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Anybody ride a bike thats too big?

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Anybody ride a bike thats too big?

Old 02-18-09, 01:36 PM
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KailuaDude
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Anybody ride a bike thats too big?

Whats up everyone! I'm new here and just started getting into cycling. My question is, does anyone here ride a bike thats a bit larger than their correct size? I don't have a bike yet, but I've been using my friends Windsor The Hour for a while now. It's been about 1 month riding it daily to work and I love it. The only thing is that after reading up, the bike may be a bit too big. When I stand over the top tube, I have very little clearance. And the seat is set pretty low, however, I feel very comfortable riding it. The reason I'm asking is because he just got a new bike and he's giving the bike to me practically free! What would the downside be to riding this bike?

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-09, 01:49 PM
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NOTHING, unless you plan on doing a lot of tricks/jumps/etc. that would involve a lot of falling, in which case a little extra groin clearance would be nice.

If you do mostly road riding, and have clips/clipless pedals, clearance shouldn't be an issue.

If you feel "very comfortable" riding it, and you're getting it practically free, TAKE IT, and chalk this up as a blessing from the bike gods.

(Yes, there are arguments that can be made that track bikes are supposed to be smaller than road bikes, and there's a current vogue for riding smaller frames than necessary (as if saving an inch or two of tubing negated the increased weight of a longer stem/seatpost), etc., etc., etc. but if you're using this outside the velodrome, you should be fine.)

Enjoy it!
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Old 02-18-09, 02:02 PM
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yes it will be used for just riding on the road, exercise, etc. and i dont plan on doing all these crazy tricks. i'm getting too old and i don't recover from falls like i use to!

thanks
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Old 02-18-09, 02:08 PM
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I ride two bikes that are a shade bigger than optimal. My Look road bike is made in odd sizes...53, 55, 57, 59. I'm on the 59. I could ride the 55, but ideally, I'd be on a theoretical 56. My IRO is their 59 but it is really like a 56. My height is 5' 10" Both are a tad big, but for me they work perfectly. Most people can fit on a small range in size.

Last edited by gfrance; 02-18-09 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:06 PM
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Both my daily drivers are a tad too big for me in a strict sizing sense. I am 5'10" and the frames are 57cm and ~60cm respectively. I love the size though. Granted, I can't jack up the seat very far, but I find larger bikes more comfortable. May just be that I have weird body proportions though.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:09 PM
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I ride a jamis sputnik (see velospace sig link for seat height info) and it is a 61. I'm 6' even and have a little less clearance than would be "optimum" for road riding but I love the bike and it feels great too. I rode my buddy's 1970's conversion (a 55 or 56) and felt it was too small (cramped, legs didn't feel right pedaling) and when I had a road bike (Kestrel Talon) that as a 57 which felt just about perfect.

In short, if you don't hurt the goods when standing over it, and can pedal without your hips rocking up and down you're OK.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tspinning View Post
In short, if you don't hurt the goods when standing over it, and can pedal without your hips rocking up and down you're OK.
This is the really important one IMO. Standover height is a bit of a useless measure because you don't stand over the top tube when you're riding, it's only a matter of convenience when you're stopped and/or mounting/dismounting. You can lean the bike to the side a bit to make up for it if it's an issue anyway.

Pedalling motion is a big deal though, and you're going to lose out on comfort and might give yourself a repetitive stress injury from pedalling improperly. If your hips aren't rocking, you're good.
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Old 02-18-09, 04:08 PM
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I used to ride my father's old track bike when I was just getting into fixed-- he's 6'0 and I'm 5'6". It never really bothered me. Sometimes getting on was a bit awkward, but I got used to it. When I finally got a little little track frame that actually fit me I realized that I'd trained myself to stay on the seat for the duration of my commutes- no hopping on and off at lights- and that's a good habit.

