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Compact steel?(16 posts)

Compact steel?torquer
May 13, 2003 7:44 AM
First aluminum bikes were available in compact geometry; or was Titanium first? Whatever, now the latest carbon fiber Trek (as seen under LA at the classics) features a "semi-sloping" top tube. (Is that like being a little pregnant?)

So the question comes to mind: any steel bikes out their in a compact geometry? Anyone with first-hand experience? And any practical reasons (as opposed to aesthetic/ideological objections) we haven't seen more of these?

Enquiring minds want to know.
Vanilla Bicycles.alansutton
May 13, 2003 7:56 AM
Vanilla Bicycles.RJF
May 13, 2003 8:28 AM
I see that by posting that link the other day I have infected you with the Vanilla lust!! Their shop is just a few minutes from my house. Wish I could justify a new bike right now!!
May 13, 2003 8:33 AM
Where do you live? I'm on SE 16th.
Thank you for the "vanilla lust" : ) nm.stinkfoot247
May 13, 2003 10:22 AM
Thank you for the "vanilla lust" : ) nm.stinkfoot247
May 13, 2003 10:50 AM
Specialized Alleztxcross
May 13, 2003 7:57 AM
Here is one for you

Personally I have a 53cm Jamis Nova cyclocross bike. It has a slightly sloping downtube, although I would not exactly call it compact.
May 13, 2003 8:04 AM
Several Marin steel models, eg San Marino, had sloping top tubes in 2002. I'm not sure about '03. The '02 San Marino tt I saw didn't have an overly aggressive slope.
Why not !MR_GRUMPY
May 13, 2003 8:24 AM
As long as it fits, why not go with a compact. The smaller frame should climb and sprint better. I'm not sure if a long seatpost is as stiff as a seat tube. On the other hand, a long seatpost might help absorb road shock.
The only downside is that some people don't like the look of compacts.
Compact frames forever- and I wish all other designs die.alansutton
May 13, 2003 8:42 AM
Well not really- I don't really care for style, but I do love the fit of my 46cm compact frame over the fit of my custom Calfee.
The only down side lugs.........nmMR_GRUMPY
May 13, 2003 8:48 AM
re: Compact steel?Spiderman
May 13, 2003 10:20 AM
Serotta has a compact steel frame. I have heard it rides awesome. I believe compact geo came over from the mtn biking world. Manufacturers like it because now that can produce even less sizes of a frame making the actual process easier. There are some fitting benefits, like people with short legs and long torsos will be able to fit on a bike with the proper TT length and standover height. Other than that, there is no reason. I find compact aesthetically nice but i love my standard geo frame.
I think steel was firstlaffeaux
May 13, 2003 10:31 AM
The first compact geometry bike (I think) was the Bontrager Road Lite, which was made of steel. Salsa also used to make steel frames that were compact.
GVH has some steel compact Vinersgeeker
May 13, 2003 10:40 AM
Look here for a seriously dropped head tube.SnowBlind
May 13, 2003 12:51 PM
Retrotec road bike. (and cross and Mtn.)

I have one of his more conservative road designs that has a slightly dropped head tube. In fact, most people don't notice it if I don't mention it. Wheel base is right at one meter, so definitely qualifies as a "compact" design.

I have taken the Retrotec for as spin, very stiff and responsive, just like a good compact should be.

If I can ever scrape the dough together, I want a retro to make into a fixed =)
Cervelo's reasoning on compact steeldotkaye
May 14, 2003 9:41 AM
Gerard of Cervelo posted this at on the compact frame debate. I saved it because it made more sense than anything else I've seen.
" The differences are actually very easy to measure and understand, unfortunately few people in the industry are interested in the actual differences or in testing and rather just make up stuff for their brochure.

The differences between sloping and horizontal are small, but if you use the same tubeset for both frames, the following differences will occur:

1) slightly higher bottom bracker stiffness for the sloping frame
2) slightly higher torsional stiffness for the horizontal toptube frame
3) slightly lighter frame with the sloping toptube
4) slightly lighter seatpost wit the horizontal toptube frame
5) slightly more seatpost compliance with the sloping frame.

issues 3 and 4 are a wash, and for us at Cervelo the choice between sloping and horizontal depends on whatcombination we are looking for out of 1, 2 and 5. For our Alu bikes, which have plenty of bb and torsional stiffness anyway, we go with a sloping toptube (or a dropped toptube on the tri bikes which has the same effect) to get a bit more seatpost compliance.

For the steel frames, this is not necessary and so we can increase the torsional stiffness by keeping the toptube horizontal, especially nice for the twisting and turning on rough roads.

For the new carbon frame, the seatpost compliance wasn't an issue but we did want to get the highest possible bb stiffness, so we opted for a sloping frame.

Cervélo Cycles "