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Compensating for too-small frame?

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Compensating for too-small frame?

Old 06-29-20, 09:18 PM
  #26  
ofajen
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You will make the call, but I wouldn’t buy it. I’m your height. My PBH is 36.5” so just a tad more.

I actually do own and regularly ride a vintage MTB that is about 56 cm. But that is with a long seatpost, a long Nitto quill adapter, a long riser stem and bars with 2” of rise.

For a road bike, I have a 25” Schwinn frame and that is about right for me. 24” is probably about ideal for you, which is going to be 60-61cm. 58cm would be marginal and would be the tougher one to decide on. This one would be easier for me to pass by.

At least that’s my thoughts on it.

Otto
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Old 06-29-20, 09:32 PM
  #27  
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I am of the opsite opinion of the others. Buy It ! You will be kicking yourself if you dont. If it's a Grail bike you can't use the standards of a daily rider. As this is a frame you have flexability you can use 180 mm Campy cranks to gain a cm of frame size. Campy made long moutain bke seatposts. Use a Brooks seat it sets about a cm higher than most You will probbly need a tall Nitto stem to get the bars high enough, the one thing that woln't be Italian. If a larger frame becomea avalible switch the parts over and sell the smaller one, until then enjoy your grail bike.
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Old 06-29-20, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Don't buy it to ride it.
So, you're saying that instead, I should buy it to look at it. OK, fair enough.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:03 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
It is hanging on the wall because other bikes are the right size and probably as good to ride.
I get what you're saying, believe me. I almost think it would be worth it for me to pull the trigger on this bike, even if it spends much of its time handing on the wall, being admired. I mean, do you regret having bought the Colnago? -or do you just wish it were the same, but 2cm taller?
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Old 06-30-20, 12:04 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Oh, it’ll look fine:

So all I have to do is wear a fez, and everyone will think "Oh, cool -- it's a Shriner".
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Old 06-30-20, 12:09 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Getting the bike to fit reasonably well included getting a longer seatpost and a taller riser stem to replace the 7-stem. I really liked that build even tough it was a fairly aggressive riding position. One thing to note is that as you increase the height of a stem the effective distance from the handlebar to the saddle shortens. Thus as you raise a stem you also need to lengthen it. there may come a point where a stem is so long in reach that you don't like the feel of the steering.
To be fair, all of my bikes are set-up with a fairly tall stem and porteur bars, so that I ride in the "sit up and beg" position. Most people are in drops, or what I call the "human projectile" position, and in that type, stem height and reach, and where the hands go on the bars may be more critical.

Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
If it were me and I had that frame in hand, I'd slap a pair of wheels, seatpost stem and handlebar on it to see if the fit suits me. Then if the fit suited me I'd consider using more expensive components.
Yeah . . . I'm seriously considering just viewing this as an experiment. Even if it fails, and the frame and I can't come to an understanding, I can always sell it for pretty close to what I'd be paying. And then I can at least know that I had my "grail" bike, if only for a while.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:34 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
I have a few questions for you in no particular order: 1) what is the height of the head tube? 2) is your torso length proportional for the typical 6’2” person? 3) what seatpost size does your frame take? 4) what handlebars were you proposing to use again? 5) what is the spacing of the rear dropouts? 6) why are you smitten with the concept of running a 3-speed hub again? 7) what type of riding do you do? Is there a niche that this undersized bike could be assigned to that fulfills some specialty function for you?
1. No idea. The seller is in Yoo-rupp, and English isn't his native tongue, so I don't think I can ask.
2. Probably. But I fold-up for easy storage.
3. I would guess 27.2mm, but I can't be sure.
4. I'd be using Belleri porteur bars, like these:



5. Uh...I'd guess 126mm?
6. It's not a concept to run a 3-speed hub; all of my bikes have 3-speed hubs with coaster brakes. I try to keep them period and country-correct (so the Hetchin's, the Mercian and the DL-1 have Sturmey-Archers, the Rochet has a Fichtel & Sachs, etc.) No modern bits on any of them, at all. I like all of my bikes to be set up exactly the same, so that I don't have to get used to differences between them. Also, I hate derailleurs, I like the clean look of a hub, back-pedaling is an intuitive way to stop, no one tries to steal my wheels, maintenance is a breeze, and so on.
7. I do two kinds of riding: Eroicas, tweed rides and other historic not-very-racy rides, and I ride around San Francisco on days when I don't want to battle traffic, or to go for a loop through Golden Gate Park or the Presidio, around the Embarcadero, etc. That's it. No mountain biking, no racing, no centuries, nothing too dangerous. I'm old, and I've taken a couple of spills that have had left me with permanent issues, including a bum knee. I'm thinking of getting into randonneuring, but that's as competitive and strenuous as I can ever see riding. The specialty function that this bike would have is nothing more or less than to have satisfied my long-time desire to own this "grail bike".

