Compact cons?



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I C S

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"Thunderdomeshark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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| What are the cons to the compact road design?

I tried one for a while. I didn't like it because I had to ride bent way over all the time. Some say
that it makes for a stronger, stiffer frame... but if you have a well built frame to begin with it's
not an issue. I don't race, so it was all B.S. for me.
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
[email protected] (Thunderdomeshark) wrote:

>What are the cons to the compact road design?

The pros - they allow a bit more standover clearance and/or higher bar position for those
who need it.

The cons - as discussed on r.b.t. many times, any weight savings is eaten up by the longer seatpost.

In the end, buy one because you need the SO height, or because you like the looks of the frame, but
don't get taken in by the spruious claims about performance improvements...

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
M

Mike S.

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"I C S" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Thunderdomeshark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> | What are the cons to the compact road design?
>
> I tried one for a while. I didn't like it because I had to ride bent way over all the time. Some
> say that it makes for a stronger, stiffer frame... but if you have a well built frame to begin
> with it's not an issue. I don't race, so it was all B.S. for me.
>
They're a little more tricky to set up 'cause you may need different stems/seatposts than if you
rode a "standard" frame. Otherwise, they're just like any other bike. Mtn bikers have been riding
"compact" geometry for years without any problems.
 
Q

Qui Si Parla Ca

Guest
<< What are the cons to the compact road design?

Fit for larger riders.

'Promises' stated by the marketeers of said framesets.

Need for a long seatpost.

Asthetics.

Great for smaller riders...

Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
(303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
 
A

Ajames54

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On 12 Feb 2003 02:07:14 GMT, [email protected] (Thunderdomeshark) wrote:

>What are the cons to the compact road design?

Take a look through google groups... it would be easier to answer the question what are the pros...

answer: virtually none.
 
M

Matt Locker

Guest
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I disagree. A person with shorter legs can do very well on a compact frame, where a standard frame
could force him/her into a compromise or custom. The GF has a Specialized Allez compact from last
year & loves
it. It's a very nice handling bike with a good component set. Standard frames (including the
Cannondale womans sizing) did not fit her well.

MOO, Matt

ajames54 wrote:

>On 12 Feb 2003 02:07:14 GMT, [email protected] (Thunderdomeshark) wrote:
>
>
>
>>What are the cons to the compact road design?
>>
>>
>
>
>Take a look through google groups... it would be easier to answer the question what are the pros...
>
>answer: virtually none.
>
>

--------------030207070906090809040105 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta
http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> <title></title> </head> <body> I
disagree. A person with shorter legs can do very well on a compact frame, where a standard
frame could force him/her into a compromise or custom. The GF has a Specialized Allez compact
from last year & loves it. It's a very nice handling bike with a good component set.
Standard frames (including the Cannondale womans sizing) did not fit her well.<br> <br>
MOO,<br> Matt<br> <br> ajames54 wrote:<br> <blockquote type="cite"
cite="[email protected]"> <pre wrap="">On 12 Feb 2003 02:07:14 GMT, <a
class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>
(Thunderdomeshark) wrote:

</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">What are the cons to the compact road design? </pre>
</blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!---->

Take a look through google groups... it would be easier to answer the question what are the pros...

answer: virtually none. </pre> </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>

--------------030207070906090809040105--
 
K

Ken

Guest
Matt Locker <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
> I disagree. A person with shorter legs can do very well on a compact frame, where a standard frame
> could force him/her into a compromise or custom.

I think that's the only good reason to get a compact frame. They allow shorter people to choose from
several frame sizes and get the proper top tube length. On the other hand, many compact frames come
in only limited frame sizes, which partially negates the above benefit.

Ken
 
Compact frames, like most other innvations in the bicycle industry (ahead-set) are about profit and
not about you, the consumer. Giant and other compact builders can build a small, medium, large and
extra large frame and make it fit you. Will it fit you? Maybe? Hope so. If it doesn't then you're
only out 3,000 bones. Most major italian, american, japanese and other assorted custom builders will
make frames/bikes in at least every other centimeter increments. The best make framesets in 1 cm
increments from 48-62 and in the case of northern european builders from 52-66cm. It has been said,
and I believe it, that two bikes the same size from different makers will ride more similarly that
two bikes from the same maker that are slightly different sizes. So, if you need a 59 get a 59 and
not a 58 or a 60 or, in the case of Giant an "L". See Greg Lemond's book on cycling for a good idea
of what you would ride in a Lemond and then add 2-3 cm for most other brands (Colnago, Coppi,
Seven). Greg likes his top tubes really, really long.
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
I was over at Tiemeyer's site the other day. Just for giggles, I put in some rough measurements I
took standing in front of my computer. His site says I should be riding a 47.7cm st and a 56.1cm tt!
Talk about a good candidate for a compact frame! Mind you, I was doing the measuring, so things may
be off by a cm or so.

