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Frame sizing among the pros

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Why is it that when you watch a pro race they seem to ride tiny frame sizes relative to their body sizes? You always see alot of seatpost sticking out especially on compact frames. At my local rides (with many $4000 bikes that were custom fitted) the frame sizes all look "normal" to me. Dumb question I know, just curious if the pros know something about frame sizing that I dont.
post #2 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Toad
Why is it that when you watch a pro race they seem to ride tiny frame sizes relative to their body sizes? You always see alot of seatpost sticking out especially on compact frames. At my local rides (with many $4000 bikes that were custom fitted) the frame sizes all look "normal" to me. Dumb question I know, just curious if the pros know something about frame sizing that I dont.
Compacts always have more seatpost.As for the rest become a pro and maybe you will get it, but like all generalizations, the one you threw out doesn't always fly. Lance is shorter that I am and rides the same size frame.
post #3 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Toad
Why is it that when you watch a pro race they seem to ride tiny frame sizes relative to their body sizes? You always see alot of seatpost sticking out especially on compact frames. At my local rides (with many $4000 bikes that were custom fitted) the frame sizes all look "normal" to me. Dumb question I know, just curious if the pros know something about frame sizing that I dont.
Depends on the pro. A lot of sprinters ride undersized frames in order to get more seat to bar drop for better aerodynamics. This approach would be horribly uncomfortable and completely pointess for the average recreational cyclist.
post #4 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

You want to check the geometry on the pro's bikes. Often it is very different to the bikes being flogged to us off the peg. Manufacturers will never admit it but there are many cases of pro's re-badging their custom bikes to make them look like the sponsors bike.
post #5 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by artmichalek
Depends on the pro. A lot of sprinters ride undersized frames in order to get more seat to bar drop for better aerodynamics. This approach would be horribly uncomfortable and completely pointess for the average recreational cyclist.
I still do not see the arguement for the way a pro rides being uncomfortable. These guys ride longer in one day than alot of people ride in three or four days. 6 hours on the bike without being comfortable just does not seem logical. I say that they know something we do not. They all usually go through more in depth research as to how they are the most effeicient on the bike with comfort also added in. Most are tested by sports physiologist, and many use custom stuff. That is not to say that some are riding off the peg geomtry. I myself feel like I said in the other post, that alot of people are riding frames that are too big for them because that is what they have gotten used to. My .02
post #6 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCDETAILER
I still do not see the arguement for the way a pro rides being uncomfortable. These guys ride longer in one day than alot of people ride in three or four days. 6 hours on the bike without being comfortable just does not seem logical. I say that they know something we do not. They all usually go through more in depth research as to how they are the most effeicient on the bike with comfort also added in. Most are tested by sports physiologist, and many use custom stuff. That is not to say that some are riding off the peg geomtry. I myself feel like I said in the other post, that alot of people are riding frames that are too big for them because that is what they have gotten used to. My .02
Most of us that don't ride for pro teams; a) aren't nearly as flexible as the guys that do, b) don't have massage therapists to put us back together after every day of riding, and c) aren't getting paid to be uncomfortable.
post #7 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by artmichalek
Most of us that don't ride for pro teams; a) aren't nearly as flexible as the guys that do, b) don't have massage therapists to put us back together after every day of riding, and c) aren't getting paid to be uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable keeps coming up, but who is to say unless some of the pro riders get on here and tell us, that riding in the position that they do is uncomfortable? Six hours in the saddle on a bike calls for comfort, so I would think that they are still comfortable even though it may not look like it to some.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

