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How important is standover height?

GabboGabbo Posts: 864
edited October 2014 in Road general
Read somewhere that it's irrelevant and that the top tube length is more important as it's the least adjustable. Can anyone either confirm or expand on this? Thanks

Posts

  • It isn't relevent when riding your bike and the length of the top tube is the most important measurement.

    However, compact frames are deceptive as they have a sloping top tube so the important measurement then is the "virtual" top tube length. This is an imaginary line from the top of the head tube to where the top tube would meet the seat tube if the top tube was horizontal.

    That said if your inside leg measurement is shorter than the standover height you had better learn to stop with your bike canted over or you might squash the crown jewels when trying to reach the floor.
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    It isn't relevent when riding your bike . . . That said if your inside leg measurement is shorter than the standover height you had better learn to stop with your bike canted over or you might squash the crown jewels when trying to reach the floor.

    I'd add to this: if you have to hop out of the saddle when you stop and lean the bike over to avoid denting the top tube with anything, you've got the wrong frame size.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    Stand over height is irrelevant as long as you clear the frame easily (which on most modern frames you will as there aren't many with horizontal top tubes). The relevant height is known as 'effective top tube length' or 'horizontal top tube length'.

    If you have a look on the Ribble bike geometry info you'll see under Ribble carbon road frames there is a listing for C and C+ where C is actual top tube length and C+ is effective top tube.
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    I've got quite long legs (inseam about 34-35) but my torso is small in proportion. I'm not someone with short legs and a long torso so I'm wondering whether a 56cm frame (whether it's virtual length) would be ideal. I'm 6"1 1/2 and have been recommended by all different salesman a 56cm, 58cm, and even a 61cm.

    I know first and foremost is what feels comfortable to me, but if my stand-over height is 3 - 4 inches above the top tube, will this be a problem?

    Thanks for the responses
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Gabbo wrote:
    I know first and foremost is what feels comfortable to me, but if my stand-over height is 3 - 4 inches above the top tube, will this be a problem?


    No. I'd imagine you'd be on a smaller frame size than someone of the same height but more evenly proportioned, so you'd have a little more standover.

    I'd agree with the post above, if you can't literally stand over your bike without smashing your crown jewels off the top tube then the frame is probably too big. But you can't say a bike is 'too small' from standover. The TT length, as already said, is what matters.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • EarlyGoEarlyGo Posts: 281
    Hi gabbo,

    I'd suspect that with your dimensions you would be a 56 or 58 frame depending on the manufacturer. Generally you are better off on a slightly smaller frame than a slightly too large frame as you can compensate with a longer seat tube or handlebar stem. I think that as your legs are 'too long'(!) then you would be best advised to cough up the hundred quid or so and pay for a bike fit. If your LBS is knowledgeable about road bikes then they should be able to size you up correctly at minimal cost though. I agree with everyone else that these days with modern frame geometry then standover measurements are pretty much useless. The only thing you could use it for in your case is that you would need to have a big gap between the top tube and the crown jewels.

    Regards, EarlyGo
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Is an inseam - assuming crotch to floor - of 34 to 35in alot on someone of over 6ft 1" ??
    Personally, i d have thought abit short! but even if that was a trouser size its not so long and in any case, without knowing your reach, arm length, flexibility, use etc etc etc it certainly not possible to guess you a size :) but whatever, you need to look at Top & Head tube length first b4 worrying about stand over..... get a bike fit or better still get 2 and become really confused!
    Google Competitivefit, get some one to measure you and it will at least give you a basic idea.
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    Gabbo wrote:
    I've got quite long legs (inseam about 34-35) but my torso is small in proportion. I'm not someone with short legs and a long torso so I'm wondering whether a 56cm frame (whether it's virtual length) would be ideal. I'm 6"1 1/2 and have been recommended by all different salesman a 56cm, 58cm, and even a 61cm.

    I know first and foremost is what feels comfortable to me, but if my stand-over height is 3 - 4 inches above the top tube, will this be a problem?

    Thanks for the responses

    Very hard to say unfortunately. I have similar proportions to you (5'11" and 33" legs) and ride a 55cm frame with around 12cm drop from saddle to bars. Luckily these days I'm pretty flexible so I'm OK with the large drop, you may or may not be.

