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Can you properly fit on a frame that is too large?

Old 12-05-19, 07:29 AM
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TinyTm
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Can you properly fit on a frame that is too large?

My question is can you properly fit a bike frame that is to large or will it cause long term issues? In my hast (due to a great deal) I bought a like new Specialized Allez Comp without confirming the size was correct for me? I'm 6.1 tall 230 weight mostly muscle (not) and the frame size of this bike is 60cm. Now I know from the charts I should be on a 58cm maybe a 56cm but when I test road this bike it felt size wise great to me. I have a long torso and arms so my reach feels pretty good. Since purchasing it I have riding 3 or 4 days straight 8 to 15 miles each day and with some adjustments (seat height and tilt) it feels even better. So far I've had no back or knee pain just sore muscles because I'm outta shape thus the reason for getting back into riding LOL. My only issue is when adjusting seat height; while my leg is vertical with my heel on the pedal, this puts the seat height to a point where I have to get off the bike at stops to hold it up. It's not a big thing but what I've read is you should be on you toes while on the seat at stops. Also the the middle post does barely touch the boys when I straddle the bike vs the 1 to 2 inches of clearance recommended. So far I like the bike but thought I'd get some professional opinions as to either sale and go to a 58cm to 56cm or would you consider this one workable??? I also thought I run it until I drop the 30 or so pounds then up grade to a professionally fitted full carbon fiber bike. Thanks any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 12-05-19, 07:42 AM
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Yes.

The bike you bought isn't "too large"

it it may be on the high end of size if you are wanting to be as aero as possible. But, you'll probably be more comfortable, as you will be able to get the bars higher in relation to your saddle height.
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Old 12-05-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Yes.

The bike you bought isn't "too large"

it it may be on the high end of size if you are wanting to be as aero as possible. But, you'll probably be more comfortable, as you will be able to get the bars higher in relation to your saddle height.
Thanks for the reply
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Old 12-05-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyTm View Post
My question is can you properly fit a bike frame that is to large or will it cause long term issues? In my hast (due to a great deal) I bought a like new Specialized Allez Comp without confirming the size was correct for me? I'm 6.1 tall 230 weight mostly muscle (not) and the frame size of this bike is 60cm. Now I know from the charts I should be on a 58cm maybe a 56cm but when I test road this bike it felt size wise great to me. I have a long torso and arms so my reach feels pretty good. Since purchasing it I have riding 3 or 4 days straight 8 to 15 miles each day and with some adjustments (seat height and tilt) it feels even better. So far I've had no back or knee pain just sore muscles because I'm outta shape thus the reason for getting back into riding LOL. My only issue is when adjusting seat height; while my leg is vertical with my heel on the pedal, this puts the seat height to a point where I have to get off the bike at stops to hold it up. It's not a big thing but what I've read is you should be on you toes while on the seat at stops. Also the the middle post does barely touch the boys when I straddle the bike vs the 1 to 2 inches of clearance recommended. So far I like the bike but thought I'd get some professional opinions as to either sale and go to a 58cm to 56cm or would you consider this one workable??? I also thought I run it until I drop the 30 or so pounds then up grade to a professionally fitted full carbon fiber bike. Thanks any suggestions would be appreciated.

I have bigger and smaller bikes, and I always prefer coming off the seat at stops. Usually, I'll have one foot on a pedal, and the other flat on the ground. That puts the bike at a slight angle, which increases the distance between the bar and my "boys". I exclusively ride platform pedals, however, so that might affect whether that's a satisfactory arrangement. Part of the reason I do things this way is it allows for some very fast acceleration off of the stop because I push down on the pedal I've kept my foot on while lifting the other foot onto the pedal, and not having to clip in makes that a very easy move.

I'm not big on "shoulds". If you're feeling safe and comfortable on the bike doing things as you are, then you're probably fine. That may change if you increase the distances, but cross that bridge when you come to it. You'll know pretty quick if things are no longer suiting you. Also, keep in mind that you're likely to encounter a whole lot of changes as you get lighter and fitter, so better to buy the bike you need for that body when you've got it to try things out on.

