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

Q about Touring vs Racing frames, 'slack' geometry

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.

Q about Touring vs Racing frames, 'slack' geometry

Old 02-17-10, 06:19 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Q about Touring vs Racing frames, 'slack' geometry

I've got these two bikes:



and



The International is supposed to be 'slack' touring geometry, and the Competition racing geometry.

Using a piece of paper cut to the angles of the seat tube to the top tube held up to an image of a protractor from some random website, the International seems to be 71 degrees and the Competition 74 degrees. Does that mean the tighter the angle, the more 'slack' it is? That seems counter intuitive to me. I expected the International to be more 'relaxed' ie set back more with a looser, bigger angle.

Doesn't the 71 degrees mean I'm riding more on top of the pedals? I htought I'd be set back some, with the pedals farther forward. IE. more relaxed.

Have I got it backwards?

These are both Raleighs, and I want you all to know I am keeping a list of all you guys who dissed Raleigh workmanship in that other thread, so I will of course discount what you say some for that.
sciencemonster is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 06:35 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
mudboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Collegeville, PA
Posts: 1,350

Bikes: Ruckelshaus Randonneur, Specialized Allez (early 90's, steel), Ruckelshaus Path Bomber currently being built

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
No. It's an angle that is based on relationship to the ground, i.e. a right angle would be 90 degrees; a steeper racing frame is usually 74-75 degrees (and would have you more on top of the pedals), and a slacker touring/sport touring frame would be 72-73 degrees.
mudboy is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 06:40 PM
  #3  
Steel is real, baby!
 
frpax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 2,532

Bikes: 1984 Pinarello, 1986 Bianchi Portofino, 1988 Bianchi Trofeo, 1989 Specialized Allez, 1989 Specialized Hard Rock, 2001 Litespeed Tuscany

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by mudboy
No. It's an angle that is based on relationship to the ground, i.e. a right angle would be 90 degrees; a steeper racing frame is usually 74-75 degrees (and would have you more on top of the pedals), and a slacker touring/sport touring frame would be 72-73 degrees.
What he said...
frpax is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 06:40 PM
  #4  
PanGalacticGargleBlaster
 
Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Posts: 7,531

Bikes: Upright and Recumbent....too many to list, mostly Vintage.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
yep you've got it backwards.


Interestingly enough, if you look at the higher end of the line for most good Marques from post war through the early 80's there is a trend toward the angles getting steepter. Raleigh International is a good example of that


btw I love your International. You got the best color
Zaphod Beeblebrox is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 06:52 PM
  #5  
Decrepit Member
 
Scooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Posts: 10,488

Bikes: Waterford 953 RS-22, several Paramounts

Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 59 Posts
What mudboy says. Maybe a picture would help...

__________________
- Stan

my bikes

Science doesn't care what you believe.
Scooper is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 07:09 PM
  #6  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,199
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,413 Times in 913 Posts
I'm really not smart enough for all this stuff. If the tires are close to the downtube and seat tube, I figger it's quick.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 07:14 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


So this is where I am confused - in this snap, the International seems steeper, more over the pedals. Does that mean it's the 'racier' frame?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
angles.jpg (59.8 KB, 47 views)

Last edited by sciencemonster; 02-17-10 at 07:19 PM.
sciencemonster is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 07:16 PM
  #8  
Hebrews 10:20a
 
jhefner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 141

Bikes: '74 Viscount Aerospace GP

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
What RobbieTunes said. If the rear tire is close to kissing your front derailluer, and you can catch your toes on the front wheel, it is racing geometry. The opposite implies a slack geometry.
jhefner is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 08:13 PM
  #9  
PanGalacticGargleBlaster
 
Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Posts: 7,531

Bikes: Upright and Recumbent....too many to list, mostly Vintage.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
I have a feeling that picture is fooling your eye. Try comparing two pictures taken at the same height/angle looking at the drive side...like compare this


to a pic of the same angle on the International.

I've never seen a competition with chrome head lugs or Fork crown....what year is it, or do you have the serial number?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
comp_fullon.jpg (47.3 KB, 112 views)
Zaphod Beeblebrox is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 08:24 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Look at post #7 - I have them both on the rack. YOu can see the International is more upright.

