Bicycle sizing... In betweener size...

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#1
I like a 590 effective top tube.
I have traditionally gone with the smaller bike and just ran a longer stem.
I have not ever had an issue with this.

Now I am looking at a used bike that is slightly larger than what I like, It is a 60cm effective top tube. Is the shorter stem going to be noticeable? Will I truly feel a difference in the handling (this is ultimately for a touring bike)?

One hand wants to just buy it and experiment.
The other wants to hold back and see if I can eventually find a deal on the smaller size.

Unformtulately, there is no Salsa dealer local, so I have not had the opportunoity to ride the 58 or 60cm bikes.

Interested in opinions...
 
Jul 13, 2010
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Shinjuku
#2
With everything else constant you can easily adjust that with a different stem.

Geometry differences can have a much bigger impact on how the bike fits you than the 10mm effective top tube diff. Check the seat and head tube angles for example. If these angles are different the can have a big impact on reach.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#3
Well, typically longer EFF coincides with taller headtube (stack) - so make sure that's going to be ok for you as well. Also - a longer stem tends to put your weight more forward on the bike - that may affect handling. Also - if you get more than 140mm stem - you may notice more the flex in fork steering tube, etc. So, I would tend to shoot for a size that allows something in the 110 - 120 range and with minimum stack requirement.

The interesting thing is that you often see 'pros' with longer stems (120 - 150mm) but their frames are designed to be accomodating this way to keep the FC measument as minimal as possible - right at toe-overlap. Short coupled frames are generally stiffer overall, and for sprinting or hard effort this is very important. At the same time - you'd rarely see a 'pro fit' with 10mm + spacers in their stack. They want to keep the steering tube as short as possible and torque tube very short (distance from stem to bearing) to reduce any torque induced flexion or steering issues. Plus, their long stems are generally much higher quality (stiffness) than what the average Joe rider uses - unless he purchases something like a Deda Zero 100 on up .. and even those limit at 130mm unless you custom order.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#4
unless he purchases something like a Deda Zero 100 on up .. and even those limit at 130mm unless you custom order.
Swinging the topic slightly, but maybe useful info, the difference I noticed between my stock Cannondale stem and the Deda Zero 100 SC stem was astonishing, so if you are worried about handling / stiffness, I for one can definitely recommend an expensive Deda stem (saw loads of them in this years Giro d'Italia this year so far, as it happens too).
 
Dec 31, 2009
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Matsumoto
#5
If you know your size, why would you alter? Seems silly to me. I have had 59.5, 58, 57 and 56.5 frames and all were a different fit and now that I have been around the pond I know exactly what I want. I bet a beverage of your choice if you buy it you will wish you would have gotten the right size. (and that's just it, isn't it, you KNOW it the wrong size, hence the forum topic being started!). Also, HT size is a huge factor. Allot of times with the 59+ frames you get a mongoloid HT and then usually every other angle is altered as well giving a completely different riding bike. So you will have a barn with different breeds and one will never get ridden, however if you have two bikes with similar geo and different purposes, it will be very comfy to switch between them as often as you would like, no need to adjust or get used to the awkward feeling of an alteration of geo. Would you buy pants a size too big and wear a belt? Not me!

I also found a new stem for my crit bike. The Deda Quatro. The stiffness of the drop forged Deda Quatro is noticeably higher than the Deda Zero 1. My coqpit could be described as noodly with the Zero 1 and now it is rock solid with the Quatro. The Quatro is little heavier and has a square design. A little more money but if you want stiff and dont want to fork out the cash for the Zero 100 sevizio (obvious first choice) its an excellent choice.
 

stanc

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Sep 4, 2011
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#6
I also found a new stem for my crit bike. The Deda Quatro. The stiffness of the drop forged Deda Quatro is noticeably higher than the Deda Zero 1. My coqpit could be described as noodly with the Zero 1 and now it is rock solid with the Quatro. The Quatro is little heavier and has a square design. A little more money but if you want stiff and dont want to fork out the cash for the Zero 100 sevizio (obvious first choice) its an excellent choice.
Do you mean the Quattro or the Quattro 2 ? I do like the look of the 2 and its not stupidly expensive.
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#8
I do know what I like and what I am most familiar with.
I am looking at both the Salsa Vaya and the Salsa Fargo.
Both bikes are appealing due to their upright riding position. - this is the big variable, upright
My fiance has the Vaya and I like it. A LOT!
It is a solid bike and fun to just abuse in ways I would not abuse my trek.
The problem is the geometry is all kinds of different than what I am used to.
I am not worried about the slow handling since this bike is going to be use more for a lazy Sunday ride than a sprited work out ride.