Having said that, I'm capable of appreciating newer bikes. I like the way you've built-up your titanium framed bike, and I respect that you've put so much thought and care into making it work for your purposes.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:51 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by trainman999 View Post
I am of the opsite opinion of the others. Buy It ! You will be kicking yourself if you dont. If it's a Grail bike you can't use the standards of a daily rider. As this is a frame you have flexability you can use 180 mm Campy cranks to gain a cm of frame size. Campy made long moutain bke seatposts. Use a Brooks seat it sets about a cm higher than most You will probbly need a tall Nitto stem to get the bars high enough, the one thing that woln't be Italian. If a larger frame becomea avalible switch the parts over and sell the smaller one, until then enjoy your grail bike.
Now that is the enabling I came here for!

I had planned on the Campag Record 180mm crankset, and a 3TTT seatpost that extends up to 160mm (unless there's a taller Italian option from that period). You're right about stems; I don't recall seeing any Italian ones from the era that are longer than about 90mm. I *might* consider inverting the porteur bars, which would raise the grips by almost 2", unless it looks stupid (I mean more stupid).
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Old 06-30-20, 04:58 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rch427 View Post
I mean, do you regret having bought the Colnago? -or do you just wish it were the same, but 2cm taller?
Don't regret buying it because of the experiences with it I had just started riding again for about 2 years after a 30 year hiatus. I was riding my 1971 Motobecane Le Champion to work when I encountered a car at 21 mph. It turned in front of me and I only had time to say "Sh...." The bike was too bent up to fix and I was looking for a replacement with the insurance money while my left Humerous was dangling to my side. I decided one day to do a stupid search for Colnago on CL in the Portland OR area where I lived. There it was! I had to drive to Hood River to pick it up. What a location to find a Colnago! I knew it was a bit small but we negotiated a price and I brought it home. It was my really first dive into C&V even with the Le Champ. Learned a lot with it and had a number of good rides during tough times of unemployment. So it has a lot of memories associated with it.
Because it had a couple of parts that weren't right, Le Monde post, the search was on to replace the 4 components needed. Drillium Dude provided the seat post and pedals while he was in Drago Garcia and the other parts were acquired on CL to make it as Campy as possible.

As you may have noticed, there isn't much difference in the height of the exposed post or stem between the Colnago and the Pinarello, but it just enough to make a difference. What is interesting to me is the 2010 Langster in 21 that would be considered too tall but rides really well and meets the "fist full" of post length. I consider it to be the max size for me. There is the fit range, Colnago at 58 and Langster at 61. I've been on smaller and it is not comfortable.
2010 Langster Steel 61cm, on Flickr
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Old 06-30-20, 05:04 AM
  #35  
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If it were me, I'd look at it two ways, if I already had a frame that I liked, but it was too small, I'd likely do what it took to make it work for me,
If I was looking to build up a bike, I would not buy a frame that wasn't my size.
Now if I got a super deal on a super nice vintage bike, I would likely build it up as original as I could and flip it.
A bike that's too small won't get ridden, height alone isn't the only factors, reach and leg clearance also come into play. I find it easier to make due with a larger bike than a smaller one.
I picked up a vintage Gitane a few years ago, my ideal size is a 62cm frame, but I can easily make due with a frame as small as 57cm but depending on the tube lengths.
The Gitane I found was cheap, and the bike didn't need much work to make it nice, but it was only a 55cm frame. I figured I'd take the chance, I got the bike, went through it completely, and realized after the first 50ft of riding it there was no way that bike was ever going to work for me. My knees hit the stem and bars, I couldn't even manage to turn the bike, I needed a massively tall seat post for it as well. I could have gone with a longer reach, taller stem, a set back seat post, and made it ridable but the bike would never be comfortable for me to ride. I put the bike back to 100% original and listed it on eBay. It sold right away, I broke even on it but in the end I think I'd have rather kept all the vintage parts I used making it all original but didn't think the frame would sell by itself.
It wasn't a grail bike or anything but to this day every time I come across a bike that needs a super nice vintage french wheelset, I remember that bike, or the set of minty Simplex Criterium derailleurs, or the Stronglight crankset and so on. I had already had most of the components, which is what put the Gitane on my list of possible projects then, I basically wanted something to use those parts on. About a month after selling the too small for me bike, I found a 24.5" frameset for cheap. Not having all the bits to build it up, I didn't buy it.
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Old 06-30-20, 05:18 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by barnfind View Post
If it were me, I'd look at it two ways, if I already had a frame that I liked, but it was too small, I'd likely do what it took to make it work for me,
If I was looking to build up a bike, I would not buy a frame that wasn't my size.
......
The Gitane I found was cheap, and the bike didn't need much work to make it nice, but it was only a 55cm frame. I figured I'd take the chance, I got the bike, went through it completely, and realized after the first 50ft of riding it there was no way that bike was ever going to work for me. ..... It sold right away, I broke even on it but in the end I think I'd have rather kept all the vintage parts I used ....
. I had already had most of the components, which is what put the Gitane on my list of possible projects then, I basically wanted something to use those parts on. About a month after selling the too small for me bike, I found a 24.5" frameset for cheap. Not having all the bits to build it up, I didn't buy it.
Thanks for explaining why I still have all the parts for the Le Champion from 2009! I have given up finding a Le Champ in my size and in equal condition. The parts are likely going on a Trek 610 project, except for the stem, BB and head set.
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Old 06-30-20, 05:34 AM
  #37  
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If you keep deliberating, somebody else is gonna but that bike. When it comes to vintage stuff, do or don't, but decide quickly.
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Old 06-30-20, 06:20 AM
  #38  
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Just my 2 cents of course, but honestly, you plan on putting down some money to build up the bike, your Grail bike at that. It won't fit right, no matter what you do to it. Now, you will have a grail bike, that you put money into, sit and you and friends can stare at it. I like looking at beautifully made bicycles, but not for long before I want to mash some pedals. Unless this frameset is super cheap, I would move on. Again, IMHO.