The Competition is the first year, when the International was but a gleam in some drunk framebuilder's eye. 1969. I think it was the first year model. Chrome lugs, but still second tier components.
sciencemonster is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 08:38 PM
  #11  
PanGalacticGargleBlaster
 
Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Posts: 7,531

Bikes: Upright and Recumbent....too many to list, mostly Vintage.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Wow i was under the impression the Competition wasn't around until '76. It's not in any of the catalogs before that. If its a '69 it would make a bit of sense that the angles are a bit more slack, all the high end Raleighs got steeper angles in the 70's.


The International's Seat Tube looks more upright in that picture, the headtube angles look the same.
Zaphod Beeblebrox is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 08:51 PM
  #12  
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 28,542

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2442 Post(s)
Liked 4,456 Times in 2,111 Posts
Fact is, even though the Competition was advertised as a relaxed sport frame, its geometry - prior to the Comp G.S. - was far closer to what one would expect the International to be.

Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox
Wow i was under the impression the Competition wasn't around until '76.
'73/4 w/Capella lugs (and a '66 SN, A4392 - thank you Raleigh ):



-Kurt
__________________












cudak888 is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 09:01 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's in the 69 catalog on Retro Raleighs. It was a score, that's for sure.

Ok, I got what I needed - the International _is_ sportier. That's what I thought. I was just thrown off by all the talk about them being the other way around. The Comp being so old, that would explain it.

The serial number on the Comp is B7334, which would put it at 1967. It's in the 69 book, so maybe they made a lot of them and sold them for a couple years? I dunno.
sciencemonster is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 09:10 PM
  #14  
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,093
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 504 Post(s)
Liked 369 Times in 214 Posts
My guess is that your Competition is indeed the one with slacker geometry. I have an International frame from '74 that's got a 73 degree seat tube -- same as a Bob Jackson from mid-70s. All my mid-80s frames seem to have 74-degree seat tubes. Note that the seat stays on your Competition also seem to have a shallower angle, meaning longer chainstays. The aforementioned '74 Intl has 42 cm chainstays, not very long for a bike that's supposed to be a “tourer.” The BJ has 42.5, and a mid-60s Falcon has 43. Geometry started “comfortable” and then when everyone wanted to be a racer, got more sporty. So it has more to do with age than model.
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 09:30 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks guys for helping me understand this. It also explains why the International, which is a bigger and I presume a heavier frame, feels more sporty. I had assumed it was the paint job - after all, how could anything Raleigh painted black go fast?!!?
sciencemonster is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 09:48 PM
  #16  
perpetually frazzled
 
mickey85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Linton, IN
Posts: 2,467

Bikes: 1977 Bridgestone Kabuki Super Speed; 1979 Raleigh Professional; 1983 Raleigh Rapide mixte; 1974 Peugeot UO-8; 1993 Univega Activa Trail; 1972 Raleigh Sports; 1967 Phillips; 1981 Schwinn World Tourist; 1976 Schwinn LeTour mixte; 1964 Western Flyer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Here's a good side-by-side of a bike with tight geometry (the blue Professional - 73* head, 75* seat) a bike with more lax geometry (the Schwinn - 73* both), and a bike with super loose geometry (the Uo-8...who knows what it is)





It's hard to tell a few degrees, but I CAN tell you that where the first bike is insanely twitchy and will dart wherever your eyes go, the bike in the middle is comfortable all day, but is still relatively quick, and the last bike almost WON'T turn. The thing handles like a truck.

The most obvious difference is between the Schwinn and the Peugeot - look at the seat tube. If I was to tour with the geometry of any of these 3, it'd be the Pug.
mickey85 is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 09:50 PM
  #17  
N+1
 
redxj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,310

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Neither of those would be considered what most would call "racing" geometry. Racing is steeper angles, shorter chainstays, and with all of those a much shorter wheelbase. A track bike would be a racing bike on steroids with even steeper angles, less fork rake, and an even shorter wheelbase. Geometry has changed over the years as shown with your Raleighs and I would say many of the 80's+ Racing bikes would be still considered a "racing geometry" if their is one.