The biggest issues I have right now - the nearest Salsa dealer is 1.5 hours away and Salsa has been sold out of both the 58 and 60cm complete bikes (from the manufacturer) so getting the opportunity to even sit on one does not exist.

I am leaning toward a 58. If I were buying new and with no opportunity to check it out first, I feel I would be most comfortable with this bike. BUT - since the head tube is tall and the geometry is unique to anything I have ridden, I am seeing the chance the 60 could fit.

Looking at Salsa's generic fit chart, I am in the top of the 58 and the minum of the 60.

I have been looking around for other options with similar geometry with out any luck.
---------
The Fargo is a tank on wheels. An appealing factor here is that the bike is going to be slower than the vaya in most ways. BUT since I will ride this with my fiance and I am the stronger rider the slower nature of this bike may help solve the disparity between out riding strength. I would fit the 'L' size here.

If I run touring tires, I believe this would work fine.
Then the option for the big 29er tires makes for a unique trail experience. This could be a fun bike for packing a picnic and just going wherever I feel like going on or off road.
 

GSAstuto

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#9
I would opt for the smaller rather than the larger of the 2 fits. Especially if you are that close. And also - these are MTB / Hybrid frame. So - you will have plenty more leeway to adjust. Why would the Fargo be slower? 29r wheels and 700 are exactly the same. The only difference is the cross section of the tire. If you do plan more off-road adventure, then I'd probably choose the Fargo simply as one could use MTB type tire. But - the Vaya will easily fit up to 35C Cyclocross type tires, too.
 

bloaker

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#10
The idea of the Fargo being slower is from the gearing ratios (48 vs 39 big rings), weight and slower geometry. The idea is not to go fast, so it is not really a deterent - but I will spin out with decent touring tires on it if I want.

I found a shop 2 hours from here with a 58 Vaya2 in stock and a L Fargo3 in stock. I am going to ride them back to back on Sunday. If I like the Vaya better, I will bring it home. If I like the Fargo better, I will order the Fargo2 through them.

The best part... it is an excuse to ride the James River Trail System.
Linky

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVTtoTbtK3k

Then follow that up with a trip to Bandito Burrito!


So... a day of cycling, beer and burritos... and to top it off, possibly a new bike.

1 week ago I was dead set on the vaya.
This week I am 51/49% Fargo.
 

bloaker

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#11
Oh... and when I called the shop today, the sales guy owns a Fargo and 2 of the mechanics own Vayas. So I got tons of feedback from the all. I am really looking forward to the trip.
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#12
I called the shop and they are assembling the Vaya today for tomorrow's test ride.

For those of you that are familiar with the area, can you give a 'I would prefer this bike because....' type answer. The one variable I am least familiar with is the terrain more than walking distance from the trains. I have no idea what to expect.

I am leaning more toward the fargo the more I think about it.
but tomorrow's back to back rides should help sort things out.
 

bloaker

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#13
After riding the bikes back to back to back to back.....
The Vaya feels incredible. It is mostly exactly what I was hoping for.
The Fargo is different. Not as sluggish as I had expected, but fun in a curb hoping, pot hole hitting fun bike.

I decided on the final ride with the Vaya that is was too much like my cross bike. My Scott is 10 lbs lighter and much 'snappier' of a ride. The Vaya is incredibly smooth... but hard to justify 2 bikes that ride similar.

The fargo just slowly warmed up to me on every ride.
While I test rode a 'L' - I ordered an XL. The EFF is 600 - but on the 'L' I found myself trying to slide back on the seat - a lot. I think between the seat position and stem... I will make it fit perfectly.

Thanks for the feedback from both here (TCC) and some local friends... I was walking in the door open to both options.