Going back to the classics

uart
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:20 pm

GaryF wrote:Bike fit for me when inspecting a 'new' bike:

A rough guide, and surprisingly accurate, is to do 'the little tea pot'. ...If the seat on that bike can be adjusted to fit under my hand, and still visually look to be at a 'good height', not too high or too low, I can generally jump on board the bike and be reasonably comfortable.


Interesting method Gary. I just tried it out, and while I certainly looked very dainty doing it 8) , it did appear to put the saddle quite a bit too high for me. I guess it depends on exactly where that special point on your hip is and how well you can find it. But also remember that this method doesn't account for differences in bottom bracket heights. If you've got a relatively low BB height I think that your method might somewhat overestimate the desirable saddle height.

Just out of interest Gary, could you check out how the classic Lemond formula suits you and your particular bikes. As I say, it (65% of inseam) comes out just a little small for me. Can you measure the ST (c-c) of one of the classic bikes (say one on which you feel very comfortable), and work out what percentage that c-c measurement is of your inseam length. For me it's more like about 67% of inseam (on bikes that I feel most comfortable).

BTW. The standard method for measuring inseam is standing against a wall without shoes, place a hard cover book between your legs and (being careful to keep the book pressed exactly perpendicular to the wall) push it reasonable firmly into your nether regions similar to how a bike saddle would do. Place a pencil mark and measure the height from the floor. This is a very handy number to carry around with you if you are looking at bike frames. :)

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GaryF
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby GaryF » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:48 pm

Hi uart, I have tried a similar method to the Greg Lemond method where I really tried my best to take the correct measurements, etc., but the result was a too high seat position. I seem to recall a 0.86% of the inseam measurement that seemed to be the new, 'whiz bang' method of setting seat height (from the platform of the pedal in its farthest position to seat top along the seat tube). I now look for that 'bent knee' sweet spot that you feel whilst out on a ride. It may take a little while to find but I can find it. I also know the frame size(s) that best suit me and I can set myself up on that particular bike. Seat position (forward and aft) as well as stem length have been developed over the years.

I remember reading the stories of Eddy Merckx constantly adjusting his saddle height whilst out on training rides. He obviously set his position according to his feel on the bike. Perhaps I'm a little like Eddy - I wish, hahaha.

Greg Lemond's 65% of inseam would lower my resultant seat height. As you ask, I must compare it to one of my bikes when time permits. i must say that Greg Lemond is one of my all time favourite professional riders.

Just on that, I had a Merckx with a very relaxed seat tube angle throwing my seat position markedly backward. I tried to move my saddle forward but, in the end, I went with the rearward position. After all, Eddy was known for his experimentation. I commuted on the Merckx for quite some time and did get used to my new position - and I quite liked it. It was a comfortable bike. After I got sick and tired of the Merckx I went on to a bike with conventional geometry and settled back into a more standard position.

My 'little tea pot' method is only a guide I use to sum-up a prospective bike purchase. My hand on hip position suits me, and as you say, the position could be different for each individual. I did own a Benotto with a really low bottom bracket and my 'little tea pot' method would indicate a bike that could suit me but my real position on the Benotto would feel different to my hand on my hip indicator.

Another thing I have noticed is my body size over the years. At times my weight has blown out by 30kg and I have carried a much bigger posterior that when I was constantly on the bike riding a heap of kilometres. Luckily i'm not that heavy any more. I also think my height has shortened as I get older. All these things change my bike set-up but I still look for a very similar bent knee position.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:35 pm

GaryF wrote:Greg Lemond's 65% of inseam would lower my resultant seat height. As you ask, I must compare it to one of my bikes when time permits. i must say that Greg Lemond is one of my all time favourite professional riders.


Sorry Gary. I seem to have over complicated that for you.

There are several parts to the Lemond sizing method (and other similar methods like Hamley's), but the one we were referring to above was simply the seat tube length (not the saddle height).

