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03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and others(19 posts)

03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and others03Vortex
Jun 21, 2003 12:09 PM
About three months ago I purchased a stock 55cm 03 Vortex. Great bike and always admired Litespeed. My cycling inseam is just about 82-82.5 cm (32-32.5in inseam)and my arm length is 56 cm. The TT length of the bike is 55.5. Torso is roughly 142/143cm. I currently have a 110 stem and for whatever it is worth, the front hub is hidden while in the drops. Therefore, have felt this was the right length.

I was measured and fitted at my LBS for a 55. LS measures center to top. My question is twofold. Yes, I was measured and trust my LBS but is 55 frame the right size and secondly, would anyone think that a 55.5 TT is too long for someone of my measurements? I have having some (only some) doubts on my purchase but was looking for some help.

Thanks to all...
in between sizes...C-40
Jun 21, 2003 12:45 PM
My inseam is 83cm and I'm only 5'-6.5" tall. I've successfully ridden a 55cm Litespeed with a 110mm stem. The frame is definitely on the large side if your inseam is a bit less.

A 53cm however, might feel a bit on the small side. The main difference is in the head tube length, which affects the amount of steering tube spacers needed, not the TT length. The head tube is 1.4cm shorter on the 53cm.

Taking into account the 1 degree difference in seat tube angle, there is only a 3mm difference in TT length. You could scarcely tell any difference with the saddle set in the same position relative to the BB.

The front-center dimension of the 53cm is actually 4mm longer than the 55cm.
in between sizes...03Vortex
Jun 21, 2003 12:56 PM
I admirably follow on this site your fit anlaysis. Reason for the "page." I would never had gone with the 53 as it undoubtedly would have felt too small. Very true about the HT length. I am glad to hear you felt okay on a LS 55 being 5'6.5". May I ask your arm length in cm just to compare it to mine? So, I gather you feel I am okay with a 55.5TT and 100 stem? My flexibility is not bad.
in between sizes...03Vortex
Jun 21, 2003 1:17 PM
I meant 110 stem and not 100. A colnago (CT-1) in a 55 is 1cm shorter in TT length but I think with the difference in STA, they both fit about the same assuming seat, as you point out, is in same position.

don't believe in arm measurements...C-40
Jun 21, 2003 1:48 PM
Too difficult to take accurately. Inseam should be measured to very firm crotch contact in bare feet. After that, get on a frame with the correct vertical size and go from there. The standover height of the frame should provide 3-5cm of clearance. In your case, it's around 3cm.

Stem length can be varied quite a bit. I try to be sure that my knees and elbows don't hit when riding in the drop section of the bars with my upper back in a horizontal position. Additional stem length is purely optional. Too much length will just make your shoulders hurt and accomplishes nothing.

Stem length depends greatly on the fore/aft position of the saddle. I've use a 100,110 and 120 at different times (on the same frame) while experimenting with saddle position. Right now, I'm trying a further back position in the hope that it will enhance my already respectable climbing (moving to Denver in late July).

Stem height is another sore issue for many folks. I limit my steering tube spacers to 1cm and prefer none. I can tolerate a 9cm drop from the saddle to the bars, but 10 is too much. I know that the perfect head tube length (with headset) is 15cm with a Ritchey 84 degree stem and no spacers. Right now, I'm adapting to a 5mm lower setup on my Fondriest.
in between sizes...zippi
Jun 21, 2003 11:17 PM
where do you get that there is only 4mm longer on the 55 than the 53? isn't there 1.5cm difference?
Jun 22, 2003 4:56 AM
To make an accurate comparison of two frames with different seat tube angles, the difference in saddle position and total reach must be taken into account.

To place the rider in the same position relative to the bottom bracket, the saddle must be moved farther back on the 53cm frame, due to it's steeper 74 degree seat tube angle.

This saddle movement has exactly the same effect on the fit as lengthening the top tube. The amount is calculated with the formula saddle height x (cosA-cosB) where A and B are the two seat tube angles.

For this size frame, the amount is 1.2cm, assuming a saddle height of 71cm.

