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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

Im new to the bike forums and Im in need of some help so someone please help me.

Height is 5'9 3/4 with out shoes
Inseam is 31.25 with out shoes
Torso lenght is 26in
Arm length is 25in

Now I tried adding things up on the chart but I cant get a stright answer what kinda frame do I need with the right standover people are saying you need 1in or more from crotch to top tube is it really needed or important? Also is that with shoes on or off when standing over the bike im guessing on! So I went to a LBS and they said a specialized 56 is for me but another LBS said a 54 and a buddy told me 52 but I think 52 is too small! Now this would help alot if you guys can kindly help me with some answers here.I got on my buddies new 56 specialized allez comp and grabbing the hoods and looking down at the bars the bottom front hub of the wheels was behind the bars and I seen a video saying that with your hands on the hoods looking at were the bar clamps the hub should be seen under that not in front and not behind for a proper reach is that correct?
here is the video!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAl_5e7bIHk

So I hope I listed enough informating to help someone help me get an answer

This would be for a road bike and so far what im looking at my LBS is either the 2010 specialized allez comp in flat black with carbon seatstays e5 or getting the framset of a specialized 2010 sl3 s-works tarmac in black carbon and build it up give me your feed back.

Much Thanks:thumbsup:
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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RTUNED87 said:
Hello Everyone,

Im new to the bike forums and Im in need of some help so someone please help me.

Height is 5'9 3/4 with out shoes
Inseam is 31.25 with out shoes
Torso lenght is 26in
Arm length is 25in

Now I tried adding things up on the chart but I cant get a stright answer what kinda frame do I need with the right standover people are saying you need 1in or more from crotch to top tube is it really needed or important? Also is that with shoes on or off when standing over the bike im guessing on! So I went to a LBS and they said a specialized 56 is for me but another LBS said a 54 and a buddy told me 52 but I think 52 is too small! Now this would help alot if you guys can kindly help me with some answers here.I got on my buddies new 56 specialized allez comp and grabbing the hoods and looking down at the bars the bottom front hub of the wheels was behind the bars and I seen a video saying that with your hands on the hoods looking at were the bar clamps the hub should be seen under that not in front and not behind for a proper reach is that correct?
here is the video!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAl_5e7bIHk

So I hope I listed enough informating to help someone help me get an answer

This would be for a road bike and so far what im looking at my LBS is either the 2010 specialized allez comp in flat black with carbon seatstays e5 or getting the framset of a specialized 2010 sl3 s-works tarmac in black carbon and build it up give me your feed back.

Much Thanks:thumbsup:
Keeping in mind that I only have the info you've provided to offer suggestions, here are some thoughts.

While standover matters somewhat, when looking at compact geo bikes (like the Allez and Tarmac) it becomes somewhat of a moot point because of the sloping top tube. It's far more important to get reach requirements met initially, then worry about saddle to bar drop and setback. Once those requirements were met, standover would likely be adaquate.

Before I even got to the part about what the LBS's or your friends offered, I thought that you'd take either a 54 or 56. While the feedback about your friends 56cm Allez may help, without knowing how the bike was set up (stem length/ angle/ saddle setback), it's of limited value.

Almost for certain, the 52 would be too small, and I suspect you'd feel somewhat stretched on the 56, so I would ask the LBS to set you up on a 54 and test ride the bike. The Allez and Tarmac geo is very similar, so either bike they had available would suite the purpose of narrowing your frame size, and the process for tweaking fit would essentially be the same.

If the 54 could be set up using a 100-120mm stem, KOPS could be set and the bike tweaked for your comfort from there, I'd go with that size. If it ended up that even with a 120mm stem you felt somewhat cramped and/ or the LBS had trouble setting KOPS (or you just felt uncomfortable on the bike), then the 56 may be worth a look, but I don't think that's going to be the case.

HTH...
 

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Are you male or female?
 

