Paul057 Posts: 167
edited September 2011 in Road beginners
Can anybody tell me what kind of effects a frame that is too small would have? I've just put a deposit down on a CAAD 10 at size 56 in LBS, but after getting home and looking at the official Cannondale site, it seems i should be a size 58. At 6'1" with an inside leg of 87cm i'm firmly in the 58 bracket according to the chart, but i'm just wondering what the effects of too small a frame would be? I'm also a bit bothered that i've been fobbed off with a 56 as they have no 58's in stock.
The bike i tried in the shop felt ok to me, but i'm still pretty new to cycling, and i don't really know what i'm looking for; it seems pretty difficult to judge bike comfort after 2 mins sitting on it in the shop.
I'd be looking to do some 100 mile events on it, but i'm also hoping to start racing at some point in the (probably distant) future, and i'd be commuting on it too.
I currently have a Carrera which is definitely too small for me (i knew even less when i bought that and ended up with a 50cm frame thanks to ebay error), but to be honest i get by without too much difficulty on that - i've been commuting on it and done a 100 mile sportive with no problems.
I'm pretty flexible (if that's at all relevant?) and i suppose i'm just wondering how accurate the sizing charts are, and how much effect a slightly small frame would have on performance and comfort.
Any advice appreciated. :)


  • The CAAD10 has a farly long top tube for its size. So the main difference between you on a 58 or 56 would be a large saddle to bar drop, which tends to be more uncomfortable for longer distances.

    Having said that you have ridden 100 miles on your Carrera, so you may not be bothered.
  • Did you not test ride the bike? I definetly would not buy without test ride. You need to do a two hour test ride minimum.

    56 may be ok but you will probably need a longer stem to extend the reach. You can safely go to 130mm stem.
  • Few shops will allow a 2 hour test ride.

    Some are loathe to let you even go out on the bike and a whizz around the car park doesn't tell you much.

    If the OP is flexible and the bike has a longish stem I dare say he is fine. I am 5 ft 11.5 with 33.5 inside leg and would buy the 56cm like a shot a it is very similar to my current frame. The OP is not a million miles away from my size.
  • merak
    merak Posts: 323
    Can fix too big sadle to bar drop with spacers.
  • merak wrote:
    Can fix too big sadle to bar drop with spacers.

    As long as steerer hasn't been cut down already
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • ChrisSA
    ChrisSA Posts: 455
    Bike Fit.
  • Paul057
    Paul057 Posts: 167
    Thanks for the replies everyone, you've puts my mind at ease. A 2hr test ride seems pretty unreasonable to me, and as is mentioned above you can't tell much from a quick whizz around the car park.
    I've been riding around on my Carrera looking like a clown on a comedy bike so i'm sure i'll be fine; just wanted to hear from others on the issue.
    Thanks again for the replies all, and here's looking forward to a new bike. :)
  • Evil Laugh
    Evil Laugh Posts: 1,412
    I'm 5'11 and have had 2 cannondales in a 54. The last, a six, fitted beautifully. You get a bigger drop to the bars on the smaller frame but with a longer stem and more weight over the wheel the bike handled really nicely.

    If in doubt I'd go smaller as the handling should always be better but it's all personal opinions and guesswork on forums with these sort of questions. I'll play though...

    What's your saddle height?
  • BoydD
    BoydD Posts: 68
    I have a Cannondale Super Six in a 56. Similar geometry to the Cadd, I believe. I'm 6'1 and have no problems, I did try a 58 in the shop and felt a little stretched out on it.
    Giant Defy Advanced
    Cannondale Super Six 105
    Spesh Rockhopper
  • merak
    merak Posts: 323
    merak wrote:
    Can fix too big sadle to bar drop with spacers.

    As long as steerer hasn't been cut down already
    Yes, but we're talking about a new bike here.