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Every publication says 55cm is too big...

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Every publication says 55cm is too big...

Old 09-07-04, 03:15 AM
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fit24hrs
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Every publication says 55cm is too big...

I'm short. 5'7'', with a 30'' inseam. I'm just wondering if anyone here is also my size and if so, what size bike you have. I've been eyeing a 55 cm on ebay but I'm afraid it might be too big. Your input?
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Old 09-07-04, 03:58 AM
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I have been so confused about frame sizing !

I am 5'8" with either a 29" or 30" inseam. The bike I recently bought is a Large. I am new to this, but I have been doing a lot of reading. If I'm wrong about my comments I'm sure someone else will correct me.

What I have found is that each manufacturer might have their own specific GEOMETRY for their frames. So, for instance, a "55cm" bike from one company might be somewhat different from a "55cm" bike of a different company. And then even within the same company different models might have different GEOMETRIES.

What I would do is I would first figure out which model(s) I was interested in, and then go check them out in person at more than one bike store. This is something that I would want to get at least 2 opinions on before buying.

I bought my bike semi-used and so it was simply a matter of seeing the ONE bike in person and making a decision (I chose to BUY).

I bought my bike only about a month ago and have been enjoying it tremendously ever since.

But I am still concerned about the fact that (according to most scales) my frame is too big for me. As I said it is a Large (some models come S,M,L,XL, etc.).

I am able to stand flat-footed straddling the cross-bar, with just about no room to spare. Of course, that's with my private stuff off to one side!

The only blurbs I've ever read about were situations where the frame size was too SMALL for the rider. But I haven't heard from anyone who has my situation.

As for comfort, I seem to have no problem riding this Large frame. When I get on a bike that is supposedly my size, it just seems like a kid's bike. Also, I am broad-shouldered and I like having wide handlebars. Perhaps it is psychological with me, I dunno.

My main concern would be safety. How unsafe might it be for me to ride such a bike?

Although I love my new bike and I've only had it about a month, I have started gathering info now so that I am prepared for my next one! I have actually contemplated buying another one as soon as next season, or perhaps even earlier.

For me, I think on a road bike I would need something like a 52cm. So it kinda sounds to me that 55cm is on the large side for you.
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Old 09-07-04, 04:02 AM
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How do I know the "cm" or "size" of my present "LARGE" Cannondale?

Horizontal Top Tube Length (cm): 55
Seat Tube Length to Top of TT : 53

So does anyone know which of these numbers I should use for comparison for my next bike ?

Why the heck does even the SAME company use DIFFERENT scales for different models ? I don't get it!
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Old 09-07-04, 06:29 AM
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There are a lot of factors involved in fit, but I would guess that a 55 is too big for you. I'm 5'-7" with a 29" inseam and ride a 52 seat tube and 53.7 top tube; a 55 by most any manufacturer simply would not work for me. (A possible exception might be Rivendell, but they work from very different assumptions about riding position.)

If you want to dial in your fit, go to a shop and pay (upwards of $100) for a fitting. Then check the geometry of every bike on ebay carefully. Sure, it's expensive - but it's a lot less than the cost of a bike that doesn't fit!

For a good approximation, take a look at Colorado Cyclist's fit worksheet and Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator (both are on the web). But if you are inclined toward recreational riding and touring, see also Peter White's article (www.peterwhitecycles.com) and the Rivendell web pages.
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Old 09-07-04, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fit24hrs
I'm short. 5'7'', with a 30'' inseam. I'm just wondering if anyone here is also my size and if so, what size bike you have. I've been eyeing a 55 cm on ebay but I'm afraid it might be too big. Your input?
I am your exact size. (unless you have large arms)

Knowing what I know now, I would stay away from 55 cm on Ebay. Why?

1. You can't return it back - Is that good enough reason?

2. A 55' frame is ment for those around 5'9" or taller! A person you're height should be looking at bikes that are 53' tops! I repeat. You need to find a bike that is no bigger than a 53'!!!!

