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Compact Frames: Fad or here to stay???(23 posts)

Compact Frames: Fad or here to stay???rob99
Mar 3, 2003 11:01 AM
So what's the deal on compact geometry road frames. I can't seem to get a straight answer out of anybody. Even from those people who ride a compact frame. It seems I have definately heard more pro's than con's on the design. But I am still curious as to what the knowledgeble group assembled here at RBR has to say about them. I have test ridden the new Giant TCR Carbon and must say it's a sweet ride. Some of the only pro's I have heard are that the geometry provides a stiff and lighter ride. Con's include not being able to squeeze the top tube with your legs while standing and difficulty getting your water bottle in and out of the cages. There has to be more out there than those few pro's and con's. Any thoughts??
Mar 3, 2003 11:24 AM
I have had both, and I see absolutely no functional advantage of sloping top tubes. I think it has purely to do with manufacturing costs or marketing (something novel). The primary difference is that it looks different and new, and probably appeals to mountain bikers more.

Nonetheless, we are probably stuck with it to some extent. Some makers are producing almost all sloping bikes, like Bianchi now. I won't buy one.

I like the level top tube, as it does allow more room for bottles, and just looks "right" to me. I don't like the mountain bike look of 10 inches of seatpost showing on a road bike, any more than I'd put flat handlebars on a road bike.

I think it's largely inconsequential. It matters about the same as paint color.

I agree,mwood
Mar 3, 2003 11:45 AM
the aesthetic just doesn't work for me.
I know this is slightly off the topic (compact geometry on pure road application bikes), but I think that sloping top tubes, flat bars on "road" bikes etc. are definitely here to stay. I believe we will see more and more hybrids between road and mtb technology being produced, to meet the demands of the average cyclist who has determined one bike (22-27lbs, "metro" suspension fork, light knob/semi-slick tires, 27 speed, comfortable sit-up ergos, but at a significantly higher build quality and price point than the old standard hybrid/cross) can work acceptably for the vast majority of both off and on road riding.
re: Compact Frames: Fad or here to stay???koala
Mar 3, 2003 11:49 AM
There is one advantage. Depending on how it is done, the sloping top tube looks better with an extended head tube while preserving the standover height at or below standard geometry. Tom Kellog says there is less inertia while standing and rocking the bike, but like Doug mentioned I really never saw a functional difference when I rode one.
re: it's here to staycyclopathic
Mar 3, 2003 11:57 AM
main reason it makes production cheaper. Instead producing 6-8 different sizes you only make 3. Leave aestetics/weight/stiffness/practicality there's not much to talk about.
advantage for somelaffeaux
Mar 3, 2003 12:30 PM
People that have shorter legs and a long torso will find that compact frames give them more standover room. It can make people with that body style have a bike that actually fits. Otherwise it's really asthetics.
advantage for some - bingo!noveread
Mar 3, 2003 12:56 PM
I am one of those folks with shorter legs and longer torsos! I'm 5'7" and use a 130mm stem!

Also, if the compact frame does reduce production costs, that is a good thing as it lets those of us who want to, get a little more bike for our money.

And I like the looks of a compact frame. To each their own. And THAT is what it is really important in the end.

same situation for me...Joe Connell
Mar 3, 2003 2:17 PM
Those of us with shorter legs and longer torsos hope the Compact frames stay in style. Lighter or stiffer? I doubt it. Fit me better? Absolutely!

advantage for some - bingo!russw19
Mar 3, 2003 8:51 PM
Noveread, the part about the saving production costs as a benefit to you is a great, if the company did it to pass the savings along to you. But I only have to ask one question, do compact geometry bikes cost any less than equally equipped standard geometry bikes? I have never noticed any big price break, so I have to assume that the company is not passing that savings on to the consumer, therefore it really isn't any benefit to you.

yeah butcyclopathic
Mar 4, 2003 8:55 AM
they're making bikes not you. And they don't call it savings they call it profit.
re:Real good for growing children.dzrider
Mar 3, 2003 12:44 PM
The range of sizes keep kids in the same bike for an extra year if they haven't trashed it.

Other than that they work fine but look like "mixte" frames to me.
re: Compact Frames: Fad or here to stay???paper warrior
Mar 3, 2003 1:43 PM
The discussion has been evolving for several years now and a measure of acceptance is nobody mentioned the word "ugly" yet.
Compacts are ugly. nminallston
Mar 3, 2003 2:45 PM
Compacts look great! (nm)laffeaux
Mar 3, 2003 3:26 PM
less filling! nmmwood
Mar 3, 2003 3:29 PM
I'm sure...filtersweep
Mar 3, 2003 3:32 PM
... there have been many cycling innovations that looked odd/ugly at the time- I'm sure a shallow box rimmed wheelset and a quill stem was very elegant at one time... I'm sure someone HATED the look of ergo bars.
HATED? why speak of the past??cyclopathic
Mar 3, 2003 3:52 PM
I still do. But not the LOOK, the FEEL 8-0
ergo bars suck!DougSloan
Mar 3, 2003 3:53 PM
I still like the look and feel of the "Merckx bend" (my old handlebars actually have it engraved in them). Nothing better.

I don't think anyone gave up a quill stem for the looks of a threadless, either.

re: bingo!cyclopathic
Mar 3, 2003 4:03 PM
Glad I am not alone. There's nothing better then 3TTT Ergopower in TdF/Merckx bent (same as Merckx/less drop) The day they die I'll quit riding ;-(
i want one!colker
Mar 3, 2003 4:08 PM
where do i buy?
Compact sizingAllezcomp
Mar 3, 2003 5:09 PM
Giant only offers their bikes in 3 sizes which sucks. Specialized is doing 11 I think. I like compact bikes because of the standover clearance but only offering a bike in 3 sizes is dumb.
Compact sizingGiant Joe
Mar 3, 2003 10:10 PM
What ever floats your bike!
As long as fits you and your ridding style
The voop is here to stay
And once Trek goes compact,watch-out!
Also Giant has 4 size now 2003 still not as my as Specilized(10)
ergo bars suck!paper warrior
Mar 3, 2003 5:26 PM
All my forks are threaded but that didn't stop "threadless" from taking over though unfortunately.