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Frame Size?(4 posts)

Frame Size?Convert
Feb 6, 2002 1:15 PM
I currently ride a Jamis Mtn. Bike size 18in. I am 5'8" but have long arms. The 18" frame fits just right for me. Now for my question, What size road bike would I need? Interested in buying from the classified here or on e-bay but not too sure on the size.
Thank you in advance for your advice.
re: Frame Size?Brad
Feb 6, 2002 4:55 PM
I'm about the same size. I don't have particularly long arms. I ride a 53 or 54 cm. From there you can adjust the saddle position and stem to fit you.
re: Frame Size?Convert
Feb 7, 2002 6:24 PM
Thanks Brad, that is the kind of answer I was looking for.
Figure it out for yourselfKerry Irons
Feb 6, 2002 5:11 PM

For adjusting the fit of the bike, there are roughly five starting points:

1. Seat height (top of saddle to center of pedal axle) at 108-110% of inseam.
2. Saddle parallel to ground.
3. Saddle fore/aft adjusted so that a plumb bob from the bony protrusion just below the kneecap passes through the pedal axle when the cranks are horizontal. This is known as KOPS (Knee Over Pedal Spindle)
4. Front hub axle obscured by the handlebars when riding in your "regular" position (drops, hoods, or tops).
5. Top of handlebars 1 to 4.5+ inches below the top of the saddle depending on your flexibility and size.

These are all starting points for "average" proportioned people, and many folks like to move away from these starting points as they learn what makes them more comfortable, powerful, or efficient. You want to get the fit of the frame as close as you can, then do minor adjustments with the stem, seat post, saddle position, etc.

A lot of this is personal comfort, and we all tend to adapt to a given position over time. For example, a given stem length may be right for you, but it may feel long at first. I use the "handle bar obscures the front hub" rule for my fit, but others claim better position (for them) with the hub in front of or behind the bar. I'm 6' tall and ride with 11.5 cm drop from saddle to bar, probably more than most people would like but fine for me. Some are suggesting zero drop from saddle to bars - it's about comfort, efficiency, and aerodynamics. The ERGOBIKE calculator is pretty good, but it is not infallible. I would suggest riding some miles (over 100 total, and over 500 would be better) and see if you adapt to the position. If you continue to feel the bars are too low, go for a riser stem. There are no hard and fast rules, just general guidelines, when it comes to these things.

Just as important as your size is your flexibility. If you have a stiff lower back, you may not be able to lean over and stretch out as much. If you are very flexible, you may get away with a longer top tube, with the stem in a lower position. Over time on the bike, too, you'll may become more limber, or at least become accustomed to being lower and stretched out. So, your first 'real' bike may not be anything like what you will want 5 years from now.