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Trek 520 sizing for me, 60cm or 63?

Old 12-28-20, 07:28 AM
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Trek 520 sizing for me, 60cm or 63?

Hi,

Because of the bike shortage, I can't try in advance a trek 520, just have to order it and hope it fits. On top of that I've been told the trek 63cm is a special order anyway.


In talking to my LBS they are trying to steer me to a trek 520 at 60cm which I fear might be smaller than I want or I am used to.

They are going off my height of 6'2. btw, my pubic bone height is 91.5cm


But my current bike, a vintage steve bauer chinook is indeed a 63cm seat tube, and it fits me great, although when I'm on the drops, my arms are extended a bit at an angle. but on the top of the handlebars, my arms are very comfortable.


Steve Bauer 63cm Stack 654mm Reach 438mm Effective top tube length 610

Trek 63cm Stack 655 Reach 400mm Effective top tube length 601 from trek, for riders from 6' 2.8" to 6' 5.8"

Trek 60cm Stack 625 Reach 392mm Effective top tube length 583mm from trek for riders from 6' 0.8" to 6' 2.8"


A few questions if I might.

-first, am I splitting hairs between the trek 63cm and trek 60cm? as in either one would probably be fine?

-Does anyone else prefer to ride a bigger bike than what one has been told is the right size for them?

- Am I wrong thinking the trek 63cm would be good for me? perhaps because the modern bike geometry is different from the vintage model i'm riding.


Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

JP
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Old 12-28-20, 10:35 AM
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Your Chinook has a massive reach. Like really long compared to basically anything currently available. The largest sizes of drop bar bikes typically have reach numbers in the 390-420mm range now. This is for any styles- road, gravel, endurance road, and touring.
How long is your current stem?...if you want to replicate the fit of your current bike, you are going to need a comically long stem and long reach handlebars for the Trek.
Based only on stack and reach, you clearly need the 63cm Trek as the stack is the same as your Chinook and even then you will feel cramped in the cockpit compared to the Chinook. Again though, this is only based on stack and reach and if you want to directly compare it to what you currently ride.


In general, I would think someone 6'2 would fit either of the bikes and it would just be a matter of preference- if they like a more upright or more stretched out ride, and even then the difference in reach is only 8mm so its small.
But you clearly are an outlier and dont fall into the general sizing since your bike has 654mm of reach.
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Old 12-28-20, 11:55 AM
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If your Bauer's specs are correct, (best to double check them) then go with the 63. Realize that when companies make recommendations as to what size needed due to solely one's height, this can be very misleading because two individuals of the same height can have very different body proportions. One can be built like an ape, longer arms and upper torso with shorter legs or someone like myself, who has longer legs vs. shorter upper torso length. That effective top tube is extremely important.
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Old 12-28-20, 01:09 PM
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63/25 in. I'm your size with long femurs. (A pox on swa when they did the latest seat redesigns.) Legs bashing into handle bars when out of the saddle is a big problem for me.

Unless you are doing a lot of extreme off road riding the 63cm will be much more comfortable on those 10hr days.
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Old 01-03-21, 12:16 AM
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There is ZERO chance you could ride a mini 60cm. You are still 50+ mm over the TT on the 63 size. The biggest frames tend to have stems of 110 or 120, bloody hell IMO. The WB is still only 1086, barely adequate. Bike companies all laughably over estimate TT clearance needed.
I'm 5'8" and could almost ride the 826 standover of the 60. I've had 4 bikes with 58 cm.
They fit me perfect. My custom has 611 eff TT. I use comfort bars with 70d sweep and long grips.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 01-03-21 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 01-03-21, 03:47 AM
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Yet another person my height whose built exactly the opposite, Im 62 with a 79cm PBH.

When I doubt I always go bigger to get the longer head tube.
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Old 01-03-21, 06:37 AM
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A decade ago I quit looking at bike sizes that are based on seat tube (or effective seat tube) lengths, and started looking mostly at effective top tube length. My point is that I want to be able to replicate my reach setting from my other bikes with a reasonable stem length.

Then a double check on stand over height as that is also important but that has never deleted a frame from my consideration list. This in part might be due to the prevalance of sloping top tube frames, only one of my recent purchases has had a horizontal top tube.

Some companies have very little difference in top tube length in the larger frame sizes you are looking at, in that case stand over height could be the deciding factor.

My road bike had a very low steerer tube being a road bike with more aggressive configuration, I needed a 35 degree stem to get the bars up where I wanted them.

If you had an unusually long torso for your leg length, my system of sizing might not work for you.

For a touring bike, you should add some contingency to stand over height, there will be times you are standing on uneven ground instead of on smooth pavement on a touring bike,
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Old 01-03-21, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
There is ZERO chance you could ride a mini 60cm. You are still 50+ mm over the TT on the 63 size. The biggest frames tend to have stems of 110 or 120, bloody hell IMO. The WB is still only 1086, barely adequate. Bike companies all laughably over estimate TT clearance needed.
I'm 5'8" and could almost ride the 826 standover of the 60. I've had 4 bikes with 58 cm.
They fit me perfect. My custom has 611 eff TT. I use comfort bars with 70d sweep and long grips.
hi gambler gord,
thanks for your input.
as a novice, can i ask you...
what is WB?
what is the significance of stems 110 120? is that very low?
what is "mini" in the mini 60cm?
Sorry I"m not more up to speed on the terms.
I really appreciate you taking the time to give your input. thanks. JP
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Old 01-03-21, 09:15 PM
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Sorry I'm confusing. Mini, was just me mocking the frame size in relation to you.
WB = wheelbase. It's not too bad I guess, near 43". I see far too many guys get TT too long phobia and get a size or even two, too small.
The stem is actually 110 mm on this Trek 520 63 cm. Standard stems are 100 mm on mid-size frames. I tend to think even that is too long. The idea is for them to make frames shorter and more compact. Frames tend to not be longer than 620 mm TT, to fit bigger than that, the stem is made longer. So I'm inferring that you could shorten the 110 if needed.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 01-03-21 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 01-04-21, 04:40 AM
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Seatpost setback and brifters on a modern (as opposed to vintage) bike may need to be considered when comparing effective toptube lengths, as they will stretch you out a bit more.
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Old 01-04-21, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
Seatpost setback and brifters on a modern (as opposed to vintage) bike may need to be considered when comparing effective toptube lengths, as they will stretch you out a bit more.
But modern bars tend to have less reach and flatter ramps which bring you back in and up.
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