Fixed gear frame size

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bruce Rideout, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. I've been lurking here for about a year and have learned quite a bit,
    but I'm about to take the plunge on a fixed gear and I need some help
    with a frame size question (I googled the archive and got some help,
    but nothing definitive). I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Bianchi
    Pista for $350 from a friend back east. Seems like a good deal. The
    problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    135lbs, 32" inseam. My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    top tube. Obviously, I could use a 13cm stem on the Bianchi to get
    the same reach, and a longer seat post to get the right saddle height,
    but would the handling or other positioning factors be significantly
    compromised? In short, is it reasonable to expect a good enough fit
    just by swapping out the stem and seat post? Since he's in DC and I'm
    in San Diego, I don't have an opportunity to try it out before
    buying...

    Thanks very much,

    Bruce Rideout
     
    Tags:


  2. cc011

    cc011 Guest

    Bruce Rideout wrote:
    > I've been lurking here for about a year and have learned quite a bit,
    > but I'm about to take the plunge on a fixed gear and I need some help
    > with a frame size question (I googled the archive and got some help,
    > but nothing definitive). I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Bianchi
    > Pista for $350 from a friend back east. Seems like a good deal. The
    > problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    > 135lbs, 32" inseam. My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    > and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    > top tube. Obviously, I could use a 13cm stem on the Bianchi to get
    > the same reach, and a longer seat post to get the right saddle height,
    > but would the handling or other positioning factors be significantly
    > compromised? In short, is it reasonable to expect a good enough fit
    > just by swapping out the stem and seat post? Since he's in DC and I'm
    > in San Diego, I don't have an opportunity to try it out before
    > buying...
    >

    49cm is at least two sizes smaller than 54cm. If it's $35, I would
    experiment with seatpost and stem, but for $350, no way. You could
    almost get a brand new 54cm Pista for about $500. That not much more
    than $350 + seatpost + long stem. Besides, with longer seatpost + longer
    stem, the handlebar will probably be too low.
    GH
     
  3. Tom Paterson

    Tom Paterson Guest

    Bruce Rideout wrote:

    >The
    >problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    >135lbs, 32" inseam. My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    >and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    >top tube.


    This will be worth your while if you haven't seen it yet:

    <http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html>

    Mr. Brown points out that older pattern road frames with horizontal rear drop
    outs have advantages over track frames for road use.

    Does one of your good-fitting road bikes have horizontal rear dropouts by
    chance?
    --Tom Paterson
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Tom Paterson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Bruce Rideout wrote:
    >
    > >The
    > >problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    > >135lbs, 32" inseam. My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    > >and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    > >top tube.

    >
    > This will be worth your while if you haven't seen it yet:
    >
    > <http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html>
    >
    > Mr. Brown points out that older pattern road frames with horizontal rear drop
    > outs have advantages over track frames for road use.
    >
    > Does one of your good-fitting road bikes have horizontal rear dropouts by
    > chance?
    > --Tom Paterson


    I have to second your advice. A track bike frameset is not a
    prerequisite for building a fixie.

    If one of your current frames can be converted (horiz. DO's) go that
    route or get an older bike that'll fit the bill (and save you bills!).

    luke
     
  5. Bruce Rideout wrote:

    > I've been lurking here for about a year and have learned quite a bit,
    > but I'm about to take the plunge on a fixed gear and I need some help
    > with a frame size question (I googled the archive and got some help,
    > but nothing definitive). I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Bianchi
    > Pista for $350 from a friend back east. Seems like a good deal. The
    > problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    > 135lbs, 32" inseam. My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    > and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    > top tube. Obviously, I could use a 13cm stem on the Bianchi to get
    > the same reach, and a longer seat post to get the right saddle height,
    > but would the handling or other positioning factors be significantly
    > compromised? In short, is it reasonable to expect a good enough fit
    > just by swapping out the stem and seat post? Since he's in DC and I'm
    > in San Diego, I don't have an opportunity to try it out before
    > buying...


    You will need a stem with some rise or the bars will be too low. It
    will handle a little differently with a longer stem, but European pros
    always used to ride with massive stems because it was fashionable. It
    never seemed to do them any harm.

    It's also possible that the saddle will not go far enough back if the
    geometry is "proportional". You can get a seatpost with more layback,
    or a saddle with longer rails (rail length varies a lot, and some saddle
    manufacturers even warn you not to use the full range of adjustment in
    case you crack the rails, e.g. Selle Italia).

