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What are the disadvantages of having a frame a little too big for you?

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What are the disadvantages of having a frame a little too big for you?

Old 08-02-09, 02:06 PM
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northsjfixed
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What are the disadvantages of having a frame a little too big for you?

I don't have that 1" clearance between my TT and crotch. I actually have to tip toe a little when I am on my TT. What are the disadvantages of having a larger frame? (Besides the tip toeing part)
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Old 08-02-09, 02:09 PM
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It's heavier, and your stem won't look Pro.

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Old 08-02-09, 02:12 PM
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Slower handeling. I now have a bike that fits me but before was riding a 60 cm. I'm 5' 8". Let me tell you, that was fun..
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Old 08-02-09, 02:33 PM
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If you are having to tip toe to protect the important bits, then that frame if large. I'm 6' and ride a 59cm frame, it is a bit big but I have plenty of sack clearance and the TT doesn't hit my upper thigh when I sprint or climb hard. I like my bigger frame / shorter stem, very stable and comfortable. My bad back likes the higher head tube too.

It certainly isn't the racing flat back fit but it makes me happy.
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Old 08-02-09, 02:34 PM
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longer wheelbase is probably a little more stable in descents
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Old 08-02-09, 02:55 PM
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In most all cases, a smaller frame is better than a too large frame. Larger frames have long top tubes, requiring a shorter stem...and may still be too long for a comfortable reach. A bike that fits is like your skin, it moves with every move you make, you almost don't even notice it while you are riding....

Sizing is much, much more complicated than your clearance over the frame when standing. SEARCH, and ye shall learn.
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Old 08-02-09, 03:01 PM
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I fall into the now old school view that a frame that is a little larger is better than one that is too small. Within reason of course, the guy above who is 5-8 riding a 60cm was obviously on too big of a frame.

Anyways a slightly larger frame is (to me) usually a bit more comfortable and they don't require a foot and a half of seatpost.

If you look at racers from way back through the 1980s they're all on frames that would be considered "too big" nowadays. Didn't seem to keep them from being fast though.

If you're racing alot there may well be advantages to getting on as small a frame as you can but otherwise I'd rather err to the (slightly) larger side.
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Old 08-02-09, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
longer wheelbase is probably a little more stable in descents
Larger frames can speed wobble more easily. But they also absorb bumps better, and the longer wheelbase masks a lot of road noise.
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Old 08-02-09, 03:19 PM
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For me the biggest problem with a "Large" frame, would be the difficulty in getting fit properly. Are you comfortable when you are actually riding it?
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Old 08-02-09, 03:22 PM
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I wish my Miyata was a 54cm instead of a 56cm...would make my life a lot easier. I have to look at getting a shorter stem as I'm too stretched out on my road bike. I forked out $ getting him tuned/new chain/new bar tape etc and i can't ride the freaking thing.
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Old 08-02-09, 03:36 PM
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Luddite, how tall are you? Curious, because I'm wondering if I could benefit from a smaller frame (don't mean to hijack this thread). I'm not an expert on fit or anything, but isn't stand over height largely determined by the seat tube and not the tt? Or does a longer seat tube always translate to a longer tt?

I've always had difficulty with standover height because the tt and st generally are within 1-2cm of each other. i am a hair above average height, 5'10 but have a small inseam, 31.5. This translates to a larger torso, smaller inseam, obviously. I usually have to tiptoe a little bit with my bikes, even though the tt is my correct size (56) When I'm on my bike, I'm comfy, when I'm off, I'm not.

How much does stand over height really matter in fitting?
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Old 08-02-09, 03:43 PM
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I have only about 1/4" clearance on one of my bikes. I got an amazing deal on it, and I couldn't turn it down. I find that it's just fine. Don't worry about it, unless you're accident prone and are concerned about banging your crotch into your top tube. I never have that type of accident, knock on wood.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:15 PM
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I have a frame that's a size smaller, I can't tell you the advantage except that the extended seatpost and stem look cooler.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:24 PM
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msummers, I'm 5'8.5" but a girl so my reach isn't the same as a dude. It's pretty depressing since I long to ride a road bike. I think with road bikes it's more about the reach than the crotch clearance. If the reach is too long or too short it's very uncomfortable.

