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standover/clearance when

Old 05-20-19, 11:31 PM
  #1  
nivalu
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sorting out bike fit (formerly "standover/clearance when")

there is absolutely no easy way to ask this but:

i am around 300 and female. i have been testing road bikes and find two issues:

i am kinda 'squeezed in' between head tube and seat when straddling (geet on the ground)....not sure if thats just an inevitable thing....

and the major issue: i have a lot of fat in my upper leg area. when considering standover height, im not sure if it should be comfortable standover, or standover with the bike kinda.....up in there. it would seem like a frame that was 2-3 cm smaller than the size is take based on height wouldn't feel so......violating?

i am embarrassed to be writing this on a public forum but i hope someone here understands.

Last edited by nivalu; 06-21-19 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:14 AM
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The frame I ride is probably a bit too large for myself (honestly love it from a riding position though).

Whenever I come to a stop I usually just leave the right foot on the pedal (raised forward position) and left foot on the ground. The bike is leaning toward the side once stopped. --Make sure you upshift when slowing down and it makes for an easy start.

Hope that helps, I never liked the standover position myself.

No need to be embarrassed, i think everyone one in this sub forum has been in the same position. Stick with riding and dieting if you're trying to lose. It definitely pays off from personal experience.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:27 AM
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Aahzz
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We can all relate to the embarrassment of posting in a public forum - I absolutely hate admitting that I'm 370 pounds, but I am. The fact that you're doing something about it is the important part . Trust me, if anyone understands it's this group and you're in good company.

I made the mistake of basing my previous bike purchases on standover height. I'm 6 feet tall, but I only have a 30 inch inseam. I also have large thighs. Being male, it's a different kind of "getting up in there", but it's still getting up in there, as it were. Much like the poster above, I very rarely use the standover position. So, I'd say pick the bike size on OVERALL comfort - if your upper body is more comfortable on a larger frame, and your pedal reach is good, the standover height isn't as important.

I finally just ordered a bike in the appropriate frame size yesterday - can't wait 'til it gets here .
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Old 05-22-19, 09:31 AM
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you will likely never have both feet on the ground at the same time when riding the bike. One foot on the pedal, and one on the ground at stop lights.

Frames sizes have to deal with your height, length of arms, torso, legs. Buy the bike for the size when you are pedaling it, not when you are stopped. When you drop weight, the bike will still fit you. your bone lengths are still the same.
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Old 05-22-19, 12:13 PM
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I've never felt the need to have both feet on the ground with the bike under me. Perhaps its the fact that I've ridden motorcycles for years and that's not possible on most motorcycles unless they have super low seats. When I stop, I keep my left foot on the pedal (especially easy since I used SPD shoes) and my right foot is on the ground. The bike is leaned slightly to the right. It may seem somewhat odd if you are new to riding bikes, but having both feet on the ground would be really awkward to me.

I'm 5'7" with a ~28" inseam and about 248 lbs (down from 314 at my largest), and ride a Giant Defy with medium frame.
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Old 05-22-19, 12:25 PM
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Newer riders tend to straddle their bike like you're describing. A mixte style frame might alleviate that for you.

It sounds like you're jammed between the saddle and the bars as well as experiencing unpleasant pressure from the top tube? What kind of bikes are you testing?
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Old 05-22-19, 12:35 PM
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if you don't want a drop bar bike, maybe what my Wife uses would interest you. It's a Trek FX Stagger which has a steeply sloped top tube

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Old 05-22-19, 12:38 PM
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I would not buy a bike I felt might injure me if I had to make a very sudden un-planned stop and plant both feet. A bike 2-3 cms smaller sounds far better. I'd keep looking until I found a bike that felt and fit right with that kind of clearance.

Sadly, there aren't a lot of good choices for many models of bikes so the search could take a while. Fit is important. It may well be that a smaller bike with possibly a longer/higher stem and maybe the seat pushed back will work. If you have little luck, consider in the future having a frame made for you that can address all the issues. This is expensive and a major commitment, but if you are looking at a lifetime pastime that might develop into a passion, it could be a decision you never regret. Do your best to find a bike that "works" first. The more time you spend on any bike, the better you will know what the ultimate bike should be.