Add 1.2cm to the 54.0cm TT length on the 53cm frame and you get 55.2cm. The saddle will be further back on the 53cm frame, but the rider will be in exactly the same position relative to the BB.
re: 03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and others03Vortex
Jun 21, 2003 12:46 PM
Forgot to add my height which is about 5'9".
re: 03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and others03Vortex
Jun 21, 2003 12:48 PM
Forgot to add my height of 5'9".
Dude, your bikeLazywriter
Jun 21, 2003 2:14 PM
fits. I have a 57cm Vortex and I am 5'11.5" tall with a 110mm stem. You are getting wrapped up in the minutiae of frame sizing and ignoring whether the bikes feels right. I admit that it would be nice for LS to have 1cm increments, but I still wouldn't see you on a 54cm frame. I was considering a 55cm that was sitting in my LBS for a while but came to my senses. I also ride a 58cm Trek 5500.
same height and inseam here.colker
Jun 21, 2003 3:11 PM
i would buy a 55 c-t anytime... yes, that 55.5 top tube could be called long if compared to an italian bike like a supercorsa, 53 c-c with a 54 top tube or a steelman 53 c-c with a 54.5 tt but... i don't think it's long at all! try different stem heights: it will change your fit on the bike.also, whta post is on the bike? lspeeds have a relaxed seat angle. a non setback post will eat that xtra cm from the top tube.
: 5.9 and 32 inseam. nmcolker
Jun 21, 2003 3:18 PM
If its only the top tube that has you concerned...Fez
Jun 21, 2003 2:42 PM
Then you would hardly net anything by going smaller. The seat angle is different on the 53 so the actual difference is less than half of 1 centimeter.

As it stands, your top of saddle would probably be 17-18cm above the top of the top tube. Pretty normal. A 53 would make that dimension 19-20cm.

The head tube is 1.5cm shorter, no bones about it. You will have to add spacers or play with stem angles to get the same bar height.

The 53 supposedly is spec'd from the factory with a fork of different rake than the 55.

Not seeing you on it and only going by info you provided, the size you bought is definitely close to, or actually is your optimal stock Litespeed size.
If its only the top tube that has you concerned...03Vortex
Jun 21, 2003 3:21 PM
THANKS to all who responded! Much appreciated.
re: 03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and othersjtolleson
Jun 21, 2003 5:04 PM
My cycling inseam is 81.75 cm and I rode a 55 cm Litespeed for 4 seasons. Being 5'7" I actually had a reach issue and dropped down to an 8 cm stem, but it sounds like you shouldn't have any of those problems. I can't believe that the bike's too big.
I don't see an obvious problem: what's the complaint?djg
Jun 21, 2003 7:25 PM
Contrary to C40, I wouldn't especially worry about the inseam measurement, provided you are in the ballpark. At 5'9, with your inseam, you should have no problems mounting and dismounting a 55 cm bike. You should also have no problems getting your seat at your preferred height. If these suppositions are correct, then I don't think there's any sense in which the bike is too tall for you. You say you are worried about the top tube. Why is that? Do you feel inordinately stretched out? A shop you say you trust fit you to the bike. You've got a perfectly normal stem length and you say that the old (incredibly variable) look through the bars heuristic is working for you. That all sounds like a perfectly reasonable starting point. Now from that perfectly reasonable starting point, some might feel more comfortable going slightly longer or shorter (across the bike) and some might feel more comfortable getting the bars slightly higher or lower. There's nothing freakish about wanting any of these adjustments, although obviously you cannot want all of them simultaneously. Talk to the fit guy at your shop about what is bothering you, if anything. Some relief might be available by flipping your stem. Some might depend on replacing the stem and/or the bars. Just from the numbers, which I certainly wouldn't worry about for their own sake, I don't see any problem here. That doesn't mean that a 55 cm Vortex will suit everyone who is 5'9" and has your inseam and reach--but it's a plausible frame for most of that population and can very likely be made to work for you.
Similar size hereNessism
Jun 21, 2003 8:07 PM
5-9" tall, 82 cm inseam, riding a 55 cm Tuscany. Seat to stem drop is about 2" (using a Ritchey 84 degree 110 mm stem w/25 mm of spacers) which is about right for me.

I would say that your frame is in the ball park. Fine tuning stem length is up to you.

Good luck.

re: 03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and otherszippi
Jun 21, 2003 11:38 PM
i have similar measurements than you and i just got a 53 vortex. my lbs in san diego also fitted me, although i've sometimes had the same question as you only the opposite. could i have gone bigger? where do you guys get that the 55 is only a few mm's longer and not noticeable. according to there geometry chart the 55 is at least 1cm longer. another thing to consider when doing your fit is the type of bar your using. some bars stretch you out more (long or short reach),as do the groupo your using. campy to me feel longer in the hoods. like i said, i'm riding a 53 w/100 stem, kestral bar and i have a longer torso than you. barefoot 5'8" reach 56, torso 148ish, inseam 82. feels good.
re: 03 Litespeed Vortex owner/Fit dilemma/Paging C-40 and others03Vortex
Jun 22, 2003 6:43 AM
I hear you but I didn't even consider and wouldn't have gone with a 53. But that's me. Just would have likely felt too small with a significant difference in HT length resulting in too many spacers and/or too much rise in stem for my liking. Also would probably end up with way too much seat post showing. I use Deda oversize Deda Newton bar and stem; and gruppo is Dura Ace. It is, as I'm sure you will agree, a great bike!!