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Totally, absolutely, stupidly ridiculous(31 posts)

Totally, absolutely, stupidly ridiculouscioccman
Oct 25, 2001 10:50 AM
It's so tiring reading daily posts of people with 29 or 29.6 inseams who need help deciding between a 52 or 54 or even 57cm!!!!! frame! LOL Are you morons? Every single American bike manufacturer that I've checked with publishes some strangely logical infomation. STANDOVER HEIGHT! A 52cm Cannondale R3000si has a standover height of 30 inches. Therefore, to have a common sense amount of clearance on this rig, you must have an inseam of approximately 31 or more inches. You then go from there for proper fit.

A 29 inch inseam on a 57cm rig wins the unfortunate crown of *one of the stupidist ever*.
Sooo...what are you getting at? (:))128
Oct 25, 2001 11:01 AM
Is that the cioccman rule of bike fit??matt
Oct 25, 2001 11:09 AM
Obviously you have never worked in bike shop. Stand over clearnace on a road bike is the least of your problems in bike fit. How about top tube length. How about frame geometry affecting a seat position. When you ride you don't stand over your bike, so why do you care what your stand over clearance is. It is easier to put a longer seatpost on your bike than try to shrink the top tube because the frame is too big. Who cares about standover.
So, you never stop at signs or get on or off your bike.....cioccman
Oct 25, 2001 11:29 AM
Perhaps when you ride you just look at your bike at float from above down to the pedals.... You must not have any stops signs or lights. What do you if you have some sort of problem and must stop on a dime to prevent a crash? Do you want a top tube enema?

I didn't say that's the total end all, be all rule, only, that's the first step to a correct fit. If you haven't built a proper foundation then nothing you do from that point on will be able to repair the improper basis.

One thing is for damn sure, the standover height measurement is for real. Every bike with a top tube has one. If you've got a correctly measured inseam of 31 inches and a bike whose top tube is 32 inches from the ground at or about a couple inches in front of the seat, that top tube will be inch up and into your nether region.
Really?TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2001 11:32 AM
"One thing is for damn sure, the standover height measurement is for real. Every bike with a top tube has one. If you've got a correctly measured inseam of 31 inches and a bike whose top tube is 32 inches from the ground at or about a couple inches in front of the seat, that top tube will be inch up and into your nether region."

I dare you to test this theory. Every bike certainly does have a "standover height", but this number may not have anything to do with the published number on the geometry chart.
Really?TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2001 11:39 AM
"One thing is for damn sure, the standover height measurement is for real. Every bike with a top tube has one. If you've got a correctly measured inseam of 31 inches and a bike whose top tube is 32 inches from the ground at or about a couple inches in front of the seat, that top tube will be inch up and into your nether region."

I dare you to test this theory. Every bike certainly does have a "standover height", but this number may not have anything to do with the published number on the geometry chart.
SO changes with tire size.!
Oct 25, 2001 11:49 AM
nm
Overly harsh, boarderline ignorant...TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2001 11:11 AM
This concept of 'Standover height' is an interesting one that we discussed several months ago. The conclusions drawn were that this number is essentially made up. I measured every bike I had in the shop- and I could not figure out what this 'Standover height' measurement was. It was not distance from the floor to the top of the top tube, as I had believed. Actual experience showed that the quoted number had no corresponding dimension on the bike.

I can assure you that there are people with 29" inseams that correctly ride a 57cm bike. I can also assure you that there are people with 30" inseams that ride 52cm bikes.

What this boils down to is one of my biggest pet peeves of the internet cycling forum- "experts" on sizing giving out misinformation. Everybody is trying to help, but it's just flat out impossible to correctly size people knowing just height and inseam. Here's why this is just plain wrong:

1. Measurement discrepancies. No two people measure things exactly the same way. Take inseam for example, is it using the book-against-the-wall technique? And then with feet together? Shoulder width apart? Knees locked? All of these have an effect on the inseam measurements- and we almost never know exactly how the measurement was taken. Antonio Mondonico, a master framebuilder we worked with from time to time, refused to let anybody but himself or his son measure people for custom bikes for just this reason.

2. Bike discrepancies. The difference between Specialized's idea of center-to-center, and Trek's idea of c-to-c was at least 3cm. As a comparison in the shop, we used to have a 54cm Specialized next to a 60cm Bianchi- and the Specialized was clearly bigger. How or why Specialized bikes were so big, I have no idea, but without intimate knowledge of the lines (which most people here do not have) it would be impossible to recommend a size.

3. Even if we had accurate measurements of inseam and height, we could not correctly determine a size. There are 4 essential measurements to determine frame size- inseam, sternal height, arm length, and shoe size. How many times have we taken shoe size into account in sizing frames here? I daresay never. We often deal with overall height, but remember, arms come out of your shoulders, not the top of your head. The sternal notch measurement is the only way to accurately get an idea of torso length.

