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race specific frame/ stem length(1 post)

race specific frame/ stem lengthhighcamp
May 27, 2003 3:06 PM
Recently moved from San Diego to Boulder - so no more triathlons, but whattya know, they've got this thing called cyclocross out here and it looks like an absolute blast. Now I need a bike. Not a commuter; not a beater;.. A racer. I've done an obscene amount of research into frame materials, dimensions, sizing, and whatnot but wanted to ask the forum here for their opinions.

First off, I've never ridden a road geometry bike for longer than a week, so I'm an ignoramus when it comes to sizing the things. I do, however, have a firm grasp of the principles of sizing as a result of racing tri's and time trials for several years. Still, coming from tube angles of 79 to now 73 and such is a definite change. My first plan of attack is dialing in my road geometry, then I'll work backwards from there into a ‘cross geometry. (sound reasonable?)

Since this is going to be a racing bike, I'd prefer it to be light. or at least "lighter" (whatever that might mean to you). But I am on a budget, say $1500 or thereabouts, and quality components are of main priority to me (gunning for full Ultegra drivetrain – single ring).

Now before everyone suggests ebay and the classifieds, let me say that I'm not too trusting of racing hard on equipment that I don't know the full history of (I disintegrated a mtb drivetrain while I was testing a guy's used bike, and a good tri friend of mine had the stem/bar assembly of his recently purchased used ride collapse during a steep descent.) . In sum, no used gear recommendations por favor.

I will be riding this thing on the road a good deal for training (possibly even 4-5 road races just for kicks) so a carbon fork would definitely be preferable.


My thoughts so far: Empella Bonfire, Ridley Crossbow or Crosswind, Bianchi Axis or Cross Concept, Redline Conquest Pro, Fuji Cross, Kona Jake. Again, $1500 or so is the mark. With bargain shopping for Ultegra and a decent wheelset I figure I can spend about $700 on frame+fork.

Lastly, I'm curious as to stem lengths for 'cross frames. I realize that stem lengths are
greatly dictated by body dimensions and application, but I figure that the uneven terrain of 'cross would necessitate a shorter upper limit for stem lengths than would a road bike (i.e. riding a 130 stem in ‘cross might be asking for trouble... greater potential for going over the bars). So is there a "common" stem length that racers tend to gravitate towards?