3. Actually, the best fit for you would be a 52'. I purchased three bikes this year. A Bianchi Volpe (52') Eros (53') and Jamis Aurora. (53')

Guess what. The volpe fits perfect, the Eros is OK and the Aurora is too big. The Aurora is too big because the frame is more traditional while the Eros has a slanting top tube. A bicycle with a traditional geometry will be larger than many of the newer compact frames.

I'm still keeping the Aurora but now I have to buy a shorter stem and smaller handlebars. In the meantime, I've moved the seat all the way to the front while tilting it up! Hopefully, I can resolve the seat issue with the smaller handlebar and stem. However. You can see the work I'm doing and the expense I'm going through to get the bike just right. At the moment, it doesn't give me any problems and is actually comfortable because I dialed it in over the weekend so that is is rideable. In fact, I really don't have to do anything more to the bike because it "fits" but I will never buy a 53 in a traditional size frame ever again. I wouldn't even think about a 55' cm frame. If these new adjustments don't work, the Aurora will be up for sale.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 09-07-04 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 09-07-04, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by steve212
My main concern would be safety. How unsafe might it be for me to ride such a bike?
I don't think a "large" bike is unsafe unless you're so high up that you're feet are in the air about six inches while you straddle the top tube! I don't think anyone anyone would buy a bike that large but who knows. I've seen ten year old kids riding old ten speeds while not being able to use the saddle.

Probably the only other safty concern you should have is what you are doing to your hands, neck and knees. If you feel pain, then an issue exist that will need to be resolved. I have a large Aurora that is not a safty or bodily issue so it is fine.
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Old 09-07-04, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I don't think a "large" bike is unsafe unless you're so high up that you're feet are in the air about six inches while you straddle the top tube! ...
If you feel pain, then an issue exist that will need to be resolved. I have a large Aurora that is not a safty or bodily issue so it is fine.
I feel absolutely NO pain. I've ridden the bike about 8 times in the last 2 weeks averaging about 15 miles per trip, on flat and hilly roads. NO pain.
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Old 09-07-04, 08:53 AM
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I might be the exception, I have two Bianchis (Volpe & Vigorelli) but I have a size 55 in both, perfect fit;
53 is a bit short for me.
I'm 5'8" and 30 inch inseam (my pants are inseam 30), with rather short arms.
My stem on the Vigorelli is 110 mm and the Volpe 100mm (because Volpe's frame is a tad longer).
Hope that helps,
Corsaire
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Old 09-07-04, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by steve212
When I get on a bike that is supposedly my size, it just seems like a kid's bike.
Well put. That is how I feel when I look down when seated on a 55. I think that's why I didn't question the 58 being too large - it looked like the right size. And yet I feel more in control and better fit on the 55. I think.

I am in the same boat. After getting a 2nd opinion on fit, I was convinvced my 58 was too large (I'm 5'10-1/4" barefoot). I was told you want the smallest frame size you can fit on. Then I read some site last nite that talks about the advantages of a large frame (compliant, more shock absorbant), and I'm starting to waffle. I'm so confuuuuuuused!
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Old 09-07-04, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by steve212
I feel absolutely NO pain. I've ridden the bike about 8 times in the last 2 weeks averaging about 15 miles per trip, on flat and hilly roads. NO pain.
that's not enough. I never felt discomfort on my unfitted bike until after 30-40 miles.
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Old 09-07-04, 09:04 AM
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Fit24
I don't know where you guys get charged $100 for a bike fitting if you buy the bike from a LBS my last two fittings were completely free. Maybe if you wheel in the ebay special you'll get charged lol. I'm 6' and ride a 58cm frame. There are full size frames and compact frames as well. I stick with the full sized as the compacts feel funny (could be in my mind lol) I had the stem and crank arms swapped out to make the bike fit me perfect on the last one I bought no charge. If your looking to save a few dollars on a used bike call around to the lbs in your area and see if they have any used bikes. Tell them you don't know your size and I'm sure the'll help you find something. If all else fails and you give the LBS a fair look at least you will have an idea of what frame size to look for. As mentioned above by PseudoCrow there is more to fitting than just getting the frame size right. Your stem length and seat position (fore/aft) not to mention crank arm length can make the perfect frame sized bike feel horrible. When buying used it's usually a compromize and you are very lucky if you get the "perfect" bike.

