Advice for a CF frame?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by QtDL, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    Hey everyone - I'm looking to upgrade my bike within the next year, possibly to a CF bike. Road bikes have always been difficult to fit for me because of my odd body type - slender female about 5'8" with longer arms and legs, shorter torso. Basically any stock bike I buy I need to refit the front end with a new stem and bars - right now I have 36cm bars and a 70mm 35 deg rise stem on a 52/53ish cm top tube frame. I know it's a weird and kind of ugly setup but it's the only thing that alleviated my initial back pain when I first bought the bike (stock bars were 40 cm and the stem was 90/95ish mm with a 10 deg rise). All the literature I have read says that for my body type I will have a hard fit because I will generally need to bring the bars as close and as high as possible. I was wondering if someone could recommend a make/model/manufacturer that has frame geometry with shorter head tubes and slightly longer head tubes (I think this is what I would need to make the lease modifications in the long run). or if people with similar body types could chime in with any advice they may have. Price is not an issue at the moment as this is something I will be saving up for. Comfort is my main concern. Thanks in advance! [​IMG]
     
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  2. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    What are your riding on now? Is your current bike built on a WSD (women's specific design) frame, or is it a men's or unisex design? In general, frames designed specifically for women have the shorter top tube and taller head tube that you're looking for.
     
  3. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    Correction, I meant to say in my original post "frame geometry with shorter TOP tubes and slightly longer head tubes".

    Right now I do have a women's bike (2013 Scott Contessa Speedster 35) but not too sure if the geometry is "women's specific". The specs are below. I was also wondering if just ordering a CF frameset with the steerer UNCUT would also be an option? That way I could figure out the height to place my bars and not have to worry about stem risers or super steep stems (which can be hard to find).
    Effective TT (cm): 53.0
    Standover height (cm): 76.3
    Wheelbase (cm): 98.0
    Chain stay (cm): 40.5
    Head tube length (cm): 13.65
    Head tube angle (deg): 73.0
    Seat tube angle (deg): 74.5
     
  4. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    Anyone have any thoughts on a Cervelo S5 or R5?
     
  5. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    You checked "Guru" already? (Not spamming).

    http://www.gurucycles.com/en
     
  6. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    Interesting. I have never heard of this company. You have one of their bikes? They do titanium too which is another option I was considering.
     
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    I understood that.

    Cool, you're on a WSD bike based on Scott's (older) idea of an endurance geometry, nominal size of 52 cm. Your job is to find a bike with a 53 cm or shorter top tube with a head tube longer than136 mm (read from the geometry chart). Or, in more definite measurements, reach of 379 mm and stack greater than 545 mm.

    Scott's Solace, their new endurance line, in 52 (377.3 x 550.5) or 54 (381.2 x 571.3) might fit the bill. Trek's new women's range, Silque might work, also in 52 (371 x 560) or 54 (374 x 575). Personally, I'm betting on the 54 cm Trek. It comes with longer crank arms, too. Look at Specialized, too.

    Cervelo makes nice bikes but a 54 is going to be too long, and a 51 won't be tall enough. It's been a while since I've looked at Guru. A few years ago their specialty was (somewhat) moderately priced custom carbon frames. I'm not convinced you need to give up on stock frames. It's just a matter of finding the right one.
     
  8. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know about it either, but a fellow member here mentioned them at some point and I liked that they are building everything in Canada (I think) and their carbon fabrication method supposedly doesn't leave any molds or bladders in the frame.


    I don't have one of their bikes, I'm in Europe so it's a bit of a stretch for me to get one from them. But I think that they are a Cannondale - owned company so I guess the Cannondale LBS here could handle repairs and warranty claims so if I go for carbon it's one of my favorites.
    [​IMG]


    They also have some discounted bikes from their previous years ranges.



    I don't know about custom... The only custom frames I've seen were usually steel bikes.
     
  9. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    I've seen custom frames in steel, titanium, CF, and a titanium/CF blend. So there are plenty to choose from if I go custom. Another question - I was considering doing the build myself so would ordering a frameset with the steerer tube UNCUT help? That way I could find the right height at which to place the stem and bars and cut off the excess. Would doing this affect the stability or handling of the bike at all?

