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bike size

Old 11-22-04, 05:12 PM
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hawkerman
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bike size

I am looking at a great deal on a 2004 lemond victoire. Its a 55cm, I am 5'8" with a 79 cm inseam. The salesman said it would be a good fit. I was thinking I was more in the 53cm range. Does anyone have an opinion on lemond bike sizes.
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Old 11-22-04, 07:07 PM
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There have been several threads on "bike fit" during the past month that included links to several web sites with bike fitting charts. Run a search for "bike fit" or "Moulton" to find those threads.

Bike fit is also a matter of personal taste. I like to sit more upright, with a good view of the motorists around me, who are intent on running me down. A size 59 or so lets me do that. But, if I wanted to join the"pretend racer" crowd, with my nose down against the front wheel, I would be better off around a size 55.

In the 1960's, the average adult male was about YOUR size, and size 23 (59mm) bikes probably outsold all other sizes combined. It was the "fashion" then to ride the biggest bike you could stand over without the top bar pressing into your crotch. Because of the prevailing "fashion", many riders were on bikes that were too large.

Today's fashion is pretending to be Lance Armstrong, riding slowly over to Starbucks on a tiny frame with the bars four inches lower than the saddle, nose down on the stem. For every guy with a license to race bikes, there are ten guys buying too small racing bikes to LOOK like the guys who race bikes. If you don't race, a "racing fit" is not the most comfortable or useful way to fit a bike.

Take your time go buy a bike that actually fits you and your style of riding. Don't be swayed by what other people do or say - the majority of people on road bikes are riding the wrong size.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 11-23-04 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 11-22-04, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Today's fashion is to pretend to be Lance Armstrong, even while riding slowly over to Starbucks...a style that puts people on much smaller frames.
Yeah... It couldn't just be that they like it that way, it must be they're poseurs, wannabes, etc. I don't know about you, but looking like Lance was my primary concern when I got my bike. It wasn't at all about being comfortable on a bike I liked with nice components. I should've asked alanbikehouston what he rode so I knew what to get so as to avoid being called a poseur.(/end sarcasm)
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Old 11-25-04, 11:12 AM
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alanbikehouston said the majority of people on road bikes are riding the wrong size . . .

Have you noticed that some well-known bike manufacturers don't even recommend a suitable bike size for people?! This is amazing . . .

Also, has anyone noticed how the 'expert' size calculations measure and then specify dimensions/sizes in 'mm'?!!! How can a normal person reliably measure a typical top tube length or seat tube height in mm, without using lazer beams and state of the art equipment?!! Measuring dimensions down to a resolution of a cm on a bike, or for a person, will be an 'achievment' alone for ordinary folk. Please take things with a LOT of salt :-)

PLEASE, ride the bike and if there are any discomforts AT ALL, including wrists, back, neck, seating regions, then ABSOLUTELY take the bike BACK even after a few days, to exchange the bike.

Apologies for this long diversion.

Cheers
PS: Phone the manufacturer's marketing regional manager and discuss exchanging the bike if the shop people did not give good advice/service in the first place. Some manufacturers do respond positively in order to keep/maintain their image.

Last edited by Archie; 11-25-04 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 11-25-04, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hawkerman
I am looking at a great deal on a 2004 lemond victoire. Its a 55cm, I am 5'8" with a 79 cm inseam. The salesman said it would be a good fit. I was thinking I was more in the 53cm range. Does anyone have an opinion on lemond bike sizes.
If you were buying pants would you buy the ones that measured right regardless or how they looked or felt or would you try them on? Buying a bike is the same kind of thing. First negotiate the price. THEN tell the salesman you want to try the bike and, IF YOU LIKE IT, you'll buy it. When fit becomes the only barrier to making a sale, they'll do a real good job of setting the bike up to fit you I promise.
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Old 11-25-04, 12:17 PM
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I am not sure how Lemond fits but I have a Fuji and I am on a 52cm and I am about 5'5" 5'6"
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Old 11-25-04, 12:53 PM
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I'd love to know how we as a group arrived at the conclusion that "a majority of people riding road bikes are riding the wrong size." A statistic to back that up would be good. I'd also like to know what categorizes "wrong" size, seeing as we obviously have insight into every single person's "right" size after saying it's subjective.

This ought to be fascinating.

To review:

1. How do we know everyone rides the wrong size (or 9 out of ten as we hear)...
2. How do we know what everyone's right size is...

By that logic, no one should ride a lowrider or cruiser bike since you sit almost on the floor. That's most definitely the wrong size and we should abolish the whole line of cruisers and lowriders that are out there. Forget what people liek; they have to be on the right size dammit!
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Old 11-25-04, 02:56 PM
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vincenzosi said: I'd also like to know what categorizes "wrong" size, seeing as we obviously have insight into every single person's "right" size after saying it's subjective.

