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What Frame???(19 posts)

What Frame???Troybuilt
Dec 19, 2003 8:10 AM
I am looking to build a bike in the next month or so. The question is what Frame should I purchase to build this bike around. I am looking for carbon frames only. From what I can tell I have narrowed it down to a few. 1. Trek 5900 2. Orbea Orca 3. Look KG486 I have also looked at Fondriest but with the price just for the frame reaching upwards of 4k I just dont see the point. I must be able to say is this frame really $1500.00 better then the others that are an option I cant see it. But maybe some one can shed some light. Thanks
Dec 19, 2003 8:48 AM
Fondy does have a number of OTHER frames, so it is a bit difficult to compare apples... so to speak. Fondy seems to have a decent following on the board, so you likely have a range of options. I like Fondy and Look, as I have one of each, and like the look of the 486 (no pun intended). I dont have much experience with mono frames, but you've got plenty of resources here. Good luck and whatever you do... go with Shimano (kidding all).

Both are Keepers....Bixe
Dec 19, 2003 5:20 PM
The bar has since been replaced with a Ritchey WCS Classic (Italian bend)....

Complete with Seasonal accents....
didn't see the Domino carbon???C-40
Dec 19, 2003 9:01 AM
Fondriest now has the Domino carbon priced at $2000 for the frame, fork and headset. Looks pretty decent for the price, BUT is has limited sizes like most compact frames.

You should carefully analyze the geometry and head tube length of each one to be sure that none require unacceptable fit compromises.
Domino picsboneman
Dec 19, 2003 9:32 AM
Took these at the London bike show in September. Nice looking frame although the area around the seat cluster looks a bit bulky.
Dec 19, 2003 9:33 AM
head tube length = purely aesthetic issuegtx
Dec 19, 2003 9:53 AM
Really, it should be one of the last things you consider when looking at frames unless you are taking an extreme Grant Peterson view on this. And you can't compare head tube lengths between frames without factoring in bb drop and seat tube angle.
not really...C-40
Dec 19, 2003 4:14 PM
The seat tube angle has NOTHING to do with the head tube length. You need a geometry lesson.

You are correct that a difference in the BB drop or height will affect a comparison of head tube length, but the vast majority of frames that I see have a very standard 7cm drop. If you find a frame with more than a few millimeters of variation, it's rare.

Measuring the head tube length will allow you to determine exactly what stem angle and spacer combination are required to get the bars up to the desired height. If you're not picky about using a high rise stem or lots of ugly spacers, then don't pay any attention to the head tube length.

With a compact frame, the head tube length tells you as much as anything about the vertical size of the bike. It is very important, IMO.
not really...gtx
Dec 19, 2003 7:08 PM
On a conventional (ie old school) frame with a horizontal top tube where the head tube rises only a once cm or so above the top tube seat tube angle does play into the equation.
OK, I get it, but it's not relevant to this discusssion..C-40
Dec 19, 2003 8:48 PM
If we were discussing old-school lugged frames, which we're not, then you have a point of very minor relevance. A mid sized frame with a 73 STA would be .27mm shorter than a frame with a 74 STA. That's about the thickness of 3 sheets of paper.

The formula is: frame size x (sin74-sin73).

When I talk about comparing head tube lengths, I mean for significant amounts of difference, like 10-20mm, not a measly .27mm.
slight correction...C-40
Dec 19, 2003 9:03 PM
The .27mm should have been 2.7mm, still less than 1/8 inch, which is pretty small and irrelevant to today's frames which can be made with any head tube length and any seat tube angle, without one affecting the other.
slight correction...gtx
Dec 19, 2003 10:36 PM
Ok, it just looks more pronounced on my bikes. My Merckx has a head tube that is 1.5 cm shorter than my custom frame (and the Merckx is actually .5cm bigger c-c), and there is not a 1.5 cm difference in bb height between the two frames. The Merckx has a slacker STA. Maybe there's a enough difference in the lugs, etc. Anyway, like you said it's not so relevant with todays frames, but bb drop on conventional road frames ranges from 8 to around 6.5 cm, so that can have an impact (though most are around 7 as you say).

I still think, though, that you overemphasize the importance of headtube length--it's all about where you bars are. Now, if you think getting them there is ugly (with spacers or ugly stems or whatnot) that's another issue. But if you were to take two otherwise identical frames, and one had a headtube length 3 or 4 cm shorter than the other, but you were still able to achieve the same bar position (let's leave spacers and flexy steer tubes out of it--lets say you used a custom steel stem), I doubt you'd feel any difference (assuming the weird rise stem was stiff enough).
Dec 20, 2003 7:22 AM
I oversize the importance of head tube length, but only if you don't care about how the bike looks when built.

There are manufacturer dictated limits of 2-3cm of spacers on carbon steering tubes, so it is important from a function standpoint.

I recently bought a frame with a head tube that was 10mm shorter than I really wanted, but I knew that all I needed was a 10mm spacer or a 90 degree stem to provide the bar height that I wanted. I chose tried both and like the 90 degree stem better. I'm currently considering a compact frame that has a head tube that is another 10mm shorter. I would never use 20mm of spacer myself, but a 96 degree stem (flipped 84) will provide the proper height. I can tolerate a 9cm saddle to bar height difference. If another person of my same size wanted a 5cm height difference, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a decent looking way to get the bars up another 4cm. That's when the head tube length becomes more critical. Riders who want a small saddle to bar height difference should pay close attention to head tube length. Ultimately, they may have to compromise TT length and standover clearance to get a stock frame that has enough head tube length. Otherwise, a custom frame is in order. It's sure a lot better to know what you're getting into before you buy the frame, rather than get an unpleasant surprise afterward.
What a bizarre statementbaylor
Dec 19, 2003 5:10 PM
in the world of threadless setups, head tube length will drive where your bars are. Most folks consider that pretty important!
What a bizarre statementgtx
Dec 19, 2003 7:09 PM
With the right stem and/or spacers you can get the bars anywhere you want.
Not exactlybaylor
Dec 20, 2003 5:48 AM
There's a limit to how many spacers you can have, and the amount you WANT aesthetically is probably even less. And though I'm not a riser stem snob, I think that a bunch of spacers and a big + stem isn't about "the right stem" it is indeed about having purchased the wrong frame geometry.

Get the frame RIGHT instead of juryrigging. Part of getting the frame right is head tube length.
check out Calfee nmgtx
Dec 19, 2003 9:48 AM
Check out la bicicletta for some great deals right nowspookyload
Dec 19, 2003 9:51 AM I was just looking at their site, and they have some great buys on 2003 Colnago c-40's, 2003 Time VX, and Calfee carbon frames. The Calfee's are 2004 and are closer to $1500. For closer to $1500 you can pick up the carbon frame Akishiro just did the Kuota pictured below. They also have a $2500 version available. Sorry if I showed the wrong one Akishiro.
... that's ok...Akirasho
Dec 19, 2003 10:05 AM
... I'm happy to oblige an edit...

Be the bike.