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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:14 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Hi guys,

Im looking to venture onto a road bike after building a couple of 700c commuters and really enjoying them.

I know next to nothing about road bikes - other than some of them look gorgeous, and some of you lot spend thousands on them...
When ive got the funds together I rather fancy a 90's Cannodale, but am also learning all the time about other nice/classic road bikes.. and as my name suggests I may end up plumping for a nice steel frame.
Im thinking something early/mid or possibly even late 90's.

Problem is im bewildered by the sizing.
With MTB's I know where I stand - I need a 23" top tube and the rest is pretty much elementary.
Truoble is im sort of an odd size too, im 6.1" but only a 31" inside leg...so I have a long torso. (I must get an x-ray to find out if there are any extra vertabrae in my back)
I rode a Langster for a while at 56cm and from memory that felt really nice. Ive also though about going for 58cm as ive been riding larger frames than I used to recently.
However, when I use some of the sizing website that request all of your measurements...im sometimes recommended as small as 54cm!
Also, the 'compact' and 'french' and other styles throw me even further.

I dont like feeling too bunched up, but also dont expect to be on the drops for long periods of time, probably will ride the majority on the hoods.

Therefore, based on my measurements, and the style of bike that I like, what would your recommendations be?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:18 pm 
The Guv'nor
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KeepItSteel wrote:
Hi guys,

Im looking to venture onto a road bike after building a couple of 700c commuters and really enjoying them.

I know next to nothing about road bikes - other than some of them look gorgeous, and some of you lot spend thousands on them...
When ive got the funds together I rather fancy a 90's Cannodale, but am also learning all the time about other nice/classic road bikes.. and as my name suggests I may end up plumping for a nice steel frame.
Im thinking something early/mid or possibly even late 90's.

Problem is im bewildered by the sizing.
With MTB's I know where I stand - I need a 23" top tube and the rest is pretty much elementary.
Truoble is im sort of an odd size too, im 6.1" but only a 31" inside leg...so I have a long torso. (I must get an x-ray to find out if there are any extra vertabrae in my back)
I rode a Langster for a while at 56cm and from memory that felt really nice. Ive also though about going for 58cm as ive been riding larger frames than I used to recently.
However, when I use some of the sizing website that request all of your measurements...im sometimes recommended as small as 54cm!
Also, the 'compact' and 'french' and other styles throw me even further.

I dont like feeling too bunched up, but also dont expect to be on the drops for long periods of time, probably will ride the majority on the hoods.

Therefore, based on my measurements, and the style of bike that I like, what would your recommendations be?


If you are an unusual shape/size it may be worth getting a custom fit done. Sure others on here have had similar done and might be able to advise.

Size wise I'm around 6' and ride a 58. Think 58 or 59 would be a good starting point to try. I'd avoid anything smaller since you'd end up with a relatively low headtube and therefore big drop down to the bars (or a tall stem which looks poor).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:33 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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thanks John.

Am I right to presume that standover height is not as crucial on road bikes then? (I guess you arent intending to start/stop very often etc).

58cm frames would ride close to my particulars no doubt...but would probably also suit my stature more.

Also, what are the key points to consider with 'compact' against non-compact geometry.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:39 pm 
The Guv'nor
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KeepItSteel wrote:
thanks John.

Am I right to presume that standover height is not as crucial on road bikes then? (I guess you arent intending to start/stop very often etc).

58cm frames would ride close to my particulars no doubt...but would probably also suit my stature more.

Also, what are the key points to consider with 'compact' against non-compact geometry.


As per my inital post guess given your dimensions a custom fit (and perhaps frame) might help.

You don't need masses of standover on a road bike if it's a regular frame.

Guess given you relatively short leg length a compact might be worth a look. Then you can get a relatively long top tube and still have a little standover.

The benefits are as per mtbs going compact. More rigidity, lighter etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:50 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Thanks again.

I would certainly like to consider a custom fit frame...only issue I have with that (apart from cost) , is that it wouldnt be very retro of me. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:20 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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I'd spend a while using an online fit calculator to give a general idea like:
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO

I did this when I was looking for my road bike a few months ago, it should give you a starting point, then you can see if you can try out a few different sizes to see what you like.

Compact frames just have a sloping top tube allowing for more stand over height, can't remember when they first became popular but there were some around in the late 90s.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:18 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Don't walk wrote:
I'd spend a while using an online fit calculator to give a general idea like:
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO

I did this when I was looking for my road bike a few months ago, it should give you a starting point, then you can see if you can try out a few different sizes to see what you like.

Compact frames just have a sloping top tube allowing for more stand over height, can't remember when they first became popular but there were some around in the late 90s.



Tried that method, thats what came up with the 54cm measurement...
The thing I really struggle with is that some frames are quoted in inches, others in cm , and ive been tiold I could ride a 23/24" frame! ....plus a compact 58cm is differenct to a standard 58cm...or is it? :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:36 pm 
The Guv'nor
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KeepItSteel wrote:
Don't walk wrote:
I'd spend a while using an online fit calculator to give a general idea like:
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO

I did this when I was looking for my road bike a few months ago, it should give you a starting point, then you can see if you can try out a few different sizes to see what you like.

Compact frames just have a sloping top tube allowing for more stand over height, can't remember when they first became popular but there were some around in the late 90s.



Tried that method, thats what came up with the 54cm measurement...
The thing I really struggle with is that some frames are quoted in inches, others in cm , and ive been tiold I could ride a 23/24" frame! ....plus a compact 58cm is differenct to a standard 58cm...or is it? :?


You should probably bear in mind both seat tube and top tube measurments when comparing frames. Also ensure the frames are measured in the same fashion (centre-centre, centre-top). When looking at compact most will quote effective top tube (and perhaps seat) if the tubes were extrapolated to be the same length as standard geomtery.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:19 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:18 am
Posts: 63
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I think a 58cm non compact frame might be a bit close for stand over clearance. I've got a 32.5" inside leg and my 57cm is a bit closer than I would ideally like. Road bikes tend to have a shorter top tube and a longer stem than mountain bikes so you might be able to replicate the reach that your used to on a 56cm.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 303
The problem with having a long torso and stumpy legs is standover. If size for the top tube, as you should, and you go for a traditional horizontal top tube frame you will find the seat tube too long. So you really need to go for a sloping top tube, which isn't particularly retro. Going for a small frame to suit your legs with a long stem to suit your torso won't work because it will mess with the handling.

I'm somewhat shorter than you, 5'11" and have an inch more inside leg and my 56cm Langster was just the upper size limit for me (the old model though, I don't know how much the sizing differs) so you might find you want something a little bigger. Stepping onto a road bike from an MTB can be a little confusing at first. It can feel a little long until you get used to it. I wouldn't necessarilly go as far to get a custom fit at first, it will be a waste of money if you don't take to road riding. However it might be a good idea to see if you can borrow a bike or two and take them for a nice long ride. What feels right in the shop on on a quick ride round the block could turn out to be purgatory on a long ride.

Cheers,

Gareth


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