I read somewhere that Chris Boardman's bikes were 52cm st x 57cm tt! (they may have even been 59cm
tts, I'm not sure any more)

So my point is that if you're built like a gorilla, long torso and arms, short legs, a compact
geometry frame may be a great thing for you: more standover for the same length. If you're built
more evenly, it may not be as beneficial.

Mike

<[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Compact frames, like most other innvations in the bicycle industry (ahead-set) are about profit
> and not about you, the consumer. Giant and other compact builders can build a small, medium, large
> and extra large frame and make it fit you. Will it fit you? Maybe? Hope so. If it doesn't then
> you're only out 3,000 bones. Most major italian, american, japanese and other assorted custom
> builders will make frames/bikes in at least every other centimeter increments. The best make
> framesets in 1 cm increments from 48-62 and in the case of northern european builders from
> 52-66cm. It has been said, and I believe it, that two bikes the same size from different makers
> will ride more similarly that two bikes from the same maker that are slightly different sizes. So,
> if you need a 59 get a 59 and not a 58 or a 60 or, in the case of Giant an "L". See Greg Lemond's
> book on cycling for a good idea of what you would ride in a Lemond and then add 2-3 cm for most
> other brands (Colnago, Coppi, Seven). Greg likes his top tubes really, really long.
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] ([email protected]) wrote:

> Compact frames, like most other innvations in the bicycle industry (ahead-set) are about profit
> and not about you, the consumer. Giant and other compact builders can build a small, medium, large
> and extra large frame and make it fit you. Will it fit you? Maybe? Hope so. If it doesn't then
> you're only out 3,000 bones. Most major italian, american, japanese and other assorted custom
> builders will make frames/bikes in at least every other centimeter increments. The best make
> framesets in 1 cm increments from 48-62 and in the case of northern european builders from
> 52-66cm. It has been said, and I believe it, that two bikes the same size from different makers
> will ride more similarly that two bikes from the same maker that are slightly different sizes. So,
> if you need a 59 get a 59 and not a 58 or a 60 or, in the case of Giant an "L". See Greg Lemond's
> book on cycling for a good idea of what you would ride in a Lemond and then add 2-3 cm for most
> other brands (Colnago, Coppi, Seven). Greg likes his top tubes really, really long.

Speaking as someone who loves buying used bicycles (depreciation is a marvelous reward for being a
few years behind the curve), compact geometry is great.

Compact geometry and its associated availability of long seat tubes and varied stem lengths means
that the chances a used bike will fit a given person have gone from roughly 1 in 8 to 1 in 4. It
also greatly eases the inventory issues a bike shop faces, which ought to be reason for rejoicing in
their ranks and ours.

I'm a little surprised that nobody else seems to have noticed this particular good-for-the-consumer
side effect. It's not a bad thing when one size fits more, at least without causing issues for the
rest of the bike (for those that fit them, I gather the only real objections to compact geometry are
aesthetic).

I'm biased in that I'm small enough (5'6"; size out at something like a 52 cm frame) that I can
almost ride larger compact frames as if they were conventional frames. I imagine larger riders have
somewhat more trouble, but it's still a matter of just getting a longer seat post and a longer stem,
until you get forced into custom sizing, same as very short riders.

But what do I know, riding a 20-year-old steel touring frame, and looking for a cheap
brifteur bike...

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
A

Ajames54

Guest
On Thu, 13 Feb 2003 18:58:31 -0800, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

>In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] ([email protected]) wrote:
>

>I'm a little surprised that nobody else seems to have noticed this particular good-for-the-consumer
>side effect.

Lower your expectations... why buy a 600 or Dura-ace equipped bike.. Sora is good enough and it's
good for the consumer ... after all it works just the same so there is no difference right?

>It's not a bad thing when one size fits more, at least without causing issues for the rest of the
>bike (for those that fit them, I gather the only real objections to compact geometry are
>aesthetic).

NOT true... IF you can fit one like you would fit a conventional bike fine .. buy one. IF you are
Short enough that getting a traditional frame that fits is difficult then fine.
>
>I'm biased in that I'm small enough (5'6"; size out at something like a 52 cm frame) that I can
>almost ride larger compact frames as if they were conventional frames. I imagine larger riders have
>somewhat more trouble, but it's still a matter of just getting a longer seat post and a longer
>stem, until you get forced into custom sizing, same as very short riders.

