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Standover Height Advice Needed(6 posts)

Standover Height Advice NeededPsyDoc
May 27, 2001 1:06 PM
I had a Serotta fit done down in Jacksonville, FL at American Bicycle. The guy who did the fit, Tony, was great and I highly recommend him. The question I have deals with standover height. I am 5'-9" with an 84.7cm inseam (or 33 3/8"). My inseam measurement was taken in my bare feet using about a 3 foot section of a 2x4, a level, and tape measure. I pulled the 2x4 up until I could pull no further, thereby, measuring to the pubic bone. There are two bikes I am interested in purchasing and they have standover heights of 80.3cm and 81.4cm. I have ridden both bikes with a 110mm stem and they seem to fit equally well, just that one seems to have a slightly larger cockpit. The larger bike (57cm) has a .5mm longer toptube and a 1cm longer headtube, but the headtube and seat tube angels are the same. Is 3.3cm of clearance to little? Is 4.3cm of clearance too much?

Granted, the difference in standover height is in bare feet...add shoes, and I would think I would increase my inseam by 1.5cm or so (I ride with Sidi Genius 3's and Look pedals). I do not race; I am a dedicated enthusiast who has been cycling for 15 years. Tony was concerned that there could be a safety issue if I went with the 81.4cm standover height. What is the difference between the standover height of your current ride and your inseam?

My current ride, which I have been riding for 9 years, has a standover height of 80.1cm. The bike shop I purchased it from took an inseam measurement and said, "You need a 56cm." I was new to the bike buying process and took their word for it. They started me out with a 130mm stem, but that was too long so they put me on a 100mm Ritchey stem and I have been riding with it every since. I really think this stem is too short and I should be on a 110mm. I have about 12.7cm of seatpost showing and a 3" drop from the seat to the top of the handlebars. The max line of my quill stem is about 1/16" - 1/8" from showing. On one bike I would need about 3.5cm of spacers and on the larger one I would have about 2.5cm of spacers. All advice is greatly appreciated.
re: Standover Height Advice NeededSkip
May 27, 2001 1:37 PM
I have identical measurements as you and ride a 56 MXL with a 110 stem. Everything seems to be the same as your set up. It fits me well. I guess the bottom line is - if you are comfortable and happy with your present ride, I'd come as close to duplicating the same set up as possible, i.e., probably the smaller bike with the 80.3 cm standover. Which seems to feel better when in the saddle (all other variables being the same between the two bikes)?
don't sweat itJohnG
May 27, 2001 3:36 PM
Standover isn't very important in terms of fitting. If someone emphasises the importance of excess SO then I'd look somewhere else fo fitting.

IMHO, TT length and seat/head angles are MUCH more important in terms of how you will fit a frame and how the bike will handle. Look there first.
get the 57...dave
May 28, 2001 6:51 AM
3cm of standover clearance is adequate, and will help you reduce the amount of head tube spacers required. Even the 2.5cm amount is more than I would want to use (looks bad).

You don't say what angle of stem, you tried, but you may want to consider a stem with a little more rise to eliminate most of the spacers. Each 5 degrees of additional rise will give you about 1cm more height. If you add more than 10 degrees of rise, you also have to consider the change in reach caused by the increased angle. Flipping an 80 degree stem to produce a 100 degree angle will give you about 3.7cm additional bar height, but shortens the reach by about 1cm. You need to buy the next size longer stem to get the same reach.

Using speedplay pedals with Sidi shoes also helps to lower saddle height, up to 1cm over LOOKS.

On my C-40 I'm able to maintain almost 4cm of standover clearance, I use no head tube spacers, with an 80 degree stem to place the bars 9cm below the top of the saddle.
Re: Don't Sweat ItJon Billheimer
May 28, 2001 9:13 AM
I agree with John G. The most important issue between the two bikes is which one will give you the best cockpit fit, i.e. which top tube length combined with a 9 to 11 cm. stem gives you the best horizontal fit. The reason I mention the stem length range is that that fit should produce a weight distribution close to 55% rear wheel and 45% front wheel. See Kevin Lippert's article on bike fit at
Thanks for all the advice (nm)PsyDoc
May 29, 2001 7:04 AM