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I'm looking to buy a used CAAD 10 or 12 but since they are quite far away, I can't test ride them so I'll have to guess the correct size. I am 173cm tall and an inseam of barely 80cm without shoes. I did test a 52cm CAAD 12 a few years ago from my friend and since I mostly ride hardtails, I felt kinda cramped, maybe I'm just not used to. Any advice?

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    Do you have access to anything to test-ride ? Comparing the various measurements might give you some ideas, but at best this is going to be a crapshoot for you. Comfort and fit is such a personal thing that noone can tell you what will be best for you. Perhaps you should forgo the distant options and search out something closer that you can test out. Otherwise its a gamble, though you can always resell it if the fit is wrong. – Criggie Aug 8 '20 at 8:05
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    @Criggie: "Comfort and fit is such a personal thing that noone can tell you what will be best for you." Bike fitters are going to disagree ;) – Michael Aug 8 '20 at 8:50
  • @Michael true, but that's a back-and-forth discussion between fitter and fittee which customises the result. DanK's answer suggests that 54cm is the right frame size, but really its only a starting point. Otherwise a bike fitter's whole job could be reduced to that one table. Obvs there's a lot more to it than This Height/Inseam == This Framesize. – Criggie Aug 8 '20 at 13:15
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Caanondale Size Chart

If you felt cramped on a 52cm then maybe a 54cm would be the better option.

You can always make minor adjustments to the stem and seat to get a better fit.

Unfortunately only you are going to know what one is better.

I’m about a cm taller than you but ride a 56cm but my bike is a Cube and their measurements are different to Cannondale so as you can see with each bike manufacturer you may need a different size frame.

I have added the Cannondale size guide for reference.

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  • I’d still tend to pick the smaller frame. You can go from a 90mm stem all the way to 140mm (that’s like two “sizes” more reach) if it’s too small and you can raise the saddle a lot as well. – Michael Aug 8 '20 at 8:52
  • For me, that table suggests a 63cm frame is too short for my legs, but a 60 cm frame is right for my height. Tables are only a starting point. I ride a 57cm cannondale frame, but with a lot of seat post and a relatively short stem. – Criggie Aug 8 '20 at 13:16
  • But officially, even if the 52cm felt cramped, what should I aim for? 52 or 54? – Rgth122twwt Aug 8 '20 at 15:23
  • @Rgth122twwt: How long was the stem on the 52cm frame? How did it look to an observer? If you come from a too large frame a good fit might actually feel cramped. – Michael Aug 8 '20 at 15:54

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