Let me summarize some of these fitment formulas

1. The Lemond method for approx bike size (classic geometry bike). Select a seat tube length (centre to centre) of about: 0.65 x inseam. <----- This is the one that I disagree with. I find it a tad too small.

2. The Lemond method for saddle height. Set the distance (measured along the seat tube) from the crank spindle centre to the saddle top to about: 0.883 x inseam.

3. The Hamley method for saddle height. Set the distance (measured along the seat tube) from the pedal top (pedal at lowest position in line with seat tube) to the saddle top to about 1.09 x inseam.

Forget about 2 and 3, they are just for estimating saddle height. What I was wondering is how the calculation in 1 compares with what you find suits you in terms of seat tube length (centre to centre)

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby GaryF » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:28 pm

Sorry uart, I think I now understand what you are looking for. I just did the book against the wall measurement and came up with 85cm. Multiply that by 65% and the result is 55.25cm. This must be the seat tube length, centre to centre. By the way, my height is 185cm and my body proportions are average. My shoe size is US 13 or 48 which I think is an average length.

My bikes range from 58cm to 62cm seat tube length and I have set-up all of them to a similar position. The bigger 61cm to 62cm frames are not that pleasant for me to ride, but I can ride them all the same. My most comfortable bike seat tube size is 59cm c to c. I have always liked frames with a seat tube of 58cm but the (Campy) seatpost is approaching it's limits. 60cm c to c seat tube frames are also comfortable but I do notice the bigger size.

I also like a stem of 120cm (or perhaps 130cm) in length which aesthetically looks good on the frame size I like. I try to position the saddle so an imaginary line taken through the centre of the seat tube bisects the centre of the top of the saddle - or close to it with a preference to slightly rearward.

I used to own a couple of really collectable bikes with a seat tube of 57cm c to c. Bikes that I absolutely loved. I went through a move of location and had to sell off half the fleet. Anything 57cm c to c went, no matter how much I loved them. I just can't ride a 57cm c to c frame. With the seatpost at it's limit I notice the cramped position and my resultant knee angle feels much less powerful and uncomfortable.

I could never ride a 55.25 cm c to c frame. Like you, the Greg Lemond frame size method doesn't work.

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:03 pm

Isn't it funny how stuff like this can vary between individuals, hence the need for a seat post and stem aftermarket.
The Lemond method works perfectly for me, at 183cm tall with an 83cm inseam, tells me I should ride a 54.5cm ST frame. I ride 56cm comfortably on 170mm cranks, but with a long-ish stem (depending on TT).
Last edited by 10speedsemiracer on Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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uart
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:49 am

GaryF wrote:I just did the book against the wall measurement and came up with 85cm. Multiply that by 65% and the result is 55.25cm. This must be the seat tube length, centre to centre. By the way, my height is 185cm and my body proportions are average. My shoe size is US 13 or 48 which I think is an average length.

My bikes range from 58cm to 62cm seat tube length and I have set-up all of them to a similar position. The bigger 61cm to 62cm frames are not that pleasant for me to ride, but I can ride them all the same. My most comfortable bike seat tube size is 59cm c to c. I have always liked frames with a seat tube of 58cm but the (Campy) seatpost is approaching it's limits. 60cm c to c seat tube frames are also comfortable but I do notice the bigger size.


Thanks Gary. As I was expecting, you also prefer a frame a bit bigger than the 65% suggested by the Lemond formula. You seem to prefer around 68% to 69%, which is fairly similar to me.

Your inseam to height ratio 85/185 = 46% is fairly normal, most men are in the range of about 44% to 49% (though plenty will still fall outside that range). My inseam of 87.2 is fairly long for my height, but my frame size preferences are quite similar to yours. My most comfortable fit bike is also about 58.5 to 59 cm ST (c-c).

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby GaryF » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:47 pm

uart wrote:
GaryF wrote:I just did the book against the wall measurement and came up with 85cm. Multiply that by 65% and the result is 55.25cm. This must be the seat tube length, centre to centre. By the way, my height is 185cm and my body proportions are average. My shoe size is US 13 or 48 which I think is an average length.

