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new rider, How tall should my bike be?
I'm 72.5" tall and I don't understand standover height, further more everthing is in cm. I just don't get it. Any advice will be accepted with a smile.
Posted by Shadow a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a None Yet (going from Rock Hop to road) from Auburn, WA on 04/20/03

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  • Or rather, how Long should your bike be...
    As long as standover is adequate, size should be determined by ride and handling alone.

    Are you looking for a road bike?
    You really should head to an LBS to get fitted professionally at least once. This will give you a pretty good base to work from.

    Then Ride Ride Ride a bunch of bikes, and let the bike tell you how big it should be.

    Posted by Skywalker on 04/20/03

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  • Re: new rider, How tall should my bike be?
    But you still might want a starting point (if only to make sure the teen-aged part-timer at your LBS knows what he's talking about). A good place to start is
    Posted by Kwerner a 57 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mercier Corvus from Connecticut on 04/21/03

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    • The WrenchScience method can be quite inaccurate

      A good fitter will have the trained eye to set you up right. No mathematical fitting formula I've found will work for all people (not even for the majority of people actually).

      For instance, the formula specified above (which I've tried before, and just tried again) puts me on a bike which is 8cm too small. 8 whole centimeters! I've test ridden road bikes undersized by that much, and it's not pretty.

      BTW, Kwerner you do have the right idea and a valid point (I'd find the grizzled old-timer who can almost tell just by looking at you what size you need).

      For fitting yourself, I would use this old stand-by:
      * Get the seat positioned correctly (up/down and fore/aft).
      * Then climb on the bike and put your hands on the brake hoods.
      * Settle into your normal riding position.
      * Now look down at the front axle.
      * The handlebar should block out the front axle (line right up with the front axle).

      This will give you a pretty close estimation of the size bike you need. Just make sure that the standover is sufficient so that you don't crush something.

      Be aware that every bike will ride and handle differently (even if it is "the same size"). There are countless other factors that go into bike design, and that is why you just have to ride as many as you can until you find the one that puts that silly grin on your face.

      Good luck, and happy trails!
      Posted by Skywalker on 04/21/03

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