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Standover height?

Old 09-18-06, 01:21 PM
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Standover height?

I have a question I just bought a bike yesterday an Ironhorse Maverick Team 17.5" frame. Now this is my first bike in years and am just starting to get back into it. When reading through the instruction manual I read the standover height. When I went to see how well it fit... well i can say i at least could stand flat footed but their was no room to breath. Is this a big concern? I had contacted my dealer about it but they had said that they would not be getting any more frames till next season.
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Old 09-18-06, 01:29 PM
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So in other words, they knowingly sold you a bike too large for you?

If this is a mountain bike and you intend to use it on the trails, then yes, I would be concerned about standover. Otherwise, for street use, as long as the top tube length if fine and you fit well, then I wouldn't be too overly concerned ....
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Old 09-18-06, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
So in other words, they knowingly sold you a bike too large for you?
I did ask him if it was the right size before i bought it and he said it was. It was after the fact that I bought the bike and started to read the manual that i came up with the though that it was to big... See this is why guys don't read manuals they get us thinking to much lol... I also can't complain to much considering that the bike regularly sells for $439 and i got it for $263. I will be on some trails but nothing to serious.
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Old 09-18-06, 01:48 PM
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Contrary to the opinions of the "fit Nazis" in the Road cycling forum, standover height is an important aspect of bike fit. If you can't safely stand over the top tube without potential injury, then it's a sure bet that eventually, that injury will occur.

Standover height is NOT the sole element of fit (nor, maybe, even the most important one), but before any other elements of fit apply, you should first be able to safely stand over the top tube with approximately an inch of clearance. There are some few exceptions to this rule, but for general road or off-road riding, the "conventional wisdom" is correct.

If I were you, I'd at least question the dealer again about whether or not the frame is the right size for you. When they expect to get more bikes in stock is not a factor in whether or not this bike fits you.
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Old 09-18-06, 03:59 PM
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So this is a mountain bike and you can't stand over it? Wow, that thing is way too big. On a road bike there should be some clearance, but not much. Like a cm or so. But a MTB frame is much smaller and so are the wheels. We are talking inches of clearance.
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Old 09-18-06, 04:36 PM
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What is your inseam? I had the exact same problem. I was sold a bike that I touch when standing over. It too is a 17.5 inches. But I was told it is high because of the BB and the fact that it is a full squish (sag).
I ended up buying another bike, FS. But that one is a 15 and fits perfectly. Click on my sig to see the difference between the frames where the top tube meets the seat tube. The red one is the big one.
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 09-19-06, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
What is your inseam?
29" I am headed back either Thursday or Friday to get my bike fitted propely again *sigh*
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Old 09-19-06, 10:20 PM
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So if there aren't any new frames available, how are they going to fit standover height? I just "fit" mine onto the bike rack and it's been hanging ever since. What a waste.
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:04 PM
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Hehe ok well I am going to betaking it back to the dealer Thurs or Fri and either returning it or getting a new bike... one that fits my short behind I may just have to splurge and buy a better bike if perhaps they have one in my size
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Old 09-20-06, 12:50 AM
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Hate to say it, but there is a recognised Standover clearance that should be observed. I am a Shortie-30" inseam, and I can rarely get a frame to give me that clearance. I currently have a 15" Bianchi and a 42cm Giant. Both are compact frame design with long seat posts. Then to get the bars far enough away, I have to extend the stem. Standover height is a measurement that can be altered. Providing you have a clearance and the rest of the bike fits- I would not worry too much. Incidentally, even on the bianchi- I only have 1" clearance.
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Old 09-20-06, 11:44 AM
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Hate to say it, but there is a recognised Standover clearance that should be observed. I am a Shortie-30" inseam, and I can rarely get a frame to give me that clearance. I currently have a 15" Bianchi and a 42cm Giant. Both are compact frame design with long seat posts. Then to get the bars far enough away, I have to extend the stem. Standover height is a measurement that can be altered. Providing you have a clearance and the rest of the bike fits- I would not worry too much. Incidentally, even on the bianchi- I only have 1" clearance.
That sounds like your Giant is way too small. I have a 26" inseam, am 5'2" tall and ride a 44cm road bike with compact frame and a 37cm MTB. I have barely a cm clearance on the road bike, but it is just fine.
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Old 09-20-06, 05:40 PM
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Contrary to the opinions of the "fit Nazis" in the Road cycling forum, standover height is an important aspect of bike fit. If you can't safely stand over the top tube without potential injury, then it's a sure bet that eventually, that injury will occur.
I have a thread discussing fit and SO height on the Cyclocross forum... I suspect I've run into some of these "fit nazis" you mention!

