Frame Size?

Ok. I’m leaning on the RAGBRAI forum because it has never let me down. I’m fixn to invest in a new bike. Big chunk of hard earned money from getting yelled at while umpiring ball games. Lol. I’m 5’9 1/2″ tall with a 32″ inseam. What frame size would best suite me? All input appreciate. If you’re close to my size, what frame size do you ride?

7 Replies

GeorgeKline, April 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Your local bike shop should be able to fit you to a bike , if they can’t you need to go to another shop. As a rule of thumb you should have an inch clearance from the top tube when you stand over the bike.


GetAClue Blue, April 8, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Barefooted or with shoes on?


Barin Beard, April 9, 2017 at 1:17 am

I’d start at 55cm and go from there. I am 5’10” with a 32″ inseam. My road bike is a 56cm.


Nico ZZZ, April 9, 2017 at 10:33 am

Frame sizes can be different depending on brand too. It took me awhile to find a LBS that I felt good about. Visit the shops (hopefully you live in an area with a couple of choices), chat with customers and salespeople, and you’ll find your LBS that feels like home.
Of course then the next big purchase is a better saddle! Plenty of forum chatter on that decision too.
Ride On!


Roy Trent, April 9, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Yeah, you need to check around and try different brands and sizes to see what feels good on longer rides. Kline is right, if a shop does not seem like they know what they are doing, and want to put you on something right off the rack, find a better shop.

When I got my bike, I ended up with a frame a few cm larger than I or the shop pro expected based on my height, inseam, weight etc. Basically it comes down to riding sample configurations for about an hour each and see if it feels like you have a good balance of speed and power on each particular set up. I like doing this on the road and not on a trainer because I like to feel the bike move under me.

Don’t forget to pay attention to some of the smaller items. They can really affect your comfort. Items such as stem rise and length, hood position, saddle position(front to back and angle etc), and maybe even crank length. If you have a good bike shop, they will work with you to find the best fit and most likely work with you on price if you need to swap out some pieces, especially if you are dropping a couple thousand bucks.

good luck!


czysk, April 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Try a frame that is suggested for you by the bike shop, then try the next size down. I had three bikes that were 56cm, rode a 54cm in between and was told it was to small. Cleaned and adjusted my sisters 54cm and of course I had to put some miles on it and it felt like an old shoe. I bought a new 54cm. The fitter told me I could ride either size. He set up the 56cm and I rode it for a weekend, then he set up the 54cm and I rode it for a few days. The 54cm felt the best. I still have a 56cm set up to the same specs as the 54cm and I still ride it
You may want to try the next larger size. It’s a personal preference


Roy Trent, April 10, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Here is a link to the GCN site which has a specific short video on selecting the correct frame size. There are also other videos regarding some of the minor components also.

Sorry, forgot to add; if the link doesn’t work, simply go to

well done site


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