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Beetpull DeLite
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted last week about looking into a used cyclocross bike to use as a road bike, and test-rode some road bikes yesterday to compare it with. The two models were a large Giant OCR1 and a 58cm Fuji Roubaix Pro. This will be my first road bike purchase, so I'm looking for some tips.

I'm 6'1" or so, and have about a 35" inseam...so my torso's not too long compared to my legs. First impressions on the bikes were that the Giant had me extended more, while the Fuji seemed more compact; this would make sense, with the Fuji being a little small compared to the Giant. I liked the build of the Fuji better; even though it lacked some of the Ultegra stuff, it had 105 double cranks instead of the triple Truvativs on the Giant. I don't want the extra weight of a triple system I can do without.

The Giant seemed more comfortable in the drops, while the Fuji was better in the hoods. I felt a little squeezed in riding in the Fuji's drops. I liked the Fuji's handling better, it seemed much less twitchy than the Giant...but I don't think the kind of cramped position while in the drops bodes well. The shop guy had me do the bars-over-front-hub check while in the hoods of the Fuji, and they were correctly placed. The more stretched out position of the Giant while in the drops felt a little unnatural, but should that change as I become more used to road bike geometry?

I was reading Colorado Cyclists's fitment guide, and they mention that taller people too commonly buy bikes that are too small for them, and I think the Fuji might be a mistake in that regard. I'm calling them tomorrow to see if they can round up a 60cm model and ship it in for testing (it's a 2003 bike). I'm also going to try a Specialized Allez.

I'm going to get the Wrench Science measurements and take them in with me next time, when they'll hopefully have a 60cm Roubaix. I'll also take it on a longer ride and see how I hold up.

So, does anyone have any suggestions on what to pay attention to and look out for while riding, fitment-wise? Or when I'm sitting on it in the shop? Are the Colorado Cyclist and Wrench Science websites pretty good at getting the correct bike size for an individual?

Thanks in advance for any help, I would really appreciate any feedback.
Brian
 

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"Are the Colorado Cyclist and Wrench Science websites pretty good at getting the correct bike size for an individual?"

I haven't looked at these sites' fitting programs for a while, but recall that they didn't address seat tube angle at all, which is a big flaw. Competitive Cyclist's fit program *does* consider seat tube angle. Cyfac USA also has some fit pages which are said to be good.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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most of your riding will be on the hoods, not in the drops, and that's a more important comfort factor, though it is odd that a bike properly fitted in the hoods would feel "cramped" in the drops. If you haven't spent a lot of time on road bikes, it is also hard to just rely on your own instincts for fit advice.

As a long-legged, short-torsoed rider, you may find that you have trouble with the Giant's sloping top tube, which has a relatively long effective TT for the seattube length.

You really need to go to a good, road oriented LBS and get fit advice from someone who will take some measurements and eyeball you on the trainer.
 

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hi, I'm Larry
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I'm close to your size

6'-0" with a 35+" cycling inseam. The smallest bike I would consider is a 59. It sounds like you like the Fuji. They look like nice bikes for the money and the folks here speak well of them.

You could probably get the 58 to work with a long stem but why, since you can get a 60. If the 60 is slightly large, you can just run your seat a little lower and find a shorter stem if you find you need to.

If you feel cramped just starting, it will only get worse. As you progress, you will find yourself lowering the bars and riding with the elbows more bent, bringing your torso down and more forward. If you are a spinner you may find your seat going forward also. Too small of frame will keep you boxed in.

What is the difference in the virtual lengths of top tubes of the two bikes? This can be more important thn the seat tube length. My guess is the Giant is longer which is why it feels less cramp. Check to see if the 60cm Fuji has about the same top tube length.
 

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stems come in different sizes...

and the saddle can be moved 3-4cm. Jumping on a bike for quick test ride tells you very little about how it fits, unless you spend the time to analyze the geometry, adjust the saddle to the proper fore/aft position and have the proper length stem and height. About all a test ride will do is give you an inkling about how the bike rides.

