Compact frames - Are they all like mine?

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Compact frames - Are they all like mine?

Postby Marv » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:36 pm

Hey Team.

Just curious about my frame.
My last bike would stay staright when I took my hands off the handle bars.
My new Compact is as controllable as a goldfish on a lead.
I know I should have at least one hand on the bar to ride safely but I was just wondering if this is common for compacts?
The reason is yesterday I took my jacket off while riding and it was not as easy as I would have liked.

While we are at it, Anyone have some general likes/dislikes of compacts in general.

Cheers.
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by BNA » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:57 pm

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:57 pm

I have a compact frame and can easily ride no hands on it.

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Postby Marv » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:02 pm

Oh.

:cry:


I moved the seat slightly forward last night to try for a little more comfort on the bars so maybe that might improve things there as well.
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Postby sogood » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:08 pm

mikesbytes wrote:I have a compact frame and can easily ride no hands on it.

I'll vouch for that. I worry sometimes watching Mike ride... :wink:
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Postby europa » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:12 pm

Assuming it's not your own riding skills, a misalignment might be the cause. It's hard to twist the front forks on a bike so it's more likely to be the rear wheel but in any case, with the wheels fore and aft, they should hide behind each other (just eyeball the thing from the front and from the back).

A very steep steering angle and/or small trail will produce a bike that is more responsive and I understand that time trial bikes tend to be set up so they are very nervous - this can result in a bike that is difficult to ride hands free.

However, a compact frame is simply one where the top tube slopes downwards this producing a middle triangle that is more compact than a traditional bike - it doesn't affect the handling at all.

I reckon the problem is more likely to be your technique though - I have days when I can stretch and ride for quite long distances hands free, and others where loosening the grip has me visiting the roses :oops:

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Postby Marv » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:31 pm

Well I just done a whole heap of measuring.
After adjusting my saddle height using the Le-Mond method,
which only increased it 2 mm above where I naturally had it from feel and sight, the top of the seat is 12cm above the top of the handle bars OMGosh
My last ride was 5cm and felt good
I have a great suspicion that the bike shop guys were wrong when they told me it was my size bike.
The bar stem is already set to the top of the steerer tube.
The Frame is a compact and has 48.5cm stickered on the tubes.
When I found what this measures to, it is from the middle of the cranks to the top of the seat tube of the frame.
I am 5'10" and I think my frame size is 54cm.
I asked if it was too small and was told its a compact and was my size.

Waddya 'all reckon please.
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Postby Bnej » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:59 pm

I have a Giant OCR compact, I'm a bit shorter than you, and I have a 50cm frame. They said they'd put me on a 54cm if I wanted a Trek. OTOH 48.5 is not much smaller, so maybe that's the closest size for the brand you have? 12cm is a big drop for most normal riders though.

I'd previously had some problems with my wrists which I explained to the LBS, and they have me set up with the bars about the level with the seat.
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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:05 pm

Marv, which bike do you have? could you please provide a link

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Postby Marv » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:16 pm

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Postby Marv » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:23 pm

If I measure to the middle of an imaginary top tube I get only 50cm.
If I have it wrong it maybe a 52cm but no way is it a 54cm.
The bars that join on the neck tube nearly touch, the welds do actually touch.
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Postby MJF » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:35 pm

My Shogun Metro GS hybrid, also with compact frame, would likely kill me if I took both hands off the bar. Must have some shopping trolley in its genetics.
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Postby europa » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:42 pm

Sizes are measured in all sorts of weird ways, so don't be upset if you can't replicate the numbers.

Stupidly high seats are all part of modern bikes, especially if you are used to more traditional setups. Get the seat where you want it, make sure enough of it is still in the frame (there'll be a mark on the seat post) and just accept it. The next test is the reach to the bars - are you too stretched out? This is a feel thing and while there are all sorts of formulae and tests, like everything with bike fit, eventually it comes back to what feels right. You don't want to feel cramped, nor overly stretched. Weight on the hands? Mate, with a riding position like that, you'll have a ton of weight on your hands, but you can still mess with the seat to see how things pan out ... if you wind up with the seat too far back or too far forward, you can adjust that with neck length and then return your seat to a more efficient position over the pedals.

Forget numbers, just do what's needed to feel 'right' on that bike. If you wind up with a monster like my Sow's Ear, then you'll know for sure you've got a frame that's the wrong size. Don't forget, your physical size might put you at the change over between two frame sizes and that may make things look a bit weird, but I don't think your seat is overly far out of the frame.

