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  1. #1
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    Long torso, stubby legs, Clydesdale... but I want a fast road bike! Help?

    Hey,

    I'm 6 foot two, with stubby legs, 30" inseam. Long arms to match the torso. 260 pounds. Strong biker though.

    I am caught between the need for a low top tube (which usually means a smaller frame) and a long top tube so I can stretch out (which means a big frame). But then the big frame has too tall a seatpost, and my legs feel weird while pedalling -- they have to reach too far.

    I rather suspect in a perfect world I'd need to get a frame custom built. But ain't nobody got no money for dat.

    So... what road bike frame (chromoly or aluminum) might be a good compromise for me? I don't care if the frame is old, I can always put new components on it. I just want light and fast.

    I'm almost at the point where I am going to buy a big chromoly roadbike frame, cut the top tube out, and MIG weld in another a couple of inches lower. Seriously.

    Suggestions/advice would be most welcome.

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    Hey,

    I'm 6 foot two, with stubby legs, 30" inseam. Long arms to match the torso. 260 pounds. Strong biker though.

    I am caught between the need for a low top tube (which usually means a smaller frame) and a long top tube so I can stretch out (which means a big frame). But then the big frame has too tall a seatpost, and my legs feel weird while pedalling -- they have to reach too far.

    I rather suspect in a perfect world I'd need to get a frame custom built. But ain't nobody got no money for dat.

    So... what road bike frame (chromoly or aluminum) might be a good compromise for me? I don't care if the frame is old, I can always put new components on it. I just want light and fast.

    I'm almost at the point where I am going to buy a big chromoly roadbike frame, cut the top tube out, and MIG weld in another a couple of inches lower. Seriously.

    Suggestions/advice would be most welcome.
    How long of a top-tube do you need? What standover height?

    You might consider a 650b conversion using long reach caliper brakes and 650b wheels & tires: http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?ID=64

    The overall height of the bike will come down a bit with 650B tires, you can expect a lowering of about 8mm-10mm converting from 700x23mm tires to 650x38B tires.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-07-13 at 01:22 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
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  3. #3
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    Hi,

    The fitting calculators I have been using seem to suggest I need a 60 cm top tube, and a seat tube range of 55 to 56 cm. If I could find a road bike that's around there, I'd go try one...

  4. #4
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    Hey,

    I'm 6 foot two, with stubby legs, 30" inseam. Long arms to match the torso. 260 pounds. Strong biker though.

    I am caught between the need for a low top tube (which usually means a smaller frame) and a long top tube so I can stretch out (which means a big frame). But then the big frame has too tall a seatpost, and my legs feel weird while pedalling -- they have to reach too far.

    I rather suspect in a perfect world I'd need to get a frame custom built. But ain't nobody got no money for dat.

    So... what road bike frame (chromoly or aluminum) might be a good compromise for me? I don't care if the frame is old, I can always put new components on it. I just want light and fast.

    I'm almost at the point where I am going to buy a big chromoly roadbike frame, cut the top tube out, and MIG weld in another a couple of inches lower. Seriously.

    Suggestions/advice would be most welcome.
    Longest possible stem will help. http://www.ebay.com/itm/FSA-OS-150-S...60691936853%26

    AAnd how about this frame? http://www.ebay.com/itm/58cm-2013-Cy...item3f231d53b4 Old frames tend to have a higher top tube than new.

    Don in Austin

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    If you're measurements are accurate and you really need that much reach in combination with a short seat tube you are going to be hard pressed to find anything but a custom build that fits the bill. However, there are a few option that might offer a starting point from which to attempt to "fit you onto the bike" instead of "fitting the bike to you".

    They're not steel, but, Trek H1 fit like the pro's use. They have realatively longer top tubes and shorter head and seat tubes. A size 58 might work for you.

    Steel? Look for an old Lemond frame. His geometry choices tended to be more stretched out and tour or classic french fit'esque. Maybe not enough for you but in combination with a set back post and reasonably long stem could see you balanced on the the bike.

    Alternatively, look for competition frames that have disproportionally short headtubes compared to their top tube lengths. Orbea comes to mind as a manufacturer who has offered bikes that were longer than they were tall.