I pay close attention to the head tube length (with headset) to be sure I can get the proper bar height without a goofy looking stem setup.
 

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Cipo's long lost cousin
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975 Posts
Sounds familar

I go 5'11" with a 33-3/4" inseam so I can sort of relate to what you are experiencing. Here's how I went about it...

Trial and Error...

On my first road bike I always felt too stretched out and spent most of my time on the top of the bar and the and hoods. I got about 3500 miles out of the bike and came away with a better idea of what to look for in my next bike.

My second road bike was a cyclocross bike. It took somewhere around 2000 miles until the first stem change (slightly shorter with a little rise). That bike made it 12,000 miles.

With my third road bike I already had a good idea of top tube length and seat tube angle before I bought it. My new bike fits me like a glove ;-)

The point of all these ramblings is that you probably won't have a real good idea of what good fit is until you clock in some serious saddle time. My advice is to find a good shop that understands "fit" and is willing to work with you. Ask them about swapping stems and handlebars to achieve good fit. Find out if they have a "fit kit" or some other device to determine what bikes will fit you best. Finally, if there are no shops that meet this description then buy a good book and learn to fit yourself to the bike. Learn about KOPS, which is somewhat controversial way to fit yourself to the bike BUT should get you in the ballpark...
 

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Handlebar length

Besides the good advice from other posters about fore-aft seat position and other frame sizing elements: be aware that road bars come in a variety of drop and reach sizes. Drop is the distance from the top of the bar to the bottom, measured vertically center-to-center. Reach is the distance from the clamp area to the farthest forward part of the bar, again measured center-to-center (in a horizontal plane). You can eyeball this on bikes you're testing and see if they compare. If not, switching bars out for different drop/reach will change the fit and feel of the bars particularly in the drops. I am your size and prefer a bar with short drop and medium reach.
 

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Cipo's long lost cousin
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975 Posts
Thank God for the old forums...

Ken2 said:
Besides the good advice from other posters about fore-aft seat position and other frame sizing elements: be aware that road bars come in a variety of drop and reach sizes. Drop is the distance from the top of the bar to the bottom, measured vertically center-to-center. Reach is the distance from the clamp area to the farthest forward part of the bar, again measured center-to-center (in a horizontal plane). You can eyeball this on bikes you're testing and see if they compare. If not, switching bars out for different drop/reach will change the fit and feel of the bars particularly in the drops. I am your size and prefer a bar with short drop and medium reach.
Here's some data I dug up from a post on the old forums... I also like bars with a short drop and actually did some comparisons between common bars from several companys...

<i>Ritchey BioMax has a standard and a shallow drop version...

Biomax 144mm Drop, 82mm Reach
Biomax II 130mm Drop, 75mm Reach

Salsa Bars....

Bell Lap 144mm Drop, 82mm Reach
Poco 140mm Drop, 70mm Reach
Short & Shallow 144mm Drop, 82mm Reach (Just like Bell Lap but not flare at the ends?)

TTT Bars...

Forma SL 148mm Drop, 80mm Reach

Deda Bars....

Elementi 136mm Drop, 81mm Reach (traditional bend)</I>
 

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I'm 6-0 35" inseam..

