If You're between 2 sizes, which do you go for?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:27 pm

by davidalone

So I'm looking at a new frame. Problem is, I'm stuck between two sizes, a 53 and a 55. I can make both work.

the 53: a 6 degree, 120mm stem, 10mm of spacers. Seatpost is gonna stick pretty high out, though
the 55: a 6 degree, 100mm stem, slammed. Seatpost isn't going to stick out as much.

Both configurations will give me stack/reach within 1mm of each other.

it comes down to a handling and aesthetics viewpoint- the 53 is going to handle abit better since it has a marginally smaller wheelbase and longer stem. but probably really marginal.

aesthetically, both have their own 'pro look' merits. the 53 with its lots of seatpost showing, long stem, looks very 'pro'. 10mm of spacer isn't much and is probably acceptable.
the 55 will have a slammed stem, which also looks 'pro'.

what say you, oh gurus of bike vanity?

Posts: 776
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:18 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

by cyclenutnz

Which bars are you basing the comparison on?
Is there a difference in HTA, Trail?
http://www.velogicfit.com - 3D Motion Capture and Frame Finder Software

by Weenie

User avatar
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:45 am

by Fixie82

Curious to know what frame it is?

My two bikes at the moment are similar in appearance to yours although they are not the same brand so both have 110mm stems. Although one is slammed with a good amount of seatpost the other has 10mm under the stem with a lot of seatpost.

Both look good in my opinion but I do think the 'slammed' stem looks a lot cleaner, however as my bikes a different there is no change in handling etc that would come with different sizes of the same frame. This would probably be my main consideration, what I wanted from it would sway my decision before aesthetics.

User avatar
Posts: 7096
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Location: Urbana, Illinois

by Juanmoretime

What do you consider too much post? I have 24 cm on my Lynskey.


Posts: 219
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 3:03 am
Location: Maryland

by JN2Wheels

Headtube angle, rake, (= trail), and wheelbase will impact your handling much more than a 1cm difference in stem length. Decision is best made on your handling preferences rather than aesthetic tie-ups. If you have been lucky enough to experience handling nirvana with a bike at some time, look at those three stats for a baseline.

Posts: 775
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:08 pm
Location: Oklahoma City

by 109er

I always suggest going with the smaller size. You have a lot more room for adjustment with a smaller bike.
green jacket, gold jacket...who gives a sh*t

Posts: 659
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:50 pm

by voodoojar

Generally speaking I would say buy the smaller one because it will offer more fine tuning options. Unless it's a compact frame then I'm inclined to go for the larger size for the same reason. Everyone's body is different so this is a really hard question to answer.

User avatar
Posts: 877
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:30 am
Location: So Cal

by Getter

At 5'8"...I'm pretty much between sizes. I went with the larger size. I ride a 54cm Cervelo S2 with a -17 110mm stem. I'm thinking about getting a new R3...and for that...I'm going to go with the 51cm and a -6 120mm stem.

If I was to race...I'd go with the smaller size.

User avatar
Posts: 2035
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm

by Rick

For me, the 'correct' size almost always ends up with a 120 stem.

Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:27 pm

by davidalone

Rake is the same. Ht angle is 71.5 on the smaller one and 72 on the bigger one. Wheelbase is within 2mm of each other, so actually I would say the only thing that is different is the weight distribution.

Phill P
Posts: 1870
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:10 am
Location: Nambucca, NSW, Australia

by Phill P

This is weight weenies - go for the smaller lighter frame!! Most likely it will be stiffer and the longer seat post will give more vertical flex.

But seriously - you should take each for a ride and decide which feels better to you.
Technical Director at www.TUFFcycle.com

User avatar
Zen Cyclery
Shop Owner
Posts: 1244
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:27 am
Location: McCall, ID

by Zen Cyclery

What Phill P said. We can all sit here in our armchairs and speculate as to what will be the best fit. But the only real way to know would be get out and ride both.

If it were me I'd err on the large size and plan on going with a shorter stem.

Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:39 pm

by Megaclocker

At 5'8 you would likely be better with the 53cm.

I know it doesn't mean much, but I am 5'7 and ride a 50cm (52.5TT) Caad10 with a 120mm stem.

Posts: 2040
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

I'm 5'8 my old Kestrel 200SC is a 54 with a 100mm stem.. always felt it was a little big for me. Look 695 is a small @ 51 w/ 110mm stem. Seatpost is not flying high pro level, but have enjoyed it so far. I vote smaller.

by Weenie

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post