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Bike with shorter top tube.

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Bike with shorter top tube.

Old 01-05-07, 08:46 PM
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Bike with shorter top tube.

I have longer legs and a shorter torso. This results in a bike with a considerable saddle to handlebar drop, which I don't like. I'm thinking about looking at road bikes this Spring and wonder if somebody could recommend a bike with a shorter top tube.

I currently have a Trek 1000, 58 cm. And the top tube lenght is pretty good but I have to raise the saddle quite aways.

Last edited by Portis; 01-06-07 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 01-05-07, 08:59 PM
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When you find one let me know. My wife has legs up to her shoulders. (34.5 bike inseam) She has ridden frames as big as 56cm but the saddle to bar length or top tube length is too long to produce a lot of power. I'm building her a Scott compact with a 50cm seat tube and 53cm top tube.
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Old 01-05-07, 09:11 PM
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Here, click on this link: https://www.bikesportmichigan.com/rev...uscany03.shtml. Go down to the part where it reads "Litespeed's road geometry tends to run slightly "long". The top tube lengths are a bit long per seat tube length compared to some other brands. That's good- the average American male tends to have a slightly longer torso than works on many other bikes. Colnago tends to run short. For all their hype about the "LeMond Geometry" LeMond bikes tend to run short in the top tubes also. Bianchi is another manufacturer that runs slightly longer top tube to seat tube."

In that paragraph, you have a few names that in the writer's opionion are shorter in the top tube length department to start with. However, I too needed a shorter top tube and found the Litespeed Siena to be great for me - go figure. You may have to dig deeper to see what's what.

Remember too that a steeper seat tube of only 1 degree in angle (say 74 deg vs. 73) can add a virtual centimeter when comparing that top tube lenght to that of a bike with an equal top tube length but a one degree slacker seat tube angle.
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Old 01-05-07, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by brians647

Remember too that a steeper seat tube of only 1 degree in angle (say 74 deg vs. 73) can add a virtual centimeter when comparing that top tube lenght to that of a bike with an equal top tube length but a one degree slacker seat tube angle.
I remember reading that. But wouldn't the steeper seat tube angle actually shorten the top tube?

Last edited by Portis; 01-05-07 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 01-06-07, 12:00 AM
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You could look into some older italian steel bikes, or the Gios Compact Pro. From what I have seen, these bikes tend to be more square, with the top tubes about the same length as the seat tubes in the smaller sizes.
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Old 01-06-07, 12:33 AM
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You could look into the Serotta Fierte range if steel or titanium interests you. I get the impression they run a little short in the top tube compared with some others. I'm 5'8" with long arms/legs and a short torso, yet I can comfortably fit on my 56cm Fierte with 55cm top tube (admittedly I use a 100mm stem). They also seem to have long-ish head-tubes, so you don't need a huge stack of spacers under the bars to compensate for your long legs. And in the smaller sizes they do a "short" version although not in the sizes you would want.

Geometry is here.
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Old 01-06-07, 01:00 AM
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Ah, some WSD bikes have proportionally shorter top tubes. Those might be an option.
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Old 01-06-07, 01:20 AM
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I also have long legs for my height. I ride a Specialized Roubaix because it has a very long head tube so I don't have excessive saddle-bar drop. The top tube length is fairly normal for a bike it's size but I have a short stem so the reach isn't too long.
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Old 01-06-07, 01:25 AM
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Custom....

Do it right the first time and never be unhappy again. You would be suprised how many custom shops are out there and have very affordable pricing. You may even have a local custom shop in your city.

Custom is the one stop way to the perfect fit for someone in your situation.
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Old 01-06-07, 03:22 PM
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Lots of good advice here:

https://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=250940
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Old 01-06-07, 04:49 PM
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Look into bikes designed to favor up right positions. The key there is the lenght of the head tube. So you might want consider a Giant OCR, as opposed to a TCR, or C'dale Synapse, or a Trek Pilot, as opposed to a Madone.