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I am 5'11" and ride a 56 Roubaix with a 90mm stem. With your height, I'd try a 54. As PJ said, worry more about reach than standover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks PJ and everone else for your imput this is helping alot so the 56 specialized has a 4.5 inch stem making it 114.3mm and I was told I can just get a shorter stem and push the seat more closer but wont that mess up the geo of the bike?Now when I get this done im planning to get a BG fit so I really dont want any problems with the frame being to big, long or too small im planing on doing local races nothing serious and some long rides also I like climbing hills maybe 1-2 days out of the week so I really need a good fit road bike cause the bike im using is killing me :( so having the right reach is a must and also when you drop the plum line from the knee to the center pedel axel you still have to adjust the seat but if the bike tube is long wont I come across some issues like if I need to be pushed back or forward I need a shorter/longer stem. here are the specs of the allez comp and the frameset sl3 56 and the 54

S-Works Tarmac SL3 Frameset Size 54 56



and Allez comp 54 56

And a chart I found but my inseam dont match my height
 

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RTUNED87 said:
Thanks PJ and everone else for your imput this is helping alot so the 56 specialized has a 4.5 inch stem making it 114.3mm and I was told I can just get a shorter stem and push the seat more closer but wont that mess up the geo of the bike?Now when I get this done im planning to get a BG fit so I really dont want any problems with the frame being to big, long or too small im planing on doing local races nothing serious and some long rides also I like climbing hills maybe 1-2 days out of the week so I really need a good fit road bike cause the bike im using is killing me :( so having the right reach is a must and also when you drop the plum line from the knee to the center pedel axel you still have to adjust the seat but if the bike tube is long wont I come across some issues like if I need to be pushed back or forward I need a shorter/longer stem. here are the specs of the allez comp and the frameset sl3 56 and the 54
I hope the person that offered that you could "move the seat closer" (presumably to reduce reach) doesn't work in a bike shop, because they're giving out bad advice.

Fore/ aft saddle adjustments are for setting KOPS/ setback and should not be adjusted to correct for reach. And while it's common practice to change stem lengths to meet reach requirements, I'm not understanding why the goal is to get you on a 56cm bike. If that's determined to be the better fitting bike, then that's what you should get, but I don't see it as the 'better' choice.

Forget that last chart. It doesn't match your height because it doesn't know your proportions and will only serve to confuse you. Refer back to my initial post and have your LBS fitter set you up on a 54cm bike. If racing is in your future and you're flexible enough to tolerate a moderate to aggressive saddle to bar drop, going with the slightly smaller frame size offers some advantage (because of the shorter HT length), but only if it's determined by the fitter that the frame fits you correctly, otherwise the 56cm is a viable option.

Lastly, don't fret too much over setting KOPS. With the vast majority of cyclists that measurement (+/- some) will fall into place on a correctly sized bike. That's why working with a reputable LBS and experienced fitter is so important.

You mentioned getting the BG fit. That given, I suggest you look for a certified fitter and work with them on sizing you, then fitting you to the bike, as opposed to buying elsewhere and having them work with what you've already purchased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PJ352 said:
but only if it's determined by the fitter that the frame fits you correctly, otherwise the 56cm is a viable option.

Im so glad you gave me your two cents it made me understand it better.Know im sorry but what is KOPS and what do you mean the 56 is viable i tought it was out of an option and the 54cm is for me.I dont see why the 56 would be an option for racing.Im sorry for being a little slow but im new at this and im glad you made time to break it down for me I really thank you and yea it was a bike shop (incycle) they pushed the 56 on me.
 

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RTUNED87 said:
Im so glad you gave me your two cents it made me understand it better.Know im sorry but what is KOPS and what do you mean the 56 is viable i tought it was out of an option and the 54cm is for me.I dont see why the 56 would be an option for racing.Im sorry for being a little slow but im new at this and im glad you made time to break it down for me I really thank you and yea it was a bike shop (incycle) they pushed the 56 on me.
No need for apologies. Asking questions is all part of the process here.

