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Road bike newbie - Bianchi c2c sizing

john_reeve41john_reeve41 Posts: 10
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
Hello everyone,

After buying a basic Trek hybrid commuter bike to get me to work and back I've fallen in love with cycling. I keep seeing people whizzing about on these fancy looking road bikes, and since I want to start clocking up the miles at the weekend and possibly even joining a cycle club, I've decided I want a piece of the action.

I've been hungrily digesting all the useful information on this forum and browsing other sites such as Sheldon Brown's cycling bible, and I'm coming to view that something like the Bianchi c2c range (the VIA Nirone 7 Aluminium/Carbon with the Campagnolo Veloce mix to be precise) would be a good choice to allow me to cycle efficiently, in comfort, for miles with the option of casually indulging in racier activities if the fancy takes me ( - and it's just about within budget). Another reason for choosing this particular bike is my LBS has it in stock, and since I'm a total noob I'm keen to have the support of a LBS behind me if I have any probs. etc.

I've been in and had a test ride on a 57cm frame, as they believed this was the right size for me (I'm 185cm tall with a 84cm inside leg). Based on the reading I've done and various sizing charts I've looked at this seems about right as this frame size has a 56cm top tube and 54cm seat tube (C to T) which closely matches the recommended sizes for my measurements (at least according to my calculations, reading and interpretation!). I probably only rode the bike for about 5-10mins but I did feel some pressure build up in my hands, particularly in the palm area below my thumb and in between my index finger and thumb, along with a bit of a sore neck after looking forward while in the drops, otherwise I really enjoyed riding the bike. I appreciate it will take some time to get used to riding in the comparatively severe position of a road bike and the only adjustment that was made for the test ride was saddle height - so further adjustment is probably required.

I just want to be sure I'm buying the right size bike and the symptoms described above are not due to incorrect frame size. I plan to test some more bikes tomorrow at an Evans (further afield but they have much more choice) to get a second opinion and try some different bikes. The varying types of geometry and views on sizing, along with the apparent importance of getting the right size, has made me rather paranoid (!) so I would be very grateful for any views on the frame size to reassure me.

Apologies for the long rambling!

Many thanks,

John.

Posts

  • Mister WMister W Posts: 791
    Have you used a bike fit calculator - http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

    If you're not used to riding a road bike it will feel like you're tipped forward and you will have more weight on your arms and hands. To alleviate that you can ask for the steerer to be left a little bit longer, which which allow you to start with the bars higher and lower them as you get more comfortable with the bike.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Next size up for you my friend!

    59cm would be poifick.
  • @Mister W:
    Thanks for the link and advice. I'll get the tape measure and spirit level out!

    @NapoleonD:
    Thanks for your response. It's interesting you recommend the 59cm. I tried both the 55 and 57 over the weekend and I found the 55cm more comfortable in relation to reach. When gripping the hoods on the 55 I felt more comfortable whereas on the 57 I felt just a little too stretched out. While in the drops the 57 felt less cramped (but I doubt I'll spending much time there!), and otherwise the 57 felt comfortable. Based on this I would have thought I'd fell even more stretched out on the 59?

    I'm not sure if it has any bearing, but the 55 had Shimano 105 whereas the 57 had Campagnolo Veloce components. I noticed that the position/ design of the 105 and Veloce hoods is different. The 105 hoods seemed more upright and perhaps contributed to the increased comfort on the 55. What puts me off the 55 is that on paper it looks too small and I'm worried I'll regret buying it further down the line after getting used to a road bike.

    I'm going to see if I can get a test ride on a 57 with 105 and see what I think. Failing that, perhaps putting more spacers below the handlebars on a 57 would improve comfort (as per Mister W's advice). Otherwise I think I'll have to abandon the Bianchi C2C and move onto trying something else, which is a shame as on paper it looks like the perfect bike for me.

    Thanks again,

    John.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I'm the same height as you, I started out on a 56, found that was comfortable when I had a bimble round the block. . As I rode over a period of months I gradually found it less and less comfortable as the miles increased. A 59 is perfect for me.

