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How do YOU remedy the "frame is too small" problem?

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How do YOU remedy the "frame is too small" problem?

Old 06-10-20, 12:00 PM
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cycleheimer
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How do YOU remedy the "frame is too small" problem?

The photo of the 23" frame taken in June 2009. The photo of the 25" frame was taken in June 2020. Through feeding it fresh oil, axle grease and WD40 the frame was able to grow a couple of inches over an 11 year period. Read about it in a book on metallurgy.

Actually, I was able to stumble on the same bike in the correct size. Not bad considering it was a color offered for just one model year.


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Old 06-10-20, 01:58 PM
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Trading up is probably best. In the meantime, I install a long seatpost and lower the stem.



This frame is a 55cm, about a half inch smaller than I normally ride. I also use a little wider bar (40cm) than most of my others (38). I could probably stand to add 5-10mm to the 90mm stem. That way, I could raise it a little bit more. For now, I'm pretty satisfied. I spend a lot of time in the drops on this one.
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Old 06-10-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Trading up is probably best. In the meantime, I install a long seatpost and lower the stem.



This frame is a 55cm, at least a half inch smaller than I normally ride. I also use a little wider bar (40cm) than most of my others (38). I could probably stand to add 5-10mm to the 90mm stem. That way, I could raise it a little bit more. For now, I'm more than satisfied. I spend a lot of time in the drops on this one.
Dropping the stem helps? Seems like raising the stem is what is needed on too-small frames. What am I missing?

edit: what crank is that? I like.

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Old 06-10-20, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Dropping the stem helps?
It depends. For me, stem height is mostly a function of stem length, top tube length, and head tube height. This top tube is so short for me, I had to lower the stem so I didn't feel cramped. It's very comfortable now, but I still have a nagging feeling I should add a longer stem so i could raise it a bit.

What crank is that? I like.
Triomphe!
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Old 06-10-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
It depends. For me, stem height is mostly a function of stem length, top tube length, and head tube height. This top tube is so short for me, I had to lower the stem so I didn't feel cramped. It's very comfortable now, but I still have a nagging feeling I should add a longer stem so i could raise it a bit.
Ah, yes, I was only considering saddle to bar drop and not reach. I gotcha now; dropping the stem would indeed increase reach.

Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Triomphe!
I like it! It has shades of Ofmega Mistral.
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Old 06-10-20, 02:39 PM
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Bars up for us with short arms! Looks like you're not riser bar types, so .....

1" Threaded: Nitto Tallux stem.

Threadless: Delta Stem Raiser Pro. Looks idiotic, but works great.
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Old 06-10-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 1987cp View Post
1" Threaded: Nitto Tallux stem.
Had to look that up. Sounds like it's a lighter, more expensive version of the technomic.
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Old 06-10-20, 02:48 PM
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Old 06-10-20, 02:54 PM
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I bought a 1988 Trek 1200 around my 16th birthday in 1997. I grew about 6" that year and the 54" 1200 ended up way too small. I bought a longer seat post, slammed the quill stem as much as I could and rode that thing hard. The steering was frighteningly twitchy but 17-year-old me didn't care. I sold that bike a few years ago for $300, the same price I paid in 1997.

If I could find a 1988 1200 in Denim Blue with Yellow decals in a 58cm, I'd seriously consider it. I'm probably too out of shape now to ride it like I did 20 years ago but I'd have fun trying.
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Old 06-10-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Had to look that up. Sounds like it's a lighter, more expensive version of the technomic.
Supposed to be stronger, mainly. IIRC, regular Technomic is cast and tall, Tech Deluxe is forged and shorter. Tallux is supposed to be the same height as the regular Technomic, only forged. Not to say the regular Technomic is in any way bad, but the Tallux is the only one I have, and it's really nice.
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Old 06-10-20, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 1987cp View Post
Supposed to be stronger, mainly. IIRC, regular Technomic is cast and tall, Tech Deluxe is forged and shorter. Tallux is supposed to be the same height as the regular Technomic, only forged. Not to say the regular Technomic is in any way bad, but the Tallux is the only one I have, and it's really nice.
Would stronger = stiffer? I have a technomic and it was great when I was riding a size too small, but I remember it being flexy.
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Old 06-10-20, 03:13 PM
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All of the above, also have installed longer crank arms and used setback seat posts.
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Old 06-10-20, 06:09 PM
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Not classic or vintage, but here is my answer.