In conclusion, this forum is a great place for some sound sizing advice- like answers to: "I have a pain in my shoulders, would a shorter stem help?". People here are not a substitute for a competant, professional bike fit. A complement perhaps, but never a substitute.
How does shoe size affect bike fit? (nm)bikedodger
Oct 25, 2001 11:25 AM
Pretty simply...TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2001 11:29 AM
If somebody has a shoe size of either extreme (large or small), for men we defined this as <9 or >11, their leg is effectively shorter or longer in the pedal stroke. Remember, the cleat is not positioned directly below the heel- if it were, shoe size would be irrelevant. But a person with really big feet has a longer distance from heel-to-cleat, than a person with average or really small feet, and this needs to be compensated for.
Pretty simply... A CLUE!!Wannabe
Oct 26, 2001 6:59 AM
As a newbie to fairly serious... wait a minute, gotta remember where I am... better start over...

Having increased my commitment to road riding this year, I have been having trouble getting the ideal fit on my new bike. Going by all the various "rules" for seat height for ideal position, something was still not right. The discomfort in one of my knees would seem to indicate a seat still too high despite all the "rules" saying any lower would be wrong.

I have small, small feet (please, no jokes!). Never thought about how that might affect seat height. Thanks! Didn't take long at all to learn something new here today!

On the downside, it snowed here yesterday. First time for the season. I'm in weather depression. Still not supposed to hit 40 deg until tomorrow.. :(

Andy-(he of small feet)-Wannabe
Overly harsh perhaps, borderline RIGHT ON THE MONEYcioccman
Oct 25, 2001 11:38 AM
Ignorant? LOL Not even close.

I don't care what the manufacturers call it, or how badly one person or another measures it. If you've got a correctly measured inseam of 29 inches and you're on a *could be called any size* bike that has a top tube that is 32 inches from the ground when tires are inflated, then that top tube will be up and in your nether region to the tune of 3 inches. This is reality.

If you call that a proper fit, I call you something other than brilliant.
Overly harsh perhaps, borderline RIGHT ON THE MONEYcioccman
Oct 25, 2001 11:40 AM
Ignorant? LOL Not even close.

I don't care what the manufacturers call it, or how badly one person or another measures it. If you've got a correctly measured inseam of 29 inches and you're on a *could be called any size* bike that has a top tube that is 32 inches from the ground when tires are inflated, then that top tube will be up and in your nether region to the tune of 3 inches. This is reality.

If you call that a proper fit, I call you something other than brilliant.
You wish it was reality..TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2001 11:50 AM
I don't want to be overly argumentative, but:

"A correctly measured inseam" What is your definitive measurement for inseam? How can you be sure that your idea is the same as the manufacturer? My tailor measures my inseam differently than I do at the bike shop, and I think he'd be really, really offended if I told him he was doing it wrong (he'd start yelling in crazy Turkish and probably toss me out.)

"Has a top tube that is X inches from the ground". Is that the bottom of the tube, top of the tube, or center of the tube. Furthermore, it is getting rare that a top tube is perfectly horizontal to the ground, so where along the top tube do you measure? At the head tube? At the seat tube? Half way in between?

"Tires are inflated" What sort of tires? Bike manufacturers often do running changes to tire spec's, so that dimension change. And inflated to how much pressure?

Some person who claims a 29" inseam may have a decent (albeit not perfect) fit on a bike with a top tube 32" off the ground. It is far better, in my opinion, to be uncomfortable the 1% of time that you're at a stoplight than the 99% of the time you're riding. (Stock) Bicycle fitting is a series of trade-offs, and a 'perfect' (i.e. as good as custom) fit is pretty rare.

You've tried to create a hard-and-fast sizing rule, and in doing so, vastly over-simplified the matter.
Tested, tried, true, simple realitycioccman
Oct 25, 2001 12:00 PM
You may take any sort of measurements you'd like and attempt to complicate a basic and simple fact of physical life. You may also ride a bike whose top tube is inserted 3 inches into your nether region if you'd like. You may call that a properly sized rig if you'd like as well.
I must be confused...TJeanloz
Oct 25, 2001 12:16 PM
I may be confused...

I understood from your original post that you believe that "Standover height" is THE 1st thing to look at when sizing a bike? This measurement, which is of dubious accuracy, is more important than top tube or seat tube length?

I would try at all costs to avoid selling a bike that didn't have any standover. But your numbers just don't work. For one thing, inseam is measured with shoes off, Yes? How often do you ride your bike barefoot? I usually avoid it. I think everybody agrees that there should be some clearance over the top tube under normal riding conditions.

