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SMALL FRAME WITH RIASED SEAT POST - your thoughts(7 posts)

Dec 31, 2001 12:01 PM
Are there any drawbacks (besides comfort) to having a small frame. I have longer legs than torso and with the seat up (because the frame is small), my arms are barely bent on the drops. For triathlons I like it because my back is really flat. The frame is a 58 but according to the LBS I should ride a bit larger frame (for trek, a 60 fit easily, for a specialized that I tried, a 58 fit good). Any thoughts, especially regarding the raised seat post. Thanks
Im 6-1 185
re: SMALL FRAME WITH RIASED SEAT POST - your thoughtsjtolleson
Dec 31, 2001 12:53 PM
Two things come to mind. One is obvious: exceeding the maximum amount of seatpost you should have exposed. That risks seatpost failure. Of course, you can track that by looking for the manufacturer's line indicating as much.

Next, seat to bar ratio. It isn't just about comfort, it is also about steering dynamics. If you've really got locked elbows, you've probably also got all your weight forward on your hands and less of a view ahead.

Also seems to me that that compressed cockpit means putting an abnormally long stem on the bike (greater than 140, say) which will also affect handling.

Now, if you are talking about a frame that is ALMOST your size but barely too small, then these might not be issues.
Ow! Ow!Trent in WA
Dec 31, 2001 2:13 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss comfort as a consideration. The pain you feel riding your bike in an uncomfortable position represents energy your body is expending to hold itself in an unnatural and potentially unstable position; if you're riding competitively, you could probably use that energy better for going faster. Like you, my legs are long proportionate to my torso--and at 5'10", I'd ride a 58cm Trek. Your bike setup sounds past uncomfortable to me, but if you've made the physical adaptation to ride it and it doesn't result in compromised handling, well, it's paid for....

Having said that, if you're looking for an excuse to go shoppin', you have my blessings. :)

Hope this helps,
re: SMALL FRAME WITH RIASED SEAT POST - your thoughtsgtx
Dec 31, 2001 4:05 PM
get the seat where you want it to be relative to the cranks, then see where you want the bars to be. If you can't get the bars in the right place without some kind of whacky stem arrangement, then look at another bike. There is nothing wrong with showing a lot of post if you can happily satisfy these two issues. I have found, however, when using smaller bikes when I visit friends, that even if I get the seat and bars where I want them, the shorter wheelbase of smaller bikes will often make for somewhat squirelly descending. From what you describe in terms of fit, I'd maybe recommend that you look at Merckx frames--laid back seat tube angles (often good for people with long legs) and relatively short cockpits. Good luck!
BIG drawback IF .......CT1
Jan 1, 2002 11:50 AM
If you are using a carbon steerer tube AND you need a bunch of stem height extension to make the saddle/bar drop acceptable.

The two solutions for a "saddle/bar drop" problem are a steel/alloy steerer tube with a big stack or an uptilted stem.

good ride
re: SMALL FRAME WITH RIASED SEAT POST - your thoughtsTriBuddha
Jan 2, 2002 8:43 AM
All the relevant points have been mentioned already: comfort, handling, and safety. But like you I use my road bike for tris and find that I could use a smaller bike for tris then road riding simply b/c it will bring the aero bars closer without affecting the actual seat angle, also the shorter head tube will allow for more of a tuck. The handling problem remains but not such an issue in tris as most are TT formats.

From personal experience I am of the view that no road bike (one that fits) can ever be modified succesfully to a tri bike no matter what adjustments are made, its servicable (I have done two Ironman on my road rig) but not ideal, maybe for you the solution is to keep the current rig for tris, and get another for road riding.

Now another question you might want to address concerns the seat angle and set back, as long as you are not doing anything odd like turning a fast forward seat post backwards (is that even possible?) to obtain your optimum seat to crank ratio then the current bike will work fine as a tri bike.
read this re seatpostsMJ
Jan 2, 2002 9:04 AM