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Thread: Custom geomtery

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    Custom geomtery

    What should I order? I think that I am going to order a steel frame. I would like to take this frame to winter rides with fenders and large tires. I would also like it be reasonable for club rides during the fall where I easily average 18-19 mph. I want to have some capability but have a more upright position for touring. I don't want it to be too heavy, but be able to support some bags for 1-3 day touring trips.

    I'm 6'2". I have a 34" inseam. I'm currently riding a 62cm Fuji road bike with a 190ish head tube. It has a lot of drop in comparison to some of the other bikes. Currently from the saddle it is 59.5 cm to the handlebar. The top of the seat to the crank is 82.20sh cm.

    I want something more relaxed yet capable than this set up.

    thanks
    bill

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    19mph average speed easily ,you obviously do a lot of racing to average that kind of speed .so a heavy steel bike aint going to do anything for you.thorn do a range of audex bikes that might suit you .

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    One option is to use a trailer. That way, you don't need to worry as much about things like chainstay lengths, braze-ons, or even the geometry; you'll have a great deal of flexibility in your bike choice.

    Check out the Jamis steel bikes -- Quest, Eclipse, Aurora Elite. Other steel frame possibilities are Salsa Casseroll, Mercian Audax. I'm not 100% sure I'd go with steel for a winter bike due to corrosion issues, but I guess if you keep the bike clean that shouldn't be a huge problem.

    Cross bikes might be an option -- they'll be set up pretty well for winter use, fenders, canti brakes and so forth. However I've found my cross bike to be a bit too slow for fast group rides. My theory is that faster wheels would fix that, but I have yet to test or confirm that.

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    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Curlto will build you a custom frame for under $900 minus fork. Based out of Eastern Washington. The owner answers the phone and your looking at weeks instead of months, years for it to be built. Check out what they have to offer and see if it might work for you.http://www.curtlo.com/
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    You could also check out some of the British touring frame builders like Bob Jackson. The exchange rate has been favorable and people have gotten some great deals there. Jacksons were in the $600 range for a while. Lots of good custom builders in the US too; Bruce Gordon has a mid-priced frame, and Waterford will build you anything for the right amount of $$$.
    My personal opinion is to stay away from Curtlo. I have an older frame he made, and when it broke he refused to warranty it. I was a poor racer then and that lack of service kept me off the bike for quite a while while I searched out someone to repair and paint it. Ended up with a Landshark (great frames). I got a better frame and John is a good honest guy who will always take care of his customers.
    In the end, you will be pretty happy with any custom frame if you go through the whole process of sizing it right. Good luck with you purchase.

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    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfjimc View Post
    You could also check out some of the British touring frame builders like Bob Jackson. The exchange rate has been favorable and people have gotten some great deals there. Jacksons were in the $600 range for a while. Lots of good custom builders in the US too; Bruce Gordon has a mid-priced frame, and Waterford will build you anything for the right amount of $$$.
    My personal opinion is to stay away from Curtlo. I have an older frame he made, and when it broke he refused to warranty it. I was a poor racer then and that lack of service kept me off the bike for quite a while while I searched out someone to repair and paint it. Ended up with a Landshark (great frames). I got a better frame and John is a good honest guy who will always take care of his customers.
    In the end, you will be pretty happy with any custom frame if you go through the whole process of sizing it right. Good luck with you purchase.
    Good information... You are the first person I have heard having a bad experience. What are the full details? Mountain bike or road? What part broke? Just help me out here. I have been in contact with Curtlo and I'm not far from having something built. Original owner? Your answers may make a difference on the direction I go.

    Thanks
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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    You may not need a custom frame.

    A size 62cm or 64cm Soma Smothie ES would work well for your requirements. see http://www.somafab.com/extrasmoothie.html

    The "ES" means 'extra smooth.' It might not as quick handling as our Smoothie or other dedicated race frames. But it is still quite fast and you'll actually gain extra stablity on speedy descents with the ES. Ideal choice for multi-day charity rides, centuries and credit card touring. Eleven sizes to fit just about everybody.

