Author Topic: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)  (Read 331 times)

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Offline DJMurph4@asu.edu

Hey Everyone,

So I am just getting into the cycling world and had a quick question to ask. I am very budget restricted and therefore have made the journey to craigslist to find an entry level bike to use for general cycling and some entry-level triathlons. I am 6'4" tall with a 35" standover height. Reading online and even asking questions in local bike shops, I have found that I would fit a 58-60cm bike. I have found an almost brand new Trek 1.1 (again, very entry-level) bike on craigslist as well as a few others in great condition in 58cm but not 60cm.

My question is, how much difference does the 2cm between a 58 and 60cm bike affect riding comfort and ability to ride efficiently? There doesn't seem to be many used 60cm bikes for sale in my area, and buying new will cost an easy $300-400 without much improvement in overall bike quality.

I don't want to buy a 58cm bike if it will be a bad thing in the long-run, but I also don't want to spend an extra 300-400 dollars just to get a 60cm bike if it won't make that much difference in the long run.

Any input would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
DJ

Offline John Nelson

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 11:12:38 pm »
Calculating your fit only gets you in the ballpark. You need to take a test ride. Don't just ride around the parking lot. Go a number of miles, including flats, uphill and downhill.

Offline DJMurph4@asu.edu

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 12:41:34 am »
Since I'm new to road biking, I'm not 100% sure what I should be looking for. Is there anything specific that would tell me that the bike is or isn't a good fit? Any indicators?

Thanks!

Offline RonK

Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 01:59:36 am »
The sizes you quote refer to the length of the seat tube, which is not overly important given seat posts offer a significant range of adjustment.

But a larger frame will have a longer top tube, affecting the reach. This is the important dimension as scope for adjustment is limited. Since the saddle must be set to position you correctly in relation to the pedals, the reach dimension can only be varied by changing the stem.
An off the shelf bike will usually have a stem of 100-110mm. A long stem is 130mm, 50mm is short, but may affect the feel of the steering. Stems are made in 10mm increments.

At 6'4" a 58cm will most likely be too small, but you may be able to compensate with a longer stem.

If it is too small you may feel cramped on a test ride.

Perhaps you should visit a bike shop and test ride a correctly sized bike to get a proper feeling before looking at used bikes.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 02:52:59 am by RonK »
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 10:17:55 am »
I understand budget constraints and the temptation of a low prices.  On the other hand, buying a bicycle that doesn't fit well is likely to lead to a bicycle that doesn't get ridden much, which makes it a foolish plan.

As it sounds like the OP is interested, hoping, or planning to bicycle more than the 100-500 miles most bicycles ever get ridden, it might be worth the extra money to buy from a bicycle shop (LBS).  Part of the price you pay for a new bike from an LBS is having someone who understands cycling and has some experience getting people onto right-sized bikes fit the buyer.  If you really can't afford that, consider taking prospective bikes to a bike shop that offers fitting services.  That service often costs $50-200 as a stand-alone service.  (That is usually priced into the cost of a new bike.)  Since it's getting into the off-season for cycling in most of North America, it may be possible to negotiate down to the lower end of the price scale.

I regard getting personal attention from a brick and mortar shop without paying for it and then purchasing the same product elsewhere as despicable.  YMMV.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 10:47:59 am »
Another issue is crank arm length. What is the crank arm length of the Trek? At your size, you are likely going to want at least 175 mm and maybe even 180 mm.

Bar width? I have broad shoulders and currenty have 44 cm bars on my road bike. My Surly LHT came with 46 mm bars. They are more comfortable, and that size is what a professional fit said I should have on my road bike.

If you have to spring for things like a new crank, stem and bars, the price difference is going to shrink some.

Offline zzzz

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2014, 12:09:57 pm »
This can also be over analyzed.

To the OP:

A lot of issues with fit don't come up until you spend a fair amount of time on the bike, you're on a tour, or you're riding more than 100 miles a week. Or when you've gotten old and creaky.

Are you still young and spry, say under 30? I started w a hand-me-down bike that was 2cm shy of my ideal size when I was a teen and raced & rode it for several years w/o incident for 1000's of miles a year. Even now, if we have visitors who ride, I will give them my bike and I will take my wife's, which is also 2 cm short for me, raise the seat and go and it is never a problem, even on a 100 mile ride.

You've gotten different advice here and it may be correct for you. But FWIW here's my opinion.

You said there were a few 58's to choose from. Go ride them and see which one feels best and buy it. If you have a pal you can take along and knows enough to be of help evaluating the bikes and getting your seat height right, take them with you. Proper leg extension is very important. If you're feeling cramped in the arms and shoulders, get a longer stem. Then go ride it for a year or two (or more) until you have some experience to draw on and you know what you want.

Unlike a frame thats too big for you, there are riders that actually prefer a frame size thats technically a little small. Also, really tall frames can start to have some handling issues.

Maybe you'll love riding, and if you do you'll want to step up the quality in your next bike anyway. At that time you can worry about things like crank length and frame geometry and really dial in the details to get a bike that's your ideal set-up. If it turns out that ridings not for you then your investment in tight times didn't brake the bank.

Pete

Offline DJMurph4@asu.edu

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 12:21:33 pm »
Hey Guys and Gals,

Wow, I really appreciate all of the feedback! Looking for the "right fit" on a road bike quickly became an issue of 'the more you learn, the more you don't know', so I am happy to have gained a bit of insight from your knowledge! I'll do a bit more shopping around for some deals from local shops as I have noticed that some more sales are being held this time of year. But, at the end of the day, I'll just keep an eye out for a bike (58 or 60cm) that best fits my needs based on some of the things that you all have brought to me attention.

Once again, I definitely appreciate all the help!

Cheers,
DJ

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 12:33:12 pm »
I am 5'11" tall and my Trek size is a 58cm frame.  At 6'4" there is no way you fit a 58cm Trek frame.  I doubt a 60cm Trek frame will fit you.  Not sure Trek makes a 62cm frame or not.  But the 58cm Trek is way too small for you.  Way too small.  You need at least a 60cm or bigger frame.  Since you seem to not have a bike or any knowledge of your bike size, you probably need to go to a bike shop to find a bike.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2014, 12:50:42 pm »
I'm 6' 2" and ride a 60 cm frame.  However, when I was younger (and almost 6'4"), i could ride any "larger than average" bike and be fine on tours and everything.  In my 50s things started to change and I even quit biking for a while due to aches and pains that would not go away.  After a couple of years off the bike completely, i went and got a bike fit ($150) and have been happily riding pain free (with occasional numb hands).  Anyway, I think zzzz's comments earlier may be apt in many cases like mine, but given that you are 6' 4", RussSeaton has a point too.  You probably would really benefit from some longish rides in the bikes you are considering.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Sizing Dilemma (Is there a big difference between 58 and 60cm trek?)
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2014, 07:55:12 pm »
ZZZZ is absolutely correct in saying that much depends on the age and flexibility of the rider, though I'm not sure anyone 6'4" would be comfortable for long on a 58. I'm 6'2+" and ride a 64 cm and love it.