What size frame for a 185 cm male with a 89 cm Inseam

philosopher83 Posts: 8
edited October 2013 in Road beginners
Hello all,

I have never owned a road bike before, and am currently doing an 18 mile round commute on a steel Italian town bike that weights about 16 kg.
I want to upgrade but am finding a lot of contradictory information online about frame sizes according to height/inseam.
As it says above I am 185 cm tall with an inseam of 89 cm.
Can anyone give me some advice about choosing the correct frame size and even some good brands/models to get started on. My budget is about £1000 but I would like to get a more expensive bike second hand, hopefully from this site

Thanks a lot,



  • I am 183cm of regular proportions, and I ride a 56" frame. It does vary from bike to bike but I would look at around a 57-58".

    I went into my local bike shop to try the bike before buying online.
  • fearby
    fearby Posts: 245
    This might be what you are looking for:


  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I would have thought 56 would be ok in a lot of brands, but it varies hugely
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    What are your measurements fearby?
  • fearby
    fearby Posts: 245
    I am a bit smaller than you but the bike is too large for me. This has taken me 5 years to realise. I am about 180cm tall with 81cm inside leg. I have had to use a 100mm stem and not much seat pin to allow me to use it but 54 would have been better in retrospect. The bike shop where I bought it must have seen me coming.

    Also be careful comparing brands as each manufacturer uses different geometry with compact frames and sloping head tubes and different models from the same manufacturer use different geometry. I have a 56cm Dolan Dual but when I looked into it would need a 54cm Dolan Ares as the geometry is completely different.
  • fearby wrote:
    This might be what you are looking for:



    Hi Fearby,

    I'd love to grab this, but you're miles away and I wouldn't want to risk it getting damaged by a courier.
    Awesome bike though, how much is it new?
  • njd37
    njd37 Posts: 162
    I'm 185cm tall with an 88cm inseam, I ride either 58 or 59cm frame dependent on make. But every make/frame is slightly different so need to really work out what make you want before looking at what size you need.

    This would fit you http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40090&t=12903059
  • philosopher83 - based on your height and inseam I would say 58cm. I am 191cm and just bought a 60cm and it fits me perfectly. One thing to highlight is that ideally you should have a professional fit but if you can't, you shouldn't worry too much about getting the ABSOLUTELY perfect frame size. There is quite a few other components you can play with - stem length, spacers, seatpost position etc to get your ideal cycling specs.
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Each brand and even model of bike differs in geometry, specifying the top tube length alone is not a good idea for achieving a good bike fit.

    You really need to sit on the bike, preferably take it for a test ride for a few hours. At very least you should be able to get the bike on a turbo and ride it for 20 minutes or so to see if you are comfortable.

    I know this is difficult with second hand, but I wouldn't buy a bike over the Internet without sitting on it (or in the case of buying new being able to return it if it doesn't fit).

    Go and sit on a few in bike shops, see how they feel, even if you end up buying from elsewhere.
  • Philosopher, you have proportions closer to that of a woman. I'm not insulting you as I am the same (albeit I am 187cm with a 89cm inseam). As such you will find that going by your height will result in you being put on a bike with too long a top tube. However, if you try to compensate this be going down a size to get a more appropriate top tube length you could end up having to put your saddle up to the point where you have a saddle to handlebar drop beyond what you find comfortable.
    Clearly go try some bikes out. However, as a suggestion try a Scott CR1 or some other bike with "sportive" fit. I ride a CR1 SL which is supposed to be a more relaxed fit. However, through my proportions & by removing the spacers I have achieved a great race fit for me.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    I'm 185cm with an 85cm inseam and I ride a 58cm compact frame(sloping top tube) or 61cm classic frame (horizontal top tube). I'm guessing that your reach will be similar to mine, so this may be a good starting point. The best thing that you can do is try a few frames and see what suits.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • samsbike
    samsbike Posts: 942
    I have the same inseam as you but am a couple cms shorter. I ride a 56 but should have got a 58 just not to have too a seat to bar drop. Don't be afraid of trying a 60 as well in modern geometry.