Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Road bike frame too big?...

taikimbotaikimbo Posts: 8
edited January 2017 in Road beginners
Hello all,
I bought a bike from Halfords back in September and ever since I've thought I should have got a smaller frame. I went with Halfords advice at the time and should have probably done a bit more investigation instead of taking their word for it.

Its a 53cm Boardman Road Sport. I am 5' 6" and on paper I think that looks correct? Even looking at the Evans bike sizing guide I think it works out too. Problem is, I have short legs and a longer torso.

I have shortened the stem from. 100mm to 60mm and set the seat position up using the GCN videos on YouTube. I feel comfortable on the bike and enjoy riding it.

But it doesn't look right because the seat is only just above the handle bars if at all I've put a saddle bag on which only just fits under the seat because it is so close to the frame.

Is the frame too big? I don't think I will be rushing out to buy a new one but I'd like your opinion...

Thanks in advance
Steve
«1

Posts

  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,424
    A short rider will tend to have less saddle to bar drop than a tall one. Google Domenico Pozzovivo's bike. He's a pro who is 5'5". You'll see that he doesn't have a huge amount of seat post showing compared to a tall rider, someone like Ryder Hesjedal who has yards of seat post sticking out!

    If the bike feels comfortable then I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  • Yeah, I wouldn't worry too much about what "looks" right. If you're comfortable on the bike and enjoy riding it then it's right :)
  • hsiaolchsiaolc Posts: 492
    Feeling comfortable is the main thing.

    If you can't get comfortable then you have a problem.

    Looking right is never the wrong frame it just you have short legs like me. Because most of the bike frame manufacture (especially the German ones) focus more on your inseam. The inseam determines the bike size for you normally.

    I am 5'7 but my inseam is very short (short legs) so for Canyon or Rose I am on the XS (extra small) size and they will automatically choose the 165mm crank length instead of the 170 or the 175.

    I have both Canyon and Rose and they both fit me fine. Looks small for me but at least I am comfortable.

    So for all other bikes if I fall in between bikes I always go for the smaller one like I have done for my new Kinesis GF Ti Disc.

    But again if it is comfortable for you then no need to change to a new bike unless you just want a new bike period.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,420
    It is well known that Halfords do not have the best reputation when it comes to bike sizing knowledge or repairs etc.
    IMO the frame is a size to big, I think the Sm/51.5 would be the better fit. The 60 stem that you have fitted indicates to me the top tube length is to long whereas the size Sm/51.5 has a 10mm shorter top tube. The Boardman site recommends a size Sm/51.5 for 5'7" to 5'10 and a M/53 for 5'10" to 6'.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    In isolation, I would have said that a 53 frame is probably too big for you. When I read that you have shortened the stem to 60mm and dropped the post so that it is just above the frame then I know that the frame is too big for you.

    You may want to consider doing an 'ebay exchange'. Boardmans hold their value well so you may get a very decent price for yours...and then you just spend all of the cash on a direct replacement albeit one size smaller.

    I also bought the wrong size bike when I started road cycling properly. The bike was a good bike and I could tell that...but it always felt like someone else's bike. I experimented a lot with stems and position (even got a professional bike fit, etc.) but in the end I had enough and did the 'ebay exchange' for a size smaller, which felt perfect from day one. Apart from setting the saddle position, I didn't touch anything else just swung my leg over and off I went, perfect. Since then I have had to replace the bike but stuck with the next year's model in the same size and it just feels right.

    I think this is one of those, "if you have to ask the question then you know the answer" things!
  • Hey, thanks for the input. Appreciate it. I think I'll need to stick with it for the moment since I have it on finance until September. Then I'll see what's possible.
    As I say, it's comfortable and I haven't came back from 2 hour rides with any pain.

    The last statement "if you have to ask the question then you know the answer" is probably very true.
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    A couple have mentioned that you changed the stem, but you state you have a longer torso. For me that doesn't make sense and i can't find any geometry pics to check the dimensions. If you needed to reduce the reach that says to me that your not very flexible, is that correct?

    Also just because the saddle isn't higher than the handle bars, isn't a problem. More-so if your not very flexible.

    Whats your inside leg measurement?
    What length are the cranks?
    Whats the current saddle height measurement? (from the center of the cranks to the top of the saddle)
  • You're absolutely right, my logic is totally skeewiff!

    I assumed I was quite flexible but I've no idea, what's the best way to test that? I'm only 31 and rather my first marathon last year so just assumed i was, haha! What a fool I have been!

