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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 5' 7", and have an inseam of 29"
When I was sized for my REI Randonee, they kept trying me on the 50, and the 48.
They finally said I was in between, but that my short reach made it better for me to use the
48cm frame.
So, my question is...with adjustments to seat post and stem, could I fit well on a 45 cm traditional diamond frame road bike? Or is that too small. I don't know a LBS that has a frame that small, or I would check them tomorrow.

Thanks for the speculation and feedback,
Lyndon
 

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Hi, I'm the same height and my inseam is 31" but I'm perfectly comfortable on a traditional 52cm c-to-c seat tube and 53.5 c-to-c top tube. I run a 110mm stem and saddle height is 72.5cm measured from centre of bottom bracket to top of saddle.

What you lose on leg length (mine are 2" longer) you must be making up in torso length to be the same height as I am, so you would have a longer reach than I have.

Mine is a racing set up but for randonee type bike you could probably go bigger.

Sounds like whoever is advising you is waaaaayyyy off.
 

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???

The current geometry chart for this bike only lists 47 and 52cm sizes in your range. Size numbers are mostly meaningless these days since no company adheres to the same standard.

Even the smallest size has a 31 inch standover which is more than your stated inseam. That value does not make sense for a frame that is supposedly 47cm measured center to top. That would be common for a 55cm frame. You should have 2-4cm of standover clearance.

http://www.rei.com/sizefinder/NovaraRoadTouring.html#randonee
 

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I have the same height and inseam. I have a 49cm pegoretti, 50cm Colnago, and a 51cm Pinarello. I'm most comfy on the Peg. Remember top tube lenth is more important when getting fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I follow your drift, Marz
But those two inches in leg room are what put you on that bigger frame, no?
I think the biggest frame I am comfortable with is a 51, which is not common.

I've done the BikeFit stuff and still find it to be a difficult thing to figure out.

Lyndon
Salt Lake City
 

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if you're truly in between sizes, you might also look at bar height, i.e., can you raise the bars high enough on the smaller frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fat Tire Fred, that is a great photo! Are you like RightFredSaid...I'm too sexy for my clothes, too sexy for my bike...

I'm sorry guys for not being too clear in my opening post. I was looking in the area for two used road frames, the most relaxed "geometry" carbon frame, which I am guessing would be the Roubaix triple and the Lemond Tourmalet (wasn't that in carbon?, and something in the 853 steel, like some of the other LeMond bikes. Before VooDoo went out of business, I always wanted to try their top of the line steel road bike that was touted as an all day road bike that could also double as a touring bike. But those frames were snapped up so fast in the fire sale, I never had a chance.

C-40 and ClassicSteel71 have very valid points about the relationship of the top tube, and how all frames are different with that. Rivendell would also argue about the head tube angle and the chain stay length.
 

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Top Tube length is the most critical measurement of getting a frame that's the right size. Once you get the right TT length, the rest is easy.

My rule of thumb. If in doubt between 2 sizes, go smaller and get a longer stem.

Other rule of thumb. Go to several shops and talk to different people and test ride lots of bikes. Buy from the best shop, they can likely order the right bike.
 

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One of the things you have to consider when people tell you what size bike they are riding and their height is that everyone is different. For example I'm slightly taller than Marz but I ride bikes that are smaller than he does. Why? Because of too many factors to get into here. Bottom line is that I have tried a larger frame (semi-compact geometry 53 with a 54cm virtual top tube and 90mm stem) and found that I absolutely cannot ride it. My hands go numb after an hour no matter what I do. With a 52.5cm top tube and 100mm stem I can ride all day long. My current largest bike has a 53cm top tube with the same 90mm stem and my hands go numb after about three hours.

Bottom line is that you can far more easily stretch a smaller frame to fit you than it is to shrink a larger frame to fit you. The other consideration is standover. You need the top tube to be close enough to the ground that you are not sitting on it while standing over the bike. A larger frame reduces this clearance. The only real negative of running a smaller frame compared to a larger frame is that the controls end up being lower than on a larger frame but you can get over this easily by flipping the stem. Your riding buddies might give you crap for it but you need to be comfortable on your bike, not them. I'd rather have a well-fitting but dorky looking bike that I can ride for hours at a time over an ill-fitting bike that looks cool but I can't ride for more than an hour or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Squidward said:
"The other consideration is standover."

Right, but this gets confusing with those "compact frames" with the downward sloping top tube, something which someone said came into fashion as a bleed over from mountain bike frames. You basically said the same thing, Squidward, mentioning that "I have tried a larger frame (semi-compact geometry 53 with a 54cm virtual top tube and 90mm stem) and found that I absolutely cannot ride it."

I have a 29" inseam, and you are so right, I don't want to be having a top tube too high.
or in the reach, getting that dreaded numbing hands.
God, this brings back dark memories of all that hanging the plumb line off of my knee, reach, etc.
Lyndon
 

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According to your numbers, you have very short legs for your overall height/torso. I'd shop for a compact frame that fits your upper body, testing or measuring for sufficient standover clearance. For instance, you might need a 56-57cm top tube but you're not likely to find one in a 49cm frame, which is about what your inseam would call for.

You might be a good candidate for a custom frame, even one of the less expensive brands such as Gunnar.
 

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The only TRUE test will be comfort. I am 5 foot 5 and have a 31.5 inch stand-over (with shoes on and I NEVER ride barefoot), and have a 66.5 inch "wingspan"
I ride a 52 cm specialized, a 53 cm Bianchi and a 54 cm Trek and my set up on each is virtually identical, from kop to sit's bone to bar length .....You really do have short legs and if your arms are in proportion (as they often are) a 49 to 50 sounds right, with a long stem....you probably need a 54 cm top tube. (virtual on a compact)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Peter P. said:
"You might be a good candidate for a custom frame, even one of the less expensive brands such as Gunnar"

Ouch! Expensive, even in Gunnar (is Waterford still doing their frames) land. I think at one time the cheapest custom steel frames I had found was Mercian bicycles, whose website always makes me think I am entering a Barnum & Bailey's Circut tent.
http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/frame_king_mercia.asp
I think you can choose your own Reynolds poison.

TouchOGray, you are beginning to make me feel that I should look for the Chimpanzee frame for my body. :eek:)
For a dress shirt, I have a 17 1/2" neck, and a 30" arm length. And I have stubby fingers, I fit a small glove.
Lyndon
 

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Yes, to some a custom Gunnar or Curtlo (www.curtlo.com) is expensive, but buying a bike (or bikes) that don't fit well costs far more in the long run - and you end up either not riding or riding in discomfort.

Based on your proportions and following along thus far, I'd have to agree with the posters recommending going the custom route. If you really can't swing that, at least check out Marin's Natural Fit bikes or the so called WSD's, but I'm skeptical that even those will accomodate you.
 

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Don't forget headtube length. You wouldn't want 30mm of spacers, would you?

I'm selling my Merckx Corsa 0.1 because the headtube is only 11cm, even though the frame is 52x53.5. Too much drop for me without raising the stem too high and looking ridiculous.

Wasn't it FdJ rider Brad McGee who said never sacrifice style for comfort?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Exactly, Marz
That is one thing that has always bugged me with my old REI Randonee, is the number of spacers they put in there for a more upright position. This is true of most modern frames.

Another point by Rivendell, about the loss of the quill system, and being able to have an almost infinite number of ways to adjust there.
 
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