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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:00 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Hello,

I am away from home for a few months, staying in Italy. I planned to buy
a bike here and either sell it at the end of my stay or (if I find something
really nice) ship it home.

Trouble is I haven't been able to find anything that's both in my size and within my budget.

What are the possibilities for getting away with a too small/big frame?

I am 183cm/6', with an 86cm/34" inside leg. I normally ride a frame with a 58cm seat tube.

I've seen a lot of 55cm bikes, but also a couple of 59-60cm ones.

I'm mainly interested in a retro bike, i.e. with a quill stem and standard type seatpost arrangement. I'd probably use it for a combination of short training rides and longer tours with climbs, not for racing.

It would be useful to know peoples thoughts on what the maximum difference I might get away with, and whether it's better to try a frame that's slightly smaller or slightly bigger than normal.

Cheers,

Johnny


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:11 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8246
Location: Cumbria
In general, for classic steel framed bikes, it's safer to go for a larger frame and have less seat post showing and the handlebar stem lower down.

Small frames can end up with not a lot of seatpost stuck in the frame (which I never found a problem) and a lot of stem sticking out the steering tube. I have seen a fair few stems fracture in the 70's when there was a craze for spinning the bars up high. Nitto do an extra long stem so not always a disaster.

Shaun


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:27 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 5132
Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
That's the problem of living in a country where a lot of the inhabitants may be vertically challenged. Larger rather than smaller for a steel bike for me too.

It's how we used to ride them BITD. I've come down nearly an inch in conventional frame size since my teenage years.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:48 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Thanks!

I normally live in Belgium and the people there aren't exactly giants either.

Unfortunately most of the really nice vintage things I've seen so far are on the smaller side, and of course almost everything old is now a 'bici per eroica' with an inflated price tag :roll:

Johnny


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:10 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:56 pm
Posts: 264
I reckon my bike is probably a cm or two bigger than it should be in an ideal world. I think if you are prepared to fiddle about a bit with seat post and stem height then the kinks can be ironed out. I have quite a long body and quite short legs, which doesn't help loads :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:27 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 92
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
I got given a steel bike about a year ago and its probably just a couple of cm too small. I just got a seatpost with layback and lifted it, and put a 10mm longer stem on. I occassionally ride with aero bars also. I do long distance Audax stuff and its comfortable enough. The geometry probably isnt correct, but with an exception of a bit of discomfort in the upper right leg after about 90 miles, its ok. I would say getting the height correct is more important than the length.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:51 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Result! I managed to find this, and it is my size too.

http://www.subito.it/vi/43415020.htm

Sorry, no better pictures, I don't have a camera here.
It is made by Conti, an old bike shop in Florence. Full campagnolo super record, too.

Better than the other option which was also a decent frame but was huge and was tickling my plums even just standing over it, which didn't feel very good at all.

Anyway, thanks for the replies.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:53 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8246
Location: Cumbria
Classic italian stallion with chrome in all the right places......and a steal at the price LOL

Shaun


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:24 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Cheers! I think the paint is some sort of flamboyant job too.

Very pleased with it.


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