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First track bike sizing

Old 02-24-20, 03:47 PM
  #1  
cormacf
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First track bike sizing

Howdy!

Short femurs, long-ish torso for my height (between 5'9" and 5'10"), so I usually ride 54ish roadies with longish top tubes (my Lynskey has a 55.5cm ETT) with steep-ish seat tubes and 165 cranks (to keep my legs from overextending), and suck it up with "brushing the bits" standovers.

I did a few days with track rentals last year, and the Langster 54 cm was decent enough, but that's a pretty roadie geo (74/73) compared to legit track frames.

I've been looking at the Bianchi Super Pista, but:
  1. It comes in (nominal) 53 and 55cm sizes
  2. The geo is much steeper and track-ier:


Any idea what I should be looking at?

Total height 5'9.5"
Jeans inseam 30"
Flexibility = 48 year-old guy.
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Old 02-24-20, 04:41 PM
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Probably longer TT than your road bike, is the generalized experience.
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Old 02-24-20, 04:46 PM
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Subscribing because I am exactly the same height and proportions as you.
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Old 02-24-20, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Probably longer TT than your road bike, is the generalized experience.
Thanks. I was wondering about that because I'm also going to be way down in the drops versus up on the hoods, so i didn't know if I should go shorter.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:29 PM
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There are a lot of people in the P/1/2s at JBMV riding frames with 72/73 degree headtube angles. In fact, many of the newer frames on the market are a bit more slack up front than traditional. That being said, if you love the look of the BSP, do it. Get a bike that makes you want to race it! My vote for your measurements would be the 55.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Subscribing because I am exactly the same height and proportions as you.
I'm a similar size to both of you. My nominal road bike size has me on a 55-56cm TT, and I started track with a similar sized track bike. Many years later, I'm now on a 57 TT with a 13cm stem and wish I had an additional 2cm of TT to play with. This is somewhat discipline determinant, as it seems like enduros will be closer to their road bike size and sprinters will be significantly longer, but in general I think it's safe to bank on longer being better than same or shorter for reach/TT.
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Old 02-24-20, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
I'm a similar size to both of you. My nominal road bike size has me on a 55-56cm TT, and I started track with a similar sized track bike. Many years later, I'm now on a 57 TT with a 13cm stem and wish I had an additional 2cm of TT to play with. This is somewhat discipline determinant, as it seems like enduros will be closer to their road bike size and sprinters will be significantly longer, but in general I think it's safe to bank on longer being better than same or shorter for reach/TT.
Thanks. So if I can straddle a 55 without falling over, I should probably go for that.
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Old 02-24-20, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
Thanks. So if I can straddle a 55 without falling over, I should probably go for that.
55 ST or TT? You probably could use a TT longer than 55, in my opinion.
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Old 02-24-20, 07:31 PM
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I'm about the same measurements and ride a 55cm Super Pista. I run a 140mm stem. Might want to go up a size like BabyPuke suggested. I first ran a 100mm stem and it was a very tight cockpit.
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Old 02-24-20, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KrispyK View Post
I'm about the same measurements and ride a 55cm Super Pista. I run a 140mm stem. Might want to go up a size like BabyPuke suggested. I first ran a 100mm stem and it was a very tight cockpit.
Any trouble throwing a leg over it at the start?
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Old 02-24-20, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
Any trouble throwing a leg over it at the start?
None as it's a Dolan DF4 which has a 51cm ST. If you're not married to the Bianchi I'd suggest shopping for a used 57cm DF3 or DF4. In fact I'd stick with the DF3 if you can find one, less fussy with a proper round seat post.
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Old 02-25-20, 06:36 AM
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I agree with what BP said. You probably want to size up.

I'm also 5'10" but the opposite of you - very long legs and a short torso.

