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Which frames/brands are "narrow and high?"

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Which frames/brands are "narrow and high?"

Old 11-11-09, 09:07 AM
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ManBearPig
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Which frames/brands are "narrow and high?"

I've been riding/racing for about 5 years and have gotten my fit down pretty well over that time, working with what I have. However, the frames I have ridden (Scott Addict, Litespeed, Trek) tend to be a little too low when the top tube is properly sized. This is evidenced by a tall spacer stack at the headset and a large vertical drop from saddle height down to bar height, when everything else about the fit (e.g. seat fore/aft, stem, etc.) is good. I'm guessing that places me in the long legs, short-torso category of rider.

Without going custom, which road frames are known for having a taller geometry?
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Old 11-11-09, 09:29 AM
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Just about every brand now has a model with a 20-30mm taller head tube. That model may have a little shorter reach too, but the difference would rarely exceed 10mm or one stem size.

I always hate to generalize, but Cervelos have a shorter reach than most other brands. The RS model is the only one with a 20mm taller head tube. You really need to provide more specifics about the size you need.

Flipping a stem from 84 to 96 degrees will also raise the bars about 20mm, but if you're already using 20-30mm of spacers and a flipped up stem, then a taller head tube is needed.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:50 AM
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Many years ago, when men were men and women were glad, bike 'fit' was a lot simpler: stand-over height was the starting point. You got the largest frame that you could stand over with about an inch of room to spare, then played with the saddle/seat post, and bar stem. It was unusual to see more than a few inches of seat post above the frame. Frames were 'taller'. People were used to seeing taller frames.
Naturally, for the long-legged among us, taller frames meant more flex and a risk of the scary-shimmies on descents, so some folks rode shorter frames with longer seat posts and stems.

Now most manufacturers of performance road bikes tend to make all frames 'shorter'. Spacers stacked in the head set aren't just a bunch of washers from the parts bin, they are designed for that very purpose because the trend isn't going away and riders want to fine-tune their 'fit'. People are used to seeing them that way, they are more stable and responsive and you'll have a tough time finding one that doesn't reflect the trend, unless you either go custom or find an 'old school' frame from 20-30 years ago.

That said, there is some variation within the product lines of some manufacturers, e.g. Roubaix /Tarmac, but the 'taller' frames tend to have more relaxed geometries.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:38 AM
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spec. roubaix
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Old 11-11-09, 12:28 PM
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I have a Gunnar and a CAAD5. They have 230 and 220mm head tubes. Ridley has some talll headtubes on some of their frames.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:11 PM
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I believe some Trek's would have taller head tubes. The Pilot series (if they still make it). Cannondale Synapse, Felt Z series.

Basically the "comfort" like from any manufacturer, will usually have a taller head tube than the non-comfort equivalent.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:25 PM
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Thanks, all good replies. I suppose ideally I'm not looking for the relaxed geometry of a Pilot or comfort bike, but rather a taller frame that still has the angles of more aggressive racing geometry.
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Old 11-12-09, 08:00 AM
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I'm not fond of Treks, but the Madone 5 series has a taller headtube but not the relaxed steering you might find on some other models.

The Specialized Roubaix has a more relaxed HTA in some sizes, but the steering trail is still on the small side for quick steering. They use more fork rake to reduce the steering trail. In the smallest two sizes, the steering trail is smaller than any LOOK racing frame.
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Old 11-12-09, 03:48 PM
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The ones that come to mind immediately:

Specialized Roubaix (actually, even the Tarmac)
Cannondale Synapse / Six Carbon
Felt Z series
Cervelo RS
Eddy Mercx bikes with their "Performance Geometry"
Ridley (their bikes tend to have taller headtubes compared to their rivals)
Lynskey (when you add in the external headset)
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Old 11-14-09, 09:20 AM
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Ridleys have tall headtubes in comparison to same sized bikes from competitors.

The Felt AR has an in the middle headtube length (for size 56, F series has 140, AR 160, Z 180)

The Giant Defy Advanced has taller headtube ~1.5cm taller, tt ~1cm shorter, CS 2cm longer. Its not super slow but not razor sharp like the TCR
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Old 11-14-09, 12:47 PM
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The Addict was designed for a shorter head tube relative to its predecessor, the CR1 SL. The new CR1 has an even longer head tube, plus some "comfort" bits. But it may not me racy enough for you.

I had a CR1 SL until I broke it, and now have a Parlee Z4 and an Addict R3. They both fit me fine but I do use a few spacers due to sight lines with my prescription glasses. Without the spacers I'm looking into the top edge of the frame while in the drops. I'd rather have an Addict with a few spacers than most any other frame out there.
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