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So what about this idea of "going small"?(12 posts)

So what about this idea of "going small"?SJMatt
Jun 24, 2002 7:11 AM
So what do people think about this idea of getting a bike that's one size too small (for weight) and then adding length where necessary (seat post or stem)?

Is this a truly brilliant idea? Is it a bonehead idea?
It may workMel Erickson
Jun 24, 2002 7:20 AM
Depends on how "small" small is. You can adjust with seat post, seat and stem to a certain degree and still possibly be within YOUR proper position. I stress your because almost no one fits the "ideal" riding position (whatever that is). There is a limit but it is as individual as each of us are. Some people can tolerate a wider range of possible positions with no problems while others can't. Personally I think going one size smaller limits your range of adjustability too much and isn't worth the small weight savings. Buy the right size. That said I'm probably riding a mountain bike that many would say is a size small for me, but it fits ME, and that's what counts.
probably not itDougSloan
Jun 24, 2002 7:22 AM
That's probably not the reason. I'd bet some "go small" to get a low headtube / handlebar height. Getting a frame one size smaller than then putting larger parts on to make up for it likely would be an insignificant weight savings.

It's an old idea, and I'm glad I outgrew it.cory
Jun 24, 2002 7:35 AM
People have been recommending that for at least the 30 or so years I've been riding, and for that reason and because I'm too tall for most over-the-counter bikes, I rode frames that were too small for about 20 years. I loved the sport, really enjoyed riding, and did a lot of fiddling with seatposts and stems to force my 6'4" body to work on the 62 or even 60cm frames the guys in the bike shops said I needed.
Finally, after an embarrassingly long period of trying to make my body fit the bike, I bought a bike that fits my body. The difference is amazing--in my 50s, I can ride farther and faster than I did 20 years ago, because I'm comfortable enough to stay on the bike longer.
The benefit of a low bar height is questionable, I think, for most riders and most riding. If the tops of the bars are about level with the saddle, you're a lot more comfortable cruising on the tops or the hoods, and you can still reach down to the drops when you need to get aero.
re: So what about this idea of "going small"?DINOSAUR
Jun 24, 2002 7:45 AM
I've ridden bikes that are too small for me (57cm) and bikes that are too large (63cm). My ideal size for my inseam is a 58cm, but then I have to jack up the saddle too high, so I ended up with a 59. However the TT is the important measurement I've found. A lot of it depends on how you set your bike up and how you ride. I like to ride fairly stretched out with a 2 1/4" saddle to bar drop. It's easier to do this on a "larger bike". Smaller bikes make me feeled cramped up and I sacrificed comfort over weight..what ever works for you...
comments from RivendellMJ
Jun 24, 2002 8:01 AM
check out the frame and handlbar height comments from Rivendell - is it retro old school or just plain smart?

PS - the rest of the site is a worth a look as well
Classic example of too small..........Dave Hickey
Jun 24, 2002 8:09 AM
I noticed this bike this morning on Ebay. Granted it's more than one size too small, but look at the spacers and reversed stem just to get a comfortable ride. No wonder it's for sale.
I noticed one thing, though...elviento
Jun 24, 2002 9:01 AM
change in your riding style changes the ideal bike dimensions. Most people who have a more upright position need a longer seattube but a shorter toptube. As I learned to have a lower riding position, my most comfortable toptube length has increase by 1.5cm.

In this picture for example, you can see this guy actually uses a shortish stem (fliping it makes it even shorter horizontally) on a small frame (52/51?) with an already short toptube, for which COlnago is known. I suspect with his riding style it's hard to get a bike with the right toptube length. Maybe a 55 Colnago with a 7cm stem?
I noticed one thing, though...NJRoad
Jun 24, 2002 9:27 AM
That really not a good excuse, for the $1300 +/- he paid for Tecnos he could have had a custom frame made.
"colnago's short top tube" is mythcolker
Jun 24, 2002 12:37 PM
small colnagos. up to 56 c-t, have slightly longer top tubes.
a 54 c-t(52 c-c) colnago has a 54 tt. a 52 pinarello, cinelli and lots of other italian bikes have a 53.5 tt!
larger colnagos have small tt. colnagos are different.
A Colnago is a terrible thing to waste! -nmTig
Jun 24, 2002 12:27 PM
re: So what about this idea of "going small"?No_sprint
Jun 24, 2002 9:51 AM
I prefer to go one cm small than one cm too large. I though, race, train a lot and am not uncomfortable having a huge aggressive drop from my seat to the bars. I've got lots of seat post showing on all my rides, especially the semi sloping bike I have.