As an example or racier geometry, my 62cm 85' Eddy Merckx Corsa:
redxj is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 10:28 PM
  #18  
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 28,542

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2442 Post(s)
Liked 4,456 Times in 2,111 Posts
Originally Posted by sciencemonster
The serial number on the Comp is B7334, which would put it at 1967.
The serial number on my '73/4 is A4392, which makes it out to be a '66. My 1974 International is A877, which also corresponds to a '66.

My advice? Ignore the SN's.

Originally Posted by Charles Wahl
I have an International frame from '74 that's got a 73 degree seat tube -- same as a Bob Jackson from mid-70s. All my mid-80s frames seem to have 74-degree seat tubes. Note that the seat stays on your Competition also seem to have a shallower angle, meaning longer chainstays. The aforementioned '74 Intl has 42 cm chainstays, not very long for a bike that's supposed to be a “tourer.” The BJ has 42.5, and a mid-60s Falcon has 43. Geometry started “comfortable” and then when everyone wanted to be a racer, got more sporty. So it has more to do with age than model.
The oddity in geometry is precisely why I picked an International as my guinea pig for a C&V cyclocross machine - semi-racing (for the early '70s, anyway) geometry, though slack enough for good purchase on the mud, and just enough chainstay length and clearance to fit a set of 700x35C cyclocross tires on it.

Originally Posted by mickey85
It's hard to tell a few degrees, but I CAN tell you that where the first bike is insanely twitchy and will dart wherever your eyes go, the bike in the middle is comfortable all day, but is still relatively quick, and the last bike almost WON'T turn. The thing handles like a truck.

The most obvious difference is between the Schwinn and the Peugeot - look at the seat tube. If I was to tour with the geometry of any of these 3, it'd be the Pug.
The Peugeot, slack? You haven't seen anything yet:



U-turns take 3 lanes with that monster, and I'm not exaggerating.

-Kurt
__________________












cudak888 is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 10:32 PM
  #19  
sultan of schwinn
 
EjustE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 3,536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
I am going to make it easy with a simple rule of thumb (and you only need a measuring tape to follow) :

if the ratio of the seat tube to the top tube is 1 or less, it's a racing geometry.
if it is higher, it is a 'relaxed' geometry.

caveat: this does not apply to huge bikes and also does not apply to bikes ridden a size or two, too small on purpose (I plea guilty to the latter offense for a good reason). In those cases, you'd have to measure imaginary 'tubes', based on saddle mid point and stem mid point
EjustE is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 10:58 PM
  #20  
perpetually frazzled
 
mickey85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Linton, IN
Posts: 2,467

Bikes: 1977 Bridgestone Kabuki Super Speed; 1979 Raleigh Professional; 1983 Raleigh Rapide mixte; 1974 Peugeot UO-8; 1993 Univega Activa Trail; 1972 Raleigh Sports; 1967 Phillips; 1981 Schwinn World Tourist; 1976 Schwinn LeTour mixte; 1964 Western Flyer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by cudak888



The Peugeot, slack? You haven't seen anything yet:


U-turns take 3 lanes with that monster, and I'm not exaggerating.

-Kurt
Reminds me of this bad boy, although being a "sports" geometry, it's a bit better off than your Rudge (a bike I"d love to have).

To the OP, compare either this bike or the Rudge to the Professional I posted - you'll see a marked difference.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
phillips.jpg (46.9 KB, 49 views)
mickey85 is offline  
Old 02-17-10, 11:15 PM
  #21  
Rustbelt Rider
 
mkeller234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Canton, OH
Posts: 9,105

Bikes: 1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 261 Post(s)
Liked 372 Times in 177 Posts
Originally Posted by sciencemonster
These are both Raleighs, and I want you all to know I am keeping a list of all you guys who dissed Raleigh workmanship in that other thread, so I will of course discount what you say some for that.
Can I request an asterisks to be placed by my name? I believe I kept my comments focused entirely on Kurt's masterpiece.

Send me your International and I promise to gush about it up to my last breath!
__________________
|^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
|......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
|_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
"(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)
mkeller234 is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 05:56 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,901

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: 1869 Post(s)
Liked 666 Times in 508 Posts
Originally Posted by sciencemonster
Look at post #7 - I have them both on the rack. YOu can see the International is more upright.

