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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-16-11, 01:27 PM   #1
liberalswine
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Small Frameset choices for shorter riders?

Well, this thread is kind of reflecting an issue as posted in the carpal tunnel friendly thread in regards to my girlfriend.

So, we are definitely going to size her down from her current 50cm frameset. The thing is, she wants a steel lugged frame, or at least the fork.

I was looking into the mercier kilo tt deluxe as she really likes the frameset.


She is currently on a 50cm Tomasso Augusta Ninja Track with following specs:
c-c 46cm, ct 50.6, tt 51.5, standover 29.75"

Mercier Kilo tt deluxe 47cm is measured at (which I think is still big)
c-c 47cm, ct 50cm, tt 51.3cm, standover 29"

Kilo tt deluxe in 44cm:
c-c 44cm, ct 47cm, tt 50.3, and stand over of 28.5"


From speculating these measurements it doesn't seem like there would be much of a difference dropping down to a 47cm kilo since the difference is very minimal. 44cm seems to be a better choice as observed. However, after doing a little research, a built 44cm kilo tt deluxe has a slanting top tube. This is something she does not want at all. She wants the top tube to be as parallel to the floor as possible for aesthestic reasons.

This is how a 44cm kilo looks like for reference



Are there any other steel framesets with a lugged crown fork that does not have a sloping top tube out there?


I just want my girlfriend to be completely satisfied with her next build. The kilo tt deluxe seems to be the best bang for the buck. But I think in order to fulfill everything she's looking for in a bike would mean having a custom frame built by a reputable frame builder. Hmmm...njs time? But realistically, that would cost too much money!
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Old 03-16-11, 01:44 PM   #2
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How tall is she/what's her inseam?
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Old 03-16-11, 01:51 PM   #3
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She's about 5'2" or 5'3" or so but has shorter legs. I'll measure her inseam later on when I get home from work. But I'll try and get all her measurements so that we can better get an idea.
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Old 03-16-11, 01:54 PM   #4
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There is always this option: http://www.irocycle.com/markvhdframeset.aspx

They've been out of stock for awhile but give them a call and see whats up. they also have the frame in 631.
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Old 03-16-11, 02:02 PM   #5
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I have three daughters, two of which are just passing the 5-foot mark. I have been looking at short frame options for a while. I can't help you with lugged.

Fuji makes a track frame for 650s. (Don't have one of these)

Swobo Sanchez goes small, 700c wheels, sloped top tube. (Have one in box, not built yet. Middle daughter birthday at end of month)

Oldest daughter has a frame from American Cyclery. Built at Waterford, it is like a Gunnar or a Milwaukee. It is designed to be as short as possible with 700c wheels. Not lugged, but a bad-azz frame if I do say so myself.

I am very interested in this thread. My youngest daughter wants "gears". Now I have to find a good one with gears. (ugh)

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Old 03-16-11, 02:09 PM   #6
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Yeah, this is more difficult than I thought. I looked into IRO, but again it doesn't have the lugged fork and they're out of stock. Surly Steamroller has a lugged fork, but their smallest size is 49cm and the geo isn't much smaller than what she currently has.

I looked into an affinity lo pro xs the top tube is alot shorter, however the seat tube is alot higher 46cm vs 51.5cm.

Finding an ideal frame without a sloping top tube seems impossible right now.
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Old 03-16-11, 02:15 PM   #7
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Yeah, this is more difficult than I thought. I looked into IRO, but again it doesn't have the lugged fork and they're out of stock. Surly Steamroller has a lugged fork, but their smallest size is 49cm and the geo isn't much smaller than what she currently has.

I looked into an affinity lo pro xs the top tube is alot shorter, however the seat tube is alot higher 46cm vs 51.5cm.

Finding an ideal frame without a sloping top tube seems impossible right now.
Good luck, I'd tell her look at comfort before aesthetics if it's really harming her ability to enjoy the bike. (IE me putting a 26 degree stem on a leader.)
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Old 03-16-11, 02:55 PM   #8
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Requirement for parallel top tube may force you to a 650c bike. I will see what I can find.
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Old 03-16-11, 03:00 PM   #9
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Requirement for parallel top tube may force you to a 650c bike. I will see what I can find.
Awesome, and if it is lugged or has a lugged fork at least- even better! Only 650c frameset I found was an affinity lo pro in xs, but seat tube is too high
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Old 03-16-11, 04:26 PM   #10
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Could you not get a 47cm frame and build it with 650c wheels? Would help with both standover and toe overlap.
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Old 03-16-11, 04:37 PM   #11
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Could you not get a 47cm frame and build it with 650c wheels? Would help with both standover and toe overlap.
Yeah but running 650c wheels on a 700c frame would mean lower bb height. This would result in pedal strike. So best thing so far is to find a 650c frame, otherwise a 700c frame in the needed sizing would mean a sloping top tube which is what she doesn't want. Looking into custom frame building- but so far 800 is the lowest and out of our price range
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Old 03-16-11, 04:46 PM   #12
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Is a non sloping top tube that vitally important?

I mean, I get aesthetic value and all, but it's probably going to be impossible to find a small enough frame without a sloping top tube that she can ride comfortably. Is this the same GF with the carpal tunnel problems? Because if it is, shes's probably going to have the same problem on those listed frames because the top tube is almost the same length.
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Old 03-16-11, 04:48 PM   #13
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You're right. Didn't think of that. The last frame I built was a Bob Jackson Vigorelli. That frame has a BB height a little higher than most so on it, it probably wouldn't be an issue. I have another frame but it would be too big for what you need. It's 52cm C-T. Good luck
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Yeah but running 650c wheels on a 700c frame would mean lower bb height. This would result in pedal strike. So best thing so far is to find a 650c frame, otherwise a 700c frame in the needed sizing would mean a sloping top tube which is what she doesn't want. Looking into custom frame building- but so far 800 is the lowest and out of our price range

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Old 03-16-11, 04:55 PM   #14
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Is a non sloping top tube that vitally important?