    My instinct is that a 58cm with a relatively tall head tube would probably suit you (but it depends a lot on your flexibility and core strength). Compare these 58cm frames -

    CAAD10 http://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes/road/elite-road/caad10/2012-caad10-1-dura-ace-19991
    Specialized Roubaix http://www.specialized.com/ie/gb/bikes/road/roubaix/s-worksroubaixsl3osbbframeset#geometry

    and you can see what I mean. The difference between 175mm vs 225mm head tubes makes a lot of difference to how easy it is to get the front end in the right place for you (I wouldn't want to put 50mm of spacers on the CAAD10).
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Traditional frames were designed for a standover clearance of 1-3" so that is what older guides recommend. Modern frames are designed with more generous standover clearance, 3-6", more than plenty, so the critical dimension becomes length (effective/virtual top tube)
    If you have long legs/short torso then standover becomes irrelevant. Any bike short enough for your upper body is easily low enough for your legs. Standover becomes an issue for the opposite body type (short legs, long torso).

    In selecting a smaller frame, you will need a more extended seatpost. There is nothing wrong with this but note that the head-tube may be short, resulting in low handlebars. Compact style frames have low standover but the headtube is roughly the same as a trad bike style. Sportiff style bikes are designed for long, endurance rides so come with a higher head-tube.
    If you need a frame that is short, without being too low at the front, you can use the different styles to get a best fit.
  • PigtailPigtail Posts: 424
    Hmm

    I'm just under 5' 10" with a 30.5" inside leg. I ride a 54 cm Allez, and effectively don't have any clearance at the top tube. I always cant the bike when I stop. The 52 just felt far too small in positioning for the top tube.
  • NickelNickel Posts: 505
    As long as you have clearance to stand over the bike I think standover is largely irrelevant, reach, stack and TT length are of much more importance.
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Thank you all so much, really appreciate your advice. Today I was fitted to a bike and the only method the salesman used was the distance between the crotch and the top tube. He asked me to raise the bike (up to my crotch) and estimated the distance between the bottom of the tyre and the surface. I thought at the time this technique was pretty flawed but didn't dare challenge him as a complete newbie :-p
  • gloomyandygloomyandy Posts: 520
    One thing to be careful of if choosing a small frame is that the head tube length may be too short for you, making the bars too low. It is not always easy to adjust the height of the bars by a large amount. You might want to google for stack and reach. These are arguably the most important measures of a bike size as they in effect ignore the seat angle which can make a bike look smaller/larger than it is if you use the virtual top tube ( a steeper seat post will reduce the virtual top tube length).
  • floreriderflorerider Posts: 1,112
    Go to the competitive cyclist site and use their fitting guide and see what comes out.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    Gabbo wrote:
    Thank you all so much, really appreciate your advice. Today I was fitted to a bike and the only method the salesman used was the distance between the crotch and the top tube. He asked me to raise the bike (up to my crotch) and estimated the distance between the bottom of the tyre and the surface. I thought at the time this technique was pretty flawed but didn't dare challenge him as a complete newbie :-p

    Halfords?
  • lawrenceslawrences Posts: 1,011
    What's with the 2 year old thread resurrection?
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    lawrences wrote:
    What's with the 2 year old thread resurrection?

    Maybe he has grown in the last two years and needs a new standover height calculation :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Gabbo wrote:
    Read somewhere that it's irrelevant and that the top tube length is more important as it's the least adjustable. Can anyone either confirm or expand on this? Thanks
    Irrelevant on a road bike. For MTB though - more is better.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 6,565
    stack and reach. stand over is only relevant when you slide off the front of the saddle and dance to the sugar plum fairy (nut cracker suite)
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,428
    team47b wrote:
    lawrences wrote:
    What's with the 2 year old thread resurrection?

    Maybe he has grown in the last two years and needs a new standover height calculation :D

    Or his balls have dropped
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    Is standover height is so important that it should be stuck as the first thread on the page with nobody doing anything about it? ...does it need to be here?
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,403
    mfin wrote:
    Is standover height is so important that it should be stuck as the first thread on the page with nobody doing anything about it? ...does it need to be here?
    It's maybe the sort of common newbie question that needs to be diverted and quarantined immediately, lest a new thread is started.. Although I can think of much better candidates, such as "what saddle for numbness" or "do you wear underpants with bibshorts"... :)
  • VelonutterVelonutter Posts: 4,749 Lives Here
    With 10693 views it may well be a popular question, saves every other post asking the same thing. Might be worth us looking at posting some FAQ's?
  • lawrenceslawrences Posts: 1,011
    You could pin anything at the top of general and it would get 10k views
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