Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

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CRAIGO5000
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Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby CRAIGO5000 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 23:08 pm

I'm about to buy a new Dolan Prefissio that's traditionally measured in terms of frame size as it has a horizontal top tube.

I'm 5ft 9 and all indications point to me fitting a 56cm if not the larger 58cm!? Mr Dolan even measured me up and sat me on the 56 stating it was the correct size and it did feel comfortable if not a little 'reachy' compared to my Stealth which is a sloping tube 50cm frame. This could all be down to the more aggressive, shorter head-tube on the Prefissio compared to my Stealth?

I do like to feel big on a small frame, not small on a big frame so I ride with a lot of seat tube. I've made the mistake in the past of owning a road bike that was too large and it felt like a chore to ride.

I really don't want to order the wrong size, but I'm still wary of ordering the 56cm? Do I sound too tall for the 54cm? I didn't have an opportunity to sit on a 54 but a friend has a 54cm Ribble 7005 (same geo frame if not, identical frames with different paint jobs) so I might pop over and try that out.

I'm driving myself crazy with this.
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Paul E
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby Paul E » Sun Nov 04, 2012 23:16 pm

I have a traditional horizontal top tube 54cm trek with a tiny head tube (just enough for the tubes to meet) and I have had bigger frames in the past and never felt that comfy on them, too stretched out.I have a lot of seat post showing too because of longish legs compared to my torso and a biggish drop and a 100mm stem but it feels more comfy than a 56cm spesh sectuer I had that is supposed to be comfort/endurance orientated frame. If it feels right go for it.
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Grill
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby Grill » Sun Nov 04, 2012 23:29 pm

I'm 5' 11" and ride a 54. I almost bought a Prefissio and was going to buy a 54 (55cm top tube). Fit is different for everyone, but from my experience unless you're all torso with good flexibility I can imagine you on anything bigger than a 54 (and honestly the 52 would be fine).
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CRAIGO5000
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby CRAIGO5000 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 23:38 pm

Is it possible to compare the geo of a sloping frame to a traditional?
If so, the comparisons are;

Stealth; Seat tube 50cm, top tube 55cm, head tube 14.5cm.
Prefissio; Seat tube 54cm, top tube 55cm, head tube 11cm.

The 56cm Prefissio has a seat tube of 56cm, top tube 56cm, head tube of 13cm

This is where things go awry as the 56 frame has a head tube 2cm longer than the 54 but the top tube is only 1 cm longer than the 54?
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roscoe94
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby roscoe94 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 23:38 pm

I'm 5ft 9 too and ride a 54 and even a 52. I guess it has a lot to with how you're proportioned and what your goals in cycling are. I have quite a short torso so to fit a 56 cm frame I'd have to use a very short stem but if you're longer in the torso then the bigger frame may be more suitable. The smaller frame will mean a lower head tube which will result in more of an aggressive position with more saddle to bar drop. In my opinion, comfort is key. If I don't feel comfortable on the frame size then I'm not really bothered what the science says, it's a no goer. So if I were you, I'd go in and ask to try the 54 frame because at the end of the day it's about how you feel on the bike, not about what frame size someone thinks you are. Also try different lengths of stem as the the frame should be in the ball park and the stem to finalise the fit. Just my two cents, feel free to correct me as I don't claim to be an expert in bike fitting at all.

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smidsy
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby smidsy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 05:58 am

at 5'9 there is no way a 58cm is right.

I am 5'10 and ride a CAAD which is a 54cm. I can see that some frames I may need a 56 but it all depends on how they quote there sizes.

Inside leg is also important as that affects standover height.

Height alone is not sufficient information to choose by.
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giant man
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby giant man » Mon Nov 05, 2012 09:47 am

It is all to do with proportioning. Everyone is built differently. As smidsy says, 58cm sounds way too big for someone 5'9". geometries do vary of course amongst manufacturers.
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby gloomyandy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:16 am

Based on those numbers above I'd be a little concerned about the head tube difference between your stealth and the 54cm bike. 3.5cm is a fair drop, which may have a big impact on your riding position (especially if you don't already have a slammed setup on your current bike)...

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passout
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby passout » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:43 pm

Can't comment on that bike but I'm 5'8.5'' with a 31''inside leg and always go for 54cm frame with an effective top tube length between of 54 or 55cm.
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby on-yer-bike » Mon Nov 05, 2012 14:18 pm

Im 5-10, long legs (33.5") and ride a 56 Cervelo with a 10 cm stem and compact bars. If I road a 54 I would need too many spacers under the stem. If I was a young racer and very flexible I would ride a 54 with a 12-13 cm stem. I cant feel any handling difference between an 11 cm stem and a 10 cm stem. I have a 54 Specialized Allez winter bike which I can acheive the same position on using spacers and a longer stem. At 5-9 you are more likely to be a 54 if you have short legs maybe even a 52. The reach measurement is how you should compare frames but not all brands supply it.
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Velonutter
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby Velonutter » Tue Nov 06, 2012 21:43 pm

I'm 5ft 10" with a 31 1/2 inside leg and ride a 54 equivalent on all my bikes, tried a 55cm and it was too big.

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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby itboffin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 21:54 pm

I'm 5.9 1/2 and ride a 56 trek, Ribble & old 531 steel but all of these have horizontal top tubes my other bikes with slopping are 54, I'd go with the 54 if I was you.
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CRAIGO5000
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Re: Am I too tall for a 54cm traditional frame?

Postby CRAIGO5000 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 23:05 pm

Well I borrowed my bro in laws Ribble 7005 winter trainer which was sold to him as a 54cm. As you all know, these frames have the exact same geo as the Prefissio. I measured up his bike and it turned out to be a 56! The headtube was 13cm bang on and the seat/top tube are both 56cm so it's certainly NOT a 54.

I adjusted the saddle to my height and gave it a good spin around the block and it feels great to be fair so I've just ordered the 56 Prefissio from Dolan.
For my height, I have such a large inseam (33.5 inch) so In fairness I don't think a 54 could fit, especially as the headtube on the 54 is even smaller. His Ribble also has a really short 70mm stem, so adding my usual 100mm stem should make me feel at home.

Regarding my inseam, I think I run the most aggressive saddle to bar height ever! It's 6 inches on my Stealth and similar on the Ribble/Prefissio, but I don't ever get any huge amount of aching.

Thanks for everyones input, my mind is now at rest with parting the cash for a frame size I'm now confident that fits me well. Sorry to Terry Dolan for not being so sure when he was measuring me up! :oops:
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