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  1. #1
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    Question re: frame size for tall rider

    I am 6'5", 163 lbs and have very long legs. My inseam is about 37". The tool they had to measure standover height was too short. I'm a runner and have been wanting to try a triathlon and do some cummintkng by bike, but I need a bike for either of those.

    A couple weeks ago I started looking and originally thought I'd need a 63 or 64cm frame. I sat on a Trek 2.3 64cm frame and it felt pretty good. The other day I walked into a LBS and they had a 2011 Cannondale CAAD 8 w/ 105 on sale for $1,000. Seemed like a good deal, but the problem was its 61cm frame. Just for the heck of it I decided to give it a test ride. The guy who was helping me adjusted the bike to "fit" me. It actually felt pretty good, which was surprising. The problem i have is that it just seems to me that the seat is so far up that it makes the bike look funny. The guy who helped me seemed very knowledgable and said I looked good and it was just a matter of if I felt comfortable.



    So, my question is whether or not I should be concerned about it "looking funny" with the high seatpost if it feels good otherwise?

    Your comments are appreciated.

  2. #2
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    If the saddle is set for proper height then don't worry about looking "funny."

    It sounds like the 61 cm will fit you, and the Cannondale frames tend to run true to size, as opposed to small for their size. For me, at 6'-2", I ride a 60cm in some frames (Trek, Scott) but could ride a 58 cm Cannondale.

    Everyone can usually ride 2 frame sizes. The issue with riding the smaller of the two sizes is reach and bar drop. Do you feel comfortable reaching out to the bars with your hands on the hood? Did the bike have a 110mm stem (common for bikes on the floor). You could change to a 120mm without sacrificing too much steering speed.

    For bar drop, which is the vertical distance from the saddle to the bar, I suspect it is pretty significant with the shorter frame? If you had flexibility issues you could "flip" the stem upright or add some shims. Given your height to weight ratio I suspect you are lean and mean and probably flexible.

    Did the fitter also check your Knee Over Pedal position? That is also a critical measurement to position the saddle on the rails. As a new rider I would recommend you start in a neutral position with the knee centered over the pedal axle. For a TT or triathlon bike you might end up slightly forward of the axle.

    If all of these fit aspects feel right--saddle height, reach, and knee over pedal--I would say you might have a winner. The LBS guy was absolutely correct--the key issue is comfort. My first bike was a 58cm Trek which was on the small side for me but I rode it for 5 years. I was more flexible back then.

    Another consideration in your situation is the smaller frame might be easier to convert to a TT geometry. If you want to try it out before committing to a TT bike, add some clip-on aerobars and a forward angled seatpost. Just don't ride that configuration in the fast club rides!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the thorough response, especially the first-hand knowledge re: Cannondale frames.

    It all feels fine to me, but I don't have anything to compare it to since this is my first real road bike. There might be a little too much drop, so I think I might ask for the stem to be raised via spacers or get a more upright stem. I think riding both configurations would be good.

  4. #4
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    Its good to have long legs when fitting a bike.. makes it easier! Short legs and long arms is what trips people up.

    You need to focus on the top tube length. If the bike feels right, not cramped up, not stretched out, you're good. Modern frames tend to be designed to show a bit more seatpost than older bikes as well.

    Most new riders dont feel comfortable with a very dropped stem, or racy geometry.

    The "KOPS" fit is fairly antiquated, and pretty much debunked these days. Theres been tons of discussion on it. Dont mistake kops for proper fit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcdougal View Post
    I am 6'5", 163 lbs and have very long legs. My inseam is about 37". The tool they had to measure standover height was too short. I'm a runner and have been wanting to try a triathlon and do some cummintkng by bike, but I need a bike for either of those.

