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Top end frames for my build (long legs, short torso, long arms)

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Top end frames for my build (long legs, short torso, long arms)

Old 05-24-12, 09:11 PM
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Top end frames for my build (long legs, short torso, long arms)

Hello friends,

I'm fairly new to vintage bikes. I recently picked up a 63cm Miyata 712. Previously, I was riding a 59cm Surly Steamroller. I didn't realize the poor fit of the Steamroller until I rode the Miyata for awhile. Even though the Steamroller is smaller, the reach to the bars is a little bit too far. I think the top tube is 59cm. On the Miyata, I think the top tube length is 57cm. However, even though the Miyata is large, I still have the seat raised a little bit above the max seat height line.

I'm 6'3", have long legs (36" inseam) and no torso, but also long arms (80" wingspan). I've been keeping my eye out for a Miyata Team, but I read on a different website that Team's have a long TT and are built for people with stumpy legs and long torsos.

The 712 rides really nicely, but now I'm looking for something top-of-the-line.

So what top end vintage racing bikes should I be on the watch for?
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Old 05-24-12, 10:23 PM
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Is the 712 a lower-end model? If you like the fit, I would measure the top tube and seat tube and try to find something higher end that has the same lengths (maybe 1 cm longer in the seat tube if you feel like it is too short) in a nice tubeset. You may have better luck getting a good deal that way, than if you shoot for a particularly prestigious model with a strong following. If you feel that the seat tube is too short, they do make longer seatposts now than they used to, now that 'compact' geometry is the industry standard.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:47 PM
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I doubt much difference exists in the frame between the 712 and the 912 besides the decals/paint. Pretty much top of the line besides the team models.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:56 PM
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Aren't lemonds known for this proportion?
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Old 05-24-12, 11:15 PM
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Oh man, I have a similar build and I have yet to find a very comfortable frame. I'm 5'8" with a 32" inseam and 6' wingspan. Does anyone know of any manufacturers/models that made same length top tubes and seat tubes? Dang our magnificent track runner body proportions.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:32 AM
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The Centurion Iron Man is a bike with a steeper seat angle and short top tube. Perfect for guys with long legs and average torsos.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:37 AM
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Ya Baby, this is my thread.

I am literally half legs. I'm 5'8" and have a 33.5" cycling inseam. (I was for a long time a competitive distance runner) I also have a 6' plus wingspan and a deep chest (43"). My bar height is not limited by flexibility, but by the point where my knees are pounding my chest. This all makes bike fitting a real challenge. I ignore the "Lordy that's a long seat post" C&V dullards (idiots) with their short legs, fat stomachs and lack of flexibility. Besides, I don't like to bounce my balls on the TT. Here is what I have learned.

1) Basically, stating the obvious, you need a bike that has a ST longer than the TT.

2) A sharper ST angle, i.e., 74 degrees or greater, will move you forward and shorten the reach.

3) From a C&V perspective, you probably should look for a criterium specific bike. For example, I had a Team Fuji that fell within this category (57 ST, 55 TT). My 1989 Trek 660 is similar with 73.5/73.5 angles. My modern 2007 Schwinn Madison has 74.5/74.5 angles. Some of the earlier Team Miyatas have these same characteristics -- i.e., 58 ST, 56 TT.

4) Use a no setback seat post, such as the Thomson or the equal quality, but much cheaper, Origin 8.

5) The Lemond bikes are just the opposite -- short ST, long TT.

5) My best solution is non C&V. In the modern development of triathlon bikes, there was a period of "moderate" ST angles of 74.5 - 76.5. Contemporary Tri bikes have ST's more in the 80 degree range. I have a 2003 Ti Airborne Spectre with a 74.5 ST and a 2005 Ti Quintana Roo Santo with w 76.5 ST. Set up for the road, these bikes are great for those elite of us with enhanced legs. Really, I am taken by the difference ever time I ride them. And, if you look around, you can find the frames for $350-500.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rfj View Post
Oh man, I have a similar build and I have yet to find a very comfortable frame. I'm 5'8" with a 32" inseam and 6' wingspan. Does anyone know of any manufacturers/models that made same length top tubes and seat tubes? Dang our magnificent track runner body proportions.
We runners must stay together.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Fivethumbs View Post
The Centurion Iron Man is a bike with a steeper seat angle and short top tube. Perfect for guys with long legs and average torsos.
I have an Ironman, but have never seen the spec charts.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:49 AM
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The 712 is a very well made bike and even though it is about 2nd in the line up is still a far nicer bike than most.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post

5) The Lemond bikes are just the opposite -- short ST, long TT.
Whoops.
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Old 05-25-12, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
Whoops.
No worries. Honest mistake.
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Old 05-25-12, 01:13 AM
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BTW, if I am not mistaken, Eddy M is a long legged, shorter torso guy who preferred fast forward frames. And as I think about it, my Look KG96 is a fast forward frame, but Look has always been ahead of the curve.
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Old 05-25-12, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Hope that helps.
Definitely, great information.
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Old 05-25-12, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fivethumbs View Post
The Centurion Iron Man is a bike with a steeper seat angle and short top tube. Perfect for guys with long legs and average torsos.
My friend has an Iron Man. It's a very similar bike to the 712.


Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Ya Baby, this is my thread.

I am literally half legs. I'm 5'8" and have a 33.5" cycling inseam. (I was for a long time a competitive distance runner) I also have a 6' plus wingspan and a deep chest (43"). My bar height is not limited by flexibility, but by the point where my knees are pounding my chest. This all makes bike fitting a real challenge. I ignore the "Lordy that's a long seat post" C&V dullards (idiots) with their short legs, fat stomachs and lack of flexibility. Besides, I don't like to bounce my balls on the TT. Here is what I have learned.

1) Basically, stating the obvious, you need a bike that has a ST longer than the TT.

2) A sharper ST angle, i.e., 74 degrees or greater, will move you forward and shorten the reach.

3) From a C&V perspective, you probably should look for a criterium specific bike. For example, I had a Team Fuji that fell within this category (57 ST, 55 TT). My 1989 Trek 660 is similar with 73.5/73.5 angles. My modern 2007 Schwinn Madison has 74.5/74.5 angles. Some of the earlier Team Miyatas have these same characteristics -- i.e., 58 ST, 56 TT.

4) Use a no setback seat post, such as the Thomson or the equal quality, but much cheaper, Origin 8.

5) The Lemond bikes are just the opposite -- short ST, long TT.

5) My best solution is non C&V. In the modern development of triathlon bikes, there was a period of "moderate" ST angles of 74.5 - 76.5. Contemporary Tri bikes have ST's more in the 80 degree range. I have a 2003 Ti Airborne Spectre with a 74.5 ST and a 2005 Ti Quintana Roo Santo with w 76.5 ST. Set up for the road, these bikes are great for those elite of us with enhanced legs. Really, I am taken by the difference ever time I ride them. And, if you look around, you can find the frames for $350-500.

Hope that helps.
Great advice, thanks. I'll look around for something with a ST angle of 74.5-76.5.

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
The 712 is a very well made bike and even though it is about 2nd in the line up is still a far nicer bike than most.
Don't get me wrong; I love the 712, I'm just always on the hunt for something faster.

Originally Posted by RFC View Post
BTW, if I am not mistaken, Eddy M is a long legged, shorter torso guy who preferred fast forward frames. And as I think about it, my Look KG96 is a fast forward frame, but Look has always been ahead of the curve.
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Old 05-25-12, 05:40 PM
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BTW, the Litespeed Tachyon is another of the moderate tri bikes. I'm sure there are also 90's steel tri bikes with appropriate angles. I think Scott offered these.
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Old 05-25-12, 05:51 PM
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hmarks,

All Miyatas are nice, very well made bikes. They are perhaps Japan's finest massed produced bike. A Team or a Pro, like this smokin' hot deal that finishes on eBay in one hour:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/miyata-pro-r...item3f17ba65ef

will save about 2 - 2.5 lb over yours, which would be helpful for climbing or criteriums. Looks like it comes with 36 spoke wheels, which are a safer bet for bigger/heavier riders.

My 88 model 312 is a 63cm C-T frame, top tube is a fairly short 58cm. 2 sizes too big for me, I use a 90mm stem and only have about 2 inches of seatpost sticking out. Use it for a sport tourer/ randonneur, and with nearly equal height saddle & handlebars, it rides like a Cadillac.

My 92 model Team is a 58cm C-T frame, top tube is 56.8cm. Fits like a competitive glove. 100mm stem there, a little over 4 inches of seatpost out. Like any true race bike, the ride is a little nervous/ darty at slow speeds, but tracking is stabile and precise at high speeds.

I don't think it has been said yet - the fastest bikes are usually somewhat undersized for the rider and use a slightly longer seatpost. This allows the stem to position the handlebars in a "slammed" position and creates a significant height difference between the top of the saddle and the top of the handlebars - like 12+ cm. This difference places the rider in an even deeper than normal tuck with hands on the drops, so improves aerodynamics by reducing the rider's cross section to the wind and by reducing coefficient of drag. The tradeoff, especially to those of us who are older, is it requires more flexibility to get into that position, and can result in neck and lower back pain, and unnecessarily arduous long rides.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:16 PM
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I'm no fit expert but a steep ST angle actually has the effect of lengthening the top tube because you have to push the saddle further back to get the correct setback (unless you have short femurs). A steep angle and being further over the pedals is fine for riding crits but for longer distance riding you'll be using your quads too much. Pushing yourself too far forward can also result in an unbalanced position on the bike and negatively impact handling.

That said, a slacker ST angle for a given TT length is effectively shorter than a steep one. Trying to shorten reach by moving the saddle forward isn't the best way to make a bike fit - that's what stems and bars are for. Of course, really short stems and bars can goof up handling too.

I wish that I could offer advice on a frame for you. If you're truly having a hard time finding a bike that fits well, a good fitter can help you figure out what you need to look for and give you some coordinates to dial in future bikes - it's a worthwhile investment.

Originally Posted by RFC View Post
2) A sharper ST angle, i.e., 74 degrees or greater, will move you forward and shorten the reach.
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Old 05-25-12, 09:13 PM
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I'm only 5 91/2 and shrinking I inherited longer legs from Pa and shorter torso from Mama. Solution for fit asymmetrical frames. Or as in the case of one my favorite rides, a smaller frame with a very hight seat-post and a Nitto Technomic stem. At my height, I have options within a fairly common stock of C&V. My favorite it is a very rare bike a Simplon with 56 ST and 54 TT.

Looking at your personal specs, this is my thinking and I am not trying to be a smart-ass or clever. Rather ... I am thinking now about what I have considered for myself. Instead of having (in my case) four bikes with four fits, might it have been better for me to have contracted a builder to make ONE lugged steel frame for me that was perfect for me in the three basic riding positions on the bar tops, on the horns, in the drops.

I expect that you will not select to do this most of us don't. We scour the planet for our own private grail or something that captures our imagination in the old production. I expect many of us end up compromising somewhere. Besides custom frames are usually expensive, although in Sendai I can have one made by Mr Matsumoto for about 100,000 yen from really nice tubing braze filled or brazed lugs.

Just one thought, one more option with reasons given. Good luck. The hunt is all part of the thrill in C&V.
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Old 05-25-12, 09:24 PM
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There are lots of frames from the 70s and 80s that are well suited to taller guys with long legs and shorter torsos.

Here's a Gazelle in the sales forum. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ipped-Lower-48
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Old 05-25-12, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
I'm only 5 91/2 and shrinking I inherited longer legs from Pa and shorter torso from Mama. Solution for fit — asymmetrical frames. Or as in the case of one my favorite rides, a smaller frame with a very hight seat-post and a Nitto Technomic stem. At my height, I have options within a fairly common stock of C&V. My favorite it is a very rare bike — a Simplon with 56 ST and 54 TT.

Looking at your personal specs, this is my thinking — and I am not trying to be a smart-ass or clever. Rather ... I am thinking now about what I have considered for myself. Instead of having (in my case) four bikes with four fits, might it have been better for me to have contracted a builder to make ONE lugged steel frame for me that was perfect for me in the three basic riding positions — on the bar tops, on the horns, in the drops.

I expect that you will not select to do this — most of us don't. We scour the planet for our own private grail or something that captures our imagination in the old production. I expect many of us end up compromising somewhere. Besides custom frames are usually expensive, although in Sendai I can have one made by Mr Matsumoto for about 100,000 yen — from really nice tubing — braze filled or brazed lugs.

Just one thought, one more option with reasons given. Good luck. The hunt is all part of the thrill in C&V.
Actually, very good point. But then we would only have one bike and not have the experience of sampling numerous bikes.
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Old 05-25-12, 09:55 PM
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Also since you have a smaller torso figure in the idea of running a shorter stem a lot of bigger size bikes come with 90/100 plus stems so you could change to a shorter stock 70/80 stem fairly cheaply.
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Old 05-26-12, 12:50 AM
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That's one very tasty Gazelle, Colonel. I'm very happy that it's many sizes too big for me, or my lust would surely get the better of me.
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Old 05-26-12, 09:46 AM
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Since you're lookin for "top end", why not just have a frame made to fit you?

Last edited by Velognome; 05-26-12 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 05-26-12, 01:52 PM
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Quality or quantity? I'd rather have one bike that fit great than multiple that didn't, no matter how nice they were. Bikes that don't fit well are no fun to ride. There are well regarded builders with lots of frames under their belts who can build you a custom frame for right around 1K. Not cheap but in the scheme of things a great deal. Doug Curtiss/Curtlo is but one example: http://www.curtlo.com/pricing.html

Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Actually, very good point. But then we would only have one bike and not have the experience of sampling numerous bikes.
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