The assumption that you can make a bike that does not fit magically fit by using a longer seat post
and stem is ******** .. it is ******** on a conventional frame and is just as much ******** on a
compact frame.

The number of consumers who benefit is small, the only way to say that these things truly fit is to
radically re-define the words "bike fit".

If you want to settle for less be my guest...

I have to admit I find it kind of amusing and sad at the same time. I remember when people used to
buy their bikes for the frame and then would fit the best component group they could afford onto a
frame ... because the frame would last and the components would wear out anyway. Now people are
cheaping out on the frame to get higher level components built on to it.

Seriously is there anyone out there who honestly believes that the performance/enjoyment difference
between a bike that has say Ultegra components vs 105 is greater than the difference between
correctly fitting and incorrectly fitting?
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Qui si parla
Campagnolo) wrote:

> Ryan-<< I'm a little surprised that nobody else seems to have noticed this particular
> good-for-the-consumer side effect. It's not a bad thing when one size fits more,
>
> But like shoes, one size does not fit more but becomes more of a compromise...also like suits.

What's the compromise? I mean, besides the well-understood fact that compact frames look like clown
bikes, or worse, mountain bikes :). Arguably, bespoke would be best of all in either suit, shoe or
bike fit, but bicycles are as adjustable as suits (a suit pretty much has to be close on a couple of
key measurements, or attempts to tailor it into fit will distort the cut too much; a bike has to be
reasonably close on reach, but that can be adjusted with stems and stacks. Everything else is fairly
flexible).

> Besides, most of the shops that sell 'compact' wouldn't know an anatomic fit if it hit them in the
> head...They are more of the 'standover, ride around the parking lot' type fits.

They're not likely to get much closer on a standard frame, no? Well, okay, a bit closer, because
they get 8 top tube lengths instead of four, and can probably fit you okay without a stem change. I
don't think this is the compact bike's fault, and is any bike shop that has that much trouble
fitting frames likely to carry eight sizes of bike?

Actual sales experience:

I walk into a LBS I haven't visited before, looking for a road bike. There's only one in this
MTB-dominated shop, a name-brand, conventional-frame bike hanging on a post.

The sales guy, obviously eager to clear it out, names an attractive price for the bike (a
Sora-equipped Specialized, I think). I ask what size the bike is. He says "54 cm. That's your size."
Not bad, considering he'd known me for about a minute at this point, and he was only one size off
from where I usually start (52), and he hadn't even seen me step over a bike.

The sales guy assured me the bike in question was a standard, not compact geometry frame, and that
looked about right. I wasn't familiar with the model.

> << I imagine larger riders have somewhat more trouble,
>
> 'Average' sized ride and frameset is in the 5'8''-10'' range, 55/6cm or so top tube...

Well, probably not them. I'm thinking more of guys who are really tall, and have a hard time fitting
"XL" frames.

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, ajames54 <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Feb 2003 18:58:31 -0800, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
> >([email protected]) wrote:
> >
>
> >I'm a little surprised that nobody else seems to have noticed this particular
> >good-for-the-consumer side effect.
>
> Lower your expectations... why buy a 600 or Dura-ace equipped bike.. Sora is good enough and it's
> good for the consumer ... after all it works just the same so there is no difference right?

Well, I'm probably not the best to ask that rhetorical question, since my current bike is SunTour
PowerShift, and my next bike probably won't be better than Tiagra. The differences between Sora and
600, according to people I respect like Sheldon Brown, are one cog, some grams, the shifter button,
general finish, and lots of money.

> >It's not a bad thing when one size fits more, at least without causing issues for the rest of the
> >bike (for those that fit them, I gather the only real objections to compact geometry are
> >aesthetic).
>
> NOT true... IF you can fit one like you would fit a conventional bike fine .. buy one. IF you are
> Short enough that getting a traditional frame that fits is difficult then fine.

Well, I'm not that short.

> >I'm biased in that I'm small enough (5'6"; size out at something like a 52 cm frame) that I can
> >almost ride larger compact frames as if they were conventional frames. I imagine larger riders
> >have somewhat more trouble, but it's still a matter of just getting a longer seat post and a
> >longer stem, until you get forced into custom sizing, same as very short riders.
>
> The assumption that you can make a bike that does not fit magically fit by using a longer seat
> post and stem is ******** .. it is ******** on a conventional frame and is just as much ********
> on a compact frame.

Okay, I'll bite. What is the disadvantage of changing stems and seat posts to make a bike fit? Is
there a gamut of reach and seat height/position adjustments that standard road frames can achieve
but compact frames cannot? Do you see a major disadvantage to tall seat posts?

