Riding a big bike

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by biggs682, 13 Jan 2018.

  1. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Back in the day it seems we were always sold a size or two larger frame than we needed as according to the bike shop we would grow in to it !!

    At 5ft 10" with a 31" inside leg and a passion for steel road bikes i always tend to find anything that is 22" - 24" frame size is rideable as long as i can get somewhere close to my ideal saddle height , bar height , reach distance and man bit clearance .

    So when i was offered a fairly recent Scott S50 Speedster 61cm Road bike for a very good price i jumped at it . Upon getting it home and getting the tape measure out i find its quite a lot bigger in all the important areas to my norm .


    I managed to get the saddle height where i wanted it easily enough by normal adjustment , bar height was about an inch and a half higher than normal , so a quick jiggle with the spacers and we were close enough for a few test rides .

    I soon found my self with too much reach for riding on the hoods with the standard 110+ stem , some checking with the tape measure soon told me that i needed an 80mm stem for the ideal reach . Once the stems were swapped and the saddle shuffled along the rails we were ready for some testing .
    A couple of daily commutes were done and it all felt good with no aches or pains i decided to try a couple of my normal 10 - 13 mile loops to see how they felt and they felt good .

    So fast forward to this week and i have used the Scott for all of my non commuting rides and decided to use it for my early morning ride today and chose a route that gave me loads of options to turn homewards early if things felt wrong in the comfort department , thankfully all went well and i just carried on doing the full 43 mile loop .

    Ok i now today's ride was a lot less than a lot of people ride but i normally find that after about 10 miles on an ill fitting bike i quickly get shoulder and neck pains .

    Motto of the story is to keep plugging on to find out a comfortable riding position and dont be scared to try something different . Ok i now this wont work for a lot of people but it works for me .

    ok so why i hear someone say are you selling it ? Answer is i cant keep them all and i still prefer a bike with full guards on for winter use .
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2018
  2. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels

    Not a fan of the modern 'Head down, arse up' position these days but having said that I rode a very small Carlton for years when I was younger.
    Illaveago and biggs682 like this.
  3. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    Carnaby Street
    Agreed, give me comfort over the ass up,slammed position. I'm far too old for such contortions
  4. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    South Wales
    Surprised you have stand over clearance on that.
    I am similar measurements to you and quite happy on a 54cm road bike.
  5. Low Gear Guy

    Low Gear Guy Well-Known Member

    When I was a teenager, the bike shop sold my dad a bike that was a little on the large side on the basis that 'he will grow into it'. I never did. I was able to ride it all day without problems but the saddle stem was fully recessed and getting on was best attempted from the kerb.
    Illaveago, raleighnut and biggs682 like this.
  6. rrarider

    rrarider Senior Member

    It was, and maybe still is, a compromise in getting the perfect size to fit you. I think my ideal size for a steel classic style frame is 22". When Raleigh made bikes you could get 21" and 22½" sizes as standard. I still have my 22½" and I used to have a 21" as well. The larger frame feels slightly too big for my 5'8", the smaller one felt much too small. Having said that, my friend of over 6', rode the small one in the London to Brighton one year in the 1980s. He was too polite to complain about banging his knees.
    Illaveago and raleighnut like this.
  7. Afnug

    Afnug Everything you can imagine is real

    That was my thoughts too, I am similar measurements but with a slightly longer leg, I ride 54cm and 56cm frames, I have ridden 52cm and 58cm and made them usable by altering stem and seat height, but I feel 54/56 is my ideal size, the top tube length is the most important measurement to me.
    biggs682 and Illaveago like this.
  8. OP

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Just have clearance
    Illaveago and raleighnut like this.
  9. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    I had a Allez for many years which was a size too large (not quite as large as that- I think it was a 57.5 or something, greater than 54 anyhow) and I did the same thing, 110 stem down to 80. It was the most comfortable bike, I got rid of it to make space, lack of 'guard clearance meant it wasn't getting used regularly enough.
    biggs682 likes this.
  10. I was having a think. I do from time to time. I am similar size, I think about 32 inch inside leg jeans wise. Most of my bikes are 22 1/2. 23 1/2 which I find comfortable on. I have got a Raleigh which is 24 1/2 and with the saddle right down I can ride it although the bars are a bit too far forward. I could change the stem for a shorter one but it would involve unwrapping the bar tape and faffing about, so I put up with it . I'm not a distance cyclist so I'm not in the saddle for too long for pains to set in. When it comes to stopping at road junctions I simply slide off the saddle with the bike leaning over a bit, thus avoiding ouchyness! I think it came from a few years of riding my brother's bike which was too big for me. It also seems to be a similar method employed by women if you look at old cycling films.
    I was wondering if a shorter throw crank would help in some cases ? It would mean that you wouldn't be stretching when it was at the bottom of its stroke, I know that you would lose out a bit torque wise but that could be sorted with different gearing.
    It was just a thought!
    biggs682 likes this.
  11. Just shows how you can make things work with a bit of knowledge, some spare parts and some patience, nice one pal :okay:

    For reference my CAAD10 is a 61cm, and I'm 6'5" with a 35" inside leg :eek:

    FWIW C'dales do size marginally larger IME, but with your skills they'll be doing one frame fits all next ^_^
    biggs682 and Illaveago like this.
  12. bigjim

    bigjim Guru

    Manchester. UK
    I think that its crazy to sell new road bikes in the UK without mudguard clearance. I like my old steel framed road bikes but I'm not bias and new bikes are great to ride. Light, good handling, gears to hand and flipping good fun. But the reality is how many days in a year in the UK do you get the opportunity to ride them? Not many in this last year. I've got a 90s Raleigh Special Products 853 Team bike. An absolute joy to ride but it has very tight clearances. I think I used it about four times last year.
  13. Afnug

    Afnug Everything you can imagine is real

    What I find annoying is the bikes they sell that have plenty of mudguard clearance but no mudguard eyes, it can't cost a lot more to incorporate mudguard eyes into frame and fork and opens the bike up to a wider market. :wacko:
  14. OP

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    A set of mounts would open the bike up to a far bigger audience
    Afnug likes this.
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