    That's all I got. I suffer from the opposite issue. I need bikes that are taller than they are long and generally look for shorter top tubes realative to their seat tube or stack dimensions.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    Hi,

    The fitting calculators I have been using seem to suggest I need a 60 cm top tube, and a seat tube range of 55 to 56 cm. If I could find a road bike that's around there, I'd go try one...
    This has a 585 TT and a 55 seat-tube: http://salsacycles.com/index.php/bik...sal_2_frameset

    Using 700x25 tires, you standover should be about 30-31 inches. A 130mm stem should give you a long enough reach.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-07-13 at 01:43 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
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    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  7. #7
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    Some cyclecross bikes have longer top tubes compared to seat tube and or lower top tubes. The Cross Check is an example.
    Steel is Real

    I was once told that only _ussies needed lower than 42/21 gearing.

    Steel Bike Club Member 212

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    What sort of price range are we talking about?

    A made to measure Gunnar Roadie can be had for $1250 (frame & fork).
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    Hey,

    I'm 6 foot two, with stubby legs, 30" inseam. Long arms to match the torso. 260 pounds. Strong biker though.

    I am caught between the need for a low top tube (which usually means a smaller frame) and a long top tube so I can stretch out (which means a big frame). But then the big frame has too tall a seatpost, and my legs feel weird while pedalling -- they have to reach too far.

    I rather suspect in a perfect world I'd need to get a frame custom built. But ain't nobody got no money for dat.

    So... what road bike frame (chromoly or aluminum) might be a good compromise for me? I don't care if the frame is old, I can always put new components on it. I just want light and fast.

    I'm almost at the point where I am going to buy a big chromoly roadbike frame, cut the top tube out, and MIG weld in another a couple of inches lower. Seriously.

    Suggestions/advice would be most welcome.
    Before you get all crazy, check out the Breezer Venturi; they don't get longer and lower than that. The M/L frame size has a 54cm seat tube, a 57cm ETT, and a 14cm HT, mated to some very aggressive geometry that makes for a very on-point, fast ride.

    While those numbers aren't your ideal, throwing a flat or negative rise 130mm stem on there should give you the reach you need, and you shouldn't have trouble getting down and aero thanks to that ultra-short head tube.

    I ride one at 230lbs, and it's stiff and responsive for me; I love it.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    What sort of price range are we talking about?

    A made to measure Gunnar Roadie can be had for $1250 (frame & fork).
    Is that frame and fork price? Their website seems to indicate the fork is an additional $300-$375 depending on type.

    In any case, a great choice for the OP if in-budget.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'm almost at the point where I am going to buy a big chromoly roadbike frame, cut the top tube out, and MIG weld in another a couple of inches lower.
    Add to prior posts..

    Have you considered hiring a Nice frame Custom Made, for you, to finally have it fit Just Right?

    I think you have a few right around you* to do a walk-in and get the fitting dimensions taken right there.
    *Mn, Wisc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Is that frame and fork price? Their website seems to indicate the fork is an additional $300-$375 depending on type.

    In any case, a great choice for the OP if in-budget.

    Pardon me $1250 for the frame. But, still a pretty decent deal for a custom made to measure frame.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  13. #13
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. Dropping 1200.00 ain't happening... I'm hoping to find a frame/fork stripped for 2 or 3 hundred, or a complete older/classic bike to restore. Haven't found the right bike yet, but at least it's given me an excuse to go look at all the used ones out there. Standing around shooting the breeze with bike mechanics at places that deal in used bikes is well worth the time anyway. And there's some really cool bikes to look at and study, even if they aren't right for me.

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    Look for an old Lemond frame.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    Hey,

    I'm 6 foot two, with stubby legs, 30" inseam. Long arms to match the torso. 260 pounds. Strong biker though.

    I rather suspect in a perfect world I'd need to get a frame custom built. But ain't nobody got no money for dat.

    So... what road bike frame (chromoly or aluminum) might be a good compromise for me?
    Tsunami. Custom geometry in aluminum for $750.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Before you get all crazy, check out the Breezer Venturi; they don't get longer and lower than that. The M/L frame size has a 54cm seat tube, a 57cm ETT, and a 14cm HT, mated to some very aggressive geometry that makes for a very on-point, fast ride.

    While those numbers aren't your ideal, throwing a flat or negative rise 130mm stem on there should give you the reach you need
    I'd be somewhat surprised.

    I'm 5'10" with a 30.5" cycling inseam, have a 55.5cm top tube, and ride a 120mm -17 degree stem.