    Don't forget on a bigger frame there will be less saddle to bar drop!

    There i no reason why the Bianchi C2C shouldn't be your weapon of choice! Just get the right size...
  • Juju_uk_68Juju_uk_68 Posts: 90
    Oddly enough, for me witha c2c Alu Nirone, I found like you, that the "recommneded size" for me, a 53, was too stretched out, I could hold the bars, but not comfortably, and the 50cm size make more sense.

    The thing about sizing is not to get hung up on leg measurements, thats why god gives us seatposts, but to sort the lenth of toptube out.

    Ride it - if you like it, its the right size.
    Bianchi c2c Alu Nirone 7 Xenon (2007) Road
    Orange P7 (1999) Road
    Diamond Back Snr Pro (1983) BMX
    Diamond BackSIlver Streak (1983) BMX

    Oh, and BMX is the *ultimate* single speed.
  • PhilbyPhilby Posts: 328
    I bought a C2C Via Nirone (Ultegra / 105 kit with carbon rear seat stays) earlier this year. I am exactly 6 foot and the 57 cm fits me perfectly. Tried lots of other brands at 56 and 58 cm but they either felt too short or too stretched out. I think Bianchi's sizing is slightly different to the other mainstream brands.

    Pain in the hand and neck may be due to the new position you are cycling iin compared to your more upright hybrid.
  • Thanks everyone for your responses and advice. I'm going to arrange a couple more test rides of the different sizes and experiment with raising the handlebars a bit etc.

    I'll let you know how I get on...

    Thanks again,

    John.
  • I went into my LBS and tried the 57cm with the stem flipped and spacers moved below the bars. The chap who helped me also advised maintaining a more relaxed position; elbows bent slightly and arms and hands relaxed. I went for a decent test ride and the adjustments and advice definitely made a difference to riding comfort. I've asked them to order in the 57cm with carbon rear-stays and Shimano 105 for me to try. I'm looking forward to taking it for a test ride.

    In the mean time though, a friend who is an experienced road biker has put me in touch with a contact of theirs who has a Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL 56cm frame with Ultegra available for just a little more than the Bianchi! I'm really looking forward to giving this one a test ride - if it turns out to be a good fit (which it looks like it should be on paper) then I'll be snapping this one up as it's just too good an opportunity to miss!

    If the weather's any good where you are (it certainly isn't here!) then I hope you're having a good weekend's riding.

    John.
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Hi John,

    I agree with Nap D. I would definitely go for the next size up.

    I did a pro bike fit and I am 1.83 cm and got the exact bike you are testing. I ride a 59cm Bianchi via Nirone (apart from I have 105).

    I think the reason it will feel stretched out is because you are not used to it.....

    I've done 1000s of miles and have not had so much as a twinge. I even rode > 100 miles 3 weeks after having the bike with no probs, so I'd really recommend the next size up.

    Cheers

    J
  • Thanks for your input Jeepie. I did consider what NapoleonD said - particularly the point that a bigger frame will reduce saddle to bar drop, which I hadn't thought about.

    I didn't ask my LBS if they had a 59cm in stock for me to try (not that it's too late to go back), I felt that since a 55cm felt ok, but the 57 felt a little stretched and looked the best fit on paper, it would be ok. I should probably ask them if they have a 59 and try it to be sure.

    I'm struggling a bit with my decision; the advice given here from experienced riders is to go for the 59, on paper the 57 looks a good fit and when I actually take a test ride the 55 feels comfortable and so does the 57, albeit with the handle bars raised. Of all the advice I've read about sizing, the strongest message is to go with what feels best during a test ride. But as you and others point out, a test ride isn't a 100% test if you're not used to riding this style of bike. :-s

    The geo. charts on the Bianchi website give the following measurements for the 57 and 59:

    57:

    C to T: 54cm (it also gives another seat tube measurement of 57 - which is the one printed on the frame, but that appears to be a measure beyond the actual length of the seat tube)

    Top tube: a horizontal measurement (from center of head tube to center of seat tube) of 56cm, and a measurement which more closely follows the actual profile of the tob tube which is 54.8cm.

