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Yet another sizing question... please hear me out(10 posts)

Yet another sizing question... please hear me outVelocipedio
Mar 2, 2002 6:22 AM
I've been trying to buy a cyclocross bike for a couple of months. It hasn't been easy.

I've seen and like the Kona Jake the Snake, and I was prepared to buy one, but my LBS informs me that he can't get the bike in what I think is my size -- 52 cm.

Now, here's the issue. I have shortish legs; I'm 5'8", but I ride a 50 cm road bike with a 53 cm top tube and a 110 mm stem. I figured the 52 cm jake would fit because of the compact geometry and the 53 cm top tube.

Now, the conventional wisdom holds that you should ride a crtoss frame one cm smaller than your road ride -- in which case, the 49 cm Jake would be just jake. The problem is that the 49 has a 52 cm top tube, probably necessitating a 129 mm or even a 130 mm stem.

Would this present a handling problem? I plan to use the bike for light/medium off-road and occasional on-road [winter and rain riding], and I hope to enter a few races next fall.

Am I correct in assuming that the 49 cm might actually be a better size for me than the 52 cm?

I do plan to test ride the bike before I buy, of course, and have a complete fit; the shop won't sell me a bike that doesn't fit, but these guys are friends and I don't want them to order stock unless it has a reasonable chance of fitting.

Thanks for your help.
re: Yet another sizing question... please hear me outVelocipedio
Mar 2, 2002 6:23 AM
That should have said a 120 mm or 130 mm stem...
In regard to the stem...dcm311
Mar 2, 2002 1:31 PM
A long stem is no problem. I went from about 100 mils to 130 and I liked the long one better (not just for fit, but because it slowed down steering. The handlebars have to move further to move the wheel a certain arc).
do you know fitting?bn
Mar 2, 2002 6:47 AM
TT length is pretty meaningless without ST angle... once you start setting it up you might find you need another size stem (you don't just add TT to stem length because you need to dial in saddle to BB set back first). All things being equal and if your heart is set on the Jake, consider standover height, and remember that the BB will prob be higher than on your road bike and that 'cross tires are fatter/taller than road tires.
do you know fitting?Velocipedio
Mar 2, 2002 7:19 AM
My heart is set on an affordable cyclocross bike with decent [105 or better] components. The problem is that there's not a lot to choose from around here. There are no used bikes to be had in my area [I've looked], and the choice in the shops -- such as it is -- is between Kona, Trek and Cannondale. The Trek is equipped with Sora, the Cannondale is WAAAY out of my price range, and the Kona has the spec, geometry, price and build quality that I'm looking for. I'm not interested in ordering a bike from the US [I'm in Canada], the exchange rate makes that a prohibitively expensive option... so I'm back to the Kona.

I thought of having canti bosses welded onto an old Gitane that I own, but that isn't really a great option for a number of reasons.

In terms of geometry... my 50 cm [53 cm tt] road bike has a st angle of 74.3 degrees; the 49 cm [52 cm tt] Jake has a st angle of 74 degrees; the 52 cm Jake [53 cm tt] has a st angle of 73.5 degrees... So interms of geometry, the 49 cm Jake, with a icm longer stem would seem to be closer, geometrically to my perfectly dialed-in road bike than the 52, no?
seems to mebn
Mar 2, 2002 1:16 PM
that you'd want to err on the small side for cx, but they're your nads (just don't post a pic and ask if the bike is too small).... you'll never get dialed in on paper- head tube length will also play a role as it slants back and may change stem requirements. if you know the shop, tell them your dilemma and maybe they can help or will order the 2 sizes.
How I size my CX Bike...Mitch2
Mar 2, 2002 7:37 AM

I's really tough sizing your CX bike w/ all the different frame size out there. And the conventional wisdom of sizing by getting one one size smaller does not really work all the time. The best way is to test ride a size you want if it is possible.

How I did my sizing? I stuck w/ my road frame size(59-61 depending on the top tube length) and adjust the size by switching stem length and rise. W/c is on my 59 CX equates
to a 120 stem w/ a 10 degree or 15 degree rise. Again you you must put into consideration the type of riding.( I ride mostly dirt hence the short higher rise stem.)

I am on my 3rd frameset(Trek XO1, Fort CX, Rock Lobster CX)
and I am very happy w/ my own formula(from the last 2 CX frames) of sizing rather than going w/ the norm.
Ya might try...Ryan Prentice
Mar 5, 2002 8:28 PM
I was kind of in the same boat when I got my Redline. One bike I looked at was the Trek 520. It's a touring bike, but the geametry is pretty close to the cross bike trek makes, plus you get the nice riding chromoly frame and 105/LX components
Thanks for the info... Ordered the Bike...Velocipedio
Mar 6, 2002 10:45 AM
Thanks for everyone's help.

I went to my LBS and had a complete fit done. I really am right between sizes, but I settled for the 52 cm. Although I'm giving up some body-english throwability and gaining a couple ofd hundred grams, the tt of the 49 was just too short and a long stem would have pushed me over the front wheel and slowed down the steeing too much.

The fact that it's a compact frame helps, and I get a frame better for throwing over my shoulder and that won't compress me... it occurred to me that I ride an 18" MTB, which is essentially the same as the 52 cm Jake, and I feel quite comforrtable with it...

Guys like me are the kind of people compact frames were made for.

I got a deal on a 2001 Major Jake, BTW, at clearance prices... should be built up in a couple of days...

Gonna have a blast this weekend!

Thanks for everything. I'm happy to join the brotherhood... :)
re: Yet another sizing question... please hear me outShawnD
Mar 9, 2002 9:08 AM
I a looking for cyclocross bikes and live in Canada as well. You may want to look at a Brodie Romax as well and the kona. They are about the same price and it is Canadian made. Check out their web site. This is the one I am looking at.