I think the preponderance of tall frames is partly exaggerated by the frustration of not making that "find" in the right size, and partly because you are looking for used bikes in the US. In Europe, I suspect the availability of smaller frames is better, as the leading cycling nations tend the be smaller people (Italians, French, Spanish) or average size Europeans (Brits, Belgians). The taller northern and Eastern Europeans are not as prominent in cycling, but Germans, Scandinavians, Poles, Russians, etc. make up a significant part of the US population, so I suspect the average American is taller than the averge person in the preeminent cycling nations of Europe. I have another personal theory about large used frames in the US. Because many of our leading sports, especially football and basketball, give an undue advantage to large and tall players, larger persons tend to concentrate on these, so that 60cm or 62cm bike was mostly bought one summer when bikes were in vogue, but never taken seriously as the owner's primary sports interest. Thus these bikes are usually sitting unused in the garage after one or two summers and eventually show up on eBay.
> I am puzzled at the seemingly infinate number of classic bicycle frames
> available sized 60cm and greater in the used bike marketplace. When I
> look on Ebay or call about a bike in a want-ad, the greater percentage
> of the time I reject the purchase because the frame is too large rather
> than too small. I am 5'9" -- which is average height -- and I prefer a
> 58cm frame. Probability would suggest that over time I would discover
> an equal number of frames both larger and smaller but my guess is that
> its three or four to one that are too tall over too short.
> My questions are these: In the 60's/70's was there a trend toward
> larger frames? Are more bicycle enthusiasts traditionally over 6'
> tall? Were shorter frames more likely to be ridden-to-death and
> trashed? Or. . . do you think this is a misperception on my part and
> there really are an equal number of frame sizes available out there if
> you look at the big picture.
> Lastly, I have found the Masi,Confente, Medici, saga to be the most
> fascinating read I have ever encountered in any news group! I thank
> all who have contributed to this subject.
> Erik Siverson