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Road bike sizing?

I am 5’6” but have short legs, like less than 29”! I currently have a 52cm Allez but continually feel I should be on a 49cm but following sizing, this would be too small.

When sizing a road bike for yourself, are you better to go off your leg length more than full height?? Will this give you a better overall position on the bike?

My saddle is also pushed all the way forward to get the best over axle placement.

I’ve probably answered all my own questions but would be great to get the opinion of any more experienced than myself 👍

Posts

  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,500
    Leg length is just about the worst thing to go off. It's easy to change the saddle height by adjusting the seatpost. Getting the right reach is more important because it's more difficult to adjust, at best you have to buy a new stem, but that can cause handling issues.

    Why do you feel like you should be on a smaller frame?
  • A few things really:

    - always feel like I’m stretching
    - feel that the 170mm cranks should be 165mm as my thigh feels like it comes up too high
    - even with the 170mm cranks in their current position, I feel like my saddle still should be a touch lower this bringing my thigh even higher
    - I have taken away all spacers under my stem to slam it as low as I can
    - having the saddle pushed all the way forward on the rails

    I just feel like these things alone should mean I am meant to be on a 49cm frame. It’s as if I’ve made my 52cm into as close as I can to a 49. If I had a 49, surely all my component would just be in a less extreme position and result in a more compliant ride…..

    I guess the only way to really know is to try one out and see how it feels.
  • Also been looking at Canyon bikes recently and if I put my sizes into their size calculator, it just says they don’t have anything suitable for my sizing! They even have an XS!!
    5’6” and 29” leg. Maybe women’s bikes are what I should be looking at 🤔
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,771
    It might help if you posted a picture of yourself on the bike.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,211
    pshoat1 said:

    Also been looking at Canyon bikes recently and if I put my sizes into their size calculator, it just says they don’t have anything suitable for my sizing! They even have an XS!!
    5’6” and 29” leg. Maybe women’s bikes are what I should be looking at 🤔

    I've heard that Women's bikes tend to suit riders with longer legs and shorter backs as generally this is more of a woman's shape. My wife found this out at the Giant store and she ended up with a man's bike because of this. She has short legs and a longer back.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,231
    If you are feeling like your thighs are hitting your chest, why have you slammed the stem and rammed the seat forward? Unwind a bit and see how it feels.
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,196
    I am very similar height and leg length to you. My mum used to say " Diamonds don't come in big lumps. You are perfect."
    Reading your posts I do not know what you are trying to achieve . A comfortable fit or some strange fast position.
    I suggest a bit of Googling / You tube on bike fit.
    IMHO moving your saddle too far forward moves your centre of gravity further forward putting more weight on your hands. Try a shorter stem and saddle back. I have had stems as short as 60mm to get suitable position and never had any handling problems.
    I currently have a Specialized Roubaix 52 , a 90mm stem ,170mm cranks and only a bit of saddle to bars drop ( I am old). It fits perfect.
  • pshoat1 said:

    A few things really:

    - always feel like I’m stretching
    - feel that the 170mm cranks should be 165mm as my thigh feels like it comes up too high
    - even with the 170mm cranks in their current position, I feel like my saddle still should be a touch lower this bringing my thigh even higher
    - I have taken away all spacers under my stem to slam it as low as I can
    - having the saddle pushed all the way forward on the rails

    -sure, install 165mm cranks, even -Sir Wiggins was using that length (to open your hips/lungs etc and be more aero)
    - why did you lower your front? it makes pedalling harder (as you touch your belly with knees even more), rising your stem also 'shortens' the frame
    - moving saddle forward is also kind of personal thing, i prefer to move it all way forward, because on MTB saddles are way more forward (STa=76-78*)
    - shorten your stem? i have 90mm on my Spesh Tarmac and handling is fantastic (when i go slow or when i go 60-80km/h), so crisp. like comparing boring XC bike with 100-110mm stem to trail bike with 40-50mm stem.
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