That thread might be useful for the original poster here too - I'm also a shorty (5'7, 30" inseam).
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Old 09-20-06, 05:49 PM
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Also within the last few months there was another thread (try the search function) where we all discussed how tall we are and what size bike we ride. That may give you some ideas too.
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Old 09-21-06, 07:51 PM
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I've owned bikes in sizes with standover heights ranging from around 30 inches up to around 34 inches. My slacks have a 32 inch inseam, and my leg length, from the floor to the public bone is about 34 1/2 inches. That means that when I stand flat-footed over a bike with 33 inch or 34 inch standover, the top bar is brushing lightly against the crotch of my slacks.

A bike with a top tube that brushes against the crotch is too high, IF someone is buying a bike for the purpose of standing flat-footed over it. But, such bikes fit me perfectly for riding. And, I have no problem getting on or off, or putting one foot down on the pavement at a stop light.

If I was buying a mountain bike for riding off-road, I'd want more clearance. Lots of opportunities in trail riding to come into contact with the top bar. But, on a road bike, riding comfort, not standing comfort should be the key factory.

Thirty years ago, when the average American male was about 5'8" or 5'9", the average bike was size 58 or size 60. That was when shops fitted bikes for riding, not for "standing over".
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Old 09-22-06, 09:37 AM
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The general "wag" is that for a bike that will never be off a prepared surface you need 1", for a bike on moderate chop 2"-3", and a bike that will go full rock hopping 4". This is a safety thing. I fully agree with those who said that standover DOES matter. Not only that, it's the only dimension of your bike that you cannot change.

The reach will be affected to. For instance, my road bike has almost 2" of standover. My MTB has over 3.5". The reach to the flat part of the drop bars on my road bike is not too much greater than the reach to the bars on my MTB. (Of course the hoods and drops get me more stretched out than the MTB could). MTBs are geometrically constructed differently, and a bike that is too tall is probably way too long. If that is comfortable for you (and is should be on prepared surfaces) you may want to look into a road bike. On a trail being stretched out may not be so advantageous.

Like another poster alluded to, you can change other dimensions of a bike with longer stems, etc. But you cannot re-create the frame to give you clearance. The greater standover for a MTB is so if you need to put a foot down on irregular terrain, perhaps terrain in which part of the bike is resting on something a bit higher than the ground under your potential foot rest, you can do so whilst preserving your nether regions.
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Old 09-22-06, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Thirty years ago, when the average American male was about 5'8" or 5'9", the average bike was size 58 or size 60. That was when shops fitted bikes for riding, not for "standing over".
Thirty years ago bottom brackets also tended to be lower, adding 2 cm or so to that measurement. Thus, at 5'8" with a 58cm frame you would still have a little bit of breathing room, and a "fistful of seatpost" as the old rule went.
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Old 09-22-06, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
and the fact that it is a full squish (sag).
I just adore your terminology. I smile every time I see that sig line. Seriously.
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Old 09-22-06, 05:50 PM
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I get in trouble all the time for the things I say.
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 09-22-06, 11:10 PM
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So I returned the bike. Which the dealer was a complete ars. So I went to another shop and bought KHS Alite 500 15" So much more comfortable. I want to thank you all for your help and advice.
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Old 09-22-06, 11:16 PM
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Well good for you for not buying from him again. At least you weren't stuck with it like I was.

A LOT better, huh? You and I are almost the same size. Did he give you a full refund?
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 09-22-06, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
Well good for you for not buying from him again. At least you weren't stuck with it like I was.

A LOT better, huh? You and I are almost the same size. Did he give you a full refund?
Soooo much better... haha I suppose we are and yep he give me a full refund. Though he was giving me crap for having some dirt on the tire, and was pressing me to tell him i was riding it when all i did was take it out of the truck rode half way up the street took the wheels off and put it in the trunk of my car and it sat there for a week..... arg such an ars Much better now
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Old 09-23-06, 08:31 AM
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I too have a 29" inseam. And every bike shop I have ever been to has tried to sell me a "crotch banger". I tell them the frame is to tall and want to order a bike with a smaller frame and they say "no,no,that would be to small for you." And yet on this forum everyone says go to your local bike shop as they will fit you right. Baloney! They want to sell you what they have on the floor. Fortunately I have only one "hanger". That turned me off to anything but very causual cycling for many years as I didn't have the money for a good bike and the used ones didn't fit me either. Now why a bike shop will knowingly sell a customer a bike that can cause them physical harm as well as be uncomfortable is beyond me. But they do it all the time,at least to short people just to sell a bike.

