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Which size to buy?(5 posts)

Which size to buy?firewood
Dec 6, 2003 2:56 AM
I'm purchasing my first road bike in 24yrs. I'm 5'8" with short legs (28" inseam). My LBS has let me try a 53cm and a 51cm. They let me take both bikes home to try on my trainer. With the 53cm I would have to shorten the stem by 10mm. Also with the setback seatpost I have to slide the saddle all the way forward. Looks kind of wierd.
On the 51cm I have to put the saddle back all the way and add a longer stem.
Both bikes are compact frame geometry. That's the reason for the 24 yr delay on purchase. I couldn't fit on a regular bike.
Any non-biased suggestions would appeciated.
Which is more comfortable?hudsonite
Dec 6, 2003 7:26 AM
I would not worry about the seatpost. You can always change it to a straight post if that is what you need.

What is the drop between the seat and the bars on both bikes? Larger frames can allow you to have a smaller drop distance between saddle and bars. Depending upon your torso and arms, the higher frame may be more comfortable.

I try to keep my drop to less than two inches, so I gravitate to a larger frame size. Anything more than 2 inches and I will get sore after a couple of hours.

The other consideration is the stem length. If it is below 90mm, it is probably too big a frame, above 120, the frame is probably too small.

Which frame does the LBS recommend? Do you trust their opinion?
Which is more comfortable?firewood
Dec 6, 2003 10:14 AM
My drop to the top of the handlebar is 0, it's about an inch to the hoods. The bike comes with a 10 deg. rise stem that I inverted. It's also 110mm long. I was already looking at the Thompson seatpost and a 100mm stem to replace the stock one.
I've had similar problems with my mtn. bikes. I do have a long torso so the longer top tube in the 53cm bike is probably the one I'm going to get. The 53cm is the one the LBS suggested. I'm looking at the Lemond Zurich it's a steel/carbon, compact frame.
re: Which size to buy?spoke
Dec 6, 2003 8:17 AM
I like you have ran accross the same challange. I am about 5'8" with a different inseam measurement than yourself. The bike that I was looking at gave me two options, a 52cm and a 54cm. For me it went from one extreme to the next. In measurements that I am more comfortable with puts me at about a 53cm. I am looking at different bike manufacturers all together. Ones that make a 53cm bike. I used Competitive Cyclist online fit formula and it placed me in the 53cm range. You might want to try their formula to give you an estimate. There are a lot of bike manufactures out there. Many seem to have a little variance from bike size and top tube length.

I am glad that I backed off on the first bike and have taken the time to look. I have learned a lot through many of the helpful people here on RR and at the LBSs. So, have fun and take your time until you find one that works for you.

I suspect the bigger one will fit you better longterm.Spoke Wrench
Dec 6, 2003 8:33 AM
If you have short legs, then you must have a longer than average torso for somebody who is 5'8". I kind of think that after you have ridden for a while you are going to want a more aerodynamic, longer distance between the seat and handlebar. You'll be able to make the 53 accomodate that position, but the 51 will have already been stretched to its limit.