Also, using a stem flipped up with a lot of rise will help address your issue.
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Old 01-06-07, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Portis
I remember reading that. But wouldn't the steeper seat tube angle actually shorten the top tube?
That's why he said "virtual top tube length".
when you adjust your saddle relative to your crankset, that involves pushing your saddle back as compared to a bike with a slacker seat tube. Pushing the saddle back increases the distance to the handlebar.
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Old 01-06-07, 06:01 PM
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In a recent thread (I think in this forum) Al1943 recommended Colnago and Specialized as being best suited to a build like yours. I made note of it because my husband is built like that too--6 feet tall, but a 36-inch inseam. Al1943 rides a Colnago C50.
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Old 01-06-07, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Portis
I have longer legs and a shorter top tube. This results in a bike with a considerable saddle to handlebar drop, which I don't like. I'm thinking about looking at road bikes this Spring and wonder if somebody could recommend a bike with a shorter top tube.

I currently have a Trek 1000, 58 cm. And the top tube lenght is pretty good but I have to raise the saddle quite aways.
IIRC Gios might be what you're looking for.
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Old 01-06-07, 07:02 PM
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Fierte

I second the Fierte. I have one and the top tube is a little longer and the headtube is a little taller. I'm about 6 foot and I'm on a 58. It has a 56.5 top tube and 190 mm headtube. I am able to use a -10 degree stem with only 2 cm of spacers. The geometry is similar to 56 roubaix. I was between these two bikes, and I liked the idea of titanium. The bottom bracket on the Fierte is pretty low which doesn't make it ideal for crits, but for everything is else it is awesom. P.S. I've seen people use it in crits and it is very capable.
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Old 01-06-07, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Portis
I have longer legs and a shorter top tube. This results in a bike with a considerable saddle to handlebar drop, which I don't like. I'm thinking about looking at road bikes this Spring and wonder if somebody could recommend a bike with a shorter top tube.

I currently have a Trek 1000, 58 cm. And the top tube lenght is pretty good but I have to raise the saddle quite aways.
I'm constantly on the lookout for this as well. I did manage to pick up a used custom Marinoni steel frame with a 60cm CC ST and 55cm CC TT. Pretty nice but would like something a little lighter and stiffer. I also have a Serotta Legend Ti which has a similar ST but a 58.5 TT (kind of long), though it has a really long HT, which helps some.
Assuming you don't want to spring for new custom, you need to keep an eye out for used custom or some of the other offerings mentioned above.
I like the weight and stiffness of the Ti frames, and another thing I've been considering is a custom Habanero Ti. They are reasonably priced and get fairly good reviews here and elsewhere.
There are some other custom steel frame builders but I'm not too familar with them. A search for custom steel would probably turn something up.
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Old 01-06-07, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeTL
The two I researched extensively:



When comparing 'integrated' versus 'threadless' head tubes, add about 2.5 cm for the headset on 'threadless' to get an 'apples to apples'.
I'm confused by this statement. Are you saying integrated vs. non integrated?
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Old 01-06-07, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
That's why he said "virtual top tube length".
when you adjust your saddle relative to your crankset, that involves pushing your saddle back as compared to a bike with a slacker seat tube. Pushing the saddle back increases the distance to the handlebar.
Actually, it negates the decrease in distance from the steeper seat tube.
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Old 01-06-07, 10:52 PM
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Cervelo
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Old 01-07-07, 10:27 AM
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Decide on your virtual top tube length. Then compare for the steepest seat angle matched with the longest head tube you can find. Don't worry about the seat tube length/frame size; the only issue there is the length of your seatpost.

For me without going custom, it was Ridley (especially the cyclocross frames) and Wilier.

https://www.ridley-bikes.com/lang/en/road.asp
https://www.veloimports.com/#id=bikes
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Old 01-07-07, 12:15 PM
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Fierte and Roubaix

The rouabaix and the fierte are both great bikes, but they also are serious competition bikes if thats what you want. I think Tom Boonen is riding the roubaix this year for quickstep, and he was the former World Champion. I have the Fierte set up with zero spacers and -10 stem that is 120mm long. For me I just like the asthetics of a bike that doesn't have huge riser stem and a lot of spacers. I had a allez pro before the fierte and was able to get close the same position on that bike that I have on the fierte. It took several spacers and a riser stem to get there though. Obviously, the Fierte has different rake on the fork and longer chain stays, but my positon of the bike was very similar. Both bikes were great, I like the fierte better. It has a lot of snap, but is very stable and comfortable. I guess the point I was trying to make is that these so called comfort frames are more than capable race bikes depending how you set them up.
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