I agree that many of us are riding frames that are too large. I was riding a 57 for a while because that is what a trusted shop fitted me with when I got back into cycling. The Scott CR1 that I recently bought is a 54 and I feel alot better on it. I only ride an average of 40 miles per day though.
post #9 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieRob
You want to check the geometry on the pro's bikes. Often it is very different to the bikes being flogged to us off the peg. Manufacturers will never admit it but there are many cases of pro's re-badging their custom bikes to make them look like the sponsors bike.
There is alot of blather here that does not float the hooey barge.Certainly many top team riders get rebadged frames and custom geometry. That in itself does not result in extreme or agressive position.Almost any rider that wants to can get the 'Euro Trash' look with a stock frame.. In fact many recreational riders are just fine with it, due to having the proper fit and conditioning.Others would be better in the Grant Petersen/Rivendell school and others should stick with the Mapry Poppins stye....As for the orignial poster, do what works for you and don't worry about others. If you feel the need to experiment, do so in small increments so you have can more easily adjust.
post #10 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by artmichalek
Most of us that don't ride for pro teams; a) aren't nearly as flexible as the guys that do, b) don't have massage therapists to put us back together after every day of riding, and c) aren't getting paid to be uncomfortable.
Exactly.

Adding additional text so my message is not to short to post. Please ignore.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

I agree boudreaux. I did what works for me which is why my new frame is 3cm smaller than my old, and it worked out great.

I was watching a race the other day and a Lampre rider was on a Cannondale with a sloping top tube. Either a custom or relabeled bike. The thing is that Cannondale brags that their riders ride the same bikes that the retailer sells....hmmm
post #12 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Toad
I agree boudreaux. I did what works for me which is why my new frame is 3cm smaller than my old, and it worked out great.

I was watching a race the other day and a Lampre rider was on a Cannondale with a sloping top tube. Either a custom or relabeled bike. The thing is that Cannondale brags that their riders ride the same bikes that the retailer sells....hmmm
It was no secret that Cipollini got a custom Cdale frame when he rode for Saeco.One of the magazines even did a story on the Saeco bikes and the custom ones for the top riders.The basic nuts and bolts of the tubeset may have been the same as for the stock bikes,but the geometry was specially configured to Cipo's taste.
post #13 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCDETAILER
Uncomfortable keeps coming up, but who is to say unless some of the pro riders get on here and tell us, that riding in the position that they do is uncomfortable? Six hours in the saddle on a bike calls for comfort, so I would think that they are still comfortable even though it may not look like it to some.
I'm not a Pro, but I have raced as a Cat 1 since 1996. I can't speak for the Euro Pro's but a lot of the domestic Pro's I know, and have raced with, ride on custom bikes. Many of them are on customs to deal with sizing issues and/or to suit their specialty (ie sprinting). Most customs I've seen are not too different from "shelf" bikes, just small tweaks here and there. Some go to the extreme to try something different.

The most common changes you will see is seat tube angle, head tube angle, and top tube length. I would say that comfort plays a role, but from my experience most areas of severe discomfort come from physical irregularities that bike sizing just can't accomodate without making a significant impact on performance. These guys deal with a lot of regular pain and discomfort from riding 6 hours a day despite having custom bikes.

As for the question at hand... about ultra short seat tubes. I think the general school of thought is that you can acheive a stiffer/lighter frame in that configuration and let a longer, often carbon, seat post provide some compliance for the rider.
post #14 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCDETAILER
Uncomfortable keeps coming up, but who is to say unless some of the pro riders get on here and tell us, that riding in the position that they do is uncomfortable? Six hours in the saddle on a bike calls for comfort, so I would think that they are still comfortable even though it may not look like it to some.
I agree. They are not that uncomfortable from body position--maybe from busting their balls for 6 hr, but not from the small frame. They are more flexible and recover faster than the rest of us. The smaller frames are lighter, maybe stiffer, and allow getting the front end lower for better aerodynamics.

Think about how much the average cyclist spends on the drops (very little) compared to the pro racers (alot).
post #15 of 18

Re: Frame sizing among the pros

Quote:
Originally Posted by boudreaux
It was no secret that Cipollini got a custom Cdale frame when he rode for Saeco.One of the magazines even did a story on the Saeco bikes and the custom ones for the top riders.The basic nuts and bolts of the tubeset may have been the same as for the stock bikes,but the geometry was specially configured to Cipo's taste.
They did the same thing for Fabio Sacci. Strangely, they made a big deal out of being able to crank the custom geometries out on their standard production line, but never offered the service to their paying customers.
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