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short guy (5'5") needing sizing advice (CAAD9)

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short guy (5'5") needing sizing advice (CAAD9)

Old 11-26-08, 09:39 AM
  #1  
lineric
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short guy (5'5") needing sizing advice (CAAD9)

Hey All,

In the process of buying a new bike for myself. Right now I have set my mind on the highly regarded Cannondale Caad9, and the '09 white is really appealing to me. I have been riding on a 30 years old 56cm road bike for a while now, although the reach seems okay and can be applied to the new bike, I am not very sure about the drop and the standover clearance on the upcoming new bike. Here is how it goes: I am 5'5", with 75~76cm barefoot inseam. Went to an LBS last night and tried both 48cm and 50cm CAAD9.

Old bike 56cm seat tube, 56cm TT + 6cm Stem (short I know), standover height >80cm, almost no drop

Caad9 48cm, 51.5TT + stem ? cm, standover 74cm

Caad9 50cm, 52.5TT, standover 75.3cm

Regarding top tube length, it seems 1cm wasn't much different. However the way the handlebar and shift lever was leveled kind of affected the reach feel. If those were tilted upward a little bit, the reach (or I should say ... drop?) seems shortened by quite a bit. If it was leveled so that the levers were flat, I am feeling quite a bit of drop/stretch on both sizes. Standover clearance, with my shoes on, I got roughly 2cm and 3cm respectively for 48 and 50cm.

So now my question would be, which size is more likely to fit better? In terms of 1)Top Tube Length and Drop and 2) Standover Clearance

The answer I got from the LBS guy was that both would do, and it's up to personal preference whether more drop (48cm) or more reach (50cm) is preferable. I am personally leaning towards 50cm due to one silly reason.. the look of the frame. 48cm has a noticeably smaller rear triangle that it looks kind of weird. But again, fitting is more important so I wouldn't give up on 48cm for that reason. I'd like to hear from you guys. Any insights/comments welcomed.


Measurements
-------------------------------------------
Inseam: 75
Trunk: 60
Forearm: 34
Arm: 55
Thigh: 56
Lower Leg: 47
Sternal Notch: 139
Total Body Height: 165


The Competitive Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 48.6 - 49.1
Seat tube range c-t: 50.1 - 50.6
Top tube length: 50.8 - 51.2
Stem Length: 10.2 - 10.8
BB-Saddle Position: 64.0 - 66.0
Saddle-Handlebar: 48.2 - 48.8
Saddle Setback: 4.4 - 4.8


The Eddy Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 49.8 - 50.3
Seat tube range c-t: 51.3 - 51.8
Top tube length: 50.8 - 51.2
Stem Length: 9.1 - 9.7
BB-Saddle Position: 63.2 - 65.2
Saddle-Handlebar: 49.0 - 49.6
Saddle Setback: 5.6 - 6.0


The French Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 51.5 - 52.0
Seat tube range c-t: 53.0 - 53.5
Top tube length: 52.0 - 52.4
Stem Length: 9.3 - 9.9
BB-Saddle Position: 61.5 - 63.5
Saddle-Handlebar: 50.7 - 51.3
Saddle Setback: 5.1 - 5.5

Last edited by lineric; 11-26-08 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:42 AM
  #2  
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i got lost reading your post. can you provide a cliffs note version?
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Old 11-26-08, 09:47 AM
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Which part am I confusing? I'll try to revise a bit.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:48 AM
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Are you trying to figure out which size CAAD9 frame will fit? If so, what will you be doing with this bike? Racing or just rec riding?
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Old 11-26-08, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
are you trying to figure out which size caad9 frame will fit? If so, what will you be doing with this bike? Racing or just rec riding?
yes, no specific purpose in mind. Just a bike for fitness/recreation. Race? maybe some where down the road.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:39 AM
  #6  
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I'm still trying to visualize a 5' 5" rider on a 56 cm frame. That had to be interesting.

As for the CAAD, have you tried any of the frame sizes you mentioned? Any of the non-Synapse models should give you a pretty good idea of how the CAAD9 will fit.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:58 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by rizz View Post
I'm still trying to visualize a 5' 5" rider on a 56 cm frame. That had to be interesting.

As for the CAAD, have you tried any of the frame sizes you mentioned? Any of the non-Synapse models should give you a pretty good idea of how the CAAD9 will fit.

Not something to be proud of but I'm used to riding much bigger frames both mtb and rb so it wasn't a problem. As I have mentioned in the post, I already tried both 48 and 50cm CAAD9. Both seemed okay but I'd like to hear some opinions before forking out my cash.
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Old 11-26-08, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by lineric View Post
Not something to be proud of but I'm used to riding much bigger frames both mtb and rb so it wasn't a problem. As I have mentioned in the post, I already tried both 48 and 50cm CAAD9. Both seemed okay but I'd like to hear some opinions before forking out my cash.
I must have missed the part about trying both, so here's how I arrived at going with a smaller frame for myself: It's easy to make a bike bigger but not as easy trying to shrink it down. That combined with the fact that I race on my CAAD9 and prefer being more compact on the bike pushed me to a 54 instead of a 56 (I'm 5' 10").
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Old 11-26-08, 12:02 PM
  #9  
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Is your cycling inseam REALLY only 75cm, to firm crotch contact, in bare feet? If so, then the 50cm will have ZERO standover clearance. How did you possibly straddle a 56cm? That inseam should mean a saddle hieght of only about 65cm? That's some very short legs and long torso.