To the OP-- if you like it, take it. There are no set rules, except that it should be comfortable.
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Old 02-18-09, 05:32 PM
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thanks for your help guys! The frame is a 55, i think im suppose to be a 52.. maybe even smaller!
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Old 02-18-09, 05:47 PM
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Well, if the 55 fits well (aka feels good) then that's what you're 'supposed' to be. The 'rules' of fit are really more like ballpark suggestions. Everyone is built differently, and if you can find a bike that's set up so that it's comfortable, then that's a good fit.

Of course, you can continue to experiment with your fit to get a more efficient position, more aerodynamic, etc etc, but really, if you can nail down the comfort part you've gotten 90% of it.
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Old 02-18-09, 05:50 PM
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Stand over height matters.

But then, you either have it or you don't, and the OP says he has it.

I have two fixed gear bikes, both one size too small for my height.

However, I have short legs and a long torso, and these smaller frames give me the stand over I need.

Can a frame get too small?

Sure.

You have too small a frame if you can't get enough seat post into the seat tube to safely hold your weight; or, you have too small a frame if you can't find a set back seat post and stem combination that properly centers you over the wheels (usually meaning too far forward in relation to the pedals, and too much weight on the front wheel).
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Old 02-18-09, 07:26 PM
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Just like a really nice pair of shoes that doesn't fit doesn't get worn, it doesn't matter how great the deal is or how FREE it is. If a bike doesn't fit, you won't ride it. There is a reason that road bikes come in 2cm increments as opposed to S/M/L/XL like MTBs.

Using a big frame, if you run into problems it will be with the TT length. You may run into a situation where no matter how short of a stem you use and how far up you slide your seat you will still be stretched out.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:26 PM
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however, I feel very comfortable riding it.
I think he's got the right size.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:19 PM
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I used the competitive fit calculator one time, and it seemed to size really small. I ride a 58, and can ride a 56. It sized me at 53, which is super small for me IMO. I'm 6'0.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nahh View Post
I used the competitive fit calculator one time, and it seemed to size really small. I ride a 58, and can ride a 56. It sized me at 53, which is super small for me IMO. I'm 6'0.
That's what the competitive fit does, it tries to put you on the smaller frame with more saddle/bar drop and use long stems to make up the reach. It's more of a race fit. When i plugged my numbers in, it was telling me to get on a 47-48cm frame and there's no way i want to ride a frame that small since the head tubes are usually tiny and i can't get my bars high enough to where i want them without 6cm of spacers(not safe).

They also had the french and eddy fit on their charts, and the french fit seemed more to my liking.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:50 PM
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height isn't such an issue if you can stand over your bike just fine. I'd be more worried about the length of the bike if you think it's too big.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:46 AM
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Can I ride too small 50cm?
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Old 02-27-09, 04:37 PM
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Remember. You want bicycle comfort so it's REALLY about rideover height.
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Old 02-27-09, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jotog View Post
Remember. You want bicycle comfort so it's REALLY about rideover height.
Wrong.
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Old 02-27-09, 06:23 PM
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Old 02-27-09, 06:35 PM
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what's rideover height?
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Old 02-27-09, 07:49 PM
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Big bikes are the shiat!
I stand over my conversion by about an inch.

I'll call it a 25" panasonic w/ 5" of tube showing

edit:

Also thought I might mention that when I have my cleats on I feel a bit higher than w/ street shoes.

Anyone else notice that cleats are tall ? does that even matte, I say yes, big bikes rule!

Last edited by larsalan; 02-27-09 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 02-28-09, 12:46 PM
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My newest ride is a 56 (center to center) when I really should be on a 53. Using a shorter stem means that it handles a little more twitchy. Standover is fine. Looks a little off with the saddle a bit lower than it should be, but it's fine. The geometry is pretty traditional, the top tube actually slopes forward a little bit. I'm hoping to trade the frame for a 53 some day.
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Old 02-28-09, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lmaonade View Post


Wow, that really caught me off guard LOL. I was reading this since I ride one size bigger then I was suggested and then I see my drawing LOL.
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Old 02-28-09, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lmaonade View Post


OUCCH! I am laughing so hard..... your post makes my DAY!
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