Fit Question

Apr 26, 2010
212
2
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Shimokitazawa
#1
Sorry Brits, if you clicked in here hoping for a good looking question, you've come to the wrong place.

I'm in the market for a new bike, been shopping around and checking sizes and prices. Recently I've been looking at Canyon's Ultimate AL. Good price for the spec (despite the exorbitant shipping), positive reviews from owners and bike mags, I was all ready to go. For most bikes I've been looking at, it seems a 54cm frame is perfect for me. When I typed the admittedly limited measurements into the Canyon fit calculator, it suggested a 56cm frame. After doing some research, I found a couple of comments in various forums with people saying the Canyon fit calculator suggested a larger frame size than they usually ride... but there was only one dude who said that he went with the suggestion and the bike was too big for him. The rest had no follow-up comment, or at least none relating to frame size.

I'm 180cm tall, with an inseam of 83cm. For those of you with more knowledge about bike geometry than me, any advice? You can see below the geometry charts for the CAAD10 and Focus Izalco, both of which I liked in a 54cm, and then the chart for the Canyon. You can see that the 56cm Canyon's effective top tube is about 1cm longer than the 54cm models of the other two. Seattube length looks to be about 1cm longer also, but it's tough to tell with the Cannondale chart measuring to the top of the top tube, and the other two going to the top of the seat tube.

I have heard that when you're in between sizes, you should go with the smaller frame... so... any advice guys?
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#2
This may or may not help, but I was considering a Canyon frame a while back, and as far as I can tell, their animated and quite techy-looking "fit calculator" simply does the traditional inseam * .67 thing. If you move the sliders around for total height, the frame size recommendation doesn't change one bit--it only changes when you move the inseam slider.

When I put my numbers in, I definitely thought the recommendation was at the higher end of the scale. Previously, you could actually check on their website to see what size the Omega Lotto riders were on, and for riders my height they were all 1, 2, or 3 sizes smaller. Not so unusual though for pros to be on smaller frames.

Add in edit: FWIW, if you liked the CAAD and Focus in 54, the smaller Canyon would probably be a better fit. Seat tube angles are very similar, so the top tube difference is close to as it appears.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#3
Just roughly - 180cm / inseam of 83 , depends on your trunk / reach - but if you are fitting for a semi-compact or compact style frame, then I'd go for the 54. 'Classic' frame sizing for you would probably fall into the 545 - 550 /560 depending on the discipline of ride and also how you prefer to sit. Choosing slightly smaller framesize especially on compact will still give you good alignment over the BB, which is the other thing you need to look at. Extended reach is no issue - 120mm + stem ,etc again with the compact geometry doesn't push you too much forward. My gut feeling is that a 56 in compact will feel too big for you.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
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0
#4
Not sure the best course of action for you, but for your info, I am 177cm tall with a inseam of 84cm.

I ride a 54cm CAAD9 and it fits perfectly.
 
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Shimokitazawa
#5
Thanks for the input. I did fiddle with the sliders in the fit calculator a bit... and noticed that nothing changed. I just figured that you would need to change multiple entries to get it to recommend a different size.

I guess the 54 is the way to go. It's easier to make a small frame ride bigger than to make a big frame ride smaller, or so I've heard.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
73
68
Kochi
#7
Canyon was one of the brands I was contemplating as amazing spec for the money and very good reviews - some people class them as the new Cervelo - but once I tried a CAAD 9 I was smitten. Canyon list the stack and reach figures on their site, so all you have to do is find a similar bike with the same stack/reach figures for the sizes you want. Alternatively, find a fitter who can determine your stack/reach numbers and you use that to size the bike. For info on stack/reach see Slowtwitch.com. Looking at the Cannondale, a 56 seems closer to a Canyon 56 so if the Cannondale was too big, it is likely the 56 Canyon will be. With Canyon`s fit calculator, I am guessing that would err on the side of caution so likely to recommend the bigger size rather than a smaller, more aggressive position.

For my CAAD 9 I went for the smaller size - every shop recommended a 50 or 52 but I went with a 48 and a 10mm longer stem as otherwise there was no saddle/handlebar drop and also the reach (hands on curve of bar/back of shift levers) was just too far for me. And it fits perfectly.

