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Sizing for TT/Tri bike

Hi everyone.
I am looking to upgrade my age old Specialized Allez Elite to something a bit more modern/sleeker and better looking! My Allez is a 56cm and I am 6'1" with a 33" inside leg. I found a frame I like but its a 51cm and the previous owner is about the same size as me but said that it would be the right size. This is because TT/Tri frames need to be aero and having a taller seat height in relation to the stem/bars would make it the correct position.
What is the right way to size a frame? Do I go for that or keep looking at 56/7cm frames?

Also, whilst I am here. What are compression tops/shorts etc for? What do they do, do you need them etc?

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • I think most folks use it post race/training to speed up recovery and avoid/reduce aching muscles after hard workouts. May also be good for injury prevention if worn during workouts.

    I don't personally use them but I'm sure others will be able to tell you if they are beneficial.

    BIt more info here http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/the-benefits-of-compression-clothing-35846
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Agreed with conehead, the best place to go is a really good LBS. If you are ok about saying where you are from someone might be able to give you a good one to go to, which is very important as even if a bike shop is technically local it doesn't mean they will know what they are doing!
    In terms of your height to inside leg length you seem fairly in proportion. Compare that to me, I am 6'1 just, and have a 36 inch inseam! So I find it more difficult with getting bikes that fit, but you shouldn't have a problem. But I would again stress the point that you should go to someone with experience, remember this could be a purchase of thousands potentially, you don't want to end up with the wrong one.
    If you don't plan on going to an LBS and want to do it all alone then a good place to start it competativecyclist.com or something like that! They have a fit calculator on it which for a calculator is excellent, obviously it wont give you the eye of a professional, but it will give you an idea. Select the TT version, and it will give you a top tube length, this should give you an idea of what size frames you could fit on.

    On the compression side, I use 2XU tights, and I wouldn't live without them. I'd say the tops are less required, but I don't own one so I don't know!
  • Curly68Curly68 Posts: 21
    Thanks for the replies guys. I live In Suffolk but most of my really lbs are the usual commuter/run of the mill stuff.
    This is more complicated than I thought! I was just going to do up the Specialized with tri bars etc, maybe I should save a bit more and get a decent frame/bike?
  • If you are in suffolk then you might want to head towards Steve in elmys ipswich or Ed at 53-12 colchester, both are very experienced and do bike fits, i know people who have used both and are very happy with the service and fit

  • Curly68Curly68 Posts: 21
    I will try and get to those guys. Was trying to pay a visit to 53-12 anyway as they look like a good shop!
    Many thanks
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