You might try looking on-line for a Terry bicycle. These were bikes built for women by or of the design of a woman, Georgena Terry. She is no longer part of the "Terry"company but is very much still around and still building bicycles. She might even have advice or knowledge of bikes out there if you sent her an E-mail. I don't have her website but it is not hard to find. That said, your best bet might well be a small men's bike for the (presumably) longer seattube to headtube length, combined with a shorter stem to keep the reach the same but increase the important space you need. Short stems do make steering quicker. (In your ultimate custom, a framebuilded can increase headset angle and/or decrease fork rake to quiet the steering.)

Keep asking questions, looking and test riding bikes. The right bike can be had. Find it and ride it!

Ben
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Old 05-22-19, 01:19 PM
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Bill in VA
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
if you don't want a drop bar bike, maybe what my Wife uses would interest you. It's a Trek FX Stagger which has a steeply sloped top tube

WIth a dropped top tube, you could go to the larger size to give you the longer length from seat to head tube. THe shops all want to force you into a compact frame. They recommended a 53cm for me and I bought a 55cm and still have decent 2-feet on the ground stand over. I am 5'8.5" with a 30" inseam.
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Old 05-22-19, 11:33 PM
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Wow! I thought this post had been rejected as I submitted it a couple of days ago.

THANK YOU to each of you who have taken the time to respond and share tips/suggestions.

I was considering a bike that, on paper, seemed to be a little shorter than others that I have tried. Once I went
to see it, it turned out to be a pretty good fit for me (given my limited knowledge).

I really wanted this one to be a drop bar bike...I'd looked for quite some time and finally happened upon something
that was a good fit for my body (so far) AND budget. I've read that Id need to get a new wheelset for almost any
road bike I bought so I didn't have a large budget to begin with.

I just got the bike a day ago and rode it home, but I count today as my first "actual" ride. I felt that I need to adjust the
seat height or fore/aft, not sure which just yet, but I am still getting used to the bike overall. I actually missed my hybrid
a little today--happily I still have many miles in my future with that one as well.

The crazy thing is, I found myself in that "standover" position a ton today. I still have to take lots and lots of breaks
during my rides, so I end up standing over it with both feet on the ground for a while. I can now lean on the hoods as
well so it is a nice bit of relief before pushing further. I dont seem to have sacrificed getting a better fitting bike to
have one that I can stand over. It is a litle snug from head tube to seat but not ridiculously so. I have definitely tried
more uncomfortable ones.

I will try clipping in soon--I only did that for a brief time a few years ago and ended up using toe clips instead.

Thanks again for all of your support!
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Old 05-23-19, 08:08 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I would not buy a bike I felt might injure me if I had to make a very sudden un-planned stop and plant both feet. A bike 2-3 cms smaller sounds far better. I'd keep looking until I found a bike that felt and fit right with that kind of clearance.
I think this is the real issue. Bike configurations have changed a lot since the days of the straight (parallel to ground) top tube and male/female bikes. IMO the sole reason to worry about standover height is to make sure that if you fall onto the top tube your feet hit the ground before your naughty bits strike the tube. If it's just a little extra body padding it may not feel great but it's also not going to be super ouchy.

Overall bike fit and comfort is much more important - i.e., reach to handlebars, ensuring seat height has you comfortably reaching pedals (not too high or low) ,etc. In most cases standover height will be fine if the rest fits.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:41 AM
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Wilfred Laurier
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It is important that you can stand over the bike with your feet on the ground, as emergency stops might make this necessary without giving you a chance to plan which foot to put down, etc... but if you can stand over it without injury, minor contact with your crotchular area is not generally a problem.

