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Advice on selecting touring bike size

Old 01-27-00, 04:29 AM
  #1  
Glenn Carter
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I am about to invest in a touring bike (or traveller), although I have very little experience. To date, the only bike I have owned is the standard racing bike (nearly 16 years old). My question is this, how do you determine what size frame you should order. Each retailer has a different opinion, I am confused. My height is 186cm, the frames range from 54cm to 60cm. Please help.
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Old 02-08-00, 07:55 PM
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ir
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Standover height is the height of the top tube off the ground. For touring you want 1 to 2 inches between the top tube and those particularly delicate parts of your body. Different manufacturers measure differently. You really need to a shop that carries a brand you are interested in and standover a few.
Best of luck
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Old 04-03-00, 11:25 PM
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Joe Gardner
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just moving this topic to the touring forum
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Old 08-30-00, 10:31 PM
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Get as big as you can possibly fit over

Actually, I'd disagree slightly with the prior post (just trying to make your life complicated!). 1" of stand-over leaway is enough in my opinion. Even fully loaded, you should be able to balance your bike just fine with only one foot down (with one on a pedal, you're a lot taller over the top tube than you'd be with both feet on the ground).

A bigger frame does a number of things for you: more room for stretching forward if you want it (you can get a shorter stem if you want to be more upright--that's what I did); more room for rear panniers without them hitting your heels; and the fact that the frame angles on a bigger frame are generally slightly more "laid-back" than a smaller one.

But, here's the real key in my opinion: a touring bike should track like...well, like a touring bike. It should be simple to ride with no hands and you should be able to move your body around without affecting the tracking at all.

I ride a 23" frame with plenty of seat post showing on my "racing" bike (and I've got a long stem too). On my touring bike, I really like my 25" frame even though the seat post is pretty much right down at the bottom of the rational range (and the shorter stem I mentioned above). Be sure to try a touring bike with a pair of panniers on a rear rack if you can (otherwise hold them up and do some measuring to make sure you've got heel clearance).

I've found my touring bike extremely comfortable to ride (I used to ride it 30 miles to work, car-pool home, car-pool in, ride home--the round trip just took more time than I had). The longer tubes seem to soak up the road shock. So, what worked for me was to get the biggest one I could fit.

Ride a lot of bikes. Choose one you can steer reliably with no hands and that has room for rear bags--and, if it comes down to it, ride the next size up just to be sure.

Good luck!

J
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Old 09-07-00, 09:58 PM
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Touring Frame

I'd go with a CROSS frame. They've 700c wheels like a road bike but Mountain H'Bar. They've got a longer wheelbase than a racer and will absorb more vibration from the road and will give you plenty of room for Panniers. I carry 2 bags on the front wheel, 2 bags on the rear, 1 on the handlebars and 1 on the saddle. I would also recommend low pressure tires. Probably 35 or 38mm and 75lbs. pressure. GET A BIKE THAT FITS YOU! It's not worth the inconvenience to go with an over-sized frame. Also, I'd recommend toe- clips and not clipless pedals. Too easy to have an accident trying to get your feet free. If you like that laid-out stretch of drop bars you could always add aero-bars and drop the H'Bar pack. There are many options open to you. You'll probably get a lot of diverse suggestions here. Pick the ones that make sence to you. Touring, like choosing a bike is a personal thing. Be true to your own ideas. Enjoy the road. It's fantastic out there!
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Old 08-20-21, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Glenn Carter View Post
I am about to invest in a touring bike (or traveller), although I have very little experience. To date, the only bike I have owned is the standard racing bike (nearly 16 years old). My question is this, how do you determine what size frame you should order. Each retailer has a different opinion, I am confused. My height is 186cm, the frames range from 54cm to 60cm. Please help.

what is your inseam measurement?
got a bike store near you?
and is this the oldest zombie thread ever in the touring section?
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Old 08-20-21, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
what is your inseam measurement?
got a bike store near you?
and is this the oldest zombie thread ever in the touring section?
Holy zombie thread resurrection, Bat-Man!
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Old 08-20-21, 08:18 AM
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I B T L.

Also wow I can't remember the last time standover height was discussed as a valid metric for anything. I guess 21 years ago.
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Old 08-20-21, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
I B T L.

Also wow I can't remember the last time standover height was discussed as a valid metric for anything. I guess 21 years ago.
I still use stand over as a double check after everything else, but now that most frames are sloping, that is less important now than it was 21 years ago.

