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Hi,

I'm a newbie to road bikes, and have been doing research for the last few weeks (this site's forums are awesome!). Today I came across a store that stopped carrying Specialized bikes, and is in the process of clearing their inventory. They have 2 bikes left, and one of them is the Specialized Allez Elite and it's selling for 650. I was ready to buy it, but the clerk told me that as much as he'd love to get rid of it - it's too small for me. I'm 6'0/230lb and he eye-balled me at needed a 56" frame. The frame on this bike is 52".

How much of a difference are these 4"? Are they significant enough that I should avoid this purchase and get a bike with lower quality components? (my price range is 600-800). Can't I just raise the seat and handle bars higher to compensate for it?

Thanks
 

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Its a safe bet that

... if the Guy selling it said its too small then it is. otherwise he'd have taken your cash for sure.
4 cm is huge in frame size and could potentially affect handling / safety. If you know what you are doing there are valid reasons why you might want a smaller frame - but you would really want to understand the implications. Some years ago I rode a Cannondale 58 cm Cannondale because I needed the short T.T - it had a big drop from the saddle to the bars. I knew and accepted that I needed extra care on fast corners etc ( due to weight distribution). I couldn't ride that frame today because of that Sadddle /bar height difference.
 

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Man, I'm Awesome
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dima233 said:
Hi,

I'm a newbie to road bikes, and have been doing research for the last few weeks (this site's forums are awesome!). Today I came across a store that stopped carrying Specialized bikes, and is in the process of clearing their inventory. They have 2 bikes left, and one of them is the Specialized Allez Elite and it's selling for 650. I was ready to buy it, but the clerk told me that as much as he'd love to get rid of it - it's too small for me. I'm 6'0/230lb and he eye-balled me at needed a 56" frame. The frame on this bike is 52".

How much of a difference are these 4"? Are they significant enough that I should avoid this purchase and get a bike with lower quality components? (my price range is 600-800). Can't I just raise the seat and handle bars higher to compensate for it?

Thanks
Lets put this another way:

I was in the Athletes foot and they had some new running shoes that I really like at 50% off. I wear a size 13 and they are 10s. Will this make a difference? Answer: Uh, what?

I started out on a frame that was a 57cm and I really needea a 54. It felt huge. I used if for 2 yrs because it was free from a friend who bought a new bike. After I saved up enough money to buy the right size I couldn't believe the diffference. If I was going to spend any money at all, you better make sure its the right size.

You are definitely lucky you have a good LBS that told you this.
 

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As others said 4cm makes a big difference. In fact in certain model bikes you might find at your height a 58cm frame might fit better. I am just under 6' (5' 11 3/4 never made it to 6 feet) and I am comfortable on my 58cm bike.
 

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A good place to start at deciding what frame size you need is to measure your inside leg in centimetres and multiply the result but 0.67. This will give you an approximate frame size. You should still try the bikes out though to make sure you are comfortable on them.

I am 5' 10" and my inside leg is 32". That translates to 81.28cm (multiply by 2.54), so that would suggest I need a 54.45 cm frame. I tried both a 54cm & 56 cm framed Trek and found I was more comfortable on the 56 cm frame as I preferred it being slightly longer and the bars being higher relative to the saddle. This could have worked out differently on a different make of bike.
 

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dima233 said:
Thanks for all your responses. I guess I'll keep looking for a 56" frame. It's frustrating to pass up a deal like that though :mad2:

I wouldn't think a bike that doesn't fit and that you will eventually never ride is a good deal at all. You will thank us for saving you immense pain in the arm, neck, and hands you would have gotten for having such a small bike.
 

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brianmcg said:
I wouldn't think a bike that doesn't fit and that you will eventually never ride is a good deal at all. You will thank us for saving you immense pain in the arm, neck, and hands you would have gotten for having such a small bike.
+1. I was helping a friend with her new bike. I ride a 57 TT, and she rides a 50 TT. 7cm, so a 'bit' more. However in aero I kneed myself in the face. And well, my elbows were even with my hips. 4cm would be similarly horrible I'd think.
-estone2
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Im going to throw a wrench in here, but I think that focusing on "Size" of the frame is a little misleading. I am 5' 9 and have lots of bikes. They range in "Size" from 51 to 54 cm. However all fit me almost the same. BECAUSE they all have nearly the same tt length (within 3mm). Different manufacturers have different geometries and there are lots of factor to fit. I have short legs and a long torso... so I need a longer TT, so I typically opt for more 'european' sizing with a longer TT relative to ST. However, I have riding friends that are 5-10 riding 56-58s but with shorter TT... like colnago, etc. So, I wouldnt steer this guy specifically on loosely applied "rules of thumb".

But then again the lesson here is at $600-800, so the downside risk is far lower than if he bought a far pricier bike. Most important thing is getting a bike that is comfortable that he likes... then he gets hooked... and buys a heftier rig down the road with more knowledge as to if he needs a bigger frame or longer TT.
 
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