One solution is, when you stop,. to keep one foot on a pedal and put the other foot on the ground. Then you can more easily rock your hips slightly to keep your lady bits out of harms way.
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Old 05-23-19, 03:41 PM
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i do feel much safer with a bike i *can* stand over comfortably. i will still experiment with more 'active' variations like keeping one foot on, especially as i practice with being clipped onto the pedal.
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Old 05-23-19, 07:41 PM
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Remember when figuring standover, to leave some clearance. Even if you have an inch to spare when on a showroom floor or in your garage, you aren't always guaranteed a level stopping surface and just an inch or two of lift on the front wheel can make that top tube real uncomfortable.

Women's specific frames tend to have shorter top tubes, so look for a standard (men's) frame. Different frame geometries are available, some with slightly longer top tubes. As mentioned, sloped top tubes will also add some clearance. The downside of a long top tube is that you get more stretched out on the bike. If you have a long torso, that's fine, but if it makes you uncomfortable, or places more weight on your hands, you aren't going to like riding very long. A shorter stem can help but is a workaround not a true fix for the problem.

Don't be embarrassed to post any honest question on this forum. We've all had personal questions from time to time and this is a good place to ask. If you are shopping at a bike shop, there should be someone there to help you with fit issues as well.

Last edited by Myosmith; 05-23-19 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 05-23-19, 10:06 PM
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Rivendell bicycles is another company that offers a lot of choices for standover height with proper reach dimensions. As several have pointed out the more you clear that top bar the more you will be able to hold the bicycle upright at awkward times. Good luck.
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Old 05-24-19, 05:17 AM
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thanks for the guidance. now i need to figure out what to upgrade first.....ive been digging through old threads to see whats been asked before but j feel like just getting a good size was a good first step!
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Old 05-25-19, 07:32 PM
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Looks like you got the advice you sought already but as one of the few active female forum members I wanted to bid you a huge WELCOME!
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Old 05-29-19, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
Looks like you got the advice you sought already but as one of the few active female forum members I wanted to bid you a huge WELCOME!
Thanks so much! I submitted the post a couple of days before I went to see a potential new bike but it wasn't approved/posted until after I got it. It was still good to see everyone's viewpoints/opinions/advice.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:05 PM
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soo....

when i first posted this, as i mentioned, i had found a bike online that was listed at 47cm. i thought the right size for me was closer to 49-50 and i was worried that this bike was too small. however i was tired of going from shop to shop and reading tons of ads with no luck, so i was ready to grab something and get going. i do have a hybrid i was riding in the meantime, but i really wanted a drop bar bike.

when i saw this listing, for a bike i was familiar with, at a good price and in seemingly good condition, i was hoping it would work. i posted this message a couple of days before i went to see the bike because i was concerned about "settling" for a bike that was too small.

in the end, the bike was fine--it was a size bigger than advertised, which was weird, and it seemed to work for me. i rode it home and have been riding ever since.

i have had random bits of discomfort--horrible time clipping in/out, crotch discomfort, numb hands, just overall a feeling of not being set up correctly. i took it to an LBS today for a 'casual' fit--they dont provide this service but agreed to check it out for me. at my size, i didnt think going for a $300 fit made sense.



long story less long, they determined that the bike is still too small. i am only 5'3'' but we tried a 52 then a 54 and both fit a lot better. i then tried a 56 and i could still stand over it, but with poor clearance.

i've had the bike for a while now, though , and i dont think i could afford to go for another. i could and would never sell something online--i live alone and it is just too creepy--so i'm kinda stuck with this one for now. i dont have the space for yet another bike.

at first they told me that i could do stuff like get a setback seatpost to make the fit more comfortable, and possibly a longer stem, but then tried to say that it would just make sense to get a new bike. when i was not interested, i was told to just ride this one as-is.

i actually think a set back post would make sense....my seat cant go any further back and i feel as though i need to be back a little more. hopefully i can find such a post online somewhere.

