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  1. #1
    CAK
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    Cannondale Sizing

    I know that Cannondales bike sizes run a bit different than other manufacturers but I'm having trouble figuring out what size frame would suite me best.

    My dilema is deciding between a small or a medium frame CAAD4 hardtail.

    I'm 5'6" 160 lbs, the small fits pretty well but I feel a little cramped w/ the 100mm stem, standover is perfect. I feel a bit stretched out on the medium but now I dont have enough standover.

    I dont want to alter the steering geometery too much by going with a 120mm stem on the small.

    For you shorter guys in my height range, what are you riding and whats your cockpit set up, frame size, stem length etc. (by the way I mostly cross country ride)

    Maybe someone from Cannondale can give me some pointers.
    Last edited by CAK; 01-24-2004 at 10:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    which bike are you looking at? Hardtail or dually?

  3. #3
    CAK
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    I'm looking at the CAAD4 hardtails.

  4. #4
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    Sufficient stand over height in MTB is an essential safety feature. In that respect it's better in your case to go with a 120mm stem on a small bike. It won't cause any steering geometry problems.

  5. #5
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    I was in the same boat as you with my Jekyll. I am 5'8" and can just stradle the toptube of the medium. I ended up going with a shorter stem (90mm) and the medium since I didn't like the fit of the small. Even if it is close, I would recommend the medium, since it will, more than likely, give you the handling you desire. Oh how I long for the days of more than three sizes per model. If it isn't close, if you really do have no room to spare between the top tube and yourself, then go with the small.

    I hope it helps.

    -James

  6. #6
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    While I'm not in the same boat of being between a small and a medium, I do often fit between a large and and XL frame. I prefer to go with the smaller frame for increased frame stiffness and extra clearance. I don't think a 120mm stem will mess up the handling of the bike; this short stem trend is recent in the past few years. Five years ago or so a small bike came with a 120mm stem. What I have found more important than stem length is the reach. I have used stems anywhere from 105mm to 135mm to on different frames just so I could keep the reach consistent, and none of the bikes handled badly.

  7. #7
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    RE: hardtail sizing

    I'm 5' 7", but have a short inseam, so I understand the standover problem with cannondales. Last year I rode a CAAD 5 hardtail in a small. I felt too cramped and the rear end was too stiff for me with the steep angles. This year I bought on Optimo hadtail in a medium, and so far I love it. It's a good top tube length for me, and I can feel a comfort difference with the larger size. Standover is important, but top tube, for me at least is the most important. I gave up on standover long ago for sizing.

  8. #8
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    For what it's worth

    I'm still waiting for buildup of a new Optimo frame. I'm 5'11" with a real short torso and I now ride a 19.5 sized Klein Attitude. At the shop, my friend, who has ridden numerous Cannondales over the years and is about my height, suggested that instead of going with the C'dale large that I go with the medium. Again, the bike isn't built yet so I don't have any real idea of how this is going to pan out over time. But my friend at the LBS wasn't hesitant in the least in his assessment.

  9. #9
    jcw
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    my recommendation is the exact opposite...

    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    Sufficient stand over height in MTB is an essential safety feature. In that respect it's better in your case to go with a 120mm stem on a small bike. It won't cause any steering geometry problems.
    I've ridden bikes in which I had absolutely no standover with no problems. If your a beginner then having some standover clearance is probably important, but the use of standover clearance as a way to fit bikes is bad, bad, bad. Fitting bikes is a large part of my job, and we sell C-dales. Whats most important is your weight distribution on the bike in relation to the front and rear wheels. This will totally determine how the bike handles. The most important aspect of bike fit is cockpit length. You can alter that a bit with longer stems, but your saddle is going to remain (or at least should remain) in the same spot, so on a smaller bike you actually wind up with either your weight shifted toward the front wheel if you're running a long stem, or your body position too upright and weight shifted toward the back wheel with the stock stem. The former can be good for climbing and cornering, but is bad for descending and clearing obsticles. The latter can be good for descending a clearing obsticles, but will suck at climbing and you'll have a hard time keeping the front wheel from washing out in corners at speed. For the record, my 5'4" girlfriend rides a small C-dale and it fits her great. I would never recommend a small to someone 5'8", it will be impossible to acheive a good fit.
    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule by fictitious miracles."
    John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 1815

  10. #10
    CAK
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    JCW,

    So do you think I made the right desicion based on what you have seen and people you have fit to Cannondales? I'm 5'6" with a 30" inseam. I went with the small, still using the 100mm stem but might go 110, to bad it has to be ordered from C-dale. I'm thinking the 120mm will be too long. If the majority of people my size are buying small's then I probably made the right decision. Whatcha think?

  11. #11
    jcw
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    obviously I misread your original post...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAK
    JCW,

    So do you think I made the right desicion based on what you have seen and people you have fit to Cannondales? I'm 5'6" with a 30" inseam. I went with the small, still using the 100mm stem but might go 110, to bad it has to be ordered from C-dale. I'm thinking the 120mm will be too long. If the majority of people my size are buying small's then I probably made the right decision. Whatcha think?
    as I was thinking you were 5'8". At 5'6" your definitely a "tweener", a stock small will probably be a bit small, and a stock medium will probably be a bit large. Unfortunately C-dale does not make a 110mm mtb stem, they only make 110 with a 26.0 clamp which is for road bars. So your choices are either 100 or 120. Of course you could always go with the 120 stem with more rise, as every 10 degree rise in stem angle will shorten your effective cockpit by 5mm, so a 120mm stem with a 15 degree rise would have the same reach as a 115mm stem with 5 degrees of rise. Having more rise might also help level out the saddle and bars if you've had to raise the post to near max extension. Good luck and have fun with the new bike.
    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule by fictitious miracles."
    John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 1815

  12. #12
    Lazy People Suck
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAK
    JCW,

    So do you think I made the right desicion based on what you have seen and people you have fit to Cannondales? I'm 5'6" with a 30" inseam. I went with the small, still using the 100mm stem but might go 110, to bad it has to be ordered from C-dale. I'm thinking the 120mm will be too long. If the majority of people my size are buying small's then I probably made the right decision. Whatcha think?
    Another factor to consider is the setback on the seatpost, which can alter cockpit length as well as a stem. I am 5'7" with a 30" inseam and I run a medium Scalpel. I run it with an 80mm stem and a Thomson post with no setback so I am still centered relative to the cranks where I want to be. The bike feels right when I am riding it, but I do feel that I am at the very limit for a medium. I think a small may be your best bet If the 100mm stem seems a bit short, you may try moving the seat back as long as it does not mess up your pedalling position relative to the cranks.
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

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