October 24, 2014 Login  


Sizing Conundrum
Last Post 08/20/2014 04:40 PM by ed custer. 35 Replies.
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Oldfart

Posts:484

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06/24/2014 11:27 PM
I have a 90 on my Giant and I ran an 80 on my cross bike. I once rode a bike with a 130 and it felt very weird. I think the long stem would feel normal after a few rides though. On my hard tail I run a 60. On one free ride bike I had a 40. Completely different than a road bike of course due to wider bars and slacker steering. Long stems put the riders weight further forward. Very bad off road.

My wife rode a Guerciotti with a 60 mm stem for years. Not a twitchy bike at all. I don't think stem length changes handling as much as folks think.
smokey52

Posts:82

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06/25/2014 12:36 AM
When I got a new bike last year, it came with a fitting. I changed from 100 mm to 80 mm. I haven't noticed any effect on stability or steering (even though the bike is quite faster), but I have found it much more comfortable to ride in the drops.
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/25/2014 10:53 AM
Like I said above, I switched from a 110 to a 90. I was worried that the handling would be twitchy, but the handling/stability didn't change.

I bought a Schwinn Prologue in '93 that had a 130 stem and it was the most ill handling POJ on the planet. It was my first road bike so I figured that it was just "different" than my dirt rigs. A friend of mine had a 100 stem so I tried that and the bike railed. So I'm the opposite of Ben in that I prefer shorter stems. When I got my Scott Addict I decided to give the stock 110 a try, but then I ding my neck and needed to make things comfy. Like oldfart I prefer short stems off road. My main rig, Scott Scale 29, has a 70, and even "back in the day" my long stem was a 105 (usually 100).
Jimmy

Posts:27

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06/25/2014 11:01 AM
I think a bike fit may need to take place. She needs a more upright position, but standard frames are going to be too long by a LOT. I have done extensive research on women's specific geometry, and I find it applicable to some size bikes, but not readily available in her size (around a 60cm). Thanks for the input everyone.
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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06/25/2014 12:21 PM
"I have done extensive research on women's specific geometry"

boasting?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
SideBySide

Posts:180

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06/25/2014 02:58 PM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 06/24/2014 09:28 PM
  You can put your SO on a bike with heavy wheels and tell her it is for her safety, but I will leave the premises before you start.)

Ben

I may be slow but I am not stupid.   When looking at bikes for her, I was concerned she would be more interested in a plush ride.  Her question when looking at bikes was "Can we get a lighter one?"
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/25/2014 05:10 PM
skinny, can one boast on an anonymous forum? No one knows who you are so where is the satisfaction in that?

I do have a 10 inch pianist (does anybody else remember that joke?).
Master50

Posts:235

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06/25/2014 05:21 PM
Obviously MTBs are coming with short to no reach stems so it isn't the turning the bars but the balance on the bike. A lot of people do not put enough weight on the front wheel as it is. Many people also never approach the performance capability of their road or MT bikes so these compromises might not mean as much to a sport rider as a 30,000 km a year pro.
Every bike has a sweet spot and I always look for a size that allows at least 100 mm of stem and puts the bars about where you want it. Downhill bikes are made to behave with a very short stem. City bikes are balanced when sitting upright and road bikes are also getting more upright but with a more traditional road stem. Flipped over too.
zootracer

Posts:306

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06/25/2014 09:03 PM
You can either get you wife professionally fitted (been there, done that) or just find a LBS with a large inventory and have her test ride as many bikes as possible. When she finds something that fits, she will know. A lot of it depends on your wifes riding style and flexibility. And by a test ride, I mean a 10 miler at least, not a ride around the parking lot type thing. See if she can latch onto a demo bike.

I was fitted once and now ride something quite opposite.
Jimmy

Posts:27

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07/02/2014 03:14 PM
So, I collected a detailed set of measurements, including leg length (upper, lower, total), torso length, arm length, height to the sternal notch, and overall height. Based on this information, she is supposed to ride a 60-62cm frame with a 56cm top tube. Umm, yeah...OK. Lot's of bikes with that geometry available off the shelf...said nobody. Ever. I sort of inherently knew this before the measurements, but this confirmed it.

There are no WSD bikes that go into larger sizes like this. So, we decided on finding a bike with the tallest head tube possible in a 58cm. This provided a modest increase in top tube length (57.5cm), a long enough seat tube (I hope) and limited the saddle-to-bar drop as much as possible. The stem is +25degree 11-12cm. Given the upright nature of the stem, it should not increase reach too much, and also continue to help limiting the saddle-to-bar drop.

I knew this effort was going to be about limiting extremes as much as possible, so we will see if this works! I'll update once we have the bike and get it dialed in.
zootracer

Posts:306

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07/02/2014 05:47 PM
Which bike?
Jimmy

Posts:27

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07/06/2014 09:36 PM
It's a Roubaix.
Gonzo Cyclist

Posts:206

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07/06/2014 10:43 PM
I was going to suggest a Ciocc, we have had great success sizing these for women with that exact sizing issue
Oldfart

Posts:484

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07/10/2014 03:31 PM
Posted By Mike Shea on 06/25/2014 05:21 PM
Obviously MTBs are coming with short to no reach stems so it isn't the turning the bars but the balance on the bike. A lot of people do not put enough weight on the front wheel as it is. Many people also never approach the performance capability of their road or MT bikes so these compromises might not mean as much to a sport rider as a 30,000 km a year pro.
Every bike has a sweet spot and I always look for a size that allows at least 100 mm of stem and puts the bars about where you want it. Downhill bikes are made to behave with a very short stem. City bikes are balanced when sitting upright and road bikes are also getting more upright but with a more traditional road stem. Flipped over too.

Actually the short stems on mountain bikes allow the rider to weight the front tire more as there is less chance of going over the front. That would be the same on a road bike wouldn't it?
Master50

Posts:235

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07/12/2014 11:44 AM
Posted By Andy Eunson on 07/10/2014 03:31 PM
Posted By Mike Shea on 06/25/2014 05:21 PM
Obviously MTBs are coming with short to no reach stems so it isn't the turning the bars but the balance on the bike. A lot of people do not put enough weight on the front wheel as it is. Many people also never approach the performance capability of their road or MT bikes so these compromises might not mean as much to a sport rider as a 30,000 km a year pro.
Every bike has a sweet spot and I always look for a size that allows at least 100 mm of stem and puts the bars about where you want it. Downhill bikes are made to behave with a very short stem. City bikes are balanced when sitting upright and road bikes are also getting more upright but with a more traditional road stem. Flipped over too.

Actually the short stems on mountain bikes allow the rider to weight the front tire more as there is less chance of going over the front. That would be the same on a road bike wouldn't it?


I would say the position of the rider has a big influence here. You ride an MTB more upright in many cases so the balance of the bike is different right out of the box. A road bike has a much forward position so a riders weight distribution is around that position. A cross country rider's position is more like a roady and while MTB stems are shorter than road stems XC bikes are made with a longer stem in mind. A DH bike puts the weight back toward the rear wheel but look at the terrain and the bikes geometry. Bike is neutral on steep downhills. weight to the back. pointed downhill weight is more even front to back. I really don't see long stems for DH bikes because the centre of gravity is already pushed back from a road or XC bike
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