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Compact vs Traditional Frame(11 posts)

Compact vs Traditional FrameDanny
Oct 10, 2001 7:00 AM
As a new comer to road bike, what type of frame is better?
largely aestheticDog
Oct 10, 2001 7:15 AM
I've had both, and couldn't tell the difference while riding. The pedals, wheels, seat, and handlebars all end up in the same relative places.

Sloping could be slightly lighter.

My belief is that frame tube shapes, geometry, construction methods, tires, and points of contact make much more of a difference than sloping or level top tubes.

If you need a lot of stand over, sloping is good. If you are going for the lightest possible bike, sloping, combined with a really light carbon seat post, is good. But, you lose water bottle room on the smaller sizes, and some don't like the look.

compacts generally stiffercyclopathic
Oct 10, 2001 7:50 AM
but yet can you really tell the diff?
Fit FirstRich Clark
Oct 10, 2001 7:32 AM
I have one of each. I can't point to any ride characteristics and say "this is due to the compact frame." I have more standover clearance on the compact, which is fine with me. The design of the compact frame yielded a slightly taller headtube, which made it easier to get the handlebar height I needed. Also fine with me.

Some people have aethetic objections to compact-frame road bikes, which is also fine with me. Whatever spins your wheels.

What I think it comes down to is that compact frames provide another set of sizing/fitting options for stock bikes. Some people may be able to get a better fit with one than they can with a standard design. That's a good thing.

Problem with most compactsColnagoFE
Oct 10, 2001 7:44 AM
Is that they only offer a few sizes and then expect everyone to fit them by using long seatposts, stems, etc. I'd think you'd be better off on whatever fits you best overall though.
That's true ifSteveS
Oct 10, 2001 9:14 AM
they are only offerred in small, medium, and large sizes. And I do agree that depending on an extra long seatpost is a bad idea for fitting. However, my guys offer a variety of sizes.

Tom Kellogg (Spectrum) posted on another forum yesterday that his experiment with a compact frame showed him that a compact frame with a low center of gravity made his climbing feel lighter. That was it, just about the total difference he could determine between a compact and standard frame. That and what Rich said about standover clearance for those of us who want a longer headtube for a Rivendellesque type fit.
Oct 10, 2001 9:41 AM
What Tom Kellogg said was that climbing while standing and sprinting felt far superior on a compact frame compared to a standard, even if the frame did not look "right." That is all the difference that he found in two identical geometries, other than the compact/sloping top tubed design.
true enoughColnagoFE
Oct 10, 2001 1:57 PM
I think I'd take a compact made by Kellogg! I don't fit into most of the stock ones though as even the XL for most is a bit small.
I have both, too.Elefantino
Oct 10, 2001 3:10 PM
Trek 5200 and Giant OCR1 (the rain bike). On the bridges that pass for hills around here, I find myself getting a better jump with the Giant, I guess because it's stiffer. (My Trek is a 62). On long rides, I prefer the Trek because of the comfort.

Don't bother asking why the aluminum bike is the rain bike and the carbon fiber bike isn't. I haven't worked out that one myself yet.
Rain bikesRich Clark
Oct 10, 2001 3:42 PM
That's nothing; my rain bike is the steel one, and the "good" bike is ti.

The reason is simple: the light fast bike is not getting loaded down with fenders and rain gear, at least not this year. I don't really care how slow I am in the rain, however.

We must be weird. (nm)Elefantino
Oct 10, 2001 8:27 PM