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Make a small frame 'bigger'

EmphursisEmphursis Posts: 124
edited January 2015 in Workshop
I've just taken my new Planet X RT-57 out on its first ride, and it feels too small. I'm 5'9", which puts me right between a small(52cm) and medium(54cm) frame according to their sizing charts. I decided to err on the side of small, but now I'm not so sure that was the right choice.

I've ordered a longer stem (130mm rather than 100mm) and plan on moving the saddle down/back a few cm.

Is there anything else I can change to make the smaller frame feel larger, or am I going to have to stump up the £75 to get it switched?

Posts

  • john_wrjohn_wr Posts: 50
    In your situation I would most likely stump up the cash to get it changed. Once doubt sets in it will always be the wrong size.

    John.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    You may want to think about a seat post with a greater degree of setback. FSA do some that range up to 30mm, which is probably about as I far as I would want to go. Always best to make sure the saddle rails will fit though (I once bought a lovely SWorks post only to find that I couldn't get to tighten the saddle clamp due to the saddle getting in the way).
  • If it's really just £75 to get it changed then do it, it'll be much more expensive to fix later if it's the wrong size.

    That said a 130mm stem isn't crazily long, how much seat post do you have showing and are the bars a little low for you?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Im quite surprised a frame of 52cm was said to be in the range of a 5'9" person. I am 5'6" and ride a 53cm frame quite comfortably. I know some makes have funny ways of measuring their frame sizes but that seems pretty small to me for a guy your size.

    I would pay the 75 and chalk it down to experience. You will never feel satisfied unless you do. It will nag in the back of your brain and moreover your health and chances of sustaining an injury are not worth it if its too small for you.
  • Im quite surprised a frame of 52cm was said to be in the range of a 5'9" person. I am 5'6" and ride a 53cm frame quite comfortably. I know some makes have funny ways of measuring their frame sizes but that seems pretty small to me for a guy your size.

    I'm the same height and ride a 52 and I find it a little too big for me. Saddle has maybe a fists worth of post showing and a 75mm stem.
    I would pay the 75 and chalk it down to experience. You will never feel satisfied unless you do. It will nag in the back of your brain and moreover your health and chances of sustaining an injury are not worth it if its too small for you.

    For most of us changing the frame means spending on a new frame and changing the parts so £75 is a bargain.
  • EmphursisEmphursis Posts: 124
    Hm, ok. I've already ordered the stem, so when that arrives I'll see how it goes, but I am leaning towards getting it swapped. It's payday tomorrow, so that makes it a bit better!

    Not sure how much seatpost is showing (the bike is down in the carpark at the minute) but the saddle is quite high, higher than I'm used to at least.

    I can't profess to know much about frame sizing (clearly!) but I was under the impression that different geometries would lead to different size recommendations, even for the same size frames, so that might be why. It's meant to be quite an aggressive setup, so that plays into it to some degree.
  • carefulcareful Posts: 720
    Top tube length is arguably more critical than seat tube frame size. How much shorter is the TT length of the new frame compared with the larger frame, and what length are you used to? With around 2 cm more seat post showing, and a longer stem to make up the reach difference you should be ok. Might need the saddle slightly further back. The most difficult problem with smallish frames can be an inability to raise the h/bars enough without flipping the stem. If you favour an aggressive position, this shouldnt be a problem.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,413
    Are they a small frame for the given sizes? I'm 5'9, 32" inside leg and ride both a 54cm Scott and a 53cm Cube (which is more like a 'normal' 51 as I didn't realise Cubes were small when I bought it).

    Both bikes setup exactly the same, I just fitted a setback post and longer stem to the Cube. I don't have any spacers under the stem on it either.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    If you have the right saddle set back (and that's an if) you shouldn't adjust the set back to elongate the reach on the bike. You may well have to put a set back on your saddle for other reasons such as the planet x has a rather steep seat tube angle on the 52
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 362
    It'll be fine as it is.

    Take a look at many proper cyclists, like the ones who do it for a living, and you'll settle your mind. Stick a longer stem on it, shove your seat back a bit and get on with it.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,360
    One of my two nice bikes is a size smaller than the other, but the 130mm stem makes a big difference, and I like the way it handles.