My bikes range from 58cm to 62cm seat tube length and I have set-up all of them to a similar position. The bigger 61cm to 62cm frames are not that pleasant for me to ride, but I can ride them all the same. My most comfortable bike seat tube size is 59cm c to c. I have always liked frames with a seat tube of 58cm but the (Campy) seatpost is approaching it's limits. 60cm c to c seat tube frames are also comfortable but I do notice the bigger size.


Thanks Gary. As I was expecting, you also prefer a frame a bit bigger than the 65% suggested by the Lemond formula. You seem to prefer around 68% to 69%, which is fairly similar to me.

Your inseam to height ratio 85/185 = 46% is fairly normal, most men are in the range of about 44% to 49% (though plenty will still fall outside that range). My inseam of 87.2 is fairly long for my height, but my frame size preferences are quite similar to yours. My most comfortable fit bike is also about 58.5 to 59 cm ST (c-c).


Very interesting uart. I wish I could remember my inseam measurement when I first did this in the 90's. I'd love to compare it to yesterday's measurement. I believe that as I have put weight on as I get older my inseam measurement would have changed with the addition of fat around the tops of my legs,etc. Mechanically though, I think I am similar internally to my size back then. My bike size preference hasn't changed over the past 30 odd years. Who knows??? At least I know what works for me.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby JW0370 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:19 am

Sorry folks have been away for work.
Just like to say a big thanks for all th advice, etc. - especially the sizing as it has been a VERY long time since i rode a classic-geo bike of any description.
WIll keep the forum posted as to how the search goes.
Cheers,
JW

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby P!N20 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:43 pm

uart wrote:BTW. The standard method for measuring inseam is standing against a wall without shoes, place a hard cover book between your legs and (being careful to keep the book pressed exactly perpendicular to the wall) push it reasonable firmly into your nether regions similar to how a bike saddle would do. Place a pencil mark and measure the height from the floor. This is a very handy number to carry around with you if you are looking at bike frames. :)


So like this then?

Image

How am I going to explain this one to the missus...

uart
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:04 pm

P!N20 wrote:So like this then?

Hmm, interesting image. But yes, staying perpendicular is very important to the measurement. :D
(And to think that my wife has a bit of a chuckle at me doing it with a book. 8). )

The idea of using a hard covered book is that it stays perpendicular to the wall so long as you keep it pressed up against said wall. That way to don't need to use a spirit level and look like such a dick. ;)

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:52 pm

With the Lemond sizing technique my ideal frame size C-C is 57.6cm. Being 178 cm tall you can work out that I am all legs and this is actually quiet a large frame for me. This however is the smallest frame size I use and I am quite happy to ride frames up to 59.6 cm C-C, any larger and I find the top tube interferes with my legs when climbing out of the saddle or sprinting. For top tubes I prefer around 56-57cm with a 100-110mm stem. With my short torso I find this stretches me out to a comfortable position which is good for rides over 300km with no back issues.
Image

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:27 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:With the Lemond sizing technique my ideal frame size C-C is 57.6cm. Being 178 cm tall you can work out that I am all legs and this is actually quiet a large frame for me. This however is the smallest frame size I use and I am quite happy to ride frames up to 59.6 cm C-C, any larger and I find the top tube interferes with my legs when climbing out of the saddle or sprinting.


Working that backwards I take it that your inseam is about 88.5 cm, giving you an inseam to height ratio of nearly 0.5. In the "normal range but at the upper end, so yes you're all legs. ;)

The range of frame sizes you prefer is from about 65% (Lemond) up to 67.5% of your inseam. I'm in a similar situation, with inseam at 87.4 and preferred frame sizes up around 59 cm (ST CC). My main issue with frame sizes at the smaller end of the range (Lemond) is that my seat post is usually "maxed out" and saddle slammed fully back, so there's no wiiggle room for any adjustments.