    Geometry: http://www.somafab.com/geometry03.html

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    "My personal opinion is to stay away from Curtlo. I have an older frame he made, and when it broke he refused to warranty it."

    Where you the original owner; was it lifetime warranted, and did it self-destruct or was it pushed? Big companies can have lifetime warrantees in the hope that nobody who buys their stuff will break enough of it to mater. But small companies have a hard time providing lifetime warrantees and it is dishonest if they don't have a real plan that extends out through the ages. If a person is in the frame biz only a few years and then leaves for something else, a lifetime guarantee is easy. But a serious small shop that isn't padding it's prices will have trouble. Lifetime warrantees have created customer bases that buy such products and abuse them on purpose then exercise the warrantee, which is a process I choose not to fund.

    Anyway, as the consumer you are entitled to deal with whoever gives you the best deal, no question.

    To the OP. I am a little surprised at your current fit. I am 6'1", and I have a 34" inseam, I ride a 58 with a 62 top tube ish. Custom geometry is best for dealing with your fit, it really won't help you with a bike that needs to meet needs nearly at opposite ends of the spectrum. To do that you need to compromise. But I bet it won't be all that difficult. I would guess what you want probably describes a lot of 60s era touring bikes. The key is nothing too radical in the geometry, use weight saving (not lightweight) build techniques, carry less gear on the bike get up to date on microlight camping tech. Don't worry about short chainstays. You can easily handle the range of stuff you want to do with long stays, add a little trail riding. Just be reasonable in your expectations, could be a very nice ride.
    Last edited by NoReg; 06-28-09 at 02:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    "My personal opinion is to stay away from Curtlo. I have an older frame he made, and when it broke he refused to warranty it."

    Where you the original owner; was it lifetime warranted, and did it self-destruct or was it pushed? Big companies can have lifetime warrantees in the hope that nobody who buys their stuff will break enough of it to mater. But small companies have a hard time providing lifetime warrantees and it is dishonest if they don't have a real plan that extends out through the ages. If a person is in the frame biz only a few years and then leaves for something else, a lifetime guarantee is easy. But a serious small shop that isn't padding it's prices will have trouble. Lifetime warrantees have created customer bases that buy such products and abuse them on purpose then exercise the warrantee, which is a process I choose not to fund.

    Anyway, as the consumer you are entitled to deal with whoever gives you the best deal, no question.

    To the OP. I am a little surprised at your current fit. I am 6'1", and I have a 34" inseam, I ride a 58 with a 62 top tube ish. Custom geometry is best for dealing with your fit, it really won't help you with a bike that needs to meet needs nearly at opposite ends of the spectrum. To do that you need to compromise. But I bet it won't be all that difficult. I would guess what you want probably describes a lot of 60s era touring bikes. The key is nothing too radical in the geometry, use weight saving (not lightweight) build techniques, carry less gear on the bike get up to date on microlight camping tech. Don't worry about short chainstays. You can easily handle the range of stuff you want to do with long stays, add a little trail riding. Just be reasonable in your expectations, could be a very nice ride.
    I went and saw a fit guy. He wants to sell a custom steel such as a Serotta. This is simply out of my pricing range. He was shocked at my bike. He thought the 62 was too small. He fronted a lot of shock that the bike store did not put me in a 64.

    I would like to know where you get a 58 size bike with a 62 top tube. Fuji's 62 is about 58 from handlebar to seatpost. It is actually a little longer, but it slopes down. Most of the bikes feature radical short top tubes. Traditional fit guidelines such as invisible front hub are totally out of whack on my current bike.

    I don't race too much. I only have completed 1 race this year. Most of the guys on the Thursday club ride do not race. Only two out of the ten have been in some races. I rode about 70 miles on last club ride on Thursday night with a 20 mph average. My region of Massachusetts is very flat in comparison to some other locales.

    I think that I am getting much more useful information with this thread.

    I think that none of the stock bikes are really great. Everything has a slope to it, which just says bad. The specialized Carbon bikes have better look to them than many other bikes. It is not the direction that I want to go.

