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Am I normal?(55 posts)

Am I normal?castrello
Nov 20, 2002 5:56 AM
Hey, people. I cant really figured out of Im long-legged or long-torsoed. Most of my friends (cycling or non-cycling) dont really know their inseams, so I cant compare.

Im 6´1 (186 cm) and my inseam is 90 cm (about 35 inches+). So how do I know if I´m longlegged or whatever?
you sound a bit long leggedColnagoFE
Nov 20, 2002 6:21 AM
I'm 6'2" and have about a 36" inseam. Bikes like Colnago fit me well.
I'm even worse...jtferraro
Nov 20, 2002 6:40 AM
5'9 1/4" height w/a 33.5in(85cm) inseam.

I'm even worse...mainframe
Nov 20, 2002 7:16 AM
Jeff, what size frame do you ride? Just curious as our height and inseam dimensions are the same.
Nov 20, 2002 7:31 AM
I'm on a 58cm TREK, but as you may know, they measure c-top of seat tube! I believe it is really a 56cm frame, c-top of TT. Unfortunately, it also has a long TT, at 57.1cm. For that reason I'm only on a 10cm stem.

What size frame do you ride?

Nov 20, 2002 7:42 AM
A 55cm (c-c) seems about right for me. With the proper seat height I'm riding with 3.75" drop with about 2cm of spacers. My TT is presently 56.5 cm and seems slightly less than optimal. Thus the new frame is shortly to be built up and among other changes, features a 56.9 cm TT. Just waiting for the new wheels to arrive before the work begins.
Stem length presently? (nm)jtferraro
Nov 20, 2002 10:21 AM
Stem length presently? (nm)mainframe
Nov 20, 2002 11:52 AM
I had the front end of my bike rebuilt about two months ago and cannot remember if it is now 110 or 120. I'll verify tonight and reply via this same thread tomorrow. Also, reviewing my initial post, inseam is 33.25" and not 33.5". Later.
Stem length presently? (nm)mainframe
Nov 20, 2002 11:58 AM
Just checked with my LBS; its a 120 mm/80 degree negative rise.
Nov 20, 2002 10:50 AM
Not to start another-long winded discussion, but Treks DO NOT have long top tubes. Treks just happen to have a little more standover than comparable bikes, so they measure to the top of the collar so that you still use the same frame size you would with other manufacturers. Think of this increased standover like you would with compact frames - you just happen to get a tad bit more standover with OCLVS as you would with a Litespeed or a Colnago.

If you stick with the size Trek says the bike is, you will find the top tube to be quite normal. If you "downsize" it due to your own measurement of the seat tube, then you will say Treks have a long top tube.
Nov 20, 2002 11:05 AM
I'm about a 58 on most bikes. I read that trek measures differently, convinced myself that 58 was too small and took a 60 for a spin....too big. The 58 fit well though.
Nov 20, 2002 12:06 PM
According to my Fit Kit, I should be on a bike w/a 58.1cm(+ or - 1cm) seat tube. I'm not sure if the Fit Kit's recommendation is c-c or c-top of TT. When I stood over a 56cm TREK I had quite a bit of TT clearance and would have needed a fair amount of spacers when the seat was adjusted to the right height. With the 58cm TREK that I bought, I don't have a ton of clearance but also don't need a full stack of spacers. Also, the seat angle on the 56 and 58 was different, further reducing the effective TT lenghth. I didn't realize Litespeeds and Colagno's were also known to have a bit more standover. Thanks for the info and the insight as to why TREK sizes their bikes the way they do.

Nov 20, 2002 12:21 PM
I meant you get a tad bit MORE standover on the OCLV as compared to other brands such as LS or Colnago.

My point was that you shouldn't fit a bike based on the standover. Trek compensates for the lowish standover by measuring the bikes to the seat collar. Therefore, you ride the same size Trek as you would most other bikes, and you get comparable top tube length with a tad bit more standover.

Similarly, with compact bikes, you would completely disregard the actual seat and top tube measurements and go for the virtual top tube length when picking a size.
True but......Len J
Nov 20, 2002 12:44 PM
the problem with Treks is that when you size to the TT you end up with either a large drop to the bars or a ton of spacers (unless you are long torsoed & short legged). At least with a compact frame you can size it so that the front end is high enough.