Where I disagree is that you, or anybody, can give accurate sizing information knowing just an inseam measurement and standover height. It is not an utterly useless statistic, but it is not wholly useful either.

Using your method, how do we size compact frames? Should everybody be on an XL because they can stand over it?

You've tried to over-simplify sizing into the old "stand over the bike and lift the wheel 1"; if you can, it's the right size". I don't know anybody, except the side of Trek boxes, that recommends this method anymore.
Indeed.... you are.... re-read my postingscioccman
Oct 25, 2001 12:33 PM
I already stated that this is simply the first piece in the puzzle, not the end all, be all, single and only rule. The building of a foundation. If this is way off, I don't care how well a top tube is fitted. Did I state that standover is more important that tt length? Surely not. If so, please quote me and post it so that I may correct myself.

You need not over complicate and read something into my observations which I have not stated.

If you deem it a good idea, you may take your own measurements with 8 inch platform shoes, with or without socks.

Good luck!

FINAL OBSERVATION: I no longer wonder why people with 29 inch inseams are even remotely considering 57cm rigs.
cioccman, ever worked in a shop?peloton
Oct 25, 2001 12:53 PM
I only bring this up because the experience of working in a shop will show you that numbers supplied by a manufacturer may or may not mean anything when it comes to the real world. A 52cm C-dale may report in it's literature that the standover is taller than 29 inches, so it would make sense from reading the claimed standover figure that an individual with a 29 inch inseam would not fit on such a bike without having the top tube lifting them off the ground when trying to stand over the bike. Thing is though, that on many bikes that have had standover heights that were claimed to be higher than my inseam, I have been able to stand over them comfortably with my feet on the floor. The standover number is one that sometimes seems like it got pulled out of the air. Same with frame size and other measurements as well. Different people measure bikes different ways, and it shows from manufacturer to manufacturer. There are some brands that I would want to ride a 58cm, others maybe even a 50! There are big differences in fit. Not only that, but standover is a very small part of it. Reach to the bars is really way more important in deciding if a bike fits or not. Different people have different needs to depending on their physiology. I have short legs in relation to my torso, so I have a bike with less standover and a longer reach to the bars. Works for me, maybe not for you. The only problem with your thinking is that standover is only one small part of the equation, and numbers supplled by the brand don't usually mean much in the real world.
Shop experience unnecessarycioccman
Oct 25, 2001 1:29 PM
No. Believe it or not, all on my own, and without having worked in bicycle shop, I kinda guessed that people measure things differently and that manufacturer specifications might not be entirely, 100% accurate.

I'll re-state it again, for your benefit. Regardless of what a manufacturer calls it, a bike with the top of the tt is 32 inches from the ground at or about a couple inches in front of the seat is too large for a person with an accurately measured inseam of 29 inches from crotch to ground. That person is on an improperly large bike and no matter what you do to the top tube length, nothing will correct this vertically too large a frame.

Secondly, I explicitly stated that this is simple a piece of the puzzle and not the end all, be all, single and only rule.
Number 9...Number 9...Number 9...LightBoy
Oct 25, 2001 4:27 PM
This is interesting. I do believe I've learned something from you.

Until now, I had never really considered the 'broken record' theory of debate to be all that effective. I am of the 'new information to support your view point' school of thought, and the notion of just repeating the same thing over and over again was not a technique that I ever really favored.

But, as I said, I have learned something. By reading your argument as you posted it (5 times at this time I wrote this, not counting the double post), I discovered that it is not simply completely ineffective. It is, in fact, REALLY FRICKIN" ANNOYING!

That being said, I'd like to suggest that you either make up some new information to support your argument, rephrase the old stuff so we don't recognize it, or just stop. You can post little reminders that your original post is still there, if you really feel that it is necessary, but 27 posts that say the exact same thing really is a bit much.

Just something to think about.
Master of the Obviousgrzy
Oct 26, 2001 2:37 PM
If bike fit and sizing were such an intuitively obvious and simple thing you would not have a company like Serotta running a full week training program for bike sizing with certification and other comanies making sizing kits. See Serotta (and many others) can build a beautiful bike in any size, but if they don't get good data on the rider then the bike won't fit right and the rider is not going to comfortable and happy. Consider also that an OCLV sold by Trek is called one size and the exact same bike sold under the Lemond (Chambrey) was labeled a different size. There aren't any real standards as to how bikes are measured in the indusrty. Given all the challenges in fitting the human body saying that stand over height is the first part of the puzzle is more akin to saying you fist have to open then dump the pieces of the puzzle out of the box. Standover height is the quick and dirty way to size and sell bikes at Kmart or the corner filling station. Given that you have a whole slew of bikes to choose from with enough stand over height what do you do next?

