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tall man and detest diamond-shape frame, am I the only one?

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tall man and detest diamond-shape frame, am I the only one?

Old 08-28-16, 05:20 AM
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tall man and detest diamond-shape frame, am I the only one?

I am 6'1" (188cm) and I completely detest the horizontal top tube. I commute to work (about 15km a day) and go on weekend rides (30-40km a day partly off road) when I frequently get on and off my bike. I keep my saddle quite high and I hate every single diamond-shape frame bike I had, no matter the style. It's really difficult to find step-through frames that fit my size.

I don't think that a mixed or step-through frame made with good materials has to be necessarily heavier or weaker, and if it's weaker it will certainly not be enough to crack a frame, let's be real.

Am I the only man who finds the diamond-shape frame completely impractical? And why is the industry only catering step-through frames to women, it seems we are stuck in a long gone age when we had different needs. Diamond-shaped frames are unpractical to mantle/dismantle, and why alternatives lacks for tall man? Any brands that make decent bikes that cost less than $500 with tall step-through or mixed frames?
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Old 08-28-16, 05:25 AM
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Change your thinking.

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Old 08-28-16, 05:38 AM
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We have no problems with diamond frame bicycles, but picked these up for convenient travel ...

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Old 08-28-16, 05:38 AM
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I am 6'1" (188cm) and hate sloping top tubes.
My favorite bike is a 64cm Litespeed with level top tube.

If you really want a mixte, the Soma Buena Vista can be had in 62cm: Buena Vista Frame Set | SOMA Fabrications
I built one (in the smallest size) for the ex-GF and was quite impressed with it.

BTW if you think it is a challenge get on a bike with a level top tube, you should try getting on my Kawasaki Versys with a tail rack and bag on it.

Last edited by Shimagnolo; 08-28-16 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 08-28-16, 05:42 AM
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You're self selecting a step-thru frame, not that there's anything wrong with that....
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Old 08-28-16, 05:44 AM
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Soma makes new Buena Vista frames up to 62cm in size.

Buena Vista Frame Set | SOMA Fabrications

Building a bike for less than $500 would be tight though. Perhaps transfer parts from a good donor bike.
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Old 08-28-16, 07:01 AM
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6'1" is not tall. You are slightly above average height for the most part. If you were 6'7" I would say yeah, tall. Choose a bike that you want to ride. If you want step through, get that.
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Old 08-28-16, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2
6'1" is not tall.
Average Male Height By Country | Height Weight Chart
Scroll that first table until you reach the Netherlands.
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Old 08-28-16, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2
6'1" is not tall. You are slightly above average height for the most part. If you were 6'7" I would say yeah, tall. Choose a bike that you want to ride. If you want step through, get that.
Not that tall for men.

But, many of the Mixte and step through frames out there are designed for women who typically are a few inches shorter.
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Old 08-28-16, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Xxtraloud
I am 6'1" (188cm) and I completely detest the horizontal top tube. I commute to work (about 15km a day) and go on weekend rides (30-40km a day partly off road) when I frequently get on and off my bike. I keep my saddle quite high and I hate every single diamond-shape frame bike I had, no matter the style. It's really difficult to find step-through frames that fit my size.

I don't think that a mixed or step-through frame made with good materials has to be necessarily heavier or weaker, and if it's weaker it will certainly not be enough to crack a frame, let's be real.

Am I the only man who finds the diamond-shape frame completely impractical? And why is the industry only catering step-through frames to women, it seems we are stuck in a long gone age when we had different needs. Diamond-shaped frames are unpractical to mantle/dismantle, and why alternatives lacks for tall man? Any brands that make decent bikes that cost less than $500 with tall step-through or mixed frames?
Yes it does have to be either heavier or weaker. Damn that materials science and structural physics.
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Old 08-28-16, 08:53 AM
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So the OP talks about long ago ages and wants long ago PRICES ??? LOL Cheapskates.
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Old 08-28-16, 08:59 AM
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6'3" here. I feel your pain. I would have bought a Disc Trucker but I won't own anything with a horizontal top tube so I picked up the AWOL instead. The AWOL has a really steep sloping top tube. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to choose a step-through frame. There are more bikes available these days with dropped top tubes so I'm sure if you looked hard enough you'd find something. I don't ride nearly as aggressively as I used to, but I'm pretty sure a step-through frame would be a big disappointment for me in terms of feel and handling.


