Giant Defy 3 Composite..Sizing??

by smuggers   December 9, 2013  

Hello everybody...

Having only returned to cycling over the past year after a long illness, I'm now in a position to be able to get a bike on the cyclescheme.. I have more or less decided on a Giant Defy 3 composite, but I seem to be in between sizes (Small/Medium).. I'm 5ft 7" with a 30" inside leg. I know it's down to personal preference and always advisable to be thorough before deciding. I will be trying out a small and medium on the turbo in store, when they get a small in stock..These compact frames and sizing is all new to me..So any help or advice would be greatly appreciated..I wont be racing, those days are long gone..Just want something that is comfortable and able to cope with lots of hilly, long rides..

Cheers...

Smuggers..

14 user comments

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Yes, you are bang in the middle.

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/technology/compactroad/57/

The only way to know for sure is to try both, but I suspect the small will be better due to your short(ish) legs.

Mrs MdL is 5'8" and just fits onto a Medium.

manoirdelourde's picture

posted by manoirdelourde [28 posts]
9th December 2013 - 17:58

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Good job you're trying both.

My inclination is to go smaller, particularly if you are short in the leg - you can always fit a longer stem. However, what you choose depends more on your how upright/stretched out you want it to feel.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2054 posts]
9th December 2013 - 18:39

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My advice would be to choose a frame which is sold by actual size, rather than uninformative arbitrary designations such 'small' or 'medium'. As a rough guide, the overall dimension of the bike from saddle to extended pedal should be 111% of your leg length, in you case (& coincidentally, mine) approximately 84.5 cm. Subtract from this the crank length (try to avoid anything longer than 170mm if you can) & the desired saddle height and you have a good guide to the frame size you require. This formula has served me well for 50 years & many others for far longer.

It's worth noting that if you select a saddle height of 10cm & a crank length of 17cm then subtract these values from 84.5cm (use a calculator if necessary Smile ) the answer you get will not be 'small' or 'medium' it will be a number of centimetres. If the frame you're looking at isn't sized in the same way, don't buy it.

Grizzerly

posted by Grizzerly [147 posts]
11th December 2013 - 12:33

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Grizzerly wrote:
My advice would be to choose a frame which is sold by actual size, rather than uninformative arbitrary designations such 'small' or 'medium'. As a rough guide, the overall dimension of the bike from saddle to extended pedal should be 111% of your leg length, in you case (& coincidentally, mine) approximately 84.5 cm. Subtract from this the crank length (try to avoid anything longer than 170mm if you can) & the desired saddle height and you have a good guide to the frame size you require. This formula has served me well for 50 years & many others for far longer.

It's worth noting that if you select a saddle height of 10cm & a crank length of 17cm then subtract these values from 84.5cm (use a calculator if necessary Smile ) the answer you get will not be 'small' or 'medium' it will be a number of centimetres. If the frame you're looking at isn't sized in the same way, don't buy it.

That isn't actually very useful advice Grizzerly. It's almost as if you want to make buying a bike into some kind of "dark art" where the high priests are the only ones that understand it. It really is quite simple for almost all people to work it out with a few facing a toss up between say small and large. Then it depends on preference and style. Formulas that just give you a number as if everything else about the bike and you are irrelevant should not be trusted. They do appeal to people that think there is a "correct" answer to bike sizing as if your experience, age, fitness, usage and style of riding are irrelevant considerations. Given that, then small medium and large works pretty well as a starting point.

If we want to make cycling popular then let's make it accessible and relatively easy. One sure way to put someone off investing in a new bike worth £1000 or so is to make the size to buy into a calculation best done by a NASA scientist.

So, my advice would be to use the Giant size guide as a guide and then buy the one you that feels the most comfortable. Then stop worrying and go ride it.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
11th December 2013 - 14:53

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Thanks for your replies guys... I'm hoping the store will let me take the small & medium for a spin around the car park outside the shop.. The medium I sat on did seem to stretched out for me, although I could straddle the top tube, my crotch wasn't to far off touching..I have messed about with stem lengths before on previous bikes and I know how much it can change how the bike handles.

I think I'll know pretty much straight away if I can take the small frame for a spin.. The guy in charge of the shop, has been super helpful and says he'll throw in a bike fit for free and some accessories.. Poor bike set up has caused me problems over the years and I'm just glad to be cycling regularly again.. I have Pes cavus feet and pronate quite badly, which as caused me problems with knees and hip joints.. I now have cleat wedges fitted and they've made such a difference and I've fallen in love with cycling again..

Mr MDL... Does your wife ride a Giant compact frame? If so how does she find it for long days in the saddle? I had been looking at Carbon frames from Ribble, Dolan & Planet X...But the Giant frames seem better quality & I got talking to a guy on a Defy on my way home from work one morning and he praised the frame highly..