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 06-30-20, 06:22 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by rch427 View Post
1. No idea. The seller is in Yoo-rupp, and English isn't his native tongue, so I don't think I can ask.
2. Probably. But I fold-up for easy storage.
3. I would guess 27.2mm, but I can't be sure.
4. I'd be using Belleri porteur bars, like these:



5. Uh...I'd guess 126mm?
6. It's not a concept to run a 3-speed hub; all of my bikes have 3-speed hubs with coaster brakes. I try to keep them period and country-correct (so the Hetchin's, the Mercian and the DL-1 have Sturmey-Archers, the Rochet has a Fichtel & Sachs, etc.) No modern bits on any of them, at all. I like all of my bikes to be set up exactly the same, so that I don't have to get used to differences between them. Also, I hate derailleurs, I like the clean look of a hub, back-pedaling is an intuitive way to stop, no one tries to steal my wheels, maintenance is a breeze, and so on.
7. I do two kinds of riding: Eroicas, tweed rides and other historic not-very-racy rides, and I ride around San Francisco on days when I don't want to battle traffic, or to go for a loop through Golden Gate Park or the Presidio, around the Embarcadero, etc. That's it. No mountain biking, no racing, no centuries, nothing too dangerous. I'm old, and I've taken a couple of spills that have had left me with permanent issues, including a bum knee. I'm thinking of getting into randonneuring, but that's as competitive and strenuous as I can ever see riding. The specialty function that this bike would have is nothing more or less than to have satisfied my long-time desire to own this "grail bike".

Having said that, I'm capable of appreciating newer bikes. I like the way you've built-up your titanium framed bike, and I respect that you've put so much thought and care into making it work for your purposes.
1) I was curious about the head tube length because although they are proportional for a given size frame, sometimes they are a bit taller such as on a custom frame, this could help with your stem fitting.

2) HaHa - you’re flexible eh?

3) maybe ask your Italian seller the seat post dimension? This way you could start gathering suitable parts. There are Chinese titanium seatposts and stems available on eBay from a seller in China that are custom for very reasonable $ that are just lovely and available with this gentle curvature setback that would not look out of place at all on a classic Colnago Superissimo (just guessing here).

4) The Porteur bars being swept back like that should be an easy fit with your more compact frame making stem selection easier - is my guess.

5/6) OK so let’s say it is 126mm across the inside face of the rear dropouts: I imagine you could make your favorite 3 speed coaster brake hub fit, no problem. You’re a brave person living in hilly San Fran with just 3 gears!

7) Your bum knee might thank you if you change up the script and build your new bike with some derailleurs and a range of gearing, just a thought.

Lastly) thanks for the compliment and the recognition that I put some thought into my build. I seem to be the recipient of more scorn and WTF (?) type reactions from some of my fellow riders. Thanks for your ongoing support BTW nomadmax - you rock! Perhaps I will post a photo of myself riding the compact Veritas so folks can judge for themselves if I look like I’m on a clown bike or not. One day I would like to try one of these Eroica or randoneering events myself. BTW: your fun thread needs a few more clues to keep the readers speculating.

