Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

1980s & 90s Italian Road Bikes - Appropriate Frame Size To Height

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

1980s & 90s Italian Road Bikes - Appropriate Frame Size To Height

Old 12-10-23, 03:14 PM
  #51  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Kilroy1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 2,249
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 981 Post(s)
Liked 1,844 Times in 609 Posts
Originally Posted by chain_whipped
How old you are and rate your physical condition is what matters.
I'm 35, regularly stretch and do yoga, and can get down in an almost horizontal position for spurts of several miles if that seems necessary, and a couple seasons ago when I was in comparatively good form, I could knock out 100-150 mile solo rides averaging 18-20mph here in the valley.

So, theoretically, I can go low and lean, but I guess the question will be whether I feel like doing that anymore. Hence my interest in the appropriate sizing for the kinds of bikes I'm eyeballing at the moment.

Cheers!

-Gregory
Kilroy1988 is offline  
Likes For Kilroy1988:
Old 12-10-23, 03:54 PM
  #52  
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 13,033

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 267 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4510 Post(s)
Liked 6,374 Times in 3,666 Posts
Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
I'm 35, regularly stretch and do yoga, and can get down in an almost horizontal position for spurts of several miles if that seems necessary, and a couple seasons ago when I was in comparatively good form, I could knock out 100-150 mile solo rides averaging 18-20mph here in the valley.

So, theoretically, I can go low and lean, but I guess the question will be whether I feel like doing that anymore. Hence my interest in the appropriate sizing for the kinds of bikes I'm eyeballing at the moment.

Cheers!

-Gregory
This is key IMO, comfort is paramount moving forward (older), you will not ride more if you can't stay on the bike.

Case in point, the Strawberry gets me up bigger hills better with higher gears for the fit and form it has, convoluted as it may seem.

I had scored the 44cm bars and not planned to use them on this but ended up with them and the longer stem which seemed way off at first but has proven to be a good fit for the longer haul along with the frame it is amazing and requires less mental and physical effort all the way around.

Its funny how you don't realize what your missing until you realize you just did a ride without having to dig as deep even with less gearing.

Moving target, literally and figuratively, I get home and think I should have kept riding, gone further, etc.

And again, I know its jarring to look at for many here but I can't stress enough that it is amazing how this rides for me.

merziac is offline  
Likes For merziac:
Old 12-10-23, 04:19 PM
  #53  
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 13,033

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 267 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4510 Post(s)
Liked 6,374 Times in 3,666 Posts
^^^^^ Lots of Kool-Aid helps too.
merziac is offline  
Old 12-10-23, 05:51 PM
  #54  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,760
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1109 Post(s)
Liked 1,200 Times in 760 Posts
I fit every road-ish bike I have, old or new, by looking at and comparing

effective/horizontal top tube (ETT)
seat tube angle STA (which affects reach with any given ETT)
head tube length (and secondarily angle since it has a relatively minor effect on fit)
stand over at TT midpoint.

For handling and performance, other factors might come in to play, but these have worked for me for basic fit and sizing decisions.

I don't look at seat tube seat tube length for two reasons. It's measured in wildly different ways, and is really impossible to compare between slanting top tubes and the horizonal top tubes of vintage bikes. The seat tube length is shorter with a slanting top tube for any given stand over.

But what I listed is easy to compare between an old and new frame. My bikes range from 80s, 90s, 2010s and 2020s. Slanting and horizontal top tubes. But they all can easily fit very similarly based on those geometry points.
Camilo is offline  
Old 12-10-23, 06:10 PM
  #55  
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,696

Bikes: 82 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1946 Post(s)
Liked 2,004 Times in 1,105 Posts
Every one might be familiar but —To use the Lemond chart properly, you need to measure leg length properly—barefoot, back against the wall, his book jammed up in your crotch, binding parallel to the wall, then mark the wall and measure to the floor.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.