Thanks again for your replies..Much appreciated. I know everybody is different and use individual methods when choosing a new bike..I'm going to go on feel and gut feeling.. Hopefully they'll let me ride it around the car park..

Kind Regards...

Smuggers.. Wink

posted by smuggers [27 posts]
11th December 2013 - 16:00

3 Likes

Whichever you get, Giant build quality is top drawer and the ride of their bikes, both alu and carbon, get top marks on this and other review websites.

Popping each size on a turbo for a simulated ride might actually be more useful than wobbling round a car park (it's how my LBS observes a bikefit in action).

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2054 posts]
11th December 2013 - 16:11

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Mrs MdL had an SCRW (women's specific but not actually much different from the mens SCR) for 5 years until earlier this year and loved it.

It is a slightly more relaxed geometry than the TCR (which I have as my winter bike). The Defy is an evolution of the SCR, and is highly recommended by the cycling press and riders alike.

Provided you get the right size you will not be disappointed. If you buy a bike that you are too stretched on you are likely to suffer aches and pains and not enjoy longer rides.

manoirdelourde's picture

posted by manoirdelourde [28 posts]
11th December 2013 - 18:41

3 Likes

I'm not sure telling people that it's too complicated for them to understand and they should listen to what the clever chaps who are selling them the bike is very good advice. In the seventies, most of the mass producers of bikes decided to standardise on three frame sizes, small, medium & large which equated approximately 20, 22.5 & 24.5 inches. People ended up with entirely unsuitable bikes and were lost to cycling. The 111% formula is very simple and allows the rider to make an informed choice, without having to simply accept what the manufacturer wants him to have.

Of course, the manufacturers want to make it seem like a dark art that only they understand, that way they can persuade people that their limited range of mass-produced bikes are actually individually produced for each rider.

Smuggers already knows that he falls midway between the 'medium' and 'small' bikes on offer. That really means that his dealer is trying to sell him a bike which will either be too big for him or too small for him.

Do we really think the best advice is to say "Buy the bike off the experts, it won't be the right size, but they know best."?

Grizzerly

posted by Grizzerly [147 posts]
11th December 2013 - 20:57

3 Likes

Giant sell an awful lot of bikes. They are good bikes as well really good frames. Cycling is not that complicated. Buying a bike does not need to be like getting fitted for a Saville Row suit. I was riding in the seventies albeit as a teenager and on a budget and we rode what was available. Not many people in my club were fitted for their bike. They bought stuff that was about right for them and then got on with it. There are a few people that may need something bespoke or with a precise fitting but the vast majority of people are small medium or large and one of those options perhaps with a longer or shorter stem will work perfectl;y well for them. Or they can choose a slightly large or a slightly small between two of those three options and it will still work for them.

I also don't buy the idea that some people were lost to cycling when sizing was made simpler. Like I said Giant sell a heck of a lot.

You can make cycling into an arcane priesthood full of formulae and odd French words instead of plain old English ones. You can try to make it into an inaccesible elitist passtime defined by its past, or you can embrace the benefits of bikes for all. No nonsense just buy a bike and ride it and enjoy it.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
11th December 2013 - 21:54

10 Likes

The Giant store in London have a range of demo bikes and lend them out with a £100 deposit. I think you can arrange to keep them for up to a week.

You should at least keep one for a weekend and do some long rides.

posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
12th December 2013 - 16:21

5 Likes

Old Cranky wrote:
The Giant store in London have a range of demo bikes and lend them out with a £100 deposit. I think you can arrange to keep them for up to a week.

You should at least keep one for a weekend and do some long rides.

Ooh, thanks - I'll look into that Smile

posted by JonD [211 posts]
13th December 2013 - 23:20

3 Likes

Hundred quid deposit? That can't be right, can it? Bit of blag id and £100 and you can waltz out with a bike? I sense a trip to Giant coming on!

Seriously though I hired a defy 3 in the summer that was labelled as a M/L so they don't just do three sizes. I felt a bit achey after but I put that down to not spending time adjusting the saddle and stem correctly. That and the fact id ridden up Alpe D'huez. Lovely bike though, Giant May mass produce and lack a bit of sexiness compared to other bikes but they are top notch machines. Even when I had to go for a full on wrestle with it on a post Dutch corner drunken overcooked hairpin it felt responsive and solid and got me out of the shit.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
14th December 2013 - 1:27

4 Likes

Yep £100. Maybe I look trustworthy Nerd

posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
14th December 2013 - 13:41

3 Likes

I suspect that's just the damage deposit, and that there's a separate one for the value of the bike.

posted by JonD [211 posts]
15th December 2013 - 21:29

3 Likes