Short Femer = steep seat tube angle??



bike_wingnut

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Mar 5, 2004
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Anyone else have this problem? I'm an avid mountain biker wanting to get into road riding for cross training. I got fit for a road bike, and learned that my femer is short, which in turn requires a 75.5 degree seat tube angle. All manufactures that I looked at stock frames at about 73 to 73.5 degrees. My fit guy said that its important to have your knee over the spindle, which resulted in this sort of radical angle.

He is suggesting a custom frame, because to try to make a stock frame work, I'd have to jam the saddle forward a few centimeters, resulting in a longer stem length, resulting in too much weight over the front wheel, making the downhill handling poor.

Given that i've already dumped a bunch of dough into my mountain bike, I wanted to go easy on my road bike; ~$2500. Do I have any other option other than custom? Will the handling be so poor in this scenario that I should spend the extra money for a custom frame? Or is my lbs guy exagerating the problem?

Any help here would be appreciated.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Originally posted by bike_wingnut
Anyone else have this problem? I'm an avid mountain biker wanting to get into road riding for cross training. I got fit for a road bike, and learned that my femer is short, which in turn requires a 75.5 degree seat tube angle. All manufactures that I looked at stock frames at about 73 to 73.5 degrees. My fit guy said that its important to have your knee over the spindle, which resulted in this sort of radical angle.

He is suggesting a custom frame, because to try to make a stock frame work, I'd have to jam the saddle forward a few centimeters, resulting in a longer stem length, resulting in too much weight over the front wheel, making the downhill handling poor.

Given that i've already dumped a bunch of dough into my mountain bike, I wanted to go easy on my road bike; ~$2500. Do I have any other option other than custom? Will the handling be so poor in this scenario that I should spend the extra money for a custom frame? Or is my lbs guy exagerating the problem?

Any help here would be appreciated.
KOP is a generalization, and not always an absolute for every rider. How long a stem you end up with is the important part, relative to frame size. Some people with strange builds use long stems(140) with no problem.You can do custom for $2500, as a decent TIG steel frame can be had for around $1000 and a ultegra or centaur build kit will run around another $11-1200, then add a fork. You can probably do aluminum for the same or less money. You might also want to get a second opinion from a good fitter, or any custom guy could take your measurements and advise you. The accuracy of the measurements is critical though.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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Originally posted by bike_wingnut
Anyone else have this problem? I'm an avid mountain biker wanting to get into road riding for cross training. I got fit for a road bike, and learned that my femer is short, which in turn requires a 75.5 degree seat tube angle. All manufactures that I looked at stock frames at about 73 to 73.5 degrees. My fit guy said that its important to have your knee over the spindle, which resulted in this sort of radical angle.

He is suggesting a custom frame, because to try to make a stock frame work, I'd have to jam the saddle forward a few centimeters, resulting in a longer stem length, resulting in too much weight over the front wheel, making the downhill handling poor.

Given that i've already dumped a bunch of dough into my mountain bike, I wanted to go easy on my road bike; ~$2500. Do I have any other option other than custom? Will the handling be so poor in this scenario that I should spend the extra money for a custom frame? Or is my lbs guy exagerating the problem?

Any help here would be appreciated.
Keith Bontrager has an article that you should read. It is posted on his site and Sheldon Brown's site at URL:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html
I also suggest some more reading at Peter White's site, URL:
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
and pick off some of the articles here:
http://www.cyclemetrics.com/
and then click on the fit links.
Maybe a trip to Boulder (Vecchio's on Peral St is one) for a couple of the fine shops there for fitting consultation. Be prepared to pay for it. It is a good investment in picking the right bicycle and getting it set up and equipped for your ergonomics and biometrics.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Originally posted by daveornee

Maybe a trip to Boulder (Vecchio's on Peral St is one) for a couple of the fine shops there for fitting consultation. Be prepared to pay for it. It is a good investment in picking the right bicycle and getting it set up and equipped for your ergonomics and biometrics.
Wheatwridge Cyclery, Schwabs, and Excel are other options.
 

mikem

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Jul 17, 2003
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I have the same problem - short from waist down essentially. I went with a Seven www.sevencycles.com . Bicycling mag recently did a review of some "affordable" Ti bikes in fact, custom ones. I'll see if I can dig it out - but I think they even had a Litespeed in that price range.

Seven's Alaris is just under $2k for the frame - something to consider if you can get a kit and fork for 500-700 (maybe).
 

pudster

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Aug 20, 2003
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Just a thought might be to go to a builder and have them size you or go online to a builder that you like and fill in the online sizing chart and send it in to them to get your sizing from them. Sometimes it is a good idea to have a builder do your sizing because sometimes fit people don't understand how to build a bike. I think that some online sizing spot are good too. Like say cyclemetrics. The measurements that you do are very important and it is good to have someone help you.
 

Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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Try Spicer. I think Gene builds frames for about 600-1000. But he may only do track -- I'm not sure.

There are plenty of bikes that have steep seat tubes if you decide that's what you need. Cervelo is a GREAT way to go, IMHO. You could get a Soloist (regular 105 version for $1700 or so, Team version for $2400). I have the Team and love it. It's 73 degrees, but the seatpost flips and takes it to 76+ degrees effective. You could get a Cervelo One, which I think has a 75 degree tube. Or try Cannondale's (yuck) triathalon frames. Easily under $2500 in all cases.