No buts... Clarification #2Fez
Nov 20, 2002 2:55 PM
The spacer problem is independent of the sizing issues discussed above. Treks just have short top tubes and that just results in riders (including Lance) using a few more spacers.

You are right that compact frames have higher and taller head tube areas to eliminate excess spacers. But even conventional frame manufacturers have recently been increasing the height of the top tube to account for the supposedly lower stack height of 1 and 1/8" threadless headsets and integrated systems.
I wouldn't say TREK's have short TT's. (nm)jtferraro
Nov 20, 2002 3:55 PM
Sorry, that's short HEAD TUBES (nm)Fez
Nov 20, 2002 4:11 PM
Yes Buts......Len J
Nov 20, 2002 4:03 PM
You say: "The spacer problem is independent of the sizing issues discussed above. Treks just have short top tubes and that just results in riders (including Lance) using a few more spacers."

I would disagree. The spacer problem is a direct result of the sizing problems.

My Trek 5500 was a size 58 with a 57 c to c Top tube & a 54 C to C seat tube. A standard 57 (of other Mfg. would have a 57 seat tube & a 57 TT. A person who would fit a normal 57 X 57 would have 3 cm of additional spacers on the Trek for the same fit. The spacer problem relates to the short Seat tube, not the TT.

Yes Buts......Fez
Nov 20, 2002 4:18 PM
Sorry, I wrote a typo, and my point became obscured by my error.

I meant to say Treks just have short HEAD TUBES. I think the short head tube is noncorrelated to the size of the other tubes, because, in theory, they could have made a head tube extension. But that may require expensive retooling or may add weight. We wouldn't want to see an OCLV gain weight next model year because they added more head tube length.

They have, IMO normal length top tubes for the frame size they advertise.
Clarification #3 - I meant to say short head tube; sorry!(nm)Fez
Nov 20, 2002 4:19 PM
worse yet: 5'1" with a 31" inseam_rt_
Nov 20, 2002 8:18 AM
if my torso was proportional i'd be 3" taller!

r(all leg)t
That's amazing........Dave Hickey
Nov 20, 2002 8:44 AM
I have a 31" inseam and I'm 5'8".
That's amazing........No_sprint
Nov 20, 2002 9:57 AM
5'8" here with about a 30 inch inseam. Slightly short legged.
Me too...noveread
Nov 20, 2002 11:58 AM
5'7", 29.5" inseam: short legged...

i must be a direct decendant from a daddy longleg_rt_
Nov 20, 2002 11:19 AM
whole lotta leg, not much body.
LOL, what length stem/TT combo are you using? nmDave Hickey
Nov 20, 2002 11:45 AM
it's not easy to accomodate all the legs but...._rt_
Nov 20, 2002 12:06 PM
by tieing back 2 pair of legs i managed to avoid having to go with a custom frame. ;-)

seriously, i'm riding a 50 cm Trek w/ a 70mm stem & 51.5 cm TT.

50cm TREK w/31" inseam? You're kidding, right? (nm)jtferraro
Nov 20, 2002 12:18 PM
no. not kidding. why is that so odd?_rt_
Nov 20, 2002 12:30 PM
i ride a 13" mtb too.

That sound about right...Dave Hickey
Nov 20, 2002 3:55 PM
I ride a 51cm CTC LOOK with a 53.5 TT and 10cm stem.
whew! i'd hate to think i wasn't...._rt_
Nov 21, 2002 5:32 AM
normal (for a direct descendant of an arachnid)! ;-)

=) (nm)jtferraro
Nov 20, 2002 12:14 PM
Just the opposite: 33" I/S, 73.5" tall, call me Mr. Torso. (nm)RhodyRider
Nov 20, 2002 9:28 AM
Could it be. .js5280
Nov 20, 2002 12:54 PM
you're the perfect women? Educated, rides both road and mtn, likes Fat Tire beer, and loooong cycling legs to boot. Be still my heart. . .

