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 Post subject: Deciding if a bike fits?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:46 pm 
Gold Trader
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Just spent some time in the saddle of a steel 26er, and have a feeling it might be too small.

I've always stuck around the 18/19 inch size since I stopped growing many moons ago, but after riding short distances, but frequently this week I get a feeling that my steed is too short in the top tube department, despite running a 120mm stem. I just felt I could be further back on the saddle, and it's already as far back as it can go.

I could get a layback post of course, but taking a look at the set up, I've got a fair few spacers under the stem (this was initially to avoid cutting the steerer down too much), and a chunk of seat post out of the frame.

Whilst the frame is 19 inches, it's actually 17.5 c2c, which has me thinking it may be a little on the small side.

How do you judge a frames fit? I really like my bike/build, but having ridden my 29er a lot prior to breaking out the 26er on holiday, I thought previously it was a good fit, but now not so sure.

Whilst I need/want to downsize the fleet, this bike wasnt on the list, but perhaps it should be?

Anyone got any advice or pointers on getting the right frame size/build,


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:38 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:27 pm
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It might be a personal thing, but I find that a lot of 90s retro rides frequently feel small and cramped after riding modern bikes.

BITD, I rode 18 inch frames without a problem - now even 19 inch ones feel small and I tend to go for 20 inch ones (and sometimes even add shorter/higher stems & riser bars. Some of this is age on my part I feel - I simply don't feel comfortable with the arse in the air hunched forward ride anymore (especially as I have quite long arms).

It's telling that one of my favourite rides back in the 90s was the Dawes Ranger - a bike that allowed for massive layback and a really stretched out ride.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:16 am 
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Location: Kentcestershire
Are you sure it's not just "different"?

Looking at modern MTBs, the geometry is very different to those from 20 or 30 years ago. With bigger 27.5 or 29" wheels, really long travel forks and fat 2.8" tyres the front end is much higher and looking at a modern MTB with a similar nominal frame size of say 19" in contrast to that of a 90s MTB the whole bike looks huge in comparison. Especially when you add in a set of 700mm wide, or more, handlebars and massive oversize aluminium or carbon frame tubes.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:34 am 
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It's a fairly modern frame if truth be told (pipedream scion steel 853), but I bought it based on the usual retro size my other bikes are.

Yes, maybe it is a little different, but main issue is I feel more comfy hanging off the back of the saddle rather than on it. That and the headset spacers got me wondering.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:17 am
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I’ve gone through all this recently and came to conclusion that no matter how big a retro frame is , it will never ride similar to a modern in terms of reach and general roominess.

The modern numbers now are just so different that it’s hard to jump back on a retro bike or anything older than a year or so and it feel natural in comparison.

I’ve decided to accept the fact that for riding my beloved Zaskar isn’t that great compared to my modern hardtail. But in terms of looks and personality it’s hands down the winner.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:11 pm
Posts: 408
Location: Nottinghamshire
ishaw wrote:
Just spent some time in the saddle of a steel 26er, and have a feeling it might be too small.

I've always stuck around the 18/19 inch size since I stopped growing many moons ago, but after riding short distances, but frequently this week I get a feeling that my steed is too short in the top tube department, despite running a 120mm stem. I just felt I could be further back on the saddle, and it's already as far back as it can go.

I could get a layback post of course, but taking a look at the set up, I've got a fair few spacers under the stem (this was initially to avoid cutting the steerer down too much), and a chunk of seat post out of the frame.

Whilst the frame is 19 inches, it's actually 17.5 c2c, which has me thinking it may be a little on the small side.

How do you judge a frames fit? I really like my bike/build, but having ridden my 29er a lot prior to breaking out the 26er on holiday, I thought previously it was a good fit, but now not so sure.

Whilst I need/want to downsize the fleet, this bike wasnt on the list, but perhaps it should be?

Anyone got any advice or pointers on getting the right frame size/build,


17.5" C-C - I presume this is seat tube, whats the top tube length like as I find this a much more important figure to look at especially as some manufacturers were low and longer than others, even back then?

One easy way to compare size to your modern ride is to take a tape measure and measure distance from centre saddle to centre handlebar grip on both bikes and compare this figure. Also adding spacers under your stem will infact shorten the reach. The biggest thing I find is the narrow 560mm bars of retro bikes compared to the 740mm's of my modern - wider bars infact shorten reach. Sounds odd but some of my retros feel really long, my Raleigh Torus for example feels incredibly long.

Try a different stem on your retro - maybe 135mm with a bit more rise?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:22 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Must admit my modern bike has made all my retro feel very narrow and small so that could have something to do with it? Back in the mid 2000's when I got back in to biking my modern bike had 680mm bars and a 90mm stem so didn't feel a million miles away from my retro. That didn't change much until around 5/6 years ago when my bars went 700, 750 then finally 800mm with the stem shrinking to 50mm. Long top tube and 29" wheels. All the while I wasn't riding much 26" retro so when I finally did they all felt tiny. 26" feel like kids bikes to me know tbh.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:26 pm 
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Location: Surrey
Maybe it is simply just different. Will have to get out on another retro steed to compare I think.

And get the 27.5 built to see what difference that makes to it all.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:31 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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ishaw wrote:
It's a fairly modern frame if truth be told (pipedream scion steel 853), but I bought it based on the usual retro size my other bikes are.

Yes, maybe it is a little different, but main issue is I feel more comfy hanging off the back of the saddle rather than on it. That and the headset spacers got me wondering.


This is exactly how I feel on my cube. I’ve been thinking about a Thomson layback post and slightly longer stem for it as when I started looking at other frames and sizing them up for a parts transfer I found I was basically riding the right size, so maybe I just want a bit more stretch too. I am longer in the body and shorter legged so maybe the post stem is just what I need.
Btw all my bikes are also 18” apart from this one, which is 17” (due to being a 29er).

Carl


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:50 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:22 am
Posts: 90
Try a 135mm stem. That´s what most of the 18in had. 135mm stems ride well on 71 degr head angles mellowing the steepness.


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