Relaxed Geometry Road Bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Ron Linz, Jan 25, 2004.

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  1. Ron Linz

    Ron Linz Guest

    I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there worth
    looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.
     
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  2. > I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    > will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    > looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there
    > worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.

    There are quite a few bikes out there with shorter distances between seat & bars (by the way,
    calling it a "relaxed" geometry may confuse people, since that's normally associated with bikes with
    relatively slack seat angles... which some feel gives a more powerful climbing position). TREK has
    their "C" (comfort) series. But..

    This "new" thing about more upright riding positions requiring a special bike is mostly bogus. In
    most cases, a shop can take a standard road bike and fit a taller, shorter-forward-reach stem and
    bars with less forward reach and voila, you've got a more upright position! Unfortunately, most of
    the stock bikes come set up with long, low stems (to give a racing look) and often the salesperson
    doesn't have a clue about how the customer wants to ride unless there's a "special" model that's
    already set up that way and the customer says "That's what I want."

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  3. Bfd

    Bfd Guest

    "Ron Linz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    > will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    > looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there
    > worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.

    Take a look at Rivendell Romulus, its at the upper end of your price range, maybe even a bit more,
    but has alot of features that you may like:

    http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_romulusframes.html
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Guest

    "bfd" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > "Ron Linz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    > > will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    > > looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there
    > > worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.
    >
    > Take a look at Rivendell Romulus, its at the upper end of your price
    range,
    > maybe even a bit more, but has alot of features that you may like:
    >
    > http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_romulusframes.html

    Also Herons. Similar design, lots of options, worth the money.

    http://www.heronbicycles.com/

    Note that Mike J's comments are all true about how a good shop should be able to convert the stem on
    about any road bike to get a more comfortable riding position. Rivendell has a good bit to say about
    this, check out the "Articles" section of the site.

    One of the advantages of the Riv's and Heron's is that you truly do get a more relaxed geometry and
    that does affect the ride feel, which many find an improvement. Additionally, you get better
    clearance for larger tires - another advantage that affects ride quality and note that the Riv's and
    Heron's are specifically designed to have the h-bar at seat height so you're not playing games with
    weird stem angles, reach, etc... as you would be with a standard road racer with threadless.

    SB
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Steve wrote:

    > "bfd" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    >> "Ron Linz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    >>> I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    >>> will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    >>> looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there
    >>> worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.
    >>
    >> Take a look at Rivendell Romulus, its at the upper end of your price range, maybe even a bit
    >> more, but has alot of features that you may like:
    >>
    >> http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_romulusframes.html
    >
    >
    > Also Herons. Similar design, lots of options, worth the money.
    >
    > http://www.heronbicycles.com/
    >
    > Note that Mike J's comments are all true about how a good shop should be able to convert the stem
    > on about any road bike to get a more comfortable riding position. Rivendell has a good bit to say
    > about this, check out the "Articles" section of the site.
    >
    > One of the advantages of the Riv's and Heron's is that you truly do get a more relaxed geometry
    > and that does affect the ride feel, which many find an improvement. Additionally, you get better
    > clearance for larger tires - another advantage that affects ride quality and note that the Riv's
    > and Heron's are specifically designed to have the h-bar at seat height so you're not playing games
    > with weird stem angles, reach, etc... as you would be with a standard road racer with threadless.

    Gunnar makes a "Sport" model in the same vein. And it's considerably cheaper than those other two,
    though still more expensive than an off-the-rack model. You might also consider a Bianchi Volpe.

    Interestingly, the Heron is practically identical to a Lemond. Much is made of Lemond's marginally
    slacker seat tube, but the real story is the taller head tube -- an inch or more taller than
    competing models. Look at the geometry charts... Anyway, I bet you could get a good fit with a
    Lemond, and a tall stem if necessary.

    Matt O.
     
  6. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    "bfd" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Ron Linz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    > > will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    > > looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there
    > > worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.
    >
    > Take a look at Rivendell Romulus, its at the upper end of your price range, maybe even a bit more,
    > but has alot of features that you may like:
    >
    > http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_romulusframes.html

    If they still have the Romulus in stock in your size. The Romulus is only marginally differentiated
    from their Rambouillet (paint, type of steel in the stays) from the Romulus, so Riv is selling out
    their stock of the Romulus and sticking with just the Rambouillet, in a new color, for this year.
    And the price has gone up significantly - $2100 - mostly due to the weak dollar. Romulus stocks are
    real low; a dealer I know that used to have 5-6 in the show room and more in the back is down to
    just a couple.

