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I used this bike for about 140kms and when my last 55 km ride was over I was feeling pain in my elbows and numbing on my arms so I started looking into my bike size and fit. It is a new bike so I probably made a mistake on the size I bought. It is a 55cm frame and I am 6 feet. Do you believe it can be fixed?

enter image description here

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    A 130 or 140mm stem might be enough. – Michael Jan 31 at 20:44
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    Looks too small to me. If you only use it for darting around town, and the small size is convenient for that use, it may be OK, but for long distances you want something that's a better fit. (Bianchi is a premium brand, so you presumably got it in a bike shop, and they should have done a better job of checking bike fit. They should take it back in exchange for a different bike.) – Daniel R Hicks Jan 31 at 23:49
  • How's your back and flexibility ? Mine's not great, so I prefer a shorter top tube and a less hunched posture, like this. – Criggie Feb 1 at 18:36
  • What would really worry me is the low toe clearance of the front wheel. You show your foot position in socks, but I guess your shoes will be a bit longer than that. Having an overlap between the tip of your shoes and the front wheel is dangerous because it limits how far you can steer before the two can collide. Just imagine trying to steer into a corner when your wheel suddenly hits your shoe. This can easily cause you to crash and/or hurt your toes. – cmaster - reinstate monica Feb 1 at 21:23
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    @cmaster-reinstatemonica Toe overlap isn’t that dangerous. It just takes a little getting used to, much like riding clipped in. It’s inevitable on small frames with 700c wheels or people with big feet compared to the frame size. – MaplePanda Feb 2 at 3:36
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It does look very small for your length, but getting a longer stem could help. I also suggest you make sure that the seat post is long enough. If you raise the seat to a comfortable height and the seat post is too short, you risk damaging the frame as it concentrates too much stress on the top part of the seat tube.

Try with a longer stem and some other small tweaks. If it doesn’t help, you might want to consider replacing it with a larger size.

Another thing to consider is replacing just the frame; a second hand bike frame need not be all that expensive, and all the other parts are always the same size regardless.

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    "and all the other parts are always the same size regardless." - Component compatibility is becoming a real problem, more so in the MTB world, but even road bikes can spring expensive surprises on the unwary. A frame swap is no longer a 'just' – mattnz Feb 1 at 2:08
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    ... Nor has a frame swap ever been a 'just' to the uninitiated. When I did a frame swap, it took me several weeks, and I had been wrenching on my bike quite a bit before that. Granted, my bike was an old one, and many of its parts put on a real good fight, I even destroyed some in my attempts to remove them from the old frame, forcing yet another trip to my LBS. But even with a new bike, I'd expect a frame swap to be a lot of work, and certainly nothing I would ever suggest to someone without a solid career of bike wrenching. – cmaster - reinstate monica Feb 1 at 21:17
  • I didn’t mean to suggest replacing a frame is a simple job (it is effectively as much work as replacing all components at once), but it would typically be much cheaper than buying a whole new bike. – Simon Lundberg Feb 1 at 21:43
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This bike is small for you. Normally I would expect someone of your height to be on a 58 or 60-cm frame.

The fact that you have a foot on the ground while your butt is in the saddle makes it obvious that the saddle is much too low. You might be able to extend the seatpost far enough to get the saddle to a reasonable height, although you might need a longer seatpost for that.

You could put a longer stem on in front to stretch your body out more, although there's not much you can do about the drop between the saddle and handlebars, which will make extended riding uncomfortable. A longer stem will also change the steering dynamics somewhat.

There is nothing you can do about other geometry problems like toe overlap.

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  • Not quite nothing you can do about the drop - there are steerer tube extensions, but more likely a long stem with as much rise as you can get. The seat post doesn't look too bad - to my eye it's only toes on the ground, but the foreground leg is too bent for that point in the crank rotation – Chris H Feb 1 at 8:55
  • 6 feet is 182cm, right? I’m 180cm and perfectly fine on a 55cm (386mm reach, 555mm stack) and 56cm frame (554mm horizontal top tube length) with 90mm stems. Bike fitter even said I could have gone one size smaller. – Michael Feb 1 at 11:15
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    I'm 6ft5 and size 12uk shoes, and pretty much every bike I've ridden I can get the ball of my foot on the floor while stopped at lights, even when my saddle used to be too high. It's not always a reliable metric, and I doubt any bike fitter would ever alter anything based on that check. – Wilskt Feb 1 at 13:33
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    @Wilskt: How?! Heel on the pedal with your leg fully extended is usually a good rule of thumb for saddle height. If you manage to put your heel on the ground (i.e. several centimeters lower) something is wrong. – Michael Feb 1 at 17:28
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    Ooops, I somehow read "heel of my foot" instead of "ball". In stiff cycling shoes I can also touch the ground with the tip of my shoes. – Michael Feb 2 at 6:27
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The bike does look small.

