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Old 08-24-10, 02:15 AM   #1
Bosch
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Looking for production bike with a long top tube

I am looking for a new commuter ride that I can throw a rack on and also use for centuries. I'm about 6'8' with a 36" inseam, 240lbs and I'd like to spend under $2000 for the whole set up. Since I'm mostly torso I'm having trouble finding a bike which provides enough top tube and I'd rather not throw on a stem that's going to put me out over the front hub. I had a fitting done and was told I need a 63-64cm top tube with a 130mm stem and the lbs recommended a Seven. Which is nice, they look awesome, but I want to end up with more than just a frame and fork after I spend all my money. Soma has some larger frames but even on their largest ES the top tube is only 60cm... Any ideas out there about a frame that might get 'er done?
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Old 08-24-10, 02:59 AM   #2
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Look at some of the European manufacturers. They typically have top-tubes 15-30mm longer than US bikes for the same seat-tube size. You may also want to consider a larger frame. When I started riding 30-years ago, it was standard to size a bike so that a "fistful" of seat-tube showing was the correct amount. This gave you enough top-tube clearance to clear the jewels.

Modern sizing fad is about 4-6cm smaller frames for the same rider-height. With a comparable shortening of the top-tube as well. Comparing my 54cm 1991 Allez Epic with the modern fashionable 50cm size for me shows a 4cm shorter top-tube for the same model. I would have to use a 160mm stem for the same reach I had with my previous 120mm stem !!!

A lot of the driving force for this downsizing trend has to do with having more recreational riders buying racing bikes. Back then, if you bought a racing bike, you were a racer and knew how to ride with a flat back, nose 10cm from the bars, forearms parallel to the ground in the drops for hours on end. Nowadays, the vast majority of racing bikes are sold to non-racers and the manufacturers have accommodated by making bikes with more relaxed geometries (shorter seat-tubes and top-tubes).

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 08-24-10 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:20 AM   #3
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Check out a Gunnar Sport- I believe their 68 cm bike has a 62 or 63 cm top tube.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:42 AM   #4
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A freak of nature like you deserves a custom made bike. Check this site out for a $1300 custom geometry (to your specs) titanium frame: http://www.habcycles.com/custom.html.

$700 for the rest. I'd suggest buying a compete slightly used $700 road bike off ebay that has 105 or Ultegra Parts and transferring everything over to the new frame. That way, you will be close to your budget.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:47 AM   #5
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Scratch that last part, get a slightly used $850 compete bike off ebay that has 105 or Ultegra parts, decent wheels, carbon fork. Transfer those parts to the new frame. Then sell the ebay frame for $150. Should bring you to $2000. Problem solved.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:50 AM   #6
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Oh yeah. I'm sure you won't be able to use the fork from ebay since it will most likely be too short for you. So you might have to spend few hundred more for a new fork.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Modern sizing fad is about 4-6cm smaller frames for the same rider-height. With a comparable shortening of the top-tube as well. Comparing my 54cm 1991 Allez Epic with the modern fashionable 50cm size for me shows a 4cm shorter top-tube for the same model. I would have to use a 160mm stem for the same reach I had with my previous 120mm stem !!!

A lot of the driving force for this downsizing trend has to do with having more recreational riders buying racing bikes. Back then, if you bought a racing bike, you were a racer and knew how to ride with a flat back, nose 10cm from the bars, forearms parallel to the ground in the drops for hours on end. Nowadays, the vast majority of racing bikes are sold to non-racers and the manufacturers have accommodated by making bikes with more relaxed geometries (shorter seat-tubes and top-tubes).
That's interesting - thanks, Danno.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:53 AM   #8
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Surly's have very long top tubes, at least in my size (57). Soma's are also on the long side -- particularly the Smoothie, ES and their cross bike (not the Saga).

As someone else mentioned, Gunnar might be an excellent choice. Their stock top tubes aren't particularly long in my size, but they will make custom geometry for a modest upcharge.

Finally, a lot of the old Japanese sport touring frames came in very large sizes -- at least the ones I see for sale on eBay and Craigslist all the time. Some good brands to look for are Univega, Miyata, Panasonic and Lotus.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:55 PM   #9
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Surly LHT's (and perhaps the Cross Checks too. . .) do seem long in the top tube. Not sure if the 62cm frame will be large enough for you but might be worth a look. But I'm 6'1, have long arms and ride a 56 so a 62 might work.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:37 PM   #10
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Lately here, in Columbus Ohio, there have been a large number of huge bikes on craigslist. I don't know why, but lots of them.

Anyway, I don't know where you are, and this might not really help. But, if you see anything on CL let me know. Maybe I can look at it for you.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:51 PM   #11
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I'm also mostly torso, at 6'5", and my Trek 3700 22.5" works just fine for me. I'm actually thinking about sliding the seat a little forward
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Old 08-25-10, 08:25 AM   #12
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Both the Gunnar and Habanero options look like a good choice for a reasonably priced custom frame. I am hoping to go non custom with the idea that I will then be able to spend more on components, but if I can't find a production frame that does the trick I'll look at possibly going with one of those two. I am going to try and track down a bike shop that has a 62 lht or a larger soma frame built up and see how they feel. And Danno, I had no idea frames had 'evolved' that much in 20 years, thanks for the information.
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