what is my perfect frame?



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A

Ant

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I'm working on building a frame or two this spring, and while i do my hours with the TIG welded
brushing my skills up, ive been spending my freetime ogling paint colors and fantasizing about the
bike-to-be..

but what bike should i build? i keep hearing custom bike stories about how, fitted correctly, they
are the 'best thing that ever happened in my entire life, bar none' etc.

so how would i know what i want? i want this bike to be a cruising around town at low speeds and
enjoying myself bike. i plan to gear it low, fixed, and never really plan to do anything quickly.
right now, i have two bikes i ride regularly. one is a surly crosscheck which is a joy to ride. it
handles beautifully, trackstands with the greatest of ease, and doesnt do anything surprising. my
other bike, an ancient touring frame, is twitchy at low speeds, awful for trackstands, and just isnt
fun the way the surly
is. i also appreciate the high BB on the surly which makes it all but impossible with clipless and
165 cranks to hit a pedal. silly as it sounds, the ability to be stable in a trackstand is
important to me. what makes the two bikes so different? and waht should i take from this in how
i design the new frame?

in designing my frame, the first thought i had was to make a generic road frame. then i thought i
should just copy the surly, as i love it dearly. now im wondering if a track bike would have the
same things i love in the surly, but perhaps better for twitchy low speed handling, and playing?

any thoughts? as i have this opportunity to make myself a 'custom' bike, it seems like i should be
doing some sort of customization.. but my surly doesnt have a thing i dont like about it. the top
tube is the right length. i like how long my stem is. i like how it handles. i like the bb height. i
like the toe/wheel clearance. i like the trail. if i base a new frame on the surly, what shoudl i
think about modifying, if anything? how do custom builders decide how to make a bike, or is
everything proportional and the 'custom' only comes in in a finely incremented build proportional to
the rider's size?

thanks, anthony
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
"ant" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]...
> I'm working on building a frame or two this spring, and while i do my hours with the TIG welded
> brushing my skills up, ive been spending my freetime ogling paint colors and fantasizing about the
> bike-to-be..
>
> but what bike should i build? i keep hearing custom bike stories about how, fitted correctly, they
> are the 'best thing that ever happened in my entire life, bar none' etc.
>
> so how would i know what i want? i want this bike to be a cruising around town at low speeds and
> enjoying myself bike. i plan to gear it low, fixed, and never really plan to do anything quickly.
> right now, i have two bikes i ride regularly. one is a surly crosscheck which is a joy to ride. it
> handles beautifully, trackstands with the greatest of ease, and doesnt do anything surprising. my
> other bike, an ancient touring frame, is twitchy at low speeds, awful for trackstands, and just
> isnt fun the way the surly
> is. i also appreciate the high BB on the surly which makes it all but impossible with clipless and
> 165 cranks to hit a pedal. silly as it sounds, the ability to be stable in a trackstand is
> important to me. what makes the two bikes so different? and waht should i take from this in
> how i design the new frame?
>
> in designing my frame, the first thought i had was to make a generic road frame. then i thought i
> should just copy the surly, as i love it dearly. now im wondering if a track bike would have the
> same things i love in the surly, but perhaps better for twitchy low speed handling, and playing?
>
> any thoughts? as i have this opportunity to make myself a 'custom' bike, it seems like i should be
> doing some sort of customization.. but my surly doesnt have a thing i dont like about it. the top
> tube is the right length. i like how long my stem is. i like how it handles. i like the bb height.
> i like the toe/wheel clearance. i like the trail. if i base a new frame on the surly, what shoudl
> i think about modifying, if anything? how do custom builders decide how to make a bike, or is
> everything proportional and the 'custom' only comes in in a finely incremented build proportional
> to the rider's size?

Since you have posted a few times about your new interest in building bicycle frames, perhaps now is
a good time to start learning frame design?

You might begin with drawing your two present bikes, taking notes about your viewpoints on
their handling.

Then you can draw some bicycles found in your local club, with your comments on those bikes'
handling and fit.

As you accumulate a workbook of data, you should be able to begin to interpolate the bike you
desire, or at least understand what about your present bicycle you like.

--
Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
There are two sets of (related) issues in designing a frame.

First, fit: getting the pedals, saddle and bars in the correct relative positions for you to be
comfortable on the bike. There are several factors in this, including body dimensions, strength,
flexibility and purpose. The position on a touring bike is different from a track bike or a time
trial bike. There are several Web sites that can help you figure out the positional issues.

Second, geometry: this refers to the steering angles, fork offset, chainstay length, etc. This, I
suspect, is the difference you are feeling between your touring bike and the Surly. This is much
more technical.

Before you start cutting tubes, you obviously need to find out as much as you can about frame
design. Start with Sheldon Brown's Web site for basic and moderately advanced information about bike
design and with Wrench Science's Web site for information about fitting. There are other excellent
sites too.

www.sheldonbrown.com www.wrenchscience.com
 
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