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I got my eyes on this Raleigh:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-RALEIGH-WINNER-ROAD-BIKE-LOOK/352239962812?hash=item5203234abc:g:7YkAAOSwJH1ZLcwa

Yes it's a little expensive but I like the blue and white frame.

Am 5'11", is this going to be a good fit for me?

The seller said its frame size is 60cm measured from bottom bracket to top of seat tube.

Am a little confused because I was told a while back that measurement isn't necessarily the frame size. Is this true?

  • Used to be the top tube ran horizontally on virtually all bikes, so the seat tube length was a pretty good measure of overall bike size. No longer true, though. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 22 '18 at 15:03
  • Looking at the bike in the picture, though, one can see that the length of the headset tube us quite long, telling you that's a big bike. Would be marginal for someone who's 5-11. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 22 '18 at 15:07
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    (One important measure of bike size, for bikes with a near horizontal top tube, is "standover height". This is the vertical dimension from the ground to the top tube, midway back. You need to be able to stand over the bike with your feet flat on the ground, without uncomfortable pressure in the region where pressure might develop.) – Daniel R Hicks Jan 22 '18 at 15:10
  • I am 6 foot 4 inches and a 60 cm frame would be barely big enough for me. So I ride a 58cm frame with a stupid-long seatpost. Measure your current bike, and see how 60 cm would compare. Don't jump at the first auction you like - take your time, and test ride wherever possible. – Criggie Jan 22 '18 at 19:02
  • "Traditional" frame sizing was bottom bracket to top of seat tube, but to centre of top tube is also used, or centre of where the top tube would be if it was horizontal - sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html – armb Jan 23 '18 at 15:07
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It's not impossible, but once you add the crank length and the height of the seat post bracket and saddle, I'd say it's unlikely unless your legs are long for your height. You certainly won't have much room for adjustment.

Without a test ride, this would seem like a bad idea.

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There are some differences between modern and 'classic' bike sizing, but a quick google search says no, it's too big for you.

https://www.google.com/search?q=bicycle+frame+sizing&tbm=isch

What you were told is true, the seat tube length measurement is not an exact size. There is variation between manufacturers. It was a good method to size bicycle frames when all bikes had a horizontal top tube and similar geometry. It's a very poor way to size modern bicycles that come in many styles and frame geometries, hence the move to 'stack and reach' sizing.

BTW, the consensus on this site is that one really needs to test ride a bike to know if it fits.

  • god damn it am 55cm! – Ageis Jan 22 '18 at 17:22
  • does anyone agree with me it's a nice bike? And british as well!! Us brits are proud of our heritage. – Ageis Jan 22 '18 at 17:26
  • Nice colors and classic looks. 80's technology and build quality no thanks. BTW I'd want more info from the seller on what exactly this is, year of manufacture especially. – Argenti Apparatus Jan 22 '18 at 18:36
  • This is a bike from the days when that was the standard method, so it's probably the same as the manufacturer's originally quoted frame size. You're right that it not easy to compare directly with modern sizes though. – armb Jan 23 '18 at 15:10

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