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Aesthetics Q - Tall Headtube or Shorter + spacers?

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Aesthetics Q - Tall Headtube or Shorter + spacers?

Old 01-25-20, 09:55 AM
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Sy Reene
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Aesthetics Q - Tall Headtube or Shorter + spacers?

What's your preference, going just with appearance as the criteria?
A big headtube with no spacers, or smaller headtube with say, 2cm of spacers under the stem?

For comparison, playing with a bike geo calculator, I'm looking at the Green vs Blue bike options, headtubes differ by 29mm; reach & stack netting out about the same with a stem length change.

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Old 01-25-20, 10:18 AM
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Depends.

HTs that are really short or really tall look odd to me no matter what - 180mm is towards the top end of normal-ish and still looks fine, to me, if things are proportional.

Likewise, too tall of a stack of spacers looks bad no matter what, and makes me think that the frame choice could have been better. IMO, 2cm including a conical spacer looks okay. A conical spacer with an additional 2cm stack wouldn't be the end of the world, but... eh.
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Old 01-25-20, 10:51 AM
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I think horizontal top-tubes look better, especially when they are made from steel and connected with lugs. However, I have short legs and they don't fit me well, so I personally prefer a sloped top tube and longer head tube.
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Old 01-25-20, 10:52 AM
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Any thought to the Aerofly +25 bar? That's how I'd do it.
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Old 01-25-20, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Any thought to the Aerofly +25 bar? That's how I'd do it.
nice idea as well.. I see there's also a +15mm version called the "Hover". Any idea how much if any, flare there is to these riser bars (these would be for a gravel bike)?
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Old 01-25-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I think horizontal top-tubes look better, especially when they are made from steel and connected with lugs. However, I have short legs and they don't fit me well, so I personally prefer a sloped top tube and longer head tube.
In this instance, both bikes are the same model, just the 56cm version vs 58cm version, both have sloping top tubes.
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Old 01-25-20, 11:18 AM
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Blue bikes handle better.
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Old 01-25-20, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Any thought to the Aerofly +25 bar? That's how I'd do it.
I have considered this in the past but decided against it because I didn't want to be locked in to using those bars.
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Old 01-26-20, 01:07 AM
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Tall headtubes look strange imo. Seen some pretty funky ones on buds' custom bikes.

As far as sloping and horizontal top tubes, I used to hate the sloping look. As bikes changed more to the sloping popularity, I ended up with one. Now, I like it much more than the horizontal. I think the seat post gives more room to use for things such as lights, rear recorders etc. On my horizontal, I only have a fistful of seat post and it is covered up by the saddle bag. Grown to appreciate it more!
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Old 01-27-20, 10:02 AM
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Depends on the frame, some look ok with a taller headtube, some look weird.

IMO, a 10mm spacer and 10mm headset cap isn't too bad, that's what I have on my current road bike and it doesn't scream out like a big stack of spacers. I'm currently shopping for a new bike, it'll have a taller headtube (looking at endurance geo bikes), so I'll run it with no spacers and the smallest headset cap I can find, and end up around the same stack that I'm currently riding.
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Old 01-27-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Depends on the frame, some look ok with a taller headtube, some look weird.

IMO, a 10mm spacer and 10mm headset cap isn't too bad, that's what I have on my current road bike and it doesn't scream out like a big stack of spacers. I'm currently shopping for a new bike, it'll have a taller headtube (looking at endurance geo bikes), so I'll run it with no spacers and the smallest headset cap I can find, and end up around the same stack that I'm currently riding.
Big bikes are going to have big head tubes. There's no getting around it, and a 62cm frame would look stupid with a 180mm head tube.

Totally slammed bikes with a flat headset cap and no spacers look pretty silly(IMO).
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Old 01-27-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Big bikes are going to have big head tubes. There's no getting around it, and a 62cm frame would look stupid with a 180mm head tube.

Totally slammed bikes with a flat headset cap and no spacers look pretty silly(IMO).
Absolutely, and if you need a big frame, there's not much you can do about that.

I'm lucky that I can ride a 56/57/58, so the proportions usually look good, even with a "taller" endurance geo headtube. I'm going from a 163mm headtube with 20mm of spacers/cap, to a 185mm headtube with no spacers and just the headset cap. I said smallest, but not sure if I want to do the totally flat cap, it comes with a 10mm cap, might just leave that, or see if I can find a 5mm.
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Old 01-27-20, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
What's your preference, going just with appearance as the criteria?
A big headtube with no spacers, or smaller headtube with say, 2cm of spacers under the stem?

For comparison, playing with a bike geo calculator, I'm looking at the Green vs Blue bike options, headtubes differ by 29mm; reach & stack netting out about the same with a stem length change.
What bike is the green one? I like that geo.
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Old 01-27-20, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
What bike is the green one? I like that geo.
I believe that's the 56cm Cervelo Aspero.. the blue is the 58cm version. Though I may have the fork rakes incorrect, fyi.
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Old 01-27-20, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I believe that's the 56cm Cervelo Aspero.. the blue is the 58cm version. Though I may have the fork rakes incorrect, fyi.
Those are sweet, if I didn’t already have (and really like) my Revolt, I’d be looking at those. Would be great for road and gravel.

Here’s the spacer setup on the new bike. This was just for the test ride, they’ll cut it down. I didn’t realize it had an integrated cap/spacer setup, looks good, so I won’t mess with it.


Last edited by Rides4Beer; 01-28-20 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 01-27-20, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Those are sweet, if I didn’t already have (and really like) my Revolt, I’d be looking at those. Would be great for road and gravel.

Here’s the spacer setup on the new bike. This was just for the test ride, they’ll cut it down. I didn’t realize it had an integrated cap/spacer setup, looks good, so I won’t mess with it.


That is the same headset set up as on my Defy. Except I use the odd shaped spacers below the stem and regular round ones above.
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Old 01-28-20, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
That is the same headset set up as on my Defy. Except I use the odd shaped spacers below the stem and regular round ones above.
Yup, this is a Defy. I like it, fit was great, feels just as stiff and fast as the Tarmac, but more stable with the longer wheelbase and front center (and no toe overlap!! ). I won't have any spacers above, the shop will cut the steerer down and it will just be the one spacer and headset cap as pictured. Stack is just about the same as my Tarmac with spacers, just a hair taller, not even noticeable, felt the same.

Sorry for the huge pic, fixed it.

Last edited by Rides4Beer; 01-28-20 at 07:40 AM.
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