I'm what you might consider a tall lanky guy at 6-0 with a 35' inseam. I have a short torso which is typical for guys with long legs. I have always had a problem with top tube lengths and that is the main reason I went with a Colnago. I messed around with a couple of the internet bike fitters (Wrench Science was one of them) and they put me on either a 58 or 59. I ended up going to my LBS who happened to be an authorized Colnago dealer. I insisted that the owner did a fitting for me and he put me on a 59 (56.9 TT). The crucial measurement for me was the TT. He built the bike and it came equipped with a 100mm stem, with the agreement that I could swap it out, if it did not work. I have been riding the bike for almost two years and it took a lot of saddle time and tweaking things around here and there to get everything dialed in. I kept the stem, but pulled off the Thomson non-setback seat post as I needed to push my saddle further back in it's rails. If you know exactly what size to order, I'm sure the internet bike shops will work fine. But my mail problem has always been fit. Just spend some time doing some research and get fitted by someone who is familiar with the geometry of the frame they are selling. Another thing is the number of spacers as if they cut the steerer too short, you are stuck. Mine was built with the understand I could remove one spacer and have the steerer cut (I didn't).
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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12,756 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
bimini said:
If you feel cramped just starting, it will only get worse. As you progress, you will find yourself lowering the bars and riding with the elbows more bent, bringing your torso down and more forward. If you are a spinner you may find your seat going forward also. Too small of frame will keep you boxed in.

What is the difference in the virtual lengths of top tubes of the two bikes? This can be more important thn the seat tube length. My guess is the Giant is longer which is why it feels less cramp. Check to see if the 60cm Fuji has about the same top tube length.
That's along the lines of what I was thinking. I'm simply not used to road bike geometry at all, so personal thoughts on the setup now might mean nothing a couple of months down the road.

The next size up Fuji is actually a 61cm. It has a top tube length of 59cm (the 58cm model's TT length is 570), and the Large Giant's length is a little shorter at 58.5cm. The Cannondale CycloX bike I'm looking at has a 59cm TT length also, but has a shorter stem. If they can get a 61 Fuji, I'll try it out and compare all three.


Steve-O said:
I go 5'11" with a 33-3/4" inseam so I can sort of relate to what you are experiencing. Here's how I went about it...

Trial and Error...

On my first road bike I always felt too stretched out and spent most of my time on the top of the bar and the and hoods. I got about 3500 miles out of the bike and came away with a better idea of what to look for in my next bike.

My second road bike was a cyclocross bike. It took somewhere around 2000 miles until the first stem change (slightly shorter with a little rise). That bike made it 12,000 miles.

With my third road bike I already had a good idea of top tube length and seat tube angle before I bought it. My new bike fits me like a glove ;-)

The point of all these ramblings is that you probably won't have a real good idea of what good fit is until you clock in some serious saddle time. My advice is to find a good shop that understands "fit" and is willing to work with you. Ask them about swapping stems and handlebars to achieve good fit. Find out if they have a "fit kit" or some other device to determine what bikes will fit you best. Finally, if there are no shops that meet this description then buy a good book and learn to fit yourself to the bike. Learn about KOPS, which is somewhat controversial way to fit yourself to the bike BUT should get you in the ballpark...
I'm thinking the Cyclocross bike might fall in between the cramped position of the Fuji and spread out feel of the Giant for me, so I hope it'll feel comfortable. It'll be a learning experience, I'm sure. That's one reason I want to go a little cheaper this time...there's less at stake if I screw up some.

I'm looking at two bike shops, and I'll have both look at me and get me fit, and listen to see what they say.

Dinosaur said:
I'm what you might consider a tall lanky guy at 6-0 with a 35' inseam. I have a short torso which is typical for guys with long legs. I have always had a problem with top tube lengths and that is the main reason I went with a Colnago. I messed around with a couple of the internet bike fitters (Wrench Science was one of them) and they put me on either a 58 or 59. I ended up going to my LBS who happened to be an authorized Colnago dealer. I insisted that the owner did a fitting for me and he put me on a 59 (56.9 TT). The crucial measurement for me was the TT. He built the bike and it came equipped with a 100mm stem, with the agreement that I could swap it out, if it did not work. I have been riding the bike for almost two years and it took a lot of saddle time and tweaking things around here and there to get everything dialed in. I kept the stem, but pulled off the Thomson non-setback seat post as I needed to push my saddle further back in it's rails. If you know exactly what size to order, I'm sure the internet bike shops will work fine. But my mail problem has always been fit. Just spend some time doing some research and get fitted by someone who is familiar with the geometry of the frame they are selling. Another thing is the number of spacers as if they cut the steerer too short, you are stuck. Mine was built with the understand I could remove one spacer and have the steerer cut (I didn't).
Wrench Science and some others put me at a 59-61 size, with a slightly shorter TT length. So I'll just have to experiment around with the bikes I'm testing. Then one day, maybe I'll be able to afford a Colnago ;)
 