Steve212, I'm glad you have no pain however some problems can creep up over a period of time much greater than 2 weeks with only 120 miles. If you used an online fit calculator you're probably close enough to make it work. Also the way to measure that "LARGE" Cannondale correctly (you may have already done this) is to measure from the top of your seat tube to the middle of your crank/bottom bracket.

Hope this helps folks. I hate to sound like a LBS cheerleader but I hate even more to see folks buy gear that doesn't fit right and then lose interest in the sport. When I worked at a shop (admittedly a long time ago lol) there were oodles of folk coming in to fix this adjust that, or why does this hurt, on bikes that they bought used and initialy saved a few bux but then spent them later on repair/adjustment or purchasing a different bike that was actually the right size. I remember one guy way over 6' had purchased a MTB from us that was a 21" frame. He wanted to really ride hard off road IE lots of clearance. He then decided to buy a Road bike (this is before ebay. We got lots of bikes in bought from the back of magazines with no idea of what size to get as well) and found one in the paper for a good price. that was 53 cm (almost 21") and promptly bought it lol He wanted a longer seatpost and longer stem. He was pretty persistant about making that bike work and I don't remember how much he spent but it was a running joke at the shop for a long time. Obviously an extreme but a funny story none the less.


I've ranted a bit here but to sum it up.

If you have to ask what size bike for me then you ought to ask a professional who can measure you. As PseudoCrow mentions above the money you save buying used or over the internet will quickly be regretted if you run into a problem.

Chris
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Old 09-07-04, 09:52 AM
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Inseam measurements are tricky. I wear 30" pants but when you measure my inseam correctly (I use a T square held flat against a wall and pulled up to softly contacy my pubic bone) it is 31.5" As a good starting estimate use the Lemond formula of inseam X .67 = downtube height.
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Old 09-07-04, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark Arrow
Steve212, I'm glad you have no pain however some problems can creep up over a period of time much greater than 2 weeks with only 120 miles.
Ok...I'll give it some time to see what happens as I progress.
Originally Posted by Dark Arrow
Also the way to measure that "LARGE" Cannondale correctly (you may have already done this) is to measure from the top of your seat tube to the middle of your crank/bottom bracket.
Dark Arrow, According to the Cannondale website specs on my bike:
"Seat Tube Length To Top of TT: 53cm"

Also, I see now, by definition, that my frame is a COMPACT frame.

So maybe now that I have provided some more details (COMPACT, 53cm), perhaps this sized frame isn't too bad for me !

(I'm learning all this new terminology.....WHEEEEEE!)

Don't get me wrong...I LOVE my new bike and I LOVE this newfound fun I'm having. I have no problem with the size and my primary concern is just SAFETY.

