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  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    Question about standover height and sizing

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    Hi everyone! I have a question about standover height and reach. I'm about 5'5" and about a 29" inseam. I test road the WSD Cannondale Synapse in a 51 and a 48. The reach was fine for me on both bikes and the 48 clearly had better standover clearance. However, I liked the 51 better - it felt more comfortable to me while riding but my seat needs to be lower.

    I wasn't sure if it was my imagination, but the 48 seemed to have a much more sloped top tube vs. the 51 and it looked a lot smaller and I didn't like the appearance as much. Is it silly? I feel more comfortable riding on the 51 but technically the 48 is a better "fit". What should I be going for? I wish there was a 50! Thanks for your advice!

    **edit** I did a search on the forum for standover height but haven't found much that helps my quandary. If you know of anything please pass it along! Thanks
    Last edited by gocard; 08-06-2012 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    4,308
    You know, you're taller than I am and have a shorter inseam--and my legs aren't long. You might want to try the men's 48 and 51, as well. My previous bike was a WSD Synapse in 48 and my current bike is a men's SuperSix, also 48. The WSD Synapse was a bit too short through the cockpit, but I am finding that the men's SuperSix is a hair too long (the SuperSix has a longer top tube than the same size Synapse). Ideally I'd be on a women's SuperSix and wish I'd considered that option when I looked at bikes, but none of the WSD SuperSix models have SRAM. In hindsight I should have seen what my LBS would have done for me in terms of swapping out components.

    My guess is the 48cm men's Synapse could be exactly right for you. It's worth a try.
    Kirsten
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    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
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    Thanks, zoom-zoom. I should probably add that I'm not sure whether I measured my inseam correctly! I wasn't wearing shoes, just bare feet. I am basing it on the standover between the two women's sizes. I had also test ridden a unisex 51 of the same model and it felt fine, but I wasn't paying attention to standover at the time.

    Unfortunately it will be hard to find a unisex 48 because that size doesn't tend to be stocked. I originally wanted a unisex Felt bike, but none of the places had a 48 for me to try. The 51 was way too stretched out for me on that brand.

    I'll see if my LBS can get a hold of a smaller unisex bike. Riding the women's 51 felt just fine to me. Thanks for your suggestion!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    4,713
    Quote Originally Posted by gocard View Post
    Hi everyone! I have a question about standover height and reach. I'm about 5'5" and about a 29" inseam. I test road the WSD Cannondale Synapse in a 51 and a 48. The reach was fine for me on both bikes and the 48 clearly had better standover clearance. However, I liked the 51 better - it felt more comfortable to me while riding but my seat needs to be lower.

    I wasn't sure if it was my imagination, but the 48 seemed to have a much more sloped top tube vs. the 51 and it looked a lot smaller and I didn't like the appearance as much. Is it silly? I feel more comfortable riding on the 51 but technically the 48 is a better "fit". What should I be going for? I wish there was a 50! Thanks for your advice!

    **edit** I did a search on the forum for standover height but haven't found much that helps my quandary. If you know of anything please pass it along! Thanks
    What zoom-zoom said. Try out the men's version if you can find the sizes. Stand over doesn't matter so much on road bikes. Ideally, yes, you should have about 1.5-2" of clearance over the top tube, but you can get away with a bit less.
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  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by gocard View Post
    Thanks, zoom-zoom. I should probably add that I'm not sure whether I measured my inseam correctly! I wasn't wearing shoes, just bare feet. I am basing it on the standover between the two women's sizes. I had also test ridden a unisex 51 of the same model and it felt fine, but I wasn't paying attention to standover at the time.

    Unfortunately it will be hard to find a unisex 48 because that size doesn't tend to be stocked. I originally wanted a unisex Felt bike, but none of the places had a 48 for me to try. The 51 was way too stretched out for me on that brand.

    I'll see if my LBS can get a hold of a smaller unisex bike. Riding the women's 51 felt just fine to me. Thanks for your suggestion!
    Yeah, I hear that on not finding unisex in stock in small sizes. I had to order sight-unseen. Given all the crotch issues I've had I'm thinking a TT of maybe a CM shorter would have been better for me, but it's hard to find a lot of sizes to test. We love our LBS, but they are not a big shop and don't carry a ton of stock.

