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Old 12-17-10, 03:05 PM   #1
Corben
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When I was a teenager back in the 70's...

I worked all summer to get a new 10 speed. Finally it was good-bye Huffy stingray and hello big boy bike! I can remember when I was looking them over I was told by the shops owner to get one that was just below my crotch while standing flat footed over it. He did all the adjustment for me and off I went giggling all the way home. Looking at old cycling photographs of the era the, frames seemed bigger and saddles were a lot closer to the top tubes. Seat post were only a few inches between the saddle and tube. Now when we see modern road bikes there's a lot more seat post exposed and the frames are smaller. Am I right? Did some racer figure out years ago that a smaller frame = less weight? And the idea took?


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Old 12-17-10, 03:12 PM   #2
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I traded my 1st 10spd for a lawnmower.
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Old 12-17-10, 03:35 PM   #3
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I traded my 1st 10spd for a lawnmower.
Sorry
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Old 12-17-10, 04:37 PM   #4
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I used the same principles (top tube just below the crotch) in seeking out my first touring bike in 2001. It ended up being a Fuji Touring. The advice then was to go for the biggest frame you can fit comfortably on... the idea being the the head tube would be nice and long and help handling/stability. The frame has been fine for almost 60,000km, although I have some issues with keeping a straight line (more likely to do with the fork).

Since the I bought the Fuji, my road bikes have been close to the traditional diamond frame shape with a horizontal top tube. Even my CF, a Merlin C110 Works, has a horizontal TT. So did my Merida 900, and recycled Shogun 400 and Peugeot frames that became fixies. I like the look of traditional frames.

The move to "compact" frames has changed the "dynamic" of frame design. I am not quite sure what the reason is for compact frames -- it might be stiffness, it might be use of shorter tubes and therefore a saving in cost, it might be standover height. I am sure the framebuilders can give a clue.

I am inclined to believe the standover issue was at the forefront because people were leery of injuring themselves; many are the stories of people who squashed their tackle on a TT when they were young. MTBs led the way in this area, and road bikes appeared to have followed.

The use of CF moulding techniques also has introduced an element of "art" (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember). So we are seeing curved tubes and blended joins that haven't really been possible with metal frames. It's probable that the joint designs are like that to strengthen them, as per full "monocoque" principles, but nevertheless, they seem to have given licence to frame designers to differentiate their's from other brands.

FWIW, nothing jangles with me on either design in the photographs. They both have their own functional beauty.

Anyway, I have just bought a new Ti frame that has horiztonal TT as well. I'll like it, too, when I've built it up.

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Old 12-17-10, 05:09 PM   #5
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The move to "compact" frames has changed the "dynamic" of frame design. I am not quite sure what the reason is for compact frames -- it might be stiffness, it might be use of shorter tubes and therefore a saving in cost, it might be standover height.
'Not 100% sure, but I think we can thank Giant for the compact frames that are now ubiquitous amongst us. Their move to sloping top tube pretty much led to S, M, L, XL frame sizing, and has hastened the end of civilization as we know it... In fact what it has done is made things easier for manufacturers because the # of frames built and stocked is fewer than the old days when there were a dozen or so frame sizes 1cm apart, in however many paint schemes and colors were available.

Also, in the old days, it used to be "a fistful of seatpost" for the correct sizing; this would have been true for the French way of sizing as their idea of a good fit was lots of tubing to absorb shock -> more comfortable ride, even for racing bikes. Racers in the '70s and '80s starting going to the smallest frame they could fit to 1) get a stiffer frame and 2) save some weight w/ shorter tubes.

