Frame brands known for shorter top tubes



BiggMakk

New Member
Oct 3, 2005
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I was recently fitted for my existing 54cm bike. At 5'9"/175cm that was supposed to be the correct size from for me. But in reality the 55cm top tube of my 54cm frame is too long. With my seat adjusted correctly, my new stem is now just 8cm with a steep rise. This was done because of limited flexibilty of my upper back and shoulders (due to an injury). Ironically my lower back is very flexible. It seems my torso is also a bit shorter than average men of my height.

This new short stem makes the handling quite skittish and gives an odd appearance to the front part of my bike.

The bike fitter suggested I would be best suited with with a custom frame based on the fact that most off-the-shelf 52cm top tubes are on 50 or 51cm frames and these frames with their shorter head tubes would create a very steep seat-to-handle bar drop for my level of flexibility. Unfortunately a custom frame is beyond my price range at this time.

Are there frame brands known for shorter top tubes with proportionately longer head tubes? Thanks.
 

scirocco

New Member
Feb 16, 2007
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The code name for "shorter top tube to head tube ratio" is "relaxed geometry", because it gives a less stretched out position than is the case with most bikes. However, if you have long legs/short torso they may not be very "relaxed" at all - just normal for your proportions. So seek out models with that tag.

A couple of standard (stock, not custom) examples are the Serotta Fierte and Avanti Cadent. The longer head-tube will enable you to go to a frame size smaller than normal without too much saddle-to-bar drop, and thus get the shorter top tube you need without having to resort to a short stem, which can mess up the handling, as you've noticed.

You will likely have a lot of seat post showing, if that bothers you. The other downside is that such relaxed geometry bikes are usually set up for straight line cruising rather than sharp handling. This may even be what you want.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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BiggMakk said:
I was recently fitted for my existing 54cm bike. At 5'9"/175cm that was supposed to be the correct size from for me. But in reality the 55cm top tube of my 54cm frame is too long. With my seat adjusted correctly, my new stem is now just 8cm with a steep rise. This was done because of limited flexibilty of my upper back and shoulders (due to an injury). Ironically my lower back is very flexible. It seems my torso is also a bit shorter than average men of my height.

This new short stem makes the handling quite skittish and gives an odd appearance to the front part of my bike.

The bike fitter suggested I would be best suited with with a custom frame based on the fact that most off-the-shelf 52cm top tubes are on 50 or 51cm frames and these frames with their shorter head tubes would create a very steep seat-to-handle bar drop for my level of flexibility. Unfortunately a custom frame is beyond my price range at this time.

Are there frame brands known for shorter top tubes with proportionately longer head tubes? Thanks.

http://www.waterfordbikes.com

Custom only-
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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BiggMakk said:
Are there frame brands known for shorter top tubes with proportionately longer head tubes? Thanks.
Giant OCR, Felt Z-series, and Kuota Kharma. Being lanky myself, I've found my best fit on Italian frames built around 1977-1983.