    - rick
     
  7. Bill Blum

    Bill Blum Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > Interestingly, the Heron is practically identical to a Lemond. Much is made of Lemond's marginally
    > slacker seat tube, but the real story is the taller head tube -- an inch or more taller than
    > competing models. Look at the geometry charts... Anyway, I bet you could get a good fit with a
    > Lemond, and a tall stem if necessary.
    >
    > Matt O.
    >

    I was looking at getting my first road bike this year... tried out a coworkers Lemond.... and it's a
    good think my wife doesn't let me carry the checkbook anymore.
     
  8. Ron Linz

    Ron Linz Guest

    [email protected] (Rick Warner) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > "bfd" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >> "Ron Linz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> > I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike
    >> > that will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile
    >> > rides. I'm looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes
    >> > out there worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.
    >>
    >> Take a look at Rivendell Romulus, its at the upper end of your price range, maybe even a bit
    >> more, but has alot of features that you may like:
    >>
    >> http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_romulusframes.html
    >
    > If they still have the Romulus in stock in your size. The Romulus is only marginally
    > differentiated from their Rambouillet (paint, type of steel in the stays) from the Romulus, so Riv
    > is selling out their stock of the Romulus and sticking with just the Rambouillet, in a new color,
    > for this year. And the price has gone up significantly - $2100 - mostly due to the weak dollar.
    > Romulus stocks are real low; a dealer I know that used to have 5-6 in the show room and more in
    > the back is down to just a couple.
    >
    > - rick

    What color are they changing the Rambouillet to this year?
     
  9. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    "Bill Blum" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:YdgRb.34106$P%[email protected]...
    >
    > I was looking at getting my first road bike this year... tried out a coworkers Lemond.... and it's
    > a good think my wife doesn't let me carry the checkbook anymore.
    >
    Sounds like a bad thing if you ask me.

    Matthew
     
  10. Todd Kuzma

    Todd Kuzma Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > Interestingly, the Heron is practically identical to a Lemond. Much is made of Lemond's marginally
    > slacker seat tube, but the real story is the taller head tube -- an inch or more taller than
    > competing models. Look at the geometry charts... Anyway, I bet you could get a good fit with a
    > Lemond, and a tall stem if necessary.

    Matt,

    Which model Lemond is that? They all seem to have higher bottom brackets and shorter chainstays than
    either the Heron Road or Touring. From the photos, it also doesn't look like their head tube is any
    taller than any other road bike.

    Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles LaSalle, Il 815-223-1776 http://www.heronbicycles.com
     
  11. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Todd Kuzma wrote:

    > Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    >> Interestingly, the Heron is practically identical to a Lemond. Much is made of Lemond's
    >> marginally slacker seat tube, but the real story is the taller head tube -- an inch or more
    >> taller than competing models. Look at the geometry charts... Anyway, I bet you could get a good
    >> fit with a Lemond, and a tall stem if necessary.
    >
    > Matt,
    >
    > Which model Lemond is that? They all seem to have higher bottom brackets and shorter chainstays
    > than either the Heron Road or Touring. From the photos, it also doesn't look like their head tube
    > is any taller than any other road bike.

    I just looked at the specs for a 59cm Maillot Jeune. IMO, a half cm of chainstay doesn't make a
    dime's worth of difference. OK, 7mm... But I'd still say both bikes are in the same class,
    compared to a typical sub-41cm-chainstay bike. I have a hard time believing 5mm of BB drop makes
    any difference either. Make 5mm with your thumb and forefinger, look at it, and ponder it! About
    the head tube -- I had a 59cm Tourmalet in my garage, and it had a 190mm head tube. Look around
    the web at some geometry charts, and you'll see this is at the tall end of the spectrum. These
    days people have a hard time getting their bars up high enough, and 2cm can make all the
    difference in the world.

    Anyway, that's why I said the Heron and Lemond were "practically" identical -- different from a
    Cannondale at one end of the spectrum, or a Trek 520 at the other. But in practice, they'd fit and
    ride about the same as each other.

    Matt O.
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Guest

    "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > I just looked at the specs for a 59cm Maillot Jeune. IMO, a half cm of chainstay doesn't make a
    > dime's worth of difference. OK, 7mm... But I'd
    still
    > say both bikes are in the same class, compared to a typical
    sub-41cm-chainstay
    > bike. I have a hard time believing 5mm of BB drop makes any difference
    either.
    > Make 5mm with your thumb and forefinger, look at it, and ponder it! About
    the
    > head tube -- I had a 59cm Tourmalet in my garage, and it had a 190mm head
    tube.
    > Look around the web at some geometry charts, and you'll see this is at the
    tall
    > end of the spectrum. These days people have a hard time getting their
    bars up
    > high enough, and 2cm can make all the difference in the world.
    >
    > Anyway, that's why I said the Heron and Lemond were "practically"
    identical --
    > different from a Cannondale at one end of the spectrum, or a Trek 520 at
    the
    > other. But in practice, they'd fit and ride about the same as each other.

