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The anti-Fench Fit fit

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The anti-Fench Fit fit

Old 08-20-19, 08:52 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
I was just wondering if I was the only one who has changed their notions of proper bike fit from the old days and updated it using a different point of view>.
Heresy, abomination.

Actually, I went though this but in the other direction. I went from a 54 track bike, 56cm road bikes, to 59-60cm frames. Got rid of a number of smaller bikes, even though the charts way I should ride 55, 56cm frames.

I felt it was old age and lack of flexibility that was driving me to smaller frames. Went through a half-year of yoga classes, other fitness regimes, and decided I wanted the stretch, reach of larger frames. Very happy with this transition, though I'm not riding centuries like the old days. Three hours a bike and I'm about done, perhaps I would see it differently if I was still into the bike endurance thing.
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Old 08-27-19, 01:04 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Haven't heard of this being a thing- equal parts inside the tube as expoas exposats new to me. Posts have a min insert line that isn't near the middle.
I’m at the limit line on this post as I said and I’m also using a 27.2/30.2 U.S.E. Delrin shim that about 2” long. So the post is being grabbed by the shim to its full depth and snugged up by the Hope seat collar.

The Hope seat collar is pretty cool BTW. It goes pretty far down the seat tube for (potentially) more purchase to squeeze the post top into the tube.

Unfortunately the exotic aluminum post bolt is pretty soft. I snapped 2 while trying to eliminate clicking noises. It uses a fine thread 8 mm bolt which is not common. I found some replacements in titanium button head Torx from a British motorcycle hardware supply house that has fixed the breakage issue and the post so far (this go around) is staying put and noise free.
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Old 08-27-19, 01:39 PM
  #28  
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Regarding the theory that compact frames were offered to be more economically efficient, that may have been true when Giant introduced the earliest compact frames with sloping top tubes to the pro peloton. Considering the amount of skilled handwork that goes into a good carbon fiber frame it made economic sense, especially considering the narrow range of body types in the pro peloton. They could offer two frame sizes and cover 90% of the peloton.

But I doubt it's a factor now, two decades later. Seems like most major bike makers offer the usual range of sizes in compact frames, so presumably that whole carbon fiber compact frame fad caught on and made it cost effective to offer frames for 6'2"+ 275+ lb weekend MUP warriors and sub-5' munchkins like a couple of my riding friends.

My bikes are all diamond frame, but I'd consider a compact frame... mostly for traffic light stops. And if I was a mountain biker, to preserve johnson and the twins from further injury. They're still in shock from that Sting-Ray crash when I was 12 and my little brother was on the back of the banana seat. Smacked head-on into something. Yow. Surprised I could still have kids. Unless my ex-wives weren't telling me something about why those kids didn't look anything like me.
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Old 08-27-19, 01:53 PM
  #29  
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Far from anti French 'fit'. Full French build, 1983 PSV-10 with maxed out seatpost, tucked stem. Def into the slight smaller frames for go-fast rides.

Interestingly enough, take a close look through the many era of professional cycle racing and you'll find what appears to be small bikes under riders.


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Old 08-27-19, 07:35 PM
  #30  
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Bike size choices did seem to vary a bit, but some of the most successful racers -- Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault -- appeared to ride frames appropriate to their sizes and without extreme bar drop. Although occasionally Anquetil seemed to prefer a slightly too-large frame with little drop between bar and saddle, presumably to suit his toe-down pedaling style and to get more stretched out for time trials or long solo breakaways on some stages.

As my neck deteriorates (old C1-C2 injuries) I can't handle being too stretched out anymore. My Univega Via Carisma frame is around 58cm, with an unusually long top tube. It's gone through a few personality changes to suit my comfort, from flat to riser to albatross bars. I think the current incarnation as a casual city bike with swept bars is the keeper. Occasionally I get an itch to try a gravel bike conversion with drop bars, but to make it work I'd need a much shorter stem which would probably adversely affect handling. So it would make better sense to get a smaller frame and choose a stem to suit.
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Old 08-27-19, 10:18 PM
  #31  
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I sometimes think all of these fit regimens are just rationalizations for riding a bicycle that one likes the looks of or got a good deal on or found on CL but which is otherwise too big or too little.