Last edited by masi61; 06-30-20 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:13 AM
  #40  
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I think people are exaggerating the difference between different size frames. If you look at a typical frame geometry table:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridges...-geometry.html
You'll notice that the 55cm frame here, has a 54cm top tube; and the 60cm frame has a 56cm top tube. Notice the 60cm frame does not have a 60cm top tube. So it's a measly 2cm difference in top tube length between 55 and 60. You can easily take that up with a longer stem or a deeper reach handlebars.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:01 PM
  #41  
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What's GRAIL mean - if you can't ride it?

OK, i guess there is 'grail art'.

at just over 6'1" - 58cm frames are as small as I wish to ride. 13cm stems help me, 14cm seems squirrelly to ride.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:59 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I think people are exaggerating the difference between different size frames. If you look at a typical frame geometry table ... the 60cm frame has a 56cm top tube.
Then it's not a 60cm frame. It's more like a 56.

a measly 2cm difference in top tube length...
I'd like to hear from one of our regulars that believes 2cm in top tube is a "measly" amount. For me, even a half cm in top tube length is significant. A shorter bike cannot simply be made up with a longer stem. It will certainly help make it fit, but the bike will feel very differently. It just takes experience to know.
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Old 06-30-20, 02:39 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Then it's not a 60cm frame. It's more like a 56.
https://www.ragandbone.ca/PDFs/Miyat...logue%2087.pdf
Miyata Team: 54cm frame has 54cm top tube; 60cm frame has 56cm top tube
https://web.archive.org/web/20011218...02_veloce.html
Bianchi Veloce: 55cm frame has 55.5cm top tube; 61cm frame has 58.5cm top tube; 63cm frame has 59.5cm top tube
https://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...d/1987trek.pdf
Trek 560: 55.9cm frame has 56cm top tube; 63.5cm frame has 58.5 top tube
https://velobase.com/Resource_Tools/D...anasonic91.pdf
Panasonic 5000: 56cm frame has 55.2cm top tube; 63cm frame has 58cm tt
https://masibikes.com/collections/cl...ssico-frameset
Masi Grand Criterium: 54cm frame has 54 cm tt; 63cm frame 59cm tt

It seems like ~55cm frames tend to be square. Above 55cm the top tubes start to be shorter than the seat tubes. Below 55cm the seattubes are typically longer than the top tubes.

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Old 06-30-20, 02:41 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post

One more view of the same “Veritas” bike. The seatpost was the best $170 I ever spent on a bike part. This bike should be uncomfortable to ride but it isn’t.

Edit: the virtual top tube length is 535 mm.

I’ve been working on this a little, any advice?


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Old 06-30-20, 03:43 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Above 55cm the top tubes start to be shorter than the seat tubes.
True, but the 60cm frame example with a 56cm top tube is rare.
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Old 06-30-20, 05:30 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by rch427 View Post
Now that is the enabling I came here for!

I had planned on the Campag Record 180mm crankset, and a 3TTT seatpost that extends up to 160mm (unless there's a taller Italian option from that period). You're right about stems; I don't recall seeing any Italian ones from the era that are longer than about 90mm. I *might* consider inverting the porteur bars, which would raise the grips by almost 2", unless it looks stupid (I mean more stupid).
Careful with the short top tube and 180 crank arms. I see some toe to tire contact in your future when taking sharp turns. Happens to me with a 57cm tube, 175mm arms and size 12 hoof when I’m trying to u-turn on a path.
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Old 06-30-20, 06:35 PM
  #47  
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Come on let's see some pics. Can you give us a hint? My guess is a Gino Bartali.
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Old 07-01-20, 02:38 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
Careful with the short top tube and 180 crank arms. I see some toe to tire contact in your future when taking sharp turns. Happens to me with a 57cm tube, 175mm arms and size 12 hoof when I’m trying to u-turn on a path.
Yep, toe-lap is real, and unfortunately I risk it with almost all of my bikes, thanks to having fitted them with at least 175mm crank arms, my having big feet, and not using toe clips on most of them. But I tend to ride pretty conservatively, so I've only ever scrubbed the tires with my toes a few times, and never with disastrous results.

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Old 07-01-20, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
1)BTW: your fun thread needs a few more clues to keep the readers speculating.
Fair enough! Here are three clues:

1. It's a multigenerational thing.

2. It wasn't in the boot.

3. One of their most successful riders was from Flanders. (And no, his name wasn't "Ned".)
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Old 07-01-20, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by semroc View Post
Can you give us a hint? My guess is a Gino Bartali.
There is definitely a Bartali connection.

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