I generally ride 56 road bikes (56 TT) with a 100 or 110 stem. When I started, I went with a 56 Felt TK2 and set it up like my road bike. Over my first season racing - doing all events, enduro and sprint, I kept going longer and lower on my stem. I'm now on a 57 Dolan DF4, with a 130 stem. I could probably fit fine on a 59. Like BP, I mostly do sprint events now, but I have done enduro events on it, though I sometimes will add a spacer under the stem when I do. (I'll add, when I first set up my DF4, I was at max seatpost, given my leg length. I had a proper sprint fitting done, and we lowered me a bit, though pushed me back.)
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Old 02-25-20, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
Howdy!

Short femurs, long-ish torso for my height (between 5'9" and 5'10"), so I usually ride 54ish roadies with longish top tubes (my Lynskey has a 55.5cm ETT) with steep-ish seat tubes and 165 cranks (to keep my legs from overextending), and suck it up with "brushing the bits" standovers.

I did a few days with track rentals last year, and the Langster 54 cm was decent enough, but that's a pretty roadie geo (74/73) compared to legit track frames.

I've been looking at the Bianchi Super Pista, but:
  1. It comes in (nominal) 53 and 55cm sizes
  2. The geo is much steeper and track-ier:


Any idea what I should be looking at?

Total height 5'9.5"
Jeans inseam 30"
Flexibility = 48 year-old guy.
A few things -

So, first off, if you want to compare the relative sizes of two different bikes, you should be looking at stack and reach measurements, which normalize bike geo without the effects of the seattube and headtube angles. Unfortunately the Bianchi's stack and reach measurements aren't on that diagram but there are some bike geo calculators on the internet that can do the math for you.

Secondly, re angles, as nosaad said 73 and 74 degree angles don't mean "not track geometry." You're thinking, perhaps, of sprint geometry where 74 and 75 degree angles are common, but for the past few decades now track bikes have been built in a range of geometries that suit a range of different purposes and fits. So don't let that sway your thinking too much, but do know how different angles can produce different effective top tube lengths and make decisions accordingly - specifically, if two bikes have the same ETT measurement but one has a steeper seattube, it will have a longer reach. Quantifying that difference is where looking at Reach instead of TT measurements comes in handy.

Thirdly, I have a Dolan DF3 in 55CM available "for trade." If you're interested, feel free to PM me.

Last edited by queerpunk; 02-25-20 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 02-27-20, 09:11 AM
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For what it's worth I'm shorter with short legs. 5'7" on a good day, 27.5" inseam. My (custom geo) road bike was modeled after a couple size S Giant TCRs I had (sloping top tube, 40 cm ST for alum frame, 44 cm for carbon). My last level top tube bike was a 50 cm Cannondale (with 53.5 cm TT).

Track: I have yet to build it (waiting on one final part for cranks, plus no track specific bar/stem yet) I got a 57 Dolan. It's a 12 cm HT (but integrated so no extra height for headset), 50.5 cm c-t seat tube, but 57 cm top tube. 74.5 STA. So literally the same top tube height as a level top tube frame I'd use, same head tube, and virtually the same length. I lose a bit of reach but that's the longest stock frame I could find.

The BB should be higher off the ground so I expect that I shouldn't have difficulties with the saddle/bar drop (since saddle will be a few mm higher). My steel track frame is a 51 and I can get on the bike without neutering myself (barely) so I figure the Dolan should be similar.

For comparison, what I ride on the road...
Road: My road frame top tube is 56.5 cm with a 75.5 deg STA. So front end is really pushed out.
HT is <12 cm with headset (9.5 cm actual HT length, 2.1 cm external headset).
I run 14 cm drop. My drops are below my front tire.
I run a 14.5 cm -32deg stem, compact bars.



Because I have short legs my back isn't really flat, even with the seemingly radical set up. But the bike works really well - I had a second frame made (with 39cm chain stays as the long front end unweights the rear). After shortening the original frame (and painting it red) the first frame has the same geometry as my black frame. For the red frame it's my 10th season on this frame.
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Old 02-28-20, 09:37 AM
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I thing that surprised me about my track bikes is the handle bars. My stock bars have a long and deep reach, so that is in effect having a longer reach and lower stack. comparing a road and track frame at 54cm, the track bike puts me a lot longer and lower because of the bars. Of course its friggen easy to change out bars on a track bike.
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