    A couple weeks ago I started looking and originally thought I'd need a 63 or 64cm frame. I sat on a Trek 2.3 64cm frame and it felt pretty good. The other day I walked into a LBS and they had a 2011 Cannondale CAAD 8 w/ 105 on sale for $1,000. Seemed like a good deal, but the problem was its 61cm frame. Just for the heck of it I decided to give it a test ride. The guy who was helping me adjusted the bike to "fit" me. It actually felt pretty good, which was surprising. The problem i have is that it just seems to me that the seat is so far up that it makes the bike look funny. The guy who helped me seemed very knowledgable and said I looked good and it was just a matter of if I felt comfortable.


    So, my question is whether or not I should be concerned about it "looking funny" with the high seatpost if it feels good otherwise?

    Your comments are appreciated.
    I am 6.3 riding Caad 10 61cm frame, it will fit you Cannondale frames run bit bigger than other manuf.

  6. #6
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    I am about 6'5 and weigh in at 235. To think that I have 60 lbs on you is pretty wild (especially since I am in pretty good shape these days, down to about 15% body fat). I recently bought my first bike and they fit me to a 61. He said I should be on a 63, but he said Specialized doesn't make 63's in their entry level bike (Allez). My inseam is about a 34-35. They added a longer stem and that seemed to make a huge difference. The seat height does seem really high, but once I am on the seat it feels natural. Getting on and off though does feel like a pretty high leg swing!

  7. #7
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    I just bought a CAAD 10 3, and ended went with a 63cm frame. I'm 6' 8", 38inch inseam, 215lbs, and it's the best fitting frame I've been able to find.

  8. #8
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    Mikey99 - I was about 225 before I started running about five years ago. I've got a narrow frame so that was too much weight in me. I feel like this is the weight I should be at when I'm fit. My friend is also 6'5", runs more than me and is faster, but weighs 25-30 lbs more than I do. I suppose it all comes down to how we are built.

    Lutz - I am shocked that there is someone on here with longer limbs than me!

    Thanks for all the comments. I feel better about this frame size and bike.

  9. #9
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    Im 6'3" on a trek 58" and love it. What the LBS told me i needed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocanman View Post
    If the saddle is set for proper height then don't worry about looking "funny."

    It sounds like the 61 cm will fit you, and the Cannondale frames tend to run true to size, as opposed to small for their size. For me, at 6'-2", I ride a 60cm in some frames (Trek, Scott) but could ride a 58 cm Cannondale.

    Everyone can usually ride 2 frame sizes. The issue with riding the smaller of the two sizes is reach and bar drop. Do you feel comfortable reaching out to the bars with your hands on the hood? Did the bike have a 110mm stem (common for bikes on the floor). You could change to a 120mm without sacrificing too much steering speed.

    For bar drop, which is the vertical distance from the saddle to the bar, I suspect it is pretty significant with the shorter frame? If you had flexibility issues you could "flip" the stem upright or add some shims. Given your height to weight ratio I suspect you are lean and mean and probably flexible.

    Did the fitter also check your Knee Over Pedal position? That is also a critical measurement to position the saddle on the rails. As a new rider I would recommend you start in a neutral position with the knee centered over the pedal axle. For a TT or triathlon bike you might end up slightly forward of the axle.

    If all of these fit aspects feel right--saddle height, reach, and knee over pedal--I would say you might have a winner. The LBS guy was absolutely correct--the key issue is comfort. My first bike was a 58cm Trek which was on the small side for me but I rode it for 5 years. I was more flexible back then.

    Another consideration in your situation is the smaller frame might be easier to convert to a TT geometry. If you want to try it out before committing to a TT bike, add some clip-on aerobars and a forward angled seatpost. Just don't ride that configuration in the fast club rides!
    +1......I'm 6'3 and I used to ride 60cm Treks but now find that with Felt and C-dale, I'm riding 58 cm. My buddy rides a 62 cm Trek Madone 5.2 and he's 6'4". You usually can ride two frames sizes. You need to find an LBS first that has a bike in your size. Better yet, get a pro fit and you'll be good to go. It will cost you a couple hundred to do, but it's worth it's weight in gold.

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