    Inside leg 78.74cm (31")
    Crank length 172.5cm

    Need to get back to you on the saddle height....
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,184
    I agree with what the others have said, the medium 53cm ST has a 55.5cm top tube plus 100mm stem, that is a bit of a stretch in your case, fitting a 60mm stem confirms that. Usual top tube length on a medium frame is 54 - 54.5cm, so you would have been better with the small 51.5cm ST bike. The member of staff at Halfords did not understand basic bike fit.
  • if you were worried about the look, why would you put a saddle bag on?
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    My measurements are:

    Inside leg: 30"/77cm
    seatpost: 53cm
    Cranks are 170mm
    saddle height is 74cm (center of cranks to top centre of saddle)
    reach 66cm (center of saddle to front of stem)
    Top tube: 53.5cm

    Its a Ribble Carbon Sportive but i came from a M/L (56cm TT IIRC) Giant defy where the only issue was that i couldn't get the ball of my foot directly underneath my knee cap, but i also had a 100mm stem and the reach was 68cm.

    Going by the Fizik way: http://www.fizik.com/uk_en/spine-concept-evo/

    Standing straight up then beinding forward, straight legs can you touch the floor?

    I'm a snake but currently have an Antares saddle which i may be selling as it's not comfy for me and i think i need one with a channel in it, but my last one is Black and white so doesn't match the colour scheme on the Ribble. (But then again neither do the pedals :D )
  • Thanks mac9091.

    considering your inside leg is slightly shorter than mine your saddle height is a lot higher? Mine is currently set at 69cm. reach is currently 66cm.

    I'll just bite the bullet and go and get a proper fit done, I feel a bit of a fool trusting the guy in Halfords, especially when im forking out £400 for something but you live and learn.

    I was out again yesterday on the bike and it all felt comfortable. I'm loathed to sell it on, especially as it is on finance and i wouldn't know where to start to be honest.

    Thanks again for your input.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Plenty of new cyclists ride with the saddle too low - so we don't actually know if you have this right.

    You prob need to post some pics of you on the bike ?
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    OP, I wouldn't blame yourself or Halfords in general for any sizing issue, if this is indeed the problem. When I got my first decent road bike (which cost a grand) I was sized up for it by a chap (in a long standing LBS I might add) by sitting on a similar model whilst leaning against the wall with just one hand on the bars and the other against the wall, with me wearing jeans, a coat and walking boots. We live and learn, eh!

    Ref the saddle height comment above, yepp, I was running the saddle about 2-3 inches lower than the bike fit later recommended.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    I am the same height as the OP and I ride a 53cm Bianchi. I do know the ETT is 52.5 and I use that as a general guide for any bike I look at buying. I have looked at other brands that have sizes that are quite puzzling at to where they get there measurements from - Scott XS 49cm frame is pretty close to my 53cm Bianchi but '49' is nowhere to be found on the geometry measurements. Its not the seat tube or top tube it's just a random number they come out with.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,420
    Top tube on the OP's M/53 is 555 on the Boardman site and 545 on the SM/51.5.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    diamonddog wrote:
    Top tube on the OP's M/53 is 555 on the Boardman site and 545 on the SM/51.5.

    Then that is way too big I would suggest. Even with a shorter stem its far too long a reach for me at the same height.
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    If you do decide to get a smaller frame, i'd go back to halfords first and see if they will swap the bike as it was mis-sold and how were you to know otherwise.

    As for the saddle height, if your not using clipless then that'll add a few mm onto the measurement and i wouldn't exactly say i'm in my set height. It was the measurement taken from my last bike. Also your cranks may require the saddle to be 2.5mm lower than mine. Obviously these two points are if you have the exact same inside leg (which isn't the case but points out why measurements from others can only be used as a guide)
  • Thank you all for your replies.

    I've decided to get a new bike through the cycle to work scheme, been to my local cycle store, got measured up and deciding between a Tifosi CK3 Giro Sora, Forme Longcliffe 4.0 and Merida Ride 100. All within the same price bracket but the Tifosi does have Sora groupset so I'm tempted.

    Thanks again
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    taikimbo wrote:
    Thank you all for your replies.

    I've decided to get a new bike through the cycle to work scheme, been to my local cycle store, got measured up and deciding between a Tifosi CK3 Giro Sora, Forme Longcliffe 4.0 and Merida Ride 100. All within the same price bracket but the Tifosi does have Sora groupset so I'm tempted.