Last edited by Classtime; 12-10-23 at 06:14 PM.
Classtime is offline  
Likes For Classtime:
Old 12-10-23, 06:44 PM
  #56  
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6,959
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4340 Post(s)
Liked 1,528 Times in 997 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr. 66

The Olmo is different it is 60-56 but its a fit

I am 6'1" ish with 32" inseam, I'm rather balanced proportional.

Neither of these have Lemond's length of top tube. The Olmo is criterium geometry.
A 60-56 frame is almost comically out of proportion. If this seems normal, a Lemond might seem long. There is nothing wrong with a short top tube, but it is the top tube from size 56.

Here's a Lemond chart:
https://archive.org/details/LemondBi...p?view=theater

For a size 59, ctc (or 60 ctt), the top tube is 59. And if you adjust for the relaxed STA of 72.5, that's a 58.5cm TT. That seems like a perfectly reasonable top tube for someone 6 feet tall.

Of course, the difference between a frame with a 59 TT and one with a 57 TT is the difference between a 120 stem and a 100. It really isn't an issue unless your upper body or arms are so short that you need both a short TT and short stem to reach the hoods.
Kontact is offline  
Old 12-10-23, 08:22 PM
  #57  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,305
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3464 Post(s)
Liked 2,827 Times in 1,995 Posts
Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
Thanks everyone, much appreciated.

The Lemond sizing chart is really interesting and would definitely have me riding frames I'd generally consider small. I don't quite like maintaining a racer's arc to my back anymore and I don't necessarily want my stems all jacked up, so that has something to do with that...



Interesting. I hadn't heard of it before! It looks like the book was published at least by the early '70s, though... Did much change between then and the '90s regarding fit for the pro peloton?

-Gregory
semi casual observations, top tubes got shorter for a given frame size, stems got “slammed” and longer. bars got wider. The Italian federation can be blamed in part, they commissioned an investigation that I think was made available to Italian builders in the early 80’s, but the work was done by Italian builders! that pushed that result, easy to copy. Gios and Pinarello were the early adopters. Wheelbases shrank.

my thinking is that this made the bikes a bit more of a handful to ride straight. The peloton became more “nervous”, more big crashes. The Eddy Merckx brand announced a 500K Euro investigation with a technical university to understand bicycle design better and improve performance. (Kind of interesting as they could ask Eddy for his thoughts) his brand coined the “century” geometry term earlier. I could find no published results, was to be open source. I was skeptical about that, why give away R&D?. Yes, not hard to reverse engineer bicycle geometry either.

Last edited by repechage; 12-10-23 at 08:30 PM.
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 12-10-23, 08:50 PM
  #58  
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6,959
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4340 Post(s)
Liked 1,528 Times in 997 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage
semi casual observations, top tubes got shorter for a given frame size, stems got “slammed” and longer. bars got wider. The Italian federation can be blamed in part, they commissioned an investigation that I think was made available to Italian builders in the early 80’s, but the work was done by Italian builders! that pushed that result, easy to copy. Gios and Pinarello were the early adopters. Wheelbases shrank.

my thinking is that this made the bikes a bit more of a handful to ride straight. The peloton became more “nervous”, more big crashes. The Eddy Merckx brand announced a 500K Euro investigation with a technical university to understand bicycle design better and improve performance. (Kind of interesting as they could ask Eddy for his thoughts) his brand coined the “century” geometry term earlier. I could find no published results, was to be open source. I was skeptical about that, why give away R&D?. Yes, not hard to reverse engineer bicycle geometry either.
Ever rode a bike with a short wheelbase and a long stem? Was it unstable?

Short wheelbases corner better at the sacrifice of harsher ride. Long stems are more stable, because you have to turn the bar further for the same degree of steering change.
Kontact is offline  
Likes For Kontact:
Old 12-11-23, 09:55 PM
  #59  
Senior Member
 
Nemosengineer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Murrieta Ca.
Posts: 537

Bikes: Teledyne Titan, Bob Jackson Audax Club, Bob Jackson World Tour, AlAn Record Ergal, 3Rensho Katana.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 623 Times in 245 Posts
It's nice to compare fits if there is enough useful detail and a side view of the the bike to give the numbers a frame of reference. I use the depression on the seat as a reference because the saddle nose is all over the place from saddle to saddle but I do know where my butt goes...
This is a LeMond fit, it's a Crit bike, built from 753 OS for reference, also the best fit I have had in recent memory.

