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  1. #1
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    Any 5-8" height riders, question about frame size

    Hi, everyone I bought a new bike size 54 cm, my height is 5-8" or 1.73 cm.
    I would like to compare myself with any riders about my height and see what they ride (framesize) I did not get fitted prior to purchasing the bike and this is my first road bike (cervelo rs).
    competitive cyclist fit calculator recommended me size 53 but cervelo makes either 51 or 54 so I bought the 54. I rode this bike for about 30 miles and I only felt pain in my neck (about 40 minutes later) is that normal for begginers? or that is related to the bike size being too big for me. Another thing I want to ask is the saddle height..... my saddle is about 3 inches higher than handlebar. when I look at pictures of road bikes I see saddles at least around 6 inches higher than bars. I won't be able to get the saddle any higher because it fits perfect to me the way it is now ( I have a slightly bend on my knees with the pedal down). Is that another hint that my bike is too big for me? Thank you for your opinions and thank you for taking the time to read.

  2. #2
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    The neck pain is probably because you're straining to look up the road. Raise the stem and see if it improves. Whether 54 is right for you has less to do with your height and more to do with your inseam and torso length.

  3. #3
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    Regarding saddle-to-bar drop, be careful about comparing your fit to picture from catalogs or pro rider's bikes. Pros ride with greater saddle-to-bar drops than most recreational riders can tolerate.

  4. #4
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    I am 5-8, have a 30" inseam and have ridden 51s forever. They fit like a glove. Pain free riding, but not suffer free

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderRider View Post
    I am 5-8, have a 30" inseam and have ridden 51s forever. They fit like a glove. Pain free riding, but not suffer free
    I'm the same way but have gone as far as 55cm TTs. If I'm on something shorter than 53.5cm TT my back starts to hurt. Go figure.

    My 'normal' bike has a 54cm TT with a 12cm stem. Seems to do OK *for me.*

    Buddy of mine who's about an inch taller rides the same TT but has to have 1-2cm shorter stems. He's built differently than I am. So, to the OP: 54cm *should* be the right size, but...

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  6. #6
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    I'm 5'9 with a 31' inseam, my CAAD8 and SR02 are both 54's.
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  7. #7
    LC
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    3 inch drop to handbars is too much for most non-racers.

  8. #8
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    I'm 5-8, maybe a touch shorter than that. I ride 54's almost exclusively. 52's seem to small for me.

    Just so we're comparing apples to apples, my "cycling" inseam is 32.5", my pants are almost always 30".

    I like the 54's because they just feel better.

    And what I mean by "54's", I'm talking about a typical bike with a 54-54.5 cm horizontal top tube (or the compact frame equivalent). That, and head tube, are what I look for.

    It could be because I do like the handlebar drop to be more on the magnitude of less than 2", and the larger frames come with a taller head tube.

    I'd take a sufficiently tall head tube even if it requires as short a stem as 80mm. I don't consider that out of line - although I almost always can use a 90-105 with the typical 54.5 ETT frames I've ridden - differences generally caused by differing seat tube and head tube angles, handlebars, etc.

    I'm not one who thinks that a bike should have a certain look currently popular: really long seat post, really large drop to handlebars, really long stem. All that stuff is not important.

    I'd say if a fairly typical 5-8" rider likes a really aggressive fit or likes that look will tend to the 52. Others who don't want an aggressive fit or don't care about that "look", tend toward the 54.

    But both can probably be made to work and many of us with this height fall in between. The subtlties of proportion legs/arms/torso can have significant effect for the in-between'ers.

    Another rough division is between younger, more flexible and older less flexible. But even when I was in my 20s and 30s, I definitely preferred the ~21.5"/54cm frames. They have always just felt right to me and the 52s seemed too small.

    Functionally both can perform as well as the rider, it's a matter of what you want it to feel like and/or look like.
    Last edited by Camilo; 01-10-2012 at 11:52 AM.

  9. #9
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    "I'd say if a fairly typical 5-8" rider likes a really aggressive fit or likes the look of a really tall seat post and lots of drop to the bars (regardless of whether they actually feel good on that bike), they'll tend to the 52. If a rider wants a more comfortable ride, and understands that sometimes comfort makes one go further, faster than aggressive position, they might tend to the 54."

