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Which size would suit better

Old 02-22-11, 07:27 AM
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Which size would suit better

Hi,
I have placed a similar thread on Cyclocross subforum but I am still waiting for any respond. Therefore decided to put it here, hoping that someone would find some time to comment.

I have been ridding the mid-level hardtail since June 2009 and have done so far over 6500km. Almost all of it was done on the paved roads. Last year I maneged to do couple of metric centuries and the longest ride was around 170km. The typical ride would be around 50km.

As the bike is rather heavy I started to think about adding another one that would suit my type of ridding better. Since the beggining I didn't consider going into pure road bike as it would have the limits on the bike use. I would like to have the chance to go off-road and in same cases light touring. At the same time I wanted to go into road-like type of the bike.

After some search I have decided to go for the Cyclocross frame, e.g. Specialized Tricross Pro (good offer on e-bay).

Having no experience with road-type bikes, I was looking at the size mainly from the standover point of view and comparing the overal bike geometry to the current mtb. Based on that I decided to go for the 49cm frame.

Searching information on the forums, I found that in case of road-type bike, frame lenght is more critical than the standover height. So I started to think, whether the chosen size is good. using the Competitive Cycling and Wrench Sciense calculators I have got some results and would like to get your comments on that:

My measurements:
Gender M
Inseam 76 cm
Trunk 62 cm
Forearm 32.5 cm
Arm 59 cm
Thigh 55 cm
Lower Leg 51 cm
Sternal Notch 137 cm
Total Body Height 164 cm

Results:
The Competitive Fit The Eddy Fit The French Fit
Seat tube range c-c 49.2 - 49.7 50.4 - 50.9 52.1 - 52.6
Seat tube range c-t 50.7 - 51.2 51.9 - 52.4 53.6 - 54.1
Top tube length 52.6 - 53.0 52.6 - 53.0 53.8 - 54.2
Stem Length 10.2 - 10.8 9.1 - 9.7 9.3 - 9.9
BB-Saddle Position 68.7 - 70.7 67.9 - 69.9 66.2 - 68.2
Saddle-Handlebar 49.0 - 49.6 49.8 - 50.4 51.5 - 52.1
Saddle Setback 2.4 - 2.8 3.6 - 4.0 3.1 - 3.5

WS Recommended Sizes
Frame Size center-to-center: 49 cm
Frame Size center-to-top: 51 cm
Overall Reach: 64.00 cm
Saddle Height: 67.11 cm
Handlebar Width: 44 cm

In both cases suggested ST C-T is around 51cm and the TT lenght around 52.6-53.

Specialized Tricross Pro is available in 49, 52 & ... sizes. Below is the short info regarding the geometry:

Size 49 52 54 56 58 61
Seat-Tube Length, B-B Center to Top 490mm 525mm 545mm 565mm 585mm 615mm
Top-Tube Length, Horizontal 515mm 530mm 545mm 560mm 575mm 595mm
B-B Drop 71mm 71mm 69mm 69mm 67mm 67mm
Chain-Stay Length 440mm 440mm 440mm 440mm 440mm 440mm
Seat-Tube Angle 75.5 74.5 73.5 73 72.5 72
Head-Tube Angle 70 70.75 71.5 72 72.5 73
Fork Rake 51mm 51mm 51mm 47mm 47mm 47mm
Trail 73mm 68mm 63mm 64mm 61mm 58mm
Front-Center 598mm 599mm 600mm 601mm 607mm 616mm
Wheelbase 1028mm 1029mm 1030mm 1032mm 1038mm 1047mm
Stand-Over Height 750mm 773mm 790mm 806mm 824mm 851mm
Head-Tube Length 110mm 125mm 140mm 155mm 170mm 195mm
Handle-Bar Width 400mm 420mm 420mm 440mm 440mm 440mm
Stem Length 75mm 90mm 100mm 110mm 110mm 120mm
Crank Length 170mm 170mm 172.5mm 175mm 175mm 175mm
Seat-Post Length 300mm 350mm 350mm 350mm 350mm 350mm


My "optimal" size would be around 51 and is somehow inbetween of the available sizes. Both sizes keep same wheelbase, so major difference comes from bit bigger head tube, angles, so the bigger frame is gnerally higher.

