Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
cyclingon
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Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cyclingon » 2 May 2016, 1:37pm

Looking to buy the Carrera Vanquish from Halfords (not looking for opinions on the bike as it suits my limited budget and I'm happy with spec) purely would welcome advice on sizing for a road bike. This is their sizing chart:

Height = 5' 3" - 5' 9" - 51cm frame
Height = 5' 8" - 6' 2" - 54cm frame

I'm 5'10 with 31in inside leg and neutral reach. Had to go to different stores to try each size. when sitting on the 54cm bike I felt like I was stretching to reach the break levers on the bars and my arms felt straight with no flex. Felt more comfortable for reach on the 51cm bike. My question is should I take any notice of the height charts as they put me on the 54cm frame? One of the assistants mentioned that I might hit the handle bars with my knees on the 51cm bike, couldn't see it myself, another said I was definitely to big for the 51cm, despite not even seeing me on it as they didn't stock it. sorry if I rambled a bit. any input is would be welcomed.

Freddie
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby Freddie » 2 May 2016, 3:12pm

You can fit a shorter stem, as the stem looks quite long. The 51cm would almost definitely be too small.

cyclingon
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cyclingon » 2 May 2016, 4:39pm

that's interesting, hadn't thought of that being new to road bikes. How much shorter could I expect to get on a different stem?

rmurphy195
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby rmurphy195 » 2 May 2016, 4:56pm

You could compare the Halfords charts with, say, the charts on the Dawes web site and any others you can find. But bear in mind that any differences may -only may - be due to the detail of the frame design. Some examples are below - I thought there was one on the CTC (sorry CUK) site somewhere but I couldn't find it.

http://guides.wiggle.co.uk/wiggle-bike-size-guide
http://www.raleigh.co.uk/Support/BikeSizeGuide/
https://www.evanscycles.com/help/bike-sizing
http://www.cycle.org.uk/category/bike-sizing-chart/
http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/page/1528/Bike_Sizing
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
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cyclingon
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cyclingon » 2 May 2016, 5:23pm

Thanks for that, I've looked at all the charts you mentioned and they all seem to be indicating a 54cm - 56cm frame, so 51cm seems like it would be too small. I think I'm leaning towards a 54cm and hopefully there will be a little bit of adjustment on the stem and handlebars, is this likely? if not I would use the shorter stem option

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531colin
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby 531colin » 2 May 2016, 5:43pm

Take a look at the image here....http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/road-bikes/carrera-vanquish-road-bike-2015
Now Google "Tommy Simpson" and see that the stupid end of the bike industry is marketing to YOU, the casual weekend rider, a riding position more extreme than was used by world class professional athletes. Is that stupid, or is it stupid?
By the way, the gearing on that bike is close to what the professionals use now.....did you see them struggle on the hills on the Tour de Yorkshire? How will you get on?

The bike will need some changes to be anything like comfortable for a normal human being.
The trade-off is.....a smaller bike will have a bit shorter reach. A bigger bike will have the bars a bit higher.
You can reduce the reach with a shorter stem. It says the forks are carbon; I think the steerer will be alloy, which means you can raise the bars with a high-rise stem or a steerer extender. If the steerer is carbon, don't use an extender, and be careful with high-rise stems.
I'm 5' 10" with a 31" trouser -not crotch to floor-
my best guess would be to go for a 54, fit a short/riser stem, probably a steerer extender, and certainly "compact" bars....the bars in the picture I linked are long-reach/deep drop bars. You might need to Google some of that.
Good luck getting any random Halfords branch to understand any of that. Be aware that if you rock up at a random bike shop at their busy time of year with a bike you bought somewhere else and expect them to work on it, you may not be well received.
The only "adjustment" on the 'bars is to turn the existing stem the other way up, so it slopes up not down.....or fit a different stem/steerer extender.

Freddie
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby Freddie » 2 May 2016, 7:53pm

With those adjustments, Colin, we're looking at an extra £80 or so on top of the price of the Carrera bike. I agree with what you said, but perhaps it is better if you can provide a link to a bike for £450 that will fulfil that OP's requirements, because I am doubtful someone new to cycling will be able to wrap their head round that lot.

OP, I know you don't want advice on the bike, but it might be the case that for an extra £100 or so you get something far more suitable. If you have good credit, a 0% credit card would come in handy (usually you can get 0% for 18 months, sometimes as much as 24).

