Are bikes getting bigger?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
1982john
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Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby 1982john » 28 Jul 2018, 7:45pm

When I started cycling I'm almost certain I was in between a size small and medium. Now I'm finding often I'm below the small height range and usually, XS is the right size. This over the span of 15 years.

And I know I have not got shorter (5ft 5) as the marks are still on my parent's house wall!

What worries me a little is will bikes eventually get too small for me? Though a lot of ranges do xxs so maybe I'm ok for a while but I have seen some bikes that just don't cover my height.

chris_suffolk
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby chris_suffolk » 28 Jul 2018, 7:56pm

Most bikes I look at are sizes such as 54, 57, 58, 60cm etc, so unless they start to measure between two different points, I think we're ok.

MikeF
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby MikeF » 29 Jul 2018, 12:06am

chris_suffolk wrote:Most bikes I look at are sizes such as 54, 57, 58, 60cm etc, so unless they start to measure between two different points, I think we're ok.
But “they” have. Frames are not now diamond shaped so any of those sizes are too big for someone 5’5”. :wink:
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

tatanab
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby tatanab » 29 Jul 2018, 6:32am

Measurements have become confused in the last 30 years or so. We knew where we stood with a 22" frame - level top tube and frame size measured centre to top. Of course we understood that Johnny Metric measured centre to centre, but they were exotic things we seldom came across. When Mr Burrows reinvented the "compact" frame with sizes small , medium etc people had to start talking about virtual seat and top tubes etc ; suddenly the top tube length became more important (to some people). Also of course medium in one manufacturer is not the same as another, just as in clothing.

The worst of the "too big" frame sales was probably in the early 80s when chain stores only sold 2 sizes which were "too big" or "much too big". You can see this in the number of huge framed Raleighs and Peugeots from that era with the saddle as close to the top tube as the overstretched rider can manage.

Rose tinted spectacles; I know we should not stand in the way of progress, or letting the manufacturer make a bigger profit by making manufacturing cheaper. Happily, custom frame builders will usually still build what suits you.

Greystoke
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby Greystoke » 29 Jul 2018, 8:41am

I'm 5'7"-5'8" and frame sizes are confusing. I've found that a better measurement is inside leg. But a lot of bikes I've looked at start at an inside leg of 32" which rules them out on paper. I think it's worth trying them before you commit to anything but I realise this is difficult on line.
It would seem that bikes tend to be made for Mr Average who has legs like a giraffe!

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CyberKnight
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby CyberKnight » 29 Jul 2018, 8:57am

I am the same height , 5 foot 7 " and found the virtual top tube measurement works for me as the best way to find a bike that fits , a 54 cm TT is about the right ball park , i have ridden a misold 56 frame but it had a 70 mm stem to make it work.
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barrym
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby barrym » 29 Jul 2018, 9:02am

CyberKnight wrote:... a 54 cm TT is about the right ball park


This made me laugh!
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goatwarden
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby goatwarden » 29 Jul 2018, 9:46am

I am normal height (1.87 m) and I believe frames have got small, mostly due to the introduction of compact geometry and mountain bikes encouraging the wider availability of long seat posts.
In 1981 I walked into John Atkins Cycles, in, Coventry, and John pulled a Carlton frame down and said it was the only frame he had to fit me; it was 25 1/2". I still ride the frame and it is my favourite bike. However I now find it easy to make traditional frames as small as 22" fit me comfortably as I can easily obtain longer seat posts and stems.

I do find frames tend to be longer these days. This seems to be attributed to the fact that flat bar mountain bikes need longer frames to give the same reach as drops but this seems counter intuitive to my general experience that mountain bikes come with unnecessarily long stems as specified by manufacturers.

brynpoeth
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Jul 2018, 9:51am

Seems better to have smaller frames, more rigid, lighter, use less material, and "extend" them with long stems + seatposts
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freiston
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby freiston » 29 Jul 2018, 10:06am

I might be mistaken, but wasn't the "old" rule of thumb to take 10" off your inside leg measurement to get frame size? I'm 5' 9" with an inside leg of 31" or 32" or thereabouts and used a 21½" frame back in the eighties. When I returned to cycling a few years ago, I bought a 55cm frame which is about right and about the same as 21½". It felt bigger but in reality, the standover is about the same and once I got the front end sorted out, so is the reach. The tubes are a lot fatter - maybe that is what made the frame feel bigger.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

gxaustin
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby gxaustin » 29 Jul 2018, 9:31pm

Seems better to have smaller frames, more rigid, lighter, use less material, and "extend" them with long stems + seatposts


Don't you end up with very low handlebars? or a serious riser stem?

brynpoeth
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Jul 2018, 9:36pm

gxaustin wrote:
Seems better to have smaller frames, more rigid, lighter, use less material, and "extend" them with long stems + seatposts


Don't you end up with very low handlebars? or a serious riser stem?

Just bought a bike that is a bit too big
A bit too small would have been better :wink:
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rmurphy195
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby rmurphy195 » 29 Jul 2018, 9:42pm

Measurement has always been a bind, but especially now. I take the frame size as a guide, the rest is standover height (stand over it, stockinged feet either side, if you've room t lift the bike abut an inch before hurting yourself that's about right, then check you aren't stretched out).

That's why I had trouble buying the tourer I wanted, no-one stocked them and had to order in especially! So I ended up being measured and having a bike built into the right-sized frame. After trying the standover height on a similar bike they were putting together!
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gxaustin
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby gxaustin » 29 Jul 2018, 10:02pm

Just bought a bike that is a bit too big
A bit too small would have been better :wink:


Did you end up with low handlebars or a riser stem?

brynpoeth
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Re: Are bikes getting bigger?

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Jul 2018, 10:10pm

gxaustin wrote:
Just bought a bike that is a bit too big
A bit too small would have been better :wink:


Did you end up with low handlebars or a riser stem?

I have an adjustable swivel stem and butterfly bars
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