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bike frame sizing question

Old 07-22-08, 10:45 PM
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bike frame sizing question

Hi - I am 5 ft 6 1/2", and my inseam measurement is about 27". What is the rough bike sizes that would work with those measurements?

For example I am considering this bike, which advertises as a 17.5" frame:

The specs say "17.5" Frame / STAND-OVER 30.6"

What does the "stand-over" measurement refer to?

So knowing my measurements above would this bike fit me?

I know everyone says "go get measured" and I might, but just want a rough idea for now.
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Old 07-22-08, 11:35 PM
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Don't pay too much attention to standover (it's basically the height of the top tube aka the inseam length necessary to clear the tube w/o crushin' yer nutz). It's an outdated method of measuring a bike as it doesn't necessarily correspond to what is an adequate fit for you.

Your sizing is pretty similar to mine (5'7" and a 29" inseam) and I'm riding a bike that at the time seemed fairly "big" for my height, because of the long torso. The "cockpit length" (or virtual top tube length - the distance between the seat and the stem) is often considered the most critical measurement, as it's the one that most difficult to change dramatically w/o altering how the bike handles.

I ended up w/ a 17.5" frame'd bike, but in the end, you're going to have to ride the bikes and feel for yourself what seems comfortable. If not the exact model, at least try to get as close as you can in the same manufacturer, as differing geometries will throw off how each bike will feel. Some brands a 17.5" might feel right, others maybe 15.5". Good luck!

Last edited by wyeast; 07-22-08 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:28 PM
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good advice

I think that's good advice. I'm no major pro at this but my experience has been that top tube or cockpit length is far more important than standover height. I'm 5'9" (but short legs) and always feel best on a bike that is supposed to be for six footers. I spend more time riding than standing over the bike.

Be sure and try a bike (if you can) that is supposed to be too big for you... you might be surprised.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:34 AM
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