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Bike Size Confusion

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Bike Size Confusion

Old 09-30-14, 08:59 PM
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Bike Size Confusion

I was fiddling with numbers and formulas, purely for fun, calculating my frame size using the "109" and "LeMond" methods. Both methods came up saying my ideal frame size is a 52cm.

I find this odd. I've tried 52s in the past and have found them feeling a little too long, too tall, and somewhat "unwieldy," for lack of a better term. I tend to prefer 50s and 51s.

Is there something that I am missing? Maybe the larger frame would be better suited for me (and I haven't been giving it enough of a chance)?

Any input would be appreciated.

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Old 10-01-14, 01:57 AM
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What types of frames? Some have longer top tubes, some have lower bottom brackets.
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Old 10-01-14, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ofgit
What types of frames? Some have longer top tubes, some have lower bottom brackets.
Road bike frames. I recall the last couple of times I bought a new (used, actually, but new to me) bike I started looking at and trying 52s. They just never felt quite right in that the stand-over and reach (effective top tube length?) felt a little to large. Then, once I test rode the bike it just felt a little cumbersome. When I tried 51s or 50s everything felt pretty "spot on" and the bike felt, during test rides, a bit more "nimble."

So, in hindsight, I am wondering if, perhaps, there would have been some benefit to going with a 52 and getting used to the slight awkwardness. Also, because the aforementioned formulas (in my original post) seem to indicate that a 52 would be more suitable to me. Bear in mind that I am not racing or competing, or going on 200 mile rides. Rather I am merely a commuter with a 14 mile roundtrip commute, per day. I do, however, prefer road bikes to other types of frames.
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Old 10-01-14, 10:46 AM
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Sizing formulas are based on averages. As such, they often work well for people in the middle of the sizing bell curve and less well for the people out on either end. Designing a small frame with 700c wheels definitely requires some compromises (some frame dimensions don't scale down "evenly"). It may very well be that your proportions, flexibility, fitness, or just riding style require you to go down a size from what the formulas predict.

Sizing is all about getting a bike that you can make fit properly. And "properly" means that you can ride comfortably and efficiently as long and as often as you want. Any frame you can achieve that on is the "right" size for you.
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Old 10-01-14, 02:58 PM
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Agreed, but... just saying... if the o.p. also put his relevant info into the Competitive Cyclist calculator and yet a third source of fit recommendation suggested a 52cm. What then? I believe in independent corroboration. I'd be wondering what I'm missing.
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Old 10-01-14, 03:25 PM
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And sloping top tubes also shorten the seat tube .. shorthand for "size" is the seat tube length..

Riding real bikes in person, in a bike shop, should be Un Confusing ..
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