Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Could the LBS guy be right saying I need a 56?

Notices
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

Could the LBS guy be right saying I need a 56?

Old 08-09-07, 03:13 PM
  #1  
AbsoluteZ3RO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Could the LBS guy be right saying I need a 56?

Here is my info from CompetitiveCyclist.com!

Measurements
-------------------------------------------
Inseam: 31.5
Trunk: 27.5
Forearm: 12.5
Arm: 25
Thigh: 22.5
Lower Leg: 21.25
Sternal Notch: 56.25
Total Body Height: 69


The Competitive Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 51.8 - 52.3
Seat tube range c-t: 53.4 - 53.9
Top tube length: 54.8 - 55.2
Stem Length: 11.2 - 11.8
BB-Saddle Position: 73.8 - 75.8
Saddle-Handlebar: 52.4 - 53.0
Saddle Setback: 3.1 - 3.5
Seatpost Type: NON-SETBACK


The Eddy Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 53.0 - 53.5
Seat tube range c-t: 54.6 - 55.1
Top tube length: 54.8 - 55.2
Stem Length: 10.1 - 10.7
BB-Saddle Position: 73.0 - 75.0
Saddle-Handlebar: 53.2 - 53.8
Saddle Setback: 4.3 - 4.7
Seatpost Type: NON-SETBACK


The French Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 54.7 - 55.2
Seat tube range c-t: 56.3 - 56.8
Top tube length: 56.0 - 56.4
Stem Length: 10.3 - 10.9
BB-Saddle Position: 71.3 - 73.3
Saddle-Handlebar: 54.9 - 55.5
Saddle Setback: 3.8 - 4.2
Seatpost Type: SETBACK





So the guy at the shop is convinced that I should be on a 56cm Trek 1500. He put me on the 56 and I told him I felt stretched out. He said that was ok because the rest of me looked good, and that we could put a shorter stem on.

So, he put a shorter stem on and honestly things felt better. I rode a 1500 56 and a 2100 that was a 54. Both felt pretty good after the stem change. The 54 felt good too, but I think it may have benefited from some extra angle on the stem. Putting my hands on the lower bar definately had me pretty leaned over.

However, I got the sense that we were making a bigger bike smaller to fit me instead of tuning the right size. I could be looking way too far into this. I think I may try and visit another trek dealer (if one is close enough) before I make my final decision.

Thoughts?
AbsoluteZ3RO is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:18 PM
  #2  
FixdGearHead
BMC Lover
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How short is the stem they put on the 56cm? I feel a bike gets "twitchy" if the stem is shorter than 100.
FixdGearHead is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:22 PM
  #3  
Bontrager
Senior Member
 
Bontrager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 2,339

Bikes: Road, MTB, Folding, Commuting bikes...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would tell you to try the next smaller size. A trek store near me wouldn't sell us a bike that my gf felt most comfortable riding because they claimed it was too small for her yet she fit perfect on it. They measured her inseam and looked in a book that said what size frame goes with what size inseam. Never looked to see if she was long or short legged/long or short torsoed or if she wanted to ride in a upright versus racing versus somewhere in between posture.

Bottom line - it's easier to make a small bike big than a big bike small. Get the one you want. It's your money and your comfort. I don't care what fit system you use.
Bontrager is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:23 PM
  #4  
cslone
Quarq shill
 
cslone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,962

Bikes: 08 Felt F4, 05 Fuji Team SL, 08 Planet X Stealth, 10 Kona Jake the Snake, 03 Giant OCR flat bar.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What size were the original and replacement stems?

The 56 Trek 1500 toptube is 56.2cm, so a little bigger than your "race fits", but right at the French fit. The 54cm toptube is 54.6cm, so slightly smaller than the racer fits from Competitive Cyclist. When in doubt, and in such small numbers like this, I personally would go to the smaller size with a slightly longer stem. But this is the bike that YOU will be riding, not me, not the saleseperson.

So, as long as you don't look like a bear on a unicycle, and you are comfortable on a 54, go with that.

Last edited by cslone; 08-09-07 at 03:28 PM.
cslone is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:25 PM
  #5  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 21,228

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1056 Post(s)
Liked 656 Times in 306 Posts
It is possible to be "fit" to be able to ride a few frame sizes by swapping out stems, seatpost, etc.

Personally I recommend picking up the smallest frame you feel comfortable on. In this situation I would recommend you get the 54...

...insert internet forum disclaimer here...

