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Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?(15 posts)

Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?jmr986
Apr 14, 2002 6:34 PM
The only LBS within a 100 mile radius that carries Litespeeds has only 55cm and up in stock. I want to ride before I buy. I'm looking at the Classic and Tuscany. I'm curious as to what the rest of us hieght challenged folks are riding. I'll use this data as a barometer of their fitting. Your .02 please.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?jay1680
Apr 14, 2002 7:58 PM
I am 5'6" 160 lbs. and ride a 51 cm Arenberg. I was looking at the Tuscany as well. My feeling was if you are short and ride a smaller frame, there is no need for the extra stiffnes of the Tuscany. The bike is fast and solid under acceleration. I have replaced the negative sloping mutant stem with a positive sloping Forgie stem. If you are my height, older and prefer more upright position, you might want a 53 cm
53 is definitely too big. Use a higher rise stem insteadelviento
Apr 15, 2002 7:38 AM
if you really need more rise.
Another viewboneman
Apr 15, 2002 12:17 AM
I'm 66.5" , 30" inseam and 60kg riding a 51cm, 1999 Vortex.

Sizing, as the next smaller size is 49, will also relate to your upper torso dimensions including arms (for reach). I ride with a 10mm spacer under an 100mm ITM Millenium (80 degree) and the fit is fine although ideally I would want a 95 stem. I'll note that I use ITM 260 bar's in a normal bend which have less drop than most ergo bend bars, including ITM's.

The newer Litespeeds have a slightly taller head tube (in addition to the length for the integrated headset) so keep this in mind as it has the effect of very slightly shortening the effective TT length.

FWIW, I also have recently had two custom steel frames made. On one, it was fitted using static measurements. For the other, I was fitted on a jig and this one fits best. It measures 50.5 ctc and has a TT length of 51.5. It also has an extended (10mm) head tube and I use it with a 3mm spacer and same bar/stem combo as the Vortex. Now you would think on that basis I should use a 90mm stem on the Vortex (52.5 TT) for the same effective TT+stem length. I have tried the Vortex with a 90mm ITM stem but due to a number of factors including different brakes hoods (Ergo instead of STI), slightly different seat tube angle, etc., I slightly prefer the 100mm stem. This will sort itself out over the next few months.

Now, to further confuse the situation, I have a few frames with threaded forks and on 3 of these, the TT is 53 which I use with a 100mm quill stem and Cinelli 66 (deep drop but conventional bend) bars.

jay1680 mentions looking at the 53 size but IMHO, the TT's generally too long if you're of average proportions.

In short, there's no easy answer without going into greater detail about your measurements. My guess, and it's just that, is that you'll fit best on a 51.

What size frame are you riding now, what's the TT length, threaded or threadless fork, type of bar (drop/reach) and length of stem are you using now?

As for Tuscany vs. Classic, I'll leave that one alone.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?woodes
Apr 15, 2002 5:06 AM
I'm 5'6, 30.5" inseam and ride a 51 c-t Classic. It fits well. I was "mis-sold" a 54-cm Cannondale years ago when I was just getting into riding and ironically, the 54 was the only bike they had in stock "near" my size. IMHO, it seems that the 55cm will be WAY too big for you, and for the expense you are about to incur, you should expect and demand a properly-sized bike. I'm not sure from your post whether the LBS is trying to sell you the 55cm or it's just for comparison purposes. I would imagine that you would get the general feel of a Ti frame by riding the 55, but I would get sized properly. If you want to do it yourself, go to; they have an excellent fit calculator which should give you an idea about the proper frame size for you.

