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#99509 - 07/13/08 05:29 AM Bike sizing
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I used to ride alot and am considering a new bike. I've been looking at a Specialized Serrius. I saw one on Craigslist that is 54 cm. I am 5'10" with an inseam of 32". I want to get the geometry right, will this bike be a good fit for me?
I'm not set on a mountain bike but like the idea of a similar type frame and bars but with road tires. I want for exercise, commutes etc. I plan to put a rack on the back and use paniers. Also, are all the affordable bikes made in China?
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#99510 - 07/13/08 11:35 AM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
bmisf Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 629
It sounds like it could be in the ballpark - but the top tube length (which impacts your reach and riding position) is more important than the seat tube length (which is the basic frame size measurement). It's a lot easier to change the seat post height and move the seat back and forward a bit than to change the reach, which means swapping out stems or handlebars on many bikes (some bikes will at least let you adjust the height of the stem - but not all).

You'll want to make sure you're comfortable riding in the right position with your hands on the bars (elbows slightly bent, back straight even if you're bent over a bit).

Just going through all of this myself with the purchase of a new road bike; still getting it dialed in, even after a full "fit" from the shop. I'm 5'9" with a 31.5" inseam, but also a shorter reach and one arm 1.5 cm shorter than the other due to an accident. So, for me, a 51-53 cm frame turns out to be a better starting point because of the shorter reach.

No one's body is exactly the same, so it's all about what works for you.

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#99511 - 07/13/08 01:26 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I agree with BMSF on this. He and I are about the same height.

I am 5'10" and ride a 54 cm road bike. I looked at the Sirrus on the Specialized website. It looks to me like a road bike with flat bars, not a mountain bike. It's hard to tell about the frame size. One website listed sizes as small, medium, large, etc. so that isn't helpful. You can see all the different models on Specialized's website.

One question is how was the 54 cm measured? The usual way to measure frame size is along the seat tube, however, it could be center to center (center of crank to center of where the top tube meets the seat tube) or center to top of the tube (meaning the frame is smaller if measured center to top). Mine is center to top, which I suspect is more common. 54 cm = 21.25 in. if you don't have a metric tape measure.

In any case, 54 cm will probably work for you-adjusting the seat post will make up for any slight discrepancy in exact size. Aluminum frames are pretty comfortable if you haven't owned one before. The exception in my opinion - the big diameter frames like Cannondale-I had one and it was so stiff I got rid of the bike after a few months.

Specialized makes nice bikes. I have had two and still have one of them.

If you decide to get a mountain bike, frame sizing is different than road bikes. I have a 19" Rockhopper and it is too big for me. It should really be a 17" frame for off roading, but it is fine for around the neighborhood. Sprung forks add more to the height of the bike than I thought.

As far as the China question, the answer is probably yes. US made frames that I have seen are usually from small manufacturers and very expensive. Even bikes with European names are now made in Asia.

My Rockhopper just says "Designed in California" which doesn't mean much. Apparently (I did a quick online search) the frames are made in either mainland China or Taiwan. Not sure how reliable that info is, but sounds right.


Edited by TomD (07/13/08 01:28 PM)
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#99512 - 07/13/08 06:14 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: TomD]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Thanks for the help. I did go to the Specialized site and looked at the bike sizing. And yes it is a road bike with slightly fatter road tires and a straight handle bars. I used to ride a Bennoto road bike that fit but no longer have it and I don't rememberr the size. I want to sit up straighter and relieve the neck ache of riding in the drops all day. I'm not trying to ride centuries any more. Those days are long gone. I'm considering the Sierrus with the aluminum frame. Although I've never owned a bike with an aluminum frame, I remember others that had the Cannondales and complained about the stiff frame. My old Crom moly frame had some flex.

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#99513 - 07/13/08 06:41 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
My Univega road bike is aluminum. The difference between it and a Cannondale is tube size. Smaller diameter tubed frames like mine have more flex to them-not as whippy like the old Alan frames that were glued together, but far more comfortable than the Cannondale in my experience.

The Specialized sounds like a good bike for what you want. If you haven't used them before, I also recommend step-in pedals. I have those on both my bikes. Mine are Shimano compatible. I got one set from Bike Nashbar at a pretty cheap price.

I have Shimano shoes as well-mine look like low cut hiking shoes with a rugged sole on them. A major improvement over my old Duegi road shoes with the big cleat on the bottom that made them impossible to walk around in.
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#99514 - 07/15/08 04:47 AM Re: Bike sizing [Re: TomD]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I still have a set of look pedals and shoes that fit but was wondering if their was a shoe like your talking about. I'll have to check them out. Does the clip recesses into the sole of the shoe? I've been told that the looks are outdated.

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#99515 - 07/15/08 07:23 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Duegi's look like a leather ballet slipper with half a golf ball with a slot in it bolted to the bottom. I'm pretty sure I tossed them or gave them away years ago.