    Thanks again

    First you say that you are 5ft 6" with short legs and a long body, then you say that - with your long body - you still needed a shortened stem, then you tell us your inside leg is 31" - which is long for a height of 5ft 6. I'm almost thinking this is a trolling thread.......

    With your inseam length you should have approximately a 74 -75cm crank spindle to top centre of saddle height. 170 or 172.5cm cranks should be fine....

    Before spending any more money you need to get a proper bike fit with someone who knows what they are doing - and who isn't primarily trying to sell you anything. Asking some experienced cyclists to assess your position on your current bike would be helpful too.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • Yes, thank you. I've been and a had a proper fit today on a trek.
    I made a mistake at the beginning with regards to my body proportions which I recognised later on. The boardman is going and I'm looking for another, although I am looking at 52/53cm bikes the boardman 53cm has a way bigger TT than any of the other brands and I just never felt comfortable on it.

    Thank you all for your input it's all on the go
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,424
    taikimbo wrote:
    Yes, thank you. I've been and a had a proper fit today on a trek.
    I made a mistake at the beginning with regards to my body proportions which I recognised later on. The boardman is going and I'm looking for another, although I am looking at 52/53cm bikes the boardman 53cm has a way bigger TT than any of the other brands and I just never felt comfortable on it.

    Thank you all for your input it's all on the go

    I thought you said in your first two posts that the bike was comfortable?
  • shewyshewy Posts: 62
    I'm in the same boat, coming from mountain biking I think I've done the same, bought a cube attain race 53cm frame and like you I have a long torso and short legs, 5'7 as well. Don't know what to do to be honest. Decent bike and don't want to loose a few hundred by my mistake, seat post is also low.
  • 53 means nothing with regard to the fit of the bike; It's just a number and will vary from bike to bike.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,184
    shewy wrote:
    I'm in the same boat, coming from mountain biking I think I've done the same, bought a cube attain race 53cm frame and like you I have a long torso and short legs, 5'7 as well. Don't know what to do to be honest. Decent bike and don't want to loose a few hundred by my mistake, seat post is also low.

    Did you buy it new, LBS or online, what's the mileage? If you could exchanged it for the 50cm bike you will have to accept that you are going to loose money as you would if you decide to sell it on and start again.
  • shewyshewy Posts: 62
    Bought new, got to say the tyres scare me though! I'll try and sell locally or eBay and see how it goes.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    taikimbo wrote:
    Hello all,
    I bought a bike from Halfords back in September and ever since I've thought I should have got a smaller frame. I went with Halfords advice at the time and should have probably done a bit more investigation instead of taking their word for it.

    Its a 53cm Boardman Road Sport. I am 5' 6" and on paper I think that looks correct? Even looking at the Evans bike sizing guide I think it works out too. Problem is, I have short legs and a longer torso.

    I have shortened the stem from. 100mm to 60mm and set the seat position up using the GCN videos on YouTube. I feel comfortable on the bike and enjoy riding it.

    But it doesn't look right because the seat is only just above the handle bars if at all I've put a saddle bag on which only just fits under the seat because it is so close to the frame.

    Is the frame too big? I don't think I will be rushing out to buy a new one but I'd like your opinion...

    Thanks in advance
    Steve

    Happens to a lot of us with first bikes. Doesn't matter who the store is either in my experience as I've been stiffed by a LBS with a history of racing. I'm similar height and was sold a Trek as my first road bike with far too long a reach and 175mm crank arms, and ended up with the saddle virtually on the top tube. I suffered on with it for a year or two until I wised up. I'm quite supple and have a good seat to bar drop, but I wouldn't go for anything bigger than a virtual top tube length of 52cm with a 800mm stem. In a horizontal or compact frame, that means I'm looking at XS or 47/48cm frame sizes. I also use 165mm crank arms for my preferred cadence and to give a higher saddle position.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,184
    shewy wrote:
    Bought new, got to say the tyres scare me though! I'll try and sell locally or eBay and see how it goes.

    What scares you about the tyres? You can swop them out if you don't like the characteristics of the O.E. tyres.
  • shewyshewy Posts: 62
    Coming from mountain bike the width of the tyres
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,184
    shewy wrote:
    Coming from mountain bike the width of the tyres

    When I bought my road bike I thought similar to you about the lack of width of the 25c tyres, you soon get used to them after a few rides, the key is not to over do the pressures, experiment to find the right combination for you.
Sign In or Register to comment.