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I've been offered a second hand road bike from a friend, which is a good deal and much lighter than my old teman bike, but can't work out if it's right!

It's apparently a 54" bike, while I'm 5"9.

I have added photos - new bike is silver with blacked out face. Old bike is black and redded out face, to compare.

I have cycling shoes I can use on both. The new bike is about half the weight of the old one! Also has tubeless tyres.

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    No one on the internet can assess your flexibility, joint mobility, and upper body+core strength. Find a professional bike fitter and have them assess you and the bike.
    – Paul H
    Commented May 20 at 20:12
  • Hi Matilda, welcome to the bicycles.stackexchange, and thank you for your question. As it stands, it might be difficult to get a useful answer for several reasons. Two of them: 1. It's nearly impossible to give a thorough answer based on two photos taken from rather random angles. 2. Even if you could read something from those images, the answer may differ based on the intended use of the bike: it might fit if you intend to do 1-hour flat rides but not for all-day tours with lots of climbing or vice versa. I'm not sure if the question can be improved with more information to get a useful reply Commented May 20 at 20:14
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    What exactly is it you are afraid of injuring? Do you feel not always in control, hence accident-prone? Do you feel the position is not quite right, hence the joints are stressed/loaded wrongly and will suffer? Do you feel a possibility of inviting back or shoulder pain because of a bad position? Commented May 21 at 16:52
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    As an aside, dangling the U-lock from the handlebar does not help steering and stability. (Let's suppose it was just for the photo op.) Commented May 21 at 20:50

3 Answers 3

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Bike fit is totally subjective, and we can't see your position on the old bike to compare.

Visually you look quite "forward" but that might be your preference.

The down-pedal looks to have your down-leg almost but not quite straight, which is about right for saddle height. If you find your hips are rocking, then the saddle is too high. But there appears to be enough adjustment there.

Your feet definitely have the arch over the pedal spindle. To me this looks like the foot is quite far forward, but again that's may be your pedalling style, if you always ride in flat shoes. I get more power out of cleated shoes and pedals, which put the ball of the foot over the pedal axle. Again, it may be what you like.

Suggestion If you like the bike, its not worn, the price is reasonable and you can afford it, then buy it and ride it.
Start with some shorter rides, then adjust as needed. Try some medium rides, and then when you've got a couple hundred km on the bike, try a longish ride.
What constitutes short/medium/long is up to you.

Try a couple rides on your current bike too, just to get a feel for the differences. I keep a dry road-bike and a wet-day road bike with mudguards - there's nothing wrong with owning more than one bike if you have the storage.

If, after that time you don't like the bike then sell it on. Used bikes don't really loose value over time.

Remember to update your on-bike tools and spares too - I've changed bikes and ended up with a flat, a spare tube, but also a pump that won't fit the bike's valves. (twice!)

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  • +1 for trying a save on that question that I had already dropped as unsaveable and for the tip to check your tools... Commented May 21 at 13:47
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Extending the other answer: The size of the bike looks to be in the right ballpark to me.

The only real comment I have regards the seat height (which of course is adjustable). It may be a bit too high, as I would generally recommend that your leg be slightly bent when at the bottom of a stroke - with the foot parallel to the ground. Your leg is ever so slightly bent, but it wouldn't be bent if your foot were parallel to the ground.

This situation might be improved if you move your foot back so that the ball of the foot is over the spindle of the pedal. Or you could lower the seat.

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Do you have stack and reach numbers for both bike frames to compare?

On the new bike it looks like it already has a pretty short stem, so you probably can’t go (much) shorter? In the second photo it looks like you are instinctively grabbing the handlebar at the curved part instead of at the hoods, maybe because the bike feels too long for you?

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