Query about standover height sizing

Thursday guy

Active Member
For a hybrid, I heard that to get the correct bike size, you have to be able to stand flat footed on the ground over the frame, and leave at least 1-2 inches of space between the top bar and your groin (goolies). Is that correct?

If so, I don't get why that is. Because when you're stopping at traffic lights, you would have one foot on the pedal and the other foot on the ground, with the bike sightly leaning towards one side. This stance would give you loads more space between the bike's top bar and your groin. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you never ever take the stance where you're standing over the frame, both feet flat on the ground. So why is that a criteria for checking if a bike size fits?

I did a test ride today on a bike, and it felt fine. The only issue seems to be the standover height. I stood over the bike, feet flat on the ground, and the top bar was touching my crown jewels, so there was literally no clearance, although it wasn't particularly uncomfortable, like it wasn't as though the top bar was squishing up against me. Is that bike a no-no then?
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
No, it's not correct. It might give you a starting point, but the measurements that matter include that from saddle-top to the top and bottom of crank travel and the measurements from the saddle-top centre to various handlebar positions. There's tons of stuff on this forum and the web about bike fit and some of it's even useful ;)

Standover height is nice to have (and when stopped, I often take stand over the frame with both feet flat on the ground, because then I'm not going to fall over in the strong fen winds, even on a bike with a fairly high bottom bracket) but not the most important.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Did it have a horizontal or curved top tube? Bikes have differing geometries which could explain why the size and reach felt fine. You might have a more typical male design, longer torso, short legs. What bike was it, what frame size, how tall are you and what is your inseam measurement? I personally have never chosen a bike based on stand over but on reach and feel
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
No hard and fast rule, but by not having clearance you are putting yourself at higher risk of a groin injury.

Only you can assess the importance of that risk in the buying decision.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I have 5 bikes, the only two I know I have clearance on are the MTB. Never given it a thought on the road bikes, I shall have a look next time I am on one.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
For a hybrid, I heard that to get the correct bike size, you have to be able to stand flat footed on the ground over the frame, and leave at least 1-2 inches of space between the top bar and your groin (goolies). Is that correct?
No. It is correct for traditional style road bikes because that is how they are designed to fit. They generally need a handfull of exposed seatpost to achieve correct saddle height
Most hybrid bikes have a sloping top tube, which is designed to be the correct size with much more standover clearance, eg 4-8". These need 10-12" (two handfulls) of exposed seatpost to achieve correct saddle height
With all this clearance, standover is never an issue, so you size on the length or reach of the bike.

Whether you straddle the upright bike or tilt it is irrelevant to sizeing.
If you find a bike with insufficient standover, that seems to fit when riding, note the length and seek one with that length but more standover, ie sloping top tube. You may gave proportionally short legs and long torso.
 
OP
Thursday guy

Thursday guy

Active Member
Did it have a horizontal or curved top tube? Bikes have differing geometries which could explain why the size and reach felt fine. You might have a more typical male design, longer torso, short legs. What bike was it, what frame size, how tall are you and what is your inseam measurement? I personally have never chosen a bike based on stand over but on reach and feel
The ridgeback speed (http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/bike/speed), they have the frame geometry on the link

I'm 5ft 5, and measuring from the bottom of my foot, my inside leg measures to 69cm. Its the 17 inch frame which I'm referring to in the first post. I have to say that although the ride itself felt fine, I am by no means an experienced cyclist, I don't really know what should look for in terms of optimal fit. I just know that the ride was reasonably comfortable.

I was told the 15 inch frame would be too small for me.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
69cm is about 27" so traditionally you'd start by trying a 16" frame which usually meant a 17" but look see if the manufacturers you're interested in have a sizing guide.
 
OP
Thursday guy

Thursday guy

Active Member
69cm is about 27" so traditionally you'd start by trying a 16" frame which usually meant a 17" but look see if the manufacturers you're interested in have a sizing guide.
annoyingly, 5ft 5in is right on the borderline between the 15'' and 17'' frame according to their size guide
 

Boon 51

Veteran
Location
Deal. Kent.
I'm like you in frame sizes I'm in the middle but each bike maker has its own sizing so a 17'' on one bike might be slightly different on another. Just try a few out.
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
The stand over height is a poor guide if you intend to work back from this to the correct frame size. Not all bikes have the same bb clearance so a MTB or crosser will be higher off the ground to begin with not sure about a hybrid.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
annoyingly, 5ft 5in is right on the borderline between the 15'' and 17'' frame according to their size guide
But what is your inside leg measurement and proportions? I'm just 5'5" and a bit but my inside leg is 31". I have both a 17" and 19" bikes, though as I get older I'm finding the reach to the bars on the 19" isn't as good. On both bikes I have loads of clearance. I would find a 15" bike too small I suspect, plus there would be a lot of seat post showing!
 
OP
Thursday guy

Thursday guy

Active Member
But what is your inside leg measurement and proportions? I'm just 5'5" and a bit but my inside leg is 31". I have both a 17" and 19" bikes, though as I get older I'm finding the reach to the bars on the 19" isn't as good. On both bikes I have loads of clearance. I would find a 15" bike too small I suspect, plus there would be a lot of seat post showing!
Strangely, my inside leg measures to 69cm, which is just over 27'' (note that I measured this bare footed, starting from the bottom of my foot).

How comes you're finding the reach on the 19'' isn't as good?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Different geometry? I assume it's not the same bike in two sizes

You have rather short legs, so your height is in your torso, like is often the case with blokes. Hence reach feels ok but you have no height between your bits and the crossbar. Find a bike with a sloping TT as stated
 
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