Is my bike too big????

scoobydoo8319 Posts: 2
edited June 2012 in Road beginners

Only just found this website and I have learnt so much in the last few weeks, thank you.

I started riding road bikes about a year because I was doing the London Triathlon. When I bought my first road bike I didn't really have a clue what to look for, so i trusted the salesman in the shop for sizing and choosing the right bike for me, but with the experience of riding and watching others on their bikes I'm not sure if my bike is too big, I feel as if I'm over stretching to reach the handlebars. I have done the measuring the inside leg and x0.67 and this appears to show I have the right size frame 58 (I'm 6'1"). Does this sound about right?

Where should my head be in relation to the stem?

also, my stem is 130mm. Would getting a smaller stem alleviate this problem of felling as if I'm stretching to reach the handlebars ?


  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Assuming your saddle is in the right place then as a rough guide, with your hands on the hoods and and in your normal riding position, looking towards the front of the hub - is it in front or behind the handlebars. If it is hidden then you are pretty close. If the hub appears to the rear of the bars then you could probably do with a shorter reach.

    This could be either a shorter stem, or moving the saddle forwards. Always get the saddle set in relation to your cranks first though. There's a few online guides that should help
  • blackhands
    blackhands Posts: 950
    The right size for you can in no way be decided by posts on this forum. Once, frame size (seat tube length) was important as seat pins were shorter and weaker which dictated the fashion for larger frames. These days, the trend is for smaller frames which are stiffer with more seat pin showing. The 0.67 rule is used to determine the starting point and is not the final solution. The key measurement is saddle height.

    What size is 'best' for you is dependent on your height and leg length. Arm length and torso length will dictate top tube length - which is more important than seat tube length. There is no rule where your head should be in relation to the stem, although if you feel too stretched out perhaps a shorter stem might help. However, you are meant to be somewhat stretched out - its not a shopping bike. I agree with the above post about looking at the front hub (although head tube angle and fork rake may influence this) as a rough guide, although one rider I coached rode with a very short stem and looked hunched, and he was a world class pursuiter.

    What I am saying is that you should get a professional bike fit and use that as a starting point to tweak and get what suits you best.
  • defycomp2
    defycomp2 Posts: 252
    Try this

    Worked a treat for me when sizing my new Defy, it pointed me towards a M, not a M/L and having ridden both sizes I went for the M (I'm 5'11'', long legs but short body).
    Summer - Giant Defy Composite 2 (Force 22) (retd)
    Cannondale Synapse Sram Red ETap
    Winter - Boardman CX Team (Rival X1 Hyd)
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    I'm 6'1 and ride a 58 top tube bike. Whether that is relevant or not I do not know.
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • ba68
    ba68 Posts: 156
    It's difficult to say without knowing what the bike is as the geometry will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer even if both quote a 58cm frame size, also your proportions will also influence the quoted frame size that will fit. But, given all this, assuming you're proportions are typical for your height and the frame is a normal or semi compact design I wouldn't expect 58cm to be too big. I have a 58cm trek and am a shade over 6' and the fit is good although I've always thought the stem is a tad long (130cm) but have never got round to changing it.
    What makes you think it's too big? And what is the bike?
  • buzzwold
    buzzwold Posts: 197
    This was a huge problem for me when choosing my bike a couple of months ago as I seemed to fall between sizes and didn't believe the information that the web were telling me.

    As others have said, there are some simple tests - like the view of the hub, but these are indicative only. The only real answer is to get yourself fitted. Do you ride with clipless pedals? If so, didn't the shop where you bought shoes and pedals check you out before fitting the cleats? At that time they should have been able to sort out the bike set up.
    Someone's just passed me again
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    There are a bunch of analytical bike fit solutions where you plug in some numbers and out pops a position.
    If you want a deeper understanding about bike fit, take a look at this.

    Bar position especially, is a matter of personal taste. Most people put their road bars 0-3" below the saddle. Some larger riders put them 6" below. Some older tourists put them 1" higher.
    Stem length, combined with top tube length, bar style and brake hood style, combine to determine reach. You can change the stem within reason to achieve any reach you want. Due to the "tiller effect" longer stems dampen the steering reaction. You can shorten from a 130 stem by quite a few cm before the steering becomes too twitchy. An adjustable stem may be useful for fitting.
    Many of the rules of thumb, eg about not seeing your front hub, may be true for some riders but not all.
  • mattshrops
    mattshrops Posts: 1,134
    I suggest you place a bit of faith in your lbs. Go back (with the bike) explain you're feeling a bit stretched and providing whoever is serving you seems to know what they're on about, see what they can do to help. You've very likely already hit the nail on the head with a change to your stem length. But there are a few other things that can be tried such as flipping the stem over etc. My lbs would definitely do all they can to help- and if you've bought the bike there very recently would probably swap your stem FOC.
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • al_kidder
    al_kidder Posts: 73
    You might try moving the saddle forward. It gets the geometry closer to a TT bike, and you'll find you go faster, if only by a little
  • Herbsman
    Herbsman Posts: 2,029
    If you ride hard enough the bike will bend into the correct size for you.