Decided on bike, undecided on size :(
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  1. #1
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    Decided on bike, undecided on size :(

    I'm looking to get the Trek Domane 4.3 and debating between a 54 and a 56. One shop I've been to told me I'm a 56 and another said 54. According to Trek's sizing chart I'm 56. I've test driven both and they feel fine, but I can't really tell from a 5 minute ride around a small parking lot.
    I am 5 9" with an inseam of 30.5". Thoughts? Oh, btw I prefer not to replace any parts or make modifications to the out of the box setup. It should also be noted that I prefer comfort over performance.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    For sure the 54 unless they size their bikes weird.
    use a torque wrench

  3. #3
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    Based on your height I'd go with a 56. Based on your inseam, I'd go with the 54. Based on your preference for comfort (read: handlebar height) the 56 will get the bars higher if you want them.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I've tried both sizes and they seem fine from a 5 minute test ride around the parking lot...I guess I wouldn't know which is more comfortable unless I take them both for a several hour ride, which is not possible. I guess what I mean by "comfort" is that I'd like to be able to ride for 3-4 hours without my back hurting.

  5. #5
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    You're probably right at the cusp. How is standover height? There should be at least 2 inches between the family jewels and the top tube where you're standing over the bike.

    You may have to take a couple more test rides. Is there any chance you can test ride the two sizes at the same shop back to back for better comparison?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannydan View Post
    Thanks guys. I've tried both sizes and they seem fine from a 5 minute test ride around the parking lot...I guess I wouldn't know which is more comfortable unless I take them both for a several hour ride, which is not possible. I guess what I mean by "comfort" is that I'd like to be able to ride for 3-4 hours without my back hurting.
    Why can't you take a longer ride. Most of the local bike shops in my area (DC Metro, but I live MD side) will more than likely let you take the bike for a long ride (did you ask your lbs?) if you are serious. As long as there is no damage (they may ask for a deposit, a credit card and your license in case you do have an accident).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannydan View Post
    Oh, btw I prefer not to replace any parts or make modifications to the out of the box setup. It should also be noted that I prefer comfort over performance.

    Thanks in advance!!
    That's not smart. If you're better off with more/less less spacers, for example, than the shop happened to set up the bike with you should get the optimal fit and not let fear of turning a wrench get in the way of having the optimal fit.

  8. #8
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    What do folks think, if you are right on the cusp of things, in terms of future adjustments is it easier to make a small bike a little bigger than a big bike a little smaller?

    I think in general a lot of people who are not serious racer types are on frames that are too small for them. I am 5'10", legs seem a little short and torso a little long, went with a 56" for mid 2000's Specialized Allez and newer Scott Addict, both comfy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannydan View Post
    I'm looking to get the Trek Domane 4.3 and debating between a 54 and a 56. One shop I've been to told me I'm a 56 and another said 54. According to Trek's sizing chart I'm 56. I've test driven both and they feel fine, but I can't really tell from a 5 minute ride around a small parking lot.
    I am 5 9" with an inseam of 30.5". Thoughts? Oh, btw I prefer not to replace any parts or make modifications to the out of the box setup. It should also be noted that I prefer comfort over performance.

    Thanks in advance!!
    That really ought to be something you reconsider. Having a bike "fit" to you is probably the most important thing in this entire process. In selecting a specific bike (geometry, size) you are picking a bike that best allows itself to be fit to you. Trust me on this. Getting fit by a professional changed my entire perspective on how much I could enjoy a bike. You don't necessarily need to have it done, there are YouTube vids on the topic, but thinking a bike is set up to ride because the pedals turn and the gears shift is crazy talk.

  10. #10
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    I was right between sizes when I bought my Bianchi. I went for the larger size because, after all was said and done, I felt better centered between the front and real wheels. This was true even when my bicycle shop patiently swapped out stems on the two sizes, and when they adjusted the saddle back-to-front in the seatpost. Saddle to bar drop, of course, was easily compensated for, too, thanks to the ridiculously long steerer tubes that new bicycles come with. Yes, with the larger frame I don't quite have sufficient standover, but this is a consequence of modern bicycle frame design. All of them, it seems, have top tubes that slope upwards.

