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advantage of compact frame?

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advantage of compact frame?

Old 03-03-07, 02:53 PM
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mrdatalife
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advantage of compact frame?

can anyone comment on the advantages (or disadvantages) of riding a compact frame versus and more classic geometry frame?

thanks!
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Old 03-03-07, 03:01 PM
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None, to the buyer. Many to the manufacturer.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:07 PM
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You either like them or you don't. I am quite short at 5'6" and the compact frame is my preference. In my opinion it gives a "Tighter" frame that seems to be stiffer and this does give me a better response to pedal effort. They also fit me better, but that is a personal opinion.

Others will come in about the Manufacturers saving money with less material- Tighter frame giving a harsh ride or their own personal dislikes or likes ----but it is down to your own personal preference.

Before I bought my Compact Giant SCR last year- I was a mountain biker and after 15 years and 8 different bikes- I found that I prefered the compact frames.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:13 PM
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A compact

looks more like "the real thing".

And proves useful when a climb appears (my 3 ???, what is the word again, was a little capricious at the foot of a climb). Forces you to turn your legs, thus sparing your knees.

Mine is a 50/34. I won't go back to 52/39 or 52/42/32.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Getopardo
looks more like "the real thing".

And proves useful when a climb appears (my 3 ???, what is the word again, was a little capricious at the foot of a climb). Forces you to turn your legs, thus sparing your knees.

Mine is a 50/34. I won't go back to 52/39 or 52/42/32.

Compact FRAME...not compact CRANK. Damn newbs!

All else being equal, you'll never notice the difference (when riding the bike) between a horizontal and sloping top tube.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
You either like them or you don't. I am quite short at 5'6" and the compact frame is my preference. In my opinion it gives a "Tighter" frame that seems to be stiffer and this does give me a better response to pedal effort. They also fit me better, but that is a personal opinion.
I have read a lot of claims like this...that a compact fits them better (or worse). The reality is that the particular frame that fits you well has nothing to do with the fact that the top tube is sloped, the only character that separates a compact frame from a traditional frame. You can build a traditional geo frame that will have the exact same fit, and if you look around enough, I bet you could pretty easily find one.

As for me personally, I like traditional geometry, simply because its easier to understand the size of the frame..theres no need to think about virtual top tube and seat tube lengths.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:28 PM
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so you can flex you muscles and not your frame.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:36 PM
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For tall riders with very short legs relative to their torso, a compact frame can allow you enough standover to get an appropriate top tube without messing with a very long stem.

For those of us that are on the borderline of having legs that are short relative to our torsos, a sloping top tube can leave enough seatpost exposed to allow us to clamp our bikes in a shop stand without moving the seat up. I like this feature.

Compact frames with long head tubes can also bring the bars up higher without a load of spacers, relative again to standover.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:43 PM
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Seated, my compact and traditional frames feel as similar as they can given their different builds. It's when standing that the two geometries feel different to me. I can go a bit harder, and move the bike around a bit more on the compact. The traditional frame seems to get in the way of my legs (or is it the other way around) when I'm standing and honking up a hill.
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Old 03-03-07, 04:10 PM
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This is helpful since the bike I am thinking about getting has compact geometry.
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Old 03-03-07, 04:24 PM
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Being a traditionalist, Inever liked the look of compact. But with an integrated seat post, I think a compact frame looks pretty cool.

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Old 03-03-07, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by teterider
None, to the buyer. Many to the manufacturer.
+1 the overall dimensions can be adjusted about the same, but a manufacturer can get away with only offering 3-4 sizes instead of 6-10. I don't like the look of them, but other than that they work like any other bike.
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Old 03-04-07, 08:32 AM
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A few years ago under the moniker "shortlegs" I posed this question on the Bicycling.com forum. The question was similar, but mostly I wanted to know if I was giving up any power by sticking with compact frames, which just seem to fit me better. Perhaps it is the standover, I dont know.

A debate raged for more than a week on this topic. There were two camps, the "it doesnt make any difference" camp, and the "traditional frames uber alles" camp. The moderators posted the debate on the front page of the website. After awhile it was kind of like watching the Irish debate Green vs. Orange and it really is a matter of who you believe. I dont understand physics, but when I go into my garage I count three compact frames, so that must be what works best for me.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:08 AM
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Consider this: Cervelo has the sloping top tube in its road racing bikes. More riders will say that's the way to go if you want to race. Cervelo also makes time trial bikes and their top end bikes are not sloping.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Consider this: Cervelo has the sloping top tube in its road racing bikes. More riders will say that's the way to go if you want to race. Cervelo also makes time trial bikes and their top end bikes are not sloping.
That's because TTs and Tris usually have the rider in a seated position more than in road racing as power is generated. A traditional, non-sloping, top tube provides less flex on the seat tube, which helps. Also a long seat post may not be as stiff or strong as the seat tube.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Cervelo also makes time trial bikes
Take a look at the rest of the tubes on those Cervelo TT bikes. You really can't bring them up in debates like this, they're pretty far from "traditional" frame design in a LOT of ways. . .
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Old 03-05-07, 09:42 AM
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I have one of each

Waterford 2200 traditional top tube
Serotta CDA 3 degree slope

I cannot tell the difference when riding either one, in my mind it is all cosmetic
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Old 03-05-07, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Consider this: Cervelo has the sloping top tube in its road racing bikes. More riders will say that's the way to go if you want to race. Cervelo also makes time trial bikes and their top end bikes are not sloping.
All Cervelo "top end" bikes have sloping geometry. TT bikes cannot be compared.