    59:

    C to T: 56cm, 59cm (measured as above).

    Top Tube: 57.5, 56.3 (measured as above).

    I've done some reading up on sizing a road bike and stumbled across the following sizing chart by Dave Moulton (an apparently well respected ex-frame builder). Based on my measurements (as stated above), the best size for me according to the chart is:

    C to C: 54cm
    C to T: 56cm
    TT: 55cm

    The 59cm looks like the best fit for the seat tube, but not the top tube, and since the seat post can be adjusted, I felt it makes more sense to get the top tube right (this view is also supported in the reading I've done).

    These recommended measurements appear to fit in well with other sizing charts I've seen. Of course, it's quite possible I've got all these measurements wrong some how!

    I think perhaps I need to get professionally fitted as you did. I'll do some googling to try to find if there is a decent local fitter, unless anyone can recommend a good one in the Oxforshire area?

    Thanks.
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Hi John,

    I don't want to muddy the waters, so hope I am being helpful. I do feel that a test ride is not the best way to buy your first road bike because you are not used to that style of riding. Instead I think it's better to put your trust in an expert which is what I did when I bought my bike. Therefore I think a bike fit is best. Interestingly another forum topic on here is about whether bike shops should offer test rides, but in the case when I bought my first bike I just had the bike fit and asked the guy to pick a bike in my budget and ended up with the Bianchi you are looking at.

    Good luck with your decision. I can't recommended anywhere in Oxfordshire as I got fitted out in Reading at AW Cycles which is the very shop that was being discussed. I am happy to put my trust in them and as I say my bike fits me like a glove. At first it felt really stretched out but they said that it would and now I'm used to it I love it. Having said that I am not an expert on the exact dimensions of the bike as you've described in your last post. I just got measured and they told me I was a 59. I have long legs and a relatively short body so maybe although we are very close to the same height, our proportions are different.

    Whatever you decide, enjoy it!

    Cheers

    J
  • Hi Jeepie,

    Not at all, I'm grateful for your input. I will get in touch with AW Cycles and see when they can book me an appointment. Reading isn't too far to travel, especially if it makes the difference between buying the right or wrong size bike!

    Thanks,

    John.
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Hi John,

    Ok. Good to be of assistance. Be aware that AW Cycles will get all your measurements and then recommend a bike, so it might not actually be the Bianchi! Also they don't offer test rides .... (see the other thread) .... as they believe the fit is the most important.

    Just want to paint a balanced picture.

    Cheers

    J
  • Well, I went and got myself measured up at AW Cycles (they were very helpful by the way) and guess what? For the Bianchi, a 59 is the right frame size! The sizing output specified a 57cm horizontal top tube for me, along with a 56.5cm seat tube.

    The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL frame that a friend has available at a very good price is the 56 size, which has a 56.5cm top tube also (but with a 52cm C to T seat post, though I understand compact seat tube lengths will be shorter than traditional geometry frames?) so this bike should be a good fit too. I'm looking forward to the test ride.

    Thanks again for all the good advice!

    John.
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Nice one John. Let us know what bike you end up with. Pleased to hear the maths worked out!

    Cheers

    J
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Well, I went and got myself measured up at AW Cycles (they were very helpful by the way) and guess what? For the Bianchi, a 59 is the right frame size! The sizing output specified a 57cm horizontal top tube for me, along with a 56.5cm seat tube.

    The Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL frame that a friend has available at a very good price is the 56 size, which has a 56.5cm top tube also (but with a 52cm C to T seat post, though I understand compact seat tube lengths will be shorter than traditional geometry frames?) so this bike should be a good fit too. I'm looking forward to the test ride.

    Thanks again for all the good advice!

    John.
    :wink:
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