfortably fitted on two different sized bikes by swapping stems.

Dunbar 12-22-13 01:33 PM

I'd be curious to know how much saddle-to-bar drop the original poster has. You can measure up from the ground to the top of the seat, then ground to top of the bars and subtract the two. The fact that the seat post is maxed out would suggest (on the surface) that the original poster should have gone for a 58cm frame.

PoorInRichfield 12-22-13 03:32 PM


Originally Posted by Dunbar (Post 16351307)
I'd be curious to know how much saddle-to-bar drop the original poster has. You can measure up from the ground to the top of the seat, then ground to top of the bars and subtract the two.

At the moment, the handlebars are actually higher up than I'm used to, relative to the seat height. The Domane has less ground clearance than my 5200 does, due to a lower bottom bracket, yet the handlebars are at the same height. I think this is due to the Domane having an "endurance" frame design and thus promotes a more up-right position than my 5200 did (or than the Madone's do). As you can see in the photo above, the top of the fork hasn't been cut down, so the stem is pretty high up on a few spacers. I figure I'm going to have to wait until Spring when I can get a few outdoor rides in to determine if I want to leave the stem at it's current height or lower it.

I don't see any issue so far with my 56 cm as far as fitment is concerned. If I was just a tad taller, there's no doubt I'd need a 58 cm.

PoorInRichfield 09-30-14 06:04 PM

After owning my 56 cm Domane for almost a year now, I thought I'd definitively "answer my own question" ;)

I haven't had any fitment issues going with my 56 cm frame instead of a 58 cm. I've had a pretty good summer of riding and literally the only reason why I would consider getting a 58 cm is that would allow me to slam the stem (i.e., cut the fork tube) so I could look cooler :D At the moment, I've got about 1.5 cm of spacers below my stem, which is unacceptable to some, I'm sure. However, one advantage of the 56 over the 58 is that I have the room to go lower with the handlebars if I want to (theoretically 2 cm lower). I've been too lazy recently to experiment with lowering my stem, but I think I could go a little lower.

I'm considering getting a 120 mm stem instead of the 100 mm the bike came with so my Domane feels about the same as my cyclocross bike (i.e., same distance from the seat to handlebars). Considering Fabian Cancellara is also 6'1" and has a 140 mm stem on most of his Domanes, it's apparent that stem length is a very personal thing (or he has monkey arms :lol: )

Sooo... if you're in the 6' / 6'1" height range like me and trying to decide between a 56 and a 58 cm Domane, I'd say that you should make sure the seat post can extend enough for your legs on the 56, and if that works, then buy which ever bike is cheaper! The rest of the bike can easily be made to fit w/o a huge investment.

wedgeSG 11-13-14 07:32 PM

When I zeroed in on a final decision after many test rides, of many different bikes it came down to either a Domane or a Madone. I'm 5'7" with slightly shorter than avg. leg length. The shop had me riding 52's. I was liking the feel of the Madone better and both were set up at the same basic locations for stem and seat height. Thank goodness one of the guys at the shop saw me ride by and told the salesperson to put me on a 54. I didn't know, it felt better than anything I'd ever ridden to date; although I did feel a bit cramped up, I wrote it off to new geometry and not being on a bike for years. I got on a 54 and WOW, this is how it's supposed to be. Instantly more at ease, no feelings of working against myself for control, night and day difference. This also allowed me to focus more on the aspects of the bikes themselves rather than only which seemed to operate better within my lack of comfort. Ultimately I went with the Madone. They did a basic fitting and all was good for a while. Within a few months I crossed "going to clipless" off my bucket list and had changed saddles twice...I went to a different shop for a fit tweaking. It was minor moves, but the saddle position changed a bit and they dropped and flipped the stem a couple of spacers, along with a swap to a stem an additional 10 in length. Doubting, this was gonna work for me I'm still surprised to say that the old dog still has some hunker down left in him and I'm more comfortable now than I ever would have believed. Trek says it's easier to fit to a smaller frame given a choice if between sizes. I get the point, and most folks today want the smaller frame to look more "pro". Personally, i think it's a better method to ride both and tweak the one that feels the best on a side by side comparison. If that guy hadn't spoke up on that day he saw me go by the window....I'd be on the wrong size, (or at least not the best size), today.

fietsbob 11-15-14 11:18 AM


At the moment, the handlebars are actually higher up than I'm used to, relative to the seat height
move a spacer from below the stem to above it and you dont have to cut anything..

NB it wont grow Back !

PoorInRichfield 11-15-14 11:59 AM

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The latest update on my 56cm Domane purchasing decision...

I'm now quite confident that the 56cm was the right frame size for me. On one of my last rides of the year (before daylight savings set-in and my world was forever cast into a Wintery darkness), I decided to "slam" my stem and give that a try.

I freekin' loved it.

Not only did the bike no longer feel like the handlebars were too high, the bike just felt right. By lowering the bars, that extended how far I have to reach to the bars and the stock 100mm stem seems just fine (whew!)

