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How do I fit myself for a road bike?(7 posts)

How do I fit myself for a road bike?KC10Chief
Oct 5, 2002 11:54 AM
I used to race road bikes when I was a kid, but as I got older, got into mountain biking. I'm going to get a road bike and I'm going to get the Trek 5200 with the project one paint job. I'm just not quite sure which size frame I should get. I want it to be comfortable for long rides since I plan to do centuries. I'm about 6'1" tall and I have a 34" inseam. I'm not sure if I need a 56cm or the 58cm. What are some good ways I can decide what size frame I need? I don't want to drop this amount of cash without being sure I'm getting the right thing. Any advice is appreciated! Matt
Trek OCLV frame sizesMarkus_B
Oct 5, 2002 12:59 PM
First of all be aware that Trek's frame size measurement is different from other brands: They (Trek) measure center of BB to top of seat tube (which is common for MTBs but not for road bikes). So I would assume that you should also consider a 60 cm frame and forget the 56 cm.


I'm riding a "54 cm" labelled Klein which is about 56,5 cm adjusted to Trek's frame size measurement. I'm 177 cm high (you are 185 cm, right?) and have a 83 to 84 cm inseam (yours is 86 cm?). Thus I conclude that a 56 cm Trek is too small for you.

(Another question is: Is the top tube/seat tube ratio of a Trek suitable for you?)

I recommend to make the final decision at your LBS (if possible): Try out some bikes/sizes on a trainer (so you can focus on the fit). Pay attention to the height difference between the saddle and the handlebars and check whether there is room for adjustments.
Here's some links to get you startedOffTheBack
Oct 5, 2002 12:59 PM

I don't think any system except individual trial & error is perfect, but any of these will certainly get you in the ballpark. Good luck!
too small....C-40
Oct 5, 2002 1:27 PM
Check out these sites for fit info:

Check your inseam properly to insure a standover clearance of 2-5cm in bare feet.

If your cycling inseam is truly only 34 inches, you have a torso that's fairly long and legs that are a bit short.

Trek frames are measured to the top of the seat tube, which makes their frames about 2cm smaller than other brands that are measured to the (more conventional) top of the top tube.

A 60cm Trek frame, with a standover height 32.5 inches would be the best fit for a 34 inch inseam. The 58cm would be vertically and horizontally too small. If your inseam turns out to be a little longer, you may even need the 62cm, which has a standover height of 33.2 inches. Folks who do lots of long rides are better off with a frame that's on the large size to keep the handlebar height up. I've seen lots of folks posting pictures of their bikes on this site with too much seatpost showing and a large amount of (undesirable) steering tube spacers used to get the bars up to a comfortable level.

I would also never order a custom painted frame without a fitting at the dealer. The dealer should also be able to provide a test ride on a standard 5200.
At least 58filtersweep
Oct 5, 2002 2:25 PM
...maybe even a 60. Like it has been said, Trek's run small. I'd definitely visit a dealer before buying- it is not like they are hard to find ;)
re: How do I fit myself for a road bike?FrankDAfish
Oct 5, 2002 5:58 PM
You should definately NOT get a 56cm trek unless you want to be several inches too high over the bar and have a reach that is way too short. I am 5'11 with a 33cm cycling inseam and i am on a 58cm 5200 which fits damn nice. You would probably be a 58 at the smallest and most likely a 60
i'm 6'1 and use a 58...briko51
Oct 5, 2002 7:49 PM
my inseam is about 34.5 and i like the feel of a 58cm trek more than a 60cm. had the chance to ride a 60 (my friends' who is actually an inch shorter than me) and it just felt more awkward. i prefer the 58 with a longer stem. just got by top tube length...

58 cm trek has 57.2cm top tube
60 cm trek has 58.2cm top tube

but yeah, go to an LBS that has both sizes, and see which you like better. the 56 would definately be too small...