Advice on sizing please

OwUf Posts: 3
edited April 2013 in Women
Hi everyone

I have been considering a road bike for a few months and the more I ride my MTB on the road the less and less I'm enjoying it.. It feels big , bulky , slow , heavy etc and it just feels like I'm not getting any better. Want to put my nobblies back on and save it for throwing round the trails where it belongs :mrgreen:

I have never rode a roadie and my concern is at being a little over 18st it will just fold under my hefty behind .They do look such dainty things specially the tyres, how are such thin things capable of keeping all of me up.

Have my eye on the Carrera Virtuoso and hoping it stays on special for a little while longer till I get the funds together .The sizing is confusing me , road bikes are done in cm's , Mtbs in inches and the Virtuoso is different again ..

I'm a lass and a tad shy of 5'5 inside leg 30.5" and I'm hoping the medium will be ok but when I read somewhere that its the equivalent of a 22" frame :o it sounds huge .. My MTB is a 16" and I could of gone a size bigger as sometimes it feels small . But even so from 18" to a 22" it does seem a pretty big jump .

I came across an old road bike in the house clearance warehouse earlier and jumped on to get a feel for the size and took the tube measurements to compare .. This one had a seat tube of 54cms , top tube of 58cms . The saddle was a couple inches out of the tube and I could still have the balls of my feet on the ground from a seated position.Foot on the pedal at 6o'clock and I had a slight bend left to the knee . I could reach the drop handles comfortably however it did feel a bit of a stretch .

Giving the medium Virtuoso has a seat tube of 51cms and a Top tube of 54 do we think it would be ok fit wise?.More importantly will it hold up to my weight ? .

I know I know I could just go in and try one for size but only one around me is full of useless idiots and you can bet your bottom dollar they wont have the one I want built up . Next time I'm passing I will go in and take a look.

Thank you for reading


  • paul1275s
    paul1275s Posts: 27
    Personally I'd say maybe try and spend a little more on something like a Specialised or a Giant at a bike shop that can help you get the fit you need. The frame size sounds like it might be ok but I feel you would need a (much) shorter stem and possibly a shorter length bike overall, maybe a size small or even a 'womens fit' specific bike, they are designed around the female frame and you may find it easier to get a better fitting bike. Hopefully some other ladies will chip in. Any wheel set with at least 32 spokes will be fine for you, again a bit more spent on the bike will (should) get you a slightly better wheelset.
  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    Any sizing can be off depending on whether its a compact frame or not.

    For example from the ribble website

    Horizontal Top Tube
    Use the formula: Inside leg measurement (cm) x 0.69. The resultant size should be rounded up or down to whichever is the nearest frame size option. If you are in between sizes we recommend you go for the smaller size.

    Sloping Top Tube - thast your compact frame
    Use the formula: Inside leg measurement (cm) x 0.64. The resultant size and round up or down to the nearest frame size option. If you are in between sizes we recommend you go for the smaller size.

    Best bet, as always is to try before you buy.
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  • OwUf
    OwUf Posts: 3
    edited April 2013
    Thank you for your replies

    oxoman that's good to know thank you . I do think the different riding position will take some getting used to . I'm hoping they will have one built up in store to try before I buy , failing that I will just have to travel a bit further to one that has . Will see whats floating around on ebay also

    paul1257s I never see much I like from the woman only range of bikes . I'm not one for pretty colours and flower decals plus they seem to carry a bigger price tag . At the end of the day is there much at in the size differences between gender specific bikes ? 32 spokes I will keep in mind thank you

    Cleat Eastwood cheers for that .. The Virtuoso states its a compact frame so doing that maths put me at 77.5cm inside leg x 0.64 = 49.6 cms so the 51cm Medium frame should hopefully be ok :)

    I will try before I buy if I can find one in store , I know most Halfords are £$%^ but I do like the look of Carrera bikes and its just a starter bike . I may hate it :roll:
  • paul1275s
    paul1275s Posts: 27
    I think the women's bikes tend to have a shorter top tube (amongst other things) as generally your legs are longer in relation to your height, the flowers etc must be jolly annoying though... I'm 5'10" but have a 31' inside leg so therefore have the reach for a standard fit bike, you may well end up with having to fit a very short stem which will affect the overall balance of the bike and mess up the steering.
  • pinkteapot
    pinkteapot Posts: 367
    Having tried my bike before I bought, I would never buy one in the future without trying it first. I tried a few and the first couple just weren't *quite* right. Although the size was correct for me, the position just wasn't *quite* comfortable. Hopped on mine and it fit like a glove - knew instantly it was MY bike.

    The instruction manual for mine lists the maximum rider weight. Just check with the shop if you're worried about your weight - they're bound to have had people ask before. :)
  • city_boy
    city_boy Posts: 1,616
    As some have said, you can't beat going into a shop and trying out different bikes/sizes, but hopefully this might help as a guideline. ... _guide.pdf
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • I think you need to go into a shop when its quiet and discuss you needs thoroughly with them. A good bike shop will listen to you and will size you up properly on the bike. At the shop I bought one of mine from you can make appointments!. You need to tell them how much you weigh etc and what riding you'll be doing.
    Have you thought about a cyclo cross? They have stronger frames and are like a road bike but more robust. A lot of shops are selling specialized Tricrosses from last year at a reduced rate.These bikes tend to have a more upright riding position and shorter top tube.
    I think you will get sorted out but you need to take your time and go to a knowledgeable and proper bike shop. You could ask on here for recommendations for shops in your area. I wouldnt be relying on Halfords to size you up for a bike.They just look if you can sling your leg over it.!
    Regarding womens bikes, from the better manufacturers research and design has gone into the finished bike.The specialized womens bikes are very good and comfortable, they tend to have a shorted top tube, shorter cranks, a shorter bar etc.In terms of proportion.The decent ones tend not to be flowery and pastel colours.
  • pinkteapot
    pinkteapot Posts: 367
    Didn't twig at first that you're a girl. :)

    I ride a hybrid, not a road bike, but mine is women-specific and definitely not flowery: ... W-1-022-12

    As Dandelionclock said, the good manufacturers do female-specific geometry. The sizing still varies slightly between brands (like clothes) and there'll be a make that fits you. The two bikes I first tried were both Specialized but, for me, Whyte provided a spot-on fit. Lots of women find Specialized fit them perfectly though. Horses for courses. It's like finding the right brand of jeans for you. :)

    The frame size that you need also varies between makes. I'm 5'8 and in Specialized I was a large, but in Whyte I'm a medium.