Compact frame vs Traditional Frame geometry



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Dennis Vaughn

Guest
What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize that there is a shorter top
tube, but other than that, what is the difference or reason behind it? Also why are there so few
steel (old school technology here) in the compact geometry. Dennis
 
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Stan Cox

Guest
"Dennis Vaughn" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize
that
> there is a shorter top tube, but other than that, what is the difference
or
> reason behind it? Also why are there so few steel (old school technology here) in the compact
> geometry. Dennis
>
>

Very slightly stiffer, very slightly lighter, looks much more "modern". People who ride steel are
generally more traditionalist.

Stan Cox

P.S. I ride a Steel horizontal top tube road bike & an Alu compact TT bike.
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"Dennis Vaughn" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize
that
> there is a shorter top tube, but other than that, what is the difference
or
> reason behind it? Also why are there so few steel (old school technology here) in the compact
> geometry. Dennis
>
>
There really isn't a difference in geometry (angles, etc.) but there is a difference in appearance.
The "effective tt length" is going to be the same regardless of compact or traditional.

I ride a steel Bontrager Road Lite that is way old school compact! Strong makes compact frames in
steel, as do a few others. Basically it boils down to tradition. The guys that have been building
traditional bikes tend to stick with what they know works well.

Mike
 
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David Damerell

Guest
Dennis Vaughn <[email protected]> wrote:
>What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize that there is a shorter top
>tube, but other than that, what is the difference or reason behind it? Also why are there so few
>steel (old school technology here) in the compact geometry.

Much of the attraction of compact geometry is simply that it is fashionable. There's little point in
trying to sell steel bikes to people who want fashionable equipment.
--
David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
 
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Ajames54

Guest
On 29 Aug 2003 13:03:11 +0100 (BST), David Damerell <[email protected]> wrote:

>Dennis Vaughn <[email protected]> wrote:
>>What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize that there is a shorter top
>>tube, but other than that, what is the difference or reason behind it? Also why are there so few
>>steel (old school technology here) in the compact geometry.
>
>Much of the attraction of compact geometry is simply that it is fashionable. There's little point
>in trying to sell steel bikes to people who want fashionable equipment.

Much of the attraction is a marketing ply that allows the retailer to lie about fit and carry only
three frame sizes rather than five or six...

IF they fit correctly they are fine ... but be damned sure it fits.
 
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Qui Si Parla Ca

Guest
dennis-<< What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize that there is a
shorter top tube, but other than that, what is the difference or reason behind it? >><BR><BR>

Generally it is a way for frame/bike makers to make less sizes, save money and paint it like a
performance or fit advantage, which it is neither.

For smaller riders, it is a great idea, for larger riders it answers a 'not asked' question.

<< Also why are there so few steel (old school technology here) in the compact geometry. >><BR><BR>

Because old school builders realize that it is marketing, not function that drives this.

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

Guest
Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:

>
> Because old school builders realize that it is marketing, not function that drives this.

On the other hand, you see a great many custom builders going to sloping top tubes to deal with the
limited height adjustability afforded by threadless headsets and carbon steerers. Some degree of
slope allows good standover height and still gets the bars close to the level of the seat without
resorting to lots of spacers or severe stem angles. Admitedly, this is not really "compact" design
but it is often called that.

Tim McTeague
 
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Mike S.

Guest
"ajames54" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> On 29 Aug 2003 13:03:11 +0100 (BST), David Damerell <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >Dennis Vaughn <[email protected]> wrote:
> >>What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize
that
> >>there is a shorter top tube, but other than that, what is the difference
or
> >>reason behind it? Also why are there so few steel (old school
technology
> >>here) in the compact geometry.
> >
> >Much of the attraction of compact geometry is simply that it is fashionable. There's little point
> >in trying to sell steel bikes to people who want fashionable equipment.
>
>
> Much of the attraction is a marketing ply that allows the retailer to lie about fit and carry only
> three frame sizes rather than five or six...
>
> IF they fit correctly they are fine ... but be damned sure it fits.

Cool thing about my particular body is that compact frames are a Godsend! Short legs, long torso.
All I gotta do is make sure that the angles and effective TT are right, then off we go!

