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What is the smalest frame someone 5'10 can use?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What is the smalest frame someone 5'10 can use?

Old 07-20-06, 06:03 AM
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agowen
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What is the smalest frame someone 5'10 can use?

So quick question.... I am thinking about buying someone's bike.... a 49/48 cm bike but am 5'10. Can I get away with a longer seat stem and bigger tyres... it is a very nice frame???
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Old 07-20-06, 06:10 AM
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Everyone has a slightly different fit, but 49cm is going to be small for you in my opinion. If you asked someone to ballpark a frame for you, they'd probably say 56cm or 54cm if you had long legs and a short torso.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:11 AM
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49cm? forget about it.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:13 AM
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Don't 49cm frames often come with 650c tires?
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Old 07-20-06, 06:17 AM
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I'm 5'10" with a 32" inseam and a 56 felt to small for me. I ride a 58.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:28 AM
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So you guys think even with some bigger wheels and tyres and a long seat post I could not get away with it? Sorry for reaching... might as well bite the bullet and pay up for the bike I want in my size!!
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Old 07-20-06, 06:30 AM
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Nope. Bigger wheels probably won't fit. The long seat post would work, but you'd need a stem that doesn't exist.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:31 AM
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I'd say a 54 c - c for a horizontal top tube frame, with a 55 or 56 top tube. A 49 is definitely too small and will never fit well IMO.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by agowen
So you guys think even with some bigger wheels and tyres and a long seat post I could not get away with it? Sorry for reaching... might as well bite the bullet and pay up for the bike I want in my size!!
A common misconception is that people think your standover height is the only component of fit. Another very important component of fit is the top tube length. If you were on a 49cm frame, I bet you'd feel really scrunched, even if you put a longer stem on it.

Also, frames are built for specific wheel sizes. I think a lot of 49cm frames come with 650c wheels, and you definitely wouldn't want that.

For reference, I'm 6'00", and I ride a 56cm frame. I wouldn't even think of going any smaller than 54cm.

You can get the best deal ever on a bike, but if it's a poor fit, then it's really just a waste of money.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:36 AM
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The smallest traditional geometry frame for that size rider would be a size 56, although most guys that size would be better off on a size 58. I am 5'9" and my favorite bike is a size 60.

There are LOTS of good used bikes out there in size 58 and size 60. Buying a "mini-bike" because it is cheap is not a good use of your money...wait for a bike that fits you.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:52 AM
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I was at the circus the other day, and there was this dude, had to be 5.10 riding around ona teeny little bike, maybe 8 inches tall. He seemed to be doing fine, but then, he had a monkey.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:52 AM
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Alright you guys (and girls) have convinced me.... Many thanks for helping to dispense with some silliness on my behalf
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Old 07-20-06, 06:57 AM
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I'm 5'10" and I'd ride a 47cm ... it all depends on where the company pulls that number from. It means nothing outside the context of knowing the entire bike's geometry.

PS. 5'10" on a 47cm?! http://www.salsacycles.com/frames_06Primero.html
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Old 07-20-06, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by agowen
So quick question.... I am thinking about buying someone's bike.... a 49/48 cm bike but am 5'10. Can I get away with a longer seat stem and bigger tyres... it is a very nice frame???
I'm 5'11 and should be riding 57cm. I love the 50cm frame I'm riding though. 27" tires, and long seatpost. Seat adjusted all the way back, normal stem. Ultra comfortable (but not entirely due to size). The frame is originally designed to have even seat and bars, and for me gives a good aggressive 2-3" down tilt. (I don't have lower back stretching difficulties). Sitting on the front of the seat, I still have knee clearance. I have to sit far back (rest closer to thighs) to put maximum power in the pedals, for the ideal knee to pedal relationship, but having extra seating positions is good for comfort.

If you understand why a certain size is supposed to fit you, and listen to your body, adapting to a smaller size can be no problem. At least its been good for me so far. All the pros seem to ride bikes 10cm too small.

I also have a 22" mtb with 1.5x26 tires. Its the supposed fit, and its fine too.
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Old 07-20-06, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by godspiral
All the pros seem to ride bikes 10cm too small.
Lance is something like 6' and I think he rides a 58.
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Old 07-20-06, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HWS
I'm 5'10" with a 32" inseam and a 56 felt to small for me. I ride a 58.
I'm 5'-9" with a ~31" inseam and I have a 52cm Felt. I tried the 54cm and felt (pardon the pun ) stretched.

To the OP: I know everyone's body proportions are different and bike mfr's geometries are all different too, but it sounds like a 49 might be too small. I suppose you could make it fit with a long seatpost with the seat set back, some risers with a really long stem.
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Old 07-20-06, 02:51 PM
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I'm 5'10" and had a 54 for a week. I hit my knees on the haddlebars when I rode it . So I returned it. The LBS owner told me it wouldn't fit and I didn't listen. I was lucky that he took the frame back and sold me the proper one. Eventhough that was what he was trying to do in the first place.
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Old 07-20-06, 02:59 PM
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I'm 5'10 and I converted an old 19in Trek 660 into a fixie for ****s and giggles. With a longish (120mm) stem and two fistfuls of seatpost, it fit me and rode well but just looked out of proportion.

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Old 07-20-06, 03:06 PM
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To take the thread title to its logical extreme the Guiness Book of Records says the smallest bicycle/frame ever ridden was some 6 or seven inches long . Since the circus clown who rode it was paid to do so does that make him a pro cyclist?

I agree with most of the others. Small frame differences can be handled with stem and seat changes but the setup still is not optimum. 49" frame for a 5'10" rider .
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Old 07-20-06, 08:57 PM
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5'10" and fit a 55cm toptube perfectly.
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Old 07-20-06, 09:12 PM
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I am 5'10"ish and when I went in to get fited for my new bike the shop said I shoudl be on a 55 or 56 depending on company. My cycling inseam is 87 cm.
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Old 07-21-06, 02:00 AM
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I'd say 55-56cm.Anything less,you will find your ass up in the clouds and nose on the front tyre.Very uncomfortable.Forget 48/49.That is for people 5',0 or less
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Old 07-21-06, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Phantoj
Lance is something like 6' and I think he rides a 58.
since when does 5'10" become 6'?
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Old 07-21-06, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by agowen
So you guys think even with some bigger wheels and tyres and a long seat post I could not get away with it? Sorry for reaching... might as well bite the bullet and pay up for the bike I want in my size!!
There is no doubt you could put a MTB seatpost on the bike. Then you add an outrageously long stem to make up the difference. It won't look any worse than what passes as compact geometry. Problem is that the stem would have to be too long to fit you. Then your weight would be way too far over the front wheel.

Obviously, the frame must a killer deal or you wouldn't be asking about making it fit. You will find small and large frames sell real cheap on the used market. The reason is that there is very little demand for frames in the extreme ranges. Good luck

Tim
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Old 07-21-06, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by botto
since when does 5'10" become 6'?
+1 Maybe he grew another 2"?
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