Help Bike Size - 2nd Opinion

BigDawg

Cruising
Feb 3, 2014
31
15
18
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan
#1
I need a 2nd opinion on the correct bike size for me. I got measured at a LBS and they said my best fit is a size 58. Based on the recommendation by a friend, I paid the 1,000 JPY and got measured at Y's in Akasaka. They said I should avoid size 58s and instead go for a size 61.

The bike I am looking to buy is a Felt F85 (would like an F75, but the sizes are even more limited). Y's pointed out that the head tube difference between the size 58 and 61 is so much that I would be much better off with the 61: http://www.riteway-jp.com/maintenance/kikakulist/felt_2014_kikakulist.pdf

I would like to ask the experts here if I should follow Y's advice and only look for 61s (which I'm finding is nearly impossible) or if a 58 would be suitable for my size (attached is the Bioracer data).


PS. I tried ordering a Felt F85 size 61 online last week and was told that Felt has already sold all their stock in Japan. I can find some 58s still online (unfortunately I can't find any in a bike shop where I can try the 58).
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#2
How big are you, in general?

What are you riding now (how does it measure), and importantly, how does it feel--what's nice about it, or what would you like to be different?

(And without that info) If you're on the cusp, and unless you're really sure, I'd choose the smaller size. Generally, you can build something on the small side a little bigger, but it's hard to build something that's on the big side a little smaller.
 

hat and beard

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Apr 3, 2012
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Boso
#4
With an 81cm saddle height a size 58 would put the handlebars pretty low unless you use a lot of spacers. Some people might be comfortable with that much drop to their handlebars. I wouldn't.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#5
Sorry, I wasn't looking at the pic with the measurement data, and the details there.

I'm 186 and 90 (on a good day), and the last frame I bought was a 58 (touring, not road). It's plenty big enough that I think I could've gone 56 and been okay. If I'd chosen 60-61 I'd've regretted it.

But when I got it built up the first way I chose to do it, and then rode that for a season, and then re-worked it a little based on that, it came out pretty well. Last summer in Norikura I had a fit done on this bike by Chuck (Pro Race Mechanic), and there were no big changes--other than a little seat set-back and height adjustment, the main thing was/were some shims in my shoes to change some angles there.
 
Likes: thomas

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,811
218
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多摩区
#7
As you can see above I'm 189cm tall. Big frame and about 95kg. This will be my first road bike, so don't really have anything to compare to...
Pretty much like me: 191cm, 97kg, 93cm inseam. I usually ride 61 (a Panasonic 60 was fine, too) or XL on sloped geometries.
 

Trek DJ

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Jan 27, 2009
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Kobe
#8
Go with the 61.

The 58cm has a 17cm head tube, which is pretty aggressive, especially compared to Cervelo, Trek, Specialized's similar offerings. At your height the 58cm will be maxed out, and unless you are yoga-man you will have a heap of spacers underneath the stem. Beware the Japanese shops on occasion sell people bikes that are way to big, or way to small based on what they have in stock. Y's seems to be doing it right.

I used to ride an F1R scandium way back, and the HT was super short. The bike rode very nice though! Enjoy!
 
Likes: thomas

BigDawg

Cruising
Feb 3, 2014
31
15
18
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan
#9
Thanks everyone for your advice. I want a racy geometry but I now believe that with the 58s short HT, it would put me in an extremely uncomfortable position.

The next question is, where can I find a size 61? I've checked several bike shops and have been hunting online sites nonstop for several weeks with no success.

The reason I am leaning towards the F85 is based on reviews I've read and it's price/performance point. I guess I could also consider a Specialized Allez Comp if I could find a deal somewhere that would put the price closer to the F85.
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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Miura, Japan
#10
I am not overly brand conscious when shopping.
Once I determine the Head tube height and the Effective top tube I want... I find bikes that most closely match it.
Then I move on from there.
To predetermine the brands kind of puts you in a box.

Personally, I prefer felt's Z series over the F series. I am 188cm and NOT flexible ( I currently ride a 60cm ETT).
The taller head tube of the Z over the F makes for hours in the saddle to be quick enjoyable.
Also keeps my thighs from crushing into my gut.

Cannondale Caad8 vs Caad10 vs Synapse is the same thing... different geometry.
I personally like the synapse best for me, but some people turn their nose up at it because it is not a dedicated racer.

Trek has 2 geomtries as well Madone and Domane.