Rider: 69.5" tall Inseam 31.5", Weight 180 lbs. ready to ride, Average build.

Bike: Seat tube 21" (53.3cm) C to T, Top Tube 21.5" (54.6cm) C to C, Head Tube 5.125" (130mm), Chain stays 40cm (BB cl to axle), Wheelbase 97.5cm, Seat Tube 74deg, Head Tube 74deg, Bottom bracket drop 1.625" (40mm) Top tube to ground 31" (78.7cm), Seat height from BB center line to seat depression 27.75" (70.5cm), Seat depression to handlebar center line 27.75" (70.5cm), Stem 90mm, Seat to handlebar drop 3" (76mm).

Untitled by nemosengineer, on Flickr

: Mike
__________________
Booyah Hubba-Hubba!!!
Nemosengineer is offline  
Likes For Nemosengineer:
Old 12-11-23, 11:22 PM
  #60  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,869

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1854 Post(s)
Liked 661 Times in 504 Posts
Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
Hello all,

I'm not too familiar with road bicycle culture from the 1980s and '90s but I love the utility of the technology of that period. I'm familiar with "period correct" ratios between rider height and frame size on many older styles of frames, such as the classic English lightweight or French randonneuse bikes but admit ignorance here.

I'm 185cm tall with an 86cm inseam (approximately). If I were professionally fit to a custom steel frame in the 1980s or '90s, would I be riding a 58-59cm frame (c-c) as I suspect might be the case? This is a bit smaller than I generally ride, but my suspicion is that shorter frames were in vogue for a while there at least... Any memories or literature to confirm what I'd be getting into would be appreciated. Cheers!

-Gregory
I’m missing something- I’ve never seen sincere fittings based on rider height, without a primary focus on leg lengths.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 12-11-23, 11:31 PM
  #61  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Kilroy1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 2,249
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 981 Post(s)
Liked 1,844 Times in 609 Posts
Originally Posted by Road Fan
I’m missing something- I’ve never seen sincere fittings based on rider height, without a primary focus on leg lengths.
I gave my inseam and this long conversation has centered around fitting based on leg length. So, if you did read the thread, then yes, you're missing something.

-Gregory
Kilroy1988 is offline  
Old 12-12-23, 08:33 PM
  #62  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,869

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1854 Post(s)
Liked 661 Times in 504 Posts
Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
I gave my inseam and this long conversation has centered around fitting based on leg length. So, if you did read the thread, then yes, you're missing something.

-Gregory
I was referring to the original post, where the OP was looking for bike height to rider height conventions in a particular time frame, not all of the other comments or any of yours. Sorry for being confusing.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 12-12-23, 09:13 PM
  #63  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Kilroy1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 2,249
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 981 Post(s)
Liked 1,844 Times in 609 Posts
Originally Posted by Road Fan
I was referring to the original post, where the OP was looking for bike height to rider height conventions in a particular time frame, not all of the other comments or any of yours. Sorry for being confusing.
The original post was mine - I responded to you because you quoted me. I provided my inseam in that post and did not insinuate that I was asking about frame sizing based on any unusual parameters. Thanks for the concern, though. The conversation carried on and I got lots of great feedback since most people understood what I was asking about.

-Gregory
Kilroy1988 is offline  
Old 12-12-23, 09:37 PM
  #64  
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,696

Bikes: 82 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1946 Post(s)
Liked 2,004 Times in 1,105 Posts
But I missed the part about how this inseam was measured.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Old 12-12-23, 09:41 PM
  #65  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Kilroy1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 2,249
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 981 Post(s)
Liked 1,844 Times in 609 Posts
Originally Posted by Classtime
But I missed the part about how this inseam was measured.
Barefoot, with a ruler horizontal between my legs and a yard stick measuring to the top of that.

I was also measured for pants a few years ago and it hasn't changed.
Kilroy1988 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.