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I'm 5'7" with a 30.75 inch inseam and im looking for my first roadbike. I went to two local bike shops and had them size me for road frames. One of them said i fit a 54cm trek, while the other said i should be riding 52cm bikes. Now im looking at some cannondales and im really leaning towards the 52cm frames, but my bikeshop says that i should be on a 54. plus, im under the impression that 52cm frames seem to be made for far shorter people (5-2 to 5-5).

5'7" i understand is a tricky height to work with because its inbetween sizes. Is there anyone who is my height who rides a 54cm frame? or should i go down to 52? I understand its impossible to tell unless i try out the bikes myself, but this is my first roadbike and im not entirely sure how its supposed to feel (im coming from mtn biking where the riding position is quite different).
 

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5' -7.5", have ridden a 54cm Gunnar Sport with 54.5 TT for 2-1/2 years, just got a custom Bob Jackson that's basically 54 x 54, with some other slight mods, on the Gunnar based on my experience.

You will find that it'll take you a while to learn how you take to a road position - some love high handlebars, ref their saddle, some like them low. Saddle setback aft of the BB is another very individual thing - come to think of it, so's most of a bike's position. The only real way to learn this is by riding, you'll be real lucky to get spot on from a fitting and a few laps around the parking lot, though this can get you pretty close.

Your present advice - which shop do you feel happiest with? I'd suggest you go with the one that makes you feel they've done their best for you. I'd ask them a few questions about your forward reach - top tube length comes into positioning far more than many bike shops seem to think about, and it's at least as important as seat tube length.

My two small currency units - if you have no flexibility issues, go with the smaller frame size .You can always fit a longer stem (after two years of riding my Gunnar, I realised I was feeling all scrunched up - a cm extra stem length solved a bunch of aches and pains. Must have gotten more flex in reach, or something - so it's never really cut and dried) and ease up the seat post later on. Too large a frame is much harder to deal with ...

Have a word with you favourite LBS about them trading stem lengths down the road - that's one area you might find a need to adjust in a week or three, and it's much more expensive than moving the saddle up a fraction... If you do go smaller, get them to leave the fork steerer a little long, so you can start with the bars higher. Then, if you need to move them down, it's easily done.

If they cut the steerer right down to the stem at its lowest, moving the bars up later is much, much harder :eek:

As to the advice the two shops gave you - without a lot of complicated measuring of the two frames that would drive most of us crazy, they could easily both be right. Either is a great place to start - but I wouldn't go crazy spending on the first bike, just in case in a years' riding or so, you've learnt about your positioning needs and want to change things seriously.


Hope that helps

D

Dereck
 

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5 + 8.5 and 54cm Trek Madone

I am 174cm tall which is 5 feet 8.5 inches short and I have a 54cm Madone with 110mm stem. I would say if you really are 1 full inch shorter then you might be better with 52cm but if you are ok with riding a 100mm or even 90mm stem then you will fit a 54cm also. Also check your riding inseam, I have 83cm, for example. I used to ride a 56cm Trek and found that I needed a 90mm stem which I did not like. Now a 54cm means 110mm stem but 10mm more spacer than on 56cm.

Note: Trek Madone (and Trek other similar geometry road bikes) is "odd" frame, they have a relatively long top tubes compared to shorter head and seat tubes meaning many, no, MOST, riders end up needing more (ugly) spacers than on other comparable size frames. Suits people with longer torso/arms and shorter legs best. This is the only thing I do not like about Trek Madone geometry. Also 54cm has a ~74 degree STA and a 52cm might even have a steeper angle putting you more forward relative to BB. Best to test ride both sizes before you commit. If you do not like spacers and do not possess good flexibility then stay away from Trek. Otherwise, it is really a very good ride. Better than 99% of riders. Just ask Lance, if you dont believe me 8^)
 

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i am 5' 7" and inseam of about 31". i ride a 52cm specialized road bike. fit is perfect for me. i tried a 54cm frame (110mm stem) and found the handlebar reach to be a bit of a stretch.

boon
 

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I am 5' 7" and 32" IS, rode a TREK 54cm after beig fitted with a 110mm stem.

I just came of a Litespeed Compact ML frame witha 55.5TT and 100mm stem and fit nice!

I nice and smart option is to look for COMPACT sized frames. This way you will have the clearance and you can get a better fit by the TT measurment.

On 54cm TREK I had just enough clearnce for the boys. BUT my IS is almost 2" bigger, so maybe go 52cm on the TREK.

Like others said, usally go slighty smaller than bigger. Or just look at compact frames!
 

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NOT between sizes....

I'd say that your first problem is that you don't understand that "frame size" does not mean the same thing between these brands. The reason I say that you are not between sizes is that there are usually two sizes of any brand that can be made to fit the same, just by changing the spacers, stem length and stem angle. What you need to figure out is which size produces the better setup.

A "54cm" Trek will is about the same as a 50- 51cm frame measured center to center or a 51-52cm, measured center to top. A 52cm C'dale is actually a taller frame than a 54cm Trek. The Trek will also have a longer TT than most brands, if an accurate frame size comparison is made.

I rarely believe anyone's posting of their inseam, because it's so rare for a new rider to accurately measure their cycling inseam. A 78cm inseam would certainly be on the short side, but it's entirely possible. I'm not quite 5'-7" tall, but I have an 83cm cycling inseam and a 72cm saddle height. See the site below for inseam measurment.

www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit

If your cycling inseam is really only 78cm, then either the 54cm Trek or the 52cm C'dale will provide very little standover clearance. Either one would be on the large side, vertically. The Trek would require one size shorter stem. The suggestion to look at a compact frame may be a good idea, if you have such a short inseam. You'll gain 2-3cm of standover clearance with a frame that has the same head tube length.
 

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I thought TREK was measure C-T? center of the BB to the top of the seat tube?
 

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+1 on C-40s advice and

+1 on considering a compact or semi compact frame. I generally ignore the "size" of the bike and fit primarily on TT or vitual TT length. I personally don't like the handleing of a bike with a stem shorter than 100mm so I base my frame selection on the TT. If you have a long torso and short legs a compact frame may suit you just fine. I'm 5'9" and ride anywhere from a 52-55cm bike based on the TT measurement. Hope this helps.
 

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I'm 5'6.5 and was fitted to a 52cm Trek with a 105mm stem. But the LBS wasn't good to realize I had short legs and long torso and went with generic calculations. I then got a 50cm Trek with 110mm stem and it fit ok, but not great. I actually think Treks are bad for long torso/short legs variety. Actually, I think most traditional frame won't fit me that well. Try compact?
 

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Not really familiar with TREKs fit but...

from what I have gathered/heard they don't fit the short long torso body type as well as other brands. I've even seen shorter males ridding their WSD frames to get a better fit.
 

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Yes, but...

C-T means to the top of the top tube, not the top of the seat tube. Trek and Fuji are two of the oddballs who measure "frame size" in this manner. Just about all others use the traditional c-t (like C'dale) or c-c (like LOOK) methods.
 

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Figure out the top tube and stem

While I am 6'2'' I have a similar problem. I currently ride a '72 Puegeot that is 63 cm. I measure for a 60 cm. I recently test rode a Penarello F4-13 that was perfect fit at 57. The common denominator, top bars at 59 cm. Another big measurement, the distance from the front of the seat to the handlebars.
 
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