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· Adventure Seeker
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5,123 Posts
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Bear with me while I tell you my long story. Close to three months ago, I got back into road riding after about a 14 year absence. Being on a limited budget, I bot a 56cm road bike that seemed like a great value. The bike fit for me is horrid, and I've researched, read, and re-read about fitting a bike. I've got the seat dialed in, and the cleats on my shoes near perfect. The fit for me is bad due to the reach. I'm too far stretched out. I ordered a shorter stem and it's helped a little bit, but it's still not good enough. My inseam is 31" with a overall height of 5'11". From many readings, it seems I need like a 53 to 54cm frame.
Today, I went to Sun and Ski and was asking an employee there about my fit. I do want to get a real bike soon (105 components, or maybe better). He seemed to show surprise that I wanted to go down in size. He had me try out a 55cm Bianchi Nirone (2007) briefly, and it seemed that the reach wasn't as bad, yet my arms were straight on the hoods. He also showed me a Marin Verona (2007 model) that had higher components and Mavic wheels for about the same price.
Although I didn't agree with him, he seemed genuinely interested in helping me get a bike that fit my budget, and also tried to see if I wanted to go even higher such as all carbon frame.
Should I trust this advice? I do plan on taking one out for a test ride soon to make sure I really like it. On the other hand, I've gone to a local Bike Barn where they simply agree with what I discuss. I get the feeling the green of money is far more important than actually finding me the perfect ride. They carry Trek and Specialized. I'm not sure if I want to go back there, plus it seems I'd have to pay a bit more for comparable components.
I'm also considering online, as I can get a lot more for the price. If I do, I would get it fit properly, yet it does seem that online limits you as far as steerers/spacers for a more precise fit.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'd also like to get a nice quality steel retro frame and fit it with modern components, but finding the right frame would be a pain.
 

· Registered
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48 Posts
Are you in Texas. The reason i asked is because i have shopped with Bikebarn before. Actually i have bought 5 bikes form them, they are awsome with fitting , help and knowledge and after the sale too. I have to Sun ski ans Sports too but defenitely Bike barn was more helpful to me at least. They offer a professional fit with the purchase, i will cehck them out again.
 

· Scary Teddy Bear
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14,801 Posts
Hmmm

are you oddly proportioned, I mean outside of your height and inseam.....

Cause I am only 3/4 of an inch taller than you, and have a 33.5 inch inseam ......riding a 57cm quite comfortably. My cross bike and TT bike are both 56cm as I chose to size down a little, and one of my road bikes is a 58.........

I would pay for a professional fitting, and if you have odd proportions, you may have to go custom......most people don't need that, but some do:thumbsup:
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
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13,019 Posts
+1

physasst said:
are you oddly proportioned, I mean outside of your height and inseam.....

Cause I am only 3/4 of an inch taller than you, and have a 33.5 inch inseam ......riding a 57cm quite comfortably. My cross bike and TT bike are both 56cm as I chose to size down a little, and one of my road bikes is a 58.........

I would pay for a professional fitting, and if you have odd proportions, you may have to go custom......most people don't need that, but some do:thumbsup:
I was thinking the same. The OP is in need of a pro bike fitting before searching for the right bike. All things considered, I would strongly recommend against buying online thinking you'll then get a bike fit. Fit comes first or you'll be wasting lots of money and spending lots of time being uncomfortable.
 

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2,771 Posts
I'd be suprised if a 53 or 54 is the size for you. Unless you've got a 31 inseam and really small upper body. If you were a lady it might be a good fit. Women tend to have a bit longer legs then uppers compared to us fellas.

How is your flexibility? I am flexible like gumby with a 30.25 inseam (5'-9") and love the fit of my 53.5. Even my 54 is a very agressive fit on me but i've got it stretched out a bit with a slightly longer stem on them both.

I really doubt a 53 is the right choice for you. I've had some guys try to fit me on a 55 but it was too big and felt sluggish for me. I ride with a huge drop in saddle to bars but have taken years to get to such an agressive position. What type of riding do you do?
 

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2,651 Posts
Yea, you need to go get a second opinion. You sound like you are one inch from fitting on the 56cm bike. I think that you would do better on a 54 with your inseam size.
 

· I like the BIG RING
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160 Posts
Hello,

My 2 cents.....I am 5-10, 32 inch inseam. I had an '07 Trek Madone 56cm that fit me very nicely with a 90mm stem, although I felt stretched out a tiny bit. I had the chance to ride an '08 Madone 56 cm and I was stretched out so far, I felt like I was laying down! I found a great deal on a 54cm Madone, and bought it sight unseen, knowing it was for me size-wise. I really believe that seat tube length wasn't the issue, it was the top tube length that was giving me trouble. So although the 54cm seems a bit short, the top tube geometry fits me perfect.
 
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