Road bike sizing for tall rider?

BullFreerider Posts: 152
edited December 2010 in Road beginners
I'm looking to buy a road bike, and sizing seems more critical than in mtb- I usually ride a 13.5" jump bike, 16" freeride rig and 20" XC bike.

I'm 6'7", and that apparently equates to a road frame size of about 25". As I'm looking to buy secondhand, this kind of size is quite difficult to find, so I was wondering, is a 25" frame an optimum size, or a necessary one? can I go down to maybe 23" or 24" without it being dangerously small, or just plain painful to ride, or is a 25" frame the only realistic option?

Also, can someone please explain wheels sizes? I've seen everything from 26" to 28" to 700c? :? just a bit confusing to the beginner in this discipline of riding :) Thanks


  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,202
    I would have said a 23" would be way too small for you to realistically set up for your height (I can just about get away with a 23" with a long stem and I'm "only" 6' 2"). There is some scope for altering the set up by changing stems or using a longer seat post but you want to avoid going to extremes really. I haven't ridden a mounatin bike in years but I think mine was a 17" or 18" and I ride about a 23.5 or 24" old style road bike and currently a 58cm.

    Most wheels these days are 700c (also, most frames are now in cm and you will probably be looking at at least a 61 or 62cm).
  • Headhuunter
    Headhuunter Posts: 6,494
    The other thing to consider is that in this day and age of sloping top tubes, sizes may not be what they appear. For example my Focus has a sloping geometry which is supposed to make it more responsive and my Ribble has horizontal geometry. I'm 6'3" and I need at least a 61cm frame in sloping geometry but can get away with 56-58cm in a horizontal frame.

    Wheels on modern road bikes are 700c. MTBs have 26" I think....
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • I know trek do a frame big enough, a friend is 6' 6" and it fits him well.

    My advice would-be to find your local LBS and sit on one. You need to know whats comfortable for you, were all different
  • paulbox
    paulbox Posts: 1,203
    I'm 6'4" and just bought a 61cm Bianchi, I think you'd need a 63cm.

    Find a bike shop that has a big stock of demo bike and give some a try, it'll be pretty obvious if they are too small for you.
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • Im 6'4" and found the specialized Allez 61cm to be too large... so Id have to say for peace of mind, choose a bike, sit on it!

    Good luck!
  • hi , theres more to it than just frame size, i,m afraid! i guess if you are tall, you also have big feet = big shoes, so here lies another problem area,heel of shoe touching rear mech, maybe look at rear stay length, ok so you can ease that with crank length, i use 175 mm cranks on a size 49 sidi shoe if it helps, but try to avoid moving the shoe plate, otherwise you will have a knee problem, wheels you need some strong ones, i,ve broke loads of them, stick with mavic equipe 2008 or 2009 models and a compact and you shold be ok, i,ve never broke any equipes, just worn them out. i use a DOLAN carbon with a 62 cm top tube, and a 140 mm carbon stem, and loads of spacers with bonty 46 o/s bars , works together well and is comfy on distances over 300kms . if you need more help just imessage me.
  • I'm just over 6' 3" and have the secteur 62cm frame (or possibly 61cm) which suits me.
    I wear size 45 (10.5-11) shoes and only had problems hitting the rear mech before I replaced the original pedals that weren't suitable for larger feet being a one size fits all.
    Mind you I get the impression that height vs frame size is more a case of Leg length vs torso length vs frame size.
  • derosa
    derosa Posts: 2,819
    I have found top tube length and overall reach to be far more critical for me in choosing a bike than frame "size". One manufacturer's 61cm frame may come with a 57cm top tube, while another make may have a 60cm top tube.

    I have found that regardless of the advertised "size", bikes with a top tube of less than 59cm are a no-go area for me.

    Big H

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
  • alomac
    alomac Posts: 189
    I hope this isn't a thread-jack, but I'm 6'4" and looking to buy my first roadie. I was thinking about buying secondhand since I only have a budget of around 500UKP, but with all this talk of getting a proper fit and making sure you feet don't hit the mech etc, would I be better off buying new?

    The downsides of buying new would obviously be getting a much lower-spec bike and taking a much larger depreciation hit.