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Old 08-28-16, 09:11 AM
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If you lack the flexibility to swing your leg over your frame, that is all about flexibility and has nothing to do with your height. it might also be technique---if you swing your leg back and then turn your hips a little you don't have to do a sideways split.

There are sloping top-tube frames but really, since you have to swing your leg over the SADDLE, what does it matter where the top tube might be?

Nobody makes large step-through frames because bigger frames are already heavier, and diamond frames are much lighter for the strength than step-through frames. Most people do Not want heavier frames, and most people can swing their leg over the bike.

If you cannot for whatever reason, then you are an outlier ... and that means you will have to make some sacrifices. Just as people who are 4'3" or 7'3" are outliers, and find it hard to find Anything that fits.

Some people have physical limitations, and obviously a mass-market industry has to serve the middle of the market. You are forced to pay a little more to get a custom frame because you want something unusual.

People have offered a few good options, like that Soma ... seems to be exactly what you are after. It might cost a little more than you want to spend ... but likely you will have the bike for the rest of your life and the option is to save a few hundred and suffer. and at $500 for the frame ... that is actually a really great price for a well-made steel frame from a reputable builder. Throw on 105 and you could build a good bike for under $1200 if you are smart about it.

Choice is yours---but you do have a really good option right there.

Last edited by Maelochs; 08-28-16 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
and at $500 for the frame ... that is actually a really great price for a well-made steel frame from a reputable builder.
I paid $500 for a steel Specialized Allez frame in 1992, when I needed a frame in a hurry to replace a broken frame so I could keep racing.

It was the cheapest I could find at the time. So $500 in 2016 is dirt cheap.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:31 AM
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I'm a little over 6'4" yet I still don't understand what that problem is.

When I mount/dismount I have the bike leaned a little towards the side. I swing a leg backwards around the rear wheel.

I couldn't imagine trying to bring a leg over the top tube. That seems like an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:44 AM
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If you lived in the Netherlands you'd just be of average height. A lot of people ride bikes there.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:49 AM
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I'm not sure what the point of the post was. Does the OP suspect that there's a massive but latent animus towards top tubes that he can bring together ("Cyclists of the world, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your top tubes!") and can harness to allow him to control the bike industry and crush any company offering diamond designs?

The diamond shape evolved and was kind of "perfected" in about 1900. It's design is highly efficient in terms of weight and stiffness. If you go with a step-through/mixte, you are increasing the flex due to higher compression in the top tubes. So you end up with a more flexible frame, or a heavier one (where heavier tubes are used to get the same stiffness as a lower-weight diamond frame.) Now, this weight/stiffness effect is slight. On the other hand, there's a reason why most of the Tour de France bikes have a diamond shape: it IS a more optimal design from the weight and stiffness viewpoint.

I'm nearly 60 and weight 235#, but have no problem swinging my leg over the bike to get on/off. Not sure I'd even be comfortable swinging my leg through the frame. Further, for big guys the advantages of a diamond frame is more acute: with our weight we need strength and stiffness, and the diamond shape is best for this. Everyone gets to choose what they like, but I'm not sure you're gonna find a huge number of guys for which this is such a big issue. Some, for sure, will be passionate. But most folks either don't mind a top-tube, or accommodate to it without much passion.

Now, if this is an "Oh-no" situation, I can understand. The Ohno bird is a bird with a scrotum that is 2cm longer than its legs. It has two unique calls. First, every time it lands, just before it alights, you can hear it screech "Oh no! Oh no!". The other call is as it shifts footing from branch to branch. You then can hear a low "Ow ow ow ow". If your "Stand over height" is affected in this way, I can understand your antipathy. And I salute you and strongly suggest a mixte.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
I am 6'1" (188cm) and hate sloping top tubes.
My favorite bike is a 64cm Litespeed with level top tube.

If you really want a mixte, the Soma Buena Vista can be had in 62cm: Buena Vista Frame Set | SOMA Fabrications
I built one (in the smallest size) for the ex-GF and was quite impressed with it.

BTW if you think it is a challenge get on a bike with a level top tube, you should try getting on my Kawasaki Versys with a tail rack and bag on it.
I have this bike. And so does the BF-er.
https://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com/2011/03/soma-buena-vista-with-nuvinci-hub.html

The frame is around $400. And you can build it up however you want. Internally geared hub, derailleur, drop bars, upright.....

