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  1. #1
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    I have always been told that the main advantage of a compact frame is that it is more adaptable to people of different builds. However, I have seen alot of custom framebuilders making frames with sloping top tubes lately. Obviously that is not an issue on a custom frame. Other than some minor weight savings, what are the advantages of a custom compact frame? Why would anyone want a custom frame with almost 18 inches of seatpost showing, like in this picture?
    Last edited by CardiacKid; 02-08-06 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid
    I have always been told that the main advantage of a compact frame is that it is more adaptable to people of different builds. However, I have seen alot of custom framebuilders making frames with sloping top tubes lately. Obviously that is not an issue on a custom frame. Other than some minor weight savings, what are the advantages of a custom compact frame? Why would anyone want a custom frame with almost 18 inches of seatpost showing, like in this picture?

    market pressure?

  3. #3
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE
    market pressure?
    I don't have a problem with the framebuilder building what the customer wants. I guess my question is why would the customer want something like that?Different strokes? Am I just old? Don't answer that.

  4. #4
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    My conspiracy theory is that the manufacturers came up with the sloping top tube so they could make less sizes of frames. instead of making frames in 2 cm increments they could jump 4 to 5 cm between sizes, Some bikes now come as small-medium- large. They told the always gullible cycling press that the sloping top tube frame is stiffer and lighter ( which it can be) Of course the American cycling press these days do little more than reprint press releases. So everybody buys what the magazines tell them to buy. Not only do we have less sizes available we also have nearly every bike with threadless stems.which have a very limited range of adjustment. Half the posts on the forums seem to be someone with a comfort issue related to thier bike.
    Last edited by velonomad; 02-09-06 at 12:50 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Good question. I think it's also good to think about it in terms of the reverse. What are the advantages of a custom non-sloping frame? The only advantage I could think about is higher weight. What else?

    We are talking custom frames, correct? So, if you are a buyer, why would you want to get a custom non-sloping frame as opposed to a custom-sloping frame? Please do tell.

  6. #6
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    What is the weight savings really. When you stick a tall seatpost on there, like in the picture, I would think you are eating up the weight savings. A seatpost that tall is going to have to be stronger than the seattube, because it doesn't have bracing that the seattube has, so it can't really be any lighter per inch than a good tubeset? Additionally, you are going to have to have more overlap of the post inside the tube, for additional support, aren't you?
    By the way, I asked the question, bellweatherman, if you want to ask a question, start your own thread. But the answer is that a custom compact frame with a tall seatpost looks like some generic Taiwanese frame or maybe a unicycle.
    If you are going steel, one would assume you are more of a traditionalist to begin with.
    Additionally if you are buying a steel $5000 bike you aren't going to be racing it in Crits, so how much stiffness do you need, if the compact frame is actually stiffer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bing's Avatar
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    Why would anyone want one? Maybe you should be asking Dazza. He's written that a good majority of his book is now filled with orders for Pacenti Slant6 punters. He's also working on something he calls Tiny Slant6 lugs for conventional oversize (28.6 top and 31.8 down) tubesets.

    I remember speaking about this with DonW and he said if he was doing one, he'd design it out as if he was making a horizontal. Then he'd draw a line down from the HT/TT centerline intercept to the ST at 6deg to account for the lugs/slope. Nothing different for rider position, the front end is all the same.

    If it's just another flavour of custom to account for differing tastes, then how can it be bad if it keeps the slopers away from the mall?

  8. #8
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    Someone mentioned market pressure and that's part of it. Most custom builders say the overwhelming majority of their customers pick a sloping top tube given a choice. Many non-custom frames come only with a sloping tube so many people obviously like it. Several of these manufactures did extensive market research first and customers like the looks, function, and aesthetics of a sloping tube.

    In terms of functions, the sloping tube serves several purposes. It allows some configurations to be set up so the frame doesn't look funny. The compact design allows for the bars to get higher if that's what the rider wants. It also alllows for a slightly stiffer bottom and rear. Finally it results in a slight weight reduction, particulary if a super long seatpost isn't required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    Someone mentioned market pressure and that's part of it. Most custom builders say the overwhelming majority of their customers pick a sloping top tube given a choice. Many non-custom frames come only with a sloping tube so many people obviously like it. Several of these manufactures did extensive market research first and customers like the looks, function, and aesthetics of a sloping tube.

    In terms of functions, the sloping tube serves several purposes. It allows some configurations to be set up so the frame doesn't look funny. The compact design allows for the bars to get higher if that's what the rider wants. It also alllows for a slightly stiffer bottom and rear. Finally it results in a slight weight reduction, particulary if a super long seatpost isn't required.

    compact-design frames and slopers are two different
    styles and were each concocted to solve different issues.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE
    compact-design frames and slopers are two different
    styles and were each concocted to solve different issues.
    That is true. However since the subject is on compact frames, I was focusing on compacts and see I did combine the two.

