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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am upgrading from a 10 yr old Specialized aluminum road bike(size 54.5) to a new bike. Have shopped at 2 LBSs. I like the Specialized Ruby Comp and the Cannondale Women's Synapse. Sizing is a bit confusing. LBS #1 fitted me with Specialized Ruby 57. LBS #2 said Cannondale Synapse size 51 was the correct fit. Does size differ that much in different brands and geometries?
I am not a super experienced rider and both bikes felt pretty good on short test rides.
I am 5'7" with a 30 inch inseam.
Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I know! Thats why I am confused. As I said before, they both felt pretty good on the short test rides, but I am not really experienced enough to anticipate what they might feel like on a long ride. Thats why I was counting on being properly fitted at the LBS.
 

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Contact Mark Stemmy at Optimized Cycling Solutions - Home Optimitized Cycling Solutions - 530-363-2697.

He has a lot of experience measuring up pro female riders and is currently preparing a bike fit design for a lady who is just 5 feet tall.

He may be willing to produce a bike caad frame fit for you that will at least give you some certainty as to what dimensions you need. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions as he is a perfectionist in everything he does.

Too many bike shops just want to sell you something they need to clear or make a higher margin on and will make you fit the bike rather than the bike fit you.

I am 5' 8" and my new bike is a 48 centre to centre. By the way the most important measurement is top tube length. This is the one that will make or break your comfort and control of the bike.
 

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I'm 5'3", 28" inseam and I can ride bikes from 47-50 depending on the geometry, but 51-57 is a pretty big discrepancy. A 51 sounds like it would be too small for you and your 54 sounds about right.
 

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Do you even want a women's bike? You wouldn't need to be limited to women's bikes. I would try some others to ride if they are just chucking what women's bikes they have on the floor at you. Have an idea of which bike you would like and google the geo and get an idea of hat sort of size you would be first. I don't ride women's bikes and I am totally the poster child for women's geo (5'3" inseam of 32).
 

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The 57cm Ruby is my size. I'm 6' tall with a 35" inseam. But the difference between us is all in leg. So the 57cm may be appropriate if your upper body and arms as long as mine. Somehow I doubt that....

I can't find a women's Synapse (the Cannondale web site is junk) but the 51cm Synapse has about a 3-3.5 cm shorter effective top tube when you take it's steeper seat tube angle into account. That'a a significant difference but a super short stem on the Ruby could be used to mask it.

If the Ruby when fitted to you uses an extra short stem (like 8cm or less) then it's too large. Ask if they have a 54cm in stock. If not then they're just trying to sell you what they have on the floor. That's commonly done but not cool.
 

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Isn't the Ruby designed for a more relaxed fit like the Synapse? It sounds like the salesman at that bike shop is trying to stretch you out into an aggressive racing position rather than fitting you to the bike as designed.

For the record, I am also 5'7" with a 30" inseam and I ride a 52cm Domane. I love the fit, but I have to qualify that with the fact that I am in my mid-50s and have been working towards the relaxed "endurance" fit over the past couple of decades.
 

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If the bikes have a sloping top tube, then stand-over clearance may not be as important as other measurements. However, that sounds like a big difference in sizes.

How well do you like the old bicycle? Have you grown since it was purchased?
 
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