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Does 2cm Make a Big Difference?

n733lkn733lk Posts: 44
edited April 2017 in Road beginners
If my fitter tells me I need a 52, does it really make any difference if I get a 54? I'm 5'6" tall.
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  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,088
    So many variations of frame geometry, it is difficult to say. I imagine most people could make two different sizes of frame fit them by adjusting seatpost and/or stem. Conventional wisdom says that, within reason, it is easier to adjust a smaller framed bike to accommodate a larger rider than vice versa. A wise man once told me, "You will never see a good cyclist on a bike that is too big for them". Do you have a particular reason to think that the fitter has it wrong or do you have a 54cm bike that is catching your eye?
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  • Ask the fitter and wot Crescent said.
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  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Sloping tube or trad?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Having just felt the difference a single cm shorter stem has made to my comfort on a bike I'd say yes, it can make a big difference.

    A slightly small frame is a lot easier to make fit than a larger one.

    FWIW I'm 5'7" and I'm riding a 53cm frame (Cube Attain). But it's all about the combination of your inside leg and upper body reach, not just overall height. A 52 does sound about right as a starting point for you though if you're a bit shorter than me.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,382
    n733lk wrote:
    If my fitter tells me I need a 52, does it really make any difference if I get a 54? I'm 5'6" tall.

    The other question is - "why pay for a bike fit and then ignore its recommendations?"
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Might do - or it might not. Some people can adapt. Others can't.

    Dunno why you'd have a bike fit and then buy the wrong size mind you ?
  • I'm guessing this is something to do with a bike on a price discount not being available in the correct size.

    The wrong bike at the right price... is still the wrong bike.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Admittedly one manufacturers 54 is another's 53 which is another's 52.

    I'd get the specs and go and see your fitter dude type bloke.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,664
    You may not find out until your 20 miles from home. By that time it is too late to take it back and swap. It's easier to make a bike feel bigger by adjusting the components so if you really need a 53cm in the model you chose you can manage it with a 52cm and a different stem and some adjustments.

    My first bike was a 56cm. My next was a 54cm. I can cope on the 56cm but the 54cm is so much more comfortable.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,281 Lives Here
    You're the same height as me.

    Definitely 52.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 854
    I ride a 50's after buying a 52's based on height (180cm) scraping 6 foot. Felt uncomfortable from the off.. Since then have bought 2 bikes in 50's so id say yes, it makes a big difference.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • n733lkn733lk Posts: 44
    Ok! Ok! I'm hearing you loud and clear.

    Why not respect my Fitter's recommendation? Because I'm struggling with spending $2,500+ for a 52, versus saving some money and trying to get my current 54 to work for me (borrowed with option to purchase). Honestly, I haven't been too successful with that effort.

    I'm a newbie and wanted to "hear" how strong your opinions would be. Clearly, I should spend the money and get the 52!

    Thanks y'all!
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    you went to a fitter but doubt what they say in which case why go to the fitter. They have measured not any of us so we simply cannot say.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Your scenario is a bit more difficult, cost wise. Most people the difference is $100 in a stem or $200 you lose because a size you need is not on sale or discount.

    But in your case it means $2500 in buying something versus what you have.

    Ask yourself these questions:
    -are you in pain while riding the 54
    -does the 54 cause any long term discomfort
    -do you WANT a new $2500 bike anyway

    If any of those are "yes", then buy the new bike.

    I was gifted a 25 year old Trek roadie to try out for a year. But, it was the correct size to begin with. No issues. I just wanted a fancy new bike as reward for a year of effort and motivation for the coming years.

    What is the borrowed bike (make/model/year) and what is the "new" option? I ask because it sounds like you want a new rig. :)
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    n733lk wrote:
    Ok! Ok! I'm hearing you loud and clear.
    . Honestly, I haven't been too successful with that effort.

    !

    In the nicest possible way, I think you've answered your own question.

    Is your budget 2 1/2 big ones or is that the price of the bike you've seen?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 854
    If already have the bike then you can get a shorter stem and an inline seatpost to close up the cockpit, this is what I did for a while but the smaller frame is so much more comfortable for me.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • n733lkn733lk Posts: 44
    What is the borrowed bike (make/model/year) and what is the "new" option? I ask because it sounds like you want a new rig. :)

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  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,664
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!
  • Navrig2 wrote:
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!
    Or "your mum" ones :D
  • n733lkn733lk Posts: 44
    Navrig2 wrote:
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!