Keep in mind I have never seen you or the bike and really could not tell you more than you already know for yourself.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
Podcast - YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels

Psimet2001 is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:27 PM
  #6  
geraldatwork
Senior Member
 
geraldatwork's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 767

Bikes: 2005 Windsor Kennet, 1982 Raleigh Super Course

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FixdGearHead View Post
How short is the stem they put on the 56cm? I feel a bike gets "twitchy" if the stem is shorter than 100.
I have heard about about the twitchiness of shorter stems over and over. From my experience that is not the case. I have been riding a frame which is slightly too large with a 90 mm stem to compensate for over 5000 miles and I don't experience that. Maybe I don't know what twitchy is. That being said ideally when you have the choice you want a stem in the 100-120 (normal) on a bike to feel comfortable. When you go longer or shorter (as I did) you are generally compensating to make up for something else. Either a bike that doesn't fit perfectly or a body which is not normally proportional.
geraldatwork is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:30 PM
  #7  
666
Son of the Dark One
 
666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hell (DC)
Posts: 844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I am very close to you in measurement - same height, same inseam, and I ride a 54 w/ a 110 stem. 56 would be too big for me. When in doubt, go smaller.
666 is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:34 PM
  #8  
FixdGearHead
BMC Lover
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by geraldatwork View Post
I have heard about about the twitchiness of shorter stems over and over. From my experience that is not the case. I have been riding a frame which is slightly too large with a 90 mm stem to compensate for over 5000 miles and I don't experience that. Maybe I don't know what twitchy is. That being said ideally when you have the choice you want a stem in the 100-120 (normal) on a bike to feel comfortable. When you go longer or shorter (as I did) you are generally compensating to make up for something else. Either a bike that doesn't fit perfectly or a body which is not normally proportional.
In my personal experience, it's been in making turns...which makes sense if you think of the physics of it...longer stem would (in my mind) allow for a more controlled movement along the full arc of angles in turning the wheel, vs a shorter stem.
FixdGearHead is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:36 PM
  #9  
Bontrager
Senior Member
 
Bontrager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 2,339

Bikes: Road, MTB, Folding, Commuting bikes...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How sharp are these turns you're making?

It does make sense but if you're twitchy then you have to move more to make the wheel turn left or right, all other things being equal.

Perhaps stem length vs. twitchiness has more to do with where the weight over the front axle is vs. an absolute length?
Bontrager is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:37 PM
  #10  
late
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,668
Mentioned: 114 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10204 Post(s)
Liked 452 Times in 355 Posts
Might be time to try some other bikes.
late is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:38 PM
  #11  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,879
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Remember that the C-C seat tube length on a 56cm Trek is not 56cm. It is more like 53-54cm, which puts you in the range of those fit calculators. Buy the frame that puts your handlebars in the right position for you (reach and drop). If you need a huge stack of spacers to get the handlebar up to your desired height, then you should probably look at bigger frames. If you prefer a very low handlebar, then look at smaller frames.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:43 PM
  #12  
FixdGearHead
BMC Lover
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by late View Post
Might be time to try some other bikes.
Oh, these weren't my bikes...which, yes, you certainly have to factor in with my "shorter stem = twitchy" opinion.
FixdGearHead is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:47 PM
  #13  
Bontrager
Senior Member
 
Bontrager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 2,339

Bikes: Road, MTB, Folding, Commuting bikes...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
If you need a huge stack of spacers to get the handlebar up to your desired height, then you should probably look at bigger frames.
Or get a stem that has a higher angle on it and un-flip it.
Bontrager is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:47 PM
  #14  
ryanspeer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Posts: 1,162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd tend to think the 56 would be right for you simply because my measurements are similar to yours and that's what I ride. My Tarmac fits me like a glove (110mm -6 rise stem).
ryanspeer is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:50 PM
  #15  
Roadplay
Member
 
Roadplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mid West
Posts: 39

Bikes: SWork Tarmac; Merlin CR3/2.5 Works; Scott S1 Speedster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My CompetitiveCyclist Fit for a 56

AbsoluteZ3RO,

Here is my info from CompetitiveCyclist.com and I fit a 56 Tarmac (stem 100) perfectly. You decide...

My Measurements
-------------------------------------------
Inseam: 32
Trunk: 24.5
Forearm: 14.5
Arm: 26
Thigh: 24
Lower Leg: 21.5
Sternal Notch: 56.75
Total Body Height: 71


Your Measurements
-------------------------------------------
Inseam: 31.5
Trunk: 27.5
Forearm: 12.5
Arm: 25
Thigh: 22.5
Lower Leg: 21.25
Sternal Notch: 56.25
Total Body Height: 69
Roadplay is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:50 PM
  #16  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,002

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2589 Post(s)
Liked 1,991 Times in 959 Posts
Originally Posted by 666 View Post
I am very close to you in measurement - same height, same inseam, and I ride a 54 w/ a 110 stem. 56 would be too big for me. When in doubt, go smaller.
I'm an inch taller, but I have a shorter legs and a longer torso. I just couldn't stand over a 56 cm comfortably. I ride a 54cm Trek 5200 with a 115mm stem and about 8 cm of saddle to bar drop (more of an Eddy fit).
caloso is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:51 PM
  #17  
Pizza Man
Racing iS my Training
 
Pizza Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,263

Bikes: 07 Bianchi San Jose, 08 Tarmac SL2, 05 Cervelo P3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Your measurements are nearly identical to mine and I ride a 53-54. If I were to ride a trek I'd ride a 54.

