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In between sizes - When in doubt....(26 posts)

In between sizes - When in doubt....Franchise
Oct 25, 2002 8:32 AM

I'm about to pull the trigger on a Trek OCLV, and I was wondering if I could get some input. I could ride a 58cm frame with .5cm of spacers and a 110 or 100 stem with approx. 4 inches of seatpost showing OR I could go with 56cm frame, 120 stem, 3cm spacers and approximately 5 inches of seatpost showing.

Please give me some input. When in doubt, should you go for the larger size or the smaller size? I can be set up in the same position on each frame.

I am leaning to the side of a larger frame because of the lack of spacers, but the small amount of seatpost showing may be a drawback. Thanks for any input.
re: In between sizes - When in doubt....Spunout
Oct 25, 2002 8:53 AM
Looks don't matter. What about standover height? You should check this before considering the larger frame.

Five inches of seatpost isn't excessive, but it seems that you enjoy (require?) high handlebars. Or in other terms, not alot of drop.

Is this why you need those spacers? I don't know if it is practical, 3cm of spacers. You could also look at getting a stem with positive rise to bring the bars higher. Watch out now, the stem police will have a ball with this one!
re: In between sizes - When in doubt....Franchise
Oct 25, 2002 11:00 AM
I am most comfortable with litte drop. Thanks for the input. I am aware of the stem police, but I am currently trying to evade any charges regarding spacers(hence no pics of my bikes). Thanks again!
re: In between sizes - When in doubt....No_sprint
Oct 25, 2002 8:55 AM
Some feel differently, but it is my opinion, when in doubt, always, always go smaller.
re: In between sizes - When in doubt....Heron Todd
Oct 25, 2002 9:05 AM
>Some feel differently, but it is my opinion, when in doubt, always, always go smaller.

Why smaller?

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
re: In between sizes - When in doubt....No_sprint
Oct 25, 2002 9:20 AM
Well, partially because of my own particular experience. I too was in that in between state several years ago, before I started racin'. I chose the larger though of course, the shop salesperson convinced me that this was actually the *right* size for me, even though I had no standover clearance. I was too stretched out, even in the hoods. This caused me to be too rolled forward on the saddle resulting in too much pressure in the wrong place. I had the saddle too far forward as well resulting in a bit too little weight in the rear end. I never felt fully in control of the bike.

Since that time and having learned very much from many, I chose to go actually 2 cms smaller than that rig several years ago. Wow, what a difference. A whole world of comfort I'd never known existed. I now have two racers amongst others, all of which are either one or two cms smaller than that first race bike I'd bought. I feel fully in control of these rides. I don't mind shaving grams either. Full bore weight weenie here. FWIW, I use 100 and 110mm stems. On the smaller ride I've got a 1cm spacer and about 6 inches of post (I've got slightly shorter legs vs. torso) and on the other racer, it's semi-compact, so that doesn't matter.
The 58cm sounds like a better fit to me. nmrwbadley
Oct 25, 2002 9:01 AM
I'm between those same two sizes w/OCLV's, too!jtferraro
Oct 25, 2002 9:19 AM
My problem is that I have a 85cm inseam but a comparatively short torso. The 58cm frame therefore fits me better on the vertical plane, but the 56cm frame fits me better on the horizontal plane. On the 58cm frame I'll only need a 90mm stem but since the 56cm frame has a 1cm shorter TT, I'd need a 100mm stem. I think I'd have almost too much standover on the 56cm frame, though!

I'm between those same two sizes w/OCLV's, too!jschrotz
Oct 25, 2002 10:07 AM
Why do people worry so much about standover height? How often are you going to be standing over your top tube walking the bike down the road?! If you're voice doesn't go up an octave while standing over it and the reach is correct, you're probably going to be ok. The top tube measurement is the crucial figure. Get that right and you're much closer to good fit than worrying about whether you have some clearance between your crotch and the top tube when standing on the ground. The entire compact geometry trend is based on getting the rider set up with the correct reach with as short a seat tube as practically possible, not to mention using the least amount of tubing as they can to reduce weight.
Thanks-I hear ya'. Hopefully I'll get to test them both out.(nm)jtferraro
Oct 25, 2002 10:24 AM
I'm between those same two sizes w/OCLV's, too!Spunout
Oct 25, 2002 10:30 AM
Well, then an OCLV doesn't fit you. Look for a bike with something close to Euro Geometry, shorter top-tube.