Hope you have fun riding your way to fitness!
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Old 12-05-19, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyTm View Post
My question is can you properly fit a bike frame that is to large or will it cause long term issues? In my hast (due to a great deal) I bought a like new Specialized Allez Comp without confirming the size was correct for me? I'm 6.1 tall 230 weight mostly muscle (not) and the frame size of this bike is 60cm. Now I know from the charts I should be on a 58cm maybe a 56cm but when I test road this bike it felt size wise great to me. I have a long torso and arms so my reach feels pretty good. Since purchasing it I have riding 3 or 4 days straight 8 to 15 miles each day and with some adjustments (seat height and tilt) it feels even better. So far I've had no back or knee pain just sore muscles because I'm outta shape thus the reason for getting back into riding LOL. My only issue is when adjusting seat height; while my leg is vertical with my heel on the pedal, this puts the seat height to a point where I have to get off the bike at stops to hold it up. It's not a big thing but what I've read is you should be on you toes while on the seat at stops. Also the the middle post does barely touch the boys when I straddle the bike vs the 1 to 2 inches of clearance recommended. So far I like the bike but thought I'd get some professional opinions as to either sale and go to a 58cm to 56cm or would you consider this one workable??? I also thought I run it until I drop the 30 or so pounds then up grade to a professionally fitted full carbon fiber bike. Thanks any suggestions would be appreciated.

It sounds to me like you answered your own question. You have made the adjustments necessary for that bike to fit you. Congrats on the good deal. Ride it for a while and treat yourself to a new bike when you are ready.
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Old 12-05-19, 08:50 AM
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The saddle height should be set so you can drop your heel slightly below horizontal, with your leg fully extended at the bottom of the stroke. During normal pedaling, it common for the heel to be raised a bit at the bottom of the stroke and that difference produces some bend at the knee.

You should never expect to stay on the saddle at a stop. If you don't have some stand over clearance with both feet on the ground, the frame is too large. Even in the days of horizontal top tubes, 2-3cm of clearance would be common.

I have long legs and a short torso. In my early years of riding shops always put me on a frame that fit my legs, but then had too much reach. These days, i ride a significantly smaller frame with a -17 stem and little or no spacers to produce a 10cm drop from the saddle to the bars. My current Colnago is called a 48, but that's just the seat tube length. My older LOOK frame that's called a 51 is about 1cm smaller.

I've also owned a 55cm Tomassini back in the 90's. I should have bought a 52 or 53.

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Old 12-05-19, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The saddle height should be set so you can drop your heel slightly below horizontal, with your leg fully extended at the bottom of the stroke. During normal pedaling, it common for the heel to be raised a bit at the bottom of the stroke and that difference produces some bend at the knee.

You should never expect to stay on the saddle at a stop. If you don't have some stand over clearance with both feet on the ground, the frame is too large. Even in the days of horizontal top tubes, 2-3cm of clearance would be common.

I have long legs and a short torso. In my early years of riding shops always put me on a frame that fit my legs, but then had too much reach. These days, i ride a significantly smaller frame with a -17 stem and little or no spacers to produce a 10cm drop from the saddle to the bars. My current Colnago is called a 48, but that's just the seat tube length. My older LOOK frame that's called a 51 is about 1cm smaller.
Thanks for the advice
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Old 12-05-19, 08:54 AM
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Are you also an accountant superhero?

Focus on how the bike fits you as you ride it. I didn't hear a complaint other than the bike doesn't fit you the way your bike did when you were riding a bike with 20" wheels. If you're having fun and you aren't experiencing any of the problems associated with poor fit, like, chafing/saddle sores, numb hands, sore neck and shoulders, knee pain, and groin numbness, don't sweat it!
I remember reading about how to start a tandem in an article by Sheldon Brown, and it made me realize that there is a 'best' way to start from a stop on any bicycle. It's what @livedarklions described. You didn't buy the bike to straddle it, and with minimal practice, remounting after a stop becomes a reflex.
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Old 12-05-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyTm View Post
My only issue is when adjusting seat height; while my leg is vertical with my heel on the pedal, this puts the seat height to a point where I have to get off the bike at stops to hold it up. It's not a big thing but what I've read is you should be on you toes while on the seat at stops.
I don't know where you read that you should be able to touch the ground from the saddle when stopped but it is entirely wrong. In 40 years of riding, I've never been able to touch the ground while on the saddle...either on the road or on a mountain bike. I find that if I could, my saddle would be far too low and my knees would hurt. It's better for your knees to have them slightly flexed but almost straight when on the saddle than to be able to touch the ground.

