To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )

To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby Andybsa » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:10 pm

Hi,
As a newbie to touring I bought a Dawes 'Horizon' 53cm two years ago with "over simplified" advice from a bike shop. Several backaches later have had somebody look over the setup on a rig, and the bike is oversized (knee is nowhere near over the pedal at '3 o'clock' for example). I've always felt that I am too stretched during a ride and uncomfortable compared to being on my road bike. I am 171cm tall but the Dawe's recommendation of the 53 cm doesn't work for me.

Exploring my options.
It seems I could try to sell the bike and buy another, or by a smaller (Dawes?) frame, transfer all the components and then try to sell the 53 cm frame.

Selling a bike-eBay, through CTC forum, local?
Transferring components- Dawes to Dawes shouldn't be too complicated?
Does anybody have any advice for me please?

Many thanks, Andy
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby fatboy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:36 pm

Personally I would persevere with getting it right. I ride the same size Horizon as you (earlier model) and am only a couple of cm taller than you and I'm very comfortable.

The knee at 3 0'clock doesn't to me sound an essential requirement (very dependent on the angle of the seat tube see http://sheldonbrown.com/kops.html for a more scientific review of this). Anyhow can your saddle be moved further forward? Also back ache could be caused by too long a stem (a cheap fix) or the bars to low or a combination of the two. It could even be that you have the tilt of your saddle wrong.

If none of the above fixes the problem I'd sell it whole and buy a new/second hand bike to replace.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby horizon » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:08 pm

Andy: I would say you are between sizes but a 53 would be my first guess (my daughter is 5'6" and easily fits the next size down, the 48). The difference in top tube is 1.2 cm. I have to agree with fatboy that there are quite a few options before going to the expense and trouble of changing bikes. I'm not even sure that the smaller bike will solve your problems. First and foremost fit a shorter stem, possibly with a steeper angle to bring it higher. Then persevere by doing lots of frequent shorter trips (say 5 - 10 miles at the most). Do lots of stretching and circling of your hips and shoulders. Adjusting to a new bike is more significant than people often realise.

PS I wrote the last couple of sentences before I realised you already had a road bike. If your road bike fitted you comfortably and you are used to a road bike riding position then it should be easy to exactly measure the critical distances on your road bike and set up your Horizon to the same measurements. Generally a road bike will be the tougher riding position. If you are used to a smaller bike then adjust your new Horizon accordingly.

BTW by using a VK saddle adaptor, choosing from a multiplicity of stems and using the height adjustments already on the bike you should be able to get almost any position you want - backwards, forwards, up, down, saddle, bars etc. These bikes only come in four sizes because they have enough adjustability.
Last edited by horizon on Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby johnb » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:14 pm

Back ache in a large proportion of cases is in fact caused by the stem being too short leading to a hunched up riding position.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby horizon » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:21 pm

johnb wrote:Back ache in a large proportion of cases is in fact caused by the stem being too short leading to a hunched up riding position.


The stem on the bike isn't significantly short and the bike is said to be too large so I think we are looking at making things smaller at the moment (or at least the OP is), though you may be right more generally.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby johnb » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:26 pm

Horizon, sorry I should have said I was replying to what Fatboy said and not to the OPs needs.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby horizon » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:55 pm

Andybsa wrote:Hi,
I am 171cm tall but the Dawe's recommendation of the 53 cm doesn't work for me.



According to the Dawes recommendation, if your inside leg is 30" you will need the 48cm so their sizing guide is right and you should have been advised to go for the smaller bike. Nevertheless, it should be possible to bridge the gap even if only to really decide what is right for you. Selling the complete bike at this time of year should not be a problem and your loss should not be too large - it won't be the first time that someone has to switch bikes until they get it right.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby s1965c » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:14 pm

I'm the same height as you, and I'm on my second Claud Butler Regent which is very similarly shaped and sized to the Horizon.

My first had a 53cm frame as suggested in the buyers guide issued by my CTW scheme - it was far too big. I changed to a 48cm bike, and we've been living happily ever after since.

