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Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bike(18 posts)

Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bikegerwerken
Jun 27, 2002 7:46 AM
After a few years of Mountain biking and cyclocross riding, I am turing to the dark side and buying my very first road bike. I need help. I have short legs (29.3 inch inseam = size 49 or 47 in most bikes), and a long torso. I would just go to bike shops and start test riding, but the shops in my area keep few if any bikes my size in stock. As a consequence I am relying on geometry and personal opinion reguarding bike sizing. Does anyone know of a bike in the $1000 (plus or minus) price range that would be likely to offer a good fit in my size (steel if possible)?
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need BikeIRIE
Jun 27, 2002 7:53 AM
I also have sort legs and a long torso, I recently purchased a 01' Bianchi Giro for $1000. It fits well and is a fun bike to ride.

Hope that helps.
Try Lemond...greg n
Jun 27, 2002 8:09 AM
either the Nevada City (Sora) or Tourmalet (Tiagra) are around $1000. Nevada a little less. Tour a little more. The Lemond geometry gives you a longer top tube than a lot of other production bikes. Which is well-suited for your longer torso.

Not to mention those are steel frames, which in my opinion are a better ride than what you'd get with aluminum AT THAT PRICE POINT. But that's another discussion all together.
Jun 27, 2002 8:20 AM
one thing a lot of short legged long torsod folks have is short femurs. in order to get to the irrelevent, hypoothetical starting point of kops, they would need to move the seat way more forward than a lemond(formerly slack geometry) would allow. this will negate the suppossed long toptube of the lemond. more analysis required.
Jun 27, 2002 9:02 AM
this may seem like a stupid question, but what is kops?
Jun 27, 2002 9:08 AM
knee over pedal spindle

some folks swear by it, others swear at it

basically with your pedal in the 3 o'clock position, your patella(or some point close to it)will be directly over the center of the pedal spindle. many factors will affect this, including how you are sitting on the saddle.
Jun 27, 2002 9:14 AM
k.o.p.s. = knee over pedal spindle

It's a method for placing your seat in such a way that your knee is over the pedals. It's a general rule of thumb for bike fitting, however the seat can be moved for or aft of this position to provide more comfort.
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need BikeBeaver
Jun 27, 2002 8:42 AM
I'll probably get flamed for this but try test riding a compact frame. I'm 5'10 with a 30" inseam and found that compact frames fit me better than standard frames. I have a compact medium Giant TCR and a standard 54 cm LOOK KG241. The TCR fits me great while the LOOK is a little shorter in the top tube than I like, but the seat tube length is correct.

Anyway, if you aren't dead set on steel, look into a compact frame. Most big companies aren't building compact frames out of steel, but I'm sure someone will correct me if they do.
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bikegerwerken
Jun 27, 2002 9:01 AM
Wouldn't the small compact frame be extremly stiff if made from alluminium? I weigh only 110 pounds and generally have problems with bikes being too stiff, rather than too flexy. Are they compensating for the stiff ride at all in the compact frames?
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bikelaffeaux
Jun 27, 2002 9:17 AM
Just because a frame is moade of AL, it does not mean that it's going to be overly stiff. And just because a frame is steel, it does nto mean that it will be smooth. There's a lot more to it thatn that. Also, it's arguable as to if compact is stiffer than standard geometry or not - matbe the frame is stiffer, but the seatpost certainly is not.
don't knowBeaver
Jun 27, 2002 9:29 AM
but I can say that my TCR does transmit more "road noise" than my LOOK(carbon with aluminum lugs) but both are equally stiff. On a short but steep hill in my area I can skip the rear tire on both bikes while trying to maintain speed.

But for what it's worth, I've done 50 mile rides on both bikes and have been no worse for wear.
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bikeempacher6seat
Jun 27, 2002 9:13 AM
I've got the whole "long arms, short legs" deal as well.
I was lucky enough to find an older custom frame made for a guy with similar proportions to me. If you're not dead set on a new bike, it couldn't hurt to browse some classified ads and eBay.
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bikejrm
Jun 27, 2002 10:00 AM
Sure the Giant TCR or Specialized compacts should work great. Youll get the TT lenght and the standover. Worked for me.
Jun 27, 2002 10:01 AM
you can find a frame/ fork at $700. steep seat angles and long top tube. if you have short legs, long torso and short arms then that's what you need.
re: Short Legs, Long Torso, Need Bikegerwerken
Jun 27, 2002 10:28 AM
Well I'm still not sure what I'm going to get, but I think I have a better idea of what to look for now, and what to look out for. Thanks everyone!
The short answer and the long answer aboutdjg
Jun 27, 2002 10:54 AM
sizing formulae and short legs.

Short answer: (1) double-check (or better yet, have someone else do it) your inseam to make sure you have your "true" cycling inseam--all the way up to the hard tissue, not the soft tissue, and not your pants size; (2) the formulae are just rules of thumb and may need adjusting anyway.

Longer: Double-check, as above. And note: the formulae are really just rules of thumb. And while they're not totally arbitrary, they shouldn't be taken as super-precise gospel for everyone. There are lots of things (flexibility, riding style, etc.) that might lead you to stray from their prescriptions. In particular, they are likely to be misleading for people who vary a bit--or a lot--from the standard (or what the formula presumes to be standard) proportions. It's just not necessarily true that you're best off choosing the size by your inseam and then picking the top tube length plus stem that gives you enough reach. And in my opinion--and in the opinion of many others--the traditional guidelines on standover height are maybe the most fudgeable. Let's face it, there just aren't many accidents--even feasible accidents--where the bike stays upright, you get your feet straight down, and you fall plunk down onto your top tube (but not your stem). It's not that the standover height is irrelevant. If the formula says 49 and you try a 56 cm bike, you may have serious problems mounting, dismounting, and handling the bike. But if it says 49, and you have a long torso, you might well be able to handle--indeed might well be more comfortable and better balanced--on a 51 or even a 52. And there's typically a lot more available to look at in a 52 than in a 47 or a 49. I'm not telling you what the right size is, because I don't know. I'm suggesting that if your proportions are not the typical ones, you should consider a fitting or even just a few test rides to get a rough sense of what works for you.
Laughing about fit over fit...PdxMark
Jun 27, 2002 10:58 AM
Sorry, this is off topic, but I just have to do it...

Just yesterday we had a lonnnnng thread chastising folks who suggest that people consider fit in making a bike purchase decision. Here, we have suggestions to consider different makes of bike, but NO-ONE has said "don't worry about the fit, any bike you can stand over can be made to work." Where are the defenders of fit over fit? You should all be posting something like "it doesn't matter... any bike can be made to fit you".

Or, can it be, that fit can matter in a bike purchase?
What benchmark to measure against?Yellow
Jun 27, 2002 3:17 PM
Curious as to what benchmarks people typically measure torso/leg relation against. I mean...what actually constitutes "normal" inseam or torso length for any given height?