Need a shorter top tube
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Need a shorter top tube

    I just bought my son an old road bike and I'd like to get one for myself. Since I intend to buy used, I was wondering if anyone knows of any brands which have a relatively shorter top tube than what we normally see with the major brands. I have longer legs and a shorter torso and had trouble finding a good fit last time I went shopping. I ended up with a bike that was a bit long on the top tube in order to get a fit for my legs.

    I'll be using the bike for basic road training.

    My last bike was a Klein Quantum.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: zandr's Avatar
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    I have the same body proportion issue and I ride a Specialized Secteur. It is meant to be an "endurance" bike so it has a taller headtube which allows me to ride a smaller size than I normally should. It works okay though I still had to get a shorter stem and I know eventually I'll need to get a custom frame built.

  3. #3
    duh...
    Reputation: FatTireFred's Avatar
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    they are all roughly the same when you factor in STA... you might consider the more upright frames and maybe go smaller, or consider those w/ WSD-type geo
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  4. #4
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    Except for a few longer ones, many of the CF bikes have similar length TT's. If shorter, it is like 10mm. A fair amount of adjustments can be made with stem and bars so long as the frame is within your size parameters.

  5. #5
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    Yup, just what everyone said. try something with higher reach, or women's specific as they typically have a shorter top tube.

    Also, maybe just give it some time. If you haven't been riding for a while, it may take a while until you feel comfortable being stretched out.

  6. #6
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    thoughts...

    TT length alone does not define the frame's reach. Each degree that the STA is steeper, increases the reach by about 1cm, so the seat tube angle must be considered.

    Most brands now have a line of frames with taller head tubes and a little shorter reach. If the head tube is 20-30mm taller, you can buy one size smaller and get the same HTL (and handlebar height) as the next larger size, in the "racing" line of frames.

    Use short reach handlebars with only 75mm of reach, not those with 85-90mm or reach.

    Try SRAM or Campy drivetrains. Both have a shorter reach at the brake hoods. Shimano has always had the longest reach and it became even longer with the latest redesign.

  7. #7
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    Serotta frames are manufactured in regular and shorter top-tube sizes (e.g. 52 and 52s). The 52s has a shorter top-tube. Or you could use a shorter stem and a seatpost with 0 setback...
    Last edited by atimido; 07-24-2010 at 06:33 AM.

  8. #8
    duh...
    Reputation: FatTireFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atimido
    Or you could use a... seatpost with 0 setback...


    horrible idea... never adjust reach by messing w/ seat-bb dimensions, this should remain constant once you get the fit dialed in (and should be the first thing you dial in)
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  9. #9
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    I've had good results with Orbea (unisex frames) with Campy and Giant TCR, wsd, with Shimano. The smaller Jamis carbon frames (unisex) also seem to work well for me. And yes, I know it can frustrating to be abit longer in the leg and shorter in the torso. From personal experience, those three frames work for me (though BMC seems like it might also carry similar geos).

    Overall, I actually liked the fit of the Giant TCR wsd best, but she died an ignoble death by bumper, so I now stick to my Orbea with Campy and shorter reach bars (ITM wing pro). As others have mentioned, it's not just the top tube, but also STA, HTL, and HTA. I've found the slacker STAs seem a better starting point than just looking at TT length. What is good about the Giant TCR wsd is that they still use a slacker STA (73.5) instead of automatically ramming it to 74.5 or 75.5 like some other frame companies do for their wsd frames (to create the illusion of a shorter top tube measurement). The Giant geometries seem to change every so often, so if buying used, check the geo for that specific year.

    YMMV

  10. #10
    Is it the future yet?
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    There is no reason/need to buy a woman's specific bike. There are plenty of bikes for your body type.
    All the bikes in this list have short-er top tubes and taller head tubes to help you with reach issues.

    Scott CR1 Pro
    Look 566
    Look 585 Optimum
    Time NXR
    Time RX
    Colnago Ace
    Colnago CLX 2.0
    Bianchi Infinito
    BH Speedrom

    ...and I'm sure the fast food brands from Trek, Specialized, etc have their offerings as well.

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