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Fit question: Taller frame okay?

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Fit question: Taller frame okay?

Old 07-05-13, 10:01 PM
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Fit question: Taller frame okay?

Okay, since touring bikes are normally set up for long distance trips, do all the normal fit criteria really apply other than the true comfort factor? Example, I have been told that I need a 54" frame. I originally purchased an older Peugeot with a 57 cm seat tube. I lowered the seat so that the crankset shaft to the seat was at 67 cm.

Several months later, I came across a deal on my dream bike, a Trek 520 with a 54 cm frame. Whala, when I set the seat at my comfort level, I discovered it was at the same 67 cm distance from seat to crankshaft center. The only difference in the two bikes is that the Peugot has butterfly handlebars vs the normal drops on the 520. And the Peugot has an additional 4 cm reach from the seat post to the handlebar stem.

My initial observations are that the Peugot is a bit more comfortable due to the butterfly handle bars keeping me a bit more upright....., but, by conventional wisdom, this bike is supposedly too tall for me. So tell me how the foldable touring bikes (example....Bike Friday) that has a shorter frame with a tall seat post is any different than a situation like what ia am experiencing. Is it all hype or will I find a big eye opener after I finish a 100 mile day ( my trips to date have been < 20 miles).

Not to put the Trek 520 in a lesser light. I love the way it shifts and the 15 less pounds that it weighs compared to the Peugot. I just want to fully understand the fit issues and the comfort factor on different sized framed bikes. Thanks for your expertise in this area.
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Old 07-05-13, 10:28 PM
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Top tube length matters a lot for bike fit as you just discovered: https://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html. If you like the butterfly bars on the Peugeot, you might want to use similar bars on your Trek. This is a pretty common touring set up in Europe. My guess is that you have the seat slammed down pretty far on the Peugeot. A bike that is too tall for you won't handle as nicely as one that is the right size but it can work as long as the top tube length plus stem length is right. One other factor to consider is whether the bars are at the same height (more or less) as the seat. You might find too much of a drop uncomfortable.
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Old 07-05-13, 11:08 PM
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My first bike was 58...a tad bit tall for me and though I can stand over it, the stem was to long (say 110mm) so I swapped it out for a TTT about 60 mm, I also have a 55 that is perfect and is has a 110mm stem. Both have exactly the same pedal axle to mid seat distance ~34.5". I have a slightly long waist and long arms. Fortunately stems, seat height, set fore and aft placement are all adjustable.

A slightly taller frame is ok but you'll find a frame that fits you makes for a superior handling bike. On the 55 my weight is more forward and the bike handles much better.
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Old 07-06-13, 05:57 AM
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If you are using drop bars, you may find that you prefer a shorter top tube than with other bars. Riding with your hands on the hoods of the brake levers on drop bars puts your hands much further forward than if you were riding on normal flat bars.
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