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Relatively short legs and longish arms.

thoughts on sizing?
Are you sure? I'm 5'9" and have a true measured inseam of 32"

Here's how you do it:

bare feet.

stuff a 2 foot level in your crotch and hold it so that it's level, use the bubble.

measure from the top of the leveled level to the floor.
 

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Well in case you don't know, fit is done by Stack and Reach numbers.

So you want a long reach and a low stack.

Lucky you, that's called "race bike geometry" and there's tons of bikes out there for you. You're going to want to stay away from the kind you're thinking about now, the "endurance" bikes, they won't fit you well.

Also, focus on race bikes that have sloping top tubes, not horizontal. It'll improve both your comfort while riding and your ability to get on and off the bike easily.

An easy way to approach it in a bike store is to ask to see "race geometry" bikes or just say you want a short stack due to long legs and a long reach due to long torso/arms.

For the brand here, it's the Tarmac or Allez that you would want to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
even if comfort is my main concern?

what would be the suffer points if I went 'endurance' geo? lower back? hands?
 

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Yes of course, comfort is the main concern. That's the point of a proper fit.

Comfort is achieved by a correct fit. Comfort does not come from riding the wrong geometry for your body. The zertz or whatever on the Roubaix are a sham anyway, they don't do ****, neither does their cobble gobbler seatpost. I can link you data and tests to prove it.

Yes, your back would be a problem. With a short reach your back is going to be forced to arch/hunch and it will hurt your lower back. Ever see a cyclist stand up to stretch their back when riding after a long distance? Their reach is too short. I used to have this problem. A longer and lower stem relieved me of my back pain. My back can now flatten out naturally and not be cramped.

Hands are an easy one usually, often times just a leveling of the seat will fix that. Otherwise same as the lower back, usually due to a cramped cockpit. Trust me, your body does NOT want to sit upright when riding a road bike, especially on longer distances.
 

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Choose a 56cm Roubaix.

You're clearly a tough fit with such short legs for your height.

If you size the bike for your inseam (52cm), there's virtually no way you'll be able to fit the top tube/stem combo even if you use a ridiculously long stem, and you'd have way too much weight over the handlebars.

If you size the bike for your torso/arm length (58cm), the bars will be as high as if not higher than the saddle, and crotch clearance will be little or non-existent.

A 56cm frame will be a compromise but it will work. The bike probably will not come with a long enough stem for you but ride it anyway; you can always buy a longer stem later. You may not be able to get the bars low enough due to the Roubaix's tall head tube and small frame size for your height but if you're insistent on the Roubaix you could always get a -17 degree stem later.

I honestly think you'd better fit a Specialized Tarmac or Allez because of the lower headtube. It's not that I'm an advocate of lower bar positions, it's just that due to the disparity between your inseam and torso and the small bike size vs. your height I think you need, the handlebars may be too high for efficiency AND COMFORT. If you are fixated on the COMFORT side of the equation, don't be intimidated by typical road bikes such as the Tarmac or Allez. If professionals can ride and race for hours on them, so can you.

If you had the money I'd honestly suggest you get a custom frame because I think you're a good candidate for one. If not, get the 56 in preferably the Tarmac or Allez; third choice would be the Roubaix.

Let us know what you choose and show us your setup. I'd be curious how it comes out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Some great insight here, thanks so much!

Well I went for a nice 5 mile ride on the Roubaix in 58 (udi2) last night. Shop owner went with me and per him the fit is right on. He commented that my shoulders looked relaxed. I asked about the 56 which they do have in stock in a lower end model (sport) but he was absolutely certain that would be a less ideal fit.

Beyond the ridiculous shock absorption (my guess is the seat post does most of it) I had a few thoughts vs my current Trek 1.1;
-Felt a touch shorter in reach. I was on hoods the entire time and did not feel stretched at all. moving to the bar served no purpose.
-Less weight on my hands
-legs were fine
-less sharp in turning

Didn't make a decision last night. No flex in price (currently on sale for $2500) and best he could do on a sport was $1980 for the 2017 model.

I measured crank center to seat top along the seat tube and seat clamp to center of bars on the Roubaix. When I got home I compared the two and found something interesting. Seat clamp to center of bars was identical but center of crank to seat top was almost 3" longer on the Roubaix. Oddly I did not feel my legs to be overextended at all on the Roubaix and expected to find the same measurement.

So this morning I did a ride on my Trek after bumping the seat about 3/4". Immediately I realized the major difference in fit was a lot more weight on my hands with the Trek as well as slight pain inside the elbows. i'm fairly confident that sliding the seat forward a touch would reduce, but not eliminate, the inner elbow stress. I've felt it before but to a lesser extent. I think the 3/4" raise increased the sensation.

On the Trek I ride typically at the curve of the bars and from time to time will slip forward to the hoods. I'd say maybe 60/40 bars vs hoods. i'll do drops on a descent but we really don't have hills so that is very, very rare and short in duration.