KOPS is knee over pedal spindle. You referred to it when you mentioned dropping the line from knee through the pedal spindle, so you're familiar with it, you just don't know you are. :)

Regarding the 56 being a viable option... as far as I know, you haven't yet been sized by a LBS, so until that's been done, you've been set up for and test ridden a bike, I wouldn't rule out the 56. If I confused you by saying the 54 offered a slight advantage if you were to race, my apologies. I only offered that because it would allow a more aggressive rider position, but that in no way means you can't race a 56 if that's determined to be your size. Let fit drive what frame size you buy, not one minor difference in geo.

Regarding your experiences with that LBS, same deal. Don't let them dictate to you which frame size is best. If they aren't willing to set you up on both sizes for test rides, go find another Specialized dealer that will. IMO a bike shop that isn't looking out for your best interests isn't reputable.

If OTOH you have no other choices for Spec dealers in your area, I see these options:
- press that LBS to set the two bikes up for you to test ride (and make sure they don't use fore/ aft saddle adjustment to correct for reach deficiencies by setting KOPS).
- drive further to another Spec dealer.
- broaden your search to include other brands/ models and deal with those LBS's.
 

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You and I may be of similar proportions. I'm slightly taller but our inseam to height and arm length to height ratios are almost exactly the same. I ride a 56cm cannondale (which fits in between the Tarmac 54 and 56: a TT of 560mm and a HT of 155mm) with a 110mm stem, medium-drop bars (145mm), and a 15mm headcap (no spacers between cap and stem). From your size I’d be inclined to go with the 54, but definitely have a shop set up both for you. I’ve had shops take more than an hour putting me on a bike in both 54 and 56, with multiple stem lengths and varying stem heights just to see where I’m most comfortable. There’s a reason that shop continues to get my business! You’re making a big investment in buying a bike, the shop should realize that and try to earn your business (as long as you’re nice to them too!).

I’ve heard great things about the BG fit but have never been through it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oh ok but the LBS did size me up and they put me on the 56 rather then the 54 but I was just tring to relize why, On the 56 the handlebars fill out when standing over the bike my crotch is on the frame and when I grab the hoods and look down at the bars it doesnt line up its far more before the front rim axel so meaning im to far out right?Now that being said if I did go with the 56 I need to change the stem and my stand over wont be so good maybe 1/2 an inch with shoes on. stand over height of the bike is taller then me by 1/2 an inch with shoes off. but on the 54 stand over wont be a problem.Now is it better the have a dead on size or just a tad mm to big or a one below meaning if your working on a frame thats mm's in problems is it best to work on that 56 one or go down to a size like 54.
 

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RTUNED87 said:
oh ok but the LBS did size me up and they put me on the 56 rather then the 54 but I was just tring to relize why, On the 56 the handlebars fill out when standing over the bike my crotch is on the frame and when I grab the hoods and look down at the bars it doesnt line up its far more before the front rim axel so meaning im to far out right?Now that being said if I did go with the 56 I need to change the stem and my stand over wont be so good maybe 1/2 an inch with shoes on. stand over height of the bike is taller then me by 1/2 an inch with shoes off. but on the 54 stand over wont be a problem.Now is it better the have a dead on size or just a tad mm to big or a one below meaning if your working on a frame thats mm's in problems is it best to work on that 56 one or go down to a size like 54.
I'd like to know the answer to the bolded statement myself. I don't know what methods the LBS used to determine your size (and didn't follow all you offered), but as aengbretson mentioned:
"I’ve had shops take more than an hour putting me on a bike in both 54 and 56, with multiple stem lengths and varying stem heights just to see where I’m most comfortable"

That's what I'm saying your LBS should be doing. I think there's enough room for doubt (concerning your sizing requirements) to warrant that. They should be placing the test bikes (both 54 and 56's) on a trainer, setting you up on both and sending you off on test rides. IMO/E that's the best way to sort this sizing issue out.

