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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last spring I purchased an 08 Time edge Racer from a local lbs. They took in as a trade my Specialized Allez (56cm). I went through their fitting process, and took their word for it that the bike fit me as if it were custom.

The bike has treated me well over the past year, but I have always experienced back pain after rides longer than 30 miles. I just thought it was me.

Recently I was looking to purchase a frame for me to build slowly. As I was looking at the geometry of various frames I compared the specs to that of my bike of which I actually measured.

According to my measurements my Time frame is actually a size small 52cm. When I was fitted to my Allez I was measured as a 56cm. I have always thought that the standover height was short, but, I figured it might be due to the sloping top tube and never really questioned it. I am 5'11" with a 32" inseam.

Does a small frame be a cause for the back pain?

Does a smallish frame affect performance?

Unfortunatelly the owner of the shop declared bankruptcy last winter and closed his shop, which makes me wonder if he just wanted to turn a quick buck on me? Though I was happy with the deal at the time.
 

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That does look like a small frame for you. A 56cm sounds more your size.

Over the years, I've seen plenty of riders on too big or too small frames. Don't recall any complaining of back problems, per se, but it seems possible. More likely to cause some neck pain from the cramped style or maybe knee pain from the inability to get the proper fore/aft positioning of the saddle.

That's a popular bike and size, so you could sell or part it out easily.
 

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How on earth could you get a 52 & not know immediately that it was the wrong size? Unless you had a monster long stem, you'd be very cramped. It would be VERY apparent after having a 56... You've been had, and it's your fault.

And waterobert, if you "ideally" should be on a 53, then why are you not on a 53? Makes no sense to me... "In his opinion, it is better to have a frame a little too big than too short." Why?? Because he didn't have one on hand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know it is my fault, but when I bought the bike I had only been riding for a year so I was not 100% certain what a road bike should feel like. I did feel a little tight, but since it was a pretty thorough fitting process I took the owner's word for it.

Would it be worth getting another fit and see if I can improve anything?
 

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I really wanted to have cannondale synapse and cannondale makes then in 51 and 54 cm. I wanted the smaller one (few grams lighter), however guy at the store said larger frame will make it easier to achieve areo position. Bike fitting is not an exact science, we are all build differently. Some of us have longer arms and torsos which may dictate larger frame. I am very happy with my bike, in my opinion it fits me like a glove.
 

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frpax said:
How on earth could you get a 52 & not know immediately that it was the wrong size? Unless you had a monster long stem, you'd be very cramped. It would be VERY apparent after having a 56... You've been had, and it's your fault.

And waterobert, if you "ideally" should be on a 53, then why are you not on a 53? Makes no sense to me... "In his opinion, it is better to have a frame a little too big than too short." Why?? Because he didn't have one on hand?


As to waterbert's case, they don't make a 53cm. Which is common. However, as most people should know, the seat tube height is not the most important fit dimension.
As for the OP's situation, Time bikes run with a longer top tube than many, and certainly wouldn't fit me, but might fit the OP. The headtube I would think would be too short, so you should probably get a stem with a lot of rise a or adjustable stem. Given that the bike is probably too small for you, you might look at the length of the stem. You probably could go longer.
As consumers we look for professionals to give good advice. It is a shame when the Pro's see us as a mark to sell off inventory.
Maybe frpax, you have some anger issues? Lighten up a little. Have some compassion.
 

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The "fitting" process is only as good as the person doing it. Just because someone goes through the motions, doesn't mean they're competent.

Too often, people on this forum will advise to "go get a professional fitting done". I am very much an advocate of doing it yourself.

With as much information as there is on the internet nowadays, one can get all the info one needs to do it himself. Take the time and invest into your own knowledge and education. Once you do it for your own self, then you'll never have to worry about it again, because you'll know what you need. You'll never have to rely on others' so called "professional advice", because you know what you need.

In fact, you already know what you need, don't you?
 

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The only dimension that is critical is the "virtual" top tube length.

"Compact" frames have very small seat tube lengths. For example, all my bikes have approximately the same virtual top tube length (58cm). One of the frames is a 60, one is a 59, one is a 58, and the compact is a 54.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My stem is 110mm, I could go to a 120, the head tube is a bit small. Another

lbs in town is running a special if I buy a Cervelo in June, and a rider wins the tour de France riding a Cervelo they will refund the price in full. :)
 

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Claudio14 said:
My stem is 110mm, I could go to a 120, the head tube is a bit small. Another

lbs in town is running a special if I buy a Cervelo in June, and a rider wins the tour de France riding a Cervelo they will refund the price in full. :)
That's a heck of a special!
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
The only dimension that is critical is the "virtual" top tube length.

"Compact" frames have very small seat tube lengths.
Key points! I'll add that for some such as myself with stupid long legs relative to my torso, head tube height can be a critical issue as well. I need frames that have taller than standard head tubes (many such as Cervelo and Trek have models like this) in order to obtain an optimal fit. My compact 56 cm. (virtual) Cervelo RS fits beautifully even though I'm 6' with a 34" inseam. In the 'old days' all my frames were in the 58 - 60 cm. range.
 

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Well. unless Sastre gets on some serious drugs or Contador, Shleck or Evans defects, nobody on a Cervelo is winning the TDF. Ifso I'll buy you a Cervelo.
What would be helpfull is if you posted a pic of yer bike, then we could see the set up.
 

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The only dimension that is critical is the "virtual" top tube length. "Compact" frames have very small seat tube lengths
...agreed, and that's why Competitive cyclist and wrenchscience tell you to focus on that when choosing a frame. Stand-over height means very little.
I don't think you were had. Time frames have a very long top tube in relation to their seat tube. They also have a short head tube. They basically have a racing fit geometry. It gets you stretched out and low. The combination of the two might be why you are having back issues, but the fitter there probably thought you'd be better off on that size of frame.
I'm 5'9", have a 33" inseam (measured from sit bone) and ride a true 53 TTube with a 164mm head tube because I have a short torso and arms. (thank you LOOK)

IMHO, sometimes the frame/bike we want isn't the right frame for our bodies. Sure you can jimi-rig it with a high-rise stem or a shoved forward seat, but the bottom line is you need to choose a bike based on your body's fit. That's also why more and more companies are offering more options in frame geometry. Such as Time's Instinct Modules, Look's 585 Optimum, and 566. Scott's CR line. Cervelo's RS. I'd love for my "other" bike to be a Pinarello, but until they get their head out of the sand and make a bike that's not a Prince, then it'll be something else.

I would maybe go to another fitter and tell him the problems your having and see if he can help.

Good luck.
 

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I'd rather have a frame too small than too big. I'm 6 ft in shoes and I ride a 54. You also didn't list your own features. Do you have a short torso/upper body/arms?

You're best option would probably be to sell the bike and start over. You'd probably lose a couple hundred but gain some wisdom for next time.
 

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A 52 is way too small for you. Post a side pic of you on the bike. I would bring this bad fit to your shops attention and explain the pain you have been having. They should do the right thing and put you on the right size frame and not just sell you what they have in stock! This happened to me back in the late 80's. It took me a few years to find I needed a frame 4cm larger. This crap piss*es me off.
 
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