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5'10" and a size 52? - size for my first roadie

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5'10" and a size 52? - size for my first roadie

Old 10-15-05, 04:00 AM
  #1  
djtrackie
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5'10" and a size 52? - size for my first roadie

Hey guys, i went bike shopping at my local LBS today. I tested out about 10 different bikes in all different sizes.

First I was put on a Trek 2100 that was a size 54. I felt too stretched out and my upper back was aching if i held the tip of the handles.

THen i was put on a Giant OCR3 size MEDIUM. Bike felt good

THen a Trek 1000 size 52. This felt really good to me. I liked the trek a little more than the Giant OCR.

My salesman thought this was kinda awkward that i would be 5'10" 160lbs but comfortable in a size 54. So we tried another sized 54 bike and again, my back felt too stretched out.

Now, am i doing something wrong? wrong posture? seat not high enough?

I was comfortable on a 52, but I don't want to find out later on that a 54 would have been more propery suited.

With a size 52 while my hands were in the drops, and cornering... my knees sometimes very slightly brushed my elbows... does this mean it's too small?

please advise!
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Old 10-15-05, 04:43 AM
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Go to another LBS!
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Old 10-15-05, 04:54 AM
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I'm 5-10 also with a 32" inseam and I ride a 58. Shop around. Sounds like you need a bigger frame.
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Old 10-15-05, 05:11 AM
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so am i but but could never ride a 58 thats on the large side, i got a 54, and a 52, both slightly different setups for different events.

we all different, but theres no way i could ride a 58.
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Old 10-15-05, 05:42 AM
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52 does sound extremely small for a non-compact frame and someone 5'10". Especially because Trek measures from center of bb to top of seat tube, making that more like 50 c to c. I'm 5'10" and have a 54 c-t old Trek that I fit well in an "athletic" position only... with a 8 or 9 cm drop from saddle to bars on a threaded fork frame with the 12 cm stem in it's highest position. Ideally I would prefer a frame no smaller than 54 c-c (56 or so c-t). Lance armstrong is also 5'10" and rides a 58 cm center to top (of seat tube) Trek. I think most people 5'10" would be riding a 56 or 58 Trek.

What you mention about your knees brushing your elbows also points to 52 being too small. Yet you feel too stretched in a 54... hmm. Can't really say without seeing you on the bike. Some people do like a more cramped position (even a few pros), so I can't just say "learn to stretch out", but you probably need to try some things out on your test rides. The problem with going to a frame that is too small (like the 52 likely is) is that you won't be able to get the handlebars high enough. Most people who don't want a long reach also don't want a big drop from the saddle to bars. If the 52 that you test rode didn't have a big drop from saddle to bars, maybe you didn't ride it with the saddle set high enough. Anyway, can't get more specific without seeing you on a bike.
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Old 10-15-05, 06:41 AM
  #6  
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get a 56 or, 58 if standover allows it, then just get the shortest stem whith a big ol' 17degree angle flipped up, that should make it comfortable to ride.

If you're serious about buying when they put pedals on the bike, they should also be doing a quick fit of the bike, saddle height, and bar height so you can compare pretty evenly on fit, and just pay attention to road feel. It takes what? 3 minutes to flip a stem? Unless there's something overly wrong with how you fit on the bike that isn't correctable with a couple of adjustments, then don't buy a bike based on fit.

Buy based on ride, IE harsh, soft, smooth, twitchy, flexy, responsive, sluggish.

Oh and you should probably be holding the hoods (rubber ontop of the breaks) not the drops when you first sit on the bike, unless you're a track cyclist or sprinter. Most people don't use the drops for more then a couple minutes at a time to lead out a group. sprint, or on a really fast paced climb.
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Old 10-15-05, 06:52 AM
  #7  
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I'm 5' 11" with 32" inseam. I ride a 52cm, however to do that I had to increase the stem to a 120mm.

It's more of a racer fit, as ideally I should ride a 54 on average, based on many fit guides.

It all depends on what you want the bike to feel like. I have always liked smaller bikes for the compact feel, stiffness and responsiveness. This is more old school where you bought the smallest bike size you can ride. It seems people fit bikes to be bigger these days, and even I know my next bike will be a 54, just because I want something thats a bit more streached out.
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Old 10-15-05, 09:48 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by djtrackie
Hey guys, i went bike shopping at my local LBS today. I tested out about 10 different bikes in all different sizes.