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Colnago

GirchyGirchy said:
That's along the lines of what I was thinking. I'm simply not used to road bike geometry at all, so personal thoughts on the setup now might mean nothing a couple of months down the road.

The next size up Fuji is actually a 61cm. It has a top tube length of 59cm (the 58cm model's TT length is 570), and the Large Giant's length is a little shorter at 58.5cm. The Cannondale CycloX bike I'm looking at has a 59cm TT length also, but has a shorter stem. If they can get a 61 Fuji, I'll try it out and compare all three.




I'm thinking the Cyclocross bike might fall in between the cramped position of the Fuji and spread out feel of the Giant for me, so I hope it'll feel comfortable. It'll be a learning experience, I'm sure. That's one reason I want to go a little cheaper this time...there's less at stake if I screw up some.

I'm looking at two bike shops, and I'll have both look at me and get me fit, and listen to see what they say.



Wrench Science and some others put me at a 59-61 size, with a slightly shorter TT length. So I'll just have to experiment around with the bikes I'm testing. Then one day, maybe I'll be able to afford a Colnago ;)
If you can someone to fit you who knows what they are doing, you will have a good idea which way to go. I had my wife take some measurements and they differ from the owner of my LBS. Unfortunately for me, it was years finding out what did not work for me and I ended up going with a Colnago. I ride a Master X-Light, not the most expensive frame in their line up. Plus- doing business with my LBS over a long period of time, I got a great discount. Keep in mind that if you go to a smaller size, you might have a problem with the saddle to bar drop. Mine is 4" on a 59cm, a 58cm would have meant I would have had to jack up my saddle more and my drop would have been too much for me.
I just threw the name Colnago out there, it really doesn't matter what you ride, but fit is paramount. You might even have to pay to get fitted, but it will be the best money you have ever spent. :) :)
Dino
 

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Juanmoretime
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2,203 Posts
The top tube is the most important factor.

I too have a 35" inseam at 6' 2". I find I like a 57.5 centimeter top tube and that works then with a 110 stem, my perfect length. My current main ride is a 59 centimeter Litespeed Vortex. I've had bikes as large as 60's and 58's, all with 58 top tubes and ran a 100 stem. I wouldn't get a bike that would have you using a stem shorter than 100. I doubt either bike was set up identically and reach and drop plus handlebar height and stem length and rise will all effect the ride. I agree with one of the previous posters about finding a shop that could do a Serrota fitting on you, no matter what it costs you. The alternative is buying a frame or two, and possibly a few stems and handlebars to find the right combination for you. The thing is once you find the correct fit, measure everything on the bike so you can set up the next one indentically.

GirchyGirchy said:
I posted last week about looking into a used cyclocross bike to use as a road bike, and test-rode some road bikes yesterday to compare it with. The two models were a large Giant OCR1 and a 58cm Fuji Roubaix Pro. This will be my first road bike purchase, so I'm looking for some tips.

I'm 6'1" or so, and have about a 35" inseam...so my torso's not too long compared to my legs. First impressions on the bikes were that the Giant had me extended more, while the Fuji seemed more compact; this would make sense, with the Fuji being a little small compared to the Giant. I liked the build of the Fuji better; even though it lacked some of the Ultegra stuff, it had 105 double cranks instead of the triple Truvativs on the Giant. I don't want the extra weight of a triple system I can do without.

