Road bike frame size

Leemi1982

Regular
Okay been into a couple of bike shops and getting given conflicting frame sizes For a road bike I’m 5ft 8.8 but being just a fraction off 5ft 9 one bike shops telling me a 54 frame and others saying 56 frame. Looking online too it says a 54 frame but just short of 5ft 9 not sure what’s best.

I have a mountain bike too which I use a 18 inch frame and have no issues that but aware it’s a different style bike.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Go and sit on them both, borrow a multitool for saddle adjusting.. Sizing by height is mostly bollix and the difference between a 54cm frame and a 56cm frame could be 3mm or 17mm, and any where in between for a different manufacturer.

None of this takes you as the rider into account because 5ft8 people are not all the same proportions, shorter inseams and longer torsos, long arms, shorter arms etc etc etc
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
I am 5' 10" and ride a 54 or a 56 but as pointed out not all manufacturers use the same criteria when specing frames, my 54 and 56 have the same virtual top tube.
I find the top tube measurment the most important dimension, I would say if you are of normal proportions the 54 is most likely to be your size, but there is nothing like sitting on one to make sure.
 
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vickster

Legendary Member
As above, you must go try them.
I'm around 5'10 and all my bikes have a 54cm TT with a 100mm stem...but I have very long legs compared to my torso (34" inseam). A 56 TT is always too big for me. The geometry varies frame to frame too which further complicates matters (I tend to have a fairly tall headtube as I'm decrepit and inflexible) :laugh:
 

Colin Grigson

Manager of The Month
Location
Slovakia
I’m 5’8’’ and I have a 53cm frame which feels and looks about right ... but with a different frame manufacturer it may be a different story - I would think 56cm is too big regardless.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Okay been into a couple of bike shops and getting given conflicting frame sizes For a road bike I’m 5ft 8.8 but being just a fraction off 5ft 9 one bike shops telling me a 54 frame and others saying 56 frame. Looking online too it says a 54 frame but just short of 5ft 9 not sure what’s best.

I have a mountain bike too which I use a 18 inch frame and have no issues that but aware it’s a different style bike.
What actual bikes were you looking at?
 
OP
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Leemi1982

Regular
carrera virtuoso as Ive never owned a road bike before.. I know it’s cheap but want to give it ago for a while before splashing out.. both Halfords shops giving me different sizes however all out of stock at the moment. Looking online it’s telling me a 51 size frame... confusing
 

bikingdad90

Veteran
I read an interesting article a while back that said if you were borderline sizes if you have a short inseam and short arms to go for the size down but if you have a long inseam and long arms to go for the size up. If you have long legs and short arms or vica versa it’s a bit trial and error as the angle of your hip and back will vary by brand and you need what’s more comfortable for you, some can handle a more aggressive stance and others can’t and this dictates going size up or down when borderline.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
That's because the seat tube is 51cm, the top tube is effectively 54cm (535mm) the toptube of the 54cm frame being 555mm
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
It makes me laugh when people go on about how tall they are in feet and inches (quite right too since this is the UK!), but then start measuring their bike frames in centimetres.
Make your minds up, either you want metric or you don't! :laugh:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
carrera virtuoso as Ive never owned a road bike before.. I know it’s cheap but want to give it ago for a while before splashing out.. both Halfords shops giving me different sizes however all out of stock at the moment. Looking online it’s telling me a 51 size frame... confusing
As above, Halfords often measure their bikes using the seat tube not top tube so check the geo carefully. Check the components and gearing carefully too given what you’ve said elsewhere on going up hills. A better used bike with better spec and gearing might suit you more than a cheap basic and heavy new Halfords special
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I'm 6'1 and have bikes from 56 to 63 cm. Its really not that critical unless it becomes painful :eek:. If your Victor Silvester's are okay everything else can be adjusted to suit.
I prefer a bigger frame but you may be different.
As Vicky says you might be better off with a used bike if it's been well maintained or little used, you can at least throw a leg over.
 
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