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Short Top Tube CF Road Bikes?

Old 03-29-23, 03:14 PM
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Short Top Tube CF Road Bikes?

I am considering a new CF road bike. Ideally I like custom geometry due to stupid long legs and short torso. Most fitters and online calculators suggest approximately 63-64 cm seat tube and 56 cm top tube. I know that a custom CF frame is going to be super expensive (like $7-8k just for the frame), so I am willing to consider a stock frame with “endurance” geometry but I would want one that runs short top tubes.

Any suggestions on models that might approach this?
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Old 03-29-23, 03:45 PM
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Posting your saddle height and some idea of your saddle to bar drop would be helpful. Seat tube means nothing these days. Stack and reach are the two most important values on a modern geometry chart. Most likely, you'll need the largest size made in most models.

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Old 03-29-23, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
I am considering a new CF road bike. Ideally I like custom geometry due to stupid long legs and short torso. Most fitters and online calculators suggest approximately 63-64 cm seat tube and 56 cm top tube. I know that a custom CF frame is going to be super expensive (like $7-8k just for the frame), so I am willing to consider a stock frame with “endurance” geometry but I would want one that runs short top tubes.

Any suggestions on models that might approach this?
Use my "wall-and-floor" measuring trick - stand your bike with the rear tire against a wall, on a level floor, standing as close to vertical as possible (I have mine JUST BARELY leaning on a kitchen counter). Measure from the center of the BB spindle to the wall and the floor respectively. Then measure from the center of the top of the head tube, right under the upper headset race, to the wall and floor respectively. Subtract the BB-wall or floor measurements, and you'll have your Reach and Stack. Now measure from the center of the BB spindle, along the seat tube to the top of the saddle, and you'll have saddle height. Those three measurements should allow you to find something.

Yeah, I think an Endurance-style bike would work better than Climbing or Aero because both of those tend to have longer reach, and lower stack. You mentioned your inseam length the other day, it was something ridiculous for your height, but I can't remember.
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Old 03-29-23, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
Posting your saddle height and some idea of your saddle to bar drop would be helpful. Seat tube means nothing these days. Stack and reach are the two most important values on a modern geometry chart. Most likely, you'll need the largest size made in most models.

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I don't quite know my stack/reach, but here is the schematic of current road bike which fits me reasonably well.

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Old 03-29-23, 04:55 PM
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Okay, so your problem is that, for example, the Canyon Endurace in Medium has similar angles (HA = 73. SA = 73.5) and similar effective TT (55.3 v 54.7) but the Head Tube is 4 cm shorter than your bike. How many spacers are you running under your stem now, and what stem angle? And/or post a pic of the above bike.
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Old 03-29-23, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Okay, so your problem is that, for example, the Canyon Endurace in Medium has similar angles (HA = 73. SA = 73.5) and similar effective TT (55.3 v 54.7) but the Head Tube is 4 cm shorter than your bike. How many spacers are you running under your stem now, and what stem angle? And/or post a pic of the above bike.
Bike pic


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Old 03-29-23, 05:14 PM
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Also I should have an even longer head tube, but that would make it really hard to find a fork with a steerer tube long enough. HT should prolly be another 1-2cm.
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Old 03-29-23, 05:29 PM
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Holy crap!

Yeah, you got a problem. You're running - what, 4 cm of spacers AND a riser stem, on top of a 209mm head tube. And your stem looks like about 100mm. So, even with your short TT, you're running a short stem, so even if you got a bike with a tall enough head tube - like, say, the Endurace in XL - it would have about 2.5 cm or more longer reach (guesstimating here!), so you'd need to run all the spacers you have now, AND because you'd need a stem about an inch shorter, it would also not put the bars as high, unless you got a REALLY high-rise stem.

I confess I'm kind of ballparking and spitballing here, and I could be completely full of crap, but I don't see how you could get an off-the-rack bike to fit.
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Old 03-29-23, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Holy crap!

Yeah, you got a problem. You're running - what, 4 cm of spacers AND a riser stem, on top of a 209mm head tube. And your stem looks like about 100mm. So, even with your short TT, you're running a short stem, so even if you got a bike with a tall enough head tube - like, say, the Endurace in XL - it would have about 2.5 cm or more longer reach (guesstimating here!), so you'd need to run all the spacers you have now, AND because you'd need a stem about an inch shorter, it would also not put the bars as high, unless you got a REALLY high-rise stem.

I confess I'm kind of ballparking and spitballing here, and I could be completely full of crap, but I don't see how you could get an off-the-rack bike to fit.
Yeah, I can fit in an off-the-shelf bike, but there are MAJOR compromises. I do have a 58cm Roubaix that is my backup bike. I have the seatpost ridiculously high and have a relatively short, up-sloped stem. It's not ideal.

I think I posted the story in Addiction before, but since I am soliciting help with a new bike and fit, I will repeat it here:

My original road bike was a made-to-measure custom steel frame made for me in 1986. It had a 64cm ST and a 56cm TT. Fit well. I rode it for many years, but about 15 years ago I decided I wanted a 21st century bike. I went to the local framebuilder (Harry Havnoonian, who also owns a bike shop) with my bike in hand and said I want a new bike, can you help me? I think I need custom geometry. He looked at me, smugly, and said "There's almost NO ONE I cannot get fit properly on a stock frame."

I humbly told him I would be open to this. He took a few measurements of my body, pulled out a clipboard and a calculator, crunched a few numbers, then put the clipboard and calculator down. He looked at me, stroked his chin, and said "You know, you are a REALLY GOOD CANDIDATE for custom geometry."

So I suspect this conclusion is as true today as it was 15 years ago, but given the disproportionately high cost of a custom geometry carbon fiber bicycle, I am willing to reconsider my options.

