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LOOK frame fit(21 posts)

LOOK frame fitmorkm
Jan 12, 2003 2:54 PM
My girlfriend is interested in getting her first road bike and is looking at the LOOK KG 361 with Ultegra that is listed at I don't know of any LBSs that carry LOOK bikes in a size 51, so she won't be able to get on the bike to see how it fits. Any females out there riding a LOOK frameset? Any/all suggestions would be great. We're considering having a LBS do a Fit Kit on her to see what her measurements are (she's 5'04") and passing those on to the bike shop we're looking to buy from.
re: LOOK frame fitjtolleson
Jan 12, 2003 3:11 PM
My partner just bought one in a 49 and I'm betting that a 51 may be too big if your girlfriend is really 5'4". What makes you pick that size?

Look shows a mathematically long TT but the angles actually made the reach really work for her (it was the only stock frame we found that did).
I agreeDave Hickey
Jan 12, 2003 3:56 PM
I'm 5'7" and ride a 51cm LOOK. I think a 49cm would be much better.
Me tooASiegel993
Jan 12, 2003 6:14 PM
I didn't end up buying a look, but i'm about 5'7.5" and I would've gotten a 51cm. Look's top tubes are long, so size based on that.
5'8" and ride a 54 . . .Look381i
Jan 13, 2003 4:49 AM
I am of average proportions. My Look has the same seat tube length as my other bikes, but the top tube is a little longer (55.6 v. 54.5 or 54.8) in absolute terms. That tt, with my usual 120 stem and a no-setback seatpost (USE Alien carbon v. Campy for the others), works out well given the slack STA of the Look. I don't like a cramped cockpit or a lot of saddle-to-bars drop. I like to be stretched out a bit more than many. Only 11 cm of seatpost show, and saddle to bars drop 5 cm.

I have about an inch of standover clearance, but I consider that issue largely irrelevant. In 33 years of riding with clips or clipless pedals, I've yet to see anyone come off the saddle with his or her legs straight and the bike perfectly vertical. Thirty years ago, in the olden, less sophisticated days, dealers used standover clearance as a proxy for bike fit. It probably worked as often as not.

Also, IIRC, the 281/381/381i geometry is a little different than some of the other Look frames.
Dave Hickey, I have a sizing question...Horace Greeley
Jan 12, 2003 7:31 PM
Dave, just curious what your inseam is. I'm 5'8" with a 33 inseam, and I'm being told that a 54 cm would be a good fit, partly because of the slack seat angle. That's a big difference than a 51cm you're riding, even though our height difference is one inch. Thanks.
My inseam is 31". 54 sounds about right for you. nmDave Hickey
Jan 13, 2003 6:46 AM
Dave Hickey, I have a sizing question...No_sprint
Jan 13, 2003 10:00 AM
I agree, 54 sounds about right for you. I'm 5'8" with just under a 31 true inseam. I prefer 52s.
I know I could ride a 52 but....Dave Hickey
Jan 13, 2003 10:14 AM
All my LOOK's have always been a 51cm. A 51cm feels right to me.
I know I could ride a 52 but....No_sprint
Jan 13, 2003 11:04 AM
I hear ya. I always prefer to go smaller. I've got a 51 as well. I'm set up with almost the exact same measurements.
While we're on the topic of Look...Horace Greeley
Jan 13, 2003 12:58 PM
How do you like your bikes? In particular, compared to your prior rides (mine is aluminum) Sounds like you both have a KG381? Did you purchase in the US or overseas? If overseas, where? Any concerns, regrets, etc? Thanks very much.
While we're on the topic of Look...flying
Jan 13, 2003 4:06 PM
I have a 381i & love it.
I have always rode Italian Steel...Masi......Colnago
But I am totally converted now. In over 13 years I have not been so amazed so often by a frame. It does it all very well for me. I bought mine from Mike & Adrian at Total Cycling & highly recommend them.
Flying, a few questions (more)Horace Greeley
Jan 14, 2003 7:46 AM
I'm also considering a purchase from Total Cycling and have a few questions. If you don't mind, I could e-mail them outside the forum. Thanks.
re: me threedasho
Jan 12, 2003 6:42 PM
I am also 5'7" tall and ride a 50cm Look KG281. Look frames definitely run big. Although I never was able to locate a Look dealer (for a fit kit) within reasonable driving distance, I called around and was at least able to get the standover height (29.75" for a 50 cm) which helped. Contacting the US distributor below may help if need more info.
lots of bad advice....C-40
Jan 13, 2003 5:35 AM
Several people suggested frame sizes with no knowledge of your girlfriends inseam. You have to know inseam to have any idea of the proper (vertical) size. You can't go by height to estimate frame size.

Someone said LOOK frames run large. They are measured center to center rather that center to top. They don't run large.

That said, a 51cm is probably too large unless your girlfriend has an unusually long inseam. The proper inseam for a 51cm (c-c) frame is 30.5 inches or 77.5cm. Inseam should be measured in bare feet to firm (saddle-like) crotch contact.

The proper (vertical) frame size for given height can vary widely. I'm not quite 5'-7" tall, but have a long 83cm inseam. I ride a 53cm (c-c) or 54-55cm (c-t) frame. Other riders of the same height often ride frames that are 2-3cm smaller due to their short inseam.
Wait a minute...jtolleson
Jan 13, 2003 7:51 AM
calling it "bad advice" is unfair. No one here pretending to play "bike fitter;" the reaction was a general one.

If a 5'4" rider is all leg, the bike is PROBABLY much too long in the reach. If the 5'4" rider has a short inseam, the bike is PROBABLY too long in the top tube.

Knowing that a 5'4" rider is probably not going to be a good fit with a 51 cm LOOK is not exactly brain surgery.

My partner is 5'5" and rides a 49. The main issue for her, like many women, is reach. That was the only point.
Jan 13, 2003 7:54 AM
I meant for a short legged 5'4" rider the bike is probably too long in the SEAT tube (standover).

A leggy rider may definitely have reach issues on a 51 cm LOOK at only 5'4" ... that was my main thought (and my partner's main issue with bike fit).
Jan 13, 2003 9:03 AM
I was too harsh. 30 lashes. The point is that there are too many variables to comment accurately with so little info.

Also overlooked in the discussion was the typical 72.5 STA for most (but not all) LOOK frames. It's likely that moving the saddle forward will effectively reduce the TT length compared to other brands that usually have 74 degree STA in this size range.
Jan 13, 2003 9:07 AM
I agree with C-40.
hey j...collinsc
Jan 13, 2003 10:02 AM
did she end up with the 386 you were talking about a while back? what are your impressions of it? got any pics?
Yep, the 386!jtolleson
Jan 13, 2003 10:40 AM
Actually, we've been lazy in the photo dept. considering we have a digital camera.

She really loves it and went to carbon somewhat skeptically after being a dedicated ti rider. TT reach was a big issue but she was trying to avoid the custom $$ hit, and as noted above, the LOOK STA means a shorter effective TT (once saddle was adjusted for knee over pedal) and the LOOK is actually much better in the reach than her old Litespeed (a 51 measured c-t).

It'll be a bit small for me but I've still be meaning to take a spin around the block, having never ridden carbon. She said that the ride is more compliant than she expected but the drive train rigid enough to provide that fun little "jump" when you go to crank it.

Got a good price from Excel and built it with full DA plus USE Alien seatpost (so no setback), for maybe $3000 (can't remember exactly...).

It's purty!