    In any case, just remember that whatever size you choose you will face an expert's brickbat. Which is why it's always important to wear a helmet.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  11. #11
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    When I bought my Bianchi (in 1988), with a horizontal top tube, it was a full size smaller than my touring bike. It was the smallest road frame I have ever owned. When I got a bike with a custom-fitted frame in 2014, the bike frame it was closest to in size was that Bianchi (which I still have). All other things being equal (they usually aren't), a slightly smaller frame can be "expanded" with appropriate stem length change, saddle height, etc, but a too-large frame is just that. In any case, spend some money and get fitted, and if they won't let you take the bike for a long ride, buy elsewhere.

    I haven't bought a Trek in awhile, but they tended to have long top tubes for their height, which suited me (I am also 5'9 but my legs are 1.5" shorter).

  12. #12
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    This conversation seems a little odd. Have you had a bike fit? Once you determine your key measurements (saddle height, saddle setback, reach to bars, bar drop) you get the frame that allows you to get those settings. Best case without extreme component sizing like an 80mm stem or a setback seat post although I've had both on various bikes.
    I say this because old diamond frame bikes had more consistent sizing. Now bikes have compact frames or similar and who knows how size is determined!

  13. #13
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    One thing I have learned about the original Domane is that a larger frame is more suitable for the high gear masher or heavier rider, due to less seatpost being extended from the frame thus less flex from body motion. Everything else is adjustable (keeping in mind that the Domane is designed with a shorter top tube than the standard bike - in 2013 when the bike was introduced there was no difference in geometry between the men's and women's versions).
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei View Post
    .....This was true even when my bicycle shop patiently swapped out stems on the two sizes, and when they adjusted the saddle.......
    Read this over and over again. As I have said before, the best thing you can do is find a bike shop that is patient and willing to do this. If they aren't willing or are "too busy" to do these things, move on to another shop.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  15. #15
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    If either,of the 2 shops has a full fitting studio have them do that and see which one is the better match to your settings. I ride a Domane 56 and FWIW I'm just under 6' with a 32" inseam.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon D View Post
    I ride a Domane 56 and FWIW I'm just under 6' with a 32" inseam.
    That sounds correct and why I said 54 for sure.
    use a torque wrench

  17. #17
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    To reiterate what a couple of posters have already said, if all you're being offered are parking lot 'test rides', find another shop... neither of these would be reputable (or acceptable) shops IMO. I think this is the source of your quandary re: sizing.

    Beyond height (or even proportions) a lot enters into a persons sizing requirements (fitness/ flexibility, riding style), so far be it from me to "size" you over the internet.

    Taking a step back, even if you are between sizes on a bike or bikes of interest, you need to be fitted to both, then head out for test rides... out on the roads and of some duration. Parking lot rides aren't how most here intend to use their bikes, so I don't think it fits your criteria, either.
    Last edited by PJ352; 06-04-2016 at 07:34 PM. Reason: correction..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    To reiterate what I couple of posters have already said, if all you're being offered are parking lot 'test rides', find another shop... neither of these would be reputable (or acceptable) shops IMO. I think this is the source of your quandary re: sizing.

    Beyond height (or even proportions) a lot enters into a persons sizing requirements (fitness/ flexibility, riding style), so far be it from me to "size" you over the internet.

    Taking a step back, even if you are between sizes on a bike or bikes of interest, you need to be fitted to both, then head out for test rides... out on the roads and of some duration. Parking lot rides aren't how most here intend to use their bikes, so I don't think it fits your criteria, either.
    ^^^This^^^

    Or at the very least, a decent shop should have a trainer they can put the bike on and watch you pedal. Maybe not as good as going out on some roads and spinning up some hills, but way, way better than a parking lot meander.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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