As said, I went for the small one, but after doing the calculation started to have some doubt whether it is correct. Below are some thoughts/concerns I have:

- Rode racers suggest to go for smaller size as it will make the bike more responsivenes.
- Fulfilling the measurement results, for the small size the steam lenght should be on the level of 12.5cm, is that long or still ok?
- Bigger frame has the TT effective within the range from competitive calculator, thus seems to be OK
- On one of the forums I found simple table showing the optimal TT lenght depending on the overal height, showing for my size 530mm (as the bigger frame).
- Both sizes have standover lower than my current mtb (750 & 773 compared to 800).
- For the off-rode smaller size could be much better due to bigger TT clearance.
- I am not a racer and will probably never come to that point, so the ridding style would be more comfortable (bit upright) than the aero racing position I suppose.
- Looking for numbers, bigger frame seems to be closer to the calculated values than the smaller one
- I went to the local specialized dealer to try both sizes, but unfortunatelly none was available. I only had a chance to sit on Allez in size of 52cm. The bike has a bit longer TT (7mm compared to 52 Tricross) but with the installed 90mm steam was very close to the suggested overall reach. I was feeling ok on the bike and the sales person confirmed that it fits well (the bike was already sold, so treated this as independent comment). he also said that 49 could be to tight for me. I plan to check similar sizes of the KTM Strada to have the overall feeling about them.

As mentioned above, I don't plan to race, although I would like to participate in some bike marathons for amateurs, where the distances start from 120km. The goal would be to finish within the time and enjoy the ride.

Taking all into account, which size should I choose? Is the one I bought (49) ok or shall I change for the bigger one (still can do that, but soon the frame will be delivered from US to Poland and this possibility will no longer exist). What would be the impact of the frame size on the ridding? I would like to choose from both sizes, so looking for an alternative frame/bike is not an ption for the moment.

Sorry for a long tread, but wanted to make a clear picture of the situation.

Regards,
Adam

Last edited by MagicJade; 02-22-11 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 02-22-11, 12:02 PM
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If you want a more upright position I'd say go with the 52 and change the stem to a smaller length. OR You could also just change the Fork on the 49 with an uncut one and then cut it to proper height. But if you want a bit more relaxed angles then go for the 52.
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Old 02-22-11, 12:23 PM
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Personally I prefer bigger frames than recommended for my height. I am 180 cm (6') and 2 of my bikes are 58 cm and the other 2 are 59 cm. Races tell me I should ride a 56 cm frame, but I prefer 59, maybe even 60, but I do not race. I prefer bigger frame for more comfortable position for long distance riding.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 02-22-11, 02:17 PM
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I think most long distance riders will tell you that if you have to choose between a frame that's too large and another that's too small, you should pass on both of them and find one that fits.
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Old 02-22-11, 04:44 PM
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Hi,
First of all, thank you for a quick reply. I have search the forum for the "frame size" and went through about 200 threads. The more I read, the more it is obvious that you get more experienced with every new bike you get, thus some people own quite a few of them. As it will be the first bike of such type, I will have to take the risk with choosing the size.

Originally Posted by kk27
If you want a more upright position I'd say go with the 52 and change the stem to a smaller length. OR You could also just change the Fork on the 49 with an uncut one and then cut it to proper height. But if you want a bit more relaxed angles then go for the 52.
I am going for an unused frame from the store, so the fork will be uncut giving me a chance to start with very long one and going down.

Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
I think most long distance riders will tell you that if you have to choose between a frame that's too large and another that's too small, you should pass on both of them and find one that fits.
It would be the good option if you live in the place with wide range of choices (bike brands, types, models) like you. I was at the Specialized dealer in my home town yesterday and was told that the main distributor for this part of Europe is not bringing a lot of models due to a small ability to sell them. Therefore the most popular models are 54-58. So my choice is rather limited or based on geometry charts. I am not sure what does it mean too small or too large? Choosing between 49 & 52 with "theoreticaly optimal" 51 would rather mean a bit smaller or bigger for me.

I was sure about 49 last week, but after going through this forum consider the bigger one as much closer to the optimum one. Just talked to the shop and eventual swapping wouldn't be a problem. So will try to check 49 & 52 KTM with quite similar geometry available at the same shop for final decision.

Thanks again for suggestions.