    Any specific numbers that you know? Is there a particular model from the 60's with more appropriate geometry.

    thanks

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Have a look at Marinoni.

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    There isn't anything too bad about sloping tubes, all it does really is make the bike a tad stiffer and changes the aesthetics.

    If off-the-shelf bikes really don't fit, a custom frame will get you the geometry you need. From what I've heard though it can be kind of a tough road sometimes. Lead times can be long; costs can be high; and, well, some frame-builders can have strong personalities.

    One company to check out is Bike Friday, which does custom folding bikes. One good thing about them is they have a fairly reliable turnaround time, several models for different uses, and they're pretty easy to work with. The price can be high compared to a standard bike, but not too bad compared to a custom, especially a custom with S&S couplers added. You also get the bonus of getting a bike that you can pack easily for travel.

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    Where can I try a Marinoni? Do they have dealers? The numbers look interesting. They have different angles than I typically see but the tube lengths are much more interesting to me. I would like to try! I would like to see if this the way to go..

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Marinoni bikes look great... really great, but their standard geometry is not that much different than your Fuji or any other bike.

    Rivendell makes bikes with tall headtubes for a more comfortable fit, See: http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=50-650

    Very few bikes have a (effective) top tube thats longer that the (effective) seat tube. My Soma Cyclocross bike is one of the few bikes sold with a very long top tube. A size 58cm with an effective top tube of 62cm could be done with a compact frame with a sloping top tube. But this is not a good theory for fitting a bike.

    I've had a professional fitting, and the fitter spent multiple hours measuring my dimensions and setting up an stationary adjustable frame for me to use while he completed the fitting. The concepts are not black magic. The seat needs to be positioned correctly above the crank so that the angles of the hip and leg are correct. Once this position is located, the reach is determined to position the back, neck and arms at the correct angles.

    The seat location is a function of two dimensions: vertical height above the BB and horizontal setback behind the BB. Reach is also a function of two dimensions: horizontal reach to the hoods and drops and the vertical distance that the handlebars are placed below the seat level.

    The frame needs to be correct within a range, but the final adjustment is made with the seatpost, stem length, stem height, and handlebar shape.

    Your fitter is not giving you many options, that's a mistake. You could replace the fork with a new uncut unit and elevate the stem to seat level on your existing bike. You should also consider a longer stem if you want more reach.

    My fitting resulted in a long top tube, tall head tube and one extra spacers below the stem so that my handlebars would be just below the seat at the right reach for me. This was done with a standard (low cost) steel frame from Soma. The total cost for the bike & fitting was about $1600 and the bike is a great long distance traveler.

    Here is some info on the fitting: http://getagripcycles.com/page.cfm?pageID=93

    Here is how the bike looked when finished;



    and a detail of the fork & handlebar;


    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-30-09 at 07:19 AM.
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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You want two bikes.

    Touring bikes are heavy and slow. On purpose.

    At the same time you want something lively for group rides.

    Way I see it, you have some choices.

    1) Do lite touring. This is what i do. I have a sport bike (called plush these days)
    and stay in hotels, motels and B&Bs... I bring clothes, shoes, and a book and not much more. I limit the extra weight to 20 pounds. My bike is a Gunnar Sport and
    is a superb group ride bike as long as the guys aren't hammerheads.

    2) Get two bikes. It will be easier, I suspect, finding a sport bike that fits than a tourer. But check Cannondale's tourers. If they make something large enough, that'd work. Their jumbo size (yeah, that's what they call it) just might fit.

    3) Then call Waterford or Gunnar, they make great bikes. All Waterfords are custom, and Gunnar is available as custom. Their touring bike is the best touring bike I have seen. Their road bikes are a pleasure to ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    Where can I try a Marinoni? Do they have dealers? The numbers look interesting. They have different angles than I typically see but the tube lengths are much more interesting to me. I would like to try! I would like to see if this the way to go..
    You should be able to click the Find a Dealer link, and find a dealer. But just about any touring or randonneuring club in Canada will have someone riding a Marinoni.

    http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/IndexEn.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You should be able to click the Find a Dealer link, and find a dealer. But just about any touring or randonneuring club in Canada will have someone riding a Marinoni.

    http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/IndexEn.html
    I looked again. It is not what I want. I had the numbers askew. top tubes are short.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    "My personal opinion is to stay away from Curtlo. I have an older frame he made, and when it broke he refused to warranty it."

