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Bike Frame Size

Old 08-02-09, 09:12 PM
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Bike Frame Size

Hi, I am new to cycling and am really just a recreational bike rider. I am 6 feet with appr a 32 inch nseam. I purchased a new Trek 7.3 hybrid bike today with a 20 inch frame. The bike I traded in was a 21 inch frame Trek Navigator bike. I tried a 22.5 inch frame on the hybrid however, I felt very uncomfortable from a safety standpoint (especially with the thinner tire) because if I needed to get off the bike quickly I really did not have any clearance over the bar. The 20 inch seemed fine once I adjusted the seat some and I can always raise the handle bars a little if needed (the habdle bars do fine now). Is my reasoning ok. I rode today and the new bike and I felt great. Just interested in different opinions. Thanks !!!
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Old 08-03-09, 12:54 AM
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If you bought the bike from a shop (frequently called an LBS around here; Local Bike Store) they should have made sure the bike fit you properly.
If your hybrid has a straight top tube, then likely an inch or two of clearance will be fine. These bikes are pretty forgiving, as you'll be using a rather upright riding position anyway.

Your critical measurements are going to be saddle height, and saddle for-and-aft adjustment.
You want the saddle at a height so that your leg is not quite fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Too high, and you'll start getting knee pain, likely in the front. Too low, and you'll get pain in the back of the knee and feel as if you're "rocking" in the saddle.

The saddle should be adjusted so that your knee is centered with the ball of your foot when the pedals are horizontal. You should be able to find some "bike fit" illustrations on the web that will illustrate much easier than I can explain in print.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:57 AM
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I'd say the first order of business is to get used to it.

If your proportions are accurate, you have a long torso which requires a larger frame to accommodate your torso length for reach, unfortunately also requiring less seatpost length, and therefore less standover height.

You can try to ride a size smaller, but you'll be pushing the limits of average frame geometries by sliding the saddle back and running long stems that give a "tiller effect". I know because I'm the opposite: Long legs and short torso. Standover is a breeze for me, though I usually require the longest available seatposts.

You can try a custom frame, but your most affordable option is to shop frames by determining your required top tube length, then selecting the frame with the lowest standover height with the same top tube length. Good luck with finding the fit for you.
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