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Bike Frame Size Question

Sep 21, 2009
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I know that this is probably an annoying question but I'm not happy with my frame size and am looking for some advice. I also understand that I just registered with the site...

I have a 56" frame (Specialized Allez)

When I stand flat footed over the bar I don't have really any room between the bar and my crotch. Not to be obscene but basically by "balls" are all over the bar.

I've been an avid runner and decided to take up cycling a year ago. The people at the store assured me I should go with the 56" frame even though I felt more comfortable on a 54".

I feel uncomfortable on the bike and probably should suck it up.
Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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When you say that you are uncomfortable on the bike, do you mean the overall fit (saddle to pedals, reach to bars, etc.) or simply that you're nervous about the small clearance in stand over height? Have you had a chance to really ride the bike, start & stop, dismount, etc?

It's possible to ride a smaller frame size and compensate by raising the saddle, fitting a longer handlebar stem, etc. If you really can't handle the fear of landing on the top tube, your LBS should accommodate your needs by adjusting a smaller bike to fit you.
 
Aug 8, 2009
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Frame size isn't that important to a good setup. Get the smaller frame. Your nuts and your comfort are more important than whatever calculations the bike shop was doing.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Firstly, I would recommend a professional fitting. The fitter will tell you if the 54cm or 56cm frame is better for you. There are two basic schools of thought on fitting: fitting based on measurements (limb length, etc) and fitting based on flexibility and feel on the bike. Personally, I have had poor experiences with the first and prefer the second type of fitting. I had my fitting done by Serotta, but others also offer similar services. Regardless, a professional fitting is always money well spent - its your comfort on the bike which makes cycling the enjoyable experience it should be.

Secondly, if you're not comfortable, then you're not comfortable. Go with your gut instincts. As an added bonus for weight weenies, the 54cm will be slightly lighter. As others have said, you can change your seat post set back, saddle position and stem length to vary your position on the bike and make either a 54cm or 56cm work for you, but that obviously does not address your stand over height concerns with the 56cm.

Bottom line: get a professional fitting and ride what you are comfortable with riding.
 
losethetude said:
I know that this is probably an annoying question but I'm not happy with my frame size and am looking for some advice. I also understand that I just registered with the site...

I have a 56" frame (Specialized Allez)

When I stand flat footed over the bar I don't have really any room between the bar and my crotch. Not to be obscene but basically by "balls" are all over the bar.

I've been an avid runner and decided to take up cycling a year ago. The people at the store assured me I should go with the 56" frame even though I felt more comfortable on a 54".

I feel uncomfortable on the bike and probably should suck it up.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Don't 'suck it up' Go back to the place you bought it and make them 'suck it up'. Get your $ back and go to a bike shop that knows what it's doing in terms of bike fit. Buy there.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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www.oxygencycles.com
losethetude said:
I know that this is probably an annoying question but I'm not happy with my frame size and am looking for some advice. I also understand that I just registered with the site...

I have a 56" frame (Specialized Allez)

When I stand flat footed over the bar I don't have really any room between the bar and my crotch. Not to be obscene but basically by "balls" are all over the bar.

I've been an avid runner and decided to take up cycling a year ago. The people at the store assured me I should go with the 56" frame even though I felt more comfortable on a 54".

I feel uncomfortable on the bike and probably should suck it up.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Professional but over tired opinion...

Unless you've got incredibly short legs and a very very long torso, that bike can't be right. Allez are a semi-compact frame, they're designed to show a fair bit of seat post. Judging by your total lack of standover clearance I'd suspect you need a 52cm rather than a 54. Even if you have got a big torso you'd still be better on a smaller bike with a longer headstem.

Don't suck it up, you'll end up with backpain at the very least, horribly bruised balls at the worst.



just to be pedantic, this is the only person that would fit a 56" bike (road-bikes are measured in centimetres not inches.)
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Jun 18, 2009
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losethetude said:
I know that this is probably an annoying question but I'm not happy with my frame size and am looking for some advice. I also understand that I just registered with the site...

I have a 56" frame (Specialized Allez)

When I stand flat footed over the bar I don't have really any room between the bar and my crotch. Not to be obscene but basically by "balls" are all over the bar.

I've been an avid runner and decided to take up cycling a year ago. The people at the store assured me I should go with the 56" frame even though I felt more comfortable on a 54".

I feel uncomfortable on the bike and probably should suck it up.
Any advice would be appreciated.

For approx frame size, follow the advice from this article http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-1-383-15708-1,00.html

In socks, place a thin hardcover book, spine up, between your legs with about the same upward pressure a saddle produces. Measure your inseam, from the book's spine to the floor, in centimeters. Multiply that number by 0.65; the result is your approximate road frame size. For example, 81cm x 0.65 = 52.65-a 52 or 53cm frame (sizes are the seat-tube length). Note that compact sizing uses a virtual seat-tube length, so don't go by the stated size unless it has the same virtual size. To convert to inch sizing, divide by 2.54. For mountain bikes, subtract 10-12cm from your road size.

If your existing frame size is wrong, take it back to the shop you bought it from and demand a replacement. Any semi-competent bike store should at least be able to get you a frame that fits.

After you have the correct frame size, do what Elapid said and get a professional fit. The frame is just the beginning - saddle/stem/bar/cleat position are also very important for efficiency/comfort. I had a fit done by http://www.wobblenaught.com, and I am very happy with the result.

Good luck!
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Before you lash out money on a professional fit, log onto these guys and give their system a try:
https://www.wrenchscience.com/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=/Secure/Fit/Height.aspx?stylecode=R&stylecode=R

You have to register, but that just means that you get their advertising emails. It's worth it as they use pretty much the same things that a pro fitter will use - so you can get yourself pretty close, if not spot on, at home. The difference is of course that a professional fitter has many more times the experience at doing this than what you do.

But like some others have said - if you're not comfortable, then don't just "suck it up". I think that you've found yourself a shop NOT to recommend to your friends - as it sounds decidedly like you've been on the receiving end of a bit of bull****ting from the shop (and possibly being used to move stock that they want to move out) as there is no way that any shop worth it's salt would sell you a bike that you can't stand over without gaining instant membership of the Vienna Boys' Choir! The good news is that a 56cm frame is pretty easy size to on sell if you need to. Depending on where you are and what the consumer law is there - you could even force the bike shop to take the bike back and give you the equivalent model in the right size, as what they have done is so far wrong that you could claim misleading and deceptive conduct (or the equivalent phrase in your local legislation) ...