Regardless, the difference are minor, with the 48 requiring a 10mm longer stem and 5mm more spacer under the stem to get the same bar height, but at least you'll have some standover clearance. If a 130mm stem (or shorter) is long enough, I'd go with it.

I'm just the opposite, at 5'-6" tall with an 83cm cycling inseam and saddle height of 73.5cm.
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Old 11-26-08, 12:20 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Is your cycling inseam REALLY only 75cm, to firm crotch contact, in bare feet? If so, then the 50cm will have ZERO standover clearance. How did you possibly straddle a 56cm? That inseam should mean a saddle hieght of only about 65cm? That's some very short legs and long torso.

Regardless, the difference are minor, with the 48 requiring a 10mm longer stem and 5mm more spacer under the stem to get the same bar height, but at least you'll have some standover clearance. If a 130mm stem (or shorter) is long enough, I'd go with it.

I'm just the opposite, at 5'-6" tall with an 83cm cycling inseam and saddle height of 73.5cm.
Thanks Dave. To answer your question, yes my inseam with barefoot is no more than 75~76cm. So yes if I paddle without shoes (do we, even?) I'm going to slightly touch TT on a 50cm. But with shoes, I gain 2cm+ clearance. I do consider myself to be normally proportioned though, perhaps being Asian makes a difference?

Last edited by lineric; 11-26-08 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 11-26-08, 01:16 PM
  #11  
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5'5" > you need a 53 - 54cm top tube.
I am 5'-5.5" based on my own measurement > you can measure and adjust the saddle.
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Old 11-26-08, 01:17 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by pit_usa View Post
I am 5'-5.5" based on my own measurement
5" variation in self-measured height?
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Old 11-26-08, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
5" variation in self-measured height?
Looks like 5 ft 5 and a half inches.
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Old 11-26-08, 01:24 PM
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48 maybe on the small side. You should be fine on any c'dale frame from 50-52 effective tt, the rest is minor tweaking
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Old 11-26-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by huytheskigod View Post
Looks like 5 ft 5 and a half inches.
d'oh, you're right.
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Old 11-26-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by huytheskigod View Post
Looks like 5 ft 5 and a half inches.
yep.
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Old 11-26-08, 02:17 PM
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Giant. TCR. Size Small.

End thread.
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Old 11-26-08, 03:00 PM
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48cm.
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Old 11-26-08, 03:02 PM
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I'm 5'5" I find myself a little too strenched out on a Giant S. What is the TT length on that thing? 530? Every time I brought up an XS, my LBS looked at me like I was crazy. I ended up with a 49cm Scott with a 515 TT.

How do other 5'5"ers fit on a S? I'd like to consider a giant for my next bike.

Last edited by BikesAreCool123; 11-26-08 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 11-26-08, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BikesAreCool123 View Post
I'm 5'5" I find myself a little too strenched out on a Giant S. What is the TT length on that thing? 530? Every time I brought up an XS, my LBS looked at me like I was crazy. I ended up with a 49cm Scott with a 515 TT.

How do other 5'5"ers fit on a S? I'd like to consider a giant for me next bike.
If you think you're too stretched out then take a look at the seat fore/aft and the stem/handlebars/brifters. I'm 5' 5.5" and a Trek 1000 52cm fits well with a 80 cm stem but the Small Giant TCR fits me like a glove and is comfortable as hell even though the OCR's are the comfortable ones.
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Old 11-26-08, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bontrager View Post
If you think you're too stretched out then take a look at the seat fore/aft and the stem/handlebars/brifters. I'm 5' 5.5" and a Trek 1000 52cm fits well with a 80 cm stem but the Small Giant TCR fits me like a glove and is comfortable as hell even though the OCR's are the comfortable ones.
5'-5" > for GIANT > "SMALL"
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Old 11-26-08, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pit_usa View Post
5'5" > you need a 53 - 54cm top tube.
I am 5'-5.5" based on my own measurement > you can measure and adjust the saddle.
are you kidding? 53cm TT max. 51-52 would be best.
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Old 11-26-08, 04:09 PM
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Im the same height as you @ 165 but have longer arms. Competitivecyclist put me at a 529-533 TopTube. I test rode both the 48 and 50 Caad9 and also thought they felt similar and was also leaning toward the 50 just for looks. If I were you I'd go for the 48, but are you dead set on a Caad9?

I seem to like big head tubes and finding a small bike with a tall headtube is a pita. Ended up w/ a Look 555. More than I wanted to spend but it fits great and almost exactly within competitivecyclist specs for me. Since youre on a 56 frame now, your headtube is probably a lot taller relative to the 48 and 50 caad9. I would suggest trying a Synapse (or other short TT, tall HT bike) to see how you like it. I know, not as cool as a Caad9, but the Synapse 5 does come in a cool looking white.
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Old 11-26-08, 05:03 PM
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I'm 5'6" and ride between a 49-51 cm. You can ride any of the those sizes with some tweaking..
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Old 11-26-08, 05:15 PM
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I too am 5'5", though on light gravity days I have been known to measure 5'5 3/4"...lol
I would ride the 48cm frame. Standover is a bit important and fit is the most important.
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