Is there a Mr. _rt_?

lol! flatterer....but_rt_
Nov 20, 2002 1:02 PM
if i were perfect i'd be at least 5'6"! ;-P

sorry, "mtbfreak9er" (occasional passion poster) found me first.

Darn. . .js5280
Nov 20, 2002 1:35 PM
close to perfect but not quite ;-) Just need to be single and live in Colorado, but I wouldn't change anything else. If you get the wild urge to run off to Colorado and want to support a poor Masters student with a cycling problem, well, I think there might be a case of Fat Tire in it for ya ;-)
CO? Fat Tire? hmmmm..._rt_
Nov 21, 2002 5:29 AM
tempting. ;-P

ironically, i met mtbfreak9er on a trip to CO this summer.

where in CO are you?


my favorite CO pic:

and another fav:

both from the Montezuma trail.
Holy Cow -- I'm 5'7" w/32.5" inseamKristin
Nov 21, 2002 6:48 AM
And I was told that I have VERY long legs. Can you buy a road bike off the shelf? If so, what brands fit you? I'll store up this info for my next purchase (if I don't get a custom somthing).
i ended up with...._rt_
Nov 21, 2002 7:38 AM
a 50 cm Trek 5200. my problem is that i have a very short torso so reach becomes the decision maker for selecting frames. i've had people try to convince me that i should be riding a 52cm frame because i've got the standover but i can barely reach the bars!!

my Trek's got about a 51.5cm top tube and i'm running a 70mm stem on it and it fits perfectly. i just have lots of clearance so if i decide to take up trail riding on it i'm golden! ;-)

You know, girls like us don't get the pick of the litter ;-)Kristin
Nov 21, 2002 7:59 AM
My abnormal (read, not masculine) proportions left me feeling rather limited when it came time to shop for a frame. Several stores steered me completely away from Trek frames because they are longish side and they were positive that a Trek would not fit. And EVERYONE seemed to think that standover height was the most important factor in fitting a road bike.

So what ill effects have you experienced (or not) with a little more standover? Anything?
lol! i'm lucky if..._rt_
Nov 21, 2002 8:55 AM
there's even a frame in my size to try out since most people are absolutely baffled regarding size when they look at me!! i've tried everything from a 43cm wsd to a 52cm frame. ;-)

i'm not sure why everyone is so stuck on standover as THE indicator of fit. it's not! you need to have enough standover so that if at some point you have to hop off the saddle (maybe at traffic light for those of us too uncoordinated to trackstand for more than about 3 nanoseconds) you don't ruin your chances of ever having children. and if you have 8" of standover you might want to consider a different frame geometry. but other than that standover makes no difference what so ever that i can tell!!

when i was workign at a shop i used standover as an indicator of whether a bike was too big. and then i had the person sit on it and tell me how it felt and whether or not the hub was obscured by the stem (also a gross indicator of fit).

i have not experienced a single ill effect (nor can i imagine what ill effects there might be) of having 3" of standover rather than 1"! not to mention as a diehard mtb'er i'm used to having 4-5" of clearance. makes the bike more maneuverable.

Reading this board has led me to ask the same questionUprwstsdr
Nov 20, 2002 6:42 AM
I'm 6'2" with a 32" inseam. Apparently my legs are on the short side, and I always thought they were long.
long leggedFrith
Nov 20, 2002 7:09 AM
i'm 6'.75" with an 87 inseam and i'm what's considered long legged. Although neither you nor I are have freakishly long legs so don't let that stop you from looking at North American and or compact frames.
I am abnormal..DINOSAUR
Nov 20, 2002 7:30 AM
I am 6-0 and have a 35" inseam and have a short torso (duely noted when I had my fitting for my new bike). I ride a 59 c-t 56.9 tt Colnago Master X-Light. It was one of the frames that fit me off of the peg instead of going the custom route...most folks who are long legged have short torso...(unless you are normal)...I am definitely abnormal..
I am abnormal..too?Juanmoretime
Nov 20, 2002 8:01 AM
6'2" 88 centimeter inseam. I ride a Vortex 59 57.5 top tube with a 110 mm stem.
I am abnormal..too?DINOSAUR
Nov 20, 2002 8:23 AM
Your not too bad, you are a couple of inches taller than me and a 1cm shorter inseam. I use a 10 cm stem but I could go longer but don't want to fork over the bucks for a new Deda Newton stem.....if people are always accusing you of wearing your pants up around your chest area, you might fit in the short torso range...
Do you have a Newton now? If so, how do you like it? (nm)jtferraro
Nov 20, 2002 10:25 AM
Do you have a Newton now? If so, how do you like it? (nm)DINOSAUR
Nov 20, 2002 1:51 PM
I like the Newton, it was an upgrade for my groupo, the package was supposed to come with a Magic stem.