I have always liked bicycle to the smaller end of my fit range and have long ago settle on a 56cm C/C (effective) top tube with a 100mm stem as optimal for me. That usually results in a goodly amount of saddle to bar drop and a lot of seat post showing. I run all of my saddles set to 75cm to 76cm depending on the shoe and pedal. I like 170mm cranks. For reference, what it is worth, I have long legs and arms, slightly shorter torso comparatively and I am now standing 5-10+ and 156 pounds. My PBH is 86cm measured barefooted. My most recent build and purchase have both been a little bigger but still a 56cm top tube. My smallest bicycle has a 55+ top tube and my largest just shy of 57cm. I have ridden and been comfortable as big as nearly 58cm and as small as 54cm (top tubes) for a very aggressive crit-fit if there is such a thing.

My 54cm Cross Check with a 56cm top tube:



My 57cm Guerc with a 56cm top tube:




The top tube is the better gauge of frame size IMO. It does not matter what the decal says the frame size is, measure the top tube. If that is in the range then everything else usually can fall into place even with a little fitting

These sloped top tube bicycles are weird and sometimes show a gargantuan amount of seat post and yet are completely acceptable when measured by the effective top tube length. But they look weird to those of us who prefer level top tubes or what one silly magazine called "boxey" for goodness sake.

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Old 08-28-19, 08:36 AM
  #32  
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When I got serious about riding in the '70s one of the limiting factors to fit was the availability of long seatposts if you wanted to ride a smallish frame and get the right leg extension. I'd been riding a 25" Batavus and when I got my '78 64cm PX10 it had a dinky Simplex post (195mm?) that was barely long enough when you consider the amount required for safe insertion limits. It was not until the arrival of mountain bikes in the '80s that anything longer than 220mm was generally available. I can still straddle a tall frame but I'm shrinking in the torso; no longer 6'1" but now 5'10". Have not gotten rid of many bikes but am buying 62cm/24" nowadays in case I get shorter. That's life, if you live long enough. Have not ridden a compact frame or anything newer than mid-'90s.
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Old 08-28-19, 08:54 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post

Actually, I went though this but in the other direction. I went from a 54 track bike, 56cm road bikes, to 59-60cm frames. Got rid of a number of smaller bikes, even though the charts way I should ride 55, 56cm frames.

I felt it was old age and lack of flexibility that was driving me to smaller frames. Went through a half-year of yoga classes, other fitness regimes, and decided I wanted the stretch, reach of larger frames. Very happy with this transition, though I'm not riding centuries like the old days. Three hours a bike and I'm about done, perhaps I would see it differently if I was still into the bike endurance thing.
Pretty much my experience as well, first custom was a 56 back in the 90s when I was trying to go fast, in 2010 was offered a 58 Davidson and fell in love, and now playing with longer stems and looking for the right 59 or maybe 60. At 69 I have dropped from 5-11 1/2 to now 5-10 with some help from knee damage.
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Old 08-28-19, 09:46 AM
  #34  
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I am almost 6ft tall but I have a 31ish pants inseam which equates to a 32/33 cycling inseam and a very long torso. My ideal size if you use a sizing calculator is 54 which is too small and of course the calculator tells me others sizes included 56 through 58 . I have found in a production bike which is all I can afford a 56 more or less fits me as long as I use a 100 or 110 mm stem length . A 57 can work well with a 90 mm stem and my only 58cm bike has what amounts to a near perfect top tube but the stand over height is not ideal .

In the near future I would love to be able to afford a custom build which I am saving for , but it’s not going to happen any time soon.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:09 AM
  #35  
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5-7 and my optimal reach is: 380mm frame + 120mm stem = 500mm bar reach, on compact geometry (Medium frame with 54cm ETT)
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Old 10-16-19, 11:09 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
When I got serious about riding in the '70s one of the limiting factors to fit was the availability of long seatposts if you wanted to ride a smallish frame and get the right leg extension. I'd been riding a 25" Batavus and when I got my '78 64cm PX10 it had a dinky Simplex post (195mm?) that was barely long enough when you consider the amount required for safe insertion limits. It was not until the arrival of mountain bikes in the '80s that anything longer than 220mm was generally available. I can still straddle a tall frame but I'm shrinking in the torso; no longer 6'1" but now 5'10". Have not gotten rid of many bikes but am buying 62cm/24" nowadays in case I get shorter. That's life, if you live long enough. Have not ridden a compact frame or anything newer than mid-'90s.
Locating a longer (modern but still classic looking) seatpost for a smaller, horizontal top tube bike is an excellent way to keep a classic & vintage frame relevant to modern fit sensibilities. I’m building up a Klein Performance that is more like a size 53 for my (nearly) 6’ self.
I bought a used 27.4 vintage Dura Ace 7400 seatpost but now realize it is too short. So now, I managed to blow more money on a silver Thomson 330 mm zero setback 27.4 post. My goal with this is to mount my favorite saddle on there - Selle Italia Turbomatic Team and make the Klein a sort of speedy commuter/touring bike.

Last edited by masi61; 10-16-19 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 10-16-19, 11:31 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I've always been anti-Fench. Don't ask me why. But dad was anti-Fench, and his dad ... and his dad's dad.

Not his dad's dad's dad, though. He was very pro-Fench.
Back in my youth, Fench was how I rolled. I've developed more of an affinity for Engish as I've matured.

On a more serious note, where fit is concerned, I agree with iab. The location of the contact points matters more than how they are achieved. Fortunately, I'm still able to adjust to an extent as well (I suspect many of us can/do), but if we drift into the realm where every watt matters, such compromise can constitute heresy.
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Old 10-16-19, 12:37 PM
  #38  
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"This one on frame design suggested that the main impetus behind the move to sloping top tubes is that one frame size can accommodate a much wider range of differently sized cyclists, so fewer sizes of any given model need to be produced. The ultimate purpose was to reduce production costs, which in the case of custom carbon-fiber would be several orders above astronomical - to the point of being impossible."

This is absolutely true. Giant sold the compact frame design to us dealers as a way to reduce inventory models by limited frame sizing available saying fewer sizes fit more riders. They sold it to the racing public as a lighter overall bike because the frames were smaller.
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Old 10-17-19, 02:12 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Whatever floats your boat. The amount of seatpost showing is odd. I hope you have as much not showing as you have exposed.
Yep.
Looks strange and I would be worrying about the leverage on the seat-tube with that much post hanging out.
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Old 10-17-19, 03:26 AM
  #40  
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Back in the day when I was insanely flexible I could easily ride a bike with a lot of drop. But I never did. It got really tiring to hold your neck up for long periods of time in the drops. Unless you wanted to stare and the yellow lines and not see what’s in front of you. Always a recipe for disaster.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:52 AM
  #41  
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I have always preferred a frame on the smaller side vs. the larger side. If only subjectively, it feels like I'm mounting a motorcycle if I'm on a frame that's so large I either can't stand over it or can't reach the bars with comfort, etc. I prefer to feel "on" the bike than "in" the bike, but that also varies with bike type. Traditional MTB geometry (which I'm most used to) had a pretty long reach for a specific frame size, so I tended to want smaller nominal frames to keep the reach in reach. I just recently acquired an '81 Peugeot road bike with a 60cm frame (23"), and I'd have NEVER thought I'd find that ideal, but it actually feels good to me with some MTB bars on it with moderate backsweep. If I kept drops on it, I'd probably want a smaller frame.

But, at 6'0" with an actual 34" inseam, this is probably the "correct" size for me. I just prefer a more upright position than it dictates (at least for drops).
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Old 10-17-19, 12:07 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Yep.
Looks strange and I would be worrying about the leverage on the seat-tube with that much post hanging out.
Yeah, I discussed the issue with my LBS mechanic. He was encouraging but in more of a “try it out and see what happens” kind of way.



I realize that pushing this post to the limit is a bit extreme but if anything, it has made the ride more compliant. This bike is plenty stiff but manages to have a soft non-jarring ride.
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Old 10-17-19, 01:02 PM
  #43  
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At 5’12”, I’ve tried 21”, 23”, and 25” frames. While one can certainly use seatpost and stem to achieve an effectively identical riding position across different frame sizes, my experience was that the 21” and 25” frames just “felt” weird vs the 23”. Goldilocks? I think maybe the c/g of the bike itself changes with the frame size, and maybe also the frame flex characteristics? I dunno. I have precious few years’ bike experience.
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Old 10-17-19, 01:19 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Yeah, I discussed the issue with my LBS mechanic. He was encouraging but in more of a “try it out and see what happens” kind of way.



I realize that pushing this post to the limit is a bit extreme but if anything, it has made the ride more compliant. This bike is plenty stiff but manages to have a soft non-jarring ride.
Wow, just wow!
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Old 10-19-19, 07:16 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
The saddle to top of bar drop of zero feels sluggish to me when I want to go fast.

I did have lumbar L4/L5 surgery 15 years ago but I have fully recovered from that. I find that when descending, my butt slides further back on the saddle and my pelvis sort of rotates forward, making getting into a low fast position pain free and fun.

But where the real fun with some of these realizations factor in to the “classic and vintage” world is how this knowledge of the new fast and comfortable fit opens up build opportunities for some super cool unloved vintage frames. I would love to acquire a size 55.5 Merckx MX leader or Moser with El-OS tubing for example.
I guess I don't see what's so new in the fit you describe. One's fit is one's fit. Fashions may have changed, but if you weren't riding your best fit back in the day, it is best to start doing so now.
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Old 10-19-19, 07:34 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
At 5’12”, I’ve tried 21”, 23”, and 25” frames. While one can certainly use seatpost and stem to achieve an effectively identical riding position across different frame sizes, my experience was that the 21” and 25” frames just “felt” weird vs the 23”. Goldilocks? I think maybe the c/g of the bike itself changes with the frame size, and maybe also the frame flex characteristics? I dunno. I have precious few years’ bike experience.
Longer tubes are more flexy than shorter tubes with the same wall thickness, that's just basic physics/engineering. The 25" could have been over-flexy and the 21" over-stiff.

Was your fit equalized across all three frames? saddle setback the same for all three frames? saddle-bar drop? reach from saddle tip to center of the handlebar clamp? Same handlebars? If these were all matched, the shorter TT of the smaller frame means you should have had a longer stem extension on the shorter frames, and that front-center was longer on the larger frames. Certainly stem length and front-center can have an effect on handling, even if trail is the same.

Even with proper fit, to a sensitive enough rider there can be a Goldilocks frame and the three bears on either side of her. I don't know if I'm sensitive enough for all that. I do know I can feel a difference when I put on a stem with longer or shorter extension.
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Old 10-19-19, 08:06 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Longer tubes are more flexy than shorter tubes with the same wall thickness, that's just basic physics/engineering. The 25" could have been over-flexy and the 21" over-stiff.

Was your fit equalized across all three frames? saddle setback the same for all three frames? saddle-bar drop? reach from saddle tip to center of the handlebar clamp? Same handlebars? If these were all matched, the shorter TT of the smaller frame means you should have had a longer stem extension on the shorter frames, and that front-center was longer on the larger frames. Certainly stem length and front-center can have an effect on handling, even if trail is the same.

Even with proper fit, to a sensitive enough rider there can be a Goldilocks frame and the three bears on either side of her. I don't know if I'm sensitive enough for all that. I do know I can feel a difference when I put on a stem with longer or shorter extension.
I had everything the same as best as I could with the stems and bars I had, saddle and reach were all the same but bar height was different. Bars were all the same, too. It was sort of a pseudo-experiment I guess. Another big factor is probably tubing quality/thickness which has not been the same across all bikes for sure. And since I was riding the 25” frames I’ve lowered my saddle height across all my bikes another 5/8” after changing my measuring reference point. Who knows if that was a good idea or not. But it was a pretty dramatic change for me, that’s what, 17mm? That’ll change the feel of a whole bike for me. I don’t know if that makes me a sensitive rider but it took me about 3 weeks to relearn the bike.
I actually don’t remember the point of my original reply.
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