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  1. #1
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Shorter top tube, taller head tube?

    to enable higher drop bars for old fart.

    Want Titanium.

    Litespeed Veneto is one (now out of production). Don't really want to waste time waiting for a used one to come up on bike.jaxed.com. Life is too short--then one finally comes up on ebay and some guy like me is willing to pay a king's ransom.

    Custom-made is another choice.

    Huge stack of spacers on uncut steerer or "steerer extender" on cut steerer are other choices. I'm using both of these options presently. They get the job done, but I'd like a more polished solution (possible pun).

    What I don't understand is what you older guys are riding with drop bars. I've always been limber, but now at 65 I'm more comfortable with the top of the bar several inches above the seat.

    Are there other stock frames out there with shorter top tubes and taller head tubes?

  2. #2
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Would one of the Rivendell bikes work?

  3. #3
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    What size frame do you ride? How short a TT?

  4. #4
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I have a Custom Gunnar, with a 68cm ST (c-c), a 60cm TT, and a 29cm HT. Both the ST and HT are the max they can go, I think because of tubing limits. Gunnar is part of Waterford, which makes some of Rivendell's frames. Here is a link to the spec's of my frame: http://waterfordbikes.com/now/framec...57c3ce3683f617

    And here is pic, although I've changed a few things since then, most notably the bars. They have a pricelist on-line.

    '10 Custom Gunnar&#.jpg

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Level with the saddle, you would be able to find, but to get your handlebars several inches above saddle height without an extender or tall stack of spacers is probably going to call for a custom frame. If your budget can handle it, several reputable builders make custom Ti frames, Lynskey for example. Habanero does custom Ti frames for about $1250.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    What about using a flat bar?

  7. #7
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
    What about using a flat bar?
    This idea comes up every time we have a discussion like this, and I've never been able to see how that would help. The top of the bar would be at the same height - true, you'd have a bit less reach, but you can do that with a shorter stem, so...

    SP
    Bend, OR

  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    to enable higher drop bars for old fart.

    Want Titanium.

    Litespeed Veneto is one (now out of production). Don't really want to waste time waiting for a used one to come up on bike.jaxed.com. Life is too short--then one finally comes up on ebay and some guy like me is willing to pay a king's ransom.
    How high do you want the bars?
    While the Litespeed Veneto definitely had a short top tube and fairly tall head tube, I don't see how you would get the bars more than a couple of inches above the seat without a stem riser.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    The problem with the steerer extender (I have a dimension)SM1975md..jpg is the weight. It certainly gives more support to the bars than just an uncut steerer and spacers, but the thing feels like it's made out of lead. There's another one made by zoomSM2787md..jpg which I haven't seen in person but might be marginally lighter.
    Since Niagara sells both, I sent them an email asking about relative weights. Some Guy named Paul sends me back the weights (in their packaging). And he was sure to point that out, since he knew I was interested in the weight on the bike. So helpful makes me want to givem all my business!

    The Litespeed Veneto came to my attention because it has a 17.8 head tube paired with a 53.8 top tube. That would get me down to just a couple inches of spacers, which I could certainly live with, especially if I got a good price on the frame, being used and old.

    My objective in starting this thread is to try to find other frames like the Veneto.

    Rivendell is not for everybody. I'm one of the nots. This is just a first impression. I went to their site based on the post above. First thing I saw was that their flagship model price has been jacked up 25%. Somehow I don't often buy stuff just after the price has been raised 25%. Then I went to read about their warranty, where this guy takes a whole page to tell you that there is no specific warranty, but that doesn't matter, because he thinks of his customers as his friends and he can be counted on to do the right thing. Wow, what a concept! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy . . . Can't understand all the idiots who prefer a specific warranty, for a clearly defined period . . . it's just so unnecessary! The final turnoff was that even if (at his discretion) he decides that a frame was really factory defective, the customer still pays for the shipping to get it fixed. Hey, that's certainly fair . . .

    Thanks for the responses!
    Last edited by ClarkinHawaii; 07-30-10 at 10:57 AM.

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Grant Petersen at Rivendell has been at the forefront of designing road bikes with higher handlebars and a relaxed riding position. He might be a bit peculiar, but he is one of the good guys in the bicycle world. His strong opinions and his way of doing business can put some people off, but I would never worry about whether he would do the right thing. Rivendell only makes lugged steel frames, so if you want titanium, you won't find it there.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbbpll View Post
    I bet you've never had anybody ask "How tall are you?".
    Not yet today, but hey, it's early. :-)

  12. #12
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Grant Petersen at Rivendell has been at the forefront of designing road bikes with higher handlebars and a relaxed riding position. He might be a bit peculiar, but he is one of the good guys in the bicycle world. His strong opinions and his way of doing business can put some people off, but I would never worry about whether he would do the right thing. Rivendell only makes lugged steel frames, so if you want titanium, you won't find it there.
    Actually I think I overdid it--no need to be so negative. Everybody's just doing their thing. If it works for them, who am I to knock it.

