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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Tinker, Taylor, Tart
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^^ This.

It's taken me a while to adopt this approach - mainly because every fitter I've been to takes the 'up & forward' approach with the saddle, and the 'raise bars & shorten reach' approach with the bars - but more recently I've been experimenting with this myself. It's much more comfortable.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:13 pm 
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Cool thread. I think there is a giant void in the cycling biz for this body type, and that it's way more common that designers realize, especially with taller folks. I assume people aren't likely to have the same proportions at 5'8" and 6'4". Either that, or the percentages of balanced proportions at each height are different. But for some reason large frames seem to be designed for giant small guys.

I stick with standard frames but I have to use a big drop and long 140 stem on smaller frames with big head tubes. Sort of like a lot of tall pros, ie., Vansummeren, Hesjedal. I have a ~605 stack, slammed 17deg stem, and 15cm drop. It looks scary off bike but it's the only way to have a fast position for a guy with a 37" inseam and a shorter torso (which I think is actually quite common). It's not as bad on the back as people think. You adapt to it and you have to know how to adjust in the saddle. Saddle choice, core and flexibility work can help a ton. My 2 cents on fit - don't always settle for the fit "experts" suggestions who will make assumptions about how you'll ride and work out, and give you a conservative position to avoid injury.

Sometimes I dream of a road bike with 750c wheels. Imagine building a frame around that size wheel for taller men, that could rock and possibly be an unfair advantage. One size fits all is not accepted for small fries (650) why should it be suffered by us large guys? (apologies that this wheel size thought is OT, but it's relevant for tall folks)


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Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:13 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Hawkwood wrote:
raymondbroeren wrote:

I see what you mean. Good question.

The Boson's stack is 573 according to the CAT from the fitter. The Ridley has a stack of 575, so 2mm more. The fitter added a 20mm longer stem on the Boson while it has 17mm less spacers compared to the Ridley. So, it indeed seems weird that a 20mm longer stem would be suffcient to compensate for a 17mm + 2mm = 19mm decrease in steer height. I will check what the fitter has to say to this...


I've got you, the bb bracket height on the Ridley is 7mm less, and the head angle is a little steeper as well, so this evens out the stack and reach a bit.


I can understand the impact of steeper head angle on the Ridley compared to the Boson (being 0.5 degree difference). I do however not yet see what you mean with the impact of the difference in bb bracket height. Could you please try to explain?

I thought that the stack height is always measured from the bb bracket till the top of the head tube (in a vertical line). Since the bb bracket is also the reference point for fixing the desired saddle height, I thought that when comparing stack heights of different bike types you are comparing apples with apples - which is what you want - and not apples with oranges. I find it somewhat difficult to explain this rather 'simple' concept, but hope you understand what I am trying to say.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Tinker, Taylor, Tart
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tinozee wrote:
Cool thread. I think there is a giant void in the cycling biz for this body type, and that it's way more common that designers realize, especially with taller folks. I assume people aren't likely to have the same proportions at 5'8" and 6'4". Either that, or the percentages of balanced proportions at each height are different. But for some reason large frames seem to be designed for giant small guys.

I disagree.

There is a - quite recent - trend towards this type of bike (Giant Defy, Colnago CX Zero etc), but the marketing, naming and quality is never up there with the top-end models of that particular range.

If Giant labelled the Defy as a derivative of their TCR, Spesh labelled the Roubaix a derivative of the Tarmac (and eliminated the curvy bits and w4nky 'Zertz' blobs of glue) and Colnago gave the CX Zero and number instead of a name; and if the models that carry this 'Sportive' moniker were given the same quality of carbon and the same caché as the range-toppers much more people would be riding them. God knows the recent (and welcome) influx of desk jockey MAMILs riding race bikes with up-turned stems should be!

Merckx did it *years* ago with the 'Century' geometry (see - already a much better naming convention that carries a better stigma than 'Sportive Geometry'!), but now this supposed 'new' phenomenon is only good enough for the inflexible desk-bound new cyclist who has just seen a 'rinse & repeat' self-titled "Bike Fit Specialist".

Rant over.

Sometime I wish I'd never sold my LOOK 585 Optimum...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Unless there's some physical reason why you can't, I'd suggest you work on your flexibility and position on the bike. There seams little point in buying a new bike with a huge head tube and a short stem - it wont solve anything.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:04 pm 
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^^ Another typical response.

