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Steel Bikes + Tall People(13 posts)

Steel Bikes + Tall Peoplezakky
Jun 12, 2003 8:33 AM
I'm looking to buy my first road bike (I've been mountain biking for about 4 years). I know I want a bike made from steel, and have been looking mostly at Lemond bikes, particularly the Buenos Aires.

But there's a problem: I'm 6'2" with long legs, and I keep reading that Lemond's geometry forces you to stretch out to reach the bars. I don't want to get a bike that I'll be uncomfortable riding for 80 miles. I was sized at a shop, and they told me i take a 59 cm frame.

So finally to the question: Does anyone know about other manufacturers who use steel (beyond bianchi, lemond, jamis)? Is there a "magic bullet" - someone who makes a shorter-toptube steel bike? Or can i size down to a 57cm reasonably?

I don't know a lot about various manufacturer's reputation for geometry, so any advice would be helpful.

Jun 12, 2003 8:58 AM
I'm happy with my 62cm Colnago MXL. Nice and stiff and descends like a dream.
re: Steel Bikes + Tall Peoplekjr39
Jun 12, 2003 9:01 AM
I ride a Colnago Classic that's made from Columbus steel and I am really happy with it. I was looking @ the Buenos Aires as well and the Classic won out.
Italian mfrs often have short top tubesgeeker
Jun 12, 2003 9:13 AM
I'm 1/2 inch taller than you, also with long legs. You have to consider seat tube angle as well as top tube length. Lemonds may not be *that* bad - the seat tube angle is slack, so your saddle won't be as far back on the rails and the "effective top tube" (net of seat tube angle) isn't that much different from many other manufacturers. If you size down to a 57cm, you may have trouble getting the handlebars high enough to ride comfortably.

In "boxed bikes", Marin also makes steel, though I'm not sure of the geometry. I think Jamis have relatively long top tubes. Not sure about Bianchi. You probably want a combination of slack seat tube angle and short top tube. Euro framebuilders like Merckx, Pegoretti and Colnago should work, but at a high price. has some short top tube steel frames like Cinelli Supercorsa, but I'm not sure if they'd be stiff enough in large sizes (standard diameter tubing).
I forgot Fujigeeker
Jun 12, 2003 9:16 AM
Fuji makes an attractively priced steel bike, but I think the top tubes are kind of long.
re: Steel Bikes + Tall Peoplegregario
Jun 12, 2003 9:25 AM
59cm sounds way small for someone 6'2" with long legs. Plus, as someone else said, you may have trouble getting the bars high enough to be comfortable. I'm 6'2" with long legs and just got a new 62cm Colnago Dream Plus. If you want steel Colnago makes the Master Extralight, Tecnos, and Classic. Probably pricier than a Buenos Aries but it would probably fit you better.
oh and by the way...gregario
Jun 12, 2003 10:11 AM
i have a steel frame for sale with very low miles. I had it on E-bay but I wasn't successful. If you're interested though you can see it here:

You can use the link to e-mail me if you want to know more.
Agree--got to question that 59cmcory
Jun 12, 2003 12:48 PM
I'm only two inches taller than you are, and most reasonable sizing methods put me on a 64 or 65. There's a huge (and to my mind unfortunate) trend toward too-small frames, and I think a lot of shops don't question it enough. You might check the sizing section at Rivendell ('ll bet Grant would put you on a 62 or 63.
59cm may be okinniswhe
Jun 15, 2003 9:42 AM
I am 6'2.5" tall with a 35" inseam and did the sizing sheet at wrenchscience at it said 59cm c-c , or 62-63cm c-t. Lemonds are measured c-c. Also I emailed Lemond and asked if I should be 59cm or 61cm and they responded 59cm. They said that 61cm is recommended for riders 6'4" plus.

I haven't tried a Lemond yet as I have to order one where I live but I think I am going with the 59cm. If anyone else is riding a lemond with similar height I would be interested to know what size they are using.
Specialized makes steel roadbikes with short top-tubestnbiker
Jun 12, 2003 9:33 AM
it uses really nice Foco steel. see the website for more info.
re: Steel Bikes + Tall Peopledjg
Jun 12, 2003 10:15 AM
LeMond bikes can work for all sorts of people, but the geometry can be problematic for folks with short torsos and especially so for folks with short torsos (arms?) who don't want to go long and low across the top of the bike. I'm not up on their current published geometry, but traditionally they've combined somewhat longish top tubes with somewhat shortish head tubes.

You might look at Colnago and Gios, among others, for steel bikes that have different geometries to offer.
6-2 on a 59 Colnago on the small side..DINOSAUR
Jun 12, 2003 4:37 PM
I'm 6-0 (34' inseam) and ride a 59 Colnago Master X-Light. I have long legs and a short torso. I would think you need at least a 61 "Freuler" type. Rider a smaller frame would mean your saddle would be jacked up high and your bar drop would be too low, forcing you to use a lot of spacers.

You might pop over to wrenchscience or the Colorado Cyclist sites and fool around with their fitting guides. Have someone take your measurements for you. Subtract 10-12 inches from your inseam length to give you an idea of your frame size. I was looking for a steel bike with a short TT and a 59 Colnago with a 56.5 TT fits me well. I had to owner of my LBS do a fitting for me. The important measurement is the TT.
Jun 12, 2003 6:10 PM
I'm 6' with a 33.75" inseam and ride a 59 'nago.