Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just got a great pro fit done at a LBS; the fitter has over 15 years experience and has fit a few pro riders. It was a super experience and totally worth the money! Now I can confidently shop for the bike with the right geo for my body type. Also, this is my first road bike; I plan on doing training and group rides, olympic triathlons and a century or two (I don't forsee any crit racing).

However, I learned that, with short legs (for being 5'11") and a long torso and reach, I technically need to be on a 55cm frame with a 57.5cm top tube. Do you have any frame recommendations based on my situation? Should I be looking at compact frames since they have a longer reach per frame size? So far, the Giant Defy (the Giant TCR has an even longer reach) and the BH Speedrom have the closest geo to my specs, but I'm sure there are others out there (my budget is $1,500-$2,000).

Am I focusing too much on the exact specs from my fit; could any bike work with the right adjustments?

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

·
Deliciously Ironic
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
yes

Yours is not too unusual a situation. Not seeing your actual torso/arm/inseam measurements I will agree with your Fitters' assessment.

Don't get too stuck on seat tube sizing; a compact frame allows more standover but depending on the brand may not give you the reach you are looking for. In some ways a brand with the right length top tube will be ruled out because of the lack of standover. A 58cm frame may have a 57.5 tt, but the as the comma at the end of that phrase shows, you may need a little more room for what hangs down. :blush2:


Experience the bikes your LBS has, and ask the recomendation of your Fitter. Test ride and decide.

You may end up needing a 120mm stem, but anything between 100 and 120 is fine, depending on shifter style and bar shape.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
gabeg said:
I just got a great pro fit done at a LBS; the fitter has over 15 years experience and has fit a few pro riders. It was a super experience and totally worth the money! Now I can confidently shop for the bike with the right geo for my body type. Also, this is my first road bike; I plan on doing training and group rides, olympic triathlons and a century or two (I don't forsee any crit racing).

However, I learned that, with short legs (for being 5'11") and a long torso and reach, I technically need to be on a 55cm frame with a 57.5cm top tube. Do you have any frame recommendations based on my situation? Should I be looking at compact frames since they have a longer reach per frame size? So far, the Giant Defy (the Giant TCR has an even longer reach) and the BH Speedrom have the closest geo to my specs, but I'm sure there are others out there (my budget is $1,500-$2,000).

Am I focusing too much on the exact specs from my fit; could any bike work with the right adjustments?

Thanks for your thoughts!
Because standover is comparably lower on compact frames (versus the same sized traditional), they may offer some advantage to someone proportioned as you are. And speaking of standover, that's one measurement you want to get from your fitter, if he hasn't already provided it.

Don't be too concerned over ST length (again, standover matters more) but keep close to the effective top tube measurement. I wouldn't say any bike would work with the right adjustments, but you could (for example) go for a bike with an ETT of 565 and run a 1cm longer stem, but this assumes your fitter reached the conclusions he did by setting you up with a moderate length stem (100mm +/-). You may want to ask that as well.

BTW, kudo's to you for going about this in the right way. I think you'll reap the rewards of a great fitting bike when you finally do settle on THE one.
 

·
Vintage cyclist
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
I'm 5'10". Also long torso'd. My LeMond is a 53cm with a 55cm top tube and a 130mm stem:



Fits me pretty darned good!

But, to answer your question, no. You can never make a frame that is WAY too small for you work. Conversely, a frame that is too big will not work either. There is a middle ground that will work, with the right adjustments and stem length.

Also, I don't see how standover is a pertinent measurement. You want the bike to fit you while you are riding it, not when you're not (if that makes sense). I know there are those who think that standover is the "be all, end all" measurement. But I've never been able to understand why or how it is relative to a "riding" position & fit. I do understand that it becomes an issue if the frame is too tall for you and you're straddling the top tube. But how often do you really just straddle the top tube? I've been riding for 25 years now, and have yet to just be standing there, straddling the top tube. I'm either riding or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,745 Posts
frpax said:
Also, I don't see how standover is a pertinent measurement. You want the bike to fit you while you are riding it, not when you're not (if that makes sense). I know there are those who think that standover is the "be all, end all" measurement. But I've never been able to understand why or how it is relative to a "riding" position & fit. I do understand that it becomes an issue if the frame is too tall for you and you're straddling the top tube. But how often do you really just straddle the top tube? I've been riding for 25 years now, and have yet to just be standing there, straddling the top tube. I'm either riding or not.
How often? Pretty much every stop light. So quite often. Having a specific standover doesn't mean anything.....but having 'enough' actually is a 'be all, end all' measurment for those of us who stop.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
frpax said:
...But, to answer your question, no. You can never make a frame that is WAY too small for you work. Conversely, a frame that is too big will not work either. There is a middle ground that will work, with the right adjustments and stem length.

Also, I don't see how standover is a pertinent measurement. You want the bike to fit you while you are riding it, not when you're not (if that makes sense). I know there are those who think that standover is the "be all, end all" measurement. But I've never been able to understand why or how it is relative to a "riding" position & fit. I do understand that it becomes an issue if the frame is too tall for you and you're straddling the top tube. But how often do you really just straddle the top tube? I've been riding for 25 years now, and have yet to just be standing there, straddling the top tube. I'm either riding or not.
There's a slight contradiction in your post. The second bolded statement (which I agree with) makes the standover measurement pertinent.

Pertinent doesn't mean "end all, be all", but it does matter, and in the OP's case (as I initially posted) compact geo may offer some advantages. I'm proportioned somewhat more evenly, but for my height reach is on the long side, so compact geo works well.

Nice bike, BTW. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies so far; this forum has such great people willing to share their knowledge and experience, especially with us beginner! I'll return the favor once I get a clue about this great sport :D .