    Matt,

    I ride a Heron Road and Lemond Arrivee. They do ride similarly, in that they are both stable bikes,
    handle well, etc... neither is squirrelly on a fast downhill, so in one sense you're right. But one
    thing I've discovered is that very minor differences in frame angles do make a difference. Hell, I
    had to get a different seat post when I moved to Brooks saddles due to shorter seat rails. That's
    essentially the same as a 1/2 degree of seat tube angle and it made a HUGE difference. Grant
    Peterson commented once about building his own Riv. with a seat tube 1/2 degree slacker for the same
    reason (Brooks saddle).

    The Lemond is not a Heron and there are differences that a geometry chart doesn't show. Note also
    that you're comparing the larger frame sizes, where a 55-56 size would be the most common sold and
    the differences are more pronounced in these sizes. Further a 7mm chainstay can make a world of
    difference in chain angle. My Heron has a triple and I never get chainrub of any kind when using the
    middle ring and 2nd smallest cog, something I cannot do with a triple on the Lemond and it's all do
    to chainstay length. Finally, the longer chainstay's allow greater tire clearance. I can just fit a
    26mm tire on the Lemond, where a 32 works on the Heron. The Riv's have even better tire clearance,
    longer chainstays, wheelbase, etc.. thus have even better versatility, which is I inferred the
    original post was looking for.

    Steve B.
     
  13. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Steve wrote:

    > The Lemond is not a Heron and there are differences that a geometry chart doesn't show. Note also
    > that you're comparing the larger frame sizes, where a 55-56 size would be the most common sold and
    > the differences are more pronounced in these sizes. Further a 7mm chainstay can make a world of
    > difference in chain angle. My Heron has a triple and I never get chainrub of any kind when using
    > the middle ring and 2nd smallest cog, something I cannot do with a triple on the Lemond and it's
    > all do to chainstay length. Finally, the longer chainstay's allow greater tire clearance. I can
    > just fit a 26mm tire on the Lemond, where a 32 works on the Heron. The Riv's have even better tire
    > clearance, longer chainstays, wheelbase, etc.. thus have even better versatility, which is I
    > inferred the original post was looking for.

    This is all true, and you're preaching to the choir about the clearance issues! However, I was
    focusing solely on fit and handling. And usually, a half degree of seat tube angle is well within
    the normal range of adjustment of saddles and seatposts. Of course, certain combinations will always
    be outliers.

    Matt O.
     
  14. Todd Kuzma

    Todd Kuzma Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > About the head tube -- I had a 59cm Tourmalet in my garage, and it had a 190mm head tube. Look
    > around the web at some geometry charts, and you'll see this is at the tall end of the spectrum.
    > These days people have a hard time getting their bars up high enough, and 2cm can make all the
    > difference in the world.

    One point about the head tube length - this spec doesn't tell you a lot unless you also know the
    fork length. Forks do vary quite a bit in length, and the Heron Road fork is quite long compared to
    other forks using short-reach brakes.

    Lemond doesn't list the length of their forks so I can't say for sure how tall their head tube is.
    However, judging from photos, I'd say that the fork is relatively short.

    Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles LaSalle, Il 815-223-1776 http://www.heronbicycles.com
     
  15. Bruce Frech

    Bruce Frech Guest

    If you just want to be a bit more upright, then most typical road bikes should fit with just a
    shorter stem flipped so they point up rather then horizontal. You also might look into one size
    smaller to get a slightly shorter top tube. This agrees with Mike J's comments.

    Bruce

    "Ron Linz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for a road bike that has a relaxed geometry. Im in my 50's and want a road bike that
    > will allow me to be more upright when in the drops. I don't race and do 25 - 50 mile rides. I'm
    > looking at the Jamis Quest and Specialized Sequoia Elite. Are there any other bikes out there
    > worth looking at? I want to stay in the $1000 - $1500 price range.
     
  16. Todd Kuzma

    Todd Kuzma Guest

    in article [email protected], Bruce Frech at
    [email protected] wrote on 1/27/04 5:09 PM:

    > If you just want to be a bit more upright, then most typical road bikes should fit with just a
    > shorter stem flipped so they point up rather then horizontal. You also might look into one size
    > smaller to get a slightly shorter top tube. This agrees with Mike J's comments.

    It's true that adjusting a quill stem or flipping a threadless stem can raise the bars and
    effectively reduce reach. However, I don't agree with the suggestion of going to a smaller size
    frame. Using a smaller size means that you will have to pull the post out further to get the correct
    seat height. This will place the saddle higher relative to the bars.

    Instead, I'd go with a taller frame and shorter stem. A taller frame will mean less seatpost
    showing. This results in a higher handlebar relative to the saddle.