I mean, I get aesthetic value and all, but it's probably going to be impossible to find a small enough frame without a sloping top tube that she can ride comfortably. Is this the same GF with the carpal tunnel problems? Because if it is, shes's probably going to have the same problem on those listed frames because the top tube is almost the same length.
Yeah, this is the same person. Aesthetically she would like a non-sloping top tube. As for tt length, I'm hoping running a shorter stem would help as well given the one she is using right now is a 110mm 0 rise. Thinkin about finding a 60mm with more rise, and the 44cm kilo frameset however the slope is an aesthetic issue for her.

I think our next move is to find her a 650c track frame just to eliminate all the issues all together assuming that the tt will be shorter and c-c, c-t is minimized compared to her current frameset. But finding one with a lugged fork will be difficult. So far I've only seen 650 track frames made by affinity, fuji, and iro. The affinity is the only one with a lugged fork, but the smallest size has a taller seat tube than hers.

This sucks. I think I'm just going to build her a custom lugged frameset myself. Haha! Only if it were that easy
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Old 03-16-11, 05:54 PM   #15
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If you called IRO, they'd probably sell you just the frame for a 650. Then you could pick up a lugged fork for the difference.
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Old 03-16-11, 06:00 PM   #16
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I know your girlfriend has carpal tunnel but at 5'3", does she really need a bike so small? I'd imagine cramping her up isn't going to good for her wrists either.
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Old 03-16-11, 07:20 PM   #17
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The photo of 44cm Kilo is actually my girlfriend's bike who is 5'0 ft. I was originally going to say its impossible to make a 44cm 700c frame without a sloping downtube, but after a quick photoshop it looks like its possible if the frame had a really short head tube. Having a really short head tube might lead to other problems though such as not being strong enough to support the fork.

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Old 03-16-11, 10:42 PM   #18
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The photo of 44cm Kilo is actually my girlfriend's bike who is 5'0 ft. I was originally going to say its impossible to make a 44cm 700c frame without a sloping downtube, but after a quick photoshop it looks like its possible if the frame had a really short head tube. Having a really short head tube might lead to other problems though such as not being strong enough to support the fork.

Nice chop!




So Scrod, her inseam is 28.5", and she stands at exactly 5'2.5" and yeah she needs a bike with less tt length, or at least a smaller stem- currently using a 110mm
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Old 03-16-11, 10:46 PM   #19
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Raleigh Sprite with townie bars. Restore it together. Sharing is caring.
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Old 03-16-11, 10:59 PM   #20
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Raleigh Sprite with townie bars. Restore it together. Sharing is caring.
Haha true. Done with conversions though. Our goal would be to step foot into the home depot center velodrome. Been lookin into classes and they don't allow conversions apparently
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Old 03-16-11, 11:07 PM   #21
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The photo of 44cm Kilo is actually my girlfriend's bike who is 5'0 ft. I was originally going to say its impossible to make a 44cm 700c frame without a sloping downtube, but after a quick photoshop it looks like its possible if the frame had a really short head tube. Having a really short head tube might lead to other problems though such as not being strong enough to support the fork.
basically, it's not possible to make a frame smaller than 21" or 53cm using 700c wheels, at least, not without some geometry compromises. http://community.terrybicycles.com/p...e2981cf1d964f1

How about an older 80's to 90's MTB? That era had horizontal dropouts, rigid fork, I'm not too sure about lugs, but most importantly they'll fit smaller riders properly.

alternatively, a terry.
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Old 03-16-11, 11:31 PM   #22
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basically, it's not possible to make a frame smaller than 21" or 53cm using 700c wheels, at least, not without some geometry compromises. http://community.terrybicycles.com/p...e2981cf1d964f1

How about an older 80's to 90's MTB? That era had horizontal dropouts, rigid fork, I'm not too sure about lugs, but most importantly they'll fit smaller riders properly.

alternatively, a terry.
Again, I don't think a conversion is an option at this point given my last post in regards to getting on the track.



I think our best bet right now would be a fuji classic 650, and a tange 650 lugged fork to accommodate her lugged needs. I'm going to be calling spicer bikes tomorrow as they build custom track bikes for smaller riders for a fair price
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Old 03-16-11, 11:45 PM   #23
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Our goal would be to step foot into the home depot center velodrome.
Oh, in that case, 650c TT frame. I've been watching complete litespeeds, little titanium frames, go for five or six hundo on the 'bay. The tri-folk have virtually abandoned the size.

BB will be a lot lower than track geo, but it may be possible to squeeze in a 700c in the back end, of the end, raising the angles and BB shell. Track fork. Bam. Pursuit bike for your lady. Guaranteed, every night.

But hitting the track with CTS? Sketchy. There's going to be a lot of pulling on the wrist, and a lot of grip strength necessary.
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Old 03-17-11, 01:41 AM   #24
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But hitting the track with CTS? Sketchy. There's going to be a lot of pulling on the wrist, and a lot of grip strength necessary.
Not if she's taking the beginner courses. All you do is just, hold onto the bars and pedal and pedal and pedal and pedal.

It's not good to have like a megauber death grip if she's just learning to ride.
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Old 03-17-11, 09:11 AM   #25
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So Scrod, her inseam is 28.5", and she stands at exactly 5'2.5" and yeah she needs a bike with less tt length, or at least a smaller stem- currently using a 110mm
Can you post a pic of her current bike?
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