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Can I fudge on Standover height?(12 posts)

Can I fudge on Standover height?gerwerken
Jul 28, 2002 7:41 AM
I asked about bike fit for my short legs and long torso a little while back and was given the usual advice, "Go ride some and see what feels comfortable." Well I did, and nothing feels comfortable.

If I can standover it, I dwarf the top tube, and if I don't dwarf the top tube, I can't stand over it. The bike that has come closest to fitting thus far was the Lemond Buenos Aires (52 cm top tube). My stand over is 29.5 inches max, and it's standover was 29.8 inches. I couldn't exactly stand over it, but I could throw a leg over on to the pedal and climb directly into the seat. Even then the aproxx. 120mm stem had to be turned upside down so that is had negative rise (I'm guessing it was about 20 degree rise) in order to give me enough room.

I'm at my wits end....
Is standover height really THAT important?
If anyone has any ideas of any bike that might fit, even cheap costom companies, please tell me. I have even raised my poor graduate student budget to $1500 in frustration on this one.

Please Help!
Thanks in Advance!
Jul 28, 2002 9:11 AM
IMO, you cannot buy a bike that you can't straddle safely and comfortably. Doing otherwise is just looking for trouble.

With short legs and a long torso, you are a very good candidate for a bike with compact geometry. The sloping TT allows more standover, but the effective TT length is often a tad longish. Take a look at varying bikes in the Giant lineup (lots of compact options).
re: Can I fudge on Standover height?gtx
Jul 28, 2002 10:32 AM
How about a compact frame? A small Giant TCR has a TT of 53.5 cm.

For cheap custom try Teesdale or Curtlo--they'd fit your budget.
Ditto on the small TCR frame ...... nmJohnG
Jul 28, 2002 10:50 AM
My inseam is the same. I have a few bikes ...Pecos
Jul 28, 2002 4:05 PM
two of which are compact frames - Giant TCR medium and Klein Quantum Pro 52cm. As for standard geometry I ride a Colnago 54cm. I know you have a budget, but you probably can find a nice used 53cm -54cm Colnago on the net. Your preference of frame material also will play a roll in what may be available for you.
Jul 28, 2002 4:17 PM
The original poster has a cycling inseam of well under 30 inches and you suggest that he'll have adequate standover on a 54 cm Colnago? How do you figure?

Short legged long torso riders cry out for compact geometry, IMO. Otherwise they simply wind up on a small frame with a long riser stem.
Yeah, sounds off.djg
Jul 29, 2002 4:53 PM
Taking a quick look at the nago geometry chart it seems that you get about 80.6 cm standover on a 54. That's more than 31" (closer to 32).
Ack, doh.djg
Jul 30, 2002 5:26 AM
In general, there is no problem so trivial that there isn't somebody stupid enough to botch it. That somebody is me. In my defense, I'll point out that yesterday was my birthday and the kindly Mrs. Moser had baked me her famous 7-layer chocolate crack cake (which is yummy, but we digress).

I looked again. Dusted off the grade school math. Looks like the Colnago 54 (which is 54 to the bottom of the seat tube collar) has a lower standover of about 76.7--more like 30". Not sure what I did the first time, but I had a nagging sense that it was wrong.
Standover height?Leroy
Jul 28, 2002 4:22 PM
My s/o is 30". Check out anything with a sloping frame: litespeed sienna, merlin agilis and their new complete bike [anodized black finish, cannot recall the name], look kx, giant tcr, at al. New or used they'll work. Good luck.

Dave Loving
Thanks! (n/m)gerwerken
Jul 28, 2002 7:28 PM
re: Can I fudge on Standover height?xcandrew
Jul 28, 2002 8:57 PM
For road riding, you only need enough standover to stand over the frame, and if you have to tilt the bike a little (not a lot) to stand flat footed over the frame with shoes on, I wouldn't worry about it. Were you comfortable getting on and off the bike on your test rides? Can you straddle the bike with your shoes on and the bike slightly tilted to one side? If so that's all that matters in regards to standover. Top tube and stem length is more important.

My first road bike, one that I discovered in my garage as a 13 year old, was taller than my standover by a bit even with my shoes on. I never came close to having an "accident" riding that bike (though it did fit perfect later in high school). I consider the 3" clearance on my mountain bike as important for standing over the bike on uneven terrain, as in a dip, but not really a safety issue. If it's going to be a hard crash, 3" is not going to be enough, and I always bail to the side, laying the bike over, or over the top. Theres no reason you have to keep the bike upright in that situation. Cyclocross bikes often don't have anymore clearance than road bikes because of their bigger tires and usually less bottom bracket drop, another thing that would debunk clearance as a big safety issue.

I agree with the other posters that suggest checking out the compact frame designs, like those from Giant. I like level top tubes for road bikes, but a compact frame design makes sense for people with shorter legs.
IMO--yes, to an extent.djg
Jul 29, 2002 6:48 AM
At the outset, let me say that having a negative standover may be pushing it. Maybe you can find a bike with similar dimensions but with a lower bottom bracket (and hence, lower top tube, all else equal)?

Folks often suggest 1-2" of standover for safety and it's just not clear why that's so (the conditions necessary to have an accident involving falling onto your top tube are pretty unlikely--taking into account a subset of those conditions that would allow you to reliably avoid the accident if only you had 1-2" of standover seem to me extremely unlikely). It's not that standover is irrelevant. For one thing, it's often a decent proxy for overall bike size. For another, the bike needs to be short enough that you can safely mount and dismount. But if you sacrifice 1-2 cm of "ideal" standover, you can almost certainly do this (and not even notice the difference). If that's enough to find you a frame where the top tube works for you, I'd try it out and see what you think. (Little kids do this with aplomb all the time--they tilt the bike just a bit mounting and dismounting; I find that I do this some even though I don't need to.) OTOH: If you're talking about fudging by 5-6 cm to get things to work...well, I'd say that's pushing your luck. Lots of compact frames are out there that might work for you. And custom may be less expensive than you think, especially if you're willing to consider a perfectly reliable 105 or centaur kit to round out your custom frame. Custom: Dean, Anvil, & Gunnar seem to offer some very reasonably priced options.