Again I say, if they can't (or simply won't) do this, explore other options.
 

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Don't know which location you went into, but their shops in San Dimas and Chino have reputations for being more about the sale rather than customer service. Did they have 54's in stock or were they trying to push the 56? Don't know if their Pasadena and Rancho Cucumonga locations have the same attitude, but its the same owner, so I'm guessing yes. There are other Spesh dealers in the area, which I would go to because it sounds like they "fitted" you based on height and a chart or maybe just standing over a bike, rather than spending the time to get it right. One of the bike shops here in San Diego, spends about 2 hours on a fit bike first, and once that is completed, they talk about which bikes are the best fit. They also give you options on brands of bikes that they don't carry. The fit is $200, which you pay only if you don't buy a bike through them. Talking to the owner and one of the mechanics for about an hour about the process, costs, bike brands, etc..., convinced me to buy my next bike there.
 

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I'll start off by saying standover is not a good way of determining your frame size, but if you don't have much in the way of clearance on a sloping/compact frame then it *might* be too big for you. The 1-2" clearance idea was made back when pretty much all bkes had level top tubes. However Specialized clearly has a pronounced slope on their top tubes due to compact geometry. This renders the concept of standover clearance much less useful. Where are you taking this 1/2" measurement? The midpoint? Nearer to the head tube or seat tube? Also, I'm assuming you're seated when you talk about trying to see if the handlebars align with the front wheel's hub...
 

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Is that inseam measured by the 'book' method or a measurement for pants sizing? If its the former then it seems that your torso would be longer than the average for your height and that would tend toward the 56 in order to have the proper reach.
 

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felix5150 said:
Don't know which location you went into, but their shops in San Dimas and Chino have reputations for being more about the sale rather than customer service. Did they have 54's in stock or were they trying to push the 56? Don't know if their Pasadena and Rancho Cucumonga locations have the same attitude, but its the same owner, so I'm guessing yes. There are other Spesh dealers in the area, which I would go to because it sounds like they "fitted" you based on height and a chart or maybe just standing over a bike, rather than spending the time to get it right. One of the bike shops here in San Diego, spends about 2 hours on a fit bike first, and once that is completed, they talk about which bikes are the best fit. They also give you options on brands of bikes that they don't carry. The fit is $200, which you pay only if you don't buy a bike through them. Talking to the owner and one of the mechanics for about an hour about the process, costs, bike brands, etc..., convinced me to buy my next bike there.
I live in Chino and the Incycle in Chino is not a place I would buy from. My advice? Go to the nearest Rock n' Road. I believe that Rock n Road is a Specialized concept store and they have a a few shops around. They really take the time to work with you on fit- not just looking at your size, but getting you on the bike. I was looking at Specialized Tarmac and they did everything they could to get me fitted. For some reason, the Specialized's current geometry didn't fit me well. I mean based on what I asked for and what they did, it should have but the bike still didn't feel right. I ride a Felt because it fit perfectly. The geo is similar to C-dale and older Specialized frames. I went to Incycle and they basically spoke to me like they know best. If OC is just too much of a hassle, just go to another Specialized dealer
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
aengbretson said:
Where are you taking this 1/2" measurement? The midpoint? Nearer to the head tube or seat tube? Also, I'm assuming you're seated when you talk about trying to see if the handlebars align with the front wheel's hub...
I got it by hoping off the bike standing over it infront of the seat so im guessing midtube and when looking at the bars I am seated and my hands on the hoods .
 

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Disclaimer: I'm not an expert, and any advice I give has to be taken with a grain of salt because I haven't seen you on the bike(s).

Now that we have that out of the way, from what you're saying the 54 might be a better size. Given that you're smaller than I am and a 56 Specialized is larger than my 56 Cannondale, I can't see you riding a bike bigger than mine.
 
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