The Roubaix was all hoods all the time, bars felt less comfortable than hoods.

Lastly we also talked about the Tarmac and LBS guy said not a chance. I think he's considering at my weight (currently 265) i'm not going to be able to get that low and i'm rather sure he's correct about that.

Seat height on my Trek is a hair below the bars.

I have never had any back or shoulder pain on the Trek. Longest rides have been 30 miles. I very much want to do metrics and eventually full centuries several times a year.

I would appreciate your input on this. I am recognizing that this is not as easy as it first appears.

Current thinking is go Roubaix until I can get weight down to 220 or better and then revisit racier bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would add that my focus is fit via geometry and not on the ride of the bike. Yes, the Roubaix is smooth but to an extreme and I don't NEED that as we have generally good roads. i'll take the smooth ride if that's what fits best but it's no the overriding concern.
 

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I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam, and had trouble finding a suitable frame as my legs are proportionally short. Are you sure the measurement is right? If so, you might be better off in the long run finding a custom frame builder (I did).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went to the dealer and spent a fair amount of time on their 'guru' machine. impressive machinery for sure though it reminded me why I so hate riding a trainer.

Bottom line i'm a 58cm Roubaix guy. I'm not totally convinced the guru settings will translate completely without change to actual cycling outside but the 58cm Roubaix leaves room to adjust fit in either direction (ie drop bars if I lose weight, etc).
 

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Some great insight here, thanks so much!

Well I went for a nice 5 mile ride on the Roubaix in 58 (udi2) last night. Shop owner went with me and per him the fit is right on. He commented that my shoulders looked relaxed. I asked about the 56 which they do have in stock in a lower end model (sport) but he was absolutely certain that would be a less ideal fit.

Beyond the ridiculous shock absorption (my guess is the seat post does most of it) I had a few thoughts vs my current Trek 1.1;
-Felt a touch shorter in reach. I was on hoods the entire time and did not feel stretched at all. moving to the bar served no purpose.
-Less weight on my hands
-legs were fine
-less sharp in turning

Didn't make a decision last night. No flex in price (currently on sale for $2500) and best he could do on a sport was $1980 for the 2017 model.

I measured crank center to seat top along the seat tube and seat clamp to center of bars on the Roubaix. When I got home I compared the two and found something interesting. Seat clamp to center of bars was identical but center of crank to seat top was almost 3" longer on the Roubaix. Oddly I did not feel my legs to be overextended at all on the Roubaix and expected to find the same measurement.

So this morning I did a ride on my Trek after bumping the seat about 3/4". Immediately I realized the major difference in fit was a lot more weight on my hands with the Trek as well as slight pain inside the elbows. i'm fairly confident that sliding the seat forward a touch would reduce, but not eliminate, the inner elbow stress. I've felt it before but to a lesser extent. I think the 3/4" raise increased the sensation.

On the Trek I ride typically at the curve of the bars and from time to time will slip forward to the hoods. I'd say maybe 60/40 bars vs hoods. i'll do drops on a descent but we really don't have hills so that is very, very rare and short in duration.

The Roubaix was all hoods all the time, bars felt less comfortable than hoods.

Lastly we also talked about the Tarmac and LBS guy said not a chance. I think he's considering at my weight (currently 265) i'm not going to be able to get that low and i'm rather sure he's correct about that.

Seat height on my Trek is a hair below the bars.

I have never had any back or shoulder pain on the Trek. Longest rides have been 30 miles. I very much want to do metrics and eventually full centuries several times a year.

I would appreciate your input on this. I am recognizing that this is not as easy as it first appears.

Current thinking is go Roubaix until I can get weight down to 220 or better and then revisit racier bikes.

FYI... a Roubaix with Specialized branded carbon components has a structural weight limit of 240 Lbs max, I would think your dealer would have mentioned this. The Roubaix is no different than a Tarmac - At 265 Lbs would a Diverge A1 or Elite be a better choice?
https://media.specialized.com/support/0000057489/0000057489.pdf
 

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Sounds like the reach on your Trek is too long; you should naturally gravitate to spending most of your time with hands on the hoods. If you're spending much of the time on the tops of the bars, the reach to the bars is too long and likely not comfortable for you.

I agree that the Tarmac would probably be too aggressive of a position for you. You likely have too much girth such that your thighs and stomach interfere with each other.

Re: Less weight on your hands-I'm guessing the handlebars were higher on the Roubaix. As long as you can adjust the stem above and below your test ride position, it doesn't matter. You want some room to change the stem height as you develop as a cyclist. That usually means a lower stem, but you could prefer a higher position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Indeed the gut and thighs fight for space when I'm too low. I do like the slightly stretched feeling but I'll have to lose more weight to get there. Specs on my fit I think had 90mm stem and room to drop stem so should be plenty of room to get lower.
 
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