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FG sizing vs geared road bike

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FG sizing vs geared road bike

Old 07-03-22, 01:43 PM
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Ironfish653
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FG sizing vs geared road bike

Looking to add a 'proper' FG bike to the stable, for variety's sake. Don't want to spend a lot of money, so i'm looking at used bikes; Lots of 53-54cm (as advertised) in my area, although I usually ride a ~56cm.

Any benefits / pitfalls to going with a smaller-than-usual frame for the FG? Probably intend on mostly in-town and 'path' use, so no big-mile or high-speed stuff.
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Old 07-03-22, 02:23 PM
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I wouldn't buy a smaller frame, no matter the purpose or style of the bike. Proper positioning will make the bike more controllable and the ride more comfortable; I'd want both on a fixed gear bike.

I also wouldn't go strictly by the "frame size"; compare the stack, reach, and standover heights of one of your current bikes to whatever FG you're considering. Sometimes a 53 is really a 55 (and vice-versa).
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Old 07-04-22, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Looking to add a 'proper' FG bike to the stable, for variety's sake. Don't want to spend a lot of money, so i'm looking at used bikes; Lots of 53-54cm (as advertised) in my area, although I usually ride a ~56cm.

Any benefits / pitfalls to going with a smaller-than-usual frame for the FG? Probably intend on mostly in-town and 'path' use, so no big-mile or high-speed stuff.
i ride a 56 road as well and my State Is a 54 and fits me well.
go smaller.
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Old 07-04-22, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I wouldn't buy a smaller frame, no matter the purpose or style of the bike. Proper positioning will make the bike more controllable and the ride more comfortable; I'd want both on a fixed gear bike.

I also wouldn't go strictly by the "frame size"; compare the stack, reach, and standover heights of one of your current bikes to whatever FG you're considering. Sometimes a 53 is really a 55 (and vice-versa).
I'm aware of how to measure and size a bike, but I'm not going to call FB/CL listings and ask them to measure the stack and reach on a >$200 fixie. Wouldn't be worth the frustration.

I was more asking along the line of whether with regards to F/G if it's better to have a bike that's a little on the small side, than too large. I figured, since you can't stop pedaling, that it'd be preferable to have the clearance of a little smaller bike between your knees.
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Old 07-04-22, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
I'm not going to call FB/CL listings and ask them to measure the stack and reach
Geometry specs are generally available online.

Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
I was more asking along the line of whether with regards to F/G if it's better to have a bike that's a little on the small side, than too large. I figured, since you can't stop pedaling, that it'd be preferable to have the clearance of a little smaller bike between your knees.
Fixed or not, clearance wouldn't be my focus. I'd rather be stretched than cramped, but that's me. Personally, I'd just hold out for the right size.
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Old 07-07-22, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I wouldn't buy a smaller frame, no matter the purpose or style of the bike. Proper positioning will make the bike more controllable and the ride more comfortable; I'd want both on a fixed gear bike.

I also wouldn't go strictly by the "frame size"; compare the stack, reach, and standover heights of one of your current bikes to whatever FG you're considering. Sometimes a 53 is really a 55 (and vice-versa).
Things like "control" and "comfort" are relative, though. As an n=1 data point, my ideal top tube length with anything approaching track geometry is 54.5-55cm depending on the stem because I prefer a more compact fit, but on road bikes I would go up to a 56cm top tube length (again, depending on the stem) since that would theoretically be for longer, steadier efforts where a more stable feel is a priority as opposed to trying to navigate through Chicago traffic and potholes, where the twitchiness of track geometry and a tighter fit are beneficial (for me, at least). I don't think it's uncommon at all for people to at the very least look at a slightly smaller frame, especially if they're using their fixed gear for, gasp, track racing!

OP: a slightly smaller size might work for you, but it's really dependent on how you plan on using this bike. If it's for shorter "in-town" types of rides, there's absolutely nothing wrong with going with a slightly smaller frame than what your road bike may be, especially considering that you can toss a longer stem on it. The only pitfall I can think of is a potential for toe overlap if the head angle is too steep, but you'll probably be able to discern that from test riding one of the used bikes you're looking at.
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Old 07-08-22, 05:15 PM
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Hard question, stem length, bar reach and standover height change handling characteristics (what do you prefer?) many modern track or road bikes were designed to run a longer seat-post - which could change your maneuverability - on the other hand Japanese keirin bikes and manny vintage bikes were designed for a "French fit" (fist of seatpost) and might handle better with the seatpost length the maker intended. also handlebar choice and riding position matter here - are you planning on riding in a low stretched out position with deep or compact drop bars, or risers, bullhorns or townie bars, etc. If you like to ride with your torso more erect, so you can see over cars and maneuver in traffic or whatever you might want your handlebars a closer measured distance from your saddle than it would be on a road bike that fits you and if your looking to sprint a lot it might be the opposite.

So yeah I dunno
good luck with your quest

Last edited by Bianchi pc; 07-09-22 at 12:26 PM.
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