So, it sounds like the most important fit measurement to start with is the top tube; is this the foundation measurement I should work from, then make sure standover height is comfortable? Then adjustments to stem, seat height, etc can take care of the rest? How about seat tube angle vs head tube angle?
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
gabeg said:
Thanks for the replies so far; this forum has such great people willing to share their knowledge and experience, especially with us beginner! I'll return the favor once I get a clue about this great sport :D .

So, it sounds like the most important fit measurement to start with is the top tube; is this the foundation measurement I should work from, then make sure standover height is comfortable? Then adjustments to stem, seat height, etc can take care of the rest? How about seat tube angle vs head tube angle?
Literally, it all matters, but because bike fit is a series of compromises, we prioritize from what is most important/ more difficult to adjust, down to what's less important/ relatively easily adjusted.

That being the case, it's somewhat difficult to adjust reach/ bar height (because of possible effects to f/r weight distribution) when compared to simply raising the saddle a cm or two, so effective TT (keyword, effective) is a more critical measurement than say, the seat tube length. Another important factor that hasn't yet been addressed here is head tube length, because it plays a role in setting up saddle to bar drop. So depending on your fitness level/ flexibility and personal preferences, something to keep in mind when checking out bike geo. This is normally discussed with the fitter, so if you haven't done so, you may want some feedback from him.

HT angles plays a role in handling and in part establishes the trail of a bike (how quickly it steers). ST angle also plays a part in dictating handling, but also saddle position, so a steeper ST allows for shorter chain stays/ wheelbase (quicker handling) and less setback, but (to a point) the latter can be compensated with saddle fore/ aft adjustments. Lastly, standover needs to be adaquate, but IMO if you stick with compact geo that'll take care of itself.

My advice is to take things one step at a time. Check out some specs of the geo of bikes of interest, visit some shops and test rides some of the bikes. Between you and a good fitter, you'll find the bike that suites you best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the in depth reply, PJ! I wish it was as easy as just working with the fitter and buying a bike from his shop so he could make all the exact adjustments, but the fitter I chose (because of his reputation and experience) only has high end boutique brands (Seven, Blue, BH); the only bikes in my price range at his shop are Rocky Mountain, but they don't have the right geo for me.

The closest bike he has to my fit specs is a 2009 BH Speedrom (which is beautiful, by the way!), but it's over $2,000 with 105 components; it has a long (57cm) top tube, but good standover height.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I have been riding mostly 1980's vintage bikes for the last half dozen years and am quite comfortable with the 'vintage fit' where an inch of top tube clearance or actually any clearance is adequte. To me compact frames are mostly about marketing; less weight, less sizes to carry, etc.. I am 5'9" and recently got a deal on a 58 cm trek 1500. It works for me as I have short legs and a long torso. I clear the top tube and with a 90mm stem and am comfortable with the reach. Standover is a go no go measurement in my estimation.

Bent
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
gabeg said:
Thanks for the in depth reply, PJ! I wish it was as easy as just working with the fitter and buying a bike from his shop so he could make all the exact adjustments, but the fitter I chose (because of his reputation and experience) only has high end boutique brands (Seven, Blue, BH); the only bikes in my price range at his shop are Rocky Mountain, but they don't have the right geo for me.

The closest bike he has to my fit specs is a 2009 BH Speedrom (which is beautiful, by the way!), but it's over $2,000 with 105 components; it has a long (57cm) top tube, but good standover height.
I may have misled. I'm not implying that the only fitter is the one you worked with. I'm saying wherever you end up purchasing from will hopefully have an experienced fitter you trust and will assist you in working through the details. You don't need to understand it all(that's what they're there for), but being an educated consumer is never a bad thing.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,019 Posts
bentnotbroken said:
I have been riding mostly 1980's vintage bikes for the last half dozen years and am quite comfortable with the 'vintage fit' where an inch of top tube clearance or actually any clearance is adequte. To me compact frames are mostly about marketing; less weight, less sizes to carry, etc.. I am 5'9" and recently got a deal on a 58 cm trek 1500. It works for me as I have short legs and a long torso. I clear the top tube and with a 90mm stem and am comfortable with the reach. Standover is a go no go measurement in my estimation.

Bent
A couple of thoughts...

First off, I don't disagree with most of what you offer. If a 58cm bike with a 90mm stem works for you, then all is good. But since we're talking vagularities here (and no hard numbers) you may get a better fit out of a 56cm with a 100-110mm stem, have a little more standover clearance, better f/r weight distribution, thus better handling. IMO your inference is 'good enough' whereas my goal is optimal fit.

I also agree that there are aspects to the compact frame marketing hype that are just that - marketing hype. But the fact remains that a cyclist that might benefit from the taller HT/ longer reach/ sloping TT of the 'next size up' might be in pain trying to straddle that 'vintage geo' in the next size up. I know, because I used to ride them as well. If it was sized a 52, the ST and TT were apt to be 52, which is no longer the case.

Point is, you're basing your opinions on your experiences, but not everyone is proportioned as you are, so that 58cm bike you found workable, someone else may not - but compact geo may.
 

·
More Miles...
Joined
·
290 Posts
Short legs ...

Speaking of compact geometry and short legs, long torso . I'm 5'10'' tall but it seems that if my legs were in proportion to my upper body I'd be about 6'2''. While I was bike shopping , over the course of a couple of weeks , I got fitted to three bikes at two different shops . I rode about 8 bikes at 5 different shops from 6 different manufacturers . Believe it or not I ended up going back to the first shop and ordering a model of the first bike I rode .
2009 Giant Defy 2 size M/L Fits like an extension of my body !
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top