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Long Head Tube...Issue or aesthetics?(4 posts)

Long Head Tube...Issue or aesthetics?bigheadtod
Sep 17, 2001 2:59 PM
Is there any way to avoid having a long headtube on a big frame (62st/61tt)? Does a long headtube affect performance/handling? Or is it aesthetically just not what we're used to seeing?
re: Long Head Tube...Issue or aesthetics?Akirasho
Sep 17, 2001 3:13 PM
Generally, the length of the headtube takes into account the overall geometry of the frame and the position of said frame's indended user.

There are exceptions. I've got a 61cm GT Vengeance which has a shorter headtube than any other road or TT bike I own... which gives the rider (me) a very aggressive aero position... but this is rare.

The length of the headtube might also be effected by the availability of forks with steerers long enough to accomodate them... again rare.

There could be an effect on handling... but this is in debate at the moment as we transition 'tween 1" and 1 1/8" steerers... alloy or carbon fiber... and of course, the type and style of riding you do.

I've noticed that the Giant TCR series allows for a relatively short headtube on their larger bikes... and this might hold true for other sloping top tube designs... but again, the position of a larger rider has to be kept in mind.

Ironically, I'm getting pretty good at estimating the height of riders by observing their headtubes... If you look at racing tapes... say this year's TdF, you'll notice just how short some of those guys are (that and when they're on the podium... the podium girls are still eye to eye with some...)

To avoid it (though I'm not sure why you would) you'd probably have to go with a custom frame with some sort of rise in your stem.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: Long Head TubeTig
Sep 17, 2001 7:05 PM
I read that Litespeed builds them longer to eliminate the flex of extra spacers below a threadless stem.
missing the big picture....C-40
Sep 18, 2001 2:01 PM
A long head tube is a fact of life with a large frame. If a large frame had a short head tube, the saddle to bar height difference would become excessive. A high rise stem or lots of steering tube spacers would be required get the bars up to height.

When comparing frame sizes, head tube length is one of the first things I look at. If it's too short I wouldn't buy the frame, because I hate the look of head tube spacers and high rise stems. You should expect the head tube to be about 20cm long on a 62cm frame, if you use a threadless stem.