Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-08-11, 04:48 AM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ponca City Oklahoma
Posts: 183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Frame size on a touring bike.

I have an 86 Trek 520 with the straight bar that I got today and I have a question on frame sizing.

When I straddle the bike barefoot I am in contact with the top bar, we any kind of shoes I am above the top bar. When I get on the bike in the drops I fell scrunched.

There is another bike that I cannot straddle the bike at all but once moving seems to fit me well.

I am 5'8 1/2 - 5'9 and have 30 inch legs.

It seems if I get a bike that height the frame seems too short. If the frame seems like the right length I have trouble getting on it.

What kind of steps can I take to get past this with a Trek 520. I really like the bike but it is just a bit too short, well it feels to short.
jsidney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-11, 04:56 AM   #2
Senior Member
wahoonc's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,771
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
What is the top tube length and what is the stem extension? Is the saddle properly positioned, is the seat post in the correct way? There is a lot more to bike fit than straddling the top tube, that is just a quick and dirty start to proper fit.

Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-11, 05:00 AM   #3
onbike 1939
Senior Member
onbike 1939's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fife Scotland
Bikes: Airnimal Chameleon; Ellis Briggs; Moulton TSR27 Moulton Esprit
Posts: 2,040
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 918 Post(s)
I have very close to your measurements and ride a 54 cms (21 and 3/4")frame. What is important is the Top tube length as this does affect your comfort considerably. A rough measurement can be obtained by having your elbow at right angles and placed against the toe of the saddle. With you fingers outstretched they should touch the bars if these are Drops. If Flat bars, then your fingers should be approx 2" short of the bars (this is a good starting point). The correct distance can be found by moving the saddle back and forward but for touring it's best that the saddle be not too forward towards the Bottom bracket. It may be necessary to fit a shorter stem rather than have the saddle over the BB.
Hope this helps.
Edit: I now see that the bike is one with Flats. In this case begin with the fingers 2" short of the bars and then ride the bike before making any changes. Too close bars are likely to cause sore hands and wrists while too far away and your neck will begin to ache. Find the sweet spot which should allow you to maintain your position while removing your hands from the bars.

Last edited by onbike 1939; 09-08-11 at 05:03 AM. Reason: addition
onbike 1939 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-11, 06:04 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
Posts: 7,497
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
jsidney, Generally one frame size smaller than a road bike's size appears to be the most common suggestion. I concentrate more on the fit while riding than the stand over clearance. My touring frame is actually 1/2 cm taller than my roadie and it hasn't been an issue.

Position your saddle fore and aft properly and fine tune with the stem.

bradtx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-11, 10:23 AM   #5
fietsbob's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 27,797
Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2792 Post(s)
When I get on the bike in the drops I fell scrunched.
change the stem, you probably need a longer one ,
a tall frame is fine, as you Will wear shoes , and not be doing Gnarly Off road rides.

30 inch legs.
, what are you measuring?,

if you pull a horizontal bar up as high off the ground, as possible,
is that what you measure, as maximum stand-over height?

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-08-11 at 10:28 AM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-11, 11:13 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,954
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Trek 520 originally has a drop bar. With the same stem, these protrude about 4" forward of the flat bat position, thats why you feel scrunched up, its like riding on the tops the whole time.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-11, 12:10 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Sounds like you need a different stem and/or bar extensions or the original drop bars/levers
LeeG is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:35 PM.

  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.