Regards,
Adam
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Old 02-22-11, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrey
Personally I prefer bigger frames than recommended for my height. I am 180 cm (6') and 2 of my bikes are 58 cm and the other 2 are 59 cm. Races tell me I should ride a 56 cm frame, but I prefer 59, maybe even 60, but I do not race. I prefer bigger frame for more comfortable position for long distance riding.

Just my $0.02.
I agree with this. I'm 6' even and like a 59 to 60cm VTT length. I'm often buying the largest frame sold in that model.

Most bike shops would put me in a much smaller bike, something with a 57 or 58 VTT. I feel jammed-up on a smaller bike.
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Old 05-05-11, 12:26 PM
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After trying other bikes with similar geometry in size of 52 I have decided to saty with the 49 one. Here is my post on Cyclocross forum about the configuration of the bike. Hope to see a complete baby within few days:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...0#post12600400

Regards,
Adam
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Old 05-11-11, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrey
Personally I prefer bigger frames than recommended for my height. I am 180 cm (6') and 2 of my bikes are 58 cm and the other 2 are 59 cm. Races tell me I should ride a 56 cm frame, but I prefer 59, maybe even 60, but I do not race. I prefer bigger frame for more comfortable position for long distance riding.

Just my $0.02.
Question, does anyone know if this is also true for other bikes with different geometry? The reason I'm asking is because at 5'11", my bike shop pro recommended that I ride a 56cm bike, (an Allez road bike). When I purchased the bike, I noticed that I had to reach quite a ways to get to the hoods on the handle bar, which wasn't very comfortable to me. I switched to a shorter stem, which has helped some, but even so I still have to reach a ways to be able to ride on the hoods. Does this sizing philosophy change with a different type of bike?

thanks
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Old 05-11-11, 11:33 AM
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well I'm a 5'10" and I ride the 56 Surly CC which is my LD bike, not sure how the geometry on the allez is different but the 56 fits me quite well, I ride a Race bike which is 52cm Scott & I also have a Vintage Olmo as my Fixe which is 56cm too & I'm comfortable on all of them.

I personally think simply going on the bigger bike doesn't give you comfort.. infact comfort is nothing but a collection of all the preferences you'd want from a bike. While the LBS may be right with the sizing you may find it difficult if you've been riding smaller reach frames all your life!!! or simply prefer a shorter reach!!! Did you tell the fitter that? And the fit philosophy or science isn't all stick & stones & most riders set up their equipment the way they want & they like... many a times contrary to the science. The same CC Fit calculator proposed a 65mm stem on a 56cm frame, but I went with a 80mm & it was comfy. After riding a lot with the bike I felt like I'd be more comfy with even a longer reach & now I ride a with a 95mm stem. So don't go purely by fit calculations... it's more important to concentrate on what you like.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:20 PM
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Most "race" style bikes(Allez in one of them) have a longer top and longer reach handlebar for that stretched out low race position. Most manufactures started designing bikes with longer front tube and shorter top tube and some even put shorter reach handlebars for more upright riding position. Specialized has the Roubaix model that would feel less stretchered out than the Allez in the same size.

If you do not like the low position, I would flip and raise the stem, tilt up the handlebar or even replace with a shorter stem or shorter reach handlebar.

When I started riding many years ago I felt very stretched out on a race bike and needed to make all kind of adjustments to make the bike feel shorter and taller. There were no bikes like Cannondale Roubaix, Specialized Synapse or Giant Defy or the like back then. After years of riding I prefer the long reach handlebars and stretched out position on a large frame. The longer the ride is the more I want to stretch myself for comfort reason.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by WolfsBane
Question, does anyone know if this is also true for other bikes with different geometry? The reason I'm asking is because at 5'11", my bike shop pro recommended that I ride a 56cm bike, (an Allez road bike). When I purchased the bike, I noticed that I had to reach quite a ways to get to the hoods on the handle bar, which wasn't very comfortable to me. I switched to a shorter stem, which has helped some, but even so I still have to reach a ways to be able to ride on the hoods. Does this sizing philosophy change with a different type of bike?
thanks
I'm also 5'11'' and rode a 54cm Allez which I put a very small stem on to feel comfortable on long rides. The bike treated me very well, and with the stem adjustment, it was super comfy! I am currently shopping for a new frame and will likely end-up with a 54cm carbon race frame, and no one at my LBS could believe that I am not getting a 56cm frame. However, as soon as I sat on a frame to demonstrate, they got it! I even ride a large Scott MTB--which is about the equivalent of a 56cm road frame... weird, but true. Some things you can get used to, others you can't--you probably already know!
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Old 05-12-11, 07:03 AM
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The bike is finally done. I already made about 50km on it. First day, just after coming back from service I did some rounds around the block to see how it feels. It was quite new experience with the type of bike (used to ride on a road bike some time ago) and very first experience with SPD pedal. The first impression was that the Allay Racing Pro is not as comfy as I expected, but it was mostly due to wrong setup.
Yesterday I took sime time to ride around the block and fine tune the saddle position/angle. After that went to the shop for some small shopping. The whole trip was almost 40km and inspite of some hand paint, everything was fine. Still some tweaking is required.

