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frame sizing questions(14 posts)

frame sizing questionsmemphistrials
Jun 19, 2002 2:43 PM
Hello all...

I'm buying my first cross bike in a few days. A Surly CrossCheck. It will be used for trail riding, road riding, going to the store, and I think I'd like to try CX racing.

I'm a small guy. 5'5". 26 1/2 inch inseam. I have no previous road / cross bikes to guage sizing on, and the local shop I'm buying through doesn't have any road frames that small. So, I come to you for advice.

What frame size would you suggest for me? A friend has a 42 IF cross bike, and it felt good. She's about my height. I still rubbed against the TT on the 42, although it wasn't much. I noticed when riding, I seemed to occasionally rub my forward foot on the front tire.

I was wondering if perhaps moving up to a 44 frame would be a wise idea? Would the next size up have a longer TT, thereby scooting out the front wheel a bit? Or is that just the way it is on road / CX bikes?

Thanks for any help you can give. I'm really anxious to get the bike and start having some fun. =)
re: frame sizing questionsJakob
Jun 19, 2002 2:58 PM
The 42cm Cross Check has a 28.8" Stand Over height according to their website. Sadly, that might actually be too big for you. Is you friend's Planet Cross a production frame? The smallest they list on their site is a 44cm and it has a 28.6" Stand Over height. If that's the one she has, it might be that no Surly fits you. The other thing you have to consider is that Surlys have pretty long top tubes. The 42cm Cross Check has an effective top tube length of 52.2cm and the 44cm Planet Cross has one of 50.0cm. That's damn near an inch!

Are there other production frames that might work for you? The Soma Double Cross has a 42cm size with a 27.8" Stand Over. But maybe that's still a little too big?
re: frame sizing questionsmemphistrials
Jun 19, 2002 6:22 PM
Well, I remeasured in my shoes, and got just over 29 inches. From the midpoint of the jewels to floor. I guess the 42cm CrossCheck will be the ticket for me.

(BTW, where did you find the sizing info on Surly's site? I must have overlooked it...)

As for her IF being production, I'm not sure. She got it "on closeout" so maybe it was a special order that fell through or something. (It's a pink to white fade paint job; I assume that fade isn't done for production models?)

I'd love to be able to consider another frame, but right now I just don't have the funds. Like I mentioned, I'm buying this complete. If I tried to build up a Soma (or other) frame, I'd be broke in minutes. =)
Besides, my shop is hooking me up on the price...

Like I said before, the racing on it will be sparse. Hopefully the dismount / mounting won't be too much of an issue.

Thanks for your help! I would have bought the 44cm if it hadn't been for you guys!
re: frame sizing questionsJakob
Jun 20, 2002 7:55 AM
The Surly specs are here:

Also, Hurl is very cool and helpful. He's answered all of my questions about my Cross Check.

As for the Soma, they have complete bikes at American Cyclery in San Francisco for as little as $1100 but I guess that's a couple hundred more than the Surly. Also, I've had a Surly for a couple of years now and it's my favorite bike. I've done everything on it! Are you gonna get red or green?

good luck!
Jun 20, 2002 1:28 PM
I found them last night on their site. That's how I decided I was going to get the 42cm for sure. It's seat tube is around 16.5 inches, so it's the one for me.

Yes, the Soma would be several hundred more for me vs. the Surly. I can't afford much more right now. This will be at the very least a nice starter CX bike.

Red or green? I'm kinda set on green, but then again, I've never seen the red. It's not in QBP from what I can tell. You have a color sample perhaps?
red surlyJakob
Jun 20, 2002 3:02 PM
I noticed they have a photo of one here:

the red seems kinda nice, though the paint on my cross check was generally pretty low quality.

it'll be a great starter bike. i raced mine for two years with some pretty okay results. good luck!
re: frame sizing questionsVelocipedio
Jun 20, 2002 9:58 AM
Actually, 29" [73.66 cm] x 0.67 gives you 49.36 cm. In my very humble opinion, you might want to try a 46 cm or 47 cm[or 48 cm with sloping TT] frame.
maybe . . . but . . .Jakob
Jun 20, 2002 10:12 AM
Yes, that might be true of a frame other than a Surly, but the 46 cm Surly has a SO of 29.6 which would be mighty uncomfortable.
one more thing...Jakob
Jun 19, 2002 3:08 PM
I think toe overlap will be a problem for you because of the frame size that you will need. I typically ride 52 or 54 and I have a little overlap. My wife rides a 50 or 52 and she has more overlap on her bikes. The 52/54 sizes seem to be the borderline. Good luck!
How did you measure your inseam?Velocipedio
Jun 19, 2002 3:37 PM
The reason I ask is that my GF is 5'5.5" and has a 31" inseam. For bike fitting, you should measure your inseam in your cycling shoes, with the top RIGHT up there, as if you have the toptube of a bike jammed into your family jewels. You should not use your trouser inseam as a guide.

Once you have your inseam, you can calculate the [ideal] set-tube size by multiplying it by 0.67. This is ONLY a rough guide, since it doesn't take things like tt length and BB height into account. Typically, 'cross frames should be one to two cm smaller than road frames, but this is, again a rough rule of thumb.

A good starting point might be the bicycle fit calculator at wrench science []. Just bear in mind that there are a whole lot of variables that go into bike fit. None of this measuring and number crunching should be taken as definitive until you've acturally tried the bike.
How did you measure your inseam?memphistrials
Jun 19, 2002 6:04 PM
I measured from the bottom of the jewels to the floor, in bare feet. I just got short legs. :(
my inseam is just a bit longerweiwentg
Jun 19, 2002 6:41 PM
I went custom. it looks like this will be your only choice, and unless you wish to go with 26" MTB or 650c wheels (both of which will have limited choices for cyclocross tires), you will need a sloping top tube. check my post below - way below.
re: frame sizing questionsjpa
Jun 19, 2002 8:02 PM
Check out these links on dialing in your CC Bike.
re: frame sizing questionsgerwerken
Jun 22, 2002 6:56 PM
I am exactly your standover height with a long torso, and I comfortably ride a 42 cross check. The top tube is long enough for me (and I frequently have to find creative ways to effectively increase the length of the top tube on most XC bikes). Over all the bike is great for the price and I recommend it, however, the chain and chain rings are not the greatest quality and make shifting worse than it should be (even when properly adjusted). I would reccommend changing if possible.