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Klein Top Tube Lengths & Improper Bike Sizing(9 posts)

Klein Top Tube Lengths & Improper Bike Sizingtincanman99
May 6, 2002 11:40 AM
Here is my quandry, about a year ago I bought a Klein Quantum 55cm, Shimano 105 group, icon components. I have a 32 inch inseam, 5,10", 195lbs - I am muscular. I got the bike on clearance as it was a leftover. Got a really good price on it. The bike shop never really fitted me to the bike other than the standover which was OK.

Was never really comfortable on the bike so I tried to get it fitted and the bike shop where I bought it wanted nothing to do with me.

I went to another bike shop in the area that sells tons of road bikes and seems to know what they are doing. I had them fit me to the bike as I could never get comfortable on the bike. I always felt stretched out.

They put me and the bike on the trainer and adjusted everything. Put the seat post up higher, moved the seat back to center my knees, put in a much shorter stem.

They did the best they could. They put in the shortest stem in that they could. The seat is up very high relative to the stem. He said that might create pressure on my arms and shoulders. Told me to ride with it for a while to see how it feels.

He said the problem is that I have long legs and a short torso. He said if I am still not comfortable they can try putting in different stems.

He said I am a prime candidate for a bike with a shorter top tube. He recomended either a custom frame or a sloping top tube. He said most European frames have shorter top tubes as Europeans are built differently than Americans.

He did not push me to buy another bike, he was just trying to be helpful. He said they really should have fitted you when they bought it. The people at the shop wanted to know who sold me the bike and could not beleive they let it be sold the way it was.

I did a little checking and Klein's seem to have a longer top tube than most. The bike does not have much mileage on it. Its fast but its just not comfortable even though he adjusted it.

I am in good shape as I go to the gym most everyday. I also take those spin classes. I really like cycling but I wish somebody had helped like this when I bought it.

Now what to do? Sell it and get a new frame?

I would like to hear some opinons...
re: Klein Top Tube Lengths & Improper Bike Sizingjtolleson
May 6, 2002 12:11 PM
Recently finished the same anguish with my Litespeed Catalyst (currently featured in the classifieds, ahem).

My cycling inseam is similar to yours, and I technically have the right standover (barely) but have a big TT length problem. Like you, I got an 8 stem, 0 degree rise. It is close... it has gotten me through a couple of seasons to so-so comfort effect. But hand numbness has been a chronic complication. Strengthened back and abs, worked on riding posture... ultimately just never exactly right.

Eventually, you have to give up and sell. If the sport is important enough to you, the financial sacrifice pays off in getting the right ride. You will take it in the shorts a bit selling the Klein (as I am with the Litespeed).

Soooo, yep. Time to sell. That's my advice from what you describe.
re: Klein Top Tube Lengths & Improper Bike SizingAristotle
May 6, 2002 12:16 PM
I bought my first bike (used) about a year ago. I, too, have a short upper body. (5' 11" - 36" inseam.) It's a great bike, but the top tube is too long, and I knew that going into it. Of course, I'm a newbie and this bike was my trial run, so to speak. I'm looking to upgrade at the end of this year.

Anyway, I would probably sell the bike you spoke of and try something else. It's a whole new world when you're on something that fits, as I've learned.
figures don't add up...C-40
May 6, 2002 1:38 PM
Your height, with a 32 inch inseam is not an example of long legs and short torso, it's just the opposite, unless you have misquoted your inseam. I'm only 5'-7" tall with a 32-5/8" inseam. I ride a 54 or 55cm frame with a 110mm stem. At 5'-10" tall you shouldn't need a very short stem with any 55cm frame on the market. I've analyzed a dozen brands and found that it's rare to find more than 1cm difference between them in midsized frames.

Get a tape measure and measure the standover height of the frame and the distance from the center of the crank to the top of the top tube to be sure that you really have a 55cm frame. Klein currently lists only even numbered sizes (54,56,58) as standard.

If you want a really accurate inseam measurement, block up the wheels on your bike with boards, books or magazines until you get firm saddle-like crotch pressure when you stand over the bike in bare feet, wearing cycling shorts or underwear. The distance from the floor to the top of the top tube is your inseam. A frame than is properly sized (vertically) will require 3-5cm of blocks under the wheels.

Take some measurements and post the results for a better answer. Something's amiss with your current info. See for geoemtry charts.
Doesn't sound right to me either.Spoke Wrench
May 6, 2002 2:49 PM
I own a Klein, I think it's a 2000 model year. I am also about 5'10" and buy pants with a 32 inch inseam.

My bike measures 57 cm from the center of the BB to the top of the top tube.
Top tube measures 57cm from the center of the seat tube to the center of the head tube. That sounds pretty average, but I had to use a layback Thompson seat post to get my saddle back as far as I like.
I have about 11cm of seat post sticking out of the frame and use a 110mm 95 degree stem. My handlebar hides the hub whether I'm on the hoods or in the drops.

I think its too soon to give up on the frame you have. I suspect a stem with some rise will suit you fine.
Good point...jtolleson
May 6, 2002 6:05 PM
and one that I totally missed. I'm 5'7" and my cycling inseam is 31.75 (not much under 32) and I've got a reach problem on a 55cm (measured c-t)... so a person 4 inches taller with a similar inseam would presumably have no difficulty.

I'm assuming that the 32 is not a true cycling inseam?
Checked The Measurementstincanman99
May 6, 2002 7:06 PM
Turns out my CYCLING inseam is 34 inches not 32 inches - thats my pants inseam. Did not know till I looked it up on the Web. At the bike shop all they did originally was lift the bike up while I was standing over it.

The bike is indeed a 55cm. I have a '99 Klein that I got at the beginning of '01. I found a link on the Klein web site to the older bikes with the measurements:

Model Top Tube Seat Tube Angle Head Tube Angle
55 55.9 74 73.5

Chain Stay Length

The web site has some left over '99 Klein's that are 55cm too...
makes more sense...C-40
May 7, 2002 4:34 AM
Your inseam would suggest the need for a 57cm frame to get the proper vertical size. Your proportioning would be better suited to typical Italian geometry, like Colnago's (57cm frame, 73 STA and 55.6cm TT).

The combination of 74 degree seat tube angle and 55.9cm top tube on your Klein compares to a frame with a 73 degree seat tube angle and 57.2cm top tube. This TT length is .5cm longer than a typical 57cm Litespeed and 1.6cm longer than a 57cm Colnago.

The best solution that I can think of would be to use an 80 degree stem, flipped to produce a 100 degree angle. Flipping the stem will shorten the reach by 1cm and raise the bars 3.5cm. Just remember that the stem's actual reach will be 1cm less than it's advertised length, once it's flipped.

In the future, look for a larger frame with a shorter TT length. Take a look at you saddle's fore-aft position on the post to determine if you also need a 73 degree seat tube angle. Each degree will require the saddle to be moved 1.2cm forward, effectively shortening the top tube by that amount.
re: Klein Top Tube Lengths & Improper Bike Sizingweiwentg
May 6, 2002 2:11 PM
they should have fitted you to the bike, or been willing to solve the damn problem. do not settle for crappy service. (otoh, don't be an arse.)
you could sell the frame and get a new one, yes. or you could get bars with less reach, or maybe one of profile's fast forward seatposts (assuming that doesn't throw your position way off) ... I dunno.