When I got home, I lined-up my Domane with my previous bike, a 1999 Trek 5200. I don't know why I didn't do this a long time ago, but to my surprise, the handlebars height on my "slammed" 56cm Domane was still a tad higher than on my not-slammed-at-all 58cm 5200! By lowering the stem on my Domane, I essentially got the bike feeling much closer to the 5200 I had been used to for the past 15 years. The Domane has an "endurance fit" geometry which means it forces a more up-right riding position... but apparently I'm not ready for that yet (give me a few years and that may change).

Long story short, I don't think a person should get too fixed on frame size numbers because that number can mean different things from manufacturer to manufacturer and even bike to bike. My Domane has a radically different frame geometry than my 5200, so thinking I still needed a 58cm perhaps wasn't based on reality because comparing the two bikes isn't an apples-to-apples comparison.

Fabian Cancellara is my same height and rides a 58cm, and that bothered me a little. However, many of Trek's top-o-the-line Domane frames, like the Koppenberg Edition frameset, have a more Madone-like geometry in that the head tube is much lower and the frame is longer. So once again, thinking I need a 58cm because Fabian has one wasn't an apples-to-apples comparison.

Anywho, here are some comparison shots of my 56cm Domane and my 58cm 5200 to show how similar in size they are.

CJlift 02-08-16 11:19 PM

Hi PoorInRichfield,
I am just into your situation now, been riding 56cm Madone 3.1 (2014 H2) for 2 years and thinking about Domane 5.2 frameset.
I am 185cm (6"1) and approx the same inseam like you.

My questions are;
1. Do you use stock seatcap (135mm) for your Domane?
2. My only concern is the seatcap if I will get a 56cm Domane like you recommended, will it be too high up from seat post?
3. Looks like 56cm Domane has even shorter eff-top tube/seat tube than my 56cm Madone 52.5 ST/55.4 TT vs 53.3 ST/56.0 TT, in this case should I go for 58cm Domane which has similar ST/TT to the H2 Madone?

Thanks for all your explanation, hope you're still checking this forum :)

PoorInRichfield 02-09-16 05:32 PM


Originally Posted by CJlift (Post 18522426)
1. Do you use stock seatcap (135mm) for your Domane?

I have the stock seat cap.

Originally Posted by CJlift (Post 18522426)
2. My only concern is the seatcap if I will get a 56cm Domane like you recommended, will it be too high up from seat post?

There are lines on the back of the seat post mast showing the max height you can have the cap. So unless you happen to use a seat that has a very low height or your inseam is considerably longer than mine (~33"), I don't think you'll have an issue. If you do, you can always buy a 175mm post. I have lowered my seat a little since I originally got the bike, so now I actually have some wiggle-room with the seat height that I didn't originally have.

Originally Posted by CJlift (Post 18522426)
3. Looks like 56cm Domane has even shorter eff-top tube/seat tube than my 56cm Madone 52.5 ST/55.4 TT vs 53.3 ST/56.0 TT, in this case should I go for 58cm Domane which has similar ST/TT to the H2 Madone?

I'm afraid I can't answer this question as I've never owned a Madone. I think you could buy either a 56cm or a 58cm Domane and make either fit. My opinion is that If you ride "in the drops" (i.e., a low, aero position like most racers) I'd suggest a 56cm. If comfort is your priority and you spend very little time in the drops, then I'd suggest a 58cm as you'll be riding a bit more up-right. If your wallet allows, I'd recommend a Koppenberg frame, probably in a 58cm, since it apparently has a more Madone-like geometry but still has the ISO decoupler. (My wallet only lets me dream about a Koppenberg frame.)

I did end-up buying a 120mm stem to replace the stock 100mm stem. I figure that it makes sense that I'd need a longer stem than the bike came with since I'm at the max limit for the suggested rider size for the bike. My handlebars now obstruct my view of the front hub where as with the 100cm stock stem, the hub was quite far in front of the handlebars and I felt a little "squished".

fietsbob 02-10-16 10:33 AM

Heads Mountain I heard the ''cobblestones which in Flemish-Dutch slang language are called kinderkoppen, or "children's heads".'' phrase , when i visited there . (nearer to the Kemmelberg at Ypres)

so juicy a stretch Ghent-Wevelgem loops to do it twice, at the last part of the day.

But Heck The Trek is red , thats a fast color :lol:

CJlift 02-10-16 09:14 PM

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BIG Thanks!! I will definitely go for 56cm Domane frame then the rest of components later... due to my limited cash.

Here's my current Madone 3.1, gotta keep this as my first ever road bike.

greesycaf 05-21-16 12:41 AM

Yeah that bike's a little small for you.

CJlift 09-14-16 11:03 PM

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An update on this topic;

At last I got a 56cm Domane 5 series frameset, measured everything exactly the same as Madone!
Gladly I didn't end up getting 58cm frame, that's way too relaxed position for me.

Rdenni15 10-30-16 10:46 AM

I'm 5'11" just bought a Domane 4.5 a month ago and was fitted to the 56, need to change out my stem to a 7mm for a better fit starting point

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