Request for Help on Carbonda Geometry

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:24 pm

by halcyongolf

I want to buy a gravel bike, and I prefer a Carbonda 696 over the 505 for the extra tire clearance. However, I'm having some issues with the geometry, and wanted advice from the community.

I am cursed with short legs and a long torso. My saddle height is only 725mm. My current (well fitting bike) is a 2018 Orbea Orca OMR in a size 55. The stack/reach on that bike is 572/391 with a seattube length of 520. I run a 10mm headset top cap, no spacers and a 120mm -10 stem, but I'm leaning towards putting my 130mm stem back on.

For my body proportions, this fit is fairly upright and short even though the numbers may seem aggressive, the drop and the reach are pretty mild.

On the Carbonda 696, the size 560 has a stack/reach on that bike is 589.8/384.6 with seattube length of 560. With a 120mm stem, I could run around 1.6 cm taller and 1 cm short reach (my gravel bars have a 5mm less reach than my Vibe Aero). Kind of good. However, the seat tube 560mm means I would have very little seatpost, and maybe some standover issues. It's hard to say about standover because that is one measurement Carbonda does not provide.

Dropping down to a size 540 the stack/reach would be 568/376 and the seat tube would be 540mm. This would mean I would slap on 10-15mm of spacers and a 130mm stem to get the same approx fit of the 560 frame size. However, a 130mm stem on a gravel bike seems a bit odd, and putting on a 120mm stem would mean the fit would be 2 cm shorter than my current fit which is already bording on too short for me on the road.

I would ride non-technical "fireroads" and trails. Very little elevation where I live now, and as such, almost no descending that is even mildly technical. This is just meant to be a fun all-around go anywhere bike that I intend to ride as a road bike....with 43mm wide 700c GravelKings SKs for giggles and some (flat) dirt fun and to float over the horrendous roads where I live.

Last edited by halcyongolf on Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie

Posts: 240
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:40 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by emotive

I have a 54cm CFR696 and a 56cm road bike. I love the versatility of the 696. I’ve done 1400km bike-packing trips on road with 700x32, gravel washboard on 700x44, through to rocky and rooty singletrack on 650x48. I have the 696 set up with more stack and less reach for more control in the rough. Since you don’t plan to ride singletrack or double track, 43mm tyres and a lower position will work well for road and firetrails.

If it is primarily for fun then the stand over comfort is more important than aero position. Perhaps a more upright position than your OMR can work. aero is not so important. I started with a 90mm stem and now run 110mm stem and 20mm less spacers, due to returning from a shoulder injury and regaining weight bearing and flexibility. When I do multi day bike-packing trips I still flip the -8 stem for more stack and less hand pressure. It takes a couple of rides to recalibrate but soon feels normal.

You are lucky in that you already have a bike with similar geo. I suggest you replicate the 696 stack & reach on the OMR with a cheap stem and spacers, and ride it for a week or two on road and gravel, let your body adjust to the different position and see if it can work?

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