T Nation

Question For The Cyclists

Seems every once in a while a bike topic comes up and a lot of people respond, so I hope someone can give me some direction here. I am a bit clueless when it comes to bike parts and sizes, so bear with me.

After my moutain bike was stolen, my girlfriends dad gave me his road bike. Its a Nishiki, at least 20 years old, but in fairly good condition.

Today I went to the new local bike shop to buy lights for the bike, and the three guys working there exclaimed “wow, thats a big bike”. Now, the guy who gave it to me is about 6’2, and I am about 5’9. I just never knew that there was a big difference in frame sizes.

So my question: Is there anything really bad about riding a bike with a bigger frame? I am not doing anything competitive with it, just riding to work. What advantages would a smaller frame give me? Is my posture on the bigger frame going to be much different then with a smaller frame?

As long as the frame is not overly too big, it shouldn’t be a problem. You might want to put a shorter stem on the bike, that will help. make sure your seat height is correct.

This will matter significantly if you were doing anything competitive. Especially when you consider that a 20 y.o. frame is going to be steel.

It will mostly affect your overall position on the bike. The bike could also be big top tube or down tube which would alter how the size will affect your position.

[quote]TriGWU wrote:
This will matter significantly if you were doing anything competitive. Especially when you consider that a 20 y.o. frame is going to be steel.

It will mostly affect your overall position on the bike. The bike could also be big top tube or down tube which would alter how the size will affect your position.[/quote]

guys will ride the smallest bike possible and use longer stems and posts to shave weight. your bike is prolly about 26 lbs already so it doesn’t really matter. ride the nishiki. do alot of climbing for a year. then get a 16 lb bike and you’ll be a frickn stud !

btw nothing wrong with steel bikes except they can be a little heavy at the low end $$. but not that much and they will be a better ride for a much longer time.

a steel bike built by a master is still an unsurpassed combination of responsiveness comfort and durability. as far as weight goes my bianchi boron steel frame weighs in @ 2.8lbs - (carbon fork) while my full carbon aegis is 3lbs !

[quote]swivel wrote:
TriGWU wrote:
This will matter significantly if you were doing anything competitive. Especially when you consider that a 20 y.o. frame is going to be steel.

It will mostly affect your overall position on the bike. The bike could also be big top tube or down tube which would alter how the size will affect your position.

guys will ride the smallest bike possible and use longer stems and posts to shave weight. your bike is prolly about 26 lbs already so it doesn’t really matter. ride the nishiki. do alot of climbing for a year. then get a 16 lb bike and you’ll be a frickn stud !

btw nothing wrong with steel bikes except they can be a little heavy at the low end $$. but not that much and they will be a better ride for a much longer time.

a steel bike built by a master is still an unsurpassed combination of responsiveness comfort and durability. as far as weight goes my bianchi boron steel frame weighs in @ 2.8lbs - (carbon fork) while my full carbon aegis is 3lbs ![/quote]

I race a steel frame for cycling races and full carbon for TT/Triathlon

Did they measure the frame and let you know what the measurement was? I’m thinking someone who is 5’9 would probably ride a 52-54cm frame. Maybe a little bigger.

I’m 5’6" and I ride 53-54 cm frame. I would say a person at 5’9" would ride a 56-58cm.

[quote]frisbee wrote:
So my question: Is there anything really bad about riding a bike with a bigger frame? I am not doing anything competitive with it, just riding to work. What advantages would a smaller frame give me? Is my posture on the bigger frame going to be much different then with a smaller frame?[/quote]

In order:
Not for the purpose of commuting to work unless you find dodging jerks that don’t see you an issue OR if you commute a long distance (comfort).

A new and better fitted frame would most likely be lighter (esp. if it were aluminum or cf) and more comfortable for longer distances. I’m not sure that it would justify the cost of a new bike given your purpose.

Re: Posture… Yes, it may be, but possibly not to the point that it is detrimental…unless your feet can’t touch comfortably or you feel serious discomfort.

If you aren’t commuting more than, say, 15 miles each way and you aren’t planning on doing more with it anytime soon, you should be fine.

A word of warning, however, road cycling can be VERY addictive. I would not be surprised at all to see you asking for recomendations on a new bike in the coming months. :wink:
Heck, I was even hit by a truck and sustained injuries BUT I’ve missed it so much that I’m back in the saddle again.

Doesn’t sound like you are going to get any real advice here, so I thought I would chime in.

If while sitting on the seat you can put your heal on the peddle and just barely be able to lock you leg out, or just shy of that, you are good. If you can’t put the seat low enough to do that, then the bike is too big.

Having a smaller frame relates more to control and weight for racing (road racing). A smaller frame with a higher seat post gives you more control over the bike. But like I said, if you can get the seat low enough to reach the peddle correctly it’s not a problem.

[quote]schmeidecki wrote:
Did they measure the frame and let you know what the measurement was? I’m thinking someone who is 5’9 would probably ride a 52-54cm frame. Maybe a little bigger.

BJBliffert wrote: I’m 5’6" and I ride 53-54 cm frame. I would say a person at 5’9" would ride a 56-58cm.[/quote]

meqasurement between different manufacturers are not standardized-sometimes even within manufacturers- so you guys are prolly saying the same thing. for ex. bianchi typically posts a c/c(center to center) measurement, meaning 55cm from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of top tube. but someone like trek will post a c/t(center to top) meaning from the center of the bottom brackett to the top of the seat collar could be more like 58cm.

[quote]Lorisco wrote:
Doesn’t sound like you are going to get any real advice here, so I thought I would chime in.

[/quote]

Wow! now that we have been blessed by your knowledge and we all have finally gotten “real” advice I feel we all must be better cyclists now.

[quote]BJBliffert wrote:
I’m 5’6" and I ride 53-54 cm frame. I would say a person at 5’9" would ride a 56-58cm.[/quote]

I second that, I’m 5’7 and ride a 56cm trek. (54 cm frame for most other manufacturers)