All suggestions are appreciated. Please keep them coming.
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Old 03-29-23, 05:38 PM
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If that bike is comfortable, I'm not optimistic you'll find a stock bike that fits. It really does seem you need custom.
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Old 03-29-23, 05:43 PM
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Another pic of a Canyon Endurace I rented in Spain about 5 years ago. The fit was ok but not ideal. You probably get the picture. I really do NOT want this much saddle to bar drop. Not comfy for long rides.


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Old 03-29-23, 05:58 PM
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You won't find any stock carbon frame even close to your current setup.
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Old 03-29-23, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
You won't find any stock carbon frame even close to your current setup.
I figured.

Phooey!

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Old 03-29-23, 06:08 PM
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Have you looked at a Trek Domane (probably a 58cm frame)? Top tube is 56.7 cm and head tube 19.5 cm (seems close to your current bike?)

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...?colorCode=red

You could throw on some riser handlebars too if you need a bit more effective stack height. Specialized makes bars with 15mm of rise, for example.
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Old 03-29-23, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna
Have you looked at a Trek Domane (probably a 58cm frame)? Top tube is 56.7 cm and head tube 19.5 cm (seems close to your current bike?)

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...?colorCode=red

You could throw on some riser handlebars too if you need a bit more effective stack height. Specialized makes bars with 15mm of rise, for example.
Will consider. Am thinking it would look too much like Endurace pic above.
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Old 03-29-23, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Will consider. Am thinking it would look too much like Endurace pic above.
Can't hurt to call a local Trek shop. The one near me has been great...they'll order a bike but you're not locked in if it's not right for you.

The Canyon Endurace in general is on the longer reach side of endurance geometry vs the Domane (had an Endurace for a while and now a Roubaix). It's hard to tell from the pic, but the Endurace as pictured looks to have a negative rise stem. Going from 100mm @ -6° to 100 @ +17° will give you 37mm more stack and 16mm less reach (just an example). Add some riser bars and you've got 15mm more stack.
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Old 03-29-23, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Will consider. Am thinking it would look too much like Endurace pic above.
Sorry...one more thing! Have you checked out 99spokes?

https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=t...-700-700|w.700

This is just an example comparing the Domane to the Endurace. The 58cm Domane and LG Endurace have similar effective top tubes, but the Domane has less reach (-9mm) and more stack (+7mm).
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Old 03-29-23, 07:58 PM
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You aren't going to find the right geometry stock.

Crumpton does custom carbon framesets for $5500.
https://www.crumptoncycles.com/ordering.html

Parlee shows a custom Luna Pro for $4000 + 750.
https://calfeedesign.com/pricing/

There is nothing magic about carbon. If a US builder like Kisch or Litespeed will make you a custom Ti bike with perfect fit for less than $4000, what is it you're giving up by not having carbon?
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Old 03-30-23, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
You aren't going to find the right geometry stock.

Crumpton does custom carbon framesets for $5500.
https://www.crumptoncycles.com/ordering.html

Parlee shows a custom Luna Pro for $4000 + 750.
https://calfeedesign.com/pricing/

There is nothing magic about carbon. If a US builder like Kisch or Litespeed will make you a custom Ti bike with perfect fit for less than $4000, what is it you're giving up by not having carbon?
Agree. The issue is I already have a custom Titanium frame (see pic above), and it's actually fine for my needs. It's 14 years old and has about 80K miles on it.

BUT....it was built for external cable shifting and rim brakes. These are no longer supported well by current/future generation components.

I am in no rush, but eventually I may have to get a new bike that supports the updated technology, and a CF frame is certainly a consideration.
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Old 03-30-23, 06:28 AM
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Old 03-30-23, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Agree. The issue is I already have a custom Titanium frame (see pic above), and it's actually fine for my needs. It's 14 years old and has about 80K miles on it.

BUT....it was built for external cable shifting and rim brakes. These are no longer supported well by current/future generation components.

I am in no rush, but eventually I may have to get a new bike that supports the updated technology, and a CF frame is certainly a consideration.
Your too low, cable only Ti frame sounds both fine for your needs and not fine for your needs.
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Old 03-30-23, 06:59 AM
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Even though my proportions are more typical, because of back and neck problems, I have been looking for ways to get more upright. So in the search for "off the shelf" frames with a longer stack and shorter reach, I finally purchased this one:

https://lynskeyperformance.com/backr...set-overstock/

It's a Ti frame with carbon fork. They only have 3 sizes left, but if you email them, they may have more they didn't post. Ask me how I know.

Sorry, but in my searches, I didn't find a carbon frame with more upright geometry than any of the mainstream endurance frames out there.

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Old 03-30-23, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Your too low, cable only Ti frame sounds both fine for your needs and not fine for your needs.
It's been fine for my needs so far, but for the future I am not sure.
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Old 03-30-23, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Also I should have an even longer head tube, but that would make it really hard to find a fork with a steerer tube long enough. HT should prolly be another 1-2cm.
I have similar, but not as extreme, fit issues. I think the standard length of steer tubes is 300mm. I have uncut steer tubes on both of my bikes and the head tube on the Seven is 230mm while the Gunnar is 220mm. I use the max spacers on them, actually 1 spacer above the stem on the Seven. I'd like the top tubes to be a little shorter, they are around 59cm.

I also use 90mm stems and short reach shallow drop bars on the Seven.

I looked at charts for new cf frames and the 62cm Domane has the closest geometry to what I want and the 61cm BMC Roadmachine is similar. The BMC has a shorter tt.
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Old 03-30-23, 08:48 AM
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I know they look goofy and are regarded with scorn, but riser bars (drop bars, like the Specialized +25 models) would get you yet more height without more head tube, spacers, or stem compromises. It's not like a bike with your proportions is going to match the classical standards of elegance anyway.
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