The only problem I've had is locating the right position on the Deda ananatomic bars for the Campy Ergo levers. The Ergo's cause for a bit of experimenting...but if you have Shimano you won't have this problem...(if you are changing bars also)....
re: Am I normal?Bruno S
Nov 20, 2002 8:17 AM
I am 6'2.5" with a 36.5 inseam. I ride a 60 that fits ok on the top tube but requires a long seat post.
6' 0" : 88cm bike inseam Longlegged nmLen J
Nov 20, 2002 12:46 PM
6'8" 38" inseam "What about the bike?"Daddylonglegs
Nov 20, 2002 7:05 PM
I consider myself to be well proportioned (if such a thing exists)but alas find myself on a 66cm Cannondale frame. I would like to downsize to a 63cm (Litespeed Classic or Seven Alaris) and would like some feedback from "Big/Clydesdale" types who have done so.
Why do you want to do this?Len J
Nov 21, 2002 4:53 AM
I'm not a clydesdale but I have to ask why you would want to reduce your frame size to a 63. I'm guessing that the standover on a 63 would be about 88 cm which would leave you with 8.5 cm of clearance. Worse would be the reduction in Headtube length which would either increase your bar drop by 3 CM or require 3 cm more spacers.

How long is the TT & stem on your current bike?
What is the seat to bar drop?
Why are you considering this dramatic a change?

Why do you want to do this?Daddylonglegs
Nov 21, 2002 6:36 AM
Len, First off thanks for the response. It's nice to hear the opinions and knowledge of others. More in depth than the LBS.
OK so 63 might be a stretch, I just threw it out there as that is the absolute smallest that I could/would go. My reason for downsizing is my search for a stiffer climb and a lowewre standover height (don't ask me why, I just want it). I would also like to switch over to Ti(Litespeed) but would like to ride a stock frame if possible.
I have been interested in some feedback on the Litespeed Veneto which has a tall headtube XL/23.5cm and a shorter angled TT, 57.1. I have checked the measurements against my
frame and it appears as if I would keep my height in the handlebars but gain a shorter seat tube, thus give me a more compact, albeit funky looking framset. Just a idea however the specs look promising.
Here are some numbers on my frame
TT length 61cm
Head tube length=24cm
Stem 120 x 105 deg.
Seat/Handlebar variance=9.5cm (fairly upright)

The Litespeed looks interesting in the XL size especially when you compare the specs to my frame. Oh yeah one last reason I am interested in the switch. My fram frame came with a threaded steel fork and I can not find a carbon threadless fork with a steer tube long enough(360mm) for this beast.

Thanks in advance for the valuable advice.
I'm confused.....Len J
Nov 21, 2002 6:58 AM
You currently ride a 61 cm TT with a 120 stem, why would you look at something that only had a 57 TT? To get the same reach, you would need a 160+ stem, I think. I would think about this.

Your comment about 9.5 cm drop leaving you upright made me chuckle. Us short people (I'm only 6') would condider that a maximum drop.

Someone who you might want to contact is Leonard Zinn (of Zinn & the art of.. repair books fame). Leonard is 6'6" and is always critical of how Noodly most frames are for Larger riders. He probably knows more about fitting large riders than anyone.

His web site is:

Check out his project big bike.

Have you thought about compact geometry?

Don't be...Daddylonglegs
Nov 21, 2002 7:22 AM
The reach stays the same. The TT is shorter because it angles downward to the seat tube similar to a compact frame.
Think of it as a compact frame with a tall head tube.
Check out the specs and let me know what you think.

Thanks again