  11. #11
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    In other words, I am old and out of touch. That is not the first time I have figured that out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid
    What is the weight savings really. When you stick a tall seatpost on there, like in the picture, I would think you are eating up the weight savings. A seatpost that tall is going to have to be stronger than the seattube, because it doesn't have bracing that the seattube has, so it can't really be any lighter per inch than a good tubeset? Additionally, you are going to have to have more overlap of the post inside the tube, for additional support, aren't you?
    By the way, I asked the question, bellweatherman, if you want to ask a question, start your own thread. But the answer is that a custom compact frame with a tall seatpost looks like some generic Taiwanese frame or maybe a unicycle.
    If you are going steel, one would assume you are more of a traditionalist to begin with.
    Additionally if you are buying a steel $5000 bike you aren't going to be racing it in Crits, so how much stiffness do you need, if the compact frame is actually stiffer.


    Is that town lake? Anyway, really though. Most of these custom compact road frames don't require a different seatpost than the standard length road seatposts that are being manufactured nowadays...so even, if you went to a compact frame, you'd still be using the same standard road seatpost available at any bike shop. So, I disagree that you would have to buy a longer and heavier seatpost to use with a new custom compact frame.

    So in reverse, basically what you are saying is that there are "funny" advantages to having a standard non-sloping road frame. For example in your speech on custom frames, traditional non-compact frames weigh slightly more, might even be a teensy bit more flexible, and have less standover clearance... but they look better. Yep. That's what you just said. Just in terms of a traditional non-sloping custom design, that is. So in theory, throwing all else aside, since traditional frames looks better they are better. Just going off of what you said.
    Last edited by bellweatherman; 02-09-06 at 06:45 PM.

  13. #13
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    What I said was that the there is no difference in weight when you have to put on an extra long seatpost, like the picture. In fact, in that case the opposite may be true. Manufacturers say the frame weighs 100 grams less than a comparable traditional frame, ignoring the fact that it is going to take an extra long seatpost that weighs 150 grams more. I just made up those numbers, so don't go doing alot of research showing they are way off. If the bike in question had had a standard seatpost, I wouldn't have asked the question.
    The only other advantage that was listed was that the frame might be stiffer in the bottom bracket area. For the use most customers intend, what is the advantage of that?
    The final argument is that if this design was lighter and stiffer it would be better for road racing. How many stages of the TdF have been won on a compact frame? This is especially significant in light of the fact that companies use the TdF so much for marketing to sell bikes to people like me, who have no use for a racing bike.
    Again, why should I "Mr. Charity Ride" get a custom compact frame with a giant seat post?
    The picture is from Spectrum's website and is this month's bike of the month. I doubt it is was taken in downtown Austin. If I was going to take a picture on Town Lake, it wouldn't be of a bike
    Last edited by CardiacKid; 02-09-06 at 08:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    HI...

    I have a ridley compact frame... the frame is super stiff... maybe one of the best road bikes i ever road... and in my case is that im just in the middle of sizes.. between a medium and a large... I decided a large because of the efective lenght of it, thats all.. What else i can say about a compact frame? hmmm... comfortable? yes.. but it is because of the brand maybe... stable? yes.... I can ride no hands even in tarmac with that thing... well... market goes here and there... but what i know is that initially compact or sloping frames were created for short people... now they have the chance of getting a better fit.. girls have that problem too... dunno... I have my "del valle" in still and i love it too (regular configuration)...

    Again.. lets see what the guys came up with to sell the PILLS now... the worse part is that the people buy the ideas in the magazines... well I dont read stuff anyways...

    cya

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    now the point... I forgot it...! I would use a custom made compact frame.. im just between sizes hehe...


  16. #16
    Shut up and ride
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    Speaking for myself the sloping top tube on my Curtlo lets the bike fit my freakishly short legs and long upper body.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    In terms of functions, the sloping tube serves several purposes. It allows some configurations to be set up so the frame doesn't look funny. The compact design allows for the bars to get higher if that's what the rider wants. It also alllows for a slightly stiffer bottom and rear. Finally it results in a slight weight reduction, particulary if a super long seatpost isn't required.
    How does the sloping toptube result in a stiffer bottom and rear? Do you think that the few centimeters you would lose on the seatstays would make a difference to the stiffness of the rear and the bottom?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE
    compact-design frames and slopers are two different
    styles and were each concocted to solve different issues.
    Please explain the difference between the compact-frame design and the sloper and the different issues they attempt to solve.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid
    Again, why should I "Mr. Charity Ride" get a custom compact frame with a giant seat post?
    The picture is from Spectrum's website and is this month's bike of the month. I doubt it is was taken in downtown Austin. If I was going to take a picture on Town Lake, it wouldn't be of a bike

    Hang on a sec. Are you talking about custom frames or production frames? Because in the title of the thread and your original post you are inquiring about the whys of a custom compact frame. Yet, in your words and your Spectrum bike picture you keep asking why anybody would get such a frame with a mtn bike seatpost. First, most people that get custom compact frames aren't going to go to such an extreme on the sloping top tube to require a mtn bike seatpost.

