My issue is that I have a 51 cm Cervelo, but the reach is too far. I've tried changing out handlebar stem to shorter/angeled, spacers and smaller handlebars. That helped some, but still a little too far reach for comfortable longer rides. I want to get a 47 cm frame with same changes I made for the 51 in order to have less reach, but the bike shop says that the reach will only be one cm shorter, and the handlebars will be two cm down. So effectively the reach will actually be more. That doesn't make sense? And the bike shop does not have any 47 cm bikes in shop.

  • Is there another shop who might have the inventory to let you try other models/sizes?
    – toddg
    Sep 24, 2019 at 14:49
  • 1
    What stem lengths have you tried? Also raising the handle bars can help with the sensation of having to reach too far (e.g., flipping the stem up). For the more aggressive road positions reach can also be related to flexibility issues in the hips. if you can't lean your torso forward from the hips you often compensate higher up in your back which effectively shortens your reach. These are all guesses as it is hard to assess fit without images or being there in person. You might want to consider seeing a professional bike fitter.
    – Rider_X
    Sep 24, 2019 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


The bike shop is correct. This will depend on what model of Cervelo you have but looking at the Classic Road geometry here,

48cm: stack 505mm, reach 560mm

52cm: stack 530mm, reach 569mm

That's annoying but kind-of does make sense. At the small size extreme of frame geometry it's hard to reduce the length of the bike and leave enough space between the wheels, because the wheels are the same diameter as larger frame sizes. This is why some small frame road bikes are built around 584mm (650b) wheels instead of 622mm (700c) wheels.

It's possible that 0.9cm reduction in reach is enough, and you can raise the bars up a couple of cm with a different stem.

If you are thinking about buying a whole new frame and transferring wheels and components over, you should probably think about a whole new bike of a different model/brand that fits you better. If you sell your current Cervelo the overall cost may be comparable to buying a frame.

  • 3
    Agreed. Smaller frames just don't accommodate larger (700c) wheels very well. There are other compromises made with the geometry to make it work. Best bet here is to get a bike with smaller wheels that fits you.
    – toddg
    Sep 24, 2019 at 14:48
  • Seeing as we re-opened this question by an edit, I concur. I would add that the OP may exceed limits on her fork steerer by raising the bars by 2cm; some companies may limit the amount of spacers you can place under the fork steerer (due to safety reasons - one could snap a steerer).
    – Weiwen Ng
    Sep 24, 2019 at 19:54

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