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  1. #1
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    Buying new frame and want to get more stretched out

    I am in the market for a new frameset mostly because I want to change from my cheap Alum to a nicer steel frame. While I'm at it, I feel like I could dial in my fit a little better. I think my fit is ok but I feel like I could be more stretched out. Longer top tube/stem seems to be an answer but then I was reading a fit article and they were talking about head tube height and it's importance on reach

    My current bike is a Motobecane Super Strada from bikesdirect. It has a 543mm ETT and 150mm head tube. I am almost 5'11 (not that it matters) but doing the competitve cyclist online fit calc I am recommended to have a 545-550 ETT. I have also had bikes with 560mm and 565mm ETT in the past and honestly felt too stretched out and like my handling was not precise. I have been looking at some Lemond steel frames and trying to figure out if 53 or 55 would be a better fit.

    The 53 has a 545mm ETT (basically same as I have now) but has a 116mm head tube as opposed to 150mm on my current bike and the 55 has a 565mm ETT and 133mm head tube but I hear the slacker seat tube on Lemond makes them feel smaller. In theory, would the 34mm shorter head tube on the 53 stretch me out noticeably more then my current bike with the same ETT or should I try the 55 with 565 ETT even though I have had a bike with a 565 ETT and felt like it was too big? Would the seat tube angle on the 55 make it seem smaller and therefore stretch me out just enough over my current bike?

    Dilemmas! Sorry for my rant but I'm back in neurotic new bike/frame hell.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  2. #2
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    Adding a couple of photos to try and illustrate my current fit. Not perfect since I don't have a trainer but I'm mostly concerned with my upper body. How does my reach look?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  3. #3
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    I'm starting to tire of these over analytic obsessive compulsive public ditherings in the Bike Fit forum. I, personally don't see a rider that needs to be anymore stretched out than presently, but, ... I'm not on the bike. If it were me, and I felt that I needed to be more stretched on a bike... welll... for one thing I would not really rely much on a slight difference in head tube length to accomplish it. I would not expect a 1* difference in seat tube angle to accomplish it either. A longer stem and/or a more rearward seat position will directly affect reach and either option are cheaper and easier to accomplish than getting a new frame or bike. FWIW.

    H

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    I'm starting to tire of these over analytic obsessive compulsive public ditherings in the Bike Fit forum. I, personally don't see a rider that needs to be anymore stretched out than presently, but, ... I'm not on the bike. If it were me, and I felt that I needed to be more stretched on a bike... welll... for one thing I would not really rely much on a slight difference in head tube length to accomplish it. I would not expect a 1* difference in seat tube angle to accomplish it either. A longer stem and/or a more rearward seat position will directly affect reach and either option are cheaper and easier to accomplish than getting a new frame or bike. FWIW.

    H
    I do tend to agree with you. I'm the same person who's taken my wife's bike out to test with a 510 top tube and realized that I could be reasonably comfortable on it by simply raising the saddle. In this case, I'm shopping for a new frame to upgrade not to fix any existing fit issues. I am just obsessing over fitting that new frame because buying a frame is like the great unknown. I won't know how it fits until I build it up, no way to test ride. As I've gotten more and more into cycling and working on bikes I have gotten more into the science of fit and it's fun to geek out on it when you start to learn about how every aspect of a frame's geometry effects the fit and ride in a different way.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    D'oh ! Stick a longer stem on it and that will stretch you out. , as you get older , you will want the stretch less then you get a shorter one

    and one, perhaps with more Up Angle.

    Glendale, in Metro LA region .. I assume you can find a high end bike shop to pay to get the whole professional fitting thing done .

    they will match all that obsession with fit details with a fee structure .


    they will be able to suggest a frame size if what you bring in is not right , since the analysis is something you pay for,

    if you want to bargain hunt online you will have a top tube seat tube frame angle range to shop for.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-30-14 at 12:19 PM.

  6. #6
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I don't see why the shorter head tube is a problem. You can use spacers under the stem, or a positive rise stem, to raise the handlebars to the same height as on the frame with a longer head tube. Alternatively, the shorter head tube allows a lower bar if you wish.

    Your current upper body fit looks fine to me, as much as a photo shows. If you feel like you want more room, a longer stem will do that too.

    So I'd lean toward the smaller LeMond.

    Here is an idea, though. You have full geometry info on the choices? Why not draw the bikes (graph paper, protractor, ruler) and see where the touch points end up (saddle, bar, pedals) and where the wheelbase is.
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  7. #7
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Or heck, use this tool

    Bicycle Calculator - compare frame sizes and calculate head angle

    You can take a tape to your existing bike; hopefully there are full specs available for the LeMond? If this is a vintage LeMond, there are catalogs online.

    Trek, Fisher, Klein, Lemond bike catalogs, bicycle brochures
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  8. #8
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    So for the record, I ended up buying a used Cannondale CAAD9 frame set over the weekend in size 54. I should have it built up by the end of the week and until then I'll be in suspense to see how it fits. Geometry is pretty similar to my current road bike so it should be good. I considered a few CAAD 56 frames but I thought it would be too big.

    My scientific study went like this: CAAD 56 has 560mm ETT. My fixie has a 560mm ETT. I ride the fixie with riser bars in a more upright comfort position and it's fine. I threw a set of drops on it for a couple of days with brake hoods and immediately had discomfort in my arms on the hoods and felt way to stretched in the drops.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    So for the record, I ended up buying a used Cannondale CAAD9 frame set over the weekend in size 54. I should have it built up by the end of the week and until then I'll be in suspense to see how it fits. Geometry is pretty similar to my current road bike so it should be good. I considered a few CAAD 56 frames but I thought it would be too big.

    My scientific study went like this: CAAD 56 has 560mm ETT. My fixie has a 560mm ETT. I ride the fixie with riser bars in a more upright comfort position and it's fine. I threw a set of drops on it for a couple of days with brake hoods and immediately had discomfort in my arms on the hoods and felt way to stretched in the drops.
    Dropbars have a parameter called "reach". On the same bike, two different bars with different reach dimensions will feel very different. Because of reach, one does not usually use the same stem extension on the same bike when changing from flat-bars to drops. FWIW.

    H

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