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Compact Geometry(4 posts)

Compact GeometrySpiderman
Jun 29, 2001 7:52 PM
What is it? what makes it compact and why so controversial?
re: Compact GeometryJofa
Jun 29, 2001 8:25 PM
It's a frame design whereby the seattube is shorter than normal for a given frame size, and consequently the top tube slopes down from front to back, the seatpost is correspondingly longer, and the seat stays are a little shorter.

It's controversial because it originates in mountain bike design- where the increased stand-over clearance is valuable- and because it looks odd, in comparison to the horizontal toptube of traditional designs.
Jun 30, 2001 11:38 AM
great thanks!!
It's also controversial because...boy nigel
Jun 30, 2001 2:20 PM makes for a slightly lighter and impressively stiffer, more efficient frame. It tightens up the rear triangle (seat tube, and seat- and chainstays), making for better power transfer from your legs to the pedals, meaning that acceleration is improved upon and the bike flexes less--more of your effort goes into turning the gear around, rather than acting to flex the bike frame.

It's particularly effective with aluminum, since alu can offer a harsher ride (less forgiving over bumps) than other materials. With the longer seatpost (and particularly a carbon fiber one), there's more flex and give between your body (butt, really) and the road bumps, taking the harshness out and making it more compliant (pleasant and forgiving). Makes for a stiff AND comfortable bike.

One more thing: traditionalists with traditional diamond frames are offended by the compact-geometry "fad," since they don't like the looks particularly. The feel they look like "girlie bikes" (some say) or too much like mountain bikes, which the design is based upon. I think some of them resent the fact that these bikes can really work to a rider's advantage better than a time-tested trad frame. The pros (and the world's largest bike companies) seem to be embracing the technology just fine, though; there are obviously benefits to be had.

I love mine, and wouldn't trade it for anything. Maybe test-riding one would help you feel the difference.