Look still makes pedals, so don't know why someone told you that-other than to sell you something else,

There are a number of different clipless designs. I have the SPD's because they came on one bike and I bought another set for the other one and they are fairly cheap. Plus the shoes I got are pretty comfortable.
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#99516 - 07/23/08 07:40 AM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I found a bike on craigslist just a few miles from me. I'm 5'10" and the seller is 6'. It's a Raleigh hybrid type bike that I will change a few parts on. New lighter seat post (without the shock absorber), new handelbar stem (non adjustable) in the correct size. better and lighter seat. and high pressure slick road tires instead of the fat hybrid tires that came on the bike. I gave $125 for it so I have a little room for tweeks. The frame is Cromoly. Anybody got ideas to lighten up the bike sans buying a new bike? Basicly this bike is to start getting some seat time again. I'm looking for a nice road frame for my next project.
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#99517 - 07/24/08 09:41 AM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
bmisf Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 629
The "big three" on a bike are the wheelset, drivetrain and cockpit.

The first two are big bucks to change out and lighten up, so you might start with the latter - you can get a lighter seat and seatpost, lighter stem and handlebars, and those can be swapped out without too much trouble.

I say ride it for a while first and see how you like it!

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#99518 - 07/24/08 11:43 AM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Look, you're buying a $125 bike. Other than changing a few things for comfort, I wouldn't bother spending any more money on it to lighten it up except to make sure it has a decent pair of aluminum rims on it. Skinny tires will reduce the road friction and that will help a lot, but if you are commuting, get something sturdy enough to withstand potholes, etc.

I used to commute on folding Specialized tires and those held up pretty well. Stay away from sew-ups. I had a pair and they are a great ride, but I only used them for club racing. They are too fragile for everyday wear and tear. (Forgot to mention, sew-ups take special rims, which are not cheap.)

Lightweight bike components are expensive, especially buying them one piece at a time. Besides, if you add panniers and rack, what's the point?


Edited by TomD (07/24/08 11:27 PM)
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#99519 - 07/24/08 03:36 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
Quote:
I gave $125 for it so I have a little room for tweeks. The frame is Cromoly. Anybody got ideas to lighten up the bike sans buying a new bike?

Yeah, ride that thing as is until you break stuff, and then patch things together with zip-ties and duct tape. Then buy a new or new-to-you bike. As others have said, it might be good money after bad to try to convert the hybrid bike into something it doesn't have in its soul. I'm not knocking it--ride with joy!

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#99520 - 09/24/08 11:19 AM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Cromoly is steal right? You want to lighten it, then go to Walmart and buy a lighter one for the same price. Seriously, switching out components for lighter ones will add up fast. Pretty soon you spent over $500 for lighter stuff on a heavy frame, when you could have just bought a much lighter frame with light components for the same price. The frame is the most important part IMHO. Match the components to the frame. But, this isn't to say the bike sucks. The worst that could happen to you riding it, is your health improves. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
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#99521 - 09/24/08 02:09 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: finallyME]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
So far I've got $180.00 total in the bike. I replace the heavy seat and stem and had to replace the bottom bracket. Steel is real. Aluminum is too harsh of a ride and Carbon is too much $$$. I have no suspension on this bike other that the chamios is the bike shorts and the air in the tires. I thought about getting a road bike but this is working out great. And besides, all the decent entry level bikes, Trek, Specialized are all made in China. Mine is USA. I ain't giving Walmart/China another dime of my money if I have to make everything myself.
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#99522 - 09/24/08 04:03 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Be wary of choosing a frame size based on your height. The most important measurement is your inseam length. All people are not created equal. Ten 5'10" tall people could have inseam measurements that vary by several inches.

When I used to fit people for bikes, a general rule of thumb we used was inseam length (crotch to heel) minus 10 inches equals frame size. Your 54cm frame is about 21.25 inches so you're in the ballpark. But as Tom stated, there is no industry standard for measuring frame size. They can be measured to the top of the seat tube, the top of the top tube, or the centerline of the top tube. I've seen all three. So one manufacturer's idea of a 54cm frame could be way different from another's. But then again, for a recreational rider a couple of centimeters is not a deal breaker.

Just keep in mind that your saddle, shoes, cleats (if used) and even pedaling style will all affect your saddle height.

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#99523 - 11/21/08 08:31 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: chaz]
diegodog Offline


Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 6
Loc: N.H.
last year I had the same problem. I need the size right in between the M and the L. I ended up get the M stumpjumper. when I first got it , it seemed to small. I felt to far forward. To fix the issue I get a longer stem. now its great.

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#99524 - 11/23/08 12:30 PM Re: Bike sizing [Re: diegodog]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Many years ago it was often said that the span from one's elbow to the tip of outstretched fingers should equal the distance from nose of seat to the handlebars.

This is still a somewhat usable, though extremely rough guide for horizontal measurements.

An equally old and unsophisticated rule for the vertical measurement only applies to traditionally designed "diamond" frames, and called for one-inch clearance of crotch from top tube, for obvious reasons.

Obviously seat-height is a different question.

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