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Finding the right size

Old 07-06-18, 03:23 PM
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hokicake
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Finding the right size

So I'm 5'2" with a 27" inseam and I'm guessing I need like a 44 or 46cm road bike because all the charts on the bikes I'm looking at say a 44 or 46 for my height but doesn't take into consideration my inseam. I can't find any bikes that size in the USA anywhere so I've been looking on aliexpress and alibaba to get some from china and they have them all over the place there but all their bikes say my height needs a 44cm which seems like it would be small cause when I was looking at bikes in the USA like diamonback and Trek and stuff I was thinking I needed like a 48cm so if I order one of those bikes from china how do I know I'm getting the right one? Do I just need to know the standover height of the bikes and then I can tell where the bar will be between my legs?
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Old 07-06-18, 04:14 PM
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Have you looked into finding a used 650c bike on craigslist? The smaller wheels would lower the standover and you could try the bike first. I'm a little shorter than you. At my height, I wouldn't buy a bike without testing whether the size would work for me.
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Old 07-06-18, 04:30 PM
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I really don't want to get smaller wheels. I'm use to riding 700c wheels but on a step through style frame that is a trek brand I got like about 10 years ago. It's so heavy and I want a more modern aluminum or carbon frame. I was doing some calucations and I think I am a 44cm size. I was trying to look up how far the center of the crank is off the ground and I think it's about 12 inches so if I factor that in with the 44cm frame size and just subtract a little since 44cm is going to the top of the seat post thing the stand over height sound be about perfectly right under my between my legs spot right. So I guess I'll just order the 44cm but it's so weird cause when I do the numbers like that 44cm sounds right but why do all the charts for US bikes say my height would be a 48cm bike? Is that just because they are assuming people 5"2 have longer legs?
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Old 07-06-18, 07:00 PM
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Can someone tell me if this is a correct way of thinking about this. So road bikes are measured from the center of the crank to the top of the seat post thingy right where it plugs into so of if the bike is 44cm then that means the frame is about 17 inches and the enter of the crank to the ground is about 11 inches to 12 inches right? I think that's about the distance of most road bikes right? so if you add those two together you get 29 inches minues a little bit since the measurement goes a little beyong the top tube to where the seat plugs into so around 28 inches or maybe even a tiny bit less? So if my inseam is around 28 inches then that means when I straddle the bike the top tube will be just under the stuff right? So that's like a prime fit?
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Old 07-06-18, 09:58 PM
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I would highly recommend grabbing a measuring tape and then checking out a fit calculator. Like this one: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...latorBike.jsp?

Personally, if I have to go with just one measurement to find the right size bike, it's always the effective top tube measurement. Many modern road bikes are compact (top tube is higher at the front than where it meets the seat post), which makes standover height less of an issue.

If you specifically need a frame smaller than about 48cm, also check out women's and junior (large kid) bikes. Many of the women's bikes are visually indistinguishable from men's bikes, and come in smaller sizes - it's really more about fit than gender.
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Old 07-08-18, 06:52 PM
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For short women riders I can't recommend test riding strongly enough.

Stand over height is the easy dimension to check. When you start thinking about effective top tube length, you can run into all kinds of issues like handlebar height and toe clip overlap. I think that discarding the 650c wheel size out of hand might be a mistake too. Rather than focus on any single dimension, I think that you have th evaluate the entire bicycle as a whole.
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Old 07-09-18, 06:11 AM
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I used the Greg LeMond formula for a 27" inseam and came up with 45 - 46 frame size.
Pinarello makes this one as small as 43....https://www.competitivecyclist.com/p...NDYXQxMDA1NjU=

Fuji makes this in a 46....https://www.coloradocyclist.com/fuji...-105-bike-2018
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Old 07-09-18, 06:49 AM
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fwiw, I wouldn't rule out smaller wheels if that ends up being the best fit for you. I've got a Trek Domane that has the 700c wheels but my Surly Disc Trucker has 26" wheels. It's all fine for recreational riding IMO. I'm also short (5'4") and my Surly is a 46cm frame.
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Old 07-13-18, 01:09 PM
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I am shorter at 5'0" and recently purchased my first roadier bike. I am going with the Jamis Renegade line so I guess that is more gravel but I am coming from single track mountain biking so this felt like a good place for me. That said, I actually had general fit done at my LBS to see what good sizes would be for me since a lot of the sizes that were too big didn’t feel HUGE so we almost went with the wrong size until we did the fit to find out a few more measurements for myself. This might be something to look into.

Also, I was able to find another bike shop about a half hour away that actually had both of the sizes in stock (they have some higher end / retired women cyclists that are shorter so they know the troubles so they make sure to stock smaller bikes). I had them take pictures of me on both the 44 and 48 and even though the 44 would technically fit me better by the numbers, it actually looks a little cramped.
We shall see if I need a shorter stem for the reach when it comes in next week.