OTOH, go smaller. Is there such a thing as too much standover?
Yeah, I'm starting to think that OCLV's aren't the best matchjtferraro
Oct 25, 2002 10:51 AM
for me, too. For example, if I go w/C'dale, I can get a 56(c-t) and it has a 56cm TT. The 58cm TREK(56 c-t) has a 57.1cm TT and the 56cm TREK(54 c-t) has a 56.1cm TT.

Unfortunately, I put down $100 already but would be willing to lose it. I'm also getting a killer deal(I know, I's not a deal if it doesn't fit). Well, does it fit ideally if I go w/the 56cm TREK(the smaller one)? You and others are right - standover shouldn't matter as much as reach(TT length).

I'm between those same two sizes w/OCLV's, too!Franchise
Oct 25, 2002 11:04 AM

Sounds like you have a problem also. I wish that Trek had the same sizing as my Pinarello (58cm c-t with a 56cm tt). It sounds like you'd like that sizing as well.
Oct 25, 2002 11:10 AM
That Pinarello really sounds great for TT length. I wonder what the TT length would be on their 56(c-t).

Oct 25, 2002 3:36 PM

I think that the tt would be 54.5cm, but don't quote me on that.
Nice and short! (nm)jtferraro
Oct 26, 2002 5:41 AM
re: In between sizes - When in doubt....pmf1
Oct 25, 2002 9:25 AM
How much biking have you done? No offense here. I assume you're young. Over time, if you are just starting out, you'll get more limber and probably feel more comfortable lower and more stretched out. If this is the case, I'd go with the smaller frame. You can lower the stem later.

If this isn't the case, go with the larger frame. 4 vs. 5 inches of seatpost is a negligable difference.

3 cm rise on a stem is not huge. A bit too much for a fork with a carbon steerer though. Is the Trek fork steerer carbon? You can probably get the same rise with 2 cm of spacers and a flipped after market stem. See if your LBS can't help out.

Have you been able to ride each size?
You are not between sizes, 56cm is your size.elviento
Oct 25, 2002 9:48 AM
3cm of spacers is fine.
For the uninitiated, that's Lance's bike. (nm)TrekFurthur
Oct 25, 2002 10:16 AM
Oct 25, 2002 1:23 PM
Yeah... use a quill stem !filtersweep
Oct 25, 2002 2:16 PM
Pardon the sarcasm... apparently nobody, and he means NOBODY should use spacers?
a little is fine...C-40
Oct 26, 2002 11:57 AM
I have no problem with up to 1cm of spacers, but 2-3cm looks ugly to me. If you want the Fred look, stack'em up.
When in doubt....Leroy
Oct 25, 2002 11:18 AM
lay out. That's a by-word in the band. ;) Actually, you should go smaller.
pick the larger frame!!!C-40
Oct 25, 2002 1:18 PM
You don't mention the stem angle that you intend to use, but you should not even consider using 3cm of spacers. The .5cm amount is fine. I like to use none, if possible.

The difference in the effective top tube length is acutally only only .4cm (not 1cm) due to the difference in the seat tube angle. If you would use a 120 stem on the 56cm, then the 58cm will require a 115 stem once the saddle is moved forward to produce the same KOP position.

The Trek frame has an extended seat tube that reduces the the amount of post showing. Rather than worry about the amount of post showing, measure the distance that the saddle is above the top tube. 16-18cm is a good range. Any more is totally unnecessary.
Oct 25, 2002 1:32 PM
You also didn't mention the saddle to bar height difference that you are trying to achieve, but whatever it is, it's always better to use more stem angle rather than a bunch of spacers to get the bars up.

Either way, you'll look silly if your saddle is 20cm (or more) above the top tube and you've got a bunch of spacers and/or a high rise stem to get the bars up to height. All that says is you bought a frame that's too small. Racers who ride a small frame usually use no spacers or stem rise at all and may have 5 inches difference in the height of the bars and saddle.

With so little difference in the effective top tube length, there is no good reason to use the smaller frame.
Oct 25, 2002 3:47 PM

Thanks for the heads-up. I really appreciate it. I measured by bike and I have a 3 inch difference in bar height and seat height. I agree about the multitude of spacers problem. Thanks for your help.