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    Senior Member shakadude's Avatar
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    Classic frame with a "Relaxed" Seat Tube Angle?

    I'm not sure if the title is correct but here goes. I've been trying to find a steel frame with a seat tube angle of 71-72 degrees. I have long legs and my saddle is all the way back with a setback seatpost. Do you know of any manufacturers that made such a beast? I'm guessing I might get lucky with a touring frame.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

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    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Lots of older frames had that kind of geometry, but it just sounds like your current frame is too small. Seatpost angle is there to make long chainstays for panniers to clear your feet, to make the frame a bit more absorbent, to stabilize the handling but NOT to make it better for people with long legs! You need to be higher above the BB.

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    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy
    Lots of older frames had that kind of geometry, but it just sounds like your current frame is too small. Seatpost angle is there to make long chainstays for panniers to clear your feet, to make the frame a bit more absorbent, to stabilize the handling but NOT to make it better for people with long legs! You need to be higher above the BB.
    Is that right? My bike is a 60cm Trek 520 with a seat tube angle of 73.5 degrees. I could easily fit a 62cm frame but the seat tube angle is the same. Other than it having less seat tube post showing I believe the problem will be the same. I'm asking this because I'm looking for a larger frame and I have the same issue with saddle placement on the post.


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    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    It depends what the problem really is. The OP suggests that the problem is his legs are too long. If that's the case, the fix is a bigger frame. If it's actually that he's uncomfortable pedalling unless he's set back, BMX style, I guess maybe it's different, but for sure, getting further away from the BB is not one of the reasons they built more relaxed seat tubes.

    So, if on your bike, what you want is to get proper extension on your legs, then the bigger frame will do it. You can get the seat higher without overextending the seatpost, and you won't find your bars are getting further and further away vertically! If the problem is that somehow being above the BB is bad......well then I guess I just don't get it!

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    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Of course, you can also adjust seat - bars distance with a longer stem, plus, if it's the reach to the bars, a bigger version of the same frame will ordinarily have a longer TT as well, putting the bars further away. The only aspect of fit that seat tube angle affects, as far as I can see, is horizontal distance from seat to BB, and I'm struggling to see where that would matter much?

  6. #6
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    I hope I'm not highjacking this thread....

    I think I have the same issue as the OP on saddle placement. I'm most comfortable with a KOPS fit. On a bike with a more upright seat tube you can not get the knee over the pedal spindle without pushing your saddle all the way back due to a long femur. I believe I need a larger bike, but with Trek, the seat tube angle is the same with a 60 or a 62 cm frame. My worry with this bike is that the saddle is hanging behind the seat post so far that I'm a worried the frame rails will not support my "clydish" body weight. I would prefer the saddle rails were centered on the seat post.

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    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
    Is that right? My bike is a 60cm Trek 520 with a seat tube angle of 73.5 degrees. I could easily fit a 62cm frame but the seat tube angle is the same. Other than it having less seat tube post showing I believe the problem will be the same. I'm asking this because I'm looking for a larger frame and I have the same issue with saddle placement on the post.
    In searching for a similar frame, I've noticed that older "touring" Treks, while having longer chainstays, greater fork rake, and relaxed headtube angle, have curiously short top tubes. Not sure your Trek is touring, though, as the chainstays look rather short and the geometry more forward (I guess the early 520s were not the touring model?). I see your stem has a long extension, but maybe you need a longer top tube if it's pushing you back that far on the saddle?

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    Normally, a saddle pushed all the way back is indicative of too short a top tube. Since top tube length increases with frame size, a bigger frame is usually in order. Another solution is a longer stem, but going to extremes on stem length or saddle position will comprise the intended handling characteristics of the frame. People with long legs and short bodies often overlook the need for longer crankarms, which will move the body back forward.

    However, it really is impossible to this answer this question based on the OP's post. Ideally you want to able to observe the rider on his bicycle. At minimum you need to know the rider's and bicycle's measurements and the riding style. My suggestion is to find a good LBS or cycling coach to assess the situation.

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    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Ok, I guess then that maybe both of you are addressing a fit issue I've never encountered. I ride bikes from a track bike with really tight geometry, to a nice relaxed tourer, and I just don't notice an issue. See the bikes below!



  10. #10
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Normally, a saddle pushed all the way back is indicative of too short a top tube. Since top tube length increases with frame size, a bigger frame is usually in order. Another solution is a longer stem, but going to extremes on stem length or saddle position will comprise the intended handling characteristics of the frame. People with long legs and short bodies often overlook the need for longer crankarms, which will move the body back forward.