Here are some observation from the virtual bike building and reality:
1. Based on the geometry I made a simple drawing of the bike and was comparing to current mtb. On the drawing I added all the elements and everything was quite close to the Competitive Cyclies Fit results. That was the theory. In reality the bike is slightly different.
- I have the 20mm-offset WCS seatpost with the Allay Racing Pro saddle. When the saddle was intalled centrally on the seatpost, to front of the saddle is exactly over the center of BB. It is somehow linked to very steep seat tube angle (75.5). According to the fit results, I should have about 1.8-2.2 cm seatback. Yesterday I have moved the saddle 0.5cm backward and today will move 1cm more. As the saddle is rather long, it will create about 1cm distance. Will also try to put it a bit higher which will result in further back position.
- Saddle-handlebar distance should be on the level of 48.8-49.4 but now is around 45. taking the above might come to around 47.
- I have the 170mm crank arm and was touching the wheel with the front of the shoe with cleats in the center. Yesterday moved them to the max front position and got around 1cm space. Today will play a bit with moving them forward a bit.

I certainly need few hundrieds of kilometers to feel better the bike and fine tune the setup. When looking into the 49cm frame, 52 that was considered could be to big (I would have around 3cm of the exposed seatpost). At the same time it would fit much better due to a bit smaller seat tube angle. Looks like the fit suggested 50cm frame size could be optimum.

I plan to test the bike this Saturday on the 400km brevet. It might seem as a big risk to go for such a long ride, but the other choice is to go on my HT that is over 5kg heavier. We'll see. The good thing is that the brevet route is close to the railway, so I will be able to reach some stations even by walking.

Will try to make some pictures and post them afterwards.

Last edited by MagicJade; 05-12-11 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 05-12-11, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrey
If you do not like the low position, I would flip and raise the stem, tilt up the handlebar or even replace with a shorter stem or shorter reach handlebar.
In my case, it's not so much the height of the handlebar that I find uncomfortable. Its the reach across the top tube that I find less than desireable. Really does have to do more with the nature and design of the Allez. I did put a shorter stem on the bike. Helped a little, as did tilting the stem. There are days that I do like to stretch over into an efficient position, (and go like a bat out of hades, which the bike can easily do), but most of the time, and especially for long distance, I like a more comfortable position... not quite an upright position, but more of a modified, more relaxed efficient position. I did tried the Secteur. A little more relaxed than the Allez, for sure.

Maybe I should just start looking into a Surly Cross Check or Pacer, or a Salsa Vaya. (Chromoly frame and better tire clearance also an enticement).
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Old 05-12-11, 03:40 PM
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Yes, all bikes are built differently. My "old" 89 was a 54 cm with a 57 cm top tube. My "new" 86 is a 56 cm with a 56 cm top tube. I can feel the difference.

A new bike I would strongly consider (for me) is a Fisher Cronus. It is CF, but it is rigged for fender mounts or clearance for 28mm tires. It has a taller head tube and the 56 cm version has an effective top tube of 56cm. The "base" model has Shimano 105 and external cable routing, which I like for easier servicing. For 2011, they changed to "Trek" Cronus, the Gary Fisher brand being a sub of Trek.

I'm sure there are others. You don't have to limit your search to steel, although steel is a fine material.

I'm 5' 10" with a fairly long inseam.
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