I currently ride a Ridley in a small (47cm c-c and 51 cm c-t, and 54.5 effective tt) with a 120mm stem.
My last bike was a Felt in a 54CM (54 cm c-t, 51 cm c-c, 54.5 cm tt) with a 110mm stem (seat angle was 1 degree steeper, hence the need for a longer stem)

I am more flexible than average though and I like to ride with the bars low.
Pizza Man is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:56 PM
  #18  
tfro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by geraldatwork View Post
I have heard about about the twitchiness of shorter stems over and over. From my experience that is not the case. I have been riding a frame which is slightly too large with a 90 mm stem to compensate for over 5000 miles and I don't experience that. Maybe I don't know what twitchy is. That being said ideally when you have the choice you want a stem in the 100-120 (normal) on a bike to feel comfortable. When you go longer or shorter (as I did) you are generally compensating to make up for something else. Either a bike that doesn't fit perfectly or a body which is not normally proportional.
Did you ride the bike with a longer stem first?

I've moved to a much shorter stem (120 to 80 I think was the change), and while I fit the bike much better now, it was much more 'twitchy'. I got used to it pretty quickly, but the handling was much better for me with the longer stem.

I've since gone with a longer stem on a smaller frame, and I'm much happier.

To the OP, I'd go to other stores and ride more bikes. I went back and forth about 56/58 for my frame, and I always felt better with a 56. But, until I rode a few I wasn't really sure.
tfro is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 03:58 PM
  #19  
ryanspeer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Posts: 1,162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
All this mumbo-jumbo simply means this:

Ride both a 56 and a 54. You make the call.
ryanspeer is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 04:21 PM
  #20  
bikegummo
Senior Member
 
bikegummo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I hate to contribute nothing but a question, but I have to ask, why do these three fit systems provide such different specs? I'm a bit of a newbie, but by the looks of things, the measurements the OP entered produced three different rides, right?

I realize a test ride is the best way to tell what's what, and the systems probably have their own structures to determine fittings, but is any one "better" than the others (maybe an expert could look at the different sets of information and determine that)?

Again, apologies to the OP for creating more questions than answers.
bikegummo is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 04:43 PM
  #21  
OCRider2000
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Southern Ca
Posts: 424
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are you only interested in a Trek? You might want to continue doing your own research on what the perfect size\geometry frame is for your body. You might find that another bike fits you better. There are lots of variations between manufacturers when it comes to what they offer frame size\geometry\proportions wise. Lot's of decent info on this site, do some searches. Also check out:https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html. You'll be glad you educated yourself on this stuff before you purchase. Online calculators are a good place to start but you are gonna want to suplement what they spit out with test rides and more research on proper fit.
OCRider2000 is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 05:00 PM
  #22  
tfro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bikegummo View Post
I hate to contribute nothing but a question, but I have to ask, why do these three fit systems provide such different specs? I'm a bit of a newbie, but by the looks of things, the measurements the OP entered produced three different rides, right?

I realize a test ride is the best way to tell what's what, and the systems probably have their own structures to determine fittings, but is any one "better" than the others (maybe an expert could look at the different sets of information and determine that)?

Again, apologies to the OP for creating more questions than answers.
Go to https://www.competitivecyclist.com and read their description of the fits, the explanation they give is a decent starting point.
tfro is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 05:07 PM
  #23  
ttopaz
Rider
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The most important size is the 'top tube length', not the 'seat tube range'. So, I would take 54 because it has top tube length that is closer to your measurements. It is harder to fix top tube length problems that it too long than that is too short.

Test riding before (at least some) fitting doesn't mean a thing. Chances of finding perfect top tube length, perfect stem length and saddle height just out of the store is 0.

Last edited by ttopaz; 08-09-07 at 05:19 PM.
ttopaz is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 06:54 PM
  #24  
Lucky07
Ride 365
 
Lucky07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NYC/UpperDutchess, NY
Posts: 1,882

Bikes: '06 Cannondale Six 13 Pro 2, '05 Specialized Allez Elite, '04 Jamis Satellite, 90's Raleigh M-45 single speed conversion, 80's Fuji Team single speed conversion, 70's Schwinn World Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try both frames, ride them for as long as they'll allow & then make your decision.

Think about your riding style. A smaller frame will most likely have a more agressive position & may handle better. A larger frame will have less seat to bars drop & a more relaxed position.

Pick the one that feels good & fits your needs.
Lucky07 is offline  
Old 08-09-07, 07:20 PM
  #25  
AbsoluteZ3RO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by OCRider2000 View Post
Are you only interested in a Trek? You might want to continue doing your own research on what the perfect size\geometry frame is for your body. You might find that another bike fits you better. There are lots of variations between manufacturers when it comes to what they offer frame size\geometry\proportions wise. Lot's of decent info on this site, do some searches. Also check out:https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html. You'll be glad you educated yourself on this stuff before you purchase. Online calculators are a good place to start but you are gonna want to suplement what they spit out with test rides and more research on proper fit.
I tested a 54cm Specalized Allez. Liked the way it felt a lot, but they seems to have lower end components for the same money. I haven't ruled it out completely, but I'm bothered by the lower end components. I'm wondering were the extra money is going if it's not in the drivetrain.
AbsoluteZ3RO is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.