Interestingly I don't seem to get the problem with the top tube interfering with my legs too much, even on my largest frame (which is 60 cm). I know what you mean though, with the higher top tube it can brush your upper-inner leg when you're out of the saddle and tilting the bike side to side a bit. I find that on any bike that I have at least some stand-over clearance that isn't a big problem for me. A bigger issue for me is my knees interfering with the handlebars when climbing out of the saddle on bikes that are too small.
Last edited by uart on Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:29 pm

It's so quiet in this forum at the moment I thought I'd bump this thread. In particular I'm interested in feedback on the sizing of my recently acquired old Apollo (thinking about making this one my "new" beater). At first I thought it a little too large at 60cm (cc) but after taking it for a few rides it actually feels quite nice (surprisingly good actually), especially for the casual type of riding I'd normally use it for.

Here it is, ready to ride (bike was originally an old Apollo Access, what ever that is). I'm very comfortable on it as shown. Just wondering what people think of the relative seat post and stem height positions as currently set up?

Image

Image

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:34 pm

Proportions look good to me. I am assuming your saddle height is correct. The bike looks to have a long top tube. How comfortable is it riding on the hoods.
Image

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby uart » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:03 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Proportions look good to me. I am assuming your saddle height is correct. The bike looks to have a long top tube. How comfortable is it riding on the hoods.


Yeah it's reasonably long, TT is just a shade over 58 cm, but I've got long arms so that suits me pretty well. It actually came to me with a shorter stem but I put the longer one on. Even so there is still some fore-aft room for adjustment on the saddle. So yeah it's all good.

Re the saddle. I've only taken it for a few 50k rides so far, but the height is about right. I might end up tweaking it by a few mm but that would be all.

BTW. Here is how the bike originally came to me. I've changed out the seat and post, the stem and bars, and the wheels.

Image

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby GaryF » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:33 am

The proportions look much better now than when you first got it.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby JW1970 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:32 pm

Hi folks.
Sorry, i started this thread then disappeared for a wee while.
Still looking and actually found a Carlton Cobra full chrome frame for sale - a 57cm TT. I am dead-on 6ft with a slightly longer torso/arms.
Funnily enough my father rode one of these in the mid-70s and we had it in the family until the mid 90s so finding this cheap frame for sale has piqued my interest in these old Pom steelies. Anyway, there's also a Colnago Master frame (500 bucks more) that is up at the moment so will keep you all in the loop. The Cobra frame is dirt cheap - 130 - and although not as 'new' looking as the Colnago (this has been restored/repainted), is very tempting.
JW

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:22 am

I’d take the pommy steel over the Italian stuff every time.
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:23 am

Would also do the Carlton..
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby P!N20 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:49 am

I'd take the Colnago* - forged dropouts > stamped dropouts.

* If it's legit, there's a lot of fauxnagos out there.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:03 pm

P!N20 wrote:I'd take the Colnago* - forged dropouts > stamped dropouts.

* If it's legit, there's a lot of fauxnagos out there.

How do you know the specs on the frames?
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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:59 pm

JW1970 wrote:Hi folks.
Sorry, i started this thread then disappeared for a wee while.
Still looking and actually found a Carlton Cobra full chrome frame for sale - a 57cm TT. I am dead-on 6ft with a slightly longer torso/arms.
Funnily enough my father rode one of these in the mid-70s and we had it in the family until the mid 90s so finding this cheap frame for sale has piqued my interest in these old Pom steelies. Anyway, there's also a Colnago Master frame (500 bucks more) that is up at the moment so will keep you all in the loop. The Cobra frame is dirt cheap - 130 - and although not as 'new' looking as the Colnago (this has been restored/repainted), is very tempting.
JW


There's a nice 1980s Technotrat frame floating around on Gumtree, possibly the same seller as the Carlton (this guy has a Carlton Cobra frame on Gumtree as well).

The Technotrat would be an easier, more current build, and also appears to be in better overall condition than his Carlton.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby P!N20 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:03 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:How do you know the specs on the frames?


Wild guess.

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Re: Going back to the classics

Postby barkmadly » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 pm

Check out back2bikes.com.au too.
They specialise in second hand bikes. The occsaional gem pops up.

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