Road bike advice

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  • Road bike advice
  • trailmoggy

    At 5-8 a 56 will be like riding a garden gate, you need to get measured up properly at a proper roadie shop


    I agree with trailmoggy. 54 max I would have thought. Have seen a few 54 road bikes pop up on here recently.

    I think cannondales can come up a bit larger as I swung my leg over a 54 & a 56 at the weekend and the 54 didn’t feel particularly small (I’m 5’10 and a bit). 56 is right for me though.

    Thinking of getting a road bike, however, I know nothing about them. Have been reading a bit online but I think I’d benefit from some real life experience, so where would be the best place in Glasgow to go and speak to someone about them and maybe get an idea of what size to get, I’m 5’8. A friend is selling a 56 cannondale, is this too big for me? What should I be spending to get a bike, it’s mainly for fitness and an alternative to mtb rides. I won’t be racing or joining any clubs just riding with friends. Is it worth looking at the second hand market?

    Thanks… from what I’ve been reading I thought the 56 would be a bit big. Will go get measured properly, anywhere recommendations for the Glasgow area, anybody?

    Sadly one brands 50 is another brands 54 , try before you buy or it will only be very lucky that you buy the right bike!!


    And just to muddy the waters a little further, at 5’7″ most online calculators put me on 52.

    I’m far happier on 54’s.


    Just to really muddy the water even further ..

    I too 5’8″.
    My cannondale super6 is a 52cm.
    My Ridley cx is a 50cm.
    My Ribble r872 is a 48cm.

    I would be almost certain you would be better on a small frame. You could however make do on a medium.
    A horizontal and sloping top tube are important details if just buying on frame centimetre sizing.

    Also remember. Road bike positioning is hugely different to Mtb position.
    Aim towards a size small is my advise on size … 54cm may be rideable for you, but it will look too big on you.

    I’m definitely go to a shop as I no nothing about road bike positioning or the bikes or components themselves. I’m gonna borrow the 56 just to ride a few local miles to see if I even enjoy road biking.


    It takes time to get the hang of it. If you don’t enjoy pedaling on your mtb don’t bother with the road bike. If you have some nice scenary, enjoyable roads it can provide nice experiences. Also very good for general fitness. I find my mtb to fly when I hop on it from my road bike. On the road bike I enjoy suffering, pushing to my limits, improving my times, chasing cars, etc. On the mtb I just go up and have a blast coming down.

    The 54 cannondale should be your size. I’m sure the 56 is too big. You’ll be stretched out. Always look at the effective top tube length. I’m same size as you (portions may vary though). I ride bikes with around 54cm top tubes. Currently a Tarmac with 54,8cm but I’m constantly swapping a 90 and a 100 stem. Haven’t decided yet. Sometimes I miss the sportiness of the 100, sometimes I enjoy the relaxed position that the 90mm provides.

    One more thing. Gearing is much higher on the road bike. I have steep grades where I live and I struggled even with the compact chainset and 28 casette. After a season or so you sure get the strength it requires. If you consider yourself a bit weaker a triple might help you to keep your cadence up. Very important aspect. If you’re riding flat just forget what I just wrote.

    You don’t want a bike too good if you ride in filthy conditions though. You don’t want that fancy carbon to scratch or break when you fall, which is easy on those skinny slicks (debris, wet).


    at 6’1″ my 58cm cannondale looks big, try it but I too suspect a 54 would be good.

    No idea re Glasgow shops.


    Get a proper bike fit

    I’m 5’10 and have just been professionally fitted on a 52 as being the right size. Road bikes are far more sensitive to size than mtb. You might be an ‘odd’ shape and the 56 fits but sounds unlikely.


    If the seat post is showing less than 4inches and if you need a stem shorter than 100mm … then the bikes too big.


    Paradoxically you don’t really want to do a bike fit until you have a bike. Any decent bike shop will be able to look you up and down and tell you frame size you need. Get that then tweak it in a bike fit.

    Try an Allez in Dales Cycles that’s one of the most popular starter bikes, Giant Defys are often recommended. Freeflow bikes seem to have a big range, there must be loads of other shops in Glasgow?

    I’m 5’10” and ride a 54, could have got away with a 48 as well. It all depends on the brand.
    As for cost, just spend what you’d be happy to spend on it – for a mate of mine that’s 10k and only use it 3rd times a year. For me it was 1k and 3rd times a week.

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