The right size road bike?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

The right size road bike?

Postby perception twin » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:21 pm

Hey all,

I have found a good second hand road bike for sale which I would want to check out but I am not sure if its an appropriate size.

The owner has said it is a 52cm frame, and I have an 84cm cycling inseam.. so according to some guides this means I should get a 54cm frame, but is 2cm really that much of a difference? If its on the borderline I will check it out anyway and it may be fine. Is it true this will make it harder to reach the handlebars as the seat would have to be higher if the frame is smaller. Is it simply a matter of compensating with lifting up the handlebar stem???

I don't want to waste money getting something that won't be suitable, even though this bike is exactly what I want and it is a good deal 8)
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

by BNA » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:32 pm

BNA
 

Postby CoffeeNut » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:32 pm

FWIW - I was just measured up - the answer was 52cm. I tried a 54cm bike but it was a bit long/tall - could just feel it. The 52 fits nicely.
CoffeeNut
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:43 pm
Location: Toowoomba

Postby perception twin » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:38 pm

Hey CoffeeNut thanks for the reply.

Do you know what your cycling inseam was? Also whats your height? I am 180cm I am pretty sure :D

I know in some ways its a matter of personal taste as to what feels comfortable, but I guess my question is how easy is it to modify bits to make it fit e.g. steering stem, seat stem etc.. as long as the height and lenght is comfortable.
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby CoffeeNut » Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:47 pm

I'm no expert - in fact, as Manual said "I know nothing!". I'm a total newby and I can only pass on what happened to me over the last few days of sizing up.

I'm 172cm with stocky legs - so my upper reach is OK. We measured the Pilot frame and found the difference between the 54cm and 52cm was 2cm vertically (well - duh), and 1 cm in reach - as it panned out the 52 was ideal for me. If you are 180cm then I would be very surprised if the 52 would 'fit' - but then again - what do I know :):):)
CoffeeNut
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:43 pm
Location: Toowoomba

Postby tallywhacker » Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:28 am

very hard to say I'm x height therefore a bike with a seat tube of y will fit me according to these charts. The charts may not take into account shin, thigh, torso, arm lengths. Then there is the length of the top tube, stem and cranks. It really is what feels right.
User avatar
tallywhacker
 
Posts: 1598
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: on the road

Postby thomas_cho » Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:48 am

Hi there,
Have you tried www.wrenchscience.com ? Go to the road section, and click on bike fit. You will have to register to get into the fitting system.

Migh give you more indications as to your bike fit.
thomas_cho
 
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:45 pm
Location: Canberra ACT

Postby europa » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:35 am

G'day Perception,

Welcome to the nuthouse.

Now to your question. Measuring bits of you and then trying to make them fit bikes sizes is an approximation at best. I'm sorry, but there is no way to get around sitting on the bike in person.

For starters, this business of 'frame size' varies between manufacturers and sometimes varies within the same manufacturer. It's a number, no more than that.

Then you need to consider Tally's comments - there are a lot of components that go into giving a human a certain height and each of these can impact on the final bike setup.

Your inseam measurement will help your standover height ... but that's it. For example, I seem to need my seat set back further than the norm and am beginning to wonder if this is due to my thigh bone being a tad longer than the norm.

Seat height is affected not only by the length of your leg bones but by how you rotate your ankle when riding, though fortunately, we're only talking a cm or two there.

Your flexibility also affects bike fit, both in seat height but also in reach. My Trek520 which fitted when new, no longer fits 1,500 kms later because I'd become fitter and more flexible. Mind you, it does fit now because I went to the trouble of changing various parts of the bike but that doesn't alter the fact that I've made the best with a bike that is one frame size too small.

So, although bike fitting seems simple to start with, it gets complex very quickly and will change with your body.

This isn't to say you're going to be faced with an endless chase for new bikes and bike parts. Fortunately, it's only fussy buggers like me that do that (and a lot of that is just the joy of the hunt), but you do need to get a good heart for the set up, and that heart is the bike frame.

So, here's the easy part of the advice.
- Go sit on the bike in person. If you don't, you will be guessing.

- Stand over the bike, feet flat on the ground. You need a gap of a couple of fingers between the top tube and your PELVIC BONE. Not the soft tissue (as most people advodcate) but the bone. If the bike is a traditional diamond frame, you may find the top tube touching the soft tissue but I can assure you that after 20 years riding the Europa where this is the case, this hasn't been a problem. If the bike has a sloping top tube, like most modern bikes, you'll find this gap is much larger.