    However, it really is impossible to this answer this question based on the OP's post. Ideally you want to able to observe the rider on his bicycle. At minimum you need to know the rider's and bicycle's measurements and the riding style. My suggestion is to find a good LBS or cycling coach to assess the situation.
    Well, I was fitted on my Lemond and I have the same issue. It has a 72.5 degree seat tube angle and my saddle is all the way back as well. As you may know, Lemond bikes have really long top tubes. It all comes down to the angle of the seat tube vs the length of your femurs.




  11. #11
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    All frame fitting revolves (so to speak) around the crankset.
    1) Set height for a proper leg extension.
    2) Set fore-aft, using knee-over-pedal-shaft only as a first approximation.
    3) Iterate, since 1 and 2 interact.
    4) Set handlebar height (saddle height to about 5 cm below, depending on personal preference).
    5) Set stem reach (by buying a new one, unless one has one of those rare adjustable stems ); fingertips on the straight part of the drop bars with elbow on the saddle nose is a good first approximation.

    All else being equal (which it usually isn't, of course), a 56cm C-C frame with a 72-degree seat tube would place the saddle a noticeable 2 cm farther back than one with a 74-degree seat tube.

    For what it's worth, I can readily adjust my 55cm C-T Bianchi, with a 73.5-degree seat tube, to fit me as comfortably as my 55cm C-T Capos, with their then-fashionable 72-degree parallel geometry. The differences are in frame stiffness, steering sensitivity, and ride harshness, making the Bianchi great for sprints and climbs and the Capos great for going the distance.

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    Senior Member shakadude's Avatar
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    I'm just looking for suggestions on a bike with a 71-72 degree seat tube angle. Can you help?
    Aloha Mr. Hand

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    I'm just looking for suggestions on a bike with a 71-72 degree seat tube angle---
    1950 Claud Butlers
    super velo--73 head,71seat
    avant coureur 74 head,72 seat
    allrounder 73 head,71 seat
    continental club 73 head 71 seat

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    Senior Member shakadude's Avatar
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    Thanks! Man, I've never heard of any of these bike manufacturers. Any mainstream bikes out there with this type of seat tube angle?
    Aloha Mr. Hand

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    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    I can't help you but I believe you might have luck with a touring frame.

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    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    5) Set stem reach fingertips on the straight part of the drop bars with elbow on the saddle nose is a good first approximation.

    REALLY?! That doesn't sound right at all. where are you getting this guideline from? If that's the case all my stems are 70cm too long.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakadude
    I'm not sure if the title is correct but here goes. I've been trying to find a steel frame with a seat tube angle of 71-72 degrees. I have long legs and my saddle is all the way back with a setback seatpost. Do you know of any manufacturers that made such a beast? I'm guessing I might get lucky with a touring frame.
    I'm having similar problems, and so far it looks like a 73 degree frame with a setback seatpost holds an Alias in the middle of its rails, where my butt wants it to be.

    Trek 520s have a long history. Some were pure tourers, others more of a sport-tourer. You will probably get your best fit by seeing a custom builder. I've considered (haven't found answers, but considered) that my desire for a rearward knee might be wrong and there is some other solution to my fit that I haven't found. So far a 1984 Trek 610 has teh 73 degree angle, as do teh 1981 thru 1983 6x0 frames. I'm fixin' to work with a builder. Doug Fattic is high on my list.

    Don't go by labels too much, one touring bike might not be like another.

    Road Fan

  19. #19
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    You might also get luck with a KHS special if you find one, I know a few peoplehere (including me) have them. Mine is too short for you, though. I haven't measured, but the dawes galaxy touriing frames seem very relaxed. or you could go pure vintage and find a big old raleigh sport? I'mnot sure what you want out of the ride.

    And sammyboy, I'm SO jealous.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    When I got my first road bike about 2 years ago I struggled with similar problems about seat position etc... It took me a while but I figured it out... before I tell you what my solution is I will first say that I will never let anyone else sell me a bike based on their assessment of my fit. Maybe on a first time but no one knows what is the most comfortable for you except yourself.

    Mariner Fan, that Lemond looks WAY to small, but I am of the older school sizing thoughts.

    The problem, in my opinion, is crank length, especially if you have 170mm cranks. How are you supposed to get your knee over the spindle is you have huge femurs? I believe shoving your seat back is a band-aid, you aren't going to be able to pull as hard on the upstroke because your foot is that much further forward.