As for size, I agree with others. You are at a bit of an overlap in frame size so a 58cm or a 60cm should work. 56cm would certainly be way too small.
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Old 12-05-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have bigger and smaller bikes, and I always prefer coming off the seat at stops. Usually, I'll have one foot on a pedal, and the other flat on the ground. That puts the bike at a slight angle, which increases the distance between the bar and my "boys". I exclusively ride platform pedals, however, so that might affect whether that's a satisfactory arrangement. Part of the reason I do things this way is it allows for some very fast acceleration off of the stop because I push down on the pedal I've kept my foot on while lifting the other foot onto the pedal, and not having to clip in makes that a very easy move.

I'm not big on "shoulds". If you're feeling safe and comfortable on the bike doing things as you are, then you're probably fine. That may change if you increase the distances, but cross that bridge when you come to it. You'll know pretty quick if things are no longer suiting you. Also, keep in mind that you're likely to encounter a whole lot of changes as you get lighter and fitter, so better to buy the bike you need for that body when you've got it to try things out on.

Hope you have fun riding your way to fitness!
I agree with the shoulds at this stage, I also like getting off the saddle at stop signs and placing my foot on the pedal for take off it just feels better to me. So I think Iíll raise the saddle to fit me a little better and not be concerned with having to stay on it it stops. My concern should be on the riding not the stops
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Old 12-05-19, 09:03 AM
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Sometimes I feel like an analogue man whose been trapped in a digital world.

If you were building a house and you needed to cut a board to fit a certain place, how would you do it?
The digital answer would be to measure the space and cut the board to that length.
The analogue answer would be to hold the board up against the space you want to fill, mark it, and cut it to fit.
Neither method is wrong. If the board doesn't fit, regardless of which method you used, it's because you made a mistake.

So you've bought a bike and have been tweaking with seat adjustments etc. to make it comfortable. That's the analogue method. If you are comfortable, your bike is the right size. If some fitting chart says otherwise, it's because the chart couldn't measure all of your body measurements or maybe couldn't take into account how you actually use your bike.
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Old 12-05-19, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyTm View Post
It's not a big thing but what I've read is you should be on you toes while on the seat at stops.

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Old 12-05-19, 09:29 AM
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If you think carefully about the geometry of your bike and your legs, you will realize that the distance from the pedal to your arse will be the same on any bike set up for you, regardless of frame size. The height of the bottom bracket generally is not changed from one size frame to another, and you should have the saddle height adjusted the same on any bike, so the distance from saddle to ground should not change.
There are comfort bikes designed to put your feet flat on the ground - these are called 'crank forward' bikes, and they do get your feet comfortably on the ground when you want to stop, but they put you in a less efficient pedalling position.

You may have misunderstood what you read (or read it from a less-than-accurate source) about your toes touching the ground. I have never heard or read anywhere that you should stay in the saddle when stopped, but have heard (and read, and said) that if you stay in the saddle when stopped, you should only be able to touch the ground with your toes. They are not saying you should stay in the saddle when stopped..
The correct answer is to slide forward off the saddle when stopping. If the top tube is uncomfortably contacting your crotchular region, then keep one foot on a pedal and lean the bike over towards the foot you are putting on the ground.
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Old 12-05-19, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyTm View Post
I agree with the shoulds at this stage, I also like getting off the saddle at stop signs and placing my foot on the pedal for take off it just feels better to me. So I think Iíll raise the saddle to fit me a little better and not be concerned with having to stay on it it stops. My concern should be on the riding not the stops

I think you're just getting to a stage where you start to realize you CAN actually trust your own sense of what works. Been where you are right now (albeit somewhat shorter), and it is a journey. Sounds like you're doing good so far, and I wish you all the best.
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Old 12-05-19, 11:30 AM
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Just like with clothes, there is a range of sizes that will fit, depending on how you want the fit to be. Racers typically go for a smaller frame for less weight and maybe quicker handling. Often going for a larger size will give a more relaxed fit (kinda like clothes, ha) since the larger frame will put the handlebars higher.

Personally, I'm about the same height as you but tend more toward long legs so a size 60 is really about where I am comfortable. I've actually got one bike that's a 63.5 and the clearance to the top tube is the same as you describe - it just touches me. I couldn't go any larger on the frame, but the reach on that particular bike is short for its size so it fits me fine. If you are happy with the bike and have a comfortable fit, I wouldn't sweat it a bit.
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Old 12-05-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think you're just getting to a stage where you start to realize you CAN actually trust your own sense of what works. Been where you are right now (albeit somewhat shorter), and it is a journey. Sounds like you're doing good so far, and I wish you all the best.
Couldíve agree more, Iím sure a lot of research went into the charts and such but finding what works for me at this moment is probably the best choice.
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