Some of the things you can do that haven't been mentioned yet:

  • Get a setback seatpost to move your saddle back and increase the reach. This combined with a longer stem will increase your reach and should make you be less "on top" of the bike. This will move your position relative to the pedals somewhat, and you'll likely have to make other fit adjustments to account for that.
  • Along with a longer stem, you can try one with more of an angle - either up or down may make the bike more comfortable for you. Slamming the stem all the way down to the steerer tube (no spacers) would lower your position even more, and a downward angle on the stem would make the difference slightly more pronounced. You may not like being more bent over, however you just might. And a longer stem but at an upward angle would increase your reach without making you bend over so much, which you might also find more comfortable.

One thing to be careful of - make sure your seatpost is inserted far enough into the frame to be safe. You frame or seatpost should have minimum insertion distance specified somewhere. If your seatpost isn't inserted far enough into the frame, your frame could fail, likely snapping off where the seat tube meets the top tube and seatstays.

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    Be aware that seatposts with setback make it even harder to climb in the saddle. – Criggie Feb 1 at 0:06
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    And you shouldn’t compromise on seating position to compensate for a small frame. – Michael Feb 1 at 11:16
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Whilst the frame is almost certainly a size too small, it may be possible to achieve a good position depending on your flexibility and core strength.

It is not uncommon at all for professional riders to pick a frame size too small and use a longer stem to create a bigger saddle to bar drop and a more aerodynamic position on the bike. 'Slamming' the stem (putting it under the spacers) will also take the bars further away from you, effectively increasing the reach.

The downside to this more aggressive position is that it can put increased strain on your arms, shoulders and back - this is where the flexibility and core strength come in.

The first step would be to return to the bike shop before putting any more miles on the frame and see if you can swap to a bigger size. If not, then it's definitely worth seeing what can be achieved with a bike fit.

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Hey in looking at the pic it definitely looks small. Any chance you can return it to the shop and/or trade it in towards getting the right size frame? If so I would do that.

I am not sure about Bianchi's sizing, but based on my height and how Specialized and Trek do their sizing, I would say you are at least a 56/58 frame size being 6 feet if Bianchi runs anything like those 2 other brands.

A good test to see if a frame will work is stand over the top tube and you should have 1-2 inches so space between your body and the top tube. I suspect if you did that now you would have a good 6 inches.

If you are between sizes like I was I would recommend going larger unless you have some other reason to not do so like some people's legs are more than 50% of their body so they are hard to fit on a bike.

Hope that helps

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  • Trek sizes smaller than average. The top tube test will work for this bike, but not all because of sloping top tubes. Going smaller usually is better: the bike is lighter and more nimble. A longer stem fixes most minor reach issues. – MaplePanda Jan 31 at 23:10
  • @MaplePanda Yes agree a smaller frame makes it easier for a smaller person to handle the bike. The problem here on a road bike is if the bike frame is too small, it makes it hard to get in the drops and pedal comfortably and efficiently. – Tude Productions Feb 1 at 11:46
  • A smaller frame (like 52cn instead of 54 makes the bike more nimble. This one is way too small. With such a small frame, the top tube is very short too. When sitting in the saddle with the crank in line with the seat tube, the corresponding HEEL should rest on the pedal with the knee slightly bent. The other foot won't probably touch the floor. – Carel Feb 1 at 14:43
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    @Carel Where did you get that saddle height recommendation from? It's about as wrong as it gets: a) Your feet will always want to slip forward on the pedals until the pedals are under the heels, and b) your muscles loose a lot moving space that they could use to generate work because the usable angle range for knee and hip is more restricted. When you put your saddle to a height where you are just still able to comfortably go through a pedal stroke, you will have much more power that you can put on your pedals, your feet won't want to slide and your heel won't be able to reach the pedal. – cmaster - reinstate monica Feb 1 at 21:53
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    @cmaster-reinstatemonica - Each person certainly can have their own pedal mechanics, but one technique is as your foot is traveling downwards (11 - 7) your toe is pointing up because your calf is relaxed. As you go through (7 to 5) you start bringing your knees upwards and you push and point your toe down to scoop through (7 to 5). This allows you to efficiently utilize your muscles and tendons to generate power without purely using your muscle (i.e. pushing down still around 8 to 6). So what Carel is stating is not that outlandish. – Tude Productions Feb 3 at 13:50

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