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sources for small 700c frames?(19 posts)

sources for small 700c frames?jw25
Jan 16, 2002 6:27 AM
A female friend of mine is racing (very well - she's the 2001 PA BAR champion in her cat.) a custom 650c wheeled ti frame.
I say "custom" with some reservations, though, as the frame ended up not fitting her too well - and the builder is out of business now, so any chance of fixing that mistake is gone. It's got a 51 cm top tube, and measures 50 cm c-c on the seat tube (standover height is 76.5 cm)
She's really looking for a small frame that'll use 700c wheels, both for rolling ease and for neutral support. The seat tube should be lower, more like a 48 cm, and the top tube could lose a cm, but could stay at 51 cm if need be.
Right now, she's emailing back and forth with Aegis, who've got a nice 48cm in the works, but the mold's aren't ready yet, so none exist so far. They're trying to steer her towards their 650c frame, but we'll see...
So, anyone else know of any frames (material isn't that important - she'd really like carbon, but some nice aluminum would be fine ,and probably less expensive).
Many thanks for any advice.
re: sources for small 700c frames?descente
Jan 16, 2002 6:32 AM
Check out GVH Bikes.

Gary has many small frames and is strictly a mail order business, so he can ship to anywhere in the country.

His inventory is at:

He has frames starting from as small as 45cm.
re: sources for small 700c frames?Chen2
Jan 16, 2002 6:55 AM
For what it's worth, my wife's stock 50cm 5220 OCLV measures 50cm c-t, top of seat tube= 47cm c-c. Top tube length is 50cm. And you said she wants carbon. There is a difference in mechanical advantage between 650 wheels and 700 wheels that is nearly equivalent to a 2 tooth change in chain ring sizes.
re: Chen2...Rusty Coggs
Jan 16, 2002 7:03 AM
Interesting about your wifes fit to the OCLV.What is her height and bike inseam if you don't mind.
re:the wifeChen2
Jan 16, 2002 8:33 AM
She's 5'1" and unfortunately I don't have her inseam measurement. I think her bike is a bit big for her. She has nearly an inch of standover clearence and the top tube length seems to be ok. Like most women, she takes her foot over the top tube when mounting and dismounting. She drags her shoe on the top tube, not good. I've been considering a possible replacement bike but she is happy with it and is making good progress with hill climbing and speed. We just changed the crank set to Campy Racing T 50-40-30 leaving the rest Ultegra. She hasn't been on the bike with the new crank set due to recent rotator cuff surgery but I have and I think it shifts as well (or as bad) as the original Ultegra triple.
re: sources for small 700c frames?Rusty Coggs
Jan 16, 2002 7:12 AM
There are a number or production frames that measure 48 c-t or 47 c-c with approx 51cm TT. Some Bianchis and Lemond steel are two examples. Chen2's example of the 50 cm OCLV is a good idea for standover, but the TT is kinda longish at 52.5cm
re: TT lengthChen2
Jan 16, 2002 8:48 AM
Rusty, I see what you mean, the Trek site says the effective TT length for the 50cm OCLV is 52.5. I've measured the wife's bike several times but I don't have that with me now, I'll check it again tonight. My memory is regressing as my age progresses.
Correction + OCLV measurements 50cmChen2
Jan 16, 2002 6:16 PM
I hate it when I'm wrong! My previous post was WRONG! Measured the wife's 50cm Trek 5220 OCLV, '98 model:

C-TST (top of seat tube) 50cm
C-TTT 48
C-c 46
TT length 52.0 Trek says 52.5
Standover 73
Wheelbase 97
The wife is 5'1", bicycle inseam is 73cm
The wife's bicycle inseam is 72.5cm (28.75 inches).
As I said, it's a bit too large, but she seems comfortable on it. At the risk of sounding trite, hope this helps.
Jan 16, 2002 9:03 AM
Bianchi has typically made a few of their Reparto Corse frames in a "Donna" geometry- which measures something like a 46cm. I don't know exactly which are available for 2002 in this configuration.
re: sources for small 700c frames?JimP
Jan 16, 2002 7:44 AM
Terry specializes in bikes for females
ie, little tankshahaahaha
Jan 16, 2002 8:41 AM
Not for 700cc wheelsjtolleson
Jan 16, 2002 9:40 AM
Terry, aside from marketing average-quality tank-heavy bikes for too much money by appealing to women's paranoia, also doesn't offer 700cc wheels on ANY of their smaller frames, and in fact like to put a 650cc front even on bigger frames.