- Get the seat set to something like a good riding height - it only needs to be rough, and look at how much drop there is from the seat to the bars - how much below the seat are they. The modern racing fashion is to have the bars very low. This is great for aerodynamics and works with fit, flexible people but for still old gits like me, it places a lot of weight on the hands and can become torture. I like my bars at the same height as the seat. Bars can be raised but it can be frustrating and expensive to do it these days if you have to raise them more than a cm or two. So try to buy a frame that puts the bars up near where you would like them eventually.

- Now look at reach. Don't buy a bike on which you feel cramped. You shouldn't feel like you are stretching out too far either but as you get fitter, your back and abdomen muscles will strengthen and your reach will increase. The trick is to find something that isn't making you stretch too far.

If you can get a ride on the bike, so much the better because it's amazing how what feels good stationary (even on a wind trainer) feels horrid on the road - handle bar position is a good one here.

I know this sounds like a lot and I understand the attraction of saying "I'm so high, I'll buy that", I understand the seduction of internet sites with fancy programs and lots of numbers. Mate, they're not worthless but you need to apply them to the above physical try out.

You're buying second hand so I'm guessing the money is a bit tight. This to me means that you want to get it as close to right as you can so I offer you this single piece of gospel - if you can't ride it, don't buy it.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby perception twin » Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:28 pm

Thanks for all of the replies, they have been really helpful.

I have found a couple more bikes to consider in the mean time but I have taken in all of the information given to me about which parts to consider when sizing up a bike.

I have a feeling that the bike that I was considering in the OP will be a bit of a hard ride for me as even the current owner has the seat a fair bit higher than the handlebars. I now believe thanks to your posts that I want a bigger frame that lets me have the handlebars up closer to my seat height. I have never ridden a road bike only MTB so I dont exactly want to go from straight up riding down to biting the tires aero position :D Though I still might check it out if I have time. Another problem is It only has clip in pedals so I cant ride it so thats another minus.. might need to sort out some strap ones so I can try out the second hand bikes.

I am buying second hand as I am a student so I dont want to risk losing money on a bike 8). I decided to get a "transition" bike so I can decide what I want out of cycling and then I can lay down the bucks to get a proper shop fitted and set up bike.
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby europa » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:27 pm

You can test ride bikes with clipless pedals wearing normal shoes. It's not always the most comfortable, but they can be ridden effectively and Giant make a nice, ally MTB pedal with toe clips that work very well for about $25.

You know, I'd suggest you buy yourself an eighties road bike. Sure, it'll only have a five or six speed cluster, downtube shifters (probably friction) and 27" wheels rather than 700c, however, if you're a little patient, you can get them for around $100 (plus a bit, less a bit). They are dirt cheap to run, will get you used to road riding and when you buy your good bike, will serve as a bike you don't mind leaving around - there's nothing scarier than chaining your pride and joy to a fence and walking away from it for a couple of hours. Excellent bikes for the ride to uni with the 'goodun' for the weekend blast.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby europa » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:34 pm

And here's an excellent way to use an eighties road bike ... a fixie :D (look Mum, no gears).

Image

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby MountGower » Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:46 pm

Time
Last edited by MountGower on Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
MountGower
 

Postby perception twin » Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:48 pm

Hey Richard,
I am actually looking at an 10 speed Europa for around that price, I just have to check it out to see if it fits and rides all right 8)
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby europa » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:01 pm

MountGower wrote:Time for a poll.

Who reckons that fixie looks like it's never been ridden?

:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

By the way, that nearled ring you can see aroung the stem is the minimum insertion line. Your not supposed to be able to see it.


When that photo was taken, those wheels and tyres had indeed never been ridden **pokes tongue out**. Those wheels have since been back to the doctor's to get the spokes retightened.

The minimum insertion ring is below the top of the steering tube ... just. However, the text stamped on the neck referring to is indeed visible :wink:

Richard
**retracts tongue, thinks, pokes it out again**
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby europa » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:03 pm

perception twin wrote:Hey Richard,
I am actually looking at an 10 speed Europa for around that price, I just have to check it out to see if it fits and rides all right 8)


Europa's were a mixed bag. Some were built by the owner, a respected frame maker, many were made in Japan by Nishiki (and maybe other firms).

Mine is a Nishiki who were, at that time, a well respected brand.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:05 pm

MountGower wrote:Time for a poll.

Who reckons that fixie looks like it's never been ridden?

:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

By the way, that nearled ring you can see aroung the stem is the minimum insertion line. Your not supposed to be able to see it.



Self preservation prevents me commenting :wink:
I've been toying with total insanity, hunting 2nd hand shops and ebay for an eighties roadie with a view to conversion as a fixie shopping bike :shock:

See what this place does to a sensible MTB lad...