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Postby Marv » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:00 pm

Thanks europa.

ATM the seat pole is on the 1. At zero is minum insert and the scale goes to 10 or so.
Maybe I am in that awkward zone although I thought my height is pretty common.
I think I am a bit scared that a neck piece to fix the handle bar position will leave me with a bike that looks like a hybrid.
I will definatley go in tomorrow and ask a few questions.
I hope it is as simple as a new neck stem but a 7cm rise seems a lot.

We'll see, I'll try not to lose any sleep over it just yet.
There is a bit of money in that bike and I have my fingers crossed.
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Postby MountGower » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:22 pm

M
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Postby timbo » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:34 pm

The only problem I have with my medium sized compact framed Giant OCR1 is when I unclip the shoes from the pedal. My natural movement is to move the heel inwards, but this brings the heel into contact with the frame or knocks the rear water bottle. I have to be very careful about foot positioning. Just as a point of interest, who twists their foot to the right or to the left? As my whole right leg points outward slightly, I twist to the right. How about other people?
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Postby MichaelB » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:16 am

My bike is a 55cm LeMond Tourmalet.

One of the key measurement given by guys on this forum was the "approx 50mm between top tube and the important bits when standing with feet flat on the ground"

I have that with my bike, but could probably go to a 57cm frame if need be.

At the end of the day, you need to fit well. Maybe get a bike fit done somewhere else to confirm it ?

On the Sheldon Brown website, there is an interesting article written by Keith Bontrager about the myth and inaccuracy of the common method of Biek Fit (known as KOPS - Knee over Pedal Spindle), and whilst it doesn't give you the data to work it out, it is an interesting read

The myth of KOPS
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:41 am

Marv, you would use a medium frame in a Giant
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Postby Marv » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:46 pm

I had that in the back of my head, mikesbytes, when I was told by the BS that the Medium would do me.
I did see though that Giant Mediums are a 50cm compact whereas the Azzurri was a 48.5cm.

Anyway did ya pickup on the 'was'?

I went back today and the owner happily let me walk out the door with a New Large version (52.5cm) compact with full Ultegra groupset for only an extra $300.
Both of these bikes were without wheels as I already had a new set of 105 wheels with my trusty gatorskins.
I have done a setup to where I feel comfortable and all is very well.
I have the neck stem halfway on the steerer so there is room up and down if changes need to be made.
I already feel very comfortable.
The seat post is not sticking a mile out.
The original picture of the Primo in the link above is very much how the medium was set to fit my legs.
This setup looks much more civilised.
Thanks all for the encourage and reassurance that the frame may indeed be a bit small for me.
The seat to bar drop is now sitting on a comfortable 6cm with potential to be moved at will without a stem change.

Out of interest I didn't feel a great deal of difference between a Sora and 105 group.
This Ultegra is a whole new league for sure.
Definatley worth the extra scratch.


Rock'n'Roll.

:)
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Postby MountGower » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:03 pm

I
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Postby Marv » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:13 pm

Thanks MountGower.

You can borrow it any time mate, I trust ya :)

I feel so much better knowing I have a bike that has plenty of room in every direction to make adjustments.
Even the saddle (fore/aft) is sitting in the middle of the adjustment scale with my seat tip to bar length right on the money at the same time my KOC being inline.
All good. It's like everything fell into place at the same time.
It even rides hands free a whole lot better.

Maybe the extreme seat pole lenght before was not good for the centre of gravity :idea:

Cheers Team and happy hill climbing.
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Postby pospete » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:07 am

So with one of these Compact bikes do you get a little mirror and a lip pencil? :lol:
Talk to the hand
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Postby europa » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:11 pm

pospete wrote:So with one of these Compact bikes do you get a little mirror and a lip pencil? :lol:


Only if it's that funny blue colour :D

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Postby Mulger bill » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:36 pm

europa wrote:
pospete wrote:So with one of these Compact bikes do you get a little mirror and a lip pencil? :lol:


Only if it's that funny blue colour :D

Richard
it's open season on Bianchi, next month we pick on Trek :wink:


Strange about that funny blue colour, a bit of Googling told me that there was this large supply of military surplus paint going around once :shock:
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Postby mikesbytes » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:28 pm

pospete wrote:So with one of these Compact bikes do you get a little mirror and a lip pencil? :lol:


Is it a red or pink bike ?

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