Selling it complete is simplest, and the time of the year is with you if you sell it now.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby horizon » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:24 pm

s1965c wrote:I'm the same height as you, and I'm on my second Claud Butler Regent which is very similarly shaped and sized to the Horizon.

My first had a 53cm frame as suggested in the buyers guide issued by my CTW scheme - it was far too big. I changed to a 48cm bike, and we've been living happily ever after since.

Selling it complete is simplest, and the time of the year is with you if you sell it now.


I agree - I think you're right. But I also wonder whether simple adjustments would produce the same result. The 5cm size difference is seat tube, easily remedied. The top tube ("stretch") difference is only 1.2cm, which a shorter stem would cover. The saddle fore/aft postion is variable too. While one would never start off deliberately with the wrong size, these bikes cover a large range in size. I am trying to think of any critical dimensions that actually do change on the different frames and that make choosing the smaller bike crucial.
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby Andybsa » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:09 pm

Hi everybody,
thank you for such interesting and helpful replies.
I went back to the original shop yesterday to discuss its size and the shop assistant (lovely chap) was astonished at the size of my handlebars-46 cm outside to outside and a reach 12 cm! thanks Dawes. showed me this year's version which has much tighter geometry.
Going to find a 48 cm size in a shop to sit on before I decide whether to make adjustments or buy new.

Andy
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby Andybsa » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:22 pm

horizon wrote:
s1965c wrote: I am trying to think of any critical dimensions that actually do change on the different frames and that make choosing the smaller bike crucial.


Horizon, I've begun to wonder what the critical ones might be. Reach seems important -and as you say there are a lot of factors you can change. by sliding the seat forward and reducing the size of the handlebars/stem I can get a similar geometry to my road bike. However will it matter that my whole body position has now moved forward in relation to the crank?

More sitting on bikes in shops I think!
Cheers,
Andy
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby horizon » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:58 pm

Andy: your start at the back end of the bike - at the saddle. Get it all right - height, fore/aft, even the crank length. When that is right you work at the front end - are the bars near enough. Don't use the saddle movement to get yourself closer to the bars - use the saddle movement only to get your leg/knee position right in relation to the pedal. Use the stem length and height (including the possibility of a new stem) to get the reach correct. My guess is that you can do it (you would have to measure it all to be sure) but also that it might be just as easy to buy a new bike - this really isn't the disaster you might be thinking it is. Remember that your road bike is set up by luck or judgement to be right - this bike needs time and patience to be the same. You are very lucky indeed that you have a comparative bike to work from. Just go get that tape measure out!

Two more quick comments:
1. Remember that you are measuring distances between things (e.g. tip of saddle to bars), not the size of the two bikes. Measure every distance that can be measured.

2. Every bike will have a different feel as the basic geometry is different so adjusting yourself to this also matters. (Remember what it's like when you drive a different car - weird!)
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby alpgirl » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:41 am

I am 5'8'' with inside leg 31'' and sat on a 53cm Galaxy in a shop. Felt much too big. I was advised straight away to go for a 48cm. It has not arrived yet, so hoping it is the correct one for me!
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby horizon » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:10 pm

alpgirl wrote:I am 5'8'' with inside leg 31'' and sat on a 53cm Galaxy in a shop. Felt much too big. I was advised straight away to go for a 48cm. It has not arrived yet, so hoping it is the correct one for me!


It would have felt too big because it wasn't yet adjusted and you weren't used to it. The 48cm is still the better choice but that's not quite the point. You may still need to tweak the 48cm and put on a different stem. Imagine buying a set of clothes (shoes, hat, jacket and trousers) that came all together in one "size".
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Re: To sell a too large 'Horizon' or buy a smaller frame!?

Postby alpgirl » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:40 pm

There was hardly any clearance above the crossbar, and the saddle was at its lowest setting. I don't think there was much adjustment in it. It was so obvious straight away it was too big.
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