Don’t just go off of the specs if you can find a store that has the size in stock, even 1 size up, just go try it and then you can order it in the level and size you actually need. You may be surprised at the sizing since there are some other things that go into it that you can’t always tell just from the stand over / inseam.

I know of a few companies that make smaller bikes but you did say road and I went more gravel but a lot of these can have thinner tires put on and be closer to road that way as well.

Also, I was concerned about the 650b tired as was the LBS guy but we spoke with the designer of the bike and he set us straight lol (sort of, we are taking a chance on it ) but the thing is, this bike can also take 700 x 25 if I really wanted to the skinny road tires and since it is a 48cm bike (it is steel so that adds a little) the bike won’t be that heavy with the thin tires and the small frame. It will also take up to 650 x 47 I think so I won’t be completely stuck on road.

Let me know if you want more of the names of the other bikes or not. Hope this ramble will be at least a little helpful, we shorties need to stick together!

Oh I also forgot to add, my mountain bike is a 29er so it is basically the 700 as well and I thought I wouldn’t like the 650b but on the smaller bikes I tired, it actually didn’t make much of a difference because the tires were proportional to the frame size!
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Old 07-13-18, 01:40 PM
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You can't just go by "bike size" because every doggone vendor has a different way of measuring their bike, especially in this day and age of sloping top tubes. 44cm fuji is not 44cm trek necessarily.

If you are not CONFIDENT in the size you need, do what @ksovich did and find a bike shop that will help you out.
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Old 07-13-18, 02:21 PM
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They're around.. here's one:
Ventura Comp
I like how Jamis designs their frames, especially for sizes at the extreme ends of the spectrum. So I'd recommend looking at the Jamis Femme series of bikes;
eg. for road bikes: https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/femmeroadbikes.html
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Old 08-14-18, 12:20 AM
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Ordered it

Well i ordered the java bike and it's a 44cm. I asked them about the standover height and the measured for me and send me a picture even and bases in my calculations it will barely be small enough for me to stand over it.
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Old 08-14-18, 12:22 AM
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Hmmm

Maybe many of u guys have sloppy tope tubes if u r short? I am trying to get a bike amall enough with a straight top tube.
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Old 08-16-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hokicake View Post
Maybe many of u guys have sloppy tope tubes if u r short? I am trying to get a bike amall enough with a straight top tube.
My Giant hybrid has a sloping top tube, which I like. I'm 5'4", and would probably fit a size M, if it had 650b wheels, but they're hard to find outside of mountain bikes, so size S it is. Why don't you like smaller wheels? Just curious. BTW, all of Surly's small bikes come with 27" wheels, but you could build one with bigger.
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Old 08-16-18, 01:10 PM
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You are right to make sure "stand over" height is right for your size.
Other measurements can be tinkered with to help the bike fit you ,
but "stands over" is critical , at red lights, stop signs...... or have to do a quick Flintstone.

A little extra room for stand over is Ok,
but not enough is a no go.

Be sure to measure in your lowest riding shoes.

... PS: Let us know how the new bike fits. >>> A pic would be nice too. We love new bike pics.
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Old 08-16-18, 01:12 PM
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Well with the 700c wheels on there is like 0 room, it just touches me so although it's ok cause I know I won't smash into it if I stood over the bar it's not ideal I think.
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Old 08-16-18, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hokicake View Post
Well with the 700c wheels on there is like 0 room, it just touches me so although it's ok cause I know I won't smash into it if I stood over the bar it's not ideal I think.
As long as you're not on your tip toes,

( Platform shoes. LOL )
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Old 08-16-18, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hokicake View Post
Well with the 700c wheels on there is like 0 room, it just touches me so although it's ok cause I know I won't smash into it if I stood over the bar it's not ideal I think.
That's why I want 27"/650b wheels, for the standover. You should have an inch or two between your top tube and your lady bits, in case you don't land flat on your feet with your knees locked.
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Old 08-16-18, 07:14 PM
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My daughter is 5'2" and is riding a Cannondale Synapse Tiagra in a 44cm frame. The smallest they make. I based the fit on effective top tube length not the 44cm frame size. When she stands over it the top tube touches her crotch. The stand over height listed for that frame is 68cm, roughly 27 inches. No way should one buy a frame unseen, unridden, and not checked for fit.
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Old 08-16-18, 08:47 PM
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The problem with frames smaller than 50-52cm and 700C wheels is that unless you use an inappropriately long top tube you risk serious pedal/front wheel overlap. Using smaller (e.g, 650B or even 650A) wheels, you can size the top tube appropriately without having undue pedal/front wheel interference.

And lately, there are decent quality rims and tires available in 650B and 650C diameters.

Last edited by JohnDThompson; 08-18-18 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 08-17-18, 04:47 PM
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I found the mavic 650b wheelset for 140 on wish
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