knowing i have legs that long makes me want to lose this dang stomach to see what else i'm working with
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Old 06-12-19, 04:25 PM
  #20  
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Riding a slightly too small bike is usually does not have to be a deal breaker if you are willing to play around with stems and seat posts in order to get the correct leg extension and make your torso happy. You might check the size and set back of your current seatpost and remember it or write it down. You can always type the size (diameter) and "seatpost" into eBay and just do some searching just to educate yourself. It will help you narrow down your idea of what will work better for you. There are some nice curved titanium ones on eBay from China that I have seen that gets you setback but don't look so angular. The added benefit of the titanium post is that there is no weight limit and the fact that titanium is naturally shock absorbing by nature. I'm a bit over 5'11" (male) and I'm riding a fairly tiny titanium frame that measures about 53 (top tube length). It is a sloping top tube from so the seat tube is like a 44. My 350mm seatpost is at the limit line and I have to run a 13cm stem to make it work but so far I have 950 miles on the bike since last fall and I'm liking it. So my point is, you don't really have suffer with a bad set-up on your bike. Keep your current bike and keep trying different things until you are happy.

Thomson makes setback seat posts in both silver and black by the way. I like the straight Thomson's but find the weird angled cut to not make my sense of aesthetics happy. That's why I mentioned the Chinese curved setback titanium ones.
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Old 06-12-19, 06:39 PM
  #21  
nivalu
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Thanks for sharing info about your setup@masi61 ! I would've never thought to look at ebay...I always shop on Amazon...haven't used ebay in years but I will check it out.

My bike's spec page says

Oval 300 double-bolt, alloy 27.2mm x 350mm
so I will use that to help me as well.

I am interested in trying out another stem as well. I don't seem to have as big of an issue there, but it is worth a try!
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Old 06-17-19, 09:45 AM
  #22  
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As mentioned the seatpost can be used to push the seat backwards and a longer stem can be used to push the handlebars forward. The handlebars should never be so close to your knees as you pedal as to interfere with one another. Everything with bicycling is fashion with function coming in second. If everyone is riding carbon then don't buy aluminum. If everyone is buying bicycles with higher top tubes then don't buy a mixte. If one can step back from fashion just a tad then solutions to fit and size problems become much simpler. I realize that overcoming the herd mentality is very difficult but sometimes necessary to find an adequate solution for your size and fit issues. A bicycle that is small is just that as is a bicycle that is large for your size. I believe the two most important dimensions are the standover height and the top tube length. These dimensions largely dictate the safety and comfort you will have with the bicycle. I personally feel that setback seatposts and overly long handlebar stems are stopgap measures to getting the right size frame. Keep in mind that a lot of racers ride smaller frames strictly for weight reduction and knowingly use setback seatposts and long handlebar stems to cope with the undersize bicycle. Keep riding and experimenting. It took decades before I settled on a specific frame size for me. The frame is large for my size but once the components are on and adjusted these types of large frames do fit me better than all the other types of frame sizes I've tried. Everyone is different so this opinion only relates to my experiences.
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Old 06-20-19, 05:29 PM
  #23  
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I apologize for dragging this thread along. I considered posting in "fitting your bike" but I am not sure how Athena-friendly it would be.




I got a new saddle and seat post -- saddle is a random amazon brand with a split down the middle and seat post is a zipp service course.




I thought I'd finally nailed it but ended up unable to ride for a few days due to saddle bruising (sorry for the TMI). I tried to adjust the tilt up but was unsuccessful. I also felt like I was sliding forward a bit during the ride, but I had no idea how bad it was until I got home.




Today I was a little afraid of my current bike so I took out my "old" bike, a hybrid from 07 or so. It felt good. I feel bad for all the years I yearned for a road bike, because this thing felt like a dream compared to my "new" bike. I wish I hadve just slapped a drop bar, new shifters and brakes on it years ago like I wanted.




I also stopped at a bike shop and tried a 54 inch Fuji. Not a ton of standover clearance but it rode like my hybrid. I just took it for a quickie spin but it felt soo good...saddle felt great, everything. Component wise, that particular bike may not be for me, but it convinced me that the idea of a 54 for a 5'3'' woman isn't so crazy.





