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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I went to my LBS yesterday to check out bikes and sizes. I looked at Felt's, Treks, LeMonds, and some Cannondales. As I wrote in my other thread I am 5'10.5'' and have a 32'' inseam. So I tried out the bikes and the bike I am leaning towards (Felt F65) comes in a 54 and 56 which both fit me. As the guy at the shop told me, the 54 will be a bit quicker handling wise and give me more stand over clearance. The 56 on the other hand will have less room over the top tube, but it will feel a bit more stable on a long straight away and at higher speeds. So what should I do guys? This is going to be my first road specific bike. I have had mountain and hybrid bikes in the past, so should I go with the 54 as my first bike to build up some confidence?? Also, if I plan on doing some centuries in the future, wouldn't I want to have the larger bike? Or maybe not necessarily?
 

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here we go again...

monkeybones said:
Ok so I went to my LBS yesterday to check out bikes and sizes. I looked at Felt's, Treks, LeMonds, and some Cannondales. As I wrote in my other thread I am 5'10.5'' and have a 32'' inseam. So I tried out the bikes and the bike I am leaning towards (Felt F65) comes in a 54 and 56 which both fit me. As the guy at the shop told me, the 54 will be a bit quicker handling wise and give me more stand over clearance. The 56 on the other hand will have less room over the top tube, but it will feel a bit more stable on a long straight away and at higher speeds. So what should I do guys? This is going to be my first road specific bike. I have had mountain and hybrid bikes in the past, so should I go with the 54 as my first bike to build up some confidence?? Also, if I plan on doing some centuries in the future, wouldn't I want to have the larger bike? Or maybe not necessarily?
Is that 81cm (32 inch) inseam a CYCLING inseam or your pants inseam? Makes a huge difference.

If it's a cycling inseam, then the 79.5cm standover height of the 56cm is too tall, providing only 1.5cm of standaover clearance.

Apparently your dealer hasn't bothered to check the geometry chart on his products. The larger 56cm actually has a shorter front-center and wheelbase than the 54cm, so it's a bit more racey than 54cm. The reason for part of the difference is the seat tube angle. The less steep STA of the 56cm makes the reach only about 5mm more than the 54cm, NOT the 15mm that the chart would suggest.

http://www.feltracing.com/06/06_bikes/f65/geo.html

If you have a well established saddle height, then the answer is to get the frame that avoids a goofy looking stem setup. The smaller frame would require 2cm more spacer or a flipped stem to get the same bar height.
 

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Bacon!
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The 54 is going to be too small in my opinion. I'm 5'11" and am riding a 58cm right now and it's a perfect fit. Go with the 56 and avoid getting too cramped up on the 54. Don't worry about standover clearance. I can't stand over my top tube without leaning to one side. This is common with a lot of riders (I don't know of any who can clear their tubes that I ride with but I'm not sure this is always the case). My wife is 5'3" and rides a 52cm (just another example). But, I still feel that the 54 is way too small.

Also, another bit of advice. Try another bike shop and don't tell them you've been shopping around. Let them size you out and see what you end up with. Try to avoid a compact frame though as that will be quite a bit different than the felt as far as sizing. I'm a little concerned about the size of the frame that the LBS listed above is trying to put you on to.
 

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Hey C40. Is standover height really an issue in this case with either bike? Just curious. I can barely, and stress barely, clear the top tube on my bike when standing on the ground but the bike has been a dream as far as fit. Just want to make sure that I know what I'm talking about (i.e. in my answer above).
 

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well...

Ridgetop said:
Hey C40. Is standover height really an issue in this case with either bike? Just curious. I can barely, and stress barely, clear the top tube on my bike when standing on the ground but the bike has been a dream as far as fit. Just want to make sure that I know what I'm talking about (i.e. in my answer above).
It depends on you point of view. From a purely functional standpoint, as long as you don't cause yourself discomfort when stopping at traffic lights, it's not an issue.

Many years ago, when I first started riding, many frames only came in 2-inch (5cm) increments. Although I'm only 5'-6.5 inches tall, I could straddle a 23 inch (58cm!), so that's what I was sold. When I got more educated, I figured out that a 21 inch (53cm) was a better fit, with my short torso.

Personally, I like my bikes to look more like a real race bike, not a touring bike, so I keep my frame size on the smaller side. So far, what I have refused to do is use more than 1.5cm of spacer or a stem with an angle greater than 90 degrees. I now use 84 degree stems and 1.5cm of spacer on both of my bikes since they have identical head tubes.
 

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C-40 said:
Personally, I like my bikes to look more like a real race bike, not a touring bike, so I keep my frame size on the smaller side. So far, what I have refused to do is use more than 1.5cm of spacer or a stem with an angle greater than 90 degrees. I now use 84 degree stems and 1.5cm of spacer on both of my bikes since they have identical head tubes.

silly rabbit

I believe you should fit a bike based on biomechanics first and NOT aesthetics
 

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MY answer

I think you should go with the 56cm unless you are super stubby up top

remember-

mind the bollocks
no hip rocks
then do KOPS
back to no hip rocks
then raise stem so elbows not locked
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These are my measurements. I don't think I am to stubby up top, so maybe the 56 or a 57 is inorder.

Inseam: 32
Trunk: 27
Forearm: 14
Arm: 26
Thigh: 23
Lower Leg: 22
Sternal Notch: 57
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ridgetop said:
Try to avoid a compact frame though as that will be quite a bit different than the felt as far as sizing. I'm a little concerned about the size of the frame that the LBS listed above is trying to put you on to.
I heard from a friend that you are suppose to pick the smallest frame that still works for you. Is that just for racing??
 

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look how's silly...

brerabbit2 said:
I think you should go with the 56cm unless you are super stubby up top

remember-

mind the bollocks
no hip rocks
then do KOPS
back to no hip rocks
then raise stem so elbows not locked
Maybe me, I can't seem to type "who's" and this new format won't let me correct mistakes in my title!

Probably the most over simplified answer I've seen. The no hips rock is not a smart way to set saddle height. Some folks can avoid hip rocking and still have the saddle way too high, forcing an extemes toes down position and/or fully extended leg. What you really want is approximately a 30 degree angle between the upper and lower leg at the bottom of the stroke, with whatever foot angle seems most natural. A better starting point is to set the saddle so your foot is horizontal with the leg locked at the bottom of the stroke. Raising the heel about 2cm while pedaling will produce approximately a 30 degree angle of the leg at the bottom of the stroke.

Raising the stem so your elbows aren't locked makes no sense either. I can achieve that with any bar height, all you have to do is change the torso angle.

You've said ciritically:

"I believe you should fit a bike based on biomechanics first and NOT aesthetics."

I would never compromise "biomechanics" either, but if you're smart you can get a bike to fit properly and look good. Most goofy looking setups are merely the result of choosing the wrong frame and making it fit after the purchase.
 

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yes, for racing...

monkeybones said:
I heard from a friend that you are suppose to pick the smallest frame that still works for you. Is that just for racing??
For recreatonal use, a larger frame might be selected, but usually just for a higher handlebar.

I'll also comment on the other posting about "compact" geoemtry being different. It's not. Every bike has a TT length, STA and head tube length. Just because the TT slopes doesn't make it fit any different. All brands list a "virtual" (horizontal) TT length to insure an appropiate comparison to conventional frames.

As I noted, in the case of the Felt, the geometry differences between the 54 and 56 are a bit odd. In this case the larger frame is only slightly longer in reach, with a taller head tube, but the wheelbase is shorter.
 
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