    DSC09347_02-04-2013.jpg

    At least with a slightly under-sized bike you have options to adapt it, whereas a too-big one leaves you just the hacksaw option. (Disclaimer - only joking.)
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Depends how aggressive you can ride the position - I'm an "all legs" 6'1 and ride a 57 with shed loads of seat post out and slammed stems with no issue but the holiday home bike is a 56 - just raised the seat post a tad and threw on a 10mm longer stem and all works ok.

    Then again, £75 is a bargain to change a frame - you'll soon spend this on a stem, seat post, postage, another stem, etc.
    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.
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    have you been properly fitted?
    I'm 178cm and ride a 52 Foil. fits perfect!

    matt
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Remember that you can't make a big frame fit you.

    You can always muck around with stem, saddle and seat pin to get a small-ish frame to fit (within reason), so if you're in-between two frames it's better to hedge your bets and go for the smaller one.

    Although people always bang on about how important it is to select a bike on fit, the fact is that most shops will not change over parts without charging you for them, so you're likely to incur an additional cost for getting the fit correct. There's always a good chance that the 'standard' set of bits that comes on a bike will not be correct for you.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • dooliedoolie Posts: 41
    Interesting dilemma this and one I'm potentially about to become familiar with. I'm the same height and would normally ride a 54m.

    I'm collecting a 52cm RT-57 tomorrow from Sheffield and had previously been to the showroom to size test the frames. I found although I was at the top end of a 52, it felt better than the 54 (for me) for sizing. I specced a 110mm stem but have a 130 at home to fall back on if needed

    I agree with one of the other posters, easier to make a small frame fit you rather than large
    PlanetX RT-57
    Orbea Orca
    Felt DA
    GT Grade
  • EmphursisEmphursis Posts: 124
    Since I last posted, I've moved the saddle back an inch and a half or so, and that seems to have made a big difference I've not had a chance to fit the new stem or try riding it with the new saddle position yet, but after sitting on it in the living room, it feels a lot more comfortable. I'm planning on taking it out tomorrow to give it a proper go, hopefully the changes will have made a difference.

    Doolie, do let me know how you get on/if you have to make any changes to get it to fit better, it'd be useful having someone to compare to. It's a lovely bike to ride and the SRAM groupset feels wonderful!
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,360
    I'm always amazed at how big a difference in feel just a millimetre or two's adjustment can make to how the bike feels, especially with saddle height, or reach.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    Emphursis wrote:
    Since I last posted, I've moved the saddle back an inch and a half or so, and that seems to have made a big difference I've not had a chance to fit the new stem or try riding it with the new saddle position yet, but after sitting on it in the living room, it feels a lot more comfortable. I'm planning on taking it out tomorrow to give it a proper go, hopefully the changes will have made a difference.

    Doolie, do let me know how you get on/if you have to make any changes to get it to fit better, it'd be useful having someone to compare to. It's a lovely bike to ride and the SRAM groupset feels wonderful!


    Definitely try it out - the new saddle setback will affect the balance on the bike and how you pedal. I think correct saddle set back is critical for good bike fit.
  • gazman428gazman428 Posts: 111
    For me, I move my cleats to get the pedal axel in the correct place (too much beer means I can think of the technical name) - might be the end of the metatarsal.
    Then I adjust the saddle on the rails so my knee is directly over my foot when the leg is forward, I then adjust my height to give me a slight bend at full extension.

    Then if the bike doesnt fit with the std stem I may adjust it slighty, if this doesnt work it is the wrong size, and I wont adjust the seat to suit.

    experiance says for me and my build, if I can put my elbow on the seat collar and just touch the headset the bike length for me is correct, But I do have short legs and a long torso so this might not be correct for everyone.
    I.e cannondales and cubes are too short for me, bikes like orbea's etc fit me great as they have long top tubes per given size. Saves me digging through the specs
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    ^ and that's the right way to do it.

    Saddles only have fore and aft position to get your position correct relative to the bottom bracket. After that you can adjust the stem to get the fit right - within reason as making them too short or too long does funny things to the handling.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
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