Thanks again folks!
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Old 09-07-04, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Corsaire
I might be the exception, I have two Bianchis (Volpe & Vigorelli) but I have a size 55 in both, perfect fit;
53 is a bit short for me.
I'm 5'8" and 30 inch inseam (my pants are inseam 30), with rather short arms.
My stem on the Vigorelli is 110 mm and the Volpe 100mm (because Volpe's frame is a tad longer).
Hope that helps,
Corsaire
Good for you. Bianchi is not a traditional frame like Jamis and the slopping top tube helps those with short arms like myself. When I purchased my Eros (53'), they tested me on a 55 and it didn't feel bad but they decided to order a 53 because the 55 had my arms stretched out with no bend. However. I could have purchased a 55'[ (Bianchi Eros) but that would require a very short stem and moving the seat to the front. It's always best to go smaller because you can make adjustments with stem and handlbar easier than a larger frame.
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Old 09-07-04, 11:44 AM
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I'm 5'9" with a 32-inch inseam. I ride a 54. I'd probably say that you need to stay away from the 55. Go to your LBS and sit on a few bikes to at least get a sense of how they feel. Remember - you also have to reach the handlebars in comfort!
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Old 09-07-04, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMan
I'm 5'9" with a 32-inch inseam. I ride a 54. I'd probably say that you need to stay away from the 55. Go to your LBS and sit on a few bikes to at least get a sense of how they feel. Remember - you also have to reach the handlebars in comfort!
I am with you on this one. I have the same inseam as you and I ride a 54. I was fitted both by the man who built my new bike and the man who made the frame (Antonio Mondonico). The former recommended a 54 seat tube and a 54.5 top tube. The latter recommended 56 and 56. I was very surprised by that geometry. However, Mondonico went under the assumption that because I am 59 years old that I would want more relaxed geometry. So, with a 56, I would have to lower the seat in relation to the bars and put me in a more upright position--sort of like the Rivendell assumptions. That is not what I wanted because that is not in line with the way I ride. So the frame was built according to the fitter's measurements. It feels great. I know that a 55 would be too big a frame for me.

Some people mentioned Bianchis. If you check out their geometry according to their website, their 55 seems to make more sense than the 53 for someone who usually rides a 54.

Some knowledgeable people say that it is better for a bike to be a bit large than a bit small, but I've heard the exact opposite from other folks in the know. I personally just don't like a larger bike.
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Old 09-07-04, 06:03 PM
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I got fitted more than 2 years ago on my LBS for a size 53 Raleigh. Ever since that I think I am good with 53. Then, I realize that the lenght of the top tube is far important for me than the stand over height. Nowadays, I look at the top tube lenght. Anything longer than 53cm at the top tube lenght I know it wouldn't fit me. Some of the LOOK frames has 53 cm top tube but they are size 51. My second frame was an Orbea Altec Carbon size 52 with classic geometery. The frame was just right. Currently, I am riding a size 52 Orbea Lobular with slopping top tube. The frame looks small, yet, it fits me great. Much better than my old Orbea. It is better to get a smaller frame than bigger one.
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Old 09-07-04, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Good for you. Bianchi is not a traditional frame like Jamis and the slopping top tube helps those with short arms like myself. When I purchased my Eros (53'), they tested me on a 55 and it didn't feel bad but they decided to order a 53 because the 55 had my arms stretched out with no bend. However. I could have purchased a 55'[ (Bianchi Eros) but that would require a very short stem and moving the seat to the front. It's always best to go smaller because you can make adjustments with stem and handlbar easier than a larger frame.
Exactly! I had forgotten to mention that part, it turned out that on my Bianchis, 55cm size, I had
to move the seat way forward (in both bikes)... in fact I had to change the seat post to one with almost no offset (I got the Bontrager Carbon XLite with 5mm offset) to make a "right on the money" fit, the stems remain the same in both bikes, this was the only way I could get a perfect fit.
You see, unfortunately Bianchi doesn't make 54 size which would be MY ideal frame size, so I was left with either 53 or 55 and 53 size felt quite cramped, toe overlapping, etc, etc, etc.

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Old 09-08-04, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark Arrow
I'm glad you have no pain however some problems can creep up over a period of time much greater than 2 weeks with only 120 miles.
.and.
Originally Posted by LordOpie
that's not enough. I never felt discomfort on my unfitted bike until after 30-40 miles.
Ok, do I need to take a few 30-40 mile rides, or do I need to just keep doing 15-20 mile rides for a longer duration of time (i.e. a few more weeks or months) in order to conclude whether or not the LARGEr frame is not good for me?
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Old 09-08-04, 10:34 AM
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IMO unless you are very experienced, fit is a very personal thing. I have about a 33.75" inseam & I'm 5'10", but after riding a Medium Giant TCR, they all wanted to see me on a Large. By all the reading that I do, I should be on a Medium, but for me the Large fits (and feels) better.

