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All the talk about size has me concerned.(11 posts)

All the talk about size has me concerned.94Nole
Sep 4, 2002 7:09 AM
Maybe I worry too much, but...

With the continuing posts regarding physical stature, inseam length and frame size, I am increasingly concerned about the bike I was recently sold at my LBS the owner of which has about 30 years in the bike business and I worked directly with him on the fitting. I am 6" with an inseam length of about 34½" measured in accordance with several of the fitting links previously provided. All of those "fittings" seemed to indicate that I needed a 57-58cm frame.

However, I purchased a Lemond and was sold a 53cm frame. I did ride a couple of different frames but not to gauge size because he assured me that the frame was the correct size. I was relying on what I believed to be his expertise and reputation based on opinions of other experienced cyclists. I only rode to compare the ride of alum vs. steel, etc. not size.

I am reluctant to go to another shop and ride a larger frame because I am afraid of what I might find out.

You might ask, how do I like the bike? Does it seem comfortable? Heck, I don't know? I've been riding for about a month and I don't know what I am supposed to feel like when I get off the darn thing. I guess it's okay. I have a little numbness in my left hand and in my rearend but from what I can tell from reading here, that is fairly normal.

What are your thoughts?
The way Lemond figures frame sizes is different.scottfree
Sep 4, 2002 7:20 AM
Not to bore you with details, but a smaller Lemond (by numbers) can be equivalent to larger sizes in other bikes. A 53 cm Lemond is more like 55 cm in common usage. And there are other geometric considerations (i.e. top tube length and reach) to consider as well. Lemonds tend to be longer in the TT than other bikes.

I wouldn't presume to question (or confirm)your fitting without direct knowledge of your physiology, but I'm guessing the situation isn't nearly as dire as you suspect.
How are Lemond's longer in the TT...PsyDoc
Sep 4, 2002 11:03 AM
...than other bikes? Many 57cm (c-t) bikes have a 56.5cm (c-c) top tube. Now, Lemond measures frames c-c, so a 55cm bike is roughly equivalent to a 57cm (c-t) bike. The 55cm Lemond has a 56.5cm top tube just like a 57cm (c-t) bike. So, how are Lemond's longer in the top tube? In my opinion, Lemond's only appear to be longer in the top tube, because Lemond measures frame sizes c-c instead of c-t.
Sep 4, 2002 7:34 AM
Sizing is not an exact science. You could have different proportions than the "norm." Lemonds generally have longer top tubes than other frames of comparable size. And the seat tube is measured center to center rather than C-T like other brands. Also, a prebuilt bike will have bars, cranks, and stems that are rougly proportional to the frame size. So ask yourself, are the bars too narrow? The cranks too short? Did you have to put too extreme of a stem on there? Did you have to raise the bars higher? Sometimes if you have a smallish frame, you can use a long seatpost to get the proper leg extension, but the head tube will be shorter and the bars will sometimes be too low, so a riser stem would be a last resort.

I don't know the answer for you, but keep riding so some of the new riding soreness goes away and most shops will work with you to get so sized right. Just let the shop owner know so you don't come in after 6 months and 3,000 miles and tell him you want a larger bike.
the bottom line ...tarwheel
Sep 4, 2002 7:51 AM
Are you comfortable? That's what it all boils down to. Personally, LeMonds don't fit me because the top tubes are too long when I get the correct seat tube, and the seat tubes are too short if I get the correct top tube. I am 5'11" and fit best on size 56 c-c frame, so the 53 LeMond would be too small for me. I know this from experience as well as fittings. It would seem to me that a 53 LeMond would be much too small for someone your height and inseam, but if you are comfortable than it doesn't matter. The problem (for me) riding a frame that is too small is that your are forced to run the seatpost way high with a large drop to the handlebar. I can't handle a large drop as it causes extreme numbness in my hands. But lots of other cyclists seem to prefer that kind of setup.
if you're interestedMarcocyclo
Sep 4, 2002 8:01 AM
i got a lemond bike from a lbs 2 years ago. they sold me a 55cm(c-c) that we had to order by the way. i am 5'10" with 31" inseam. want to trade?? just joking. my idea is if it feels comfortable while riding, in your case not to bunched up, then go with it and not worry. or go to and run your measurments thur their bike fit formula see what you get. just my thoughts...
re: Check your positionMike Prince
Sep 4, 2002 8:01 AM
Since you already have the bike, the best thing to do is see if you can achieve a good position on it given the changable parts (stem, bars, crank, seatpost, etc.) on it. Not sure of a good reference guide, but I do know that the Bicycling Magazine Maintenance Book has a page or two about general bike fit guidelines and I think the Zinn book does too. has some good stuff on fit and maybe on position too. General stuff but it may be a good place to start as everyone's ideal fit is a very personal thing.

Stem length can make up for some sizing mistakes and LeMonds do tend to have somewhat longer than normal top tubes. If it is a threadless stem/fork though, you will not be able to raise the bars higher without spending lots of money. Different seatposts setbacks and crank lengths can also mask sizing mistakes.

Anyway, if you can achieve a decent position on your existing bike you probably will be OK. If not I would work with the shop owner on negotiation on some sort of trade for a better fitting bike. If he wants your future business you may have some luck there. Depending on the components/model, a frame swap may make sense as you could sell the frame separately and get some return.

Anyway, lots of options. Minor butt pain is not uncommon, but numbness is normally a mild warning sign. Could be fixed by gloves and a different saddle.

If it were me, I would make sure I can get into a proper position on the bike with the current stem/bar/seatpost/etc. Be advised that a new position may not be comfortable at first, so incremental small changes are the best way. Pay heed to the "max insertion" lines on seatposts and stems before youu road test anything. If this works (or gets you reasonably close to the generic fitting guidelines), go ride and be happy. If not, I would go back to the original shop and tell them that you are having some mild discomfort and have some "newbie" concerns about the frame size. Work with them on your position and go from there.

Hope this helps.
Question: On your seatpost, where is the name 'Lemond' splitscottfree
Sep 4, 2002 8:08 AM
as it goes into the seatpost? Or does the whole name show? Are your knees just slightly bent at the bottom of your downstroke? How far below the top of your saddle is the top of your handlebar? Are your elbows slightly bent when you're riding in your preferred position, and are your knees free and clear (no bumping anywhere), or are you bunched up?
I'd be concerned too.Steve98501
Sep 4, 2002 3:44 PM
I'm 6'1" with a 34" bike fit inseam, and I ride a 59 cm (measured c-c) bike. It looks like either I ride way too large a frame, or you ride too small a frame, unless we both happen to be "comfortable" on our bikes in spite of such disparity.

If I rode a 53, I'd have the saddle so high that the drop from saddle to bar would be nearly a foot. I'm not very flexible and like my bar almost at saddle level. I ride with about a 1" drop from my saddle to my handlebar. How long a drop do you have? And do you have the flexibility to be comfortable with it?

Frankly, I don't know how any experienced shop fitter could say your dimensions are a good fit for a 53 cm (c-c) bike that has fairly standard geometry.

Sep 5, 2002 4:52 AM
I'm 6'1" with a 33-34" inseam, and I ride a 58cm Lemond. Fits me perfectly.
Agreedthe other Tim
Sep 5, 2002 8:49 AM
I'm 5'11" with a 32" inseam and ride a 55cm c-c LeMond that fits very well. Because this frame gives me minimal stand-over clearance, I insisted on trying a 53cm before buying. I still remember that ride because it hurt so much.