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Old 12-17-10, 05:22 PM   #6
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I don't miss the 70's. They sucked.
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Old 12-17-10, 06:32 PM   #7
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Oh gawd, I remember some of the '70s. All those miles of near-empty Northern California roadway to ride on. I really thought I was something on my 1966 gold Schwinn Super Sport. I don't think I was ever buzzed (by a car) in that decade. Whatever happened to our civilization? Oh yeah, as noted above it must have been the small frames that did it in.
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Old 12-17-10, 06:40 PM   #8
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Oh gawd, I remember some of the '70s. All those miles of near-empty Northern California roadway to ride on.
Heh, tell me about it...
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Old 12-17-10, 06:45 PM   #9
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As T4mv said racers have always chosen smaller frames for more seat to bar drop, lighter weight and stiffer frames. I like the look of modern frames and do not miss the 70s. Today's frames, components and wheels offer significantly more customer choice and higher value, IMO. And I just purchased two more track bikes so we are up to nine bicycles.
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Old 12-17-10, 06:46 PM   #10
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And I sucked in the 70s.
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Old 12-17-10, 08:15 PM   #11
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I raced motocross in the 70's, I liked the 70's.
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Old 12-17-10, 08:24 PM   #12
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^^^^^^
Ah Budds Creek in the '70s. I still race MX.
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Old 12-17-10, 10:54 PM   #13
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Beer in the 70's when it was not quite legal to imbibe seemed to taste better. I know its off topic I just thought I'd throw that out there. Now I'm a teetotaler, don't miss it a bit but don't mess with my coffee or there will be war.
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Old 12-18-10, 12:04 AM   #14
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Ah yes the 70's, only the first few years of it I was able to fill a five gallon can of gas, give two dollars to the cashier and get change back. A carefree bachelor having a mixture of hot rods, motorcycles, a couple of Varsities, really the 70's were only a warm up for the real party, the 1980's.
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Old 12-18-10, 01:31 AM   #15
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As far as cycling in the 70s go I remember heavy Varsities and Continentals somewhere in the 30 pound range. Shifting was anything but precise. Tires were 27 X 1.25 and if you got good fast tires they were 27X1 inch. Race bikes had sew ups but they were a pain in the rear. Then someone thought stem shifters were an improvement but it wasn’t. I got a pretty reasonable road bike that was a feather light 22 pounds and moved to a mountain community. I fell off the cycling wagon before I ever got the chance to try bar end shifters.
I got back into cycling and an entry level road bike was 22 pounds with STI shifters and wheels that will take 700 x 22 clinchers stock. I like the new stand over height and lighter frames. I like the new shifters and I like the new saddles and clipless pedals. No I don’t think I care for the old days very much.
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Old 12-18-10, 02:08 AM   #16
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I only started cycling in 1990 so can't remember the old style bikes. From what I have seen of most of them- I don't want to either.

Current bikes and design work for me.
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Old 12-18-10, 07:03 AM   #17
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I like them all. Old style, new style, old tech, new tech.

The 70s were great! (What I can remember of them)
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Old 12-18-10, 07:49 AM   #18
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And I just purchased two more track bikes so we are up to nine bicycles.
So, what's next? (n+1)
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Old 12-18-10, 07:56 AM   #19
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As far as cycling in the 70s go I remember heavy Varsities and Continentals somewhere in the 30 pound range. Shifting was anything but precise. Tires were 27 X 1.25 and if you got good fast tires they were 27X1 inch. Race bikes had sew ups but they were a pain in the rear. Then someone thought stem shifters were an improvement but it wasn’t. I got a pretty reasonable road bike that was a feather light 22 pounds and moved to a mountain community. I fell off the cycling wagon before I ever got the chance to try bar end shifters.
I got back into cycling and an entry level road bike was 22 pounds with STI shifters and wheels that will take 700 x 22 clinchers stock. I like the new stand over height and lighter frames. I like the new shifters and I like the new saddles and clipless pedals. No I don’t think I care for the old days very much.
Moving from a Continental to a LeTour (hi-ten frame, steel rims) seemed an exciting step forward, more so after going to wheels with alloy rims. And, yes, rear shifting was pretty vague in the '70's.
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Old 12-18-10, 09:27 AM   #20
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It was in the 70's here a few weeks ago.
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Old 12-18-10, 10:52 AM   #21
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My remembrance is that all bikes looked very similar in the 70's. They were 10-speeds with 1" tubing. The top tube had to be parallel with the ground or it would look funny and no one would buy it. My old Raleigh Gran Prix had quite a bit of seatpost showing, but I'm 6'4" and that was how I got a "proper fit".

The difference between bikes was in the type of tubing (I think my Gran Prix had straight tubing - double-butted was too exotic for my wallet) and the components - Huret or Simplex derailleurs, Dia-compe brakes, maybe Compagnolo if you could afford it.

I think my present bikes are light years beyond that old Raleigh, and my bikes aren't close to top-of-the-line these days. But I sure loved that Raleigh, and I sure got a lot of use out of it. I don't want to go back to a bike like that, but I remember it with great fondness.
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Old 12-18-10, 11:03 AM   #22
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ccc diablo 1975 or so by ccorlew, on Flickr

I climbed Mt. Diablo in 1975 for the first time. in blue jean cut offs, a cotton tee, tennis shoes, sexy socks on a Gitaine Grand Sport Deluxe that was too big for me. It was great. But I sure like my modern road bike a whole lot more.
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Old 12-18-10, 11:13 AM   #23
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Cars sucked in the 70s. It was the beginning of pollution control and testing tail pipe emissions. On the other hand, the 60s were great. Muscle cars, 427 Corvettes, Mustangs and etc. I could work on my car and they ran great with a lot of power. It took a long time for the auto industry to perfect fuel handling and combustion such that there was a reasonably low emissions car that accelerated smoothly with power and idled correctly.
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Old 12-18-10, 11:40 AM   #24
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My first bike in '79 was a Ross Professional Gran Tour II, set up as a full blown touring rig. Blackburn racks front and rear and Cannondale bags all around. I still miss that bike.
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Old 12-18-10, 11:41 AM   #25
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Two things: 1) I'm surprised there's not a photo of you & MyLilPony at the top of Diablo, ca 1975 and 2) you need to post up the same pic ca 2010 so we can have a side-by-side comparison.

Hey, maybe you can have some fun with photoshop!
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