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Bike Sizing - Long Legs, Short Torso

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Bike Sizing - Long Legs, Short Torso

Old 08-27-10, 11:48 AM
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Bike Sizing - Long Legs, Short Torso

It's too late now as I already bought a bike, but I was wondering if I got the correct size or what
size I should have gotten. The goal is mostly comfort.

I'm 6' 1''. Did the book between the legs pubic bone measurement and that came to 37''.
I'm mostly legs.

I ended up getting a 60cm Kona Dew Drop. It felt a bit uncomfortable after a few rides,
so I bought a stem riser which brought the handlebars just barely higher than my seat
& a bit closer to me which feels better now.

My seatpost is raised pretty high even on a 60cm.
I was thinking a smaller frame would force the seat even higher while a larger frame would
leave me even more stretched out & more uncomfortable.

When I buy a new bike in the future what on earth should I be looking for since I have such long
legs combined with a short torso?
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Old 08-27-10, 12:19 PM
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You're probably an ideal candidate for a custom frame. That likely means a steel or perhaps a Ti frame unless you want to spend alot of money. But you'll end up with a bike that feels good.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:21 PM
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You can tweak your fit with a shorter stem, etc.

I have a similar problem, only real solution is a custom frame. That's what I have. Good solution but expensive.

Where do you live? If you are near me you could try one of my two custom bikes, btw I am 6 feet 1/2 inch with 38 inch cycling inseam.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:26 PM
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By custom one would hope looking at a womens frame is an option seeing as one of the physiological differences is they are leggier. Put on your best short shorts and wink at the salesman for bonus points.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:38 PM
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Who makes a WSD frame (that actually has a different geometry then the non-WSD version, not just a bunch of fru-fru graphics) that large? Women generally don't get that tall.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:42 PM
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Many women's frames have different geometries - Look at Specialized's Amira line vs. the Tarmac line.

The problem with many WSD frames, aside from the frilly designs and colors, is they often don't make them in large sizes. The Amira line, for example, tops out at the equivalent of a 54 Tarmac, which would be much too short for the OP.

And in the case of the Amira, the TT is quite long compared to the ST.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:43 PM
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Same issue, just not as tall overall, 54cm frame.

I'm quite flexible, and a high rise wasn't desirable, comfortable, nor suited my style of riding.

I put a really short stem, 60mm WCS road stem, to shorten the length of the stretch. Still have it flipped down and lowered on the stack. Just wanted it brought close to body. In the drops I'm quite comfortable pedaling or downhill cruising down at the very limit where my quads just touch my rib cage.

I hesitated for a long time, several people said would make steering wonky, twitchy, but nothing unusual here. Climbing TN and NGa mountains and descending at 35-50mph and navigating the twisties stable and comfortably.

Last edited by Menel; 08-27-10 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 08-27-10, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
You can tweak your fit with a shorter stem, etc.

I have a similar problem, only real solution is a custom frame. That's what I have. Good solution but expensive.

Where do you live? If you are near me you could try one of my two custom bikes, btw I am 6 feet 1/2 inch with 38 inch cycling inseam.
Whoa...........them are some long legs !!!
I'm way out in Oregon.
My bike is getting pretty close to comfy with the tweaking I've done, but I've noticed I'm most comfortable when my hands fall just short of the hoods. When I go all the way to the hoods, which really doesn't
seem that far, it doesn't feel nearly as good.

Should I go from my current 105 stem to something shorter, or will I just become more flexible & probably end
up being fine where I'm at after a few months of riding? (I haven't ridden a bike in 15 years)
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Old 08-27-10, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MacAttack
Should I go from my current 105 stem to something shorter, or will I just become more flexible & probably end
up being fine where I'm at after a few months of riding? (I haven't ridden a bike in 15 years)
Only you can decide that. It's pretty personal.

I decided biking wasn't gonna make me much more flexible as I practice ashtanga regularly, and am quite flexible. Folding forward low was fine and comfortable, it was the reach for my shorter torso/arms I didn't like. Short stem fixed me right up. YMMV

I couldn't tell any appreciable differences going from 100->90.
100-> 60 was great though.

when my hands fall just short of the hoods
Try and figure/guesstimate what that distance is, and subtract it from your stem. Go cheap if you want, $20-40 stem, as your fitness improves, you can go back to old stem, lengthen the bike back out.
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Old 08-27-10, 01:52 PM
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I'm built very similar...6'3" w/ cycling inseam of 38.5". I recently swapped stems from the original 130mm / 6° to a 120mm / 10° that obviously helped bring the bars in closer. It has definitely improved comfort due to shortening the reach.

Regarding what to look for in the future, you will probably want to look for frames with longer head tubes since your saddle position is going to be high no matter what frame you ride.
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Old 08-27-10, 01:54 PM
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Ah, a fit thread where I feel right at home. With my similar dimensions I've gotten reasonably comfortable on a 63 cm Cannondale (60cm top tube) with a combination of 7cm stem and Thompson set forward seat post. My cockpit size ends up about like what you would get with a 56cm top tube and more typical stem and seatpost. My body is reasonably positioned relative to the bottom bracket. As you noted the most difficult problem is bar height. Custom would be much better but my current setup is not bad.
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Old 08-27-10, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by wants185s
Ah, a fit thread where I feel right at home. With my similar dimensions I've gotten reasonably comfortable on a 63 cm Cannondale (60cm top tube) with a combination of 7cm stem and Thompson set forward seat post. My cockpit size ends up about like what you would get with a 56cm top tube and more typical stem and seatpost. My body is reasonably positioned relative to the bottom bracket. As you noted the most difficult problem is bar height. Custom would be much better but my current setup is not bad.
Well that's the kind of setup I was thinking would work best. A big frame with a smaller cockpit. I think a
shorter stem will get me the rest of the way to that goal; if not I'll look into the seatpost you mentioned.
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Old 08-27-10, 02:36 PM
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A "relaxed" frame would be better for your proportions. If you try to get a typical performance or racing frame you'll end up with crazy saddle to bar drop for the right top tube length or way too stretched out for the right head tube length. A frame with a longer head tube, like Spec Roubaix vs. Tarmac, would give you more room to tweak your fit.
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Old 08-27-10, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mmmdonuts
A "relaxed" frame would be better for your proportions. If you try to get a typical performance or racing frame you'll end up with crazy saddle to bar drop for the right top tube length or way too stretched out for the right head tube length. A frame with a longer head tube, like Spec Roubaix vs. Tarmac, would give you more room to tweak your fit.
I think maybe I do have a relaxed frame. Not sure exactly what that means.
The headtube on my size 60 bike is 205 mm/8.1 inches.

It's pretty much a hybrid bike with drop bars. I read somewhere that is has mtn bike
geometry (whatever that means). The guy at the bike store said it was more upright
than the cyclocross bikes I was looking at.

I really like the bike; just needs 1 or 2 additional tweaks.
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