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I ride a 60 cm Cannondale Supersix. I've heard that you should go a little smaller with a CX bike. The one I have now is really too small, even for a sloping down tube setup.

Anybody have any advice on the Empella for sizing? 58cm would seem right, but I hate to do it blind.

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Which Empella are you looking at? Some models would come in 1cm increments like the old bonfire. I'd go by TT. The Empellas are typically very short, some of the shortest out there for their listed size. Sizes are measured center to top. What do you have now, and what's the effective TT length? You comfortable on the Cannondale? My preference is to go about half a cm shorter on the TT or so, and about 1 cm shorter on the stem. But on an Empella, I'm guessing that'd make you ride a 61cm!

If you happen to have a long torso / short legs (doubt it if the cannondale fits well), then the Empella might not be a good fit.
Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking at the Empella Bonfire SL.

TT length on my Cannondale Supersix (60cm) is 59 cm, and you're right. That would make it a 61cm frame on the Empella.

My legs are pretty long, and I am actually ridiculously comfortable on the Cannondale. I just did a 9 hour, 270 Km ride on Thursday and never had a moment of discomfort, so the fit on that bike is beyond perfect. is selling the 2007 Bonfire SL at a good price, so based on your comment, I'm thinking that the the 60 cm would be a better fit, as opposed to the 58 cm (with its 55 cm TT), like I was thinking at first.

It says the 60 cm has a 58 cm TT length, which seems pretty close to your rule of thumb - I'd just change the .5 cm from the TT to the stem.
I ride XL Giants on both the road and 'cx...both are compact frames with 60.5 cm virtual tt's. Same 120 stem on both but my 'cx bike has 0 degree rise; my road bike is angled down 5 degrees. Not a big difference and the "control" factor is made up by raising the STI hoods up on my 'cx rig. I'd go for a similar TT to your road bike, if possible.
Be sure that have the size that want, however.
Contact Stu at, he's more than qualified to help you. The reasoning behind the smaller size compared to your road bike is partially due to the bottom bracket height is taller on a cyclocross bike which creates a larger bike than the frame size would indicate. There are three versions of measuring frame size which yield very different results so it's important to know exactly what you have so you can better find the frame that best suits your fit requirements.

Frame sizing is not dependent on seat tube length but rather top tube length, seat angle which can affect your toptube sizing and lastly headtube length. Your seat height on your road bike will be different on your cyclocross bike due to difference shoes and pedals which will more often than not yield a different seatheight. You'll run a handlebar height higher than your road bike so you'll need to ensure your headtube length can accommodate the change, watch for integrated vs traditional headtubes as they'll be different lengths to achieve the same fit.

The thing is you don't want a short toptube on a cross bike, you want a shorter stem. If you aren't sure about that try a 12cm stem on a mtb then ride a mtb with a 9cm stem and see how they handle differently. Old school thinking of short top tubes creates poor handling characteristics due to increased weight over the frontend of the bike. This is why MTB's are using longer toptubes and shorter stems. Eventually you'll see cyclocross bikes move in this direction like they have with steeper seat angles.

This discussion could easily become a book so the best thing to do is take down your bike fit measurements keeping in mind it will be a little different on a cyclocross bike and contact Stu at

That's exactly what I did, except I talked with David and we talked about top tube length exclusively. He asked what I rode, etc. So, I ordered a 60 cm and we'll just see how it goes! I like the idea of a short stem - long stem is the problem with the rig I've got now.
Good to hear
Enjoy your new ride


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