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I am new here, so let me give you a brief intro, maybe it'll help figure my question out:

I am a cat 3 road cyclist, former national team rower, looking to start cyclocross. I am excited to try a new sport and can't wait for the season to start. My problem is that I do not have a bike yet. 

My current road bike is a Cervelo S5, size 56. I am looking to buy either a Ridley X-Fire or the Competitive Cyclist Wilier Carbon Cross.

From looking at the geometry, I am a bit confused as to what size Ridley I would need. My height is 73in and my inseam 33.5in. According to the Ridley sizing chart I would riding a 50 or 52 which seems incredibly small. The Ridley I am looking at is a 54. The Wilier is available in all sizes. So which size would best fit me? 

My other question is which bike is recommended. I'm sure there are many opinions out there and I'd love to hear them. 

The Ridley is outfitted with Sram Rival and Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels, while the Wilier has a Force rear derailleur and the rest as Rival. It also features a Reynolds Shadow wheelset.

I'd love to hear any input on my two questions!

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You're "probably" a 52, but maybe a 54. I ride a 56 road and I'm just shy of 6 ft (somewhere between 5'11" and 6), and have a 52 cm Ridley.

The general rule (not 100%) for cross is to go one size smaller, i.e. a 54 cm if you ride a 56 road. But Ridley sizing is weird - they are unusually high for the measurement size. I gather it's because they have a higher bottom bracket or something? In any case a 52 will have a virtual top tube length that is about the right fit if you ride a 56 cm road bike. But check the geometry table to be sure, you do want that reach to be fairly close. Don't worry about standover/top tube height.

You might find that the ride on the Wilier is more road bike-y. The Ridley geometry (at least on my 2008 Crossbow) is very cross specific, so you're much more upright. That is good for technical courses, less good for flatter courses and gravel racing.

The Ridley sizing is a bit strange but if they say to go with a  52 go with that size and expect to run a stem that is 1cm or 2cm longer than you typically would.  There bikes have a high bb and  shorter top tube and they expect a loner stem to make the geometry work.  People often complain about the geometry but I think the issue is often that people get them to large.  

As others noted these are not like some of the modern cross bikes with a low bb.  They are meant for cross racing and handle differently than a road bike.  Once you are used to it it feels pretty normal.  


Either bike would be great; your best bet would be to try them. If you dig SRAM, they shop could just install Force all round. Go nuts, man!


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