Road Bike frame issue

Hi there,

Currently, I am using my father’s cannondale six carbon road bike of 52 size. My height is 6’1". I am having issue due to the small frame size like lower back pain, numbness in hands etc…
Is there any possibility that the current bike can be adjusted according to my height with adjustments in stem size or saddle height etc…?

I recon that may just be a stretch too far. You should probably ride a 58 or 60 - not sure a 52 can practically or safely be made to fit.



As per the cannondale size chart, my ideal size should be 56. Anyhow, current frame is 2 sizes smaller. With some tweaks, is it possible or not?

No one can give you a solid answer without more info. ‘Maybe’ is the best that can be said.

Some people might make that work while others couldn’t. A bunch relies on your actual size (torso to leg length, not just height), not to mention your body flexibility.

Any fit will likely result in lengthy seatpost extensions and long stem with long reach bars also a possibility. Hand and back issues may be due to short reach and/or excessive drop.

All hard to say with the minimum info given. Chances are that it may be a tough fit, but not conclusive.

My torso to leg length is 91 cm and about flexibility, I am kind of new to the road bike, used to ride hybrid bike before.
However based on the above given fact if possible can you suggest what kind of changes in stem and seat can be done to accommodate as per my size.

I can’t see a problem in getting it within your fit window so long as the steerer has not been cut and the seat post is long enough, it won’t be optimal (toe overlap, steeper seat tube, narrower bars than you may want) but should be workable. Biggest thing may be handling.

Set the saddle as you normally would, height and setback. If you have no reference measures, set height so you can pedal backwards with heels on pedal, go as high as possible like that without heels losing contact with pedals or you needing to rock hips. If you run a traditional saddle I would set it at 6cm setback from nose to BB (8cm maybe on a short nose saddle).

Make sure saddle rails are within allowable range and seat post is not past minimum insert. Cannondales have high top tubes and long seatposts so you might fit this is easier than it might have been with a ‘compact’ framed bike like a Giant TCR.

For the front end, assuming an uncut steerer, I would try a 130mm stem at full height.
The frame reach does not differ that much 52 to 54 to 56 but stack increases, and running lots of spacers (which you would do on a 52 ) not only brings the bars up but also back, reducing reach. You may need say an extra 6cm of spacers which may lose you a few cm.
You might fit an even longer stem than you would expect to make up for the shortening, just beware the handling will slow to the extent the bike might feel a bit crap.

Just note Cannondale Si headsets don’t allow for spacers above the stem and you need the steerer tube to sit ~2mm below the top of the stem. You can at your own risk put spacers above the stem for fitting but it changes the support inside the steerer against being compressed by the stem.

If that all works I would try lifting hands off bars when riding hard, see if you fall forwards. If you do it might be too little saddle setback, too much reach or drop.

I am 5’10" and ran a 52 CAAD12 (same geo as old super-six) perfectly comfortably. 40cm bars, 110mm stem, 20mm spacers.

If this is a new supersix they are slightly shorter and taller but only by a few mm in a 52 (I think).

Good luck!


Thanks for the prompt suggestions for my issue. I will surely incorporate your suggestions and I guess it will work as the steerer is original.

The seat tube length is pretty good enough to accommodate the changes you have suggested.

If I am going for a longer stem (eg. 140, 150mm), Will it help me in easing my hand pain? And also is it safe to ride with this much longer stem (when sprinting etc…)

A longer stem will probably not reduce hand pain alone (unless it is the bike being too short causing it) but starting with saddle setup is the only way you will find out if the bike can work.

Typically hand pain is too much weight on the hands. That can be too little saddle setback (so body weight isn’t balanced), a bike too long or low (simply puts weight on hands) or a bike too short (rounding of back stopping body from supporting itself and increases load).

So until saddle is ballpark you cannot begin to work on the rest.

I wouldn’t have thought there was a safety issue with a 140 stem or even longer, but I would take extra care on the headset and bung setup take sure the steerer is supported as designed. Do check the stem has no sharp edges and buy one with good quality machining (this does not necessarily mean you need to spend a lot!).

You may end up with issues on cable length at 140+ and full stack, especially if you flip stem up which I would suggest you start with. Only answer to that is new outers and inners.

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Got your point.
I will try these adjustments and will let you know.

Thank You!!