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A frame without spacers...too big or just right?(11 posts)

A frame without spacers...too big or just right?Bonked
Dec 26, 2002 3:03 PM
I have a new frame that I have begun building up over the last few days. When I went to install the handle bars, I don't seem to need any spacers and have about 2cm of useable seatpost left in the frame. The position seems about right, ie I have enough drop and the reach is fine, but want to get a pretty good idea the frame is right before I cut the steerer. I guess that I have two basic questions:

1. How do you determine how much drop you need. Is it just comfort or is there some ballpark guide?

2. Is a frame that doesn't need any spacers necessarily too large, as I could probably make a smaller frame fit, or is it sized perfectly?

Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Feel & Fit.Len J
Dec 26, 2002 3:16 PM
Couple of questions:

How much drop to the bars?

What kind of riding do you do & have you tried it at these distances/Paces with no spacers yet?

It really does come down to comfort "For the intended purpose" Being comfortable for a 45 min Crit is dramatically different from being comfortable for 125 mile ride.

Off the top, I would leave a couple of CM above the stem and ride it for awile to ensure the cut w/ no spacers was what you wanted. You can always cut more off, but once you go down to no spacers, you can't go back.

Len
Feel & Fit.Bonked
Dec 26, 2002 3:59 PM
~14 or 15 cm of drop and I will be doing mostly long (~75 mile) training rides and road races.

I had planned on leaving some steerer above the stem so that I can move the bar up if I want, but am concerned that I can't go down any further. On my old bike I had about 16cm of drop. However, the reach on the new setup is a few cms longer, so that could compensate a bit for the slightly smaller drop.

Also, I have a 130mm stem on the new bike and wouldn't want to need a longer stem with a smaller frame.

Thanks.
Good advice from Len. As an aside:micha
Dec 26, 2002 4:02 PM
It takes one or two Allen wrenches and very little time to move spacers from above to below (or from below to above) the stem and then readjust the headset on the road. It's not quite as quick as raising or lowering a traditional threaded fork stem, but it's still quick and easy if you practice once or twice at home.

So, experiment as you ride. You'll find that sweet spot soon enough.
Drop to bars is totally personal comfortKerry
Dec 26, 2002 5:51 PM
Two "identical" riders on the same sized bikes can feel comfortable anywhere from zero drop to very large numbers - it's all about what feels comfortable to you. There are no formulas. Since you didn't give us your overall size information, it becomes even harder to recommend. Your figures do seem a bit confusing though. As an example, I ride a 59 cm standard (not compact) frame and the seat post is essentially all the way out. I have 8.5 cm drop to the bars with the (quill) stem 2 cm out of the frame. IOW, the maxium possible drop on my bike is 10.5 cm, and most would consider that a large drop. The only way I could have a bike with more would be to use a long seatpost on a smaller frame, but since I have a 13 cm stem now, I couldn't go much smaller and still have the right reach. To get 16 cm of drop, I would have to go to a 55-56 cm frame with the stem all the way down, and then I would need something like a 16 cm stem. I'm having a hard time seeing how your numbers add up.
Some numbersBonked
Dec 26, 2002 7:56 PM
I have a 59cm frame with a 130mm stem. The old bike is a 60 with a 105mm stem. As I said in my original email, there is about 2-3 cm of useable seatpost left in the new frame and I'm not using any spacers. I could get essentially the same setup on a 58cm frame with 1-2 cm of seatpost in the frame and 1 cm of spacers (the only real difference between the 58 and 59 is 4 mm in the top tube...I don't think this would be noticable).

In terms of drop, I am measuring along the seatpost from the top of the seat to the middle of the bars. I'm not sure how to make you believe the numbers, but that's what they are! In fact, my old bike has a quill stem as well and I could probably drop it another 2 cm (~18 cm of drop total). I have measured it many times and I always get the same numbers.
Stem ?MR_GRUMPY
Dec 26, 2002 8:22 PM
What is the angle of the stem ? Do you have a -17, a -10, or a -6 degree stem. If you have a -17, that's as low as you'll ever get. If, for example, you have a -10 deg stem, and want to go lower, get a -17 with a shorter reach.
DropLen J
Dec 27, 2002 5:57 AM
Most people, when they talk of drop, are comparing seat height to handelbar height. Measure from the floor to the top of the center of the seat, measure from the floor to the top of the bars, subtract the bar height from the seat height to get drop.

As Kerry says, it is about your comfort. Before you cut the stem, try doing some long rides at different heights and see which is the most comfortable.

Len
re: A frame without spacers...too big or just right?flying
Dec 26, 2002 9:20 PM
I have always felt the spacer issue is dictated by flexibility & has very little to do with fit.

I know years ago Lemond said in his book racers used at least 3" drop from top of seat to top of bars from the floor measurement. If that matters to you? ;-)My top of bars is 3.5" lower than my top of seat seat.
But really it is a flexibility & comfort issue. Your fit has been set by seat height,setback,TT length & TTT length.

One last thing though, I use some spacers but even if I didn't need them I would have a few of them on top. My reason is resale. It does leave the adjustment option for the next person.
I'm confused.Len J
Dec 27, 2002 6:01 AM
You say:
"I have always felt the spacer issue is dictated by flexibility & has very little to do with fit." &
"But really it is a flexibility & comfort issue."

Fit is about positioning on the bike to acheive the comfort desired based on the flexibility of the rider. If a rider is not flexible enough to ride with 4" of drop, than a bike with 4" of drop will not fit him.

Len
I'm confused.flying
Dec 27, 2002 10:01 AM
"I'm confused."
You say:
"I have always felt the spacer issue is dictated by flexibility & has very little to do with fit." &
"But really it is a flexibility & comfort issue."


Fit is about positioning on the bike to acheive the comfort desired based on the flexibility of the rider. If a rider is not flexible enough to ride with 4" of drop, than a bike with 4" of drop will not fit him.
Len


Tomato-Tomatoe? ;-)

I guess but when I say *fit* I mean fit to produce optimum output not only comfort. I guess in some ways most would say you cannot have one without the other but...........
Ideally the most comfortable would also be the most efficient but...........;-)It depends on what your concerned about & doing
(racing? cruising?)
When I said its about flexibility & comfort I also meant this....
Since I am quite flexible I feel comfortable with a 3.5-4" drop.