Good Luck.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?pmf1
Apr 15, 2002 8:08 AM
My wife is 5'6'' - 5'7'' and she has a 51 or 52 cm Tuscany (I forget which). I'm 5'10'' and ride a 56 cm Ultimate. As a rough guess, try 0.667 * inseam in cm. You may be able to try the 55 cm, but I'd guess it'll be on the large size and not a very good representation of what the bike will ride like if its the right size for you.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?jmr986
Apr 15, 2002 8:30 AM
Using the Wrench Science calc 80cm x .667 = 53.3 which would put me on a 53. Most LBS' have eyeballed me at 52/53. The standover would be at the max, which is OK. As a clyde maybe the larger frame would be a benefit. Don't mean to sound so paranoid but I've been dealing with one LBS who keeps pushing me into what he thinks I would like vs. what I'm asking for. Ideally I'd like to try both a 51 and a 53. But I don't know if my LBS is willing to order both, even if I guarantee I'll buy one of the 2. But they will let me take out the 55's just to get a feel for Ti.
Need more informationboneman
Apr 15, 2002 9:14 AM
I would still get the 51 given that your inseam is 31.5" and you're 66". Unless you have disproportionately long arms in relation to your height, the TT on the Litespeed's may still be a bit long. Given the cost of these frame's, isn't there a dealer within a few hour drive which carries what you want in your size given that you're not sure? If your LBS is pushing you, I'd go find another shop or dealer.

There are a few things that I don't size by mail or internet, shoes and bike frames. IMHO, for these two categories, they either fit or they don't.

Why don't you post the general area where you live? Lot's of people on this forum who can suggest places to find what your'e looking for.
Need more informationjmr986
Apr 15, 2002 10:56 AM

I found a LBS (FBS?) about 2 hours away that handles LS and Pinarello, Klein, Kestrel and a few others. I'll make the road trip if I have to. The LBS that handles LS is a 4 store chain so the next place with any volume is 2 hour ride.
Call ahead and make the visitboneman
Apr 15, 2002 1:55 PM
I'd call ahead and tell them the situation and see if they have anything in the 51-53 size range that you can ride. Alternatively, does your LBS have a fitting jig and someone qualified and experienced to measure you? If you can manage all this with only a two hour drive, it's worth the time. My LBS for years was Branford Bike, before they went mail order, and it was 40 minutes on I-95 from my house. Hardly my LBS but I liked the people and trusted their advice. In Boston, I liked Wheelworks as I knew Allis through a friend and Mooney from riding. LBS, no but no BS, yes. My Corrado involved over 7 hours of driving from London to Liverpool and back to get fitted but it was worth every hour.

Besides, you may end up with a Pinarello as they make many of their frames in 1 cm measures. Check out the Opera, Deda 16.5 steel with carbon fork and rear seat stays and the Prince, Al with carbon fork and rear seat stays. Keep an open mind about the steel as the Corrado is made from Deda 14.5 and it's amazing what the newer steel tubing sets are like. I've never ridden a Klein or Kestrel so I won't opine but I've ridden a number of Pinarellos and their geometry/sizing works for my measurements.
Love that Opera ....jmr986
Apr 15, 2002 3:37 PM
I know you have to be careful with what you read on the 'net but, I heard tell that the Opera is for the less gravitationally challenged. Versus a clyde (of which im one). It seems that some of the Italian geometries would work for me. Must be my Sicilian heritage.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?jay1680
Apr 15, 2002 2:28 PM
forget about the feel of TI, ride a 51 steel and 53 steel with the same dimensions as the litespeed for about on hour each. The fit will be more imporetant than the feel of the Ti. After you nail the fit, then concentrate on the frame material
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?fastfinish
Apr 15, 2002 9:31 AM
Forget about the frame size thing and buy your frame by top tube length. This is the most important dimension because if it is to long or to short it adversely affects the handling and comfort of your bike. If your bike shop does not measure you from one end to the other (i.e. leg length, torso, arm, shoe size) and watch you ride and evaluate, they aren't doing you any favors and find another shop.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?MP
Apr 15, 2002 10:13 AM
You might try a compact frame Siena. That will eliminate the standover issue, leaving on the top tube length to deal with. You're probably a Small or Medium size. I am 5'9" and ride a ML 55 Siena and love it. The cost is the same as a Classic or Tuscany.
re: Shorter (5'6") Litespeed owners what size frame you riding?jay1680
Apr 15, 2002 12:10 PM
If you test ride, go for a 1 hour ride at least. The 10 minute ride will tell you nothing.