    Makes sense Thank you.

  10. #10
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    A lot depends on the manufacturer also, I'm a bit under 5'8" and have a 52cm Cannonale CAAD 5 that i feel a bit stretched out on and recently bought a 50 cmColnago CLX 3.0 that fits much better.
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  11. #11
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    I'm 5'8", a bit tubby, not too flexible. I tried the Cervelo RS in 54 cm. I had to have a super short stem with a high angle rise in order to feel somewhat okay. I had considered a RS in 51 cm, but didn't get a chance to try it.

    I ended up with a 53 cm Bianchi Infinito, and it fits very well.

    Don't rule out the *gasp* "women's" bikes. Sometimes the geometry and bars are just what you are looking for.

  12. #12
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    I'm the same height and have been on a range of bikes in the 52cm-54cm size range.

    It all came down to the specific bike's geometry. I'm on a Condor Leggero 52 with a 53.7cm top tube right now, while my other bike is a Planet X Ti Pro Road in medium, with a 55cm top tube. Subtle factors like tube angles and length put me in a similar position on both bikes.

    The answer you're *probably* after is that, yes, your neck hurts because you're a beginner. It takes time to get used to the road bike position. I remember it being a struggle to get used to riding in the drops. Now it's second nature.

  13. #13
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    Also 5' 8" and have a 32" inseam. A top tube size of 54.5 and 11 cm stem fits nice. I ride with a small seat to handle bar drop, 4 to 5 cm. It also depends on the seat tube angle somewhat.

  14. #14
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    I'm 5'8" and ride 52-53cm frames. I am a little longer in the torso so usually look for frames that have 54-54.5 TTs.

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=r1cardo;3727888]Hi, everyone I bought a new bike size 54 cm, my height is 5-8" or 1.73 cm.
    I would like to compare myself with any riders about my height and see what they ride (framesize) I did not get fitted prior to purchasing the bike and this is my first road bike (cervelo rs).
    competitive cyclist fit calculator recommended me size 53 but cervelo makes either 51 or 54 so I bought the 54. I rode this bike for about 30 miles and I only felt pain in my neck (about 40 minutes later) is that normal for begginers? QUOTE]

    Is this your first roadbike / road ride in a while? If so, 30 miles is a long ride and you're back/neck isn't use to being in position. If an average 5'8" person, i'm guessing you can get a 54cm fitting you w/ seat position and stem choice. Definitely take the advice offered on fit. But, also be prepared to condition your body to road riding position.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for your input guys!
    Last edited by r1cardo; 01-10-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  17. #17
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    I'm 5-7.5 with 31.5 inseam and ride a 52 caad 8 and custom steel and both ride well.

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  18. #18
    PhotonFreak
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1cardo View Post
    Hi, everyone I bought a new bike size 54 cm, my height is 5-8" or 1.73 cm.
    I would like to compare myself with any riders about my height and see what they ride (framesize) I did not get fitted prior to purchasing the bike and this is my first road bike (cervelo rs).
    competitive cyclist fit calculator recommended me size 53 but cervelo makes either 51 or 54 so I bought the 54. I rode this bike for about 30 miles and I only felt pain in my neck (about 40 minutes later) is that normal for begginers? or that is related to the bike size being too big for me. Another thing I want to ask is the saddle height..... my saddle is about 3 inches higher than handlebar. when I look at pictures of road bikes I see saddles at least around 6 inches higher than bars. I won't be able to get the saddle any higher because it fits perfect to me the way it is now ( I have a slightly bend on my knees with the pedal down). Is that another hint that my bike is too big for me? Thank you for your opinions and thank you for taking the time to read.
    I'm 5'6" but have fairly long legs (32" cycling inseam) and arms. People with shorter torsos (like me) will need less saddle to bar drop to achieve a low/aerodynamic position compared to someone with short legs/longer torso.

