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Help! I'm a freak!(6 posts)

Help! I'm a freak!empacher6seat
Mar 22, 2002 2:54 PM
Well not really, but I went and got myself "sized" today at a bike shop and apparently I'm pretty disproportionate. He said if frame size was just based on my legs, I'd need a 56cm, but my upper body needs a top tube of 59cm :P. Are there companies that make bikes with this geometery, or should I just go for the bigger bike frame and sacrifice some standover height and... and.. whatever else I'd lose with a bigger frame?
Double checkKerry
Mar 22, 2002 3:41 PM
Use one of these sizing calculators to double check the shop's calculations. Those dimensions suggest VERY unusual body proportions. Not saying it's not true, but "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" and it's easy to double check.

http://www.bsn.com/cycling/ergobike.html
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/BikeFit/index.cfm
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harart-frames.html
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/frameinfo/Frame_Sizing.htm
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

A larger frame will be heavier and weigh more. I'd not want to ride with "zero" standover height, but I suppose it's like toe overlap - just something to watch out for. Just curious, what stem length were they suggesting on this weird frame? For reference, I'm pretty much "normal" and am fit well by many stock frames. I ride a 59 cm with an 87.6 cm inseam (34.5 inches). The bike fits me well with a 57.5 cm top tube and a 13 cm stem, though I could go with a 14. With this frame, my seat post is just about at the min. insertion mark, and the bars are 8.5 cm below the saddle nose. Your shop is telling you that you need a seat tube 3 cm shorter than mine, but need a top tube 1.5 cm longer. I'd measure yourself before I'd believe this recommendation.
re: Help! I'm a freak!Wafer
Mar 22, 2002 5:03 PM
I, too, am a freak. First, I agree with the previous poster who advised you get these measurements verified--this would be good advice regardless.

But I can relate to your situation. I'm 6'1 with a meager 32.5-inch standover. In other words, I have the torso of a 6'5 man and the legs of a 5'9 man. (Everything else below the waist is disproportiately larger.)

If you have the funding, you may find yourself happiest on a bike with custom geometry. Most independent framebuilders can measure you for fit and create a frame most ideally suited to your physique, and many specialty brands have customization programs. I was very lucky to find a used custom steel bike on Ebay that had been built for a man with proportions similar to mine and I grabbed it--57 cm c-c with a 59.5 cm toptube and a longer-than-average stem. It fits me quite well.

If you have to buy "off-the-rack," find the bike that feels most comfortable, push the standover height to the upper limits and get the shop to swap out for a longer stem, perhaps one with some rise to it.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Alice in FreaklandtheBreeze
Mar 22, 2002 8:36 PM
Similar condition but in reverse. I am 5'2" (okay, maybe that's a slight stretch), but my inseam would be more typical for someone 5'6". I fit a 50 cm frame which had an average to short top tube. Used short reach bars to get the fit dialed in just right.
Since it's the legs that do most of the work, would it make more sense to primarily get a correct fit for your leg length, with a frame whose geometry had a relativly long top tube? Then do what adjustment can be done with stems, saddle set back etc.
What did the "sizing" involve? I found a shop that spent time to set me up on a completly adjustable sizing bike. The weirdest thing I'd ever seen. Looked like some sort of post-apocalyptic, Road warrior junk machine. Had real wheels and everything. It would have been pretty cool to actually take it out on the road, except that I bet it weighed 40 pounds.
re: ... go with your top tube length...Akirasho
Mar 22, 2002 10:58 PM
... this thread is starting to sound like Freaks Annonymous...

I'm 6'2" but have a 37" inseam and long monkey arms... I buy frames based on top tube length (after all, the saddle height is a bit more of a variable... and easier to do than swapping out stems).

I'm able to size myself on 58cm to 61cm bikes depending on the maker and their geometry philosophy.

This 650C wheeled bike works for me cuz the top tube and head tube are just long enuff...

We abide.

Remain In Light.
You can get adjg
Mar 26, 2002 6:24 AM
little bit of wiggle room from the recommended standover, IMO. The reason I've seen cited most often for the importance of adequate standover is safety: supposedly, adequate standover protects you from falling on your top tube and injuring yourself (if, I guess, you have the kind of accident where you lose control, come out of your pedals, fall forward onto the top tube, but not so far forward that you hit the stem or do an endo, keep the bike vertical, and get your feet down--hard to imagine but I guess it's possible). At some point, going too big makes it a problem to get on and off the bike comfortably--I wouldn't advise adding 3 or 4 cm to the seat tube to get the reach you want--but I think you can probably steal 1-2 cm from the recommended margin to get a better overall fit. I dunno--you make your own call on the safety issue. Frankly, I don't think it makes all that much sense to recommend a top tube length independent of specifying the seat tube angle but there are bikes that tend to go a bit longer than average. But it might be that by adding a cm or so to your seat tube, you'll find a nice fit that also provides a comfortable balance on the bike. And then there's custom--not always so expensive as people think.