    Where you the original owner; was it lifetime warranted, and did it self-destruct or was it pushed? Big companies can have lifetime warrantees in the hope that nobody who buys their stuff will break enough of it to mater. But small companies have a hard time providing lifetime warrantees and it is dishonest if they don't have a real plan that extends out through the ages. If a person is in the frame biz only a few years and then leaves for something else, a lifetime guarantee is easy. But a serious small shop that isn't padding it's prices will have trouble. Lifetime warrantees have created customer bases that buy such products and abuse them on purpose then exercise the warrantee, which is a process I choose not to fund.

    Anyway, as the consumer you are entitled to deal with whoever gives you the best deal, no question.

    To the OP. I am a little surprised at your current fit. I am 6'1", and I have a 34" inseam, I ride a 58 with a 62 top tube ish. Custom geometry is best for dealing with your fit, it really won't help you with a bike that needs to meet needs nearly at opposite ends of the spectrum. To do that you need to compromise. But I bet it won't be all that difficult. I would guess what you want probably describes a lot of 60s era touring bikes. The key is nothing too radical in the geometry, use weight saving (not lightweight) build techniques, carry less gear on the bike get up to date on microlight camping tech. Don't worry about short chainstays. You can easily handle the range of stuff you want to do with long stays, add a little trail riding. Just be reasonable in your expectations, could be a very nice ride.
    I have discussed this before in another forum and interestingly took a lot of heat for my comments. People accused me of lying and making things up. It was kind of interesting to read some of the accusations that people made, so I have let it go.
    The short version is that I raced for a team and Curtlo made a run of frames for us. The frames were made from True Temper tubing and Henry James lugs. I bought one and raced it for a about a year. Grad school caused me to quit racing, but I continued to ride the bike. After two years of ownership, The top tube separated from the head tube and the tip of the lug broke off. Turned out the original braise did not fill the lug with material and the break was destined to occur. I called Curtlo and asked if they would repair the joint. He refused and gave no reason why. Basically he said, I won't warranty or repair those frames. It was ultimately repaired and I still have that bike. I am bad with time, but I think it was 1991 or 92.
    My thoughts were then as they are now. Customer service is paramount to small business and as a craftsman, I need to stand behind my work if my name as attached in any way. That didn't happen in this case, and I was treated rudely. The whole ordeal left a very bad taste in my mouth and I do not support in any way businesses that operate in that manner. Had he communicated his reasoning, I may not have been any less pissed off, but I would have understood.
    I don't wish to flog a dead horse, so I will leave it at that. Please feel free to PM me if you would like more detailed info about that incident or if you want to know how the frame rode and performed. I'l be happy to respond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    You want two bikes.

    Touring bikes are heavy and slow. On purpose.

    At the same time you want something lively for group rides.

    Way I see it, you have some choices.

    1) Do lite touring. This is what i do. I have a sport bike (called plush these days)
    and stay in hotels, motels and B&Bs... I bring clothes, shoes, and a book and not much more. I limit the extra weight to 20 pounds. My bike is a Gunnar Sport and
    is a superb group ride bike as long as the guys aren't hammerheads.

    2) Get two bikes. It will be easier, I suspect, finding a sport bike that fits than a tourer. But check Cannondale's tourers. If they make something large enough, that'd work. Their jumbo size (yeah, that's what they call it) just might fit.