    My road bike is a frame which is 53cm seat tube (usually the number quoted for frame "size"), 54cm effective top tube, 11cm stem. This bike has a fairly compact handelbars (ie the drop portion is not much lower than the brake hoods)

    I commute on a singlespeed road bike with 53cm top tube, 12cm stem, so same reach as my other bike. The tops of the bars on my commuter are higher, to give me a slightly more upright position for riding in city traffic (not training/workouts), but the bars themselves have a deeper drop -- and the lowest point on my handlebars (ie what I'd use for descending or intense riding) is the same on both bikes. The type of handlebar / amount of "drop" also matters when talking about how mcuh drop there is from the saddle to the top of the handlebars.

    Quote Originally Posted by hrumpole
    The neck pain is probably because you're straining to look up the road. Raise the stem and see if it improves. Whether 54 is right for you has less to do with your height and more to do with your inseam and torso length.
    This is something that may change. When I first started out on my road bike, I was more comfortable with my bars raised higher because of the neck soreness issues. Gradually I got used to the position then would drop the bar slightly 5mm at a time. I probably started out with 1.5" of saddle-bar drop and eventually lowered that to about 3.5". For a short toso peron like me, that means I'm down pretty low even on the brake hoods. Other people I know need 6" of drop to get their back down to a similar angle as mine.

    It's quite possible the OP may want to raise the bars for now, but eventually might get comfortable enough to use the setup the way he has it today.

  19. #19
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    I own a 49cm, 53cm, 54cm.

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  20. #20
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    Your bike fit and selection sounds identical to my adventure last May. I'm 5'8" with 30" inseam, I'm also 55 years old, so in that "less flexible" group. I picked up a 54cm steel framed bike with a 54.5cm TT. At first the frame felt a little big and the reach to long. So I swapped the 110mm stem for a 70mm and leveled the seat with the bars. All was good until around the 1500 mile mark on the bike. My back started getting sore from feeling hunched over. I realized I could never stretch out, didn't matter if hands were on the top of the bars or in the drops, there was no relief. Changed the stem back to the 110mm and now the fit is good once again. I realized a 40mm difference in stem length is huge, but being a new rider in poor shape, the 70mm is what I needed at the time. Oh, I used to have the seat and bar level, now the bar is apx. 1 inch lower then the seat.

    Anyway, my point is your bike fit will change with time. Today, until you gain miles, having the seat and bar height level will likely be more comfortable to reduce neck strain. You may also need to change the stem length. Later, you'll probably drop the bar height (remove spacers) and change the stem again. As your body adapts to the ride position and your conditioning improves, your fit is also likely to change. I think of this as the evolution of becoming a road rider.

    best of luck....
    Last edited by GFish; 01-10-2012 at 11:19 PM.

  21. #21
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    I'm 5'8" normal proportions and a 54 TT fits me best. I'd think you'd be fine unless your bike has a much longer than normal TT.
    Four wheels move your body, two wheels move your soul.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfstone View Post
    I'm 5-7.5 with 31.5 inseam and ride a 52
    Same with me, except on a Spec. Tricross.

    I'm a relative beginner and the bike shop tried to put me in a 54 based on my height, but the 52 felt better. I asked them to take measurements and that had me being OK in either bike, with the 52 the closest fit. Six months later, it seems like the right choice for me.

    Because I was a beginner to road biking, they set it up with almost no drop from seat to handlebar. That worked well, and allowed me to ride without any pain from day one. I'll adjust it in the spring for a more proper road position as I adjust to the new posture.

  23. #23
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    54.6 top tube on my Cervelo. + 100 mm stem.
    I have longer torso. This is my 1st. road bike so I cannot compare with anything else but so far the neck pain was a concern.

  24. #24
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    5' 7.75" with a 29.5" inseam. Short legs and long torso. I ride a 50-52 most of my bikes are 50cm and the TT tend to be 52.5-53cm and I run 120-130 stem. This is the same as I've been riding for over 25 years.

  25. #25
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    5'8" 30" inseam I have always ridden 51 to 52cm.
    bar drop about 1.5 inches works for me.
    Just changed my stem from 100cm to 110cm.
    Last edited by jnbrown; 01-10-2012 at 07:42 PM.

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