Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

the days of long head tubes!

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

the days of long head tubes!

Old 02-08-08, 12:58 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
skinnyguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 249
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the days of long head tubes!

i am to young to remeber these days, but it seems when i see pictures from just a few years back the bikes had way longer head tubes. i am 5'11" w/ a 34.75" inseam. this leads me to have a short top tube on my bike and a good amout of saddle to bar drop b/c the head tubes are so damn small. i am very comfy with it though. when i search for new frames i see there are only a few companies that still have somewhat decent geometry that would fit guys like me well. bmc and scott and a specialized roubaix seem to have a longer head tube to tt ratio. i bet less people complained about there backs and necks back in the day of long head tubes. to hell with compact geometery. sorry for boring anyone!
skinnyguy is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 01:02 PM
  #2  
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 31,410

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Liked 826 Times in 427 Posts
It's notcompact geometry that's the cause. You can get a Giant OCR for example, which is compact geometry,and a long headtube.

It's more to do with marketing to be like Lance. (OMG, I sound like ABH)
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:03 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
gfrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,757
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
And I thought it was just the opposite. I had a mid 80s Miyata I used for a fixed gear conversion. 54 top tube but i think it had a 110 head tube--tiny.

Then I got a 2000 Fondriest steel bike and it was the same thing--very short head tube. I for one am not able to live with the huge saddle to bar drop, so I've made adjustments and gotten new frames with much bigger head tubes and if feels way better to my old bones.
gfrance is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:08 PM
  #4  
.
 
botto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 40,375
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 12 Posts
dunno.

my medium TCR comp has a HT of 145mm (not that tall). my incoming BD "bottecchia", (aka generic CF frame) has a HT of 160mm, and the TT is 5mm shorter than the TCR.

Last edited by botto; 02-08-08 at 05:46 PM.
botto is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:44 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,039
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
You might take a look at the Felt Z Series bikes. I think I saw an article mentioning that half the Slipstream team chose to ride the Z instead of the shorter HT F Series, so it's not just recreational cyclists who like comfort.
Pendergast is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:46 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
halfspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SE Minnesota
Posts: 12,275

Bikes: are better than yours.

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by skinnyguy
i am to young to remeber these days, but it seems when i see pictures from just a few years back the bikes had way longer head tubes. i am 5'11" w/ a 34.75" inseam. this leads me to have a short top tube on my bike and a good amout of saddle to bar drop b/c the head tubes are so damn small. i am very comfy with it though. when i search for new frames i see there are only a few companies that still have somewhat decent geometry that would fit guys like me well. bmc and scott and a specialized roubaix seem to have a longer head tube to tt ratio. i bet less people complained about there backs and necks back in the day of long head tubes. to hell with compact geometery. sorry for boring anyone!
Tall head tubes are making a comeback. Every major manufacturer is entering the "comfort" oriented road bike market with some being quite high-end.
halfspeed is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:52 PM
  #7  
not a role model
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,659
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I, for one, think they're all way too short. Then again, I almost never ride in the hoods.

Look around and the vast majority of bikes on the road have at least some stem spacers, and many have stem spacers and upturned stems. Even manufacturer product shots have spacers on them now.

If you're designing a bike expecting everyone to use spacers, something is wrong. Yes, I know having spacers allows for adjustment and trimming of the stem, but you NEVER hear anyone lamenting not being able to get their bar low enough.
JeffS is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:55 PM
  #8  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Pendergast
You might take a look at the Felt Z Series bikes. I think I saw an article mentioning that half the Slipstream team chose to ride the Z instead of the shorter HT F Series, so it's not just recreational cyclists who like comfort.
Cervelo also introduced the "RS" which is a taller head-tubed version of the R3...
umd is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 05:56 PM
  #9  
not a role model
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,659
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by halfspeed
Tall head tubes are making a comeback. Every major manufacturer is entering the "comfort" oriented road bike market with some being quite high-end.
If you look closer though, there's typically very little difference in geometry between the race and comfort lines.

A 62cm Madone has a taller head tube than a 63cm Pilot.
A XXL Tarmac has a significantly taller head tube than a XXL Roubaix.
JeffS is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 06:15 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Brian Ratliff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Near Portland, OR
Posts: 10,123

Bikes: Three road bikes. Two track bikes.

Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by JeffS
I, for one, think they're all way too short. Then again, I almost never ride in the hoods.

Look around and the vast majority of bikes on the road have at least some stem spacers, and many have stem spacers and upturned stems. Even manufacturer product shots have spacers on them now.

If you're designing a bike expecting everyone to use spacers, something is wrong. Yes, I know having spacers allows for adjustment and trimming of the stem,
but you NEVER hear anyone lamenting not being able to get their bar low enough.
I have. One of the guys I ride with is short and squat - dropped 2G's a custom bike designed to not have any headset spacers. Fast forward, he's lost quite a bit of weight and now wants his handle bars lower but cannot. His only option now is a track stem.
__________________
Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
"If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter
Brian Ratliff is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 06:20 PM
  #11  
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by JeffS
\ but you NEVER hear anyone lamenting not being able to get their bar low enough.
I do. I can't get my bars low enough on my bike and it's the right size.
operator is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 06:57 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 685
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR, Felt Z series (all compact) and Colnago C50 (to a lesser extent) all come stock with relatively long head tubes. Oh, the Cervelo RS also is built this way, as is the Look 585 Optimum (or something like that). I'm about 6' and have a 35.8 inch (91cm) inseam.

I've managed to accumulate some used frames that fit pretty well. Since I don't ride them all, if you're looking for something in the 55cm TT and 20cm HT range, let me know.

Last edited by NRRider; 02-08-08 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Forgot Look!
NRRider is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 08:55 PM
  #13  
A little North of Hell
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,892
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
more of a problem with larger sizes, the opposite is true for smaller frames.

I find it strange when I see a custom with 30mm or more of spacers?

no problem for Pegoretti!

Soil_Sampler is offline  
Old 02-08-08, 08:56 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
halfspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SE Minnesota
Posts: 12,275

Bikes: are better than yours.

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by JeffS
If you look closer though, there's typically very little difference in geometry between the race and comfort lines.

A 62cm Madone has a taller head tube than a 63cm Pilot.
A XXL Tarmac has a significantly taller head tube than a XXL Roubaix.
A 62 cm Madone has a longer top tube making it an effectively bigger bike than the 63cm Pilot so of course it will have a taller head tube.
halfspeed is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 05:56 AM
  #15  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
A number of reasons....some of which is perception and marketing. Most don't race. But...they want a bike that looks like a racing bike. It an ergonomic conundrum Good to see manufacturers smelling the coffee and offering bikes with taller head tubes. Especially for us long legged types. Bike sizing has really morphed over the past twenty years or so and not in a good way...slave to fashion more then function. A bike isn't much good if it isn't comfortable enough to ride. Kudos to Cervelo for the RS and Trek for their upright Madone...Specialized and Giant all offer such a bike as well.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 07:14 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
skinnyguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 249
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
maybe we should write a petition to all the bike makers for longer head tube offerings and level top tubes!
skinnyguy is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 07:54 AM
  #17  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by skinnyguy
maybe we should write a petition to all the bike makers for longer head tube offerings and level top tubes!
I ride a Look frame with horizontal top tube. I am not a huge fan of Look geometry for long legged riders...they have average head tube heights. I can live with a slightly sloping top tube. I like Bianchi geomety. They slope their top tube to a very small degree in their bigger bikes. I agree with you about compacts...not a big fan here either but others love them...especially those that are inseam challenged...the opposite spectrum of guys like us. As to a petition...most of the big bicycle makers now are hearing our demographic loud and clear. Baby boomers are the guys with the money that can afford a $3k bike and don't want to bend over and drag their knuckles on the ground when riding.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 08:14 AM
  #18  
You blink and it's gone.
 
rbart4506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dundas, Ontario
Posts: 4,436

Bikes: Race bike, training bike, go fast bike and a trainer slave.