    I looked at the Cervelo size charts for the S5 and the R5 and the TT for the size 48 is actually 51.6 and size 51 has a TT of 53.1. And I'm assuming the 'effective' TT measurement would be slightly longer on both?
    http://www.cervelo.com/media/docs/S5-486e5a1d-bd1e-4f8a-97e3-0308218a53a7-0.pdf
     
  10. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    As long as you are not using more spacers then the manufacturers specification why not? There are probably lot's of spacer dimensions to make a very good fit.

    I would not cut the fork my self, probably once everything is fitted on the bike I would maybe leave some space on top with a spacer just in case I want to make it a bit more upright later and have the LBS cut it.

    Do you have a range of dimensions so you can be fitted to the bike? If the frame is within the margin then after getting the frame you can do a custom fitting at a LBS.

    Some manufacturers have drawings with dimensions on their websites for their frames. It's probably best to ask Cervelo about the specific and actual dimensions of the frame you are considering.
     
  11. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    You are correct about the steerer, that is the one part I would have the LBS do is cut it. I'm pretty sure I could do the rest of the build myself. I may stop by my LBS today after work to see if they have a size 48 and 51 in stock for me to actually sit on. My gut tells me the smaller size (with a longer stem) would probably be a better fit but I won't know until I try (I posted the size chart for the S5 in my last post). I know with the larger of the two sizes I would need a tiny stem (70-80 mm). I'll shoot Cervelo an email to ask them about the spacer question. I actually know how to fit myself to a bike pretty well, it just getting the initial frame that is the hardest part. Most bike shop associates and fitters want to recommend sizes that are too big because I'm on the taller side so I sit on the size they recommend and it never feels right. I would ask for the next size down and say it feels much better and they would always gets so confused as to why and then I would have to explain my body type. It's never an easy process but I'll get it figured out.
     
  12. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's probably not hard to assemble the bike, but you might need a torque wrench so everything will secured with the correct torque.


    Although one of my more spectacular crashes was after assembling a BMX bike my self and going for a bit of descending on a road and the handlebar started moving... [​IMG]

    Somebody told me later that I forgot to pull up the stand and started going downhill and maybe that created the force that got the handlebar moving... Dont remember much, it all happened very fast, but the handlebar did move and I ended up looking like a zombie lol [​IMG]. But I was 14 years old or something and no, I did not use a torque wrench. [​IMG]


    There are some shops that offer a fitting session which is with a more complicated way then the standard height method. They also cater for athletes so you can go more "performance" or "endurance" etc.

    Road bikes (and especially TT bikes) never feel "too right" anyway. But being a bit uncomfortable after 200km is one thing and being uncomfortable right out of the shop is another.

    If you feel more comfortable with a smaller size with longer stem and the stem is still within the recommended specifications for the bike, why not?


    Btw:

    Have you heard of this new way of designing frames? It's called "Rider First Design" or something.

    Specialized started using it now too. Another brand that I know that is doing that is BMC (cool bikes btw, but mucho, mucho Dinero! Ehmmm I ment "Swiss Francs" [​IMG] ).


    Some of their "Mumbo Jumbo": [​IMG]

    http://www.bmc-racing.com/us-en/impec/design-innovation/


    Instead of just designing a 56cm frame and then just scale it up and down in size increments, they re-design the whole bike (tubes etc) for each size.

    Makes sense and maybe you also don't get these "gaps" on the headtube between the top tube and bottom tube. I read somewhere that the "strongest" way to build a frame is in triangles, so if you have a "rectangle" on the main "triangle" it might weaken the frame?

    Although how the manufacturers actually design the frames and for which loads is still a bit of a mystery for me... [​IMG]
     
  13. QtDL

    QtDL New Member

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    Thank for the info Volnix. I would like to learn the assembly process anyways - I have an engineering degree and have built several PCs in the past so the process of assembling things in a certain order and making sure things are to spec are no issue for me - plus I'm sure my OCD will make sure everything is correct before taking it out on the road. Regarding the fitting process, I know all about the $300+ 'complicated' bike fit. My LBS always tries to sell me a fit when I walk in there even when I ask about something not related at all. Lol. They are a big Specialized dealer and use the Body Geometry fit methodologies developed by Dr. Andy Pruitt out of Boulder, Colorado (I've read his book). I know how to take body measurements, range of motion measurements, do a rider specific fit myself (well with an assistant to hold the goniometer and write things down). I'm a doc and have taken I don't even know how many anatomy and physio courses and have read a lot of literature on the subject.