Mike
 
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Ajames54

Guest
On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 09:19:38 -0700, "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>"ajames54" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:eek:[email protected]...
>> On 29 Aug 2003 13:03:11 +0100 (BST), David Damerell <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> >Dennis Vaughn <[email protected]> wrote:
>> >>What is the main difference between the two bike geometries? I realize
>that
>> >>there is a shorter top tube, but other than that, what is the difference
>or
>> >>reason behind it? Also why are there so few steel (old school
>technology
>> >>here) in the compact geometry.
>> >
>> >Much of the attraction of compact geometry is simply that it is fashionable. There's little
>> >point in trying to sell steel bikes to people who want fashionable equipment.
>>
>>
>> Much of the attraction is a marketing ply that allows the retailer to lie about fit and carry
>> only three frame sizes rather than five or six...
>>
>> IF they fit correctly they are fine ... but be damned sure it fits.
>
>Cool thing about my particular body is that compact frames are a Godsend! Short legs, long torso.
>All I gotta do is make sure that the angles and effective TT are right, then off we go!
>
>Mike
>
years ago a friend of mine (female, raced for Vanwood) had to get a custom frame built with a weird
top tube (lugged SL)... a gentle curve from the top of the head tube dropping about three inches
before it leveled out into a normal run to the seat-tube... she was a fantastic racer but just too
small ... nobody could really draft her.

There is nothing wrong with a slopping tube or a compact design.. but the way they are being sold
and marketed ticks me off.
 
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Mike S.

Guest
> years ago a friend of mine (female, raced for Vanwood) had to get a custom frame built with a
> weird top tube (lugged SL)... a gentle curve from the top of the head tube dropping about three
> inches before it leveled out into a normal run to the seat-tube... she was a fantastic racer but
> just too small ... nobody could really draft her.

There are a few of those female-type racers around here too. I don't know how it happens, but I get
stuck behind them a lot. Drafting them sucks!
>
> There is nothing wrong with a slopping tube or a compact design.. but the way they are being sold
> and marketed ticks me off.

Yeah, well, if they didn't hype it, would anyone buy them (except for us gorillas that is...)? Hell,
they hyped SLX, TSX, and the rest too...

Mike
 
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David L. Johnso

Guest
On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 10:41:43 +0000, Tim McTeague wrote:

> Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
>
>
>> Because old school builders realize that it is marketing, not function that drives this.
>
> On the other hand, you see a great many custom builders going to sloping top tubes to deal with
> the limited height adjustability afforded by threadless headsets and carbon steerers.

One bad technology driving another.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. _`\(,_ | That is easy. All
you have to do is tell them they are being (_)/ (_) | attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for
lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any <country. --
Hermann Goering
 
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Tim McTeague

Guest
David L. Johnson wrote:

>>
>> On the other hand, you see a great many custom builders going to sloping top tubes to deal with
>> the limited height adjustability afforded by threadless headsets and carbon steerers.
>
> One bad technology driving another.

I don't know why so many are still attached to old headsets. I LOVE the threadless design. Yes, I
miss the easy adjustability of quill stems but hated all the creaks they developed. Due to sweat or
whatever, I had to pull and grease my stem a couple of times a season. And, while I did not have to
adjust it often, I hated having to use those huge wrenchs. More than once over the years my headset
became lose on a ride and I had to keep trying to tighten it with my hands, as who carries the
proper tools for that? Threadless can be adjusted with just about any mini-tool. Alligning the stem
does not require me to "pound" the center bolt to free the wedge as with quills. The way the stems
clamp the steerer tube seems a move simple and reliable interface than the expanding wedge design of
quill stems. I think the old system looks better but then that is what I grew up with but I have the
ability to move on.

Tim McTeague
 
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Chris Zacho "Th

Guest
Basically, the shorter the tubes, the stiffer the frame. And lighter, quicker response due to the
shorter wheelbase.

May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
 
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David L. Johnso

Guest
On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 11:00:02 -0400, Chris Zacho "The Wheelman" wrote:

> Basically, the shorter the tubes, the stiffer the frame.

Not for the same size frame.

> And lighter, quicker response due to the shorter wheelbase.

What shorter wheelbase?  Just because the bike _looks_ too small does not mean the wheelbase is any
shorter than any other bike. And what makes you think that the wheelbase makes the response quicker?