  13. #13
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a bike that has a 54cm TT and a 18cm HT I think you will have to go custom. Is that with the stem flipped in the up position? Also, with that geometry, special attention will need to be paid to chainstay length, front center and trail to make it ride well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    Since Niagara sells both, I sent them an email asking about relative weights. Some Guy named Paul sends me back the weights (in their packaging). And he was sure to point that out, since he knew I was interested in the weight on the bike. So helpful makes me want to givem all my business!
    How happy would you have been getting the opened package (doesn't look new) if he had weighed the item for some other customer?

  15. #15
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    Want Titanium.

    Custom-made is another choice.
    I own a Litespeed. Bought it to evaluate Ti before ponying up for a full custom rig.

    Here's my shortlist of custom Ti builders I'm considering

    Carl Strong -- Strong Frames
    Tom Kellogg -- Spectrum Cycles
    Sean Chaney -- Vertigo Cycles

    Plan on $2,800 to $3,200 for the frame, plus options and components if you go for a full build.

    See http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/f22/ to read up these builders and many more.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I own a Litespeed. Bought it to evaluate Ti before ponying up for a full custom rig.

    Here's my shortlist of custom Ti builders I'm considering

    Carl Strong -- Strong Frames
    Tom Kellogg -- Spectrum Cycles
    Sean Chaney -- Vertigo Cycles

    Plan on $2,800 to $3,200 for the frame, plus options and components if you go for a full build.

    See http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/f22/ to read up these builders and many more.
    Interesting, Thanks.

  17. #17
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    The problem with the steerer extender (I have a dimension)SM1975md..jpg is the weight. It certainly gives more support to the bars than just an uncut steerer and spacers, but the thing feels like it's made out of lead. There's another one made by zoomSM2787md..jpg which I haven't seen in person but might be marginally lighter.
    Has anyone used these things? I think I might need to raise my handlebars up another one or two inches. I'm tired of the neck and shoulder pain.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
    Has anyone used these things? I think I might need to raise my handlebars up another one or two inches. I'm tired of the neck and shoulder pain.
    As I mentioned, I have the black one ($20 from Niagara). It does the job just fine, but it's heavy and looks just a tad dorky. That doesn't detract from it's usefulness, but it's not as nice looking as an uncut steerer with spacers. More rigid, though. And if I spend a lot of money on a new Ti frame, I'd rather have this problem handled in the frame design.

  19. #19
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    As BD said, Habanero is a choice for low priced custom ti. BF member HerbM has one with a head tube that I think is about 300mm.
    If you wanted steel you could get a custom Gunnar frame for about $1100, a soma for even less.

    Hey tsl, have you considered Kent Eriksen?
    Last edited by big john; 07-30-10 at 09:39 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    As BD said, Habanero is a choice for low priced custom ti. BF member HerbM has one with a head tube that I think is about 300mm.
    If you wanted steel you could get a custom Gunnar frame for about $1100, a soma for even less.

    Hey tsl, have you considered Kent Eriksen?
    Good tip, Thanks. I sent herbm a pm--hopefully I can see what his bike looks like--I'm having trouble visualizing it.

  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    http://www.habcycles.com/custom.html

    An example of what they can do with a tall head tube. Might even be herbm's bike.
    http://www.habcycles.com/hmcustom2.JPG
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  22. #22
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    That sure looks like Herb's bike! One thing about a head tube like that is only a couple forks have a long enough steerer for it. Of course, you could always get a custom fork, too.

  23. #23
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    That sure looks like Herb's bike!
    I don't know Herb, but I noticed the name of the file is "hmcustom2.jpg".
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  24. #24
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    Hey tsl, have you considered Kent Eriksen?
    No, I hadn't. It's tough keeping track of the 43,187 framebuilders in the US. Or even the 200-300 that exhibit at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  25. #25
    Retired dabbler hobkirk's Avatar
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    I wonder if this suggestion is silly, but when I (64) first visited my LBS he put me on a Specialized Roubaix. The geometry is quite different from most other bikes because the head tube is much higher. It also has a very "plush" ride - it's been designed for soaking up bumps. I found the bike very, very comfortable to ride.
    2007 Specialized Roubaix, 105 Triple
    Started cycling 6/1/2010 at 64 - lethargy, bad knees, & 247# triggered my foray into cycling
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