    With the steerer tube, it's not like I would need an extra 6 inches, maybe 1-2 inches more max. in height to get the bars to a comfortable level. Changing my initial stem helped greatly. I like the idea of the "Rider First Design" process you mentioned - I'll have to read up on it.

    FYI, you guys here are much nicer than another cycling forum I've been posting. [​IMG]
     
  14. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    I just visited gurucycles.com. The top-of-the-line Photon (carbon fiber) is available in full custom geometry. Guru also builds with titanium and steel.

    Having similar rangy proportions, my fitting was a headache back in the 1970s. All we had for help was the Fit Kit, and after punching in my numbers it rattled out a bike of very difficult proportions--something like a 62 cm seat tube with a 56 cm top tube, and a 10 cm stem. I ended up simply modeling size and position after a pro of that era of similar height and build, and aimed for balance over the feet. Having long arms allowed a longer, lower reach for the handlebar than what Fit Kit indicated.

    I think this means I'm a little skeptical of fit techniques that try to punch out a recipe based on body proportions, even including range of motion considerations. I believe finding balance over the pedals is the first step, with adjustments for power, comfort, flexibility, and aerodynamics to follow. That means sitting on a bike and finding where the hips want to be in relation to the pedals, then finding a torso and hand position that works, and then readjusting the hip position for the changes effected by the torso and hand changes.

    That said, I recommended looking at the Trek Silque based on the measurements of the OP's current bike and what could be changed to make it better conform to her perceived requirements. From what I've seen of stock road bike geometry charts, this is the best bet for a high hips, high hands, short reach position.
     
  15. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    You're a what now? [​IMG]

    You can get a bike that fits... What am I gonna do about my legs @QtDL??? [​IMG]

    Yeah this size specific design... I'm also kinda intrigued about it. [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    '
    Nice... [​IMG] They have a few "Photon" ones. They have an extra rigid one, (Look SR kinda?) and so forth.

    Look is also interesting.


    Full custom... I feel just fine on my 56cm Allez. [​IMG]

    Reaching the brake levers from the drops is kinda not very ergonomic. [​IMG]


    "Integration Mumbo Jumbo": [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Any chance you could post a picture of your sat on the bike taken from the side?

    Rider first design.. Not sure what that's all about (sounds like marketing fluff designed to empty wallets) but the only goal is to be comfy on the bike. Once you're comfy life is good and going harder or longer (or both) is easier.

    http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/

    This guy knows his onions. If you take care of the feet and the saddle, everything else pretty much falls into place. The saddle is the really tricky part and it took me literally decades to figure that one out. When you don't have those positioned correctly you invariably end up putting too much weight on your arms/hands and that always leads to neck pain regardless of where the handlebars are. The "prime" membership on Steve's sight is probably the best $20 or so you'll likely spend on your bike. The short version is, put the feet about where they need to be on the pedal based upon his recommendations, set the saddle to the approximate height and setback and ride, preferably on a trainer/turbo, with your torso in normal riding position but with no hands. If you side forward, move the saddle back. If you don't either leave it where it is or move it forward until you find that "I'm sliding forward point" and move it back to where it doesn't. You don't have to be correct to the nearest millimeter like most people think. Ballpark is good. From there, setting the bars and stem is easy.

    In a similar vein, aero guru to the stars and bike fitter extraordinaire, John Cobb has similar thoughts. Put the saddle where it needs to be and if you still have a bit too much weight on the hands then you drop the bars a bit. When you get it right it's all-day-comfort-time. The balance of you on the saddle pressing on the pedals almost cantilevers your upper body so your hands/arms/neck aren't overburdened.

    What I've recently found about saddles is that you really do need to have the 'sit bones' sitting on the right part of the saddle - if you don't you'll likely never be able to fully extend your upper body and fully relax. I spent sometime on the adjustable width bontrager tri saddle and discovered that my stem went from seeming to be a little too long but when I got the width correct it went to feeling too short and I was seeing way to much of the front hub in front of the stem - I just lrelaxed my upper body that much. Once I got the width sorted I went to an ISM Attack saddle and life is good.

