Who rides a smaller frame than they should

p7rider Posts: 370
edited December 2012 in Road general
I see a number of pros riding smaller frames even cav rides a 49cm seat tube do you if so why? i do i think because of my mtb days, and my 52cm allez is a better ride than my 54 allez and 54cm carbon fm015


  • Very common...
    these days with long seat tubes and stems one can find the position even on a smaller frame. Smaller frames are stiffer and more responsive than larger ones... but really I am not sure this is the reason.
    I ride a 53 traditional frame with horizontal top tube, which is smaller than the 55 I should ride and also ride a 56 sloping one which is a CX frame, so very big... in fairness I don't experience any of the problem the Cycle-fit fans of the exact size seem to experience
    left the forum March 2023
  • He’s got tiny legs.
  • Neale1978
    Neale1978 Posts: 484
    edited December 2012
    Iam 6ft 2" and my frame is a 51cm with a Sloping tt and tbh I'd only ever ride frames similar to this as they do ride better than massive frames
  • p7rider
    p7rider Posts: 370
    cool from what i read he has dropped his saddle height nearly 2cm as well :o
  • His stats say he's 5' 9" but I'm convinced he's a couple of inches shorter. That set up is pretty much my set up and I'm 5' 7".
  • My Scott is a 56 but I ride 58s cervelos
  • p7rider
    p7rider Posts: 370
    heres a couple of pages off here
    Alexandre Vinokourov's olympic winning 52cm spesh hes meant to be 5'10"
    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/p ... sl4-34778/

    and cavs old spesh
    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/p ... nge-30158/
  • Ryder Hesjedal is 188cm and rides a 56cm R5ca.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/p ... ca--34473/
    Hesjedal stands at 1.88m (6' 2") tall and yet he rides a comparatively tiny 56cm frame. Much of that is based on his extreme position, which includes a gargantuan handlebar drop of over 17cm. Even with the shorter head tube afforded by the downsized frame, Hesjedal still runs a 140mm-long stem with a -17° angle, and even removes the upper headset cover to gain another couple of millimeters.
  • I would think 3 main reasons:

    1) Smaller frames weigh less and allow the rider/engineer to add weights strategically (to meet UCI regs) to give better balance as per F1 cars.

    2) Smaller frames have smaller head tubes which give a lower bar height and when combined with a high seatpost give a really aggressive riding position.

    3) Shorter top tubes mean you need longer stems which give slower steering which helps when riding at high speeds in a group.

    Conversely a bigger frame will give opposite advantages, more upright/comfortable with quicker handling.
  • jimmies
    jimmies Posts: 156
    I'm 6ft and I'm only comfortable on a 60cm frame due to my torso being long ( my tt is 58.5cm with a 60cm seat tube)....but this does mean that my seat is way down......but my back is very relaxed
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    This chap...

    Faster than a tent.......
  • Conversely a bigger frame will give opposite advantages, more upright/comfortable with quicker handling

    Bigger frame wont give quicker handling.. smaller frames are more lively and easier to move around under you

    Smaller/lower frame possibly contributes to a lower centre of gravity so better through turns also

    My 51cm De rosa has the length of bigger frames so you just get the post height and stem right and its good to go
  • p7rider
    p7rider Posts: 370
    Rolf F wrote:
    This chap...

    lmao wanna see this on tdf 8)
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'm only 5'6" but need a 72cm saddle height cos I have a short torso / longer legs. The former means I need a small frame and short stem so the top tube / reach isn't too long. Downside is that the saddle to bar drop can be too much (I'm 55 and not as bendy as I was)

    I currently have a few spacers and a flipped stem to compensate. Looks better than it sounds, and it is comfortable.
  • Also 5'6" and ride with a 70cm saddle height. Also have the same problem with small frames having a short head tube and hence large drop to the bars.

    Been riding pretty regularly for the last 18 months or so (almost 4000 miles this year) and still get a stiff neck (and yes I've had a bike fit)...
  • p7rider wrote:
    lmao wanna see this on tdf 8)

    Whereas I'd like to see them race these!

  • p7rider
    p7rider Posts: 370
    lol sod fixing a puncture on that :lol: