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Rumination on bike geometry

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Rumination on bike geometry

Old 04-03-23, 10:01 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by big john
I don't know if I qualify as a "wag" but it seems to me that a 20 inch chainstay bike is a niche within a niche.

Are there really "millions" of riders who want such a thing? Is the chainstay length something that is making riders unhappy with their bikes? I have been a member of a road club for 34 years and when people get into their late 70s and even 80s they have been getting e-bikes. Some even younger, depending.

And 32 pounds? You can get a full suspension XC style bike that is 8 or 9 pounds lighter with knobbies. I have an enduro bike that weighs 32 pounds.

There are lots of riders in their 70s who ride racing style road bikes. Some of them are fast and do long distances.

Yes, I know there are plenty of older riders who are more casual about it. I'm 69 and I enjoy a casual ride sometimes.
Millions of boomers, not millions of riders desiring short chainstays. I know already that lots of riders in their '70s ride racing-style road bikes. I know that you can get lightweight mountain bikes. I am asking why none of either of these are step-through models. Was I really so hard to understand? You may be satisfied with the offerings of the current bicycle market, but I am not.
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Old 04-03-23, 10:20 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
Millions of boomers, not millions of riders desiring short chainstays. I know already that lots of riders in their '70s ride racing-style road bikes. I know that you can get lightweight mountain bikes. I am asking why none of either of these are step-through models. Was I really so hard to understand? You may be satisfied with the offerings of the current bicycle market, but I am not.
Well the thread was about long stays and you seemed to agree with the OP in your first paragraph. Step through frames are an entirely different topic, unless you include them under the umbrella of things that aren't common on the market, or some such. Which apparently you did.

I can understand the appeal of step through, or mixte frames, for some people. There was a thread on high-performance type mixte frames recently, you probably saw it, or even posted your project mixte there. A friend who is a framebuilder built a beautiful mixte for his wife. It's featured in the framebuilder forum.

My point was questioning the audience for super long stays, not mixte frames. Sure, maybe if more people had a chance to ride a long wheelbase, long rear end bike they would want one.
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Old 04-03-23, 10:38 AM
  #28  
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Hey Big John: In case you missed the end of that other thread.
19 pounds, 14 ounces. Lighter than my Cervelo R5 as OEM equipped.
52mm of trail. Light responsive steering like a race bike. Comfy like a couch over the chunk.
Tubeless 38's, hydraulic disc, 1200 gram wheelset, 22-105gear inches...What's not to like?
Soma Bona by Richard Mozzarella, on Flickr
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Old 04-03-23, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
Millions of boomers, not millions of riders desiring short chainstays. I know already that lots of riders in their '70s ride racing-style road bikes. I know that you can get lightweight mountain bikes. I am asking why none of either of these are step-through models. Was I really so hard to understand?
Why are there no step-through MTB and road frames? Here are a few possible reasons:

1. Because most people who choose those bikes have no problem swinging their legs over a saddle.
2. Because removing the top tube makes a frame less rigid.
3. Because we boomers are not that soft.

Originally Posted by base2
What's not to like?
What's not to like:
  • downtube shfiters
  • missing second bottle cage
  • no top tube to sit on at stoplights
  • tubeless
You asked.
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Old 04-03-23, 11:34 AM
  #30  
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That's a pretty cool mixte.
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Old 04-03-23, 12:24 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Why are there no step-through MTB and road frames? Here are a few possible reasons:

1. Because most people who choose those bikes have no problem swinging their legs over a saddle.
2. Because removing the top tube makes a frame less rigid.
3. Because we boomers are not that soft.



What's not to like:
  • downtube shfiters
  • missing second bottle cage
  • no top tube to sit on at stoplights
  • tubeless
You asked.
For the downtube shifters, a WolfTooth TanPan would address the mountain/road incompatibility & allow heavy, expensive shifters & bunches of ugly cabling for the mechanical shifting inclined. It's not really a thing to not like, IMO since the matter of personal preference can be so easily remedied.

The second bottle cage can be mounted under the down tube. I chose not to install one because I seldom need a second bottle.

Sitting on the top tube?

Tubeless is a thing you don't like? Funny. I don't think about tubes at all.


To your other criticisms: Maybe many people that ride step throughs don't have mobility concerns. But instead prefer the intrinsic comfort and simplicity of that frame design. Big-bike, bike designers spend bucko-bucks band-aiding in comfort features to the fancy and already too-stiff-to-be-comfortable-otherwise carbon gravel/endurance bike frames. Iso-Shock, Future Shock, Zertz fittings, long seat tubes, pencil thin low mounted seat stays? And of course don't forget the aftermarket market for Thud Buster posts, RedShift stems, et al. Need I list more? The need for all those supposed "innovations" and accessory products can be short-circuited for many uses by selecting the right design scheme in the first place. Not that there is anything wrong with the way the industry is going, but dang! Perhaps it's time to revisit how we got to where we are, knowing what we know now.

Yes, the frame is less rigid...In a good way. There is a such a thing as too much of a good thing. Too stiff, although subjective can result in a bike that feels wooden & dead. I've experienced that. That bike sits unused in a corner. Kind of a waste of money, if I'm honest.

I wouldn't presume to make generalizations about "Boomers" or any other group. It says a lot more about you than it does them.

You're right. I did ask. But it's no more noodle-like than my Ritchey Ascent however I choose to equip it.

I tend to agree with Fredo76 A carbon "gravel mixte" could have real potential. The modern use case very much aligns with the frames original design intent.

In any case: This thread is about long chain-stays the Some in the picture is set at 17.5 inches. So pretty medium traditional as far as things go. I only showed it because Big John may have not seen the end of the other thread & it seemed to be relevant to Fredo.

Last edited by base2; 04-03-23 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-03-23, 12:41 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by base2
I wouldn't presume to make generalizations about "Boomers" or any other group. It says a lot more about you than it does them.
Right. It does say more about me. I'm a "Boomer", and I'm not soft. Nor are any of the other Boomers I ride with.

Originally Posted by base2

Sitting on the top tube?
One foot on the ground, one foot on a pedal, thigh resting on the top tube.





More comfortable than keeping your butt on the saddle, with one foot tippy toe reaching for the ground.
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Old 04-03-23, 02:34 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Why are there no step-through MTB and road frames? Here are a few possible reasons:

1. Because most people who choose those bikes have no problem swinging their legs over a saddle.
2. Because removing the top tube makes a frame less rigid.
3. Because we boomers are not that soft.
Those are excellent reasons why most bikes are not step-through. They are excrement-filled reasons why NONE are. When I used the term "wags", I meant butt-heads. Lots and lots of argument-filled butt-heads here...
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Old 04-03-23, 03:47 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
Those are excellent reasons why most bikes are not step-through. They are excrement-filled reasons why NONE are. When I used the term "wags", I meant butt-heads. Lots and lots of argument-filled butt-heads here...
Insults will get you nowhere.

It seems obvious why zero bike makers offer step-through-framed MTB or road bikes.

But not obvious to everyone, clearly. I guess stating the obvious is necessary in this case:

Every bike builder, from the big multi-national to the boutique shop, has rightly determined that there is no way to make a living marketing a soft version of a sports bike. Which is saying quite a lot, really, since there are plenty of niche bike builders, making some kooky stuff.

Why? Because adapting a sports bicycle to accommodate soft customers is a denial of the intention of such a bike type.
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Old 04-03-23, 03:56 PM
  #35  
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We have a Motobecane Grand Touring mixte in our stable. It is rarely ridden by us (too small for me and Ellen prefers her Linus mixte). It sits there forlorn until a couple who are one of Ellen's repeat AirBnB guests arrives from Britain to visit family for a few weeks. Mr Britain rides the heck out of it while they're here. That's pretty much its sole purpose in life. I'm fine with that.

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Old 04-03-23, 04:03 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Insults will get you nowhere.

It seems obvious why zero bike makers offer step-through-framed MTB or road bikes.

But not obvious to everyone, clearly. I guess stating the obvious is necessary in this case:

Every bike builder, from the big multi-national to the boutique shop, has rightly determined that there is no way to make a living marketing a soft version of a sports bike. Which is saying quite a lot, really, since there are plenty of niche bike builders, making some kooky stuff.

Why? Because adapting a sports bicycle to accommodate soft customers is a denial of the intention of such a bike type.
So, it actually offends your sensibilities, then? The idea of accomodating "soft" people? You are probably against the wheelchair paths in Grand Canyon National Park, I suppose.

Please explain yourself, if this is not so.
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Old 04-03-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
So, it actually offends your sensibilities, then? The idea of accomodating [sic] "soft" people?
No, it doesn't offend my sensibilities. But it makes no sense to modify a "sports-athletic focus" bike for people who can't--or simply won't--ride athletically.

There are many other bike styles that cater to the less athletic rider.
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Old 04-03-23, 04:33 PM
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I think terrymorse has hit the nail on the head! In modern parlance, it's called elitism.

Rampant elitism in the cycling world has prejudiced major manufacturers against accommodating 'soft customers'. From the feeling that one is better than someone else simply because one rides a bicycle, to the same feelings about the kind of bicycle one rides, to all manner of feelings about how fast someone is going compared to others.

"My dog's better 'cause he gets Ken-L Ration,
My dog's better than yours."

That the likes of squabbling internet wannabes and strava combatants are keeping us from the rides we would desire is a satisfactory explanation to me, for the time being. That's my rumination on bike geometry.
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Old 04-04-23, 02:40 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by big john
That's a pretty cool mixte.
indeed
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Old 04-04-23, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
No, it doesn't offend my sensibilities. But it makes no sense to modify a "sports-athletic focus" bike for people who can't--or simply won't--ride athletically.

There are many other bike styles that cater to the less athletic rider.
My application is more third world utility than sporty pavement play. I ride up a dirt road that’s average 10% with 15%+ sections. I also ride downhill with 20-30lbs of chicken feed. I have no need or desire to fly down the same road at 25 mph where suspension really shines and the durometer reading of my riding style could be meaured. 18” chainstay is a reasonable minimum for riding with boots and panniers. The high bb applicable for suspension and ubiquitous in mtn bikes makes a dropper seatpost very attractive but it isn’t necessary at all with a long unsuspended bike with low bb. A very low toptube or mixte frame makes surprise dismounts in rough terrain easy. and allows one to mount a bike with a child or gear on the back without striking them but I am less limber for high kicks even with a daily swing over a sagging 4’ electric fence.
Truly I am not a lycra clad hardbody but in better shape than a few years ago as I was skirting stroke and heart attack territory. You are correct the market for my application is very small. A quad, atv, utv or dirt motorcycle is more common for my application but I’ve always had a bike and since I am no longer fast I do like to float over the terrain at easy speeds.

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