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But It Just Looks Funny--Advice Sought(11 posts)

But It Just Looks Funny--Advice SoughtTrent in WA
Nov 5, 2001 10:19 PM
Hi, folks. I have a bike purchase / fit question that I would submit to the wisdom of the Board: I'm in the market for a good randonneuring bike, one that has longish chainstays, fender (and maybe rack) brazeons, and room for 28mm tires and fenders to match. The loaded-touring bikes I've looked at are just too sluggish, so I've been trying out ‘cross bikes and the few sport touring bikes you can find in the US. I have long legs, longish arms, and a comparatively short upper body (yeah, a mutant), which has made it difficult to find a bike that fits me and my needs. The one I've tried that I'm most excited about is the Bianchi San Remo. My favorite LBS has a 55cm on sale, and I think it fits me: we can get the saddle height and fore-and-aft adjustment dialed in without too much trouble, and the reach is good, much better than on my current bike (a 57 cm LeMond Nevada City retrofitted with a shorter-extension stem).

Here's my quandary: In order to get the saddle height right, we have to raise the seatpost considerably, which puts the drop to the handlebars into the "aspiring racer-boy" zone—and I'm not a racer-boy, aspiring or otherwise. We can swap out the stem to reduce the amount of drop, but that would give me a bike with a long seatpost and a hiked-up stem, which violates my sense of bike proportions. The shop doesn't have the next size up, 58cm, which (according to the numbers) would likely give me the same reach problems as I have with the LeMond.

So, what to do? The Bianchi felt comfortable and responsive when I test-rode it around the steep and potholed streets of downtown Seattle, even without the taller stem in place. It made me want to ride up hills and play in traffic. I think it fits me pretty well—but I felt that way about the LeMond. Are there other options I'm overlooking? Should I go with the Bianchi and plan on riding it so much that I won't notice the storklike seatpost and stem? Or is it normal to have 6" or so of seatpost exposed on a bike that fits?

Thanks for any wisdom or insults you have to share. And if anybody has a few thou you can sling me towards the purchase of the custom Davidson of my dreams, I'll accept that too.

Nov 6, 2001 5:42 AM
6" of post showing is fine.
re: But It Just Looks Funny--Advice Soughtscottfree
Nov 6, 2001 5:55 AM
Violates my sense of bike aesthetics too, but you see 'em jacked up six inches and more all the time these days. A consequence of the small-is-better trend in frames.
re: Jeffrey Lyon frame through GVHBikesdzrider
Nov 6, 2001 6:06 AM
I was searching for the same type of bike and wound up getting one of these. I find it livelier than touring bikes and more pleasant to ride than Lemond, Cannondale, Trek bikes that I tried in local shops. You could get one set up very nicely - Ultegra or Daytona - for less than $2k.
I looked real hard at the J Lyontarwheel
Nov 6, 2001 6:10 AM
I agree with DZ that the Lyon is worth checking out, particularly for the price. It has some nice features you don't see on many bikes these days, and he has a great reputation as a frame maker.
Me, too--but what about an Atlantis?cory
Nov 6, 2001 8:58 AM
Lyon was about the last one I ruled out before I bought my Atlantis. I just liked Rivendell's approach, and they were very helpful and patient with a hesitant buyer. I love the bike, though $950 for that frame might be a little more than it oughta cost. Check it out at
Really nice bikesdzrider
Nov 6, 2001 10:55 AM
They were the first frames I looked at, but decided the sport-touring shape of the Lyon would work better for me. I could also fit a few component upgrades into my price range. I've been very happy with it.

If I the budget allowed, I'd get a JP Weigle and either Atlantis or Bruce Gordon. "What a day for a daydream"
Check out the Salsa stemstarwheel
Nov 6, 2001 6:07 AM
I prefer to ride in a less aggressive position and had a real problem finding the right stem for my new bike with a threadless fork/stem. I finally installed a Salsa +15 stem and it looks nice, in my view. Most of the other stems with a positive rise are aluminum and very "chunky" looking, which doesn't seem to fit a steel frame. The Salsa stems, since they're made of steel, aren't as thick and look better to me. Salsa makes stems in threadless or quill versions, with open-face mounts or traditional, as well as several options for the amount of rise. (They can even make customs.)
to each his/her ownDA
Nov 6, 2001 9:35 AM
I think those are hideous. And why do they paint the threaded quills only halfway down?
to each his/her owntarwheel
Nov 6, 2001 2:31 PM
Actually, I think nothing looks better than a classicly styled threaded stem, like a Cinelli or TTT. Unfortunately, most of the new bikes only have threadless stems now -- so you're stuck with a positive rise stem (or lots and lots of spacers) if you can't ride with low bars. The reason why Salsa paints their quill stems only halfway down is that is the maximum insertion/extension point. Their philosophy is that if you need to go higher, get a positive rise. Now that I've gotten used to the +15 Salsa, I like it in a funky sort of way. But I agree, I would prefer the classic look.
follow my advice.dupe
Nov 6, 2001 2:06 PM
actually its just sort of a joke.

very wide angle distort's seat height to bar ratio.

ciao, ben