My first posting on the framebuilders forum.
I am planning to have a bike built with S&S couplings for some planned trips to Europe after I retire.
Originally, I had thought that I would just have the couplings retro-fitted to my Lemond Sarthe (classic steel frame, TT OX) but I'm beginning to lean toward having a new frame built (probably by Naked) with the couplings included and the geometry tweaked a little so the bike fits me a little bit better.
My 51 cm Lemond has a TT that is a bit long for me (it's 532 mm) and also I want to reduce the handlebar drop (from 5.8 mm to about 4.0 mm). I have compensated for the TT length by using an 80 mm 17d stem but I would prefer to be using a 90 mm 10d stem. I expect that the handle bar drop will be more of an issue as I age (I'm in my mid 50's).
I don't know if it is feasible to consider having a “new front end" built for the Lemond to be joined to the rest of the frame with S&S couplers. The "new" front would have a 10 mm shorter TT, a longer HT with ~10 - 15 mm more than usual sticking up above the TT, and maybe reduce the HT angle by about .25 degrees to 72.25? The stand over is already at the maximum for me (SO is 770 mm, my inseam is 790 mm).
Am I completely wasting my time thinking about having a new front end built for the Lemond and I should just concentrate on designing a frame that fits me better?
To decrease the handlebar drop without using a big stack of spacers on the steerer tube, I am thinking of having the head tube constructed so it sticks up by ~ 10 - 15 mm more than normal and making up the difference with maybe another 3 - 5 mm spacer on the stack (remember the top tube can't be raised). Is this a reasonable plan?
Is shortening the top tube (compared to the current geometry of my Lemond) best done by relaxing the head tube angle? Will a 0.25 to 0.5 degree change to about 72d change the handling characteristics significantly from what I am used to? What would also changing the fork rake from 45 mm to say 40 mm do to the handling?
I am assuming that by deviating from a "standard geometry" that this precludes a frame built with lugs and I'm limited to Tig or fillet brazed construction?
Thanks for any suggestions in advance.