too big a frame?

chatlow Posts: 845
edited October 2013 in Road general
Buying a cheap winter bike later. Its a 56cm frame and I am 5'9 maybe 5'9.5. Going by what the standard size charts say - i should either go with a 53cm-55cm. I have had a 54cm before and it was fine. Also had a M/L Giant compact and that was OK.

Google'd a lot and the answers tend to be 'try the bike out'. Have done so and found the height is absolutely fine. Found that I was stretched out a fair bit but that was mainly (hopefully) due to the seat being quite far back.

Should I stay well away from this size bike or could I make it work with a shorter stem and well adjusted saddle?

The bike is a Viking Vittoria 105 (please don't judge!). Decent 105 spec on a probably rubbish frame but if it saves my tcr from getting ruined this winter I'm happy.



  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Only you will know but generally you edge for the smaller size.

    I'm 5'10" and I found my mates M/L TCR massive so It's hard to give advice, all of my frames have been 53 - 54 TT and that TCR has a 57cm TT so it's going to be up to what you find comfortable.
  • chatlow
    chatlow Posts: 845
    Hmm, I think I got quite a long reach (184cm armspan) for my height. The saddle is as far forward as possible on my tcr so maybe a M would have been better.

    Perhaps, shorter stem and some extra spacer to lift it up may help. If I had the option of the 53cm or 56cm I'd go for the 53, but I haven't.
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    I know what you mean about not wrecking your best bike over winter with salt, mud, grit, water, crash damage etc.

    But the bike still has to be comfortable and fit you well enough. Maybe an adjustable stem would help you get a better fit as it will allow you to reduce reach as it raises the bar height. I would just be careful spending too much time and money making a bike fit you that is far too large. It is only a good deal if you can make it work for you.
  • naive
    naive Posts: 47
    You can also look at getting a zero-setback seatpost to make a long top-tube a bit shorter. This moves the saddle forward without needing longer rails.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    If you've done the deal. I reckon you've made a mistake. Overall height is not the means to measure a frame by as upper body reach needs to be assessed. You might have a long torso and short legs or vice versa so the theory of one bike fits all isn't correct. However, at 5' 9" I think a 56 frame is going to be too big unless you're proportioned very oddly. Standard would be a 53 in my book with stem to suit for reach. A 56 I bet the seat is almost on top of the top tube.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    +1 - sounds too large imo also, a 54cm would be a better fit overall, whatever the geometry.
  • chatlow
    chatlow Posts: 845
    I have to agree! Bought it due to being a very good price knowing that I could get my money back if I couldn't make it fit.

    You're right about the torso - the reach is ridiculous and that's with the stem flipped too! I am trying out an 80/90mm stem later on (110mm at the moment) and if that doesn't make it ridable then I will be selling asap. Shame, cause it's not a bad bike and would have been perfect for the winter.

    Also tempted to keep my TCR 1 if I change the stem from 110 to 90/100mm. Bought a M/L, should have got a M. Lesson learned.