Improving flexibility is always a good thing, no doubt. It won't make your torso longer though.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:16 pm 
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BikeTart - I suppose you are right about a lot of those sportive style frames being produced. I guess I just don't think they got it exactly right. Those sloping frames with huge headtubes are just plain gross. The geo on those Condors someone mentioned look pretty good. I think super long legs and 700c wheels are always going to cause this design to be a challenge.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:19 pm 
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That's what I loved about the 585 Optimum - it was a short, horizontal top tube and tall head tube.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:29 pm 
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BikeTart wrote:
^^ Another typical response.

Improving flexibility is always a good thing, no doubt. It won't make your torso longer though.


Improving your position on the bike might though!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:32 pm 
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DJT21 wrote:
Improving your position on the bike might though!

Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but how the hell will improving your position on the bike make your torso longer?!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:44 pm 
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DJT21 wrote:
Unless there's some physical reason why you can't, I'd suggest you work on your flexibility and position on the bike. There seams little point in buying a new bike with a huge head tube and a short stem - it wont solve anything.


Thank you for this insight. As a junior back in the 70s I ran a saddle/handlebar drop of 60mm, and was extremely flexible, this was a normal set up, and I won time trials with this position. The position was great for getting into a tuck while on long mountain descents. I have measured my current `huge head tube' Merida against other `old school frames' I have, and it has the same stack and reach of frames we were using up to the mid 90s, before compact frames came in. With the `huge head tube' Merida I can easily get a saddle/handlebar drop of 100mm, and 120mm without too much problem. As a much younger, more flexible, taller, professional rider such as Tom Boonen only runs 120mm, I can't imagine why I would want a frame that took me to a 150mm drop or lower, hence I run with a frame that has a `huge head tube'! And yes I work on my flexibility, but sadly a combination of cycle crashes and wear and tear has wrecked several of my vertebrae, so now I can't bend over and touch the floor with my palms as I used to be able to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:49 pm 
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tinozee wrote:
BikeTart - I suppose you are right about a lot of those sportive style frames being produced. I guess I just don't think they got it exactly right. Those sloping frames with huge headtubes are just plain gross. The geo on those Condors someone mentioned look pretty good. I think super long legs and 700c wheels are always going to cause this design to be a challenge.


The `huge headtubes' are only the size headtubes that were normal up to about 15 years ago. Sloping frames were developed to avoid manufacturers having to make lots of different size frames, and hence increase profitability.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:52 pm 
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BikeTart wrote:
DJT21 wrote:
Improving your position on the bike might though!

Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but how the hell will improving your position on the bike make your torso longer?!


Well perhaps not physically lengthen your torso. But that bike setup looks very "sit up and beg" which would make it difficult for the rider to rotate further forwards which allows them to get longer and lower.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:07 am 
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DJT21 wrote:
BikeTart wrote:
DJT21 wrote:
Improving your position on the bike might though!

Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but how the hell will improving your position on the bike make your torso longer?!


Well perhaps not physically lengthen your torso. But that bike setup looks very "sit up and beg" which would make it difficult for the rider to rotate further forwards which allows them to get longer and lower.


There's a webpage somewhere where the owner (an ex pro) shows how slammed stems etc make no difference to how low riders can get, and uses photos to back it up. I can remember back in the 70s descending at around 90 km (clocked by race vehicles) per hour with my nose on the stem, and this with a 60mm saddle/handlebar drop, and short reach. It's easy to pull yourself into an aero tuck with bent elbows. The `modern' position is for a slammed stem, but with straight arms.


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Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:07 am 


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:19 am 
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I know for sure that my back and neck cannot take a deeper drop.

As a junior racer I always complained about pains, even though my position had been measured by an LBS. When I picked up riding again 3 three years ago, I initially started on my 'old' bike (steel Colnago) and the pains where there again. When changing to my current Ridley I went to a professional bike fitting lab, was measured with film, 3D analysis etc. and there we concluded that due to some inflexibility in my hips / pelvis I needed to reduce the drop till 83mm. Since then the rides are much more comfortable and cause less pain, although since this appears to be a weak spot in my body, pain comes back from time to time. I have been advised by physiotherapists and podiatrist etc. to work on my core stability, which I do by going two times a week to the gym (at least now during winter). So, I know for sure that in terms of bike positioning I am at my limit.

Re Eddy Merckx: might be an interesting option. See the EMX-3:
http://www.eddymerckx.be/EUR/nl/bike/male/emx-3/campagnolo-athena-eps

And review:
http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/category/bikes/road/product/review-merckx-emx-3-12-46320/

Stack & reach numbers of the Trek Domane are still slightly better. Do you people agree that the Domane is also the better 'racer' compared to the other options?

PS Will ask a fee quote today of Sarto which was suggested as they make custom carbon bikes.


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