First I was put on a Trek 2100 that was a size 54. I felt too stretched out and my upper back was aching if i held the tip of the handles.

THen i was put on a Giant OCR3 size MEDIUM. Bike felt good

THen a Trek 1000 size 52. This felt really good to me. I liked the trek a little more than the Giant OCR.

My salesman thought this was kinda awkward that i would be 5'10" 160lbs but comfortable in a size 54. So we tried another sized 54 bike and again, my back felt too stretched out.

Now, am i doing something wrong? wrong posture? seat not high enough?

I was comfortable on a 52, but I don't want to find out later on that a 54 would have been more propery suited.

With a size 52 while my hands were in the drops, and cornering... my knees sometimes very slightly brushed my elbows... does this mean it's too small?

please advise!

No offense, but unless you have freakish proportions (long legs and a short torso) a 52 is way too small. My first road bike was a 50cm and now (after a proper fitting) I'm riding a 54cm bike. I was used to my mtb bike (prior to purchasing my first bike) which was small for throwing around tight corners and felt "stretched" out on a road bike. It takes a while to get used to a rode fit but you can always tweak it a bit afterwards via stem and seat position but I'd go to a good LBS and have them take the time to properly fit you - you'll appreciate it in the long run.
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Old 10-15-05, 09:57 AM
  #9  
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Sounds too small. Does the guy at the LBS say that you look to stretched out on the 54? What is comfortable at first is not always correct.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:43 AM
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You're the best judge of what fits. My sister is 4-5 inches shorter than me, but when we sat her on my bike just out of curiosity, she appears to fit a bike almost exactly the same way as I do. I have unusually short legs and arms. She doesn't.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jschen
You're the best judge of what fits. My sister is 4-5 inches shorter than me, but when we sat her on my bike just out of curiosity, she appears to fit a bike almost exactly the same way as I do. I have unusually short legs and arms. She doesn't.

IMHO, and in general, beginning cyclisst are very poor judged of fit. Rarely without knowledgable imput will they chose the correct frame size. If they do, then get everything else wired (saddle height, stem length, etc...) is still very unlikely.

To the OP, time to go to another shop to see if they agree with the first shop's thoughts about your fit. A good shop won't mind you doing this at all. This time of year, unscrupulous shops will try to get you on a bike they have to get rid of stock rather than the bike you need.
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Old 10-15-05, 12:02 PM
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Well it may seem a little wierd, but different bikes have different fits. Also you guys dont know how this guy is proportion. He legs could be shorter than his upper body.

In addition, since he is really new to cycling he could not be used to a road bike. He probably likes a smaller frame because its a more up right feel. Less stress on his back.

I dont konw i ride a 57 in bianchi, and i just ordered a 54 for a felt. I compared the geometery to both bikes and they are very similar. I like a slight up right feel but when i go into the drops I am still very aero and it still feels right and comfortable.

But for the Felt I have to increase the stem an extra 10mm. 56cm was just a tad bit streched out for me.

Last edited by helmets save; 10-15-05 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 10-15-05, 12:23 PM
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Hi,
read this...
https://www.rivendellbicycles.com/htm...fposition.html

I am 5' 8" and ride a 54cm. So that should give you a starting point. Find a Specialized Seqouia in a Large (57cm) and try that.
This bike is designed for a comfy riding position, and that should be about your size. It will give you a pretty good idea of what you want to look for in a riding position.