I find it really a waste of time to even discuss the bike fit questions b/c it's not something you can do without being there in person and observing how the rider and bike work (or not) together.
re: If we say fit is everything, people will ask about fit.dzrider
Oct 25, 2001 11:33 AM
At a recent concert the band leader had two musicians step forward and asked which one was taller. One looked about six inches taller than the other. Then he had them sit down on identical chairs and the shorter guy became the taller guy. This is why we can't easily fit people to bikes, much less do it with sketchy measurements for people we've never seen. The best we can do is get them to reputable shops with a willingness to try some bikes.
Actually I think you're the moronJohnG
Oct 25, 2001 7:13 PM
That is one of the lamest posts I've ever read. Standover height is one of the least important aspects of fit.

LOL....
JohnG
Actually I think you're the moroncyclequip
Oct 26, 2001 5:26 AM
"Standover height is one of the least important aspects of fit" - then why does it form the basis of bike sizing? Surely you relize that in the early days it formed the only basis of fit - till mass builders started standardizing on top tube/seat tube ratios. I still don't understand all the flak generated over using the term. Before all you cognoscenti with your myriad calculations got in on the act, you rode a bike you could stand over. Period.
VERY simplistic answer to a complicated question nmCT1
Oct 26, 2001 5:41 AM
.
re: standover heightguido
Oct 25, 2001 8:46 PM
Gee, CIOCCMAN these guys are flaming you bad. Of course you're right, being able to straddle a frame is necessary and is also a good place to start when choosing a bike. But it really only applies to bikes with horizontal top tubes. If the top tube is sloping, the seatpost will be shrunken, so you can't calculate size by seatpost length or standover height. But neither can you rely on top tube length.

The critical dimension is the height and set-back of the seat relative to the crank. That's a function of leg length, inseam. You get that right first, and then dial in the reach and drop of the handlebars. You want to get your hips and legs into the right position to work the crank. Your upper body can move around alot compared to your legs, and it doesn't have to work very hard. Generally speaking, you raise the saddle as high as possible so your legs can go to maximum extention, but your hips have to remain absolutely stable. At the point your hips start rocking side to side, the saddle's too high. An old formula used by Greg Lemond:

Saddle height relative to crank spindle = Inseam x .883 (or .885, depending on who you talk to).

Frame size on a road bike with horizontal top tube = Inseam x .65 if a racer, or .66 if a recreational rider.

These formulas will get you well within the ballpark. Cyrille Guimard, the coach who fitted Lemond, the guy who came up with the .883 figure, also stretched out his riders' reach to the handlebars from the accepted practice. Once you got the saddle in the right position, then you'd put your elbow against the front of the saddle. With hand pointed straight ahead parallel to the top tube, the tip of your index finger should be about half way along the stem. Hands on the brake hoods, upper body relaxed with the back flat, the bars should still block the front hub from view.

You can argue about the particulars of limb lengths, etc., but bikes are built with proportional seat height and reach, so that you can make fine adjustments with seatpost and stem.
bars blocking view of hubRay Sachs
Oct 26, 2001 3:53 AM
"Hands on the brake hoods, upper body relaxed with the back flat, the bars should still block the front hub from view." You had a great post going up to this point. This old rule of thumb is a commonly ocurring coincidence, but should never be treated as a rule. You could have two different bikes with the rider in the EXACT same position relative to the bottom bracket and if the head tube angle and/or fork rake are different, the line from his eyes through the bars can have completely different relationships to the hub. It works out that the bars block the hubs sometimes, but it's not something to aim for and certainly no more important than standover.

-Ray
bars blocking view of hubguido
Oct 26, 2001 12:53 PM
Your're right. Thanks. I stand corrected.
We now know why people rides bikes 4 inches too largecioccman
Oct 26, 2001 6:11 AM
My apologies for being a little harsh in the original post.

I can take all the flaming you flamers give out.
Thanks for Apologizingjtolleson
Oct 26, 2001 11:14 AM
Your original post came flaming out of the gate in its own right, turning what could have been an interesting discussion into a mini-war.

Moderation in all things, I suppose. It is like the world has transformed from where stand-over was the ONLY thing a bike shop seemed to notice (at least for most consumers). You know, the old "stand over the top tube and lift up the bike... look for 1" of clearance or more... voila! it fits!"

And now some folks call standover "irrelevant" which is illogical in its own right. You could have made that point without coming out with both guns blazing.
Comment regarding fitTroyboy
Oct 26, 2001 7:27 AM
There is a good point here. I must admit that if I were to go to Serotta or Steelman or Sachs and order a custom bike, I don't think it would come back to me without good standover clearance.

If it did I would probably fall into laughter and get my money back.

Does anyone here have fully custom built bikes that they're not able to stand over without some clearance?