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by JeffS
If you're designing a bike expecting everyone to use spacers, something is wrong. Yes, I know having spacers allows for adjustment and trimming of the stem, but you NEVER hear anyone lamenting not being able to get their bar low enough.

ummmm...Yes you do...I'm married to one...Hence the main reason my wife is getting a new Tarmac after a few years on a Roubaix. She's got the bars on the Roubaix as low as they can go and she'll ride the drops for what seems like eons...

So they are out there...
rbart4506 is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 08:53 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
halfspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SE Minnesota
Posts: 12,275

Bikes: are better than yours.

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by skinnyguy
maybe we should write a petition to all the bike makers for longer head tube offerings and level top tubes!
On a bike with a horizontal top tube, the head tube height isn't a critical measurement any more because it is dictated by the seat tube length.

The confusion in modern sizing coms from that link being broken. People still expect that the "frame size" designated by some mythical or real seat tube length measured from some arbitrary points still has meaning.
halfspeed is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 09:02 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,946
Liked 1,508 Times in 1,117 Posts
When you're ready, call Gunnar or Waterford.
late is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 09:21 AM
  #21  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by late
When you're ready, call Gunnar or Waterford.
This is a highly debatable point. What are you going to get, a steel frame? I have ridden steel for 30 years and now much prefer CF. A custom steel frame costs more then a good CF frame wholesale. Custom CF is very pricey. Best case for long legged guys that aren't total freaks or 6'8"? A pretty good stack of spacers and high rise stem. Pick your poison if deciding based upon OCP critiera which many do at the end of the day. Long head tubes look bad anyway.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 09:22 AM
  #22  
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by rbart4506
ummmm...Yes you do...I'm married to one...Hence the main reason my wife is getting a new Tarmac after a few years on a Roubaix. She's got the bars on the Roubaix as low as they can go and she'll ride the drops for what seems like eons...

So they are out there...
Point being the opposite is much more the norm. A man married to a very flexible wife btw is lucky.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 10:00 AM
  #23  
not a role model
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,659
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by halfspeed
A 62 cm Madone has a longer top tube making it an effectively bigger bike than the 63cm Pilot so of course it will have a taller head tube.
You're right that madone has a .7cm longer top tube, and a .7cm longer head tube.

I wouldn't agree though, that they're different sizes, being that they're both the largest size made. I feel that a slightly shorter top tube is some trek engineer's answer to adding more comfort. Sure, it's got much slacker angles, etc... but strictly on a ride derived by position standpoint, I see very little difference.

Maybe I'm just jaded by being stuck at the large end of the bike spectrum. Sizing up is not an option for me at all, not without going custom.

Clearly some people don't have the same issues. Regardless though, an overwhelming majority of bikes are wearing spacers nowadays.
JeffS is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 10:25 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Cornhole, Iowa
Posts: 1,890
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I have. One of the guys I ride with is short and squat - dropped 2G's a custom bike designed to not have any headset spacers. Fast forward, he's lost quite a bit of weight and now wants his handle bars lower but cannot. His only option now is a track stem.
+1000000000000

I know of a LOT of people who are getting fed up with the bike companies going to stupid long head tubes on bikes. Over the last few years, Scott increased the HT length on the CR1 by 10mm in most sizes (but then kept the Addict with the shorter HT lengths), Giant increased the length on the TCR composite 10mm as well. Specialized increased the HT length on the Tarmac by 15mm!!! last year, making it basically as tall as a Roubaix two years ago.

I really think this is because overweight old guys want a "race bike" and find it hard to accept they should be on a Roubaix, etc, and then they complain when they aren't comfy on the thing. So, the raace bike market suffers (although people really racing are actually quite a small fraction of the whole market... so this is what we get.)

I'm one of the people who search long and hard for bikes with short head tubes. I'm a fairly tall guy, but have a short inseam/long torso. So, I have to go small on my bike size... even then to head tubes are sometimes too tall.

One of these years I'll plop down the cash to get a custom frame and be done with the constant search
__________________
Get on a cross bike.... you'll like it ;)
briscoelab is offline  
Old 02-09-08, 11:46 AM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
gfrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,757
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fact: most people on road bikes are riding with a stack of spacers and a flipped up stem

Either head tubes are too short for most or most are simply on frames that are too small. Sure, there are exceptions, but I'm speaking to the vast majority.
gfrance is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.