If the OP was looking for a touring bike in 2000, I wonder which brands and models he considered. LHT (frame only, not complete) first came out in 2004, so that was not on the list. If you did not want to go custom, the only off the rack one I can think of is Trek 520. But I am unsure if Fuji and Cannondale made touring models then, they might have. I think some people toured on Bianchi Volpes back then.
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Old 08-20-21, 12:49 PM
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When this thread was started I was less than two months away from taking my second ever tour. Seven weeks in Andalucia. First ever solo trip from start to finish. Enjoying an extended period off from the working world. Right around the time I got involved with a woman who would end up breaking my heart by August.
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Old 08-22-21, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
When this thread was started....
lesseee.............in 2000? i think about that time i had just finished cycling across the usa, moved out to southwest texas, and decided this was crazy, so went out and bought a motorcycle. and leather, lots of leather.
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Old 08-22-21, 03:09 PM
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In my 45-years of 'serious cycling', I've NEVER had a problem with riding a slightly 'too-tall' frame. BIDT, I was 5'8'-1/2" with a 30" inseam and rode a 23" diamond-frame road bike. My fore-aft position (with my long-ish torso) was more of a factor than stand-over height. 21'/54cm felt too 'cramped'. Yes, I can <barely> stand--over my 23" frame, and 'the boys' are a bit compromised if I were to stand with both feet 'flat-footed, but who does that? I've been riding this 'too-tall' frame size for over 47+ years, and that has NEVER been an issue.
Looking back, I suppose I should have gone with a 22"/56cm if one was available, but back then (mid'70S) Fuji did no have that option...

My current road-ridden bikes are still 57-58cm/23"
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Old 08-23-21, 01:33 AM
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In January of 00 I was getting ready to go into the Army and ended up having a bunch of fun

I still worry about stand over because Im 62 and have ~31 inseam I ride 58s because I cant straddle 60s but I need top tube length.
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Old 08-23-21, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
...and is this the oldest zombie thread ever in the touring section?
At least we know the OP has a second post floating around here somewhere.

Since I don't have any modern bikes standover height is still a valid dimension for me, and a reason I might soon be giving up my two remaining 25"/64cm frames.
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Old 08-23-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
I still worry about stand over because Im 62 and have ~31 inseam I ride 58s because I cant straddle 60s but I need top tube length.
We are very similar. Same height, but my inseam is slightly longer. Probably about 33". If I buy 34" pans I step on them the bottoms, so I have to get 32". I can just clear my 60 cm LHT. A 60 definitely would not work for you. I actually think my first LHT, which was stolen (from my house), was a 58 and that I bought a 60 replacement thinking that is what I originally had.
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Old 08-23-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
...I still worry about stand over because Im 62 and have ~31 inseam I ride 58s because I cant straddle 60s but I need top tube length.
6'2", 34" i go for larger frames, 62-64cm, can straddle either flat-footed.
both my hybrid tour bikes (BMC 26", LKLM 700c) are level top-tube.

prefer level top-tube. better optics, sloping tube looks too bmx-y, and the
long exposed seattube appears weaker. that's where most of the damaged frames
i've seen have cracked.....aside from the crabons that simply asspolode.
triangle can fit larger water bottles, or a larger frame bag if i ever get a framebag.

sloping tubes tend to slip and fall while stopped if not careful. the straight tube
is easier to hold steady while stopped to check maps, take photos or wayside micturation

Last edited by saddlesores; 08-23-21 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 08-24-21, 05:02 AM
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This thread has reached a new milestone.

The first five posts were all in 2000, and each of those posts was in a different month.

Excluding my previous post on this thread, we have now doubled that with ten new posts, all during one month.

Thus, the oldest resurrected zombie thread we can think of is setting more records.
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Old 08-24-21, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
When this thread was started I was less than two months away from taking my second ever tour. Seven weeks in Andalucia. First ever solo trip from start to finish. Enjoying an extended period off from the working world. Right around the time I got involved with a woman who would end up breaking my heart by August.
I think I was standing on the 8th level of a gasifier in Burlington, VT in a driving rain on the night shift trying to clear a 1/4 line of sand by using a long wire. The rain came after 4 of snow. It was loads of fun. The line did clear and sprayed sand, pyrolysis oil, and not a small amount of carbon dioxide into my armpit. Ruined my rain coat.
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