Frames: compact or non compact



Hi all,

I am thinking of changing my bike. After 2 years on my Giant TCR2 I need a change partly due to sizing? issues and partly due to my never ending quest for something new. ;D

My problem is that a couple of the frames (or rather the frames of the bikes I am considering) I am thinking of are compact frames - Bianchi EV2 and Giant TCR0. However, the bike shop I patronise has advised me not to go for a compact frame due to my height - 1.87m, which I am told is difficult to size properly on a compact.

The normal frames that i have been pointed to are either not to my liking - Trek 5200, or outrageously expensive De rosa King/UD, Colnago C40 - see I have champagne taste but a budget for tap water, a misallignment of my tastes and my means :'(.

The quetion is- is it true that a compact frame cannot give the same level of fit and comfort that a normal frame would? Furthermore, is the myth about the supriority of Italian frames as opposed to American/Taiwanese frames true? Finally what do you think of KHS and Sintesi as frames.

BK, I've heard tall riders with compact frames mention that the seat post sticks out quite alot. I'll check it out and come back to you.
I'd have to agree to a certain extent with your LBS. Because most compact frames come in only 3 sizes (S, M, L), fit must be dialled in by using extra long seatposts and stems. IMO, this may affect the handling of the bike. Whereas in a regular frame, the amount of seatpost and stem length will be just right and perfect for the frame.

I've also heard of complaints on compact frames because the seatpost flexes when too much is sticking out.

I wouldn't pass on a Bianchi though...what a beautiful work of art. Even more beautiful when decked out in Shimano Dura-Ace!

That is absolute sacrilege and blasphemy, my friend! That's like fitting a Ferrari F2002 with a Williams engine. Anyway, back to the topic.

I've seen Sintesi frames around, but can't comment. As for KHS, their frames are awesome.
Is the Sintesi you are talking about made by Irio Tommasini?

BTW, a Williams engine in a Ferrari chassis will make it the best car in the world! ;D ;D

Yes the Sintesi I am referred to is made by Tomasini. I heard from an older biker friend that the Tomasini frames were not very reliable - what that means I don't know - despite their popularity in the early 90s.

Taking another look at my bike now, I realise the seat post is way too high above the frame. I wonder how i ever manage not to break it. I guess that is it for compact frames for me - the question what next then?

What do you think about this machine?

I want to address the american vs italian frame question...

of course the italians have been making quality frames for many years whereas the usa industry is relatively new by comparison. however some us frames are just as good or better than alot of the euros. the welds I've seen on some bianchi frames are a terrible joke...

Litespeed, made 3 miles from my house, makes the titanium bikes Lotto is riding this year. Litespeed also made the bikes Trek BOUGHT (and painted with Trek colors and logo) for Lance to ride to his TT victories in his first Tour win.

Litespeed and Merlin (now made at the Litespeed factory in Ooltewah, TN) are some of the finest frames built anywhere.

I have read quite a bit about Litespeed to be interested, so many rave reviews. Unfortunately in my corner of the woods RSA, the bikes are not available.

Black_Night. The Litespeed is available in CTown at Willie Engelbrecht. I saw one there, a gun metal grey colour but I dont like the yellow decals on it. If my memory serve me right, it was about R33,000 (about $2950). For that money, I'll rather go for the Trek 5500.
Don't give up on compact frames. I'm sure the seatposts for the Giants were made to withstand the forces of having too much leverage. Check out the Litespeed Ghisallo too. I believe it is the lightest frame in Litespeeds stable. $3090 USD for the frame!

If you want to switch to the regular frames, check out the ones by Moser, aside from the Treks, C-dales, Pinarellos, and Colnagos. Moser frames, IMO, are the most beutiful steel frames.
I think I will go for the KHS flite 2000. Normal frame, Mavic Kysirum wheels, Shimano Dura Ace ( An abomination to some), carbon fork and rear stays yet R8000, (US$700) cheaper than the Trek 5200.
The KHS is not that tested yet. However, the reviews in bicyling mag are not bad. In addition some of the top SA trathletes use it so it should be fairly durable.
I feel that for the price even if the frame does not work out, I can get a replacement frame and still not be too out of pocket.
All the foregoing notwithstanding I still agonise - If only the TCR 0 were not a compact frame.....
The giant website says the compact frame will fit over 90% of people and most of the others can get it right for them by changing seat and stem options. Ive read in the Cyclingnews web site (they have good reviews) that with the giant TCR 0 (and all other giants i assume?)it is better that you weigh less than 80kg. i guess this is obvious as its a lightweight bike not desinged for big sprinters like cipo. im 64kg so thats no prob. does your weight rule you out?
I have a Litespeed Ultimate 2001 sans the carbon monostay and I have absolutely no complaints. Vo2, I'm sorry to say I thoroughly enjoy my dura-ace. I got the bike on sale last year on-line at Colorado Cyclist for $3000 and it came with a Reynolds Ouzo Comp fork, Mavic Cosmos wheels, Cane Creek S2 headset, and a couple of other goodies. I thought I got a pretty good deal. I've since upgraded a component here and there, but check out the site and see what you think:

I don't know if they deliver to South Africa, though. So I guess I'm really no help. I just wanted to put in my two cents and say that Litespeed frames are worth looking into.
Speaking of Litepseeds and compact frames. What do you think of the Ghisallo? Pretty light eh? Too bad the price tag's pretty heavy! ;D How 'bout the Litespeed Siena? Sounds reasonable to me. Saw an American expatraite riding around on a Siena in my usual loop. I'll chat him up next time I see him and try to find out his take on the Siena.
Ahhh the Ghisallo.... Simply beautiful. What a great name for a frame- to honor the Italian patron saint of cycling. (I'm sure you knew that anyway) Yeah, the "cheapest" I've seen the frame for here in the states was around $3000. But, I don't think you'll find a frame as light (<4.5 kgs) or as strong (6/4 Ti I believe) for the price. I suppose the Colnago C40 would be comparable if you were looking to go the carbon route. The Siena is a very nice frame as well. I think maybe in a couple of years I'm going to build a bike starting with the Ghisallo or the Vortex frame and yes, for all you purists, outfit it with Campy.
Vo2, I'm sorry to say I thoroughly enjoy my dura-ace.

hehe only pulling you Shimano ace's legs. Nothing wrong with the Shimano gruppos. Their fishing reels are excellent! ;D
As a proud owner of a Giant tcr zero (campag record group) allow me the following comments. I weigh 82kg, 1.91m tall and could not be happier being on my Giant compact frame

Italian bikes are like so many French wines... over-priced and over-rated. For a long time now American and Taiwanese bikes have been leading the way (much like New World wines)

Buy with your head, buy American or Taiwanese
baiesukkel, I have a very similar height and weight to you, and I'm interested in the Giant compacts.

I guess you would most likely have the Large frame size. How high is your seat post, and do you notice any flex in it? How bent are your knees when the pedal is at the lowest point in the cycle? Is it comfortable? Does it strain your back at all riding in the aggressive position for long periods (1hr+) ?

Ahhh the Ghisallo.... Simply beautiful.  What a great name for a frame- to honor the Italian patron saint of cycling. (I'm sure you knew that anyway)  quote]

I agree. IMO, Ghisallo is the most beautful name one can give to a bike. What better steed to ride on than one named after the Virgin (Madonna de Ghisallo right?)? there is no way God will cause that bike to crash ;D However, I wonder what the Italians feel, now that Americans have named their bike after an Italian patron saint...hmmmm