View Full Version : Touring frame sizing

10-08-2008, 12:07 AM
I've been eying a touring frame for a build up. The nashbar frame seems like a decent (only new) choice on my budget (even the LHT stretches it) but right now it is only in stock in the 52cm. The dimensions are supposed to be a clone of the LHT so I might go sit on a few of them if I can't make up my mind.

I'm pretty much dead average... 5ft 9 and proportional enough.

It turns out that my Mountain Bike and old road bike have the exact same steering tube to seat tube length (effective). 56 cm. The mtb though has a longer handlebar stem, which puts the bars in a better position.

Touring bars though, seem to stretch out well beyond the stem by the time you reach the hoods... making it seem that a 56 cm top tube would be too long? It seems easier to stretch out the handlebars an inch rather than shortening them.

For those of you who don't find your roadbikes in the trash (yes, mine is that old), how important is 4cm to you? An internet search shows people on 19 inch mtbs are riding anything from 52s to 58s.

10-08-2008, 08:27 AM
It depends on how you're built. What are your torso, inseam etc. measurements?
I'd suggest that you spend your money on a good fitting and then go on a frame hunt. The fitter should be able to give you a range of frame dimensions including seat tube lengths to top tube lengths.

For someone your size I think that a 52 would be a less-than-optimal choice. In a touring frame you really want a geometry that's stable under load. Shortening a frame will usually make it more rigid which is something that you need to consider. If you're not going to carry a load then you might want to consider a hybrid or a cross frame....they're a bit more agile and often lighter.

Lastly, the head-tube angle is important for stability while the seat tube angle has more to do with fit. If you shorten the seat tube length you'll have to make it up in seat post (heavy). Once you get the seat in right position relative to the pedals with a long seat post, your top tube and head tube lengths will likely be too short. You'll be riding in a wonky position or using a stem and bars that are not optimal.

Just my $.02....worth everything you paid for it!

10-15-2008, 10:08 AM
If I were on a limited budget looking for a touring bike, I'd check the stores that carry used frames and comb ebay and craigslist. Touring enjoyed a brief upswing in popularity in the early to mid eighties and manufacturers offered a large variety of touring-specific models. The most coveted are the Specialized Expedition and Sequoia and the Miyata 910 (might have that model number not quite right). There were also very nice Fuji and Bridgestone models from that era.

Fit is everything, so learning the frame dimensions that fit you is, as others have said, the first step.