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  1. #1
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    odd bike frame size

    i have a 50 cm bike and i am 6'1". before you start— i have short legs for my size. they tried to fit me on a 56 cm and my legs couldn't reach the pedals much less the ground. however, my height comes from my torso. so although i'm comfortable heightwise on the bike, i have bullhorn handlebars and i can't use them properly because my torso is so long, that if i bend over, i'm past the range of the handlebars. i'm probably going to have to get a handlebar that is suitable for riding upright, because currently it's very difficult to ride upright with bullhorns.

    my question is, do they make bike frames with a shorter seat tube, say, around 52 cm, with a much longer top tube than is normally put on those bikes?

  2. #2
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    You could try to go with a mountain bike frame, they tend to have long top tubes relative to the seat tube. A custom frame may be something else to consider. If you really are having a lot of trouble then the cost of a custom frame may be worth it over the hassle of trying to get something else to work.
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  3. #3
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Ability to reach the ground while in the saddle is overrated.

    +1 on MTB. Some mid-90s XC frames have super long top tubes.

    My KHS has 50cm seat tube (to top of tube) and 60cm effective top tube.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 01-04-12 at 02:04 AM.
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  4. #4
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Ability to reach the ground while in the saddle is overrated.

    +1 on MTB. Some mid-90s XC frames have super long top tubes.

    My KHS has 50cm seat tube (to top of tube) and 60cm effective top tube.
    not only that, you'd never get proper leg extension and that's terrible for your knees.



    I guess one could start looking for a frame with sloping top tube and appropriate dropouts or track ends.
    might want to check out salsa bikes. They offer MTB frames that will work with SS/FG.
    Last edited by AEO; 01-04-12 at 06:16 AM.
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  5. #5
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Vilano's are reputed to have a very long toptube for their sizes. For that matter, the 09 Fuji Track pro has a constant seat tube length and only varies the top tube. Because the seatpost is integrated you have to cut it to the right length. In your case you could get one with the right top tube length (use a fit calculator) and then cut the seat mast down to the appropriate height. I actually have almost the opposite issue on my FTP in that the toptube is the right length but I barely had to cut any of the seat mast down and if I were any taller I would be worried about the geometry.

    Also, you should probably make sure that you have short cranks, 165mm or less, as these will both be easier to reach and probably more efficient.

    edit: I see you already have a vilano so maybe the reputation of having a long top tube isn't deserved.
    Last edited by prooftheory; 01-04-12 at 07:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Business Man cinemattic's Avatar
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    i know that leader also has (or at least had) long top tubes. i ride a 58, and i swear that top tube is significantly longer than that seat tube. it's a 721 v2, and i have to ride a 60mm stem on it to compensate for the longer top tube. my lo pro, in comparison, has a 100 on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by striknein View Post
    Wrong forum, fat man.

  7. #7
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinemattic View Post
    i know that leader also has (or at least had) long top tubes. i ride a 58, and i swear that top tube is significantly longer than that seat tube. it's a 721 v2, and i have to ride a 60mm stem on it to compensate for the longer top tube. my lo pro, in comparison, has a 100 on it.
    Yes, the Leaders all have very long TTs in comparison with their STs. I also have a 721tr V2 (49cm) with compact drops and use a 60mm stem as well. By contrast, I use a 90mm stem on my 49cm Soma Rush with horns. I also have a VISP, which has a very long TT. Regardless, it seems like the OP has extremely short legs for his height, and might need a larger frame with no standover to get the correct position on the bike. I have no standover clearance on many of my bikes, especially my track bikes, and it is not a problem whatsoever. As long as you can adjust the saddle properly in relation to the pedals, and get the proper relationship between the saddle and bars without resorting to an ultra short or long stem, the bike can be set up to fit you properly.
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  8. #8
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    FGFS frames are good for this because of the negative bottom bracket drop.
    Something like a medium Charge Scissor will have a 52cm seat tube with a 56cm top tube.

  9. #9
    meat popsicle dookski's Avatar
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    You can put some ape hangers or medium sized risers on your bike and rotate them outward. Pretty comfy riding.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everybody! I appreciate the advice. At this point probably what I am going to do is get some risers so I can ride upright. If and when I get another bike I'll make sure it's long enough before I make sure it's short enough.

  11. #11
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    The leader 725/735 have really long TT's, as mentioned earlier. I'd go with that.
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  12. #12
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    this is what the OP wants

    loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  13. #13
    GMJ
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    Holy **** long bike.
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  14. #14
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    OMG saddle nose is actually past the bottom bracket!!!! Extreme-0.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
    this is what the OP wants

    loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong
    This is a custom bike. It looks like the rider was trying to simulate a time trial position with the saddle forward and a really long top tube. Notice the clip-on aero position handles (black) in the middle of the bars.

    I agree that it's an odd geometry.

    Here is that same bike (I think) in action:


  16. #16
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    ha, I didn't notice the clip ons
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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