Quick show of hands: how many people here have noticed handling issues because of the different stem
lengths they need on compact and traditional frames?

> The number of consumers who benefit is small, the only way to say that these things truly fit is
> to radically re-define the words "bike fit".

You only touch a bike at three points. Moving seats, bars, and pedals relative to each other is all
that fit is, disregarding for the moment saddle holy wars and bar-tape debates.

> If you want to settle for less be my guest...
>
> I have to admit I find it kind of amusing and sad at the same time. I remember when people used to
> buy their bikes for the frame and then would fit the best component group they could afford onto a
> frame ... because the frame would last and the components would wear out anyway. Now people are
> cheaping out on the frame to get higher level components built on to it.

That's because the myths surrounding a frame's contribution to handling and feel are fading. As a
percentage of the bike's total cost, low and mid-range frames aren't that big. Go to Mark Hickey's
Habanero site, since he conveniently gives detailed price lists for bare frames and various gruppos.
Note that his _Ti_ frames account for about half the bike price, much less on the high end. What do
you think a typical mass-produced Al or Steel road frame costs, as a proportion of the price of the
finished product? Except at the high end, I think bike frames, cost-wise, are a jig to keep your
gruppo bits the right distance apart.

A lot of bike "ranges" consist of one frame and three gruppos, with a price range of typically 2:1
for most to least expensive bike.

> Seriously is there anyone out there who honestly believes that the performance/enjoyment
> difference between a bike that has say Ultegra components vs 105 is greater than the difference
> between correctly fitting and incorrectly fitting?

No. But I don't think you've proven your claim that compact bikes fit fewer people than
conventionally sized bikes.

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
A

Ajames54

Guest
On Fri, 14 Feb 2003 07:39:55 -0800, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

>In article <[email protected]>, ajames54 <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 13 Feb 2003 18:58:31 -0800, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> >In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] ([email protected])
>> >wrote:

>
>Well, I'm probably not the best to ask that rhetorical question, since my current bike is SunTour
>PowerShift, and my next bike probably won't be better than Tiagra. The differences between Sora and
>600, according to people I respect like Sheldon Brown, are one cog, some grams, the shifter button,
>general finish, and lots of money.

This is more than a bit over simplified... I can list stacks of differences in materials and
production differences that may or may not make a difference depending on what is important to you

Snip
>
>That's because the myths surrounding a frame's contribution to handling and feel are fading.

Myths? What else contributes the handle and feel? Tire selection? bar wrap? Colour? handling and
feel are 98% frame related.

hell those one size fits all beach cruisers handle .....

>No. But I don't think you've proven your claim that compact bikes fit fewer people than
>conventionally sized bikes.

OK then couple of quick examples ...
1) Head tube angle and fork rake greatly affect steering response and handling... your stem length
should be optimized to fit the geometry of the bike within fairly tight parameters governed by
comfort... using a stem that is significantly longer or shorter than what the head-tube / fork
rake demand will result in steering that is "twitchy and unstable" or "sluggish". In the case of
a stem that is at the absolute limit of the available "long" sizes you even end up with body
positioning issues...(see note)

2) Seat tube angle affects the way your body pushes the pedals... (as a very general rule of thumb)
steeper angles like 76-78 (specialist tri bikes) are considered more efficient but less
comfortable while shallower angles 74 (standard road) are more comfortable and angles like 71 are
pretty much only found in touring frames when comfort is the key issue. The seat tube angles
given assume a seat positioned in the center of its rails... sliding the seat all the way back or
all the way forward on the rails changes the effective seat tube angle.. which in turn also
changes how your legs reach the pedals.

NOTE You say you body only touches the bike in three places, while broadly true this is a massive
oversimplification .. bike and bike fit really need to be considered a dynamic thing, after all it's
not a chair. Think more of the bike and rider combo as a unit, while moving the stability of that
unit is dependant on the riders positions. Using the stem length as an example, a longer stem will
do two different and important things. First it moves the riders centroid (center of mass) further
forward on the bike weighting the front wheel more lessening the amount of lean the rider can put
into a corner and generally lessening the stability. Second, because the stem is longer there is
more body motion (chest shoulders and arms) required to turn the wheel, this motion also moves the
centroid, lessening stability.

It is possible to get a perfect fit in a compact frame, but NOT by screwing with things like seat
post and stem... if you want a good fit look rather at some builder like Pinerello or Colnago each
of them makes something like 15 or 16 frame sizes.

A couple of final comments...

If an LBS can't fit a traditional road frame they sure as hell wont be fitting a compact.