When I was looking at the Canyon, the only negative I could come across was whether or not they would be too stiff/harsh which is one of the problems of internet buying. If you hop over to the bikeradar forums there are quite a few brits who have one and they might be able to offer some opinions.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
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#8
Sikochi; just out of interest, and for future reference, would it be possible to give us your height and inseam?
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
73
68
Kochi
#9
Hi Owen, I don`t know my measurements off by heart - I`d have to try and dig out the sheet of paper. Height is between 5`5"/5`6" which is 166/167. Have to get back to you on inseam. Japan is a good place for those of us smaller folk! I finally decided on my preferred size for the CAAD 9 from a weekend spent riding round on CAAD 10`s (48, 50, 52) when they had the test ride weekend.

SurlyCyclist: the other more simple option I didn`t mention is to find a bike shop with a stationary rig who knows their way around stack/reach figures. Then just take in the stack/reach figures for the various canyon sizes 54/56 (52 to be sure), get them to set up the rig with those figures and then you can compare what the various sizes would feel like. Maybe someone on the forum would be able to suggest a bike shop or fitter that could do that.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
Sikochi - 56 is too big for you if you're buying a compact frame. I'd even go so far to say that a CAAD 9 will fit you at a 52 just fine. 54 If you want a little more reach, though you seem to have quite long inseam for your height - so , I'd be careful about sizing too big. Instead look at slightly more aggressive seat tube angle so you don't end up sitting too far aft of your BB , AND getting a decent fit for your trunk / arms. Also - most fit calculators are pretty generic - they will get you into a zone - but there's alot of variance HOW that zone will apply to the biometrics particular to your body and most importantly, your riding style and goals. So - you need to factor EVERYTHING into equation - not just measurements of your bones if you want the perfect ride. And - of course , that is likely to change as well if you are progressing on a training reigme as opposed to being a fairly mature rider who is already settled into a fit and looking for mechanical improvements and tweaks.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#13
Stack and Reach

Finally had some spare moments, so calculated the stack/reach of the 3 bikes:

(Note: Reach is horizontal length from BB to top of head tube. Stack is vertical height from fork axle to top of head tube. I used an arbitrary number (375mm) for axle to crown fork height; also Canyon does not provide BB drop so just guesstimated at 69 mm)

Cannondale 54
Stack: 561.5 mm
Reach: 378.68 mm

Focus 54
Stack: 556.4 mm
Reach: 383.46 mm

Canyon 54
Stack: 570.66 mm
Reach: 384.74 mm

Canyon 56
Stack: 580.62
Reach: 387.01

So, the Canyon's do size out large. Cannondale has a slightly higher stack and slightly shorter reach than the Focus; both are smaller than even the 54 Canyon.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#14
Interesting how the BB drops seem to be increasing ... both Focus and Cannondale are around 70. My new bike has BB drop of 57 - a little taller to clear the corners during pedalling and also not smack the uphill wood. If someone has longer legs and chooses longer crank arms (172/175) then I'd be looking carefully at this figure as well. Most Japanese seem to prefer 165 cranks. Your observation definitely jives with mine - Cannondale seems to size a bit on large side - Ive noticed this with alot of friends and riders on various CAAD8/9's. Gives them a bit of a Mercyx look.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#15
I own two Canyons. Went to their outlet store for my initial purchase, then bought another one with basically the same measurements by internet half a year later. I can confirm that my own impression is also that they tend to recommend large sizes. I tested various sizes at their place, and went for 60, even though most shops would probably recommend I go with a 58. For comparison, I'm the same size as James Le Directeur, but he prefers 56. I'm very comfortable with 60 though, so that's why I bought also my cyclocross in 60 (though the top tube is cm shorter, so not exactly the same measurements). I would really recommend trying out a few sizes before making a decision. Those test rides in the parking space of Canyon really made a difference to me.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#16
As Ludwig points out we are both about the same height, another point is that I have a very flexible spine from years of riding in aero positions , while Ludwig has a lower back problem that’s is probably alleviated by the larger frame size.

Basically you need to really get a feel for the bike by getting on it and seeing/feeling what works best for you.