Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

love my new bike - but its a bit big....

impromentoimpromento Posts: 18
edited November 2014 in Road beginners
Hi and thanks for taking the time to look at this post

Over the past twelve months, I've really got into road cycling and have recently returned from a trip around Mont Blanc
(i must point out that i only managed around 65km of cycing though, as i was there as support crew / team leader).
It was a school trip - but a phenomenal one and certainly one that i will be repeating next year - and i'll be cycling it all this time!

Up until yesterday i was making the best of a Giant Defy 4 that was given to me by a buddy - it was a small (46.5cm frame) and so not ideal, but it got me on the road and never let me down. As it was too small i passed it on and started to look for a bike more my size.

i took the plunge and purchased a 2011 Specialized Secteur triple with what was advertised as a 56 frame (im 5ft 9) it was a bit of a steal (online auction) and so i didn't mind travelling to London to pick it up - the guy selling it was leaving the country so had no use for it and threw in his helmet, lights and a lock - so i was well chuffed...

Only problem - he'd measured the frame wrong and its actually a 58cm not a 56cm....

For the price i paid, i took it anyway and went our maiden voyage yesterday evening - bike didn't miss a beat and rode lovely. But it did feel as though i was over reaching when hands were on the top of the bars - resting on the brakes/shifters.

Height wise its fine, feet flat on the ground with top tube clearance
when peddling and using the bars in upright position is fine

it just feels uncomfortable when hands are on the rubber brake / shifter handles

looking at it i think a shorter stem might fix the issue, but wanted to ask opinions on here, as there might be other things i could try.

thanks all


  • garyk72garyk72 Posts: 76
    If you are 5 foot 9 tall, I would think a 56 may be slightly too big for you and a 58 is most definitely too big. I'm 5 foot 10 and ride a 54cm bike which fits perfectly. Not sure a shorter stem would make the bike more comfortable for you and a frame that large would probably never fit you no matter what you changed component wise. I previous to my current bike rode a bargain price (ebay bought) giant defy in size large and never felt properly comfortable on it. When I got a bike that fitted me it really brought home how big the defy was.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    Do a bit of research re bike sizing then sell it and buy one the right size, I doubt you will ever get comfortable on it.
  • NeXXusNeXXus Posts: 854
    If the top tube is too long, no stem on the planet will fix it.
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • dowtchadowtcha Posts: 432
    Way too big, as Gary said you should be looking at a 54. Sell it on.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I'm a little taller than you and ride a 56 specialized frame - I wouldn't go bigger.

    Your bike probably comes with a 100mm stem - you can get shorter stems for 10-15 - so it's probably worth having a go, but I think ultimately you'll do better to sell and get a 54 - poss a 56 I you're long in te body/arms
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    impromento wrote:
    and using the bars in upright position is fine
    it just feels uncomfortable when hands are on the rubber brake / shifter handles
    It might simply be that you are not yet accustomed to having a slightly longer reach to the hoods.

    Also perhaps the stem/bars are a little low (can they be raised?).

    A shorter stem would reduce the reach and would also affect the upright position.
    Perhaps reposition the hoods so they require less reach.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    A real steal .. probably not then... sell it on.. by the way I expect top money for my 2nd stuff on Ebay from all the silly overpaid IT management consultants that populate cycling nowadays ;-)
  • a couple of helpful suggestions there guys, thanks
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    You should definitely try a shorter stem before you sell. If the bike has a 100mm stem on it now, then a 60mm stem in the flipped position will bring the bars a good bit closer to you. I'm 5'8'' and I was sold a size 57 steel audax bike 8 years ago. Once I realised it was too much of a stretch, I tried a few stems before fitting a short adjustable stem which has been in place for the last 5 years, and the bike is now very comfortable for me.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Im 6'2" and ride a 58... Nuff said
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,590
    This will fix it:

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Mikey23 wrote:
    Im 6'2" and ride a 58... Nuff said

    No, it's not "Nuff Said" ... you could have really long legs & arms and a short torso or short legs, arms and a long torso....

    It's not enough to fit to look at overall height in isolation.

    Granted, you'd never recommend a 58" bike for someone the height of the OP and I do agree that the bike is perhaps a little too big, but there are ways of tweaking the fit that may work for the OP. Equally they may not - but that's the choice for the OP to make.
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Agree you likely need a 54 unless strangely proportioned (I'm 6ft and my Spesh Roubaix is a 56), worth trying a shorter stem if you can't recoup your money easily by selling it on but it will make the handling twitchier
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,139
    Sell it on.
    I'm 6ft and ride a 56.
    For a few years I rode a large Giant and it was only when I was properly sized up I realised a medium/large
    was better for me.
    While I thought I was comfy on the large, the right frame was so much better and is a joy to ride.
    My body feels better for it as well.
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    Riding a bike which is too big for you is pretty miserable and your bike is two whole sizes too big. It's handling will feel clumsy, which will be a real issue on decents and you'll likely end up hating it on longer rides, as your back and arms will be stretched-out too far. Because of these compromises, you won't ride it, which somewhat defeats the object of owning it in the first place. How far is the drop from the saddle down to the bars? Not very I'd imagine (if you have any drop at all).

    You could fit an inline seatpost and a 70mm stem, but these are just band aids for the real simple problem that the frame is simply too big. Also, a 70mm stem on a 58cm frame is just going to look plain odd.

    If you got the bike for a steal of a price, then sell it on at a profit and buy something that fits. You'll be glad you did.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    You say your mates old Giant was too small for you, so I am assuming you put on a longer stem and possibly set back seat post to get a better fit on that, right?

    If not, why are you contemplating trying to get a bike that seems to be way too big to fit you?

    It cannot be done. Get a 54 (which I assume is bigger than the old Defy) and make the effort to get a good fit on it, rather than just riding it as it comes :wink:

    As has been said, your height is not that relevant, and (between different brands/models) neither is the number (54,56,58 etc.) on the bike.
    Combining these two irrelevant measurements means that you need to sit on/ride a bike to know if its a good fit.
    Having previously ridden a road bike helps a lot as this gives you a very good idea of what reach you need.
    If you managed/enjoyed the Defy, you definitely do not want a 58.
  • Hello All

    I'm 5' 10" and ride a small Defy. For me it's proved to be a great fit. Because of its geometry the 46.5 small frame is a virtual 53 cm. The 50 medium frame is a virtual 54.5 cm.

    Giant Geometry Chart. ... /#geometry
  • 58" is way too big for you. Im 6ft 2 and i ride a 58" frame and its perfect for me. I have a longer body and slightly shorter legs.

    Whenever i have sat on a Spesh bike the 58 feels quite big and if im thinking that then you definitely will at 5ft 9. I would think a 54" frame would be ideal. Possibly a 56" at a push.

    As others have said, no amount of fitting shorter stems or bringing the saddle forward will make a difference, you will always be stretching over the top tube.

    See if you can trade it in for a smaller one.
Sign In or Register to comment.