Spending £330 on a bike that is ill suited, needs work and extra money spent on it would be £330 wasted, whereas more money on a suitable steed would not. There really is a large difference in comfort and performance between a bike that is well suited and one that is not. It could be the difference between the bike gathering dust and you becoming an enthusiastic cyclist.

cyclingon
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cyclingon » 2 May 2016, 8:14pm

Thanks Freddie and colin, The points you raise are very relevant, I have been thinking along these lines about extra cost of changing bike and would prefer to get the bike right in the first place. Only said I didn't want advice on bike as I'm in a hurry to get the bike as my current one is ready to be scrapped. I'm thinking I need to do more research first. Even I as a complete novice I could see the Halfords staff I talked to were out of their depth with very little advice to offer. I did go to look around my local bike shop but was a bit intimidated by the £1000 + starting point of most bikes. Thinking I should go back to check out the independents again, and get some more advice. Just been on my local bike shop website (was closed today) found out they have a sale on so have a selection of bikes around £500. Hopefully they can give some helpful advice on sizing. http://www.davemellorcycles.com/sale/c271

Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking at commuting around 60 miles per week, with occasional weekend rides, maybe 30 miles round trip. This has got me wondering, would a flat bar hybrid be more suitable.

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531colin
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby 531colin » 2 May 2016, 9:05pm

What is your current bike, and why is it ready for scrap? You can do quite a lot of repairing for £350.
60 miles a week (12 a day? 6 mile trip to work?) and a 30 mile day ride is pretty non-challenging, and a flat bar hybrid (with a triple chainset for low gears) might be a very good bet.
For a "new" cyclist not used to drop bars, or for a recreational cyclist, a good starting point is to have hands and saddle level, and the controls (brakes) within comfortable reach.

Image

thats my riding position, for a man (rapidly) approaching 69 years old :( .....somebody younger and more flexible could probably get lower, but might not want to start lower.

I can't off the cuff produce a link to a sensibly designed range of budget bikes, and I despair when I see touring bikes advertised like this.......

Image

...........thats supposed to be a comfortable position for touring on rough roads.

The most common questions/problems on this forum are along the lines of.....
my gears are too high
my handlebars are too low/too long reach
i can't fit wide enough tyres for bumpy roads
my bike has no room for mudguards, and nowhere to carry luggage.

eileithyia
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby eileithyia » 2 May 2016, 9:50pm

Well at least you are taking note of sizings:-

Chap in Evans yesterday, totally adament he would have x bike, when he sat on it was clearly too big, the sales assistance was advising him it was too big... but he knew better.......
As the assisitant said... we get one everyday.....
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

cyclingon
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cyclingon » 2 May 2016, 9:54pm

that is the position I would favour, would definitely prefer a comfortable ride over more aerodynamic. Good point about the mud guard clearance as I'll need them, no good getting to work soaking wet covered in mud.

Thanks for all the input guys. will give me some points to ask when I visit the LBS tomorrow.

cjchambers
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cjchambers » 2 May 2016, 10:06pm

A flat bar hybrid with slick tyres is an enduringly sensible choice and would be adequate for the great majority of on-road cyclists who cycle for utility or easy-going pleasure riding.

As Colin says, many of the most common questions on the forum are from people who bought a racing bike but would have been better suited with a hybrid or a touring bike. Sadly there's not much that can be done in a lot of these cases and people are put off cycling altogether, which is a great loss.

I can't make any specific recommendations as I haven't bought a new bike in years and years, but I'm sure if you're looking at specific models, try using the forum search function to see if anyone else has bought one or has been considering one. Good luck with the quest :)

cyclingon
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby cyclingon » 2 May 2016, 10:24pm

So glad I didn't rush in to purchase the Carrera today. almost did out of desperation, but something was niggling away at me about the comfort of the riding position. still need to act pretty sharpish as my current bike was bought 6 years ago for £100....gives you an idea of quality....certainly beyond repair.

MikeF
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Re: Halfords bike sizing charts - are they relevant?

Postby MikeF » 2 May 2016, 11:34pm

cjchambers wrote:A flat bar hybrid with slick tyres is an enduringly sensible choice and would be adequate for the great majority of on-road cyclists who cycle for utility or easy-going pleasure riding.

If your current bike has flat bars you may find drops a bit different to start with. Straight flat bars can be hard on the wrists over time, so even though they are fitted to many bikes, especially "hybrids", they are not necessarily ideal.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master