As a woman, let me just say that we can ALL do better than Terry.
Forget 700c frames!!!Andante
Jan 16, 2002 9:30 AM
My wife is 5'1". We went throught the same thing. She had a Terry with the 24 inch front wheel. Fit great, but a disaster for handling. Could not descend worth a darn on that squirrel. We looked at the 700c wheel bikes. They all have huge toe/wheel overlap---severe! They also have crazy seatpost angles. We settled (if you can call it that) on a 650c wheel bike. Excellent choice. She ened up on a Quintana Roo Palomar. We also bought her a Santana Fusion Tandem (also 650c wheels). Both work out great.
As far as carbon or aluminum, probably a waste of money in her frame size. All these small frames are going to be light since they are so small. They are also going to be stiff since they are smaller than even a compact geometry bike. I would actually suggest a steel bike, as the 650c wheels are stiffer than the 700c, and the frame will be stiff since it is small. Get a more forgiving frame than harsh aluminum. Titanium would be a better choice if she need a show-off factor like carbon, as it will be the most comfortable with little flex in those short tubes.
There are LOTSjtolleson
Jan 16, 2002 9:43 AM
At 5'1" she DOES NOT have to settle for 650cc wheels, and toe overlap is more of a theoretical than real problem on frames 48 cm and above.

Check the Bianchi Eros Donna (or any small Bianchi). Trek, Cannondale and Lemond also make smaller frames with 700 cc wheels in front and women are riding them all over the US. There are a lot of small frames on the Hobbs website, too (as pointed out above) and his prices are great (note the Landshark/Ultegra combo for $1995).
Yes, but forget the DonnatheBreeze
Jan 16, 2002 1:54 PM
I spent all fall checking out various small frame bikes. The Eros Donna I rode was the worst. Handle bars too narrow, barely acceptable components, poor handling. If this person is a racer she will not want this bike. I would MAYBE consider it for a 15 or 16 year old small female as a first good road bike.

But yes, there are lots of frames in a 49 or 50 cm size that sport 700cc wheels. Check out Lemond, Marinoni, Gunnar, Univega, Habanero (though a custom job may be necessary there.)
I'm 5'1" with a 78cm inseam and found quite a lot of bikes to choose from. I did have to travel to a larger market to find shops that stocked smaller frames so I would be able to ride them.
I'm Surprisedjtolleson
Jan 16, 2002 6:30 PM
I'm not a Campy person, but I've always heard Mirage was fine, and I'm a big fan of steel for small riders. As far as narrow bars... bar width can and should be evaluated on any bike, and any shop worth it's salt will swap for free.

I've heard good things about the Eros Donna, but it is not a racing geometry. Longer wheelbase (comparatively... hard to call it "long" on a small frame) and slacker seat tube than some. Not a racer, 'tis true.

I don't ride a WSD bike, so...
Yeah, I was too...theBreeze
Jan 16, 2002 8:16 PM
The friend I was shopping with has a two year old Eros (not a Donna) that she loves. But riding the Donna I constantly felt like I was going to endo right over the thing! It felt almost miniature, and I am by no means a big person. Yeah, I'm sure they would have changed the bars if I had wanted. I think at lot of women would have ended up changing the bars; which makes me wonder why Bianchi picked those?
As far as Mirage goes; I rode a Univega with Mirage components as well and just didn't like the feel. Another bike (and they really started to blur together after a while!) had Chorus, and of course it was better. My problem was the thumb part of the "ergo" shifters. I have small hands and shifting was a stretch at times. Plus I have arthritis in one thumb joint from and old skiing injury. Multiple hours of having to shift with the thumb was going to turn into a lot of pain.

In the end my top picks were all steel and i ended up buying a Gunnar (Roadie). LOVE IT!! The fit is perfect and it has a very elegant look. And it's way fast too!

As we all know, a bike is a very personal thing.
re: sources for small 700c frames?TimePedal
Jan 16, 2002 10:25 AM

I have a frame that might fit your friend well. Email me if you are interested...and I'm not asking that much either. =)
re: sources for small 700c frames?CT1 Guy
Jan 16, 2002 12:38 PM
I ride a small frame 46cm Colnago or a 48cm Alan- both 700c wheels. Being of the opposite sex, the top length is less of a problem for me but would certainly be important for a woman at 5'1". Toe clip overlap is certainly an issue with these sizes of frames - the Colnago manages it beautifully, but the TT is over 52cm. I've seen some small Trek frames who really are bad in this area. My suggestion would be to look at some other Italian frames as many are available in small sizes, with specific geometry, rather than scaled down bigger bikes. In these sizes, it usually means a slacker head angle, which is most probably no bad thing. The 48cm Alan has a 50cm TT (really too short for me) - but I don't know if you can get Alan frames in the US.