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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
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    Downward sloping vs horizontal toptubes...

    My most recent build is my first build where austhetics where the top priority and I am indeed embarresed to admit that because function > fashion. BUT! I love it x3! My plan was that when the snow melts and the track opens in a nearby city I would try track cycling since I do most other forms of cycling. However, the day that I purchased my frame I was reading opinions online that downward sloping toptubes are a joke and only for fashion. Does this mean that I am worse off on my current frame (see picture) than if I had purchased a frame with a super tall head tube and a horizontal toptube?

    EDIT --> I do not plan on winning any races but it would be nice to at least keep up with everyone. So assuming that my training and health are at the appropriate level will this ridiculous geometry and the non-standard drops allow me to enjoy my first track experience or will I be kicking myself in the butt for not buying a standard frame?

    Thanks for any info guys!



    (My apologies for double posting this photo in the "Showoff Your Track Bike" thread and this thread.)
    Last edited by Lspade; 12-07-11 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Revised my question.

  2. #2
    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    If it spoke to you enough to buy it and build it up, if you love it, if it is fun to ride, if you have no intention to race, and if you will not lose sleep over any one else's opinion, and you are willing to potentially build another with "normal" geometry should you ever need to - I think you've already answered your own question. (?)

    Go and enjoy it.

  3. #3
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    You effectively made your bike have a "super tall head tube" with all of the spacers on the steerer tube. I noticed how you flipped the stem downward instead of removing a few spacers and flipping the stem upward. Not pro enough?

    A tall head tube is functional. It brings the stem up higher (and therefore the bars) so you don't have to use lots of spacers which decrease front end stiffness.

    With your current headtube, steerer tube, and stem setup, you won't be able to use standard sprint bars as your grip area will be under the tire line. You might be able to do so if you flip the stem upwards.

    Pursuit geometries only work well when you set the bike up as a pursuit bike.

    If you like it and it makes you want to ride, then that's all that matters.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpants View Post
    Go and enjoy it.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    If you like it and it makes you want to ride, then that's all that matters.
    Thanks guys. I've had to force myself NOT to ride it too much so no worries there.
    Last edited by Lspade; 12-07-11 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Moved new question to original post.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
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    Oh and I forgot to say that I have 35mm of spacers which is still aLOT shorter than the average headtube on a frame in my size. Normal frames in my size just look ugly because of the headtubes, haha. But, if you think that throwing out the spacers and using the rise of the stem will make it ride more solid then I better give it a shot. I just didn't want to cut the headtube too short.

    Thanks for not bashing my questions. I guess I should have spent less time in the SS/FG forum and more time in the Track forum before I bought a new frame for the track.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
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    Ok, after browsing around for a while I think I have found the answer that I was looking for. I just wanted to post it in this thread for future reference to anyone else in need:

    (in reference to downward sloping toptubes) "Although this looks cool, it's actually not what's desirable on a track frame. Notice the "compact geometry" on most modern road frames? The reason for that is because tighter triangles, and shorter seat tube makes for a slightly stiffer bottom bracket, however it's at the expense of having a longer seatpost. A longer seatpost, which would have more flex, has been proven to not affect power transfer, but rather is closer related to absorbing more road vibration and comfort (which is good, because it puts less strain on the rider). Now... a longer seattube, like that on the Lo Pro or MASH, will be the opposite. It will have a slightly less stiff bottom bracket area, and a stiffer seatpost, since less is showing, thus making a rougher ride with more flex in the bottom bracket region (which is what nearly ALL track riders don't want in a frame!)"

  7. #7
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lspade View Post
    Oh and I forgot to say that I have 35mm of spacers which is still aLOT shorter than the average headtube on a frame in my size. Normal frames in my size just look ugly because of the headtubes, haha. But, if you think that throwing out the spacers and using the rise of the stem will make it ride more solid then I better give it a shot. I just didn't want to cut the headtube too short.

    Thanks for not bashing my questions. I guess I should have spent less time in the SS/FG forum and more time in the Track forum before I bought a new frame for the track.
    I like a bike that makes me go faster, not one that makes me look like I'm going faster

    Your bike will technically work. But, if you are going to spend money on a race bike, why not look at what others are (and are not) racing. Sloping top-tube "pursuit style" bikes are very rarely used on the track. It's an old style that was generally only used by pursuiters in the 90s before aerobars became popular. So, they needed the head tube to be really short to get low using bullhorns.



    That sort of geometry is counter-productive for mass start (group) or sprint racing. Bikes with frames similar yours were not made for regular track racing. Only time trials.

    You posted here asking for advice, so please don't be upset when I write this. If you take training and racing seriously, you will probably be better off using another frame...one with a normal head tube. So, yes, unfortunately you will be kicking yourself in the butt for not buying a standard frame

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lspade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I like a bike that makes me go faster, not one that makes me look like I'm going faster

    Your bike will technically work. But, if you are going to spend money on a race bike, why not look at what others are (and are not) racing. Sloping top-tube "pursuit style" bikes are very rarely used on the track. It's an old style that was generally only used by pursuiters in the 90s before aerobars became popular. So, they needed the head tube to be really short to get low using bullhorns.

    That sort of geometry is counter-productive for mass start (group) or sprint racing. Bikes with frames similar yours were not made for regular track racing. Only time trials.

    You posted here asking for advice, so please don't be upset when I write this. If you take training and racing seriously, you will probably be better off using another frame...one with a normal head tube. So, yes, unfortunately you will be kicking yourself in the butt for not buying a standard frame
    Now THAT was the answer I was looking for . Thank you sir.

  9. #9
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    No problem. Good luck!

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