The fit of a compact is identical to traditional frames, zero difference.

The compact frame is lighter.

The compact frame has tighter front and rear triangles, which is stronger, especially for bigger frame sizes. this also improves frame torsional stiffness.

Even Trek is now prototyping compact frames with Discovery.
 
Old 03-05-07, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
A
The fit of a compact is identical to traditional frames, zero difference.

The compact frame is lighter.

The compact frame has tighter front and rear triangles, which is stronger, especially for bigger frame sizes. this also improves frame torsional stiffness.
Agree. But lightness needs downplayed because it comes mostly from the shorter seat tube. To get the proper saddle height, alonger seatpost is required. That almost neutralizes the weight savings.
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Old 03-05-07, 12:15 PM
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This is from the Cervelo website. Challenges the assertion that you can get by with less sizes if you use a sloping top tube.
http://www.cervelo.com/viewkb.aspx#3

Answer - Traditional, sloping & compact frames
A sloping frame is a frame that has the toptube higher and the headtube than at the seattube, as opposed to a traditional frame that has a horizontal toptube. It really doesn't change anything important in the geometry, the headtube, bottom bracket and saddle, the only points you connect with on a bike, are still in the same spot.

There are however some small differences between sloping and traditional frames that can be exploited in design. If you have two frames that are made identically except for the sloping vs. horizontal toptube, then the following can be observed:

1) slightly higher bottom bracket stiffness for the sloping frame
2) slightly higher torsional stiffness for the horizontal toptube frame
3) slightly lighter frame with the sloping toptube
4) slightly lighter seatpost with the horizontal toptube frame
5) slightly more seatpost compliance with the sloping frame.

Issues 3 and 4 are a wash, and for us at Cervélo the choice between sloping and horizontal depends on what combination we are looking for out of 1, 2 and 5. For our Road bikes, which have plenty of bb and torsional stiffness anyway, we go with a sloping toptube (or a dropped toptube on the tri bikes which has the same effect) to get a bit more seatpost compliance.

Compact geometry is the use of a sloping toptube to convince people you only need to make 3-4 sizes. As is obvious from the above, nothing changes in the way a bike fits when you make the toptube sloping. So if you need six sizes in a traditional geometry, then you still need six if it is sloping. Henceforth we're not big believers in compact geometry. But the terms compact and sloping are really used interchangeably by many people, so make sure you understand what they mean.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
Agree. But lightness needs downplayed because it comes mostly from the shorter seat tube. To get the proper saddle height, alonger seatpost is required. That almost neutralizes the weight savings.
Untrue. Two of the dirtiest little secrets in the industry are directly related to this:

Dirty Little Secret 1: No matter what the manufacturer of a carbon fork or post claims, significant weight loss isn't going to happen by cutting the component to size. Most weight in the fork is found in the area around the crown and in the arms. Cutting the steerer just doesn't drop that much weight. These claims people have of a 420 gram fork dropping to 340 after a cut are hooey. Same with posts, where the vast majority of the weight is in the clamp.

Dirty Little Secret 2: Frame weights differ a lot more than 20-40 grams between sizes. A 52 weighs in at 1060, so a 56 must be a little under 1100, right? Weigh the two frames. You'll see that sizes can differ by as much as 120 grams depending on frame material.

Compacts are significantly lighter than their traditional geometry counterparts, period. They're also stiffer, as someone mentioned. Good for racing, but they don't make the best plush rides, or ultra-distance rigs... I personally love my compact, though.

Last edited by VT to CA; 03-05-07 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
Agree. But lightness needs downplayed because it comes mostly from the shorter seat tube. To get the proper saddle height, alonger seatpost is required. That almost neutralizes the weight savings.
Not in the era of CF seatposts, same length, just more sticks out, but the geometry means a shorter top tube, seat tube, and rear dropouts -that's three areas of weight reduction versus one.
 
Old 03-05-07, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by VT to CA
Untrue. Two of the dirtiest little secrets in the industry are directly related to this:
These are the dirtiest secrets in the industry?
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Old 03-05-07, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantoj
These are the dirtiest secrets in the industry?
Next to the fact that most bikes, despite the stickers on the frame (one part) to the contrary, are made in Asia.
 
Old 03-05-07, 07:11 PM
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Doesn't the need for a longer seat post negate any stiffness benefits of having a compact frame?
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