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So I went to the LBS and got measured today. I stood on a board, they propped this thing under my crotch then another thing ontop of that went right under my throat, and finally some arm measurements. They said I have a longer torso than my legs.. They suggested a 54 for standover comfort but said I may like a 56 better since I have the reach. I have to go back with my shoes and pedals but I will take both sizes out for a ride and see.

Any suggestions? Is there a trend to go with a frame on the smaller size or larger size? With my mtn bike I have plenty of standover clearance and I did go with a smaller frame for more control/safety. What is the convention people stick with on road bikes?
 

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I would probably go with the 54. The increased comfort in standover is more important IMO for a new road rider. You can always install a longer stem, with a minor decrease in handling, but being comfortable is more important until you may become more worried about slight differences in handling.

Maybe look at compact frames as well.. then if you are more comfortable when you try the 56, the standover won't be an issue.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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Hard to know without full data. If you ride the 54, are the bars high enough? What length of stem do you need for the right reach? If the bars are too low (and it can't be remedied with spacers) or if you need a stem longer than 12 cm, then I think you need to size up. Otherwise, though, I'd err on the smaller side.
 
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