I have started to ride less and less due to how frustrating the 'new' bike is, and that is not great for my goals....




I am a lot faster on the hybrid as well....I am not very fast at all and it sucks being passed by people all the time but on the hybrid my pace was much higher than I've been able to manage on my road bike. The hybrid has regular platform pedals. I do have toe clips but I did not use them today. The road bike has dual sided SPD pedals.....I struggle with clipping in on one side but Im usually clipped in on the other and still not able to transfer a lot of power.







My current hybrid's specs are in inches: Seat Tube is 15.5 inches and Top Tube is 21 inches.





I really am at a loss. I love a lot about my "new" bike but I am running out of ideas to make it work.




Sorry for the length...just hoping there's some bit of information here that may help someone help me




Thanks for reading !
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Old 06-23-19, 11:18 PM
  #24  
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I'm so sorry to hear about your seat hurting you. After 50 plus years of riding my regular seat with nose gave me a severe case of prostatitis. This led me to noseless seats which I am now riding with no ill affects. The reason for the prostatitis was misadjustment of the tilt after dropping my handlebar height. I raced on road for years and used shoes and cleats and later SPD pedals but don't use them now. Your lack of confidence with clipping into SPD pedals is natural. SPD pedals can be adjusted to allow a very easy clip in but won't hold your foot very strongly. This easy adjustment would allow you to clip and unclip very easily. Over time the SPD pedal can be tightened up to where more power can be put into your pedaling. As for people passing you on the trail whether you are on a hybrid or a full on carbon racing bicycle doesn't mean much. You are exercising and that is the main take away. If you are in some sort of keeping up with the Jones's then getting faster on the bicycle may be what you are more about. Neither of the above reasons are a wrong reason. Whatever gets you out and riding is a good thing. The technical problems you are having with your new bike need tending to. You seem to favor a larger frame than what you presently have. This means that possibly the handlebar unit is a bit too close to you. A longer stem is quite easily installed if that will put you at the proper and comfortable body angle. I never found longer stems to make the steering any worse so this fix is one I would recommend. Another problem can be that the handlebar unit is too low due to the smaller frame. Raising the handlebar is not that hard to do. Sometimes on newer bikes they left some extra steerer tube and you can put spacers under your stem and raise it. If not then a new stem that raises the handlebar unit can be installed to bring the bars up to where you are comfortable. Keep in mind these problems may have cropped up if you put drop handlebars on your hybrid also. Since you are so very comfortable on your hybrid you might put the SPD pedals on that bicycle with them adjusted loose and get more comfortable on them before putting them on your drop bar bicycle. The seat issue needs to be tended to. I am happy with a noseless seat made in Canada called The Spongy Wonder. Terrible name but a first rate product and it works well. Does not touch the pernium on a man nor any tender parts of a woman. No more numbness and injury. Keep riding, you are doing so well.
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Old 06-23-19, 11:59 PM
  #25  
Clyde1820
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Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5

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Originally Posted by nivalu View Post
when considering standover height, im not sure if it should be comfortable standover, or standover with the bike kinda.....up in there. it would seem like a frame that was 2-3 cm smaller than the size is take based on height wouldn't feel so......violating?
I, too, despise being pinched "up there."


Myself, I am fairly short-legged for my height. I've always had to worry about stand-over height (SOH) on bikes I've ridden. And I have always looked for smaller frames, frames with angled/dipped head tubes, or even step-through type designs.

A frame design like this seems to work best for me, given my shorter legs and max-SOH limit:




Through the 1980s and 1990s, a number of popular bike makers created step-through variants for some of their standard models of ATB/MTB.

At least up through 2015, Trek made the FX bike in a step-through variation, with their FX WSD.


* That one's a Rodriguez Adventure bike, the step-through variant.


Another option might be a Mixte type frame, which has a heavily-sloped top tube(s):



* That one's a Soma Buena Vista frame.


If wanting a bit of an upscale type of bike, perhaps consider the Rivendell Cheviot step-through model:

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