    Oh yes, and check they haven't supplied it with 160mm cranks, although
    given the cost and rarity of anything under 170mm this is unlikely.
     
  6. kay-<< I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Bianchi
    Pista for $350 from a friend back east. Seems like a good deal. The
    problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm >><BR><BR>

    The seat tube angle is probably steeper as well than most '54/55cm' framesets.
    You may not be able to get your saddle far enough back. A ill fitting fixed
    gear, where ya peddle all the time, on a longish ride, may damage ya somewhere.

    Peter Chisholm
    Vecchio's Bicicletteria
    1833 Pearl St.
    Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535
    http://www.vecchios.com
    "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  7. [email protected]ospam (Tom Paterson) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Bruce Rideout wrote:
    >
    > >The
    > >problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    > >135lbs, 32" inseam. My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    > >and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    > >top tube.

    >
    > This will be worth your while if you haven't seen it yet:
    >
    > <http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html>
    >
    > Mr. Brown points out that older pattern road frames with horizontal rear drop
    > outs have advantages over track frames for road use.
    >
    > Does one of your good-fitting road bikes have horizontal rear dropouts by
    > chance?
    > --Tom Paterson



    Tom: Yes, I have a new Kogswell frame with horizontal dropouts
    (www.kogswell.com), but I don't want to convert it to a fixed gear.
    It's my main commuter and I LOVE it. I would get a Kogswell fixed
    gear frame (which is a bit closer to road geometry than most) but they
    are out of the 54cm size. Thanks for the tip on Sheldon's site. I
    forgot to mention in my original post that I have read just about
    everything on Sheldon's site (what a great resource - thanks
    Sheldon!).

    I also forgot to mention that I plan to use the fixed gear for
    occasional commuting (10 miles each way) and short rides.

    Thanks,

    Bruce
     
  8. On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 18:04:26 -0700, Bruce Rideout wrote:

    > I've been lurking here for about a year and have learned quite a bit,
    > but I'm about to take the plunge on a fixed gear and I need some help
    > with a frame size question (I googled the archive and got some help,
    > but nothing definitive). I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 Bianchi
    > Pista for $350 from a friend back east. Seems like a good deal. The
    > problem is, it's a 49cm frame and I usually take a 54cm. I'm 5'9",
    > 135lbs, 32" inseam.


    49 cm will be way too small.

    My 3 road bikes all have top tubes about 55cm,
    > and with 10cm stems they fit me perfectly. The 49cm Pista has a 52cm
    > top tube. Obviously, I could use a 13cm stem on the Bianchi to get
    > the same reach, and a longer seat post to get the right saddle height,
    > but would the handling or other positioning factors be significantly
    > compromised?


    Very likely. Your $350 bike could cost $100 more before you get the stem
    and post right, then you have to worry about setback, and the handling
    will be squirrelly. A new Bianchi Pista would be at most a couple hundred
    more than that, and ISTR that they have one model that sells under $600.
    New. In your size.

    My first track bike was too small, and I had to replace the frame fairly
    quickly. Saved $0 over getting a new one, just because I did not want to
    spend too much.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "What am I on? I'm on my bike, six hours a day, busting my ass.
    _`\(,_ | What are you on?" --Lance Armstrong
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  9. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    [email protected] (Bruce Rideout) writes:

    > I also forgot to mention that I plan to use the fixed gear for
    > occasional commuting (10 miles each way) and short rides.


    Heh heh heh. Bwaaah-haah-haah-hahh! Snicker. You'll be doing
    centuries on it before the month is out. :-D
     
  10. Tom Paterson

    Tom Paterson Guest

    From Bruce Rideout:

    >I have a new Kogswell frame with >horizontal dropouts
    >(www.kogswell.com), but I don't want to convert it to a fixed gear.
    >It's my main commuter and I LOVE it.


    There's a lot to be said for having identical (or very close) bikes when
    changing between rides-- familiar responses in emergency situations, ability to
    swap wheels or other parts (incl. chainring compatibility) when the bike shop
    is closed, etc. I've done this with a couple of different pairs of frames,
    works great.

    >I would get a Kogswell fixed
    >gear frame (which is a bit closer to road geometry than most) but they
    >are out of the 54cm size.


    Road style available? Hmm, I looked at Kogs.com, seems they might have one in
    your size. An '03, apparently on sale, with free brake calipers and free
    shipping. $310? Sounds like a deal from here. If I may: I'd consider putting
    some screws in the cable adj.bosses to protect the threads and have two
    favorite frames built up with stuff you want on them. (Not negating the appeal
    of a fixer-only frame. I have two forks for my track bike. Fun, a great "look",
    but I'm not big on front-only brake. Another topic.)