I think the above estatement implies that: MOST people TOLERATE bad fit. And, what's worse is that people are often 'forced' to fit the BIKE by compromising on the fundamentals of an 'efficient' fit.

Example: If the reach to the handle-bar is too long for the rider then the seat is moved forward to shorten the reach, thereby messing up the 'knee over the pedal principle'. A better solution might be to change the bike to a smaller size so that the knee stays over the pedal and the rider can also reach the handle-bar.

In other words, the author did not claim to KNOW the EXACT/CORRECT size for each person using a dogmatic theory. He/she rather SEES/FEELS that most people put up with bad fit without knowing any better.

Regards.
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Old 11-25-04, 03:02 PM
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The author didn't say he "felt" that most people ride around on incorrectly size frames, he said they did. But let's not argue semantics, and let's take this argument on its face value.

Assuming "most people" ride on incorrectly sized frames (either because they were sold incorrectly, or because they tolerate it), you should be able to go to any group of 100 riders and find more than half of them on bikes they don't fit on.

If you believe that, go for it. I'd rather not condemn a majority of riders for riding a bike that I don't think/feel/assume/believe is wrong for them. As long as people are riding who gives a crap what or why?
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Old 11-25-04, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
I'd love to know how we as a group arrived at the conclusion that "a majority of people riding road bikes are riding the wrong size." A statistic to back that up would be good. I'd also like to know what categorizes "wrong" size, seeing as we obviously have insight into every single person's "right" size after saying it's subjective.
The pleasant folks at Rivendell have a nice giggle when they state "We put people on bikes that are took big for them," referring to the former fashion of large-ish frames with relatively short (for the seat tube length) top tubes, and handle bars set at or near the level of the saddle. They prefer that to the current fashion of "compact" frames with long-ish (for the seat tube length) top tubes, long seat posts, and handle bars set as much as 3-4 inches below the level of the saddle.

While I feel more comfortable with the Rivendell ethos and ride a bike fitted that way, a larger share of the folks I know who ride with any frequency seem happy enough with their compact frames and more aggressive posture. I happily don't have to ride their bikes, and they don't seem to feel deprived of the pleasure of riding mine, so I'm not seeing anything here to get so prickly about. If you like the stretched out deep-in-the-drops posture, great. If you like riding more upright and maybe going a little slower, that's great too. "Can't we all just [ride] along?"

Happy Thanksgiving, all you cycling turkeys. I got in a 14 mile ride before dinner today.
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Old 11-25-04, 07:08 PM
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I did NOT say that nine out of ten people are on a bike that is too small. I said that for every professional bike racer, there are about ten "pretend' racers riding bikes that are too small.

That means that in Austin, Texas, where there is just ONE guy making a living racing bikes, there are probably around ten guys WHO like to pretend to be Lance, using the ultra-high seatpost, ultra-low bar set-up popular with many pro riders. "Pretend" racers are a small portion of the folks who ride bikes.

More than 99% of bike riders have never held a racing license. They ride for relaxation, for commuting, for shopping, for touring. And, non-racers can get a bike that fits them well, just by making sure that the salesperson understands that they do NOT want a racing-style fit or a racing set-up.

While I was riding off my turkey dinner this afternoon, I saw a good solution to a bad bike fit. An older guy (from the Truman era - just as I am) was riding along on an expensive looking road bike. He appeared to be over six feet tall, yet the bike was waay too small for him.

His solution? He was riding while sitting bolt upright, his arms folded across his chest. And, he was riding fast. Living proof that today's fad of putting big men on little bikes won't stop someone from enjoying their ride.

Last edited by alanbikehouston; 11-25-04 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 11-25-04, 10:33 PM
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Maybe it's turkey overload but this arguement seems pretty surreal to me.
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Old 11-27-04, 07:31 AM
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Try the bike out, if you are comfortable on it, buy it, if not try another size.
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Old 11-27-04, 08:27 AM
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So I'm 5'-8" / 5'-9" and ride a '99 Lemond Alpe in a 55 cm. I find it a very comfortable ride. I'd say I've got more of a stocky build. My old Peugeot is a 56 and it's probably the best (personal opinion here) fitting bike I've ridden.

But in the end it's personal preference.
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Old 11-27-04, 05:39 PM
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I have a 53 cm 2001 Zurich. I'm 5'9" and have a 30" (76.2 cm) inseem. Standover room is tight but i've not smashed my nuts on the top tube yet. The top tube length is perfect. I swap between a 12 or 13 cm stem depending on how i feel.
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