The Giant seemed more comfortable in the drops, while the Fuji was better in the hoods. I felt a little squeezed in riding in the Fuji's drops. I liked the Fuji's handling better, it seemed much less twitchy than the Giant...but I don't think the kind of cramped position while in the drops bodes well. The shop guy had me do the bars-over-front-hub check while in the hoods of the Fuji, and they were correctly placed. The more stretched out position of the Giant while in the drops felt a little unnatural, but should that change as I become more used to road bike geometry?

I was reading Colorado Cyclists's fitment guide, and they mention that taller people too commonly buy bikes that are too small for them, and I think the Fuji might be a mistake in that regard. I'm calling them tomorrow to see if they can round up a 60cm model and ship it in for testing (it's a 2003 bike). I'm also going to try a Specialized Allez.

I'm going to get the Wrench Science measurements and take them in with me next time, when they'll hopefully have a 60cm Roubaix. I'll also take it on a longer ride and see how I hold up.

So, does anyone have any suggestions on what to pay attention to and look out for while riding, fitment-wise? Or when I'm sitting on it in the shop? Are the Colorado Cyclist and Wrench Science websites pretty good at getting the correct bike size for an individual?

Thanks in advance for any help, I would really appreciate any feedback.
Brian
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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4,232 Posts
I'm exactly opposite of you, so here's what works for me, and probably doesn't work for you:
Cannondales and Treks seem to be designed for shorter legs/longer torso, whereas Bianchis, Giants, and most Italian frames are built for short torsos (which is odd, considering Italian cars are just the opposite...).
 

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Skinny Legged XC MTB geek
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80 Posts
Get the Serotta fitting

I am just over 6'1" and have a 36" cycling inseam, and long arms (36" shirt sleeve). The fitting revealed very limited flexibility in my hamstrings and frame specs as follows:

Overall: 59x57
seat tube length 61.0
horizontal top tube length 56.5
saddle ht from BB 79.0
saddle to bar drop 4.6cm
calculated setback 18.85
head tube length 19.7
stack height 3.8
stem reach 9.0
seat tube angle 72
head tube angle 73

There are a lot of other dimensions provided, such as horizontal and vertical offsets to the center of the handelbar, fork rake, wheelbase, etc.

I took the specs to a custom builder and converted everything to the equivalent locations but with a sloping top tube and a stem with 10 degrees of rise (shorter stack). The resulting bike feels great and handles well. Having the detailed fitting results made the dialogue with the frame builder much more engaging and fruitful. Despite the relatively large size and slightly heavier weight of Ti frame tubing, I got the finished bike built under 16 lbs.
 

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Bike Dude
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986 Posts
pedalAZ said:
I am just over 6'1" and have a 36" cycling inseam, and long arms (36" shirt sleeve). The fitting revealed very limited flexibility in my hamstrings and frame specs as follows:

Overall: 59x57
seat tube length 61.0
horizontal top tube length 56.5
saddle ht from BB 79.0
saddle to bar drop 4.6cm
calculated setback 18.85
head tube length 19.7
stack height 3.8
stem reach 9.0
seat tube angle 72
head tube angle 73

There are a lot of other dimensions provided, such as horizontal and vertical offsets to the center of the handelbar, fork rake, wheelbase, etc.

I took the specs to a custom builder and converted everything to the equivalent locations but with a sloping top tube and a stem with 10 degrees of rise (shorter stack). The resulting bike feels great and handles well. Having the detailed fitting results made the dialogue with the frame builder much more engaging and fruitful. Despite the relatively large size and slightly heavier weight of Ti frame tubing, I got the finished bike built under 16 lbs.
Don't know if this is correct, first timer: I too have a fitting problem. I chose a great new IRD road frame (steel) that was 56 cm toptube by 54 cm high. A bit of seat post showing much like your bike. I'm willing to bet just by looking at those angles that your bike accelarates well and corners on a dime just like my IRD. I love my ride and I don't care what anyone else thinks. It's my bike and I only have to satisfy myself. Have fun with your new ride.
 
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