Author Topic: Buying the right size touring bike.  (Read 15499 times)

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Offline ducnut

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 06:36:46 am »
ducnut, I agree with you in everything except something you only implied but didn't actually say, which is that the seat can't go forward and back.  (Maybe you don't believe that anyway.) 


I failed to mention seat adjustment, as I figured it's a given that it's adjustable. However, I don't believe in using that as a way to try and make a bike "right", if it's not. As you probably know, some seats (like Brooks) don't have much adjustment in the rails.

Quote from: whittierider
I've heard some say the that seat position has nothing to do with the bars and everything to do with the BB.  For many years however I was always frustrated that I couldn't get the seat forward enough.

I'm with you on that, as I have my Brooks all the way forward, even though I'm already on a smaller frame. I have my tri bike setup the same way. Not worrying about BB location is why I like Peter White's ideals.

Your "kneecap over the pedal spindle" brings to mind something else. Fitters I've experienced always put the cleat right under the ball of the foot and have claimed that that was the way to do it. I was getting hot spots. I ended up sliding the cleat all the way back. I reasoned that one uses the shank/arch of the foot to dig a hole with a shovel, not the ball. Furthermore, I found myself digging with my toes, with all my efforts toward the front of my foot. Moving the cleat rearward helped alleviate the issue.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2010, 01:06:39 pm »
I could say I respectfully disagree with you.  I was trying to be to the point and not write a 30 page thesis.

Quote from: paddleboy17
The frame size will be chosen based on your standover height.

I respectfully disagree. I can a straddle any frame, but, there's no way you'll be able to fit me to any frame. The most important dimension is the toptube length. That dimension directly affects your bike comfort and stabillity, while riding. When you take a too large frame and put a shorter stem on it, you directly affect the bike's handling. Take a frame that's too small and add a longer stem, same thing happens. The engineers who design the bike take all the bike's components into account, when deciding geometry. It's best to be close to where you need right off the rack.

Who cares about standover height. If that were so important, dirtbikes wouldn't be so tall or people wouldn't buy them. I used to sell motorcycles. One of things a novice would mention is that they can't flatfoot while straddling the bike, as if that were a requirement to ride. It's not. Likewise, with the standover height of a bicycle. Again, the front-to-rear dimension is the most important.

If straddling is an issue, then they need to look at a sloping toptube frame or have something custom built.


I am sure that you could straddle a toddlers trike, but that does not mean you are going to ride it. :)

It sounds like you have long legs, I don't and most women I know don't have the long legs you have.  We care about straddle (AKA standover)--I cannot ride a bike that I cannot straddle.

I will concede that you could fit a stock bike by choosing a top tube length and then seeing if the frame is tall enough to fit the rider.  It is also possible (and I think easier) to use standover to pick a frame and then see see if the top tube is long enough.  I thought that is what I said, but perhaps I should have said the tallest frame you can straddle with up to 2 inches of clearance.  I really wanted to talk about this in general terms, and give the local bike shop credit for being able to size a frame. I think we both agree that a bike with a 700mm seat post or a 300mm stem is a disaster.  I think we both agree that that the bike frame has to be tall enough and long enough.

And most bike sizes are still talked about in terms of  that correlate with standover.  A 60MM road bike frame refers to the distance between the center of the bottom bracket and the the spot on the seat tube where the top tube would be if it was level top tube.

The original poster wanted to try touring.  I am not ready to send them of to buy a custome bike.  We were asked to provide guidelines so that they could buy a stock touring bike.

I agree with your other fit issues.
Danno

Offline justbarb

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2010, 08:52:19 am »
Go to Bike Friday's website and see how close a dealer is to your home.  BF is noted for fitting bikes properly for each customer, has outstanding customer service, and, at least the dealer with whom I associate, is not selling a bike product but a bicycling experience.  If the bike is not comfortable, there is no fun experience.  After years of riding ill-fitting bikes, I am excited to get a New World Tourist in a few weeks. 

Offline Tourista829

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2010, 11:41:48 am »
This is a crazy thing, but I found an older 20" wheel folding bike in a garage sale for $10 and fixed it up with new tires, fenders, and grips. I also added a saddle, trip computer, and bell I had. I am enjoying the heck out of it. It fits in a normal suitcase, and I store it under my desk at work (I have a wrap around desk) I could actually see touring with it. I would not discount the Bike Friday option. (But they are expensive)

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 08:55:32 pm »
A general question regarding sizing:  Typically, should your touring bike be a little smaller or larger than your road bike?  I ride a 61 CM Bianchi road bike and it fits me very nicely.  I'm dreaming about a LHT as I would like to start touring.  Both my local REI and LBS carry the LHTs.  I have not requested a test ride yet as I'm not quite ready to buy, but would the 60cm frame typically be a good choice for me if it feels right?

I would think that if your original bike fits your properly, that a touring bike would be the same size.  This is not 100%, but think of it as a place to start.  Here are some of the reasons why my original statement is not 100% true.

  • Your original road bike does not fit you properly.
  • Bike manufactures size bikes in ways that are similar but not identical
  • Your are between sizes, so the set of compromises made for your first bike don't work on your second bike.

A good bike shop will want to watch you ride your current bike before they make a recommendation on your next bike.  If you are thinking of trying to save money by ordering a bike off of the Internet, I would say don't do this unless you know what your are doing.  Bike dealers normally do not make any money off of the bike sale.  They make all of their money on the accessories that they sell you.
Danno

Offline csykes

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2010, 11:57:49 pm »
Thanks for the info.  If I buy a LHT, I would purchase if from my LBS.  They are a great shop and would have no problem letting me take it out for a good ride.  I know that the geometry is different than the race-oriented Bianchi 928 that I ride, but I  figured that I can use that as a starting point for size when looking at touring bikes.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2010, 09:07:07 am »
A general question regarding sizing:  Typically, should your touring bike be a little smaller or larger than your road bike?  I ride a 61 CM Bianchi road bike and it fits me very nicely.  I'm dreaming about a LHT as I would like to start touring.  Both my local REI and LBS carry the LHTs.  I have not requested a test ride yet as I'm not quite ready to buy, but would the 60cm frame typically be a good choice for me if it feels right?

I would think that if your original bike fits your properly, that a touring bike would be the same size.  This is not 100%, but think of it as a place to start.  Here are some of the reasons why my original statement is not 100% true.

  • Your original road bike does not fit you properly.
  • Bike manufactures size bikes in ways that are similar but not identical
  • Your are between sizes, so the set of compromises made for your first bike don't work on your second bike.
I would add that it is typical to ride with a more upright posture when touring, which means that the bars need to be closer to the saddle, and generally higher.  We're talking a cm or two each direction, so it probably doesn't mean a different frame, but it might.

Offline gamcgregor

Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 09:53:19 pm »
Thanks to all of you, got a lot of good ideas. Should help sort it all out so I can get out on the road and keep going for once. Thanks again.