    (The Ultimate Spare): Perish the thought, but if your present road K-well got
    trashed... --TP
     
  11. [email protected]ospam (Tom Paterson) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > From Bruce Rideout:
    >
    > >I have a new Kogswell frame with >horizontal dropouts
    > >(www.kogswell.com), but I don't want to convert it to a fixed gear.
    > >It's my main commuter and I LOVE it.

    >
    > There's a lot to be said for having identical (or very close) bikes when
    > changing between rides-- familiar responses in emergency situations, ability to
    > swap wheels or other parts (incl. chainring compatibility) when the bike shop
    > is closed, etc. I've done this with a couple of different pairs of frames,
    > works great.
    >
    > >I would get a Kogswell fixed
    > >gear frame (which is a bit closer to road geometry than most) but they
    > >are out of the 54cm size.

    >
    > Road style available? Hmm, I looked at Kogs.com, seems they might have one in
    > your size. An '03, apparently on sale, with free brake calipers and free
    > shipping. $310? Sounds like a deal from here. If I may: I'd consider putting
    > some screws in the cable adj.bosses to protect the threads and have two
    > favorite frames built up with stuff you want on them. (Not negating the appeal
    > of a fixer-only frame. I have two forks for my track bike. Fun, a great "look",
    > but I'm not big on front-only brake. Another topic.)
    >
    > (The Ultimate Spare): Perish the thought, but if your present road K-well got
    > trashed... --TP



    Thanks to everyone who replied. One of the downsides to buying a
    frame (like the Kogswell road frame with horizontal drop-outs) is the
    high cost of building it up. You can sometimes get good deals on road
    build-kits, but I've not found a good source for a fixed-gear build
    kit. Any suggestions there?

    Thanks,

    Bruce
     
  12. jtill

    jtill Guest

    Bruce Rideout wrote:
    > [email protected]ospam (Tom Paterson) wrote in message news:
    > Thanks to everyone who replied. One of the downsides to buying a frame
    > (like the Kogswell road frame with horizontal drop-outs) is the high
    > cost of building it up. You can sometimes get good deals on road build-
    > kits, but I've not found a good source for a fixed-gear build kit. Any
    > suggestions there?
    > Thanks,
    > Bruce




    Sheldon's got those too: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/fixed.html
    (at the bottom of the page).

    I'd also recommend getting an older road frame with horizontal dropouts;
    you can find them really cheap on ebay or craig's list if you have that
    in your area. You can get track frames there too, but they tend to be
    more expensive.

    -Jeremy



    --
     
  13. [email protected] (Bruce Rideout) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > [email protected]ospam (Tom Paterson) wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >> From Bruce Rideout:
    >>
    >> >I have a new Kogswell frame with >horizontal dropouts
    >> >(www.kogswell.com), but I don't want to convert it to a fixed
    >> >gear. It's my main commuter and I LOVE it.

    >>
    >> There's a lot to be said for having identical (or very close)
    >> bikes when changing between rides-- familiar responses in
    >> emergency situations, ability to swap wheels or other parts
    >> (incl. chainring compatibility) when the bike shop is closed,
    >> etc. I've done this with a couple of different pairs of frames,
    >> works great.
    >>
    >> >I would get a Kogswell fixed
    >> >gear frame (which is a bit closer to road geometry than most)
    >> >but they are out of the 54cm size.

    >>
    >> Road style available? Hmm, I looked at Kogs.com, seems they might
    >> have one in your size. An '03, apparently on sale, with free
    >> brake calipers and free shipping. $310? Sounds like a deal from
    >> here. If I may: I'd consider putting some screws in the cable
    >> adj.bosses to protect the threads and have two favorite frames
    >> built up with stuff you want on them. (Not negating the appeal
    >> of a fixer-only frame. I have two forks for my track bike. Fun, a
    >> great "look", but I'm not big on front-only brake. Another
    >> topic.)
    >>
    >> (The Ultimate Spare): Perish the thought, but if your present
    >> road K-well got trashed... --TP

    >
    >
    > Thanks to everyone who replied. One of the downsides to buying a
    > frame (like the Kogswell road frame with horizontal drop-outs) is
    > the high cost of building it up. You can sometimes get good deals
    > on road build-kits, but I've not found a good source for a
    > fixed-gear build kit. Any suggestions there?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Bruce
    >


    Check this frame out, $360 cdn.
     
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