Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry?



R

Robert Lee

Guest
Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and
want the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my present
bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going 16 mph,
but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
know if I can handle a low head tube.
 
Robert Lee wrote:
> Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and
> want the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my present
> bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going 16 mph,
> but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
> know if I can handle a low head tube.


Do you want a new bike?

If you do, look beyond compact frames, there is no benefit to the
rider beyond a few extra bucks in their pocket. Google will show that I
have no respect for the compact concept .. but still

A compact frame wont fix things, a new bike on it's own wont fix things
... get a competent fit. Talk to lots of people and try out different
bikes, hell try out different stores and different sales people. Fit is
the key for both efficiency and comfort. A compact may fit you
correctly but usually they are an exercise in compromise.

FWIW head tube / bar height might be the primary issue with you neck
pain but top tube length and bar width can also play important roles.
 
Robert Lee wrote:
> Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and
> want the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my present
> bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going 16 mph,
> but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
> know if I can handle a low head tube.


Do you want a new bike?

If you do, look beyond compact frames, there is no benefit to the
rider beyond a few extra bucks in their pocket. Google will show that I
have no respect for the compact concept .. but still

A compact frame wont fix things, a new bike on it's own wont fix things
... get a competent fit. Talk to lots of people and try out different
bikes, hell try out different stores and different sales people. Fit is
the key for both efficiency and comfort. A compact may fit you
correctly but usually they are an exercise in compromise.

FWIW head tube / bar height might be the primary issue with you neck
pain but top tube length and bar width can also play important roles.
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo

Guest
Robert Lee wrote:
> Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and
> want the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my present
> bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going 16 mph,
> but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
> know if I can handle a low head tube.


Compact will not make your fit better or ride less of an effort, by
itself. Compact are mostly for manufacturers to save money, not for
performance gains, in spite of marketing.

I'd say you need a frame with a longer headtube, perhaps for a more
upright position, but tough to say w/o having you do a fit with a fit
person.

Horizontal frames don't all have a 'low headtube'...compacts don't all
have a long headtube.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 05:36:16 -0700, Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:

> Robert Lee wrote:


>> Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and want
>> the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my present
>> bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going 16 mph,
>> but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
>> know if I can handle a low head tube.


> Compact will not make your fit better or ride less of an effort, by
> itself. Compact are mostly for manufacturers to save money, not for
> performance gains, in spite of marketing.


> I'd say you need a frame with a longer headtube, perhaps for a more
> upright position, but tough to say w/o having you do a fit with a fit
> person.
>
> Horizontal frames don't all have a 'low headtube'...compacts don't all
> have a long headtube.


I'll second what Peter said. There's no rule about headtube lengths --
among different brands they're all over the place. If you need to raise
your bars you can probably do it with a new stem anyway. Compact frames
are no different from other frames, except for the sloping top tube and
shorter seat tube.

I suggest consulting a reputable bike fitter or coach. (Every shop seems
to have a "bike fitter" these days, but I wonder how many of them
are really any good.)

The Trek 1400 was, and still is, a nice bike. There's no reason to get a
new one unless a fitting session determines it would help, or you want to
"upgrade" to a newer drivetrain.

Matt O.
 
W

Wayne Pein

Guest
Robert Lee wrote:

> Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and
> want the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my present
> bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going 16 mph,
> but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
> know if I can handle a low head tube.


http://www.waterfordbikes.com/site/fit/

shows a simple picture of different frame geometries overlayed. You
might consider a "comfort" geometry which some manufacturers have in a
line of bikes.

Wayne
 
P

Phil, Squid-in-Training

Guest
Robert Lee wrote:
> Should I buy a bicycle with a compact frame geometry? I'm 56, and
> want the bicycle mostly for group rides and working out. On my
> present bike, an aluminum Trek 1400, I can keep up with a group going
> 16 mph, but it takes effort. Also, I have a history of neck pain, so
> I don't know if I can handle a low head tube.


Look for something like the Giant OCR series, or the Specialized Roubaix
series.
--
Phil
 
R

Ron Ruff

Guest
Robert Lee wrote:
> Also, I have a history of neck pain, so I don't
> know if I can handle a low head tube.


Try turning up the stem (flip it over) if it isn't already. This is an
excellent way to raise the bars.