    3) Then call Waterford or Gunnar, they make great bikes. All Waterfords are custom, and Gunnar is available as custom. Their touring bike is the best touring bike I have seen. Their road bikes are a pleasure to ride.
    Look. I am getting quite frustrated trying to find a bike off the rack for me. There is no such thing at Gunnar. Additionally, they are quite pricey for a unreliable bike. I just saw a Gunnar that a guy had for 10 years. It was rusted through in several places. He finally stopped riding it when the hole snapped a seat stay. I am not impressed with only 10 years out of it.

    My schwinn is approaching 40.

    Did you read my initial post? I am not going to carry everything on the bike such as a tent and such.

    I guess that I want a 24.5 bike out of the old school. Could someone tell me what this means? What should I be looking for in headtube and top tube length?

    thanks
    bill

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    Look. I am getting quite frustrated trying to find a bike off the rack for me. There is no such thing at Gunnar. Additionally, they are quite pricey for a unreliable bike. I just saw a Gunnar that a guy had for 10 years. It was rusted through in several places. He finally stopped riding it when the hole snapped a seat stay. I am not impressed with only 10 years out of it.

    My schwinn is approaching 40.

    Did you read my initial post? I am not going to carry everything on the bike such as a tent and such.

    I guess that I want a 24.5 bike out of the old school. Could someone tell me what this means? What should I be looking for in headtube and top tube length?

    thanks
    bill
    You are going to want to use Framesaver on any steel frame you get these days except for that new steel that won't rust.

    Waterfords uses better paint and will resist rust better than Gunnars. You will still want to spray in some Framesaver. Waterfords are all custom.

    If I am reading that right, it's 24.5 inches which is about 68cm. Big frame.
    Old school means relaxed geometry to me. Ask the person who told you that if
    that's what he means.

    Rivendell's A Homer Hilsen comes in a 67cm and has old school geometry.

    What you want to worry about on a frame off the rack is top tube length. You need a long top tube; and you need to know
    how long a top tube has to be for you.
    Last edited by late; 07-11-09 at 08:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    What should I order? I think that I am going to order a steel frame. I would like to take this frame to winter rides with fenders and large tires. I would also like it be reasonable for club rides during the fall where I easily average 18-19 mph. I want to have some capability but have a more upright position for touring. I don't want it to be too heavy, but be able to support some bags for 1-3 day touring trips.

    I'm 6'2". I have a 34" inseam. I'm currently riding a 62cm Fuji road bike with a 190ish head tube. It has a lot of drop in comparison to some of the other bikes. Currently from the saddle it is 59.5 cm to the handlebar. The top of the seat to the crank is 82.20sh cm.

    I want something more relaxed yet capable than this set up.

    thanks
    bill
    I was looking at the Waterford T22 w/ disc mounts:

    http://waterfordbikes.com/now/models.php?Model=648

    instead I opted for the Gunnar Fastlane andsprung for some Phil hubs

    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/fastlane.php

  21. #21
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    This is what you want, a Co-Motion Nor'Wester. They have stock sizes or they will customize it as you need, hand made American steel.

    http://www.co-motion.com/single_bike...ster_tour.html
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    If your looking for a custom frame, check out Eisentraut, I understand that Alberts sons are now running the business but you can't find a better more experienced builder. Albert has been building frames since the 50's I think and I have one of his A frames that I bought new from Stevenson Custom Cycles. It's worth a look. Google both Eisentraut and Stevenson, it's worth the read.
    09' LHT
    06' Specialized Tarmac
    82' Eisentraut Custom
    76' AD Vent Noir

    I have Chuck Norris on speed dial

  23. #23
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    Co-motion has a 59.5 top tube. This is what I have now! With the 110 stem, it still really is not long enough.

  24. #24
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Since you're not happy with the stock options available, I'd recommend you see a custom builder you trust and get what you want.

    In the Pacific Northwest alone, there are at least a half dozen folks I'd trust to build the bike you're envisioning (including getting a custom option through Co-Motion).
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 07-16-09 at 11:23 PM.

  25. #25
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    Co-motion has a 59.5 top tube. This is what I have now! With the 110 stem, it still really is not long enough.
    They will make what ever you want, unlike frames from mega factories from Tiawan. They only charge $300 for custom work.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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