Scott makes the Foil and Solace.

Specialized makes Allex and Specteur.
 

timefleas

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Nov 30, 2013
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#14
Personally, I would put less stock in sterile geometric calculations, and more in actual fit and feel. I have too many bikes (6) and all fit me well, but each has a different geometry. While my average frame is 53 cc, 53 top tube, they range from 50 cc to 54 cc, and 53 - 55 top tube, with another useful measurement of seat tube to bars ranging from 61 to 64. Each bike fits and rides perfectly (I sold the ones that didn't with similar on-paper geometries)--the simple point is--you need to actually ride the two (or more) sizes in question, of the specific bikes you are interested in, and decide which one feels better--make sure to include a climb or two (get out of the saddle)--then buy the one that suits you best. Never buy a bike based on paper calculations alone.
 

mau

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Jun 13, 2013
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#15
Never buy a bike based on paper calculations alone.
Good point, considering its his first road bike. But the thing is, even if he's gonna ride/test a specific size he wouldn't really know if it fits him right or not, because he doesn't have point of comparison based on experience. It'll still be a trial and error thing for sure. Will always learn from experience.
 

bloaker

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Miura, Japan
#16
Good point, considering its his first road bike. But the thing is, even if he's gonna ride/test a specific size he wouldn't really know if it fits him right or not, because he doesn't have point of comparison based on experience. It'll still be a trial and error thing for sure. Will always learn from experience.
Very true indeed - if bikes in his size are available.
The problem he has here in Japan... find me a shop that stocks 61cm bikes. Then find me one that stocks several for him to choose between.
Now... we are back to paper calculations or taking vacation to "land of the big people" so he can find options.
 

timefleas

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#17
All good points--as originally suggested, though, paper calculations ALONE, will not ensure a good fit--and without some opportunities to actually try a few bikes in his size range, his chance of successfully finding a good fit is marginal at best. Yes, it will be difficult to find such a large bike, much less one close to his desired model type--that is indeed the nature of the beast of living in Japan.

For me, I was always told, on paper and by the pros in shop, that essentially a "Large" frame was appropriate for my weight, instep, height and reach, and for many years, rode large frames--it wasn't until I got into building bikes myself, making fine adjustments like changing stem lengths, saddle positions, adjustment of saddle to peddle distances and so forth, that I finally ended up with a bike more in the medium range, and depending upon the manufacturer's geometry, sometimes even close to a small--and now, I ride easier, my power is transferred more fully, and I feel much better overall on the bike--paper calculations can perhaps suggest a ballpark to start playing in, but I would never use these as the only means for determining which bike size and fit to buy--you have to get on something similar to really know for sure.
 

mau

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#18
Thats my point, even you yourself didn't know which is which back then right? You still experienced a trial and error until finally knew whats best for you, so experience Is still the bottom line, where in @BigDawg doesn't have yet. So what will be his basis of size? For me the experience of others with the same body measurements as his plus paper measurements. Then he will still be the judge on what to buy. When he decided and bought the bike, ride and feel it for a couple of
Hundred or a thousand of kilometer, and then ask and seek for an advice of a reputable bike fitter if he's really in to it. Learning things takes time, year or so, just be patient. It will all depends on the rider it self, we all have different preferences, whats good for some might not be good for you. As in your case you shifted to smaller size from your previous, as for me its the vice versa.
 

timefleas

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Nov 30, 2013
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#20
Mau, we are basically in agreement in that the rider would be best served by considering multiple perspectives, you suggest paper and similar riders, I suggest paper, similar riders BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY actual on bike trial experience.

For me, what other folks of my same height and weight ride is almost completely irrelevant--to illustrate, my arm length and inseam are relatively much longer than people of my same basic height--and perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, despite my longer arms and legs, I usually have the smallest bike among the group of those all in my same height range. What works for me does not work for them, though on paper, they should or at least might, based on basic parameters such as height and weight which is all you can compare when getting other rider's perspectives.

I would of course listen to ALL available views, all possible scenarios, but I would NEVER buy a bike that cost several thousand dollars without first trying one out similar to it--whether it is one the dealer has, or one a forum member here has, or whatever--I would seek that first before putting my money down--and yes, my caveat is based on my experience, having bought many frames at a distance based on calculations only to find in the flesh that they didn't quite work out--for a newbie, I would want to cover all angles first, to avoid such an unfortunate first purchase.