    On frames like the Heron, Specialized Sequoia, and the Rivendell frames, the head tube is higher
    than on most frames. This does two different things. First, obviously, it raises the handlebars
    relative to the saddle. Second, and not as obvious, the higher handlebar effectively reduces the
    reach to the bars. So, a Heron with a 57 cm top tube will fit like a conventional frame with a 56
    cm top tube.

    Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles LaSalle, IL http://www.heronbicycles.com/
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Guest

    "Todd Kuzma" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > Lemond doesn't list the length of their forks so I can't say for sure how tall their head tube is.
    > However, judging from photos, I'd say that the fork is relatively short.

    Yet another good point and I'll expand based on experience.

    My Lemond Ti came with an integrated headset. It had the steerer tube intact and I essentially left
    it uncut, using a ton of black spacers (60mm ?) to get the H-bar where I wanted - seat height. Stem,
    bar and spacers are all black so it doesn't look hideous (to me), though I'd bet the bike fashion
    police would have something to say.

    The point is that with Herons and Rivs, the head tubes AND fork steerers are deliberately long,
    which often allows a regular (short quill) 1" stem to be used to get the h-bar almost level with the
    set and that's half the battle in terms of comfort for a lot of (getting) older riders. Using a
    Nitto Technomic allows a tremendous amount of adjustment in terms of bar height, though swapping
    stems to play around certainly is nowhere as simple as with the 1-1/8 stems with dual bolt open
    faces. Wish there was a happy middle ground.

    The typical Lemond's may or may not have the entire steerer tube intact when you're shopping around.
    Hopefully the dealers are getting smart and leaving them un-cut, though they don't look as "cool"
    when built up this way. Thus, as with probably 80% of the standard road bikes, the steerer is cut
    and you're now stuck with a very extreme angled threadless stem. My frame was a factory replacement
    thus the long steerer, but either way I had to play games with spacers and stems to get a comparable
    position on the Lemond, where it seemed so much simpler with the Heron with it's upward sloping top
    tube and long head tube. Certainly a major design difference and is one of the reasons these bikes
    are really much different then your stock road racer.

    SB
     
  18. Ron Linz

    Ron Linz Guest

    Todd Kuzma <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:BC3C6DFE.1921E%[email protected]:

    > in article [email protected], Bruce Frech at [email protected] wrote on
    > 1/27/04 5:09 PM:
    >
    >> If you just want to be a bit more upright, then most typical road bikes should fit with just a
    >> shorter stem flipped so they point up rather then horizontal. You also might look into one size
    >> smaller to get a slightly shorter top tube. This agrees with Mike J's comments.
    >
    > It's true that adjusting a quill stem or flipping a threadless stem can raise the bars and
    > effectively reduce reach. However, I don't agree with the suggestion of going to a smaller size
    > frame. Using a smaller size means that you will have to pull the post out further to get the
    > correct seat height. This will place the saddle higher relative to the bars.
    >
    > Instead, I'd go with a taller frame and shorter stem. A taller frame will mean less seatpost
    > showing. This results in a higher handlebar relative to the saddle.
    >
    > On frames like the Heron, Specialized Sequoia, and the Rivendell frames, the head tube is higher
    > than on most frames. This does two different things. First, obviously, it raises the handlebars
    > relative to the saddle. Second, and not as obvious, the higher handlebar effectively reduces the
    > reach to the bars. So, a Heron with a 57 cm top tube will fit like a conventional frame with a 56
    > cm top tube.
    >
    > Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles LaSalle, IL http://www.heronbicycles.com/
    >
    >

    Todd, how does the price of the Heron compare to the Specialized Sequoia, Jamis Quest, Bianchi
    Veloce? I didn't see any prices on the web site. Also, what are the different models? Does the Heron
    road bike have a relaxed gemetry? How is the Heron Touring bike different?

    I am 5'11" and have an inseam of 85cm. What size frame do you think I would need in a Heron?
     
  19. Todd Kuzma

    Todd Kuzma Guest

    Ron Linz wrote:

    > Todd, how does the price of the Heron compare to the Specialized Sequoia, Jamis Quest, Bianchi
    > Veloce? I didn't see any prices on the web site. Also, what are the different models? Does the
    > Heron road bike have a relaxed gemetry? How is the Heron Touring bike different?

    Our frames start at $995. Check the "Frames" page of our site for more info on pricing and the
    difference between the frames. There is also some good info on the "FAQ" page. The Touring frame
    provides a bit more stable (slower) steering than the Road so it is easier to ride while carrying a
    touring load. The chainstays are longer, and there is clearance for fatter tires and fenders.

    > I am 5'11" and have an inseam of 85cm. What size frame do you think I would need in a Heron?

    Just based on height and inseam, I'd look first at the 58 cm Road. Check our "Sizing" page for a bit
    more info. Of course, we recommend getting a proper fitting done at one of our dealers.

    Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles LaSalle, Il 815-223-1776 http://www.heronbicycles.com
     
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