    25mm more reach is just an inch although the original poster has another 3.5" of torso and likely 2" longer arms assuming comparable ape index at 6'2 with a 30" inseam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    I'd be somewhat surprised.

    I'm 5'10" with a 30.5" cycling inseam, have a 55.5cm top tube, and ride a 120mm -17 degree stem.

    25mm more reach is just an inch although the original poster has another 3.5" of torso and likely 2" longer arms assuming comparable ape index at 6'2 with a 30" inseam.
    I'm definitely not certain either, but a few things drove the recco: 1) I can't think of a longer, lower stock frame, which means 2) he's been riding something, which I doubt is longer or lower than the Venturi, so if he could make that work decently enough to be a strong rider, the Breezer should be better yet, 3) while 130mm is long, he can easily find a 140mm if need be, and I don't think it would have an adverse effect on the aggressive handling of the bike, and 4) like you I'm guessing that he's got long arms, although the Breezer does have a short wheelbase, that his weight distribution will be pretty even from the saddle across the center of the frame, and he'll remain balanced with sharp, hip-steering ride quality, in the saddle at least; he'll definitely be getting way out over the front when out of the saddle, which will probably feel twitchy, but I just don't see a way around that on any frame with a 54cm ST (short of custom).

    All that said, I'm not putting any money on this either, just putting an educated guess out there!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  18. #18
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    I think I may have an idea.

    If I take a smaller frame, and remove the bottom tube, and cut the top tube in half,
    And then add 3 or 4 inches to the top tube with a slip-fit tube that fits tightly around the original top tube ends,
    And then put in a new bottom tube from crank to headtube,

    It would only be 4 welds. The top 2 welds would be simple to do well; If I use an elliptical tube for the bottom, the whole mess would be even stronger than the original because the welds from bottom tube to bottom bracket, and bottom tube to headpiece, would be longer. I would MIG weld it.

    I wouldn't have to fabricate chainstays or mainstays or mess with geometry or fork angle or any of that hard stuff. I'd just be lengthening the top tube and replacing the bottom tube which would also be longer and have a different angle, defined by wherever I decided to put the head tube. No fancy jigs, either; get the top tube lengthened/welded so the seat tube and head tube are in the same plane, and I've got it.

    Voila! Custom frame. Just need a lightweight, well made cromoly donor.

    The search is on. Let's see how cheap I can do this. If I find the right donor, I won't even need to buy components like wheels and such.


  19. #19
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    Something like this! Only not so wavy.

    frame2.jpg

  20. #20
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I know your going to hate this, but it solves the problem: http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/buena-vista
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    I think I may have an idea.

    If I take a smaller frame, and remove the bottom tube, and cut the top tube in half,
    And then add 3 or 4 inches to the top tube with a slip-fit tube that fits tightly around the original top tube ends,
    And then put in a new bottom tube from crank to headtube,

    It would only be 4 welds. The top 2 welds would be simple to do well; If I use an elliptical tube for the bottom, the whole mess would be even stronger than the original because the welds from bottom tube to bottom bracket, and bottom tube to headpiece, would be longer. I would MIG weld it.

    I wouldn't have to fabricate chainstays or mainstays or mess with geometry or fork angle or any of that hard stuff. I'd just be lengthening the top tube and replacing the bottom tube which would also be longer and have a different angle, defined by wherever I decided to put the head tube. No fancy jigs, either; get the top tube lengthened/welded so the seat tube and head tube are in the same plane, and I've got it.

    Voila! Custom frame. Just need a lightweight, well made cromoly donor.

    The search is on. Let's see how cheap I can do this. If I find the right donor, I won't even need to buy components like wheels and such.

    Please tell me you're kidding...
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  22. #22
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Please tell me you're kidding...
    No.

    Don't be all sour, life is short.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningBulldog View Post
    No.

    Don't be all sour, life is short.
    I'm just saying that the idea is cockamaime, that's all.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  24. #24
    Member RunningBulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    I'm just saying that the idea is cockamaime, that's all.
    Cockamamie... now, there's a term you don't hear that often anymore.

    I wonder if it's got a similar derivation to "poppycock"? From Merriam: Dutch dialect pappekak, literally, soft dung, from Dutch pap pap + kak dungFirst Known Use: 1865

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