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right size for 5'8" with short legs/long torso(6 posts)

right size for 5'8" with short legs/long torsopkompath
Jun 22, 2001 8:33 PM
What is the perfect size road bike for a 5'8" rider. I measured myself using colorado cyclist's bike chart (based on lemond's sizing) and it came out to be 50 cm. A friend of mine who is 5'9" rides a 56 cm bike. What is the deal?
re: right size for 5'8" with short legs/long torsoCyCLeTroPiC
Jun 22, 2001 10:12 PM
Most measurements are based on inseam length. Perhaps your inseam is shorter than your friend's? I'm 5'9 with a 29" inseam and I got fitted with a 51cm c-c. If the bike you're interested in is measured c-t, it is possible that a 52 or 53 would fit. Some c-t measurements measure from bb to the top of the top tube, others measure to the top of the seat lug. That's a 1 - 1.5cm differential.

I would say that a "perfect size" cannot be determined from the height alone. You need to factor in arm reach, torso length, inseam, etc. Best bet is to find a reputable bike shop that knows what they're doing and do some extended test rides.
re: right size for 5'8" with short legs/long torsoVernon
Jun 23, 2001 12:07 AM
Size 50cm should be right for you. I have almost the exact calculations like you...5'8 with short legs and long torso, and I've been measured at a shop, and my bike is a 50cm.
re: right size for 5'8" with short legs/long torsoJohnG
Jun 23, 2001 12:30 AM
Somewhere in the 52cm CTT range. Ideally, try to find a fit that will put you on a 12cm stem.

recheck that inseam...C-40
Jun 23, 2001 1:39 PM
Find a bike small enough for you to straddle, and block up the wheels until the top tube creates very firm pressure in the crotch, but not lifting the heels off the floor, in bare feet. Measure from the ground to the top of the top tube to get your inseam. This method often yields a longer, and more accurate measurement, which will work with the .67 times inseam formula. You could also just try straddling a 54-56cm frame until you find one that you can barely standover (barefoot), and get one size smaller.

Very few frames will fit short legged riders very well. They tend to be made for the average to long legged riders, like me. I'm 5'-7" with 32-5/8" inseam, and ride a 55cm.

To get the best top tube fit, you'll need to get a frame which will give you the minimum 2-3cm of standover clearance. Even then you can expect to need a 120 or 130 stem.

Another alternative is to look at some of the sloping top tube frames on the market. They offer additonal standover clearance, but they have big jumps in size. You may be able to find one that offers a bit more top tube length than a standard frame. The only minor problem you might have is the head tube length being a little long.

If the manufacurer's geometry chart doesn't list the head tube length, find out what it is, to compare with a conventional frame. A 55cm frame, for instance, will have a top tube length in the 120 to 130mm range. You should look for a head tube length that is no more than 20mm longer than your conventional frame head tube length.

When comparing top tube lengths, you must also consider seat tube angle. A frame with a 73 degree seat tube angle will effectively shorten the stated top tube length by about 1.2cm, compared to a frame with a 74 degree seat tube angle.
re: right size for 5'8" with short legs/long torsoLou M
Jun 25, 2001 10:29 AM
I am 6', short legs (30 inseam) and long torso. I ride a 55cm Colnago Master XL (known to have short top tubes). The seat is raised about 5-6". This bike fits me like a glove. When I bought it the concern was that the top tube would be too short due to my long torso. It has worked out great, very comfortable. Make sure when you buy your bike you find a good LBS and test ride it a couple of times, have the bike adjusted first of course. Good Luck.