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Disadvantages to adapting a smaller frame to a larger rider?

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Disadvantages to adapting a smaller frame to a larger rider?

Old 07-09-13, 05:12 AM
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krobinson103
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Disadvantages to adapting a smaller frame to a larger rider?

I'm 190cm and living in Korea a land of short people my options are limited on frames. My last three bikes have been hybrids and all too small bar my fuji mtb. I adapted them for height and reach and rode them all day no problems. Looking at a roadie thats too small, but could he easily adapted with a.longer stem and taller seat post. I see mini velos a lot these days. Extreme cases of tiny frames, long seat posts and crazy long stems yet they work.

How then is a standard roadie frame which is much larger than a mini velo different?
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Old 07-09-13, 06:10 AM
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Those smaller (usually folding) rigs are designed for short rides and ease of storage. They give up a lot in rigidity and aren't available in S, M and L so fit also takes a backseat to convenience.

Suggest you have a look at this site where the implications of different dimensions are explained. At that point you can decide what you are and aren't willing to live with.

http://www.argon18bike.com/innovatio...sitioning.html

I have to road test a lot of bikes in different sizes after doing repairs so obviously its possible for anyone to ride different sized frames. But that doesn't mean its always an enjoyable experience.

Last edited by Burton; 07-09-13 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 07-09-13, 07:35 AM
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This bike. 52cm mostly road bike geometry hybrid. By all accounts light years too small for me. And yet with a long enough seat post and riser bars pointing forward it gives me exactly the same ride as this...



20.5 fuji mtb setup with similar bars etc. Now, if I can get the same ride, stability at 60kmh plus (yes its been downhill totally stable) and a really fun ride, what do I gain by going to a bigger frame if all I need to do is have a longer stem and seatpost? Also I really like the large saddle/bar drop as it puts me in just the position that feels comfortable. Now the only difference between that hybrid and a road bike is the bars, and v brakes. Drops with a long enough stem extender would give me exactly the same feel....
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Old 07-10-13, 08:55 AM
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Anything is possible, but try to find something that fits. I'm 6'4", and I rode 60-62 cm frames for 25 years because that's what bike shops told me I needed (I was mainly a runner, cycling for a change or to recover from injuries--I rode a lot of miles but didn't educate myself about fit). I was ALWAYS uncomfortable on the bike, and thought that was just part of the sport.
I didn't realize the shops were selling me small bikes because small bikes were what they had. When I bought my midlife crisis Atlantis, Rivendell's sizing guide put me on a 65. I thought that was too big, but they convinced me, and the difference was immediate. I could stay onnthe bike 25 percent to 50 percent longer, and knock out 40-mile rides as easily as I used to do 25.
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Old 07-10-13, 09:04 AM
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Disadvantages? comfort, obviously..
but Roadracers opt for low bars to get the low posture to reduce air resistance at higher speeds.
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Old 07-10-13, 11:01 AM
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The size of the frame has very little to do with its rigidity or riding feel. It is the design and implementation that define those characteristics. The disadvantage to stem and seatpost adjustments to make large fit differences is that these longer levers put greater strain on the stress areas. And the longer levers might be less rigid (in a noticeable way)... BTW, this is one reason that I prefer the older threaded fork style over the modern threadless. In the older style much larger range of adjustments were possible with handlebar height without resorting to 'extender's which I don't believe work very well.

If going this way, select the longest seatpost to ensure that as much as possible can remain inside the seat tube (well beyond the min insert level) and try to get a bike with a larger diameter seat tube.

Given a good frame and appropriate extenders for stem height, length and a long sturdy seatpost, the comfort should be 'the same' as if the same frame were in a larger size. But only if the extensions do not compromise the function, which they can depending upon their design.
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Old 07-10-13, 01:34 PM
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I rode this Trek, whose frame was too small for me, for quite a while and was perfectly happy with the fit and ride.



My wife's frame is technically too small for her, but works fine with this stem:

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Old 07-10-13, 02:12 PM
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Thank you. Reading all the sizing guides suggests that a small frame is the end of the world. My mtb is the 'right' frame size yet it feels off by a shade. Figured out why as well. I have longer arms than most. Makes the reach on a 60cm top tube frame annoying, even if the seat tube is perfect. I want a larger saddle to bar drop.

Who ever thought sizing was so complicated...
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Old 07-10-13, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
Thank you. Reading all the sizing guides suggests that a small frame is the end of the world. My mtb is the 'right' frame size yet it feels off by a shade. Figured out why as well. I have longer arms than most. Makes the reach on a 60cm top tube frame annoying, even if the seat tube is perfect. I want a larger saddle to bar drop.

Who ever thought sizing was so complicated...
This is one reason I think choosing the smaller size than you think you need is a good idea, except for cost. Seat posts and stems allow one to dial in the perfect adjustment, which is much easier going up than the other way. Short of a custom frame, I think it is the best choice. The real drawback is that it requires the purchase of 'extra parts'.
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