    And here's the answer to the 1st question: You want to know why someone would get a custom compact frame with a mountain bike seatpost? Hey, beats the hell out of me. Why not? In that regards, if you are going to get a CUSTOM frame? Why not get it right so that you can still use a regular seatpost? That's what I would do. Weight savings are insignificant, but it's still weight savings.

    Here's the answer to your other question: You want to know why some "Charity Ride Joe" would want to get a custom frame with a mountain bike seatpost? Beats me. If you're going to get a custom frame, get whatever you want. Whether it is traditional or sloping.

  20. #20
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    Well that particular bike is going to let you get really low on the bars...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dialtone
    Please explain the difference between the compact-frame design and the sloper and the different issues they attempt to solve.


    here:
    http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.as...10407.0078.eml
    http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.as...10407.0084.eml

  22. #22
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    Hang on a sec. Are you talking about custom frames or production frames? Because in the title of the thread and your original post you are inquiring about the whys of a custom compact frame. Yet, in your words and your Spectrum bike picture you keep asking why anybody would get such a frame with a mtn bike seatpost. First, most people that get custom compact frames aren't going to go to such an extreme on the sloping top tube to require a mtn bike seatpost.

    And here's the answer to the 1st question: You want to know why someone would get a custom compact frame with a mountain bike seatpost? Hey, beats the hell out of me. Why not? In that regards, if you are going to get a CUSTOM frame? Why not get it right so that you can still use a regular seatpost? That's what I would do. Weight savings are insignificant, but it's still weight savings.

    Here's the answer to your other question: You want to know why some "Charity Ride Joe" would want to get a custom frame with a mountain bike seatpost? Beats me. If you're going to get a custom frame, get whatever you want. Whether it is traditional or sloping.
    The only reason I got sidetracked into production bikes was to point out that the weight savings is more marketing hype than reality. They can advertise that the frame is lighter than their competitors, without mentioning the weight added by the added seatpost length. I actually went out and measured the seatpost on my retro steel bike and it is 200mm. I don't think it would fit on very many compact frames.
    If I understand you correctly, your answer to my question is "I don't know". We sure went a long way to get there.
    The real question would be, why as a framebuilder would you want to display on your website, a bike that doesn't look like it is the right size for the owner. It looks like the Schwinn Varsity I got when I was 12 years old, when I was 20. By the way, the quill stem eventually broke off that bike. I now know that it was probably because I had raised it over the maximum height. My roommate, who was riding it at the time, always thought it was because he was fat.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid
    The real question would be, why as a framebuilder would you want to display on your website, a bike that doesn't look like it is the right size for the owner. It looks like the Schwinn Varsity I got when I was 12 years old, when I was 20.

    OK, so if we are truly sticking to discussing "custom" road frames, the idea is to get a frame and not have to resort to extreme measures and buy a mtn bike seatpost. As for why the Spectrum owner with the custom Spectrum wanted to buy a custom frame small enough so that he/she had to use a mtn bike seatpost. No idea on that one. Maybe they just wanted super duper standover clearance. Certainly, this isn't the norm for custom compact road frames.
    • You basically are asking, "why get a custom compact road frame and have to put on a mountain bike seatpost instead of a normal seatpost?"
    • That is like asking, "Why get a new car with custom sound system only to have to use 8-track audio cassettes instead of CDs?"


    Seems like you already have the answer to your own question. That you like traditional frames better than compact because of looks. And that is truly ok. Really. Other than looks the advantages of a custom traditional road frame over a custom compact frame is...
    • heavier frame,
    • extra flexiness (no biggie)
    • and less standover clearance (measurable difference here)
    All 3 above qualities (heaviness, flexiness, less standover clearance) are highly desired by any Average Joe! Since you are getting a custom frame, may as well get what you want.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid
    The only reason I got sidetracked into production bikes was to point out that the weight savings is more marketing hype than reality. They can advertise that the frame is lighter than their competitors, without mentioning the weight added by the added seatpost length.<cut>

    does anyone know how much a 3mm-5mm section
    of .6mm-7.mm guage seat tubes weighs? or the
    accompanying scrap saved by a pair of shorter
    seat stays?

    mebbe 30 gms max????

  25. #25
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE
    does anyone know how much a 3mm-5mm section
    of .6mm-7.mm guage seat tubes weighs? or the
    accompanying scrap saved by a pair of shorter
    seat stays?

    mebbe 30 gms max????

    I thought it was a little more than that, but insignificant weight savings nonetheless.

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