So I am very happy you were able to return the bike. They wouldn't return mine.
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Old 09-23-06, 10:13 AM
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Discomfort? "Physical Harm"? Why are people confused about the difference between RIDING on a bike and standing over a bike? For about fifty years, the standard bike used by the London "Bobby" and the British postman had a "standover" height of about 33 inches to 35 inches. And, the riders were men with a total leg length of about 30 inches to 35 inches.

Why did those bikes work so well? Their size and geometry placed the rider's hands as high or higher than the saddle. Pefect for urban riding, surrounded by motor traffic on the right and on the left. And, there was still three to six inches of clearance between the top of the saddle and the top of the top bar.

But, it was impossible to stand "flat footed" with both feet on the ground, one on each side of those bike. How did people ever survive? Duh...they didn't put both feet down. At a red light, the rider put his left foot on the ground, and the right foot remained on the right pedal. Learning how to do that takes a child about five minutes.

Today, I see guys six feet tall riding bikes that are the correct size for a child about five feet tall. A foot or more of clearance from the top of the saddle to the top of the top bar. They are "scrunched up" with their hands three or four inches lower than the saddle. Their hands, wrists, neck, and back ache after a two hour ride. But, they feel very "safe". They have that wonderful thing known as "stand over".

When you buy a bike, you need to make one basic decision first. Are you buying it to RIDE or are you buying it so you can stand over it?
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Old 09-23-06, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
I get in trouble all the time for the things I say.
In trouble? I was being serious...I really do grin whenever I see that sig line.
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Old 09-23-06, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Why did those bikes work so well? Their size and geometry placed the rider's hands as high or higher than the saddle. Pefect for urban riding, surrounded by motor traffic on the right and on the left. And, there was still three to six inches of clearance between the top of the saddle and the top of the top bar.
Or about a fistfull of seatpost, which is the "classical" standard of sizing a bike with more classical geometry. This is also applicable still to modern bikes of a certain geometry. However, the advent of the compact geometry frame changes this. One can have appropriate horizontal spacing with a little extra room for the boys and for your pubic bone. Which leads to...

Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
But, it was impossible to stand "flat footed" with both feet on the ground, one on each side of those bike. How did people ever survive? Duh...they didn't put both feet down. At a red light, the rider put his left foot on the ground, and the right foot remained on the right pedal. Learning how to do that takes a child about five minutes.
At a red light, sometimes I put one foot down (I'm not as clever as a child, but it only took me about 5 minutes to learn that too) and sometimes I put both feet down, take both hands off the handlebars, and fidget with gear, water bottles, simultaneously pick my nose and scratch my back...you know, just whatever I want to do. Maybe just relax with both feet on the ground whilst leaning on my handlebars. If it's a long red light, the ability to chill out while standing over my bike is actually a critical ride feature for my commuter. Because of that, I like to have about 2" of clearance so it's nice and casual.

Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Today, I see guys six feet tall riding bikes that are the correct size for a child about five feet tall. A foot or more of clearance from the top of the saddle to the top of the top bar. They are "scrunched up" with their hands three or four inches lower than the saddle. Their hands, wrists, neck, and back ache after a two hour ride. But, they feel very "safe". They have that wonderful thing known as "stand over".
A lot of this came about when conventional wisdom in racing took a sharp turn. To achieve speed, the racing folks decided that the new way to go was to put a tall rider on the shortest frame you could fit him on. A more compact frame would "flex" less and transfer power better, and the lower handlebars and tucked position makes one aero. I'm not saying I advocate this method of bike fit, but a lot of it was done without consideration for standover. There were other factors.

Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
When you buy a bike, you need to make one basic decision first. Are you buying it to RIDE or are you buying it so you can stand over it?
That depends if standover is a part of your ride comfort considerations. Like I said, it actually is for my commuter, and no, I haven't compromised by giving myself a squished cockpit. So I have my cake and eat it too. For the OP, who states and intention to do some rougher type riding, I would argue that safe standover actually is part of riding that bike. I would not want to go ride a rough, irregular, debris strewn unprepared surface with a bike that I could only place on foot on the ground without crunching a metal tube up into some potentially tender spots.
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