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig... You _`\(,_ | soon find out the
pig likes it! (_)/ (_) |
 
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David L. Johnso

Guest
On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 06:29:29 +0000, Tim McTeague wrote:

> David L. Johnson wrote:
>
>
>>> On the other hand, you see a great many custom builders going to sloping top tubes to deal with
>>> the limited height adjustability afforded by threadless headsets and carbon steerers.
>>
>> One bad technology driving another.
>
> I don't know why so many are still attached to old headsets. I LOVE the threadless design. Yes, I
> miss the easy adjustability of quill stems

Enough for me, there. A minor spill -- pushes your bars out of alignment, then you have to re-adjust
the headset?

> And, while I did not have to adjust it often, I hated having to use those huge wrenchs. More than
> once over the years my headset became lose on a ride and I had to keep trying to tighten it with
> my hands, as who carries the proper tools for that?

My headset has been quietly doing its job for two years. No adjustment. Meanwhile, I move the bars
to accomodate my aging back, no trouble, and to re-align after falling in the rain.

Threadless can be adjusted with just about any mini-tool.
> Alligning the stem does not require me to "pound" the center bolt to free the wedge as
> with quills.

"Pound"?

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I can _`\(,_ | assure you that mine
are all greater. -- A. Einstein (_)/ (_) |
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 06:29:29 +0000, Tim McTeague wrote:
>
> > David L. Johnson wrote:
> >
> >
> >>> On the other hand, you see a great many custom builders going to sloping top tubes to deal
> >>> with the limited height adjustability afforded by threadless headsets and carbon steerers.
> >>
> >> One bad technology driving another.
> >
> > I don't know why so many are still attached to old headsets. I LOVE the threadless design. Yes,
> > I miss the easy adjustability of quill stems
>
> Enough for me, there. A minor spill -- pushes your bars out of alignment, then you have to
> re-adjust the headset?

Chances are a crash merely turns your bars, it hasn't done anything to the adjustment of your HS.

One of the nicest features of going T-less in the early days was that they were sealed bearings vs.
Shimano/Campy's loose balls (or you could run a Tri-Lock). That meant fewer adjustments, less chance
of ruining a HS because you overtightened the cups, etc. Now that Shimano has gone sealed in their
HS design, there's less of a "need" for T-less.

Funny thing is: now its Shimano that's "old fashioned" for not offering a T-less HS.

Mike
 
S

Sorni

Guest
"Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > > I had a trio of good-looking women towing me across La Costa today.
> > Wasn't
> > > complaining at all!
> >
> > So why was I riding in rocks & dirt in Santee?!?
> >
> > Bill "guess my invitation got lost in the e-mail" S.
> >
> >
> There's always a standing invitation to ride SDBC. Other than the Tri Club's group rides, its
> where the most females hang out.

Ah, SDBC. I'm a newbie roadie, so need to make their "intro" ride some Saturday.

Bill "never tried tri" S.
 
H

H. Guy

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
(Chris Zacho "The Wheelman") wrote:

> Basically, the shorter the tubes, the stiffer the frame. And lighter, quicker response due to the
> shorter wheelbase.

nice theory, but when you've got a foot of unsupported seatpost hanging out of the "size L" frame,
how stiff is that going to be? and is the wheelbase really shorter? (not being a smart aleck
here...just don't know.)

while the compact frame will probably be lighter, i'll put my money on the traditional design for
stiffness.

hg
 
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Tim McTeague

Guest
>> David L. Johnson wrote:

>
> Threadless can be adjusted with just about any mini-tool.
>> Alligning the stem does not require me to "pound" the center bolt to free the wedge as with
>> quills.
>
> "Pound"?

When you loosen the bolt on a quill stem the wedge stays "wedged" until you tap or pound the
loosened bolt down to free the wedge. Usually I would put a piece of wood on the bolt and whack it
to do the job. It generally required more than a tap, thus the use of verb pound. Hit, smack, whack,
strike, nail, smite, etc., etc. Take you pick. Now, with threadless, I can be less violent in my
bike adjustments.

Tim McTeague
 
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Qui Si Parla Ca

Guest
Chris-<< Basically, the shorter the tubes, the stiffer the frame. And lighter, quicker response due
to the shorter wheelbase. >><BR><BR>

Only if ya ride it w/o a seatpost and the wheelbase is the same length..

This were to save money, when Giant started all this silliness...

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