As a starting point, I suggest getting the saddle and bars at the same level, or the bars an inch or two higher. You do that by adjusting your saddle to the length of your leg, and then getting the bars up to the saddle.
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Old 10-15-05, 12:36 PM
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Im 5'10" , 30" , and ride a 56cm
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Old 10-15-05, 01:22 PM
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Im 5'8, 148 pounds, I have an '05 Trek 2100 and its a 56 frame, my arms are a little bit longer than average but nevertheless, 54 sounds way too small for you
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Old 10-15-05, 02:40 PM
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maybe you have not streched out enough yet? When I first bought my medium ocr2, in late june of this year, I felt quite stretched out for a long time. But having read many posts on bike fit and first time buying I realized I would be more suited toward a larger frame over time. 3/4 months later this has shown itself to mostly be true. However, I beleive that a 54cm or 56cm trek might have the job better. (I now have to change the stem for a 90mm vs the orig 10mm). Remember this, if your frame is small and your seat high, make sure the drop between your seat and bars does not exceed ~2/3inches if you are starting out
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Old 10-15-05, 03:03 PM
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I'm 5'9" and I have a 54 CM C'Dale
My wife is 5'6" ands also rides a 54 CM C'Dale
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Old 10-15-05, 06:02 PM
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The 52 does sound too small, I'm about 5'11" and an LBS put me on a 53 and I didn't know any better and raced it all year with a 130mm stem and a huge drop between my saddle and bars. Now I'm riding a 56/57 and I'm much happier.
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Old 10-15-05, 06:13 PM
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I am ~5'11" and have a 60cm Trek 1000.

But then again, I am VERY leggy which is coincidentally the same explanation I give when people ask me why I only weight 130.
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Old 10-15-05, 06:16 PM
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I would think a 54 would be the perfect size. I'm 5'7" and ride a 54, now I do have fairly long legs but none the less... Try a shorter stem with a positive angle (this> / NOT> \)
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Old 10-15-05, 07:45 PM
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5'9 3/4", 79cm(approx 31" inseam) here, and i ride a 52. custom measured and built for me by Antonio Mondonico.

but it's got a 54.5cm toptube and 12 cm stem. my torso and arms are a bit longer proportionally to my legs, so that's what i ended up with. my old Specialized was a 54cm with a 54.3 cm toptube. fits me just fine, but i have absolutely no standover.

i think the most important measurement when fitting is toptube. if you feel too stretched out or crunched up, you're not going to be comfortable. seat tube and standover should be secondary.
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Old 10-15-05, 08:04 PM
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To the Original Poster, go to:

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

https://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/default.asp

And run through the online fit processes...

The calculators will also recommend stem length based on frame size with your body measurement inputs

Both fit calculators indicate my 5' 11" /32" inseam should be riding a 53 to 55.5 frame, with 54 being a best all around and a 53 for a Racing fit. This also correlates well with 2 custom builders I have been measured at, they also place me on a 54 cm frame, 55cm for a touring upright ride.


Good Bike fit also requires that you educate yourself somewhat, rather than placing 100% stock in internet forum blathering (mine included)
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Old 10-15-05, 08:04 PM
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I don't have a clue how to size the compact frame bikes with the sloping top tube. I'm 5' 9 1/2 inches tall with a 32 inch slack's inseam, and measure 34 inches from the crotch to the floor wearing tennis shoes. With TRADITIONAL geometry, the road bikes that fit me the best are size 57 to size 60 with a standover (just behind the stem) of 32 1/2 to 33 inches.

If I ever bought a "compact" road bike (which I won't) I would probably look for one that measures around 33 inches from the point where the stem enters to head tube straight down to the floor. I'm guessing that if a compact bike measures 33 inches tall at the stem entry point, it would enable me to set that bike up to match the fit I get on a size 60 traditional bike.

The top surface of the high portion of the handlebars on my road bikes is set up at 37 inches or 38 inches from the ground. If I'm at a store, and the top of the bars on a bike can not be raised to higher than 34 inches from the floor, I know I'll never be comfortable on that bike.

If a compact road bike DID measure 33 inches tall at the stem entry point, it could be advertised as a size 52 if the top bar sloped down sharply, and their sizing system was based on where the top tube meets the seat tube. So, sizing numbers on compact bikes can't be directly compared to traditional bike sizes.
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Old 10-15-05, 08:12 PM
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I'm 5'10" and seem to fit a 54-55 best. odd sizes i go 55, even 54 with stems of either 110 or 120.
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Old 10-15-05, 08:26 PM
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I ride a Trek 2300, 54cm. I'm 5' 9.5" w/31" Inseam. I'm using a 90mm stem. I probably could fit some 56cm frames OK but never tried.

I suggest what someone else suggested above, try a shorter stem on the 54cm Trek.

Also its possible the handlebars are tilted downard too much for you. Tilt them up a little to bring the brake hoods closer. Once you get comfortable after many, many miles of riding you can start experimenting with tilting slightly downward again.

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