    Perhaps look at the geometry of the bikes you're interested in and the TT measurements, then look at the unisex versions. If you feel like you need something midway between the 48 and 51 and the men's 48 falls in that range it might be worth checking into, even if you can't test ride.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    847
    Too bad you aren't closer I have a Felt F 5 in a 48cm. I bought it sight unseen. They had a 51, which is what my husband bought. My inseam height is slightly smaller than yours. I'm 5'0" with a 27" inseam. I love the the F5 but I also like to be stretched out on the bike and this one is perfect for me. You wouldn't be nearly as stretched out as I am on it. Th 48cm Cannondale makes are all to high for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
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    104
    Koronin, I love the looks of the F5! I'd really like to test ride any similar geometry Felt just for the sizing, but it didn't work out. I didn't really want to write off the Felts just because I couldn't try them, but I rode the Synapse in both 51 unisex and women's designs and was perfectly comfortable on both. Plus, there was a great deal for over $600 off the carbons and uh...I love a good deal. *blushes* I wouldn't be able to get a similar carbon Felt bike for the same price.

    The listed standover height is greater on the unisex one but it wasn't noticeable to me at the time. I will return to the LBS and pay specific attention to it next time. I was also drawn to the women's Synapse 6 because it comes in a color scheme which I really love - black/turquoise/white and not *too* girly. Most of the unisex Synapses come in black/white but I'll consider it in a 48 if it feels better and is more comfortable.

    I usually get off my bike by swinging my right leg over the back wheel while it's coasting slowly. Probably going to be different for a road bike with the clipless shoes though!

    Oops I rambled, sorry about that! Thanks for all of your thoughtful replies. This is a very friendly forum!
    Last edited by gocard; 08-06-2012 at 09:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,132
    In my opinion, you don't need that much clearance over a road bike. With your cycling shoes and bike shorts on, can you safely and comfortably straddle the 51? If so, you're good to go. I don't have much room to spare on my road bike and it has never been an issue.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    844
    The real thing to think of is the drop from where you are in the saddle to the bars- how did that feel.

    They stock them with a 90cm stem normally- you can go up to a 100 or 110 or even a 120 if the drop felt really good.(I ride an 80 stem, so just know there are little things you can tweak to make the bike fit correctly)

    If the 51 left you feeling too upright due to a lack of drop, then I would go with the 48 and put on a longer stem but if your drop on the 51 felt good and comfortable -then you are good to go.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2006
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    Central Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehirsch83 View Post
    The real thing to think of is the drop from where you are in the saddle to the bars- how did that feel.

    They stock them with a 90cm stem normally- you can go up to a 100 or 110 or even a 120 if the drop felt really good.(I ride an 80 stem, so just know there are little things you can tweak to make the bike fit correctly)

    If the 51 left you feeling too upright due to a lack of drop, then I would go with the 48 and put on a longer stem but if your drop on the 51 felt good and comfortable -then you are good to go.
    Shops often build up bikes--at least women's bikes--with a riser stem in the "up" position. Turning it over so that it slopes downward can also provide a bit more drop if that's what you're after. Otherwise, I wouldn't get too fixated on standover. Again, so long as you can straddle the bike, you should be fine. SO is a bigger concern with mountain bikes and, even then, some people will tell you that it's an overemphasized metric for fit.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
    Posts
    847
    I wouldn't worry too much about clearance either. More can you touch the ground with both feet at the same. Well that's my biggest thing. I have no clearance at all with my older road bike and just a small amount with the Felt.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
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    104
    I'm probably overthinking it because it never bothered me before until I overheard a guy at the store say it to another customer. I'm going to test ride again tomorrow but from your experiences that you shared, I'm pretty sure I'll be fine on a 51 WSD. The unisex Synapse 6 is just black and white but if it fits better and I buy it instead of the WSD, then I'm sure I'll find a way to liven it up with other colors!

  13. #13
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    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville area of NC
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    847
    Definitely go for the one that fits and feels better.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    In my opinion, you don't need that much clearance over a road bike. With your cycling shoes and bike shorts on, can you safely and comfortably straddle the 51? If so, you're good to go. I don't have much room to spare on my road bike and it has never been an issue.
    Exactly...

    PBH is a guide not a hard and fast rule. IMO, stand over height means very little on a bike you ride on the road. If you can straddle and you love the feel of the way it rides then go for it. Top tubes angles are different on different bikes so the 1 to 2 " clearance means zip.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
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    I went to the bike shop after work today and took the 48, 51 (women's and unisex) back out for a spin. I felt fine standing over the 51 and everyone's advice here was also very helpful. During the ride I felt a tiny bit more stretched out than I'd remembered it the last four times and it turns out the seat had gotten shifted a tiny bit back.

    I also compared the geometry charts for the unisex and the women's versions and was surprised to find that the same sizes have the same dimensions for everything - top tube, stack, reach, etc. They said the main differences were the seat and the handlebar stem and width.

    Anyway, the 51 felt fine to me. I asked them to order it in the color scheme I preferred!

    Now how to go about making these next two weeks go by faster... hmmm

 

 

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