    So I bought 185mm cranks from TA specialties, awesome, except I can't use them on my touring bike because I don't have enough clearance from the panniers, I do have enough chainstay clearance though with size 47 shoes. At my size everything is at the extreme, my cleats are shoved as far back as they can go on the shoes to get the balls of my feet over the pedal spindle (who is designing these things)..

    anyway I have read very extensively on the isse and I ride 170mm cranks for fixed, 175mm for everyday touring and my modern road bike (because centaur only goes up to 175mm and I can't bring myself to break up the group with the TA cranks). I also have a super record bike with my much loved 180mm cranks (possibly my favorite size) and I have 177.5mm cranks going on Corky, and the 185mm are currently in a box (perhaps a somewhat regrettable purchase but I really want to make them work on my touring bike....

    Zinn's method of calculation puts me at 195-200mm recommended crank length but honestly I don't think I would want to go that high probably I am just used to 175mm as that is what I ride most... There are more conservative calculators out there. I used to scour ebay every few days for 180mm cranks, they are out there.. speaking of which if anyone has a right side deore.... I am looking as I have the left to match... hmm off to the for trade thread.
    Last edited by cyclotoine; 02-01-07 at 05:05 PM.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  21. #21
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan
    I'm having similar problems, and so far it looks like a 73 degree frame with a setback seatpost holds an Alias in the middle of its rails, where my butt wants it to be.

    Trek 520s have a long history. Some were pure tourers, others more of a sport-tourer. You will probably get your best fit by seeing a custom builder. I've considered (haven't found answers, but considered) that my desire for a rearward knee might be wrong and there is some other solution to my fit that I haven't found. So far a 1984 Trek 610 has teh 73 degree angle, as do teh 1981 thru 1983 6x0 frames. I'm fixin' to work with a builder. Doug Fattic is high on my list.

    Don't go by labels too much, one touring bike might not be like another.

    Road Fan
    I'm the one with the Trek. Yea, mine is a 1985 and it was called a sport touring bike. I'm looking into getting a custom bike built. It isn't cheap though! Lucky for me there is a builder just down the road from me. I'm going to take my Trek and the Lemond so he can see my fit issues.

    I've always wanted a bike that fits my frame plus I want to be able to travel with it.

    http://cherry.dcwi.com/cherry/index2.html


  22. #22
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakadude
    Thanks! Man, I've never heard of any of these bike manufacturers. Any mainstream bikes out there with this type of seat tube angle?
    This isn't necessarily the best place to come for advice on current bikes - we all love stuff that's 30 years old. Claud Butler was an English handbuilder. If you look out on eBay, you may be able to pick up an older frame with that sort of geometry on the cheap, but you might want to build it up with more modern parts. We can help you identify a good frame, if you post things you've found on eBay here. The other alternatives are a tourer, or a custom.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    I have an Eddy Merckx frame with a 70.5 degree seat tube angle. It was custom made for a Belgan pro who, I was told, had a particularly long thigh measurement.

    I have read that Eddy liked to experiment with position and did make experimental frames to test his ideas.

    The frame sat in a shop for about four years and no one would buy it. I measured it up three times over this period of time before I got the guts to buy it.

    I rode this bike for about a year and liked the position; I tended to pust the pedals ahead of TDC (I've got average legs). It also has flat fork crowns and is very comfortable to ride. It tracks dead straight and is very predictable.

    It is set up with a Croce D'Aune gruppo (brakes just refuse to work) and looks like it has just completed a racing season. I love it!

    Perhaps it is possible to find an old pro frame that has a laid-back attitude.
    Last edited by Gary Fountain; 02-02-07 at 03:41 AM.

  24. #24
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakadude
    I'm just looking for suggestions on a bike with a 71-72 degree seat tube angle. Can you help?
    72 degree seat tubes are pretty easy to find:

    Any 1960s or 1970s Schwinn Varsinental.
    Any 1960s or 1970s Peugeot UO-8.
    1960s to circa 1970 Peugeot PX-10, NOT the PX-10E or any later PKN-10s, PR-10s, PX-10s, etc.
    Any ca. 1960 Capo, if you can find one for sale; mine aren't.

    Someone who knows, please check me on the following speculations:
    1960s Raleigh International?
    1960s to early 1970s 15-speed Schwinn Paramounts?
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
    Well, I was fitted on my Lemond and I have the same issue. It has a 72.5 degree seat tube angle and my saddle is all the way back as well. As you may know, Lemond bikes have really long top tubes. It all comes down to the angle of the seat tube vs the length of your femurs.
    You are correct in stating that the femur length (in conjunction with total leg length) is the critical factor in depending seat tube angle. Generally, taller individuals require increasingly shallow seat tube angles and it is standard practice among framebuilders to compensate for this. However, framebuilders must still design their frames to accommodate the vast majority of the population. Though the percentage is small, there will always be somei individuals who will not fit the standard frame. This is why I started my post with "normally" and suggested that reliable assessment without measurements and/or observation is not asdvisable. Without this we do not know whether the OP's problem is femur reaated or not.

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