    I'm sorry you think this is funny. But, if you don't have anything constructive to add, please waste your time elsewhere.

    Newbies may ask questions you find funny or elementary, but how else are we to learn?
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    I'm 5' 6" and my first road bike was a second hand 54. I only knew I could physically ride it so I thought it was fine.
    As my fitness increased and my rides got longer, I started to realise that I was over reaching, and had to fit a short 70mm stem, which admittedly, improved things a lot, but still wasn't ideal.
    Also, my seat was slammed down as near to the frame as possible. Aesthetically, this didn't bother me in the slightest as I don't care what people think about me, but I still struggled to put a foot down without a curb to help.
    When I came to buy a new frame, I actually tried a 49 (there being no 50 in that model) and found it suited me perfectly. I now own two 49's (by the same manufacturer) and they are just right for me.
    I guess it is down to your leg length and flexibility really. If your fitter said 52, then I guess that is "right for you". You could go smaller, but I wouldn't go bigger, personally.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,664
    n733lk wrote:
    Navrig2 wrote:
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!

    I'm sorry you think this is funny. But, if you don't have anything constructive to add, please waste your time elsewhere.

    Newbies may ask questions you find funny or elementary, but how else are we to learn?

    Oh dear! Wrong side of bed this morning?

    I think you'll find I posted further up the thread with my views in a positive fashion.

    For that last post my tongue was firmly in my cheek but perhaps that humour does not cross the atlantic very well.
  • ZMC888ZMC888 Posts: 292
    Thousands or even millions of people ride frames a size or more too small (including professionals) and make it work for them. I have a 56 and two 52s, I'm almost 6ft tall and prefer the 52s. I feel a bit ponderous and stretched out on the 56, but I can make anything smaller work with core strength and a bit of yoga and a longer stem and slammed back seat. I think it's 10 years of MTB that makes me prefer smaller frames.

    Never go too big. It looks censored , is heavier, uncomfortable and is less responsive.
    You can go smaller, but don't go too far with it.
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 3,287
    Navrig2 wrote:
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!

    I was tempted to say it depends on whether you're going for censored but judging by the OP's reply to your post it's a good job I didn't.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Making a bike that is a little too small fit is easy enough, making a bike that is too big fit is next to impossible
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    n733lk wrote:
    If my fitter tells me I need a 52, does it really make any difference if I get a 54? I'm 5'6" tall.

    Unless you've a long torso and arms, yes it will. I'm similar height and ride the equivalent of a 51.5cm virtual top tube. Better to ride a small frame and adjust to fit, than ride a frame too big, that you will never get to fit. I ride a 47cm Reacto to give me the same virtual top tube length as my other bikes.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    I'm 5'7" and can ride a 50 or a 52.

    Funny answer: "oooh matron!"
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    n733lk wrote:
    Navrig2 wrote:
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!

    I'm sorry you think this is funny. But, if you don't have anything constructive to add, please waste your time elsewhere.

    Newbies may ask questions you find funny or elementary, but how else are we to learn?

    Not sure about the 2cm...but that stick up your censored must make riding uncomfortable.
  • n733lkn733lk Posts: 44
    DavidJB wrote:
    n733lk wrote:
    Navrig2 wrote:
    I am so disappointed this thread did not start the old Bishop said to the actress jokes!

    I'm sorry you think this is funny. But, if you don't have anything constructive to add, please waste your time elsewhere.

    Newbies may ask questions you find funny or elementary, but how else are we to learn?

    Not sure about the 2cm...but that stick up your ars* must make riding uncomfortable.

    That was mature. And, yes, the stick up my censored makes riding rediculously uncomfortable.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'm 5'6" and according to most sizing charts I'm between a 52 and a 54. It's tricky because I have longer legs and a short torso.

    My first bike was a Racelight Tk which has a longish reach. Trying bikes in the shop it was clear the 54 while fine for saddle height, was too much of a stretch. They built up a 51 for me, but I ride it with the stem flipped otherwise the saddle to bar drop is too great. All day comfy on the bike.

    Second bike was a CR1 I bought as a frameset. It has a shorter reach so I went for a 54. An inline seatpost gets me properly over the pedals, and I'm comfortable riding it with the stem either way up depending on what kind of riding I'm doing.

    I'd say take your fitter's advice. But nobody is making you spend $2.6k. Sell the 54 and buy something second hand.
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