    I have long arms and legs for my height - with the short torso and I typically run one frame size larger that typically recommended for a guy of my height because of the monkey arms. I'm 5'11" and have a 34" inseam. My road bike is a 58cm Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod with a 14cm stem. I sometimes wonder if a 16cm stem would be better... [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I figured the mountains look better than I, so I didn't crop the picture. ;)

    As for bike choice, for a road bike I'd go Cannondale all day every day. When I got my SuperSix I test rode most the top of the line bikes. The only other one that seemed as lively and as comfy was the Cervelo RS. I found the Specialized S-Works Tarmac too short and too twitchy for my liking. The Trek Madone 9 was a nice fit but felt like a block of wood. The Cannondale just feels like it isn't there, unless you hit a really big bump and as forgiving as the ride is, you can look down and smash a big gear under a hard effort and you'll see no deflection between the front mech inner/outer plates and the chain.

    Can't wait for a back problem gained while off the bike lets me get off the steeper seat angled Ridley I'm currently on and back onto the Cannondale, especially since getting the new wheels. The dumb oversized top bolt on the Ridley's seatpost meant that the Bontrager saddle I had would hit the clamp's top nut and would give me a bone jarring ride. Moving to the ISM gave me the width I needed and the clearance for the saddle to 'sag' when I hit a bump. Before anyone chimes in, I tried a bunch of alternative bolts, inc ones with allen fittings and they really didn't help that much. The molded seams on the Bontrager saddle were just in the wrong place for that seat post - but when move to the Cannondale it'll be a tough desiciion to make as to which saddle goes on. From what I remember about the heavier Bontrager, the extra 100grams of weight will be well worth it.
     
  18. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I always like Look bikes and the one that I rode (595) was very nice. Shame about the wheels on the bike above.

    Reaching the brake levers from the drops should be the most ergonomic position to brake from... Just my 2 cents.
     
  19. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    I also like Look, but I am kinda sceptical about this whole "integrated design" thing. Apparently they designed the "fibers" on the fork, (maybe the stem too?) to follow the fibers in the frame and so on so the "loads" will be "smooothly" transfered to the road??? Too much? Too French? [​IMG]

    Yeah riding on the drops feels kinda weird sometimes. I can go on a flat road but downhill I need to pull a bit back so I wont feel like I am off-balance (too much weight on the front.)

    I can't use the brakes from the drops as fast as I like. My levers are kinda "low grade" though, thing that I realized after test-riding a Tarmac with Ultegra levers which would almost block the wheel with even the slightest activation on the lever. Maybe the rims, maybe the levers, maybe the calipers, who knows? But it's not the brake pads for sure because I bought a pare of these "Dura-Ass" brake pads and they are... ehmm, %&^. [​IMG]
     
  20. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    We get that a lot. Wait till you get to know us ;)

    I have similar issues in frame requirements, need (like) a taller head tube, and don't do well too stretched out. I don't like the aesthetic of a "flipped" stem and prefer the accommodation for my preference to happen in the frame geometry. Many manufacturers recommend no more than 3cm of spacers under the stem (or less) on a 1-1/8" CF steerer tube, or 2cm on a 1" CF steerer. I suppose the amount of torque one applies also fits into the equation and may apply some leeway, but if you want to run the stem higher look into a model with an alloy steerer tube. I also run a slightly shorter stem than many riders my size, don't be shy about asking whatever shop you choose to substitute another stem so you can check how it feels. They might give you some resistance and assure you with their "expert" opinion that the one on the bike is fine, but they won't be the one riding it will they.

    Saddle tilt can have a lot to do with how much weight the upper body feels like it's supporting, I also know from having a girlfriend who rode a lot that you guys (er gals) have slightly different anatomical needs with the *ahem* soft bits up front. It took her a long time and a couple saddles to get it just right. I also know some chick racers who ride/race on dude bikes with dude saddles and have no problem but that may be another topic for another thread.


    2 cents on the replies:

    1. I have heard very good things about Guru, specifically their customer service and warranty program. I occasionally ride with a fella who told me he is on his 2nd Guru, he sold the first and the chap he sold it to (via eBay) made a claim on the warranty (apparently it is a lifetime warranty and transferable) and he got a call by the Guru department saying someone who is not you is making a claim on the warranty. That is serious customer service imo!

    2. Volnix's legs... MY EYES!

    Ok, 3 cents. I ride a Cannondale (Supersix) as well and would definitely recommend although the top tubes seem a little longer and head tubes a little shallower in general, and on the top end WSD frames they seem to be less WSD and more flat out race bike. Cinelli btw also makes their frames with slightly taller headtubes comparatively speaking and may also be worth looking at (ex.150mm on a 54cm frame).
     
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