Mountain Bike riders would also benefit from proper fit if stores new how to do it and they were
smart enough to demand it. the whole large medium small thing is only slightly less ******** off
road than on.
 
S

Sly D. Skeez

Guest
Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] ([email protected]) wrote:
>
> Greg likes his top tubes really, really long.

Hah! My current (custom) frame has a 53 seat tube and a 55.6 top tube. That's a long top tube.
Lemond's have a normal top tube.

I took a close look at a Lemond 53 cm bike and found it had a 54.5 top tube. When I set my seat
height, the Lemond bike looked weird because it hardly had any seat tube exposed. The top tube felt
comfortable (at
54.5 cm), but the bike was too big in the standover...not enough 'nad room. The frame was a 53 cm,
but when I measured the standover, it measured 1 cm taller than the published specs. So an
effective 54 seat tube and 54.5 top tube. Pretty run-of-the-mill standard bike size I say.

I looked at the specs of a Trek 5200, the seat tube (center to top) is
55.6 or smaller than the Lemond in standover, and the top tube is a
56.6 cm. Go figure. Trek and Lemond are about the same.

> until you get forced into custom sizing, same as very short riders.

What I like about the compact frames, is that I can buy a bike with a long top tube and not have to
go custom.

Jay Wenner
 
P

Paul Southworth

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Sly D. Skeez
<[email protected]> wrote:
>I looked at the specs of a Trek 5200, the seat tube (center to top) is
>54.6 or smaller than the Lemond in standover, and the top tube is a
>54.6 cm. Go figure. Trek and Lemond are about the same.

How do you think the 1-degree difference in seat angle affects the relative fit of those two
"same" machines?

--Paul
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

>Compact geometry and its associated availability of long seat tubes and varied stem lengths means
>that the chances a used bike will fit a given person have gone from roughly 1 in 8 to 1 in 4. It
>also greatly eases the inventory issues a bike shop faces, which ought to be reason for rejoicing
>in their ranks and ours.
>
>I'm a little surprised that nobody else seems to have noticed this particular good-for-the-consumer
>side effect. It's not a bad thing when one size fits more, at least without causing issues for the
>rest of the bike (for those that fit them, I gather the only real objections to compact geometry
>are aesthetic).

To take that to its logical conclusion, you could fit 100% of the riders in the world onto a single
size frame if you don't put any limitations on the stem and seat post design. Sure, a lot of them
(the vast majority actually) would be riding an evil-handling pig of a bike, but they'd "fit".

Then there's the problem of getting the bar height correct. With standard frames built in 2cm
increments, there is overlap between the sizes in terms of handlebar height. If you try to cover the
same range with only four sizes of frames (compact or not), you're going to have gaps. Specifically
those who like to ride with their bars low will likely find they can't do so on the compact frame
that "fits" them, since it's designed with a taller head tube to accomodate those riders who would
normally be riding a larger frame.

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
S

Sly D. Skeez

Guest
[email protected] (Paul Southworth) wrote in message
news:<Ezb3a.32454$A%[email protected]>...
> In article <[email protected]>, Sly D. Skeez
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> >I looked at the specs of a Trek 5200, the seat tube (center to top) is
> >54.6 or smaller than the Lemond in standover, and the top tube is a
> >54.6 cm. Go figure. Trek and Lemond are about the same.
>
> How do you think the 1-degree difference in seat angle affects the relative fit of those two
> "same" machines?

I guess I'm missing something. What does seat angle have to do with top tube length? I can see where
the two are related in terms of hamstring flexibility.

Jay Wenner
 
B

Baird Webel

Guest
On 2/15/03 20:44, in article
[email protected], "Sly D. Skeez" <[email protected]> wrote:

> [email protected] (Paul Southworth) wrote in message
> news:<Ezb3a.32454$A%[email protected]>...
>> In article <[email protected]>, Sly D. Skeez
>> <wenner[email protected]> wrote:
>>> I looked at the specs of a Trek 5200, the seat tube (center to top) is
>>> 54.6 or smaller than the Lemond in standover, and the top tube is a
>>> 54.6 cm. Go figure. Trek and Lemond are about the same.
>>
>> How do you think the 1-degree difference in seat angle affects the relative fit of those two
>> "same" machines?
>
> I guess I'm missing something. What does seat angle have to do with top tube length? I can see
> where the two are related in terms of hamstring flexibility.
>
> Jay Wenner

Assuming that you keep the saddle in a constant position relative to the cranks, a steeper seat tube
angle effectively lengthens the top tube. I believe it amounts to about 1 cm per degree, but I
haven't done the math on
it.

Baird

--
Baird Webel Washington DC
 
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