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Old 06-10-20, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
All of the above, also have installed longer crank arms and used setback seat posts.
do longer crank arms really make much difference, though? and, how much longer are you talking?
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Old 06-10-20, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
do longer crank arms really make much difference, though? and, how much longer are you talking?
TBH it wasn't intentional. I inherited a much too small PX10 and while I was poking around for parts I happened across a set of Stronglight arms in 180 so I figured it couldn't hurt, and the seller was glad to be rid of them. I have a 35-inch inseam and usually ride 175s. The bike had 170s. Can't say I can feel a difference in terms of cranking, but a cm is a cm.
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Old 06-10-20, 07:04 PM
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Sold it.

Even with a 130 srem and setback post, it was still a hack. Fun to ride, but not the same experience as correct fit.

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Old 06-10-20, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
TBH it wasn't intentional. I inherited a much too small PX10 and while I was poking around for parts I happened across a set of Stronglight arms in 180 so I figured it couldn't hurt, and the seller was glad to be rid of them. I have a 35-inch inseam and usually ride 175s. The bike had 170s. Can't say I can feel a difference in terms of cranking, but a cm is a cm.
thanks for replying!

yeah, i would imagine a whole cm would. when i'd referenced leonard zinn's crank arm calculator for leg length, i came up with 175 as ideal for me. all mine are 170 and would be costly to switch. plus, it would mean ditching all my original vintage parts. so, i scrapped the idea in terms of trying to get the saddle down closer to bar height for a good fit on "too small" frames. i say too small, but really the reach on mine are fine. that leg length, though! i just couldn't see 5mm making any difference, either
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Old 06-11-20, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
thanks for replying!

yeah, i would imagine a whole cm would. when i'd referenced leonard zinn's crank arm calculator for leg length, i came up with 175 as ideal for me. all mine are 170 and would be costly to switch. plus, it would mean ditching all my original vintage parts. so, i scrapped the idea in terms of trying to get the saddle down closer to bar height for a good fit on "too small" frames. i say too small, but really the reach on mine are fine. that leg length, though! i just couldn't see 5mm making any difference, either
You're right that reach vs height are important to balance. I did snag a longer reach stem in this case too, and somehow the combination seemed to work. This bike's been off the road for a bit but it's calling me...
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Old 06-11-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
You're right that reach vs height are important to balance. I did snag a longer reach stem in this case too, and somehow the combination seemed to work. This bike's been off the road for a bit but it's calling me...
wow...that really IS much too small. it's a px10, though....

btw, your green one is still my favorite
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Old 06-11-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
wow...that really IS much too small. it's a px10, though....

btw, your green one is still my favorite
The International? Thanks!

It's a bit more than just a PX10. Backstory >
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Old 06-11-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
The International? Thanks!

It's a bit more than just a PX10. Backstory >
ah man, that's really really neat! thanks for sharing
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Old 06-11-20, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
This bike's been off the road for a bit but it's calling me...
I see two racks. If you've loaded it down, what was that like?
​​​​​
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Old 06-12-20, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Sold it.
Yep. You can make the fit work on a really wide range of sizes, but there comes a day when you look at the bike and say to yourself, "Who am I kidding?"

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Old 06-12-20, 05:21 AM
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Andy_K Beautiful Pinny!
This is one of the reasons the Colnago is hanging on the wall. If I could trade for a 60 in equal or better condition of the same year or one year older......

The only way I can ride this is with the Campy post with the line showing in the saddle of the seat lug and a Brooks Pro on top. Even then it is a bit short but still very ridable. Brooks Pro's have a greater rail to saddle dimension then some other saddles.

CS7210, on Flickr

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Old 06-12-20, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I see two racks. If you've loaded it down, what was that like?
​​​​​
Never really used the front rack except for a few times when I did some shopping. The bike was used for commuting in NYC, and I did use the rear with both roll-up bags to carry work stuff, groceries, etc. and a Racktime briefcase. The older PX10 is a very stable setup and it didn't mind having weight on it. In later years the geometry got much more upright.
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