ETA: I think my inseam is 31" (I forget.)
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Old 08-02-09, 04:26 PM
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My last frame was one size too big, I had to compensate by pushing the saddle all the way forward and I couldn't get enough drop.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
the longer wheelbase masks a lot of road noise.
Um... What?
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Old 08-02-09, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Luddite View Post
I wish my Miyata was a 54cm instead of a 56cm...would make my life a lot easier. I have to look at getting a shorter stem as I'm too stretched out on my road bike. I forked out $ getting him tuned/new chain/new bar tape etc and i can't ride the freaking thing.
So how long is your stem now? A 90mm will run just fine, but if you need shorter I would say you need a smaller frame.
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Old 08-02-09, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPete View Post
Um... What?
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Old 08-02-09, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by merlin55 View Post
In most all cases, a smaller frame is better than a too large frame. Larger frames have long top tubes, requiring a shorter stem...and may still be too long for a comfortable reach. A bike that fits is like your skin, it moves with every move you make, you almost don't even notice it while you are riding....
I disagree on sizing - slightly too large is better. A perfect fit is, of course, even better.

Originally Posted by Walter View Post
I fall into the now old school view that a frame that is a little larger is better than one that is too small. Within reason of course, the guy above who is 5-8 riding a 60cm was obviously on too big of a frame.

Anyways a slightly larger frame is (to me) usually a bit more comfortable and they don't require a foot and a half of seatpost.

If you look at racers from way back through the 1980s they're all on frames that would be considered "too big" nowadays. Didn't seem to keep them from being fast though.

If you're racing alot there may well be advantages to getting on as small a frame as you can but otherwise I'd rather err to the (slightly) larger side.
+ 1. I have a tendency to run a little large. Ideally, my TT should probably be between 530mm at the longest and 520 at the shortest. Currently, I ride a bike with a 537mm top tube. With a 100mm stem (and 83mm reach bars), it fits perfectly. Since I'm really short, having a slightly higher head tube isn't really a problem. My position is still low and aero without even bottoming out the spacers. If I get more limber I could probably drop another 1 to 1.5 cm to the bars if I really wanted to. My major reason for going a bit large is some degree of paranoia about bad handling thanks to compromised geometry on many small frames. It bothers me that I'm 5'5" (short, but taller than many women) and still would often find myself on the smallest or second-smallest bike in a manufacturers line.

As for weight, keep in mind that a longer seatpost is much heavier than the same length of seat tube.
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Old 08-02-09, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPete View Post
Um... What?
Oh good, now I don't feel stupid for wondering exactly how that would work.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:20 PM
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I'm 5'11", with 33" in-seam. I had a 54cm, which felt too small, and I currently have a 56cm, which I think is a little too big. Both frames fit fine though, when I used the right size stem. I liked the shorter wheelbase though; very stable down hill, and very good at cornering. Really, in the end, I just ride it.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:46 PM
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I've been told by people who fit bikes that my 54cm bike's too big. I'm 5'8"

Problem is that the position right now is too stretched out, so to save my crotch, I move my saddle forward, so my knees extend beyond the cranks when the cranks are horizontal. According to Zinn's guide, the front of the knee should be dead on, or slightly behind the cranks if I wanted to do more seated climbs. Otherwise it could be inefficient.

I could swap the stem out for something shorter, but that would change the handling of the bike so that it's twitchier. Haven't got the time to do that yet.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:51 PM
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I used to work at bike shops, and I used to steer people towards smaller frames. I think I was mistaken. I think whatever is comfortable is right for you, within reason.

The "knee over pedal spindle" (KOPS) school of thought is in question now. If you're comfortable in your position, you'll be fine.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:55 PM
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Assuming you can get the fit right, there's no real disadvantage other than it will be a little heavier, assuming you're happy with the fit.

The main issue for me is the size of the headtube on the bigger bike will stop me getting the amount of saddle to bar drop I want.

Standover clearance is irrelevant.
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Old 08-02-09, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
I disagree on sizing - slightly too large is better. A perfect fit is, of course, even better.



+ 1. I have a tendency to run a little large. Ideally, my TT should probably be between 530mm at the longest and 520 at the shortest. Currently, I ride a bike with a 537mm top tube. With a 100mm stem (and 83mm reach bars), it fits perfectly. Since I'm really short, having a slightly higher head tube isn't really a problem. My position is still low and aero without even bottoming out the spacers. If I get more limber I could probably drop another 1 to 1.5 cm to the bars if I really wanted to. My major reason for going a bit large is some degree of paranoia about bad handling thanks to compromised geometry on many small frames. It bothers me that I'm 5'5" (short, but taller than many women) and still would often find myself on the smallest or second-smallest bike in a manufacturers line.

As for weight, keep in mind that a longer seatpost is much heavier than the same length of seat tube.
I'm 5' 5" and have a 515 mm TT with 100 mm stem. I'm pretty normally proportioned though, do you have a longish body/short legs? Just goes to show that height isn't everything in bike sizing.
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