My input would be to look at bike shops, & ride as many as you can in your price range, if the size is very far off, any deal off ebay may turn into a rather expensive garage ornament.
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Old 09-08-04, 09:56 PM
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Could not have said it better myself. Steve212, nobody on here can tell you what is best for you. Even a Professional fit will be taking what your looking to do on the bike and what feels good to you in account. The sizes I read on here sometimes seem rediculously small to me but maybe fine for that rider. I once tried a 54 cm that a salesman thought was my size. After one lap of the store block I realized that I was to crunched up the tt was not long enough sure the seat was ok properly adjusted for me but the handlebars were just too close for me. I tried a 58cm (like I always get in the end) and that is what felt right to me (with a shorter stem lol). If your riding your Cannondale alot and enjoying it fine. If you were in the market for a new bike I'd stress trying to get fitted properly and have those adjustments done at the store. You've already purchased a bike so go with the flow see how it works for you. Fit is really a personal thing. Extremes either too large or small can be harmful but if your fairly close a few tweaks here and there will probably suffice. If you riding as much as you want and not experiancing any pain (not even sore? wow your lucky lol) then why change anything? Just cuz someone tells you your frame is the wrong size doesn't make it so. Racers want and need something different than rec who need something different from tour riders. Oh and lst but not least most every company has a slightly different geometry and some drastic (compacts) so what works on brand a may not be the same on brand b. I've had one Gitane and one Motobecane and 3 Treks in the last 10 years. All the same size (well 23" on the imports and 58cm on the treks, that's the same right? lol ) but on all 5 I rode them before buying just to be sure. Actually the two imports felt a pinch bigger I think because they were on 27" wheels (sounds good anyway). After riding for a few years you start to develop your specific desires and needs. Several weeks and a hundred miles or so will only tell you if your drastically wrong. Hey half the fun is buying new bikes and trying them out eh?

Chris


Originally Posted by cyclwestks
IMO unless you are very experienced, fit is a very personal thing. I have about a 33.75" inseam & I'm 5'10", but after riding a Medium Giant TCR, they all wanted to see me on a Large. By all the reading that I do, I should be on a Medium, but for me the Large fits (and feels) better.

My input would be to look at bike shops, & ride as many as you can in your price range, if the size is very far off, any deal off ebay may turn into a rather expensive garage ornament.
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Old 09-08-04, 10:27 PM
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I didn't have time to read all the post so I'm sure others have said you should be riding a 53 or 54 and a 55 would be too large; I have a 32" inseam and my idea bike would be a 55 but I'm riding a 56 due to the frame being a racing frame with real tight geometry, the 56 gave me a bit longer top bar for my long arms.
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Old 09-08-04, 10:33 PM
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I'm 5'7, long legs, and my 55 is too big for me. I had to swap out the stem to make it fit. Proper fit cannot be over looked. I do actually have pain from riding, and I believe it to be from riding a bike that is too big. Now I'm just looking at getting a new bike all together!
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Old 09-09-04, 12:06 AM
  #24  
Avalanche325
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Your inseam measurement in NOT what you should be using to size a bike. The top tobe measurement is the most important. Think about it, changing the saddle height is effectively changing the seat tube length. Which is what that 55cm measurement is.

Go here and do these measurements. It will give you a range of what the top tube, seat tube, stem, etc., should be.
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
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Old 09-09-04, 01:33 PM
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math2p14
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I am 185cm, 32" inseam and i have just ordered a 54cm frame (55cm tt with 11 or 12cm stem).

Typically speaking everyone hearing 185cm would point me towards a 58frame which would be insanely big for me....

I had a 58cm in the past and i was using a 9cm stem with it, and the saddle was so low with respect to bars and TT. So 54cm here i come

BTW, wrenchscience and competitivecyclist directed me towards a 54cm
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