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25873
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Postby europa » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:55 pm

Mate, there are people who ride fixie mtbs, and I don't mean on easy trails, these nutters do it for real :shock:

One of the simple pleasures of riding a fixie (you need to be simple to start with, especially in my area :roll: ) is to leave your fixie unlocked in a public space, then wait for some idiot to try to steal it :D

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby sogood » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:45 pm

europa wrote:(look Mum, no gears)

Wrong! It has one fixed gear.
:wink:
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16968
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby tallywhacker » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:02 pm

MountGower wrote:Time for a poll.

Who reckons that fixie looks like it's never been ridden?

:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

By the way, that nearled ring you can see aroung the stem is the minimum insertion line. Your not supposed to be able to see it.

it looks that way because people who ride fixed gear don't have to spend all their time adjusting shifters and derailleurs, we just need to give it a wipe down after a ride.
User avatar
tallywhacker
 
Posts: 1598
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: on the road

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:14 pm

Will you blokes just stop it! :D

I've got enough hilly stuff around here to forgo derailleurs on a heavy bike... hang on, Bruces dusty carcass has a broken dropout already...hmmm AAARGH

Shaun

weakening...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25873
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Postby perception twin » Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:23 pm

haha I love how this thread went from bike sizing to a discussion on fixies :wink:

I have found a good used Peugeot (not the old one) it looks to be from the 2000's pretty new, has 9 speed campagnolo veloce, ridden about 300k's... I shall check it out. The only problem is there is NOTHING on the internet about the bikes.

After some more searching it turns out the frame is made by Colombus and it is tapered steel. I guess the frame and groupset is pretty much the "bike" so it seems decent.
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby CoffeeNut » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:16 am

I have found a good used Peugeot


Diesel ?
CoffeeNut
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:43 pm
Location: Toowoomba

Postby europa » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:22 am

perception twin wrote:haha I love how this thread went from bike sizing to a discussion on fixies :wink:

I have found a good used Peugeot (not the old one) it looks to be from the 2000's pretty new, has 9 speed campagnolo veloce, ridden about 300k's... I shall check it out. The only problem is there is NOTHING on the internet about the bikes.

After some more searching it turns out the frame is made by Colombus and it is tapered steel. I guess the frame and groupset is pretty much the "bike" so it seems decent.


That'd be a very nice bike to have, in fact one you may not want to leave lying around at Uni. But if it works for you, you'd be on a good bike there.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby perception twin » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:50 am

europa wrote:That'd be a very nice bike to have, in fact one you may not want to leave lying around at Uni. But if it works for you, you'd be on a good bike there.

Richard


I don't intend on riding to uni, I don't think I would want to tackle North East Road at peak hour that's for sure :shock: nor Main North road. Oh yeah, I am in Adelaide too North East.
I don't intend to use the bike for going to the shops nor commuting so I think It would be safe 8)
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Postby europa » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:56 am

perception twin wrote:
europa wrote:That'd be a very nice bike to have, in fact one you may not want to leave lying around at Uni. But if it works for you, you'd be on a good bike there.

Richard


I don't intend on riding to uni, I don't think I would want to tackle North East Road at peak hour that's for sure :shock: nor Main North road. Oh yeah, I am in Adelaide too North East.
I don't intend to use the bike for going to the shops nor commuting so I think It would be safe 8)


The North East isn't a fun area to come in from. Have you seen the Bike Direct Maps?
They are very good.

Get along the Linear Park on your new bike - a great way to get used to the bike and one of my favourite runs.

If the Peugot doesn't work out for you, and it's a 25" frame (measure the seat tube), give a yell, it might suit me and I'm half in the market for that style of bike.

Richard
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
User avatar
europa
 
Posts: 7327
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:51 am
Location: southern end of Adelaide - home of hills, fixies and drop bears

Postby perception twin » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:31 am

I am sure I will try that ride sometime when I finally get me a roadie! I have actually checked out the bike direct maps and they look like a great resource.

Also I tried out that Peugeot, I think it is "the one".. It fits just right, the frame is just right in size, was comfortable even without proper shoes (though those flat hard soled casual shoes do pretty well as a substitute) and the reach was good (not too hard to get aero). It has those nice shifters (STi?) where you have a downshifter as well as an upshifter instead of pushing the brake lever either way. When I got home I was so inspired I even took my dodgy MTB for a ride :D
perception twin
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: Adelaide

Next

Return to Buying a bike / parts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Blackknight, IncognitoMosquito



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit