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Post pics of your “too small” frame (and how you set it up)?

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Post pics of your “too small” frame (and how you set it up)?

Old 04-13-24, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Mountain bikes seem to be easier to morph to a usable size (not too big...just ranging on the small side).

I have ridden 15” frames comfortably up to about 20/21” (likely my “true” size).

Larger seatposts, angled quill stems...

This seems to me to may have been what helped them catch fire in the market so fast.

Close enough worked just fine for most, especially new riders that may have lacked confidence.

Sizing far less critical, especially for newer riders and many that didn't like the straddling of drop bar bikes, perceived or otherwise or the prospect of biting asphalt.

It also facilitated a completely different mindset allowing people to rip down mountains, dirt trails and plenty else while leaning in with less fear of cars, roadies and other traffic.
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Old 04-13-24, 02:15 PM
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This is my "too small" frame/bike. A 90s GT Course. The trick here is that while the frame is basically a 54, the seat tube is a massive 60cm. With like 2 inches extra height from top tube center. So while the seat sticks up, there is technically a small amount of post showing. I've similarly used a long stem that has a large clamping area which pops the bars up a bit without looking jacked up. It's technically a slammed stem, but virtually changes the headtube from ~140 to ~160.
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Old 04-14-24, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by celesteguy

This is my "too small" frame/bike. A 90s GT Course. The trick here is that while the frame is basically a 54, the seat tube is a massive 60cm. With like 2 inches extra height from top tube center. So while the seat sticks up, there is technically a small amount of post showing. I've similarly used a long stem that has a large clamping area which pops the bars up a bit without looking jacked up. It's technically a slammed stem, but virtually changes the headtube from ~140 to ~160.
Nice GT Road Bilke
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Old 04-14-24, 10:52 AM
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None of these bikes look too small!

I wanted a Peter Mooney for a very long time. Finally, a frame came up locally in what was advertised to be within my size, so I purchased it.

Turned out to be a size or two too small:

130mm stem, and loads of post showing.

Rides wonderfully.
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Old 04-14-24, 07:25 PM
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I rode these two 56/57cm bikes every day for years. Both did the round lake Taupo race and commuted daily in various setups.




Now I prefer 3 sizes larger and a riser stem and a useable grip in the drops.




The worst thing i've done is try to make undersized frames fit with swept bars. Nothing messes my back up quite like a cramped bike, especially trying to ride it any distance or out of the saddle.

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Old 04-15-24, 01:37 AM
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This one at 55cm top tube length was too short. As pictured was as long as I could make it, with 135mm stem, but was still too short really. Stripped it down and passed the frame to my brother, and pretty much suits his proportions pretty well.
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Old 04-15-24, 09:42 PM
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That’s a nice looking stem on the Eddy Merckx
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Old 04-16-24, 06:50 AM
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Gary Fisher Aqula - Med frame.

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Old 04-17-24, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocket-Sauce
None of these bikes look too small!

I wanted a Peter Mooney for a very long time. Finally, a frame came up locally in what was advertised to be within my size, so I purchased it.

Turned out to be a size or two too small:

130mm stem, and loads of post showing.

Rides wonderfully.
That seat/bar difference! Even if you're the star of your yoga class, it seems to me you'd be kicking yourself in the chest whenever you ride on the hooks.
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Old 04-17-24, 02:39 PM
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54cm Gitane TDF.
First thing was to find a longer seat post and stem, I settled on the 9cm stem shown because it looked old and shiny, lol. The original was just 7 or 8cm.
I can't believe I never sold this one after so many years now.
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Old 04-17-24, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
That seat/bar difference! Even if you're the star of your yoga class, it seems to me you'd be kicking yourself in the chest whenever you ride on the hooks.
Combination of frog legs and ape arms....
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Old 04-18-24, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocket-Sauce
Combination of frog legs and ape arms....
A tailor's nightmare then.
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Old 04-18-24, 07:23 AM
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Seems to me that most of the bikes here are not so much "too small" but "stylishly small" by modern standards.
Like most crazes, the ultra compact frames with steep sloping top tubes (thanks, Giant) seems to be going away, but the stays are still shot in half way down the seat tube.
I've got an Allez that claims that 56 virtual (seat tube is <54) is LARGE.
At least it's stylish to have your knees go below the top tube again.
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Old 04-18-24, 10:38 AM
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My ideal size is 53-54cm. This Expedition Touring is a 51. Longer Stem and seat post was all it required.

1984 Specialized Expedition
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Old 04-20-24, 06:31 PM
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Trying one out

Inspired by this thread, I decided to try out the Lemond I picked up ($200!) to try for my son (5' 7" but growing), which had a major riser stem on it.

Aside: I thought that would be good for him as his prior bikes were hybrid, not drop bar. Maybe too far forward? Was semi working but another bike that fit better came along for him...

The 853 triple tubes and nine-speed triple made this Alpe d'Huez probably the fanciest bike in the stable, so I was sad to think of sending it on.

Here's a photo, basically with the seat in the right place. I need to retry with a saddle I like and clipless, but I'm not at the minimum insertion yet. When I was buying a new bike, ages ago, the Lemond's all had me too stretched out, and I believe they were known for long top tubes. This "too small" frame seems OK after a few rollers rides, I need to try it on longer road rides and see if it's a keeper for me.

Alpe d'Huez by the rollers
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Old 04-25-24, 11:34 PM
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I’ve been seriously looking at buying a local circus clown bike for $60. Easy to store, and get helluva workout and not too far to walk home if necessary.
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Old 04-26-24, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
This is my smallest size in the stable, 56.5.
I wanted to keep it all Campagnolo.
The only way to make it ridable was to use a Brooks saddle which I like anyway. The saddle is still a bit low for me and the post insertion line is just above the lug.
There might be 5k miles on this configuration. It is not ridden much as I don't ride as much as I should and this is only ridden on special occasions.


In contrast, the Langster is the largest frame at 61.
It’s pretty easy to weld an extension on the bottom of the seat post to raise the seat. Your knees will thank you 😊
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Old 04-26-24, 02:12 AM
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Lotta beautiful steel here!
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Old 04-26-24, 06:50 AM
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21 years old now this De Rosa. Bought it cheap to source parts from. Too small, too modern and too much not steel - for "normal" me. When I had picked the parts I wanted I realized I sort of liked the frame. Put on other parts and did the dubious deed... I got a longer stem and turned it upside down to get the bars in position and now it has the same fit as my other bikes.

The stem looks ugly, but hey - I believe all a-headset stems are ugly. It could not get worse so to say...

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Old 04-27-24, 06:34 AM
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Is it a vintage or antique circus clown bike? I collect early ones from the 1900's but find the later ones interesting as well. Any pics?
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Old 04-27-24, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Velosophy
I’ve been seriously looking at buying a local circus clown bike for $60. Easy to store, and get helluva workout and not too far to walk home if necessary.
Is it an early circus clown bike ???
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Old 04-27-24, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by styggno1

The stem looks ugly, but hey - I believe all a-headset stems are ugly. It could not get worse so to say...
On the contrary, the set up looks great! Including the stem. Jim Merz
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Old 04-27-24, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Portlandjim
On the contrary, the set up looks great! Including the stem. Jim Merz
I agree. It fits the ilk of the era of oversized tubing and geometry of it. Looks sharp.
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Old 04-27-24, 10:20 AM
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Thanks! You are both too kind. I will attach a link to my other bikes so you will see why this one really is out of my comfort zone...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/45306161@N03/albums/
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Old 04-27-24, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by styggno1
21 years old now this De Rosa. Bought it cheap to source parts from. Too small, too modern and too much not steel - for "normal" me. When I had picked the parts I wanted I realized I sort of liked the frame. Put on other parts and did the dubious deed... I got a longer stem and turned it upside down to get the bars in position and now it has the same fit as my other bikes.

The stem looks ugly, but hey - I believe all a-headset stems are ugly. It could not get worse so to say...

It is a wonderfully and tastefully done bike project, I like it
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