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Road bike basics(4 posts)

Road bike basicstimothyjimothy
Jun 10, 2003 6:38 AM
I ride MTBs but now I want to get into road riding. For this I want to build a decent training bike, but I'm not sure about the basics. So here are some simple questions I hope you can find time to answer:

1. What's the difference between a compact and a regular frame? How does the sizing differ?
2. I'm 6'1", so what would be about the right size frame for me?
3. What's a good frame to start with? (I was thinking of a Colnago VIP or a Specialized Allez.)

Thanks.
get to a LBSColnagoFE
Jun 10, 2003 6:54 AM
It isn't as simple to fit a road bike as a MTB so I'd say to get to a good local bike shop where you can get measured and look at what there is to offer. Compacts look more like MTB with a sloping top tube. At 6'1" you are gonna be at the big end of a compact frame. What you want to concentrate on is finding a bike with the right effective top tube length for you. Forget standover and such. As far as what is a good frame to start with....you'll get as many opinions on that as there are bikes. Go with what you like.
make sureshamelessgearwhore
Jun 10, 2003 10:10 AM
to go to a LBS that will consider your fit AND not necessarily then push one of their floor bikes onto you. The best bike for you may not be sold at their store! It's easy to fall into the "new car smell" thing and just look at whats on the floor, but run all around town and tell each shop what the other bikes are that you're looking at. Go to many shops with your measurements. I don't trust anybody necessarily. In choosing my bike I was looking at the Lemond Zurich and was told definitively hands down at two different bike shops that I needed a 57" from one, and the 61" at the other! Both these guys seemed knowledgable and friendly. Take everything the bike shop emp tells you with a grain of salt. They are not the ones who will be riding the bike for years. Don't be in too much of a hurry to buy, do plenty of research!
re: Road bike basicsFredrico
Jun 10, 2003 10:31 AM
Bicycling mag recently said that compact frames, being smaller, are slightly stiffer than diamond frames. The longer seatposts on compact bikes flex more to neutralize that difference as felt through the saddle. Where would you like the bike to dissipate road shocks, in the main frame or the seatpost? I think the larger frame would be more comfortable without giving up responsiveness.

Sizing is related to handlebar reach on compact frames, which would be the same as the equivilant diamond frame. In other words, measure your correct diamond frame size by seat tube length, noting the corresponding top tube length (usually about the same), then find the same top tube length in a compact frame.

Sizing: first get the saddle in the right position above and back from the crank spindle. Then put the handlebars in the right position fore-aft and in height, for a comfortable reach.

The Specialized Allez is a classic, and any Colnago could grace my stable for a life-time.

Frame size is measured seat tube = Inseam x .885. Inseam = distance from pubic bone to floor, barefoot.

Welcome to the road!