The Competition is the first year, when the International was but a gleam in some drunk framebuilder's eye. 1969. I think it was the first year model. Chrome lugs, but still second tier components.
I love those old Competitions, I lusted over them when I haunted bike shops in 1969.

Generally steeper (numerically higher) seat tube angles are associated with racing rather than touring, but I don't think there was anything particularly steep about either of those bikes. Racing bikes of the '60s were transitioning from a longer, more laid back (seat tube angle numerically lower) design pattern to something steeper. One possible explanation is that the roads were being made smoother in Europe as they built their way back up from WWII.

"raciness" is more than seat tube angle. It's also chain stay length, tire clearances, provision for racks and fenders, and several aspects of front end steering geometry.

I suggest that you get on line and buy an electronic angle measuring device. These bikes were designed with the top tubes intended to be horizontal, but with a digital angle sensor you can measure the actual angle. Measure that, the seat tube angle, and the head tube angle. Also get a metric/English tape measure and measure the tube lengths, including fork and seatstay from dropout to brake hole, chainstay length, and of course the main tubes (the down tube angle is not important). There are a lot of devices out in the market now, but I don't recall the name of the one folks here generally recommend. I do recommend digital because I think accuracy is good to have, especially if you are trying to understand frame type categorization and frame design. It's especially significant in head angles, more so than in seat angles.

Then you can compare these bikes to others that are in the Bike Geometry Project hosted by the gentleman known as "pinnah" out here in BF land. I know he'd be glad to have these bikes added to the list, too. There's an essay out there on frame measurement, but it's way out of date and hard to use; mea culpa, I wrote it! Based on perusing all the frame data he has, he's come up with a modern and personal interpretion of frame designs. I think many racing geometries of the past would be seen as excellent touring geometries today. I suspect both of your fine old girls would align with more modern touring bikes today.

One clue to this ambiguity (of "raciness") is to look at the clearance from the rear tire to the seat tube and front tire to the down tube. Larger distances are often associated with touring or a multi-surface bike (think a TdF stage that included unpaved mountain passes), while smaller distances with a bike made for tight, smooth urban courses that may cover many laps in a race, what we now call a criterium race (like Robbie just said).

Last edited by Road Fan; 02-18-10 at 06:06 AM.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 06:00 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 16,901

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: 1869 Post(s)
Liked 666 Times in 508 Posts
Originally Posted by sciencemonster
Look at post #7 - I have them both on the rack. YOu can see the International is more upright.

The Competition is the first year, when the International was but a gleam in some drunk framebuilder's eye. 1969. I think it was the first year model. Chrome lugs, but still second tier components.
The Comp is 1969, and the International is something like 1973. There could have been changes in the International in that time frame.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 06:56 AM
  #24  
perpetually frazzled
 
mickey85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Linton, IN
Posts: 2,467

Bikes: 1977 Bridgestone Kabuki Super Speed; 1979 Raleigh Professional; 1983 Raleigh Rapide mixte; 1974 Peugeot UO-8; 1993 Univega Activa Trail; 1972 Raleigh Sports; 1967 Phillips; 1981 Schwinn World Tourist; 1976 Schwinn LeTour mixte; 1964 Western Flyer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
According to Retro Raleighs, the Competition has 74/74 degree headtube/seat tube angles, while the international has 73's. At least, according to this guy for the International:

https://search.bikelist.org/beta/TreeView.aspx?id=317914

Either way, chances are that you won't notice TOO much difference, assuming a similar setup, size and fit.
mickey85 is offline  
Old 02-18-10, 08:13 AM
  #25  
dit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 650

Bikes: 2 Centurian Ironman, Rossin Genisis, Greenspeed GT3, Stowaway (wife)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would agree with Road Fan. I had a late 60's Italian racing frame in Columbus tubing and a mid 70's 531 sports touring frame that was built by a local builder and they were almost identical
and they rode almost the same. A few years later the racing frame angles became steeper and the chain stays shorter. You will note that new racing frames place the rear tire very close to
the seat tube. Some frames in the past required removing the air from the rear tire in order remove the wheel from the frame. I believe this is the reason the designers changed from
horizontal rear dropouts to verticle dropouts.
dit is offline  

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.