It has sporty geometry. Mine is set up as a townie.

I like diamond frames with level tubes, but it is nice to not worry about swinging my leg around the back.

There is also a cheaper mixte frame by New Albion. Don't know much about it
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Old 08-28-16, 10:37 AM
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I'm not a fan of the horizontal top tube either. In an emergency stop or crash your crotch could end up slamming into the top tube. They're just more awkward to handle in general than a sloping tube or step thru. I'm not short I just don't like having the bar so close to a sensitive area, but I don't mind having it on a mini velo style bike.








Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
Average Male Height By Country | Height Weight Chart
Scroll that first table until you reach the Netherlands.

The Dutch are probably the tallest people in the world and most of them ride step thrus. When you use your bike for daily transport I could see how it could be tiring swinging your leg over the bike a dozen times a day.
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Old 08-28-16, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Xxtraloud
I am 6'1" (188cm) and I completely detest the horizontal top tube. I commute to work (about 15km a day) and go on weekend rides (30-40km a day partly off road) when I frequently get on and off my bike. I keep my saddle quite high and I hate every single diamond-shape frame bike I had, no matter the style. It's really difficult to find step-through frames that fit my size.

I don't think that a mixed or step-through frame made with good materials has to be necessarily heavier or weaker, and if it's weaker it will certainly not be enough to crack a frame, let's be real.

Am I the only man who finds the diamond-shape frame completely impractical? And why is the industry only catering step-through frames to women, it seems we are stuck in a long gone age when we had different needs. Diamond-shaped frames are unpractical to mantle/dismantle, and why alternatives lacks for tall man? Any brands that make decent bikes that cost less than $500 with tall step-through or mixed frames?
You are an outlier. Most men taller than 6' are fine with a diamond shaped frame, especially since many these days feature a sloping top tube.

And you want a complete bike for less than $500, which isn't terribly realistic.
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Old 08-28-16, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
People have offered a few good options, like that Soma ... seems to be exactly what you are after. It might cost a little more than you want to spend ... but likely you will have the bike for the rest of your life and the option is to save a few hundred and suffer. and at $500 for the frame ... that is actually a really great price for a well-made steel frame from a reputable builder. Throw on 105 and you could build a good bike for under $1200 if you are smart about it.
Or, spend the $470 on the Buena Vista.

Find the best "donor" bike the OP can find on Craigslist for $300 or so.
Transfer all the parts over, and sell the donor frame.

Total outlay comes down to about $800 minus the value of the donor bike, and depending on how good the OP is at scrounging.

There is something to be said, however, for buying quality new parts to start with.
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Old 08-28-16, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Or, spend the $470 on the Buena Vista. Find the best "donor" bike the OP can find on Craigslist for $300 or so. Transfer all the parts over, and sell the donor frame.
If you have the patience to shop Craigslist this is the best way by far. You could get a whole bike for the cost of a set of new wheels, and still have a useful (to someone else) frame left over.
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Old 08-28-16, 01:46 PM
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No, I don't detest them.. I have several ... although step thru convenience of a Brompton or Bike Friday Is Nice..
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Old 08-28-16, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
I am 6'1" (188cm) and hate sloping top tubes.
My favorite bike is a 64cm Litespeed with level top tube.

If you really want a mixte, the Soma Buena Vista can be had in 62cm: Buena Vista Frame Set | SOMA Fabrications
I built one (in the smallest size) for the ex-GF and was quite impressed with it.

BTW if you think it is a challenge get on a bike with a level top tube, you should try getting on my Kawasaki Versys with a tail rack and bag on it.
I'm 6'0.5" and have rode a 23" Hardrock for many years. It's a traditional diamond frame with a level top tube and I don't have any trouble getting my leg over it, even with a pannier or something on the rear rack.

I did have a problem getting my leg over my BMW boxer with my camping gear on it as I got older, but that's another story.
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Old 08-28-16, 03:47 PM
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Looking ahead to the day when I can no longer easily swing a leg over my bikes, most of them with standover heights of 34", I got myself a 23" ladies' framed Raleigh Sport and am looking for a similarly tall used mixte to have, just in case, but that Soma looks interesting.


Tall motorcycles can be equally problematic, like my old KLR650.

Last edited by thumpism; 08-28-16 at 03:50 PM.
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