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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:22 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:47 pm
Posts: 11
Hello,
I’m Al, I live in Warwickshire, I’m an unfit, overweight, 58 year old who has recently had a TIA (mini-stroke), is limp wristed due to a dual Trapeziectomy, is out of touch with cycling –so treat me as a novice. Sorry for the rambling post, any stupid statements or questions. Apologies if I’ve posted in the wrong area – mods please move this if there is a more appropriate place.

I’m returning to cycling after a 15 year gap, my 9 year old son has started riding (it suddenly clicked for him this summer - after 5 years of trying to learn how), and my significant other has also bought a bike ( but is very under-confident.)

I’m signing up to forums (Fora?), seeking advice and trying to learn as much as I can. So I will have lots of questions I’m afraid, readers of other forums might see my similar posts there.
I have bought an old Dawes Karakum my intention is that it will be used for family rides, shopping, easy trails etc., (It has the makings of a “Swiss army knife” or a bike for all seasons).
I also have a twenty year old entry level Trek Mountain Track that has been languishing in the dark for 15 years and needs some love and attention. Although it’s not a well-regarded machine, by all accounts, it holds many happy memories and will provide a chance to tinker. (There will be future questions about sensible upgrades, what components to use, and how to do it.)

I have been looking for a sports or touring bike for solo riding – to get fit (I’ve been thinking about a turbo trainer too – so it could also be used for that)
Question.
I’ve just bought a Raleigh Meteor which I fear is too small for me. I am 6’ 5” with a 36” inside leg.
The seat tube is 25”, top tube is 21.5”.
The (short) seat post fully extended places the top of the saddle 6” above the top tube, the bars are at their maximum 4” above. I find the position too cramped.
1. Is the frame too small for me?
2. Or will fitting a longer seat post and stem ease the problem?
3. Will it be a too much of a compromise; am I better off replacing it?

If the answer is to replace the Meteor what marques/models/sizes should I be looking for and where. I understand that quality comes with a price, but there is a law of diminishing returns and I am, unfortunately, on a budget. Large frames seem as common as hens’ teeth, hand-made out of unobtanium and very expensive. Older, cosmetically challenged cycles, in need of a service and TLC therefore are attractive.
Thanks for reading his.

Regards,

Alyn


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:55 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Welcome to Retrobike!

At 6ft5in, an off-the-peg frame that measures 25in is probably about as suitable as you're going to get (most off-the-peg ranges go up to 24 or 25 in) - anything bigger and it's a custom job from a framebuilder, although a long mountain bike seatpost will help matters too. A long handlebar stem (I've seen quite a few that go up to 14cm long) will help on the reach front, but get a reputable one in a decent grade of material otherwise you may find it too flexy to give good bike handling.

For older secondhand bikes, you can't really go wrong with something in Reynolds 531 steel tubing - Peugeot, Raleigh, Nigel Dean, British Eagle or Dawes models from the mid 80s to early 90s are a safe bet if you can get one at a good price (if you want a "proper" touring bike, Dawes in particular will be worth a look) - they all made "training" type 531 frames which will take mudguards and can be pressed into service for touring if needed. Raleigh also made a variety of decent training-type bikes and frames in Reynolds 501 steel tubing (a slightly lower grade) which will be a bit heavier but are a good beginner's bike, and again will easily take a set of guards for wet-weather rides. Frames of that era will also, by and large, take modern parts as stuff wears out and needs renewing.

David


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:03 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:47 pm
Posts: 11
A trip to my LBS and a couple of new bits then!

Thanks for the advice.

Alyn


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:11 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8209
Location: New Forest, UK
Just one thing to say. While 501 is seen as a lower grade of tubing, it is because it is thicker and has cruder butting than 531. The metal alloy is the same. For a very large frame, the thicker pipes may be exactly what you need to keep it stiff.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:15 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
Posts: 2369
BTW, where exactly in Warwckshire, having spent several years there i can assure you that some of the LBS's should be avoided like the plague.

If you can give us a town/village/idea, someone may be able to point you in the right direction of a well regarded LBS, rather than the other sort........

They will also be a mine of information, and should be able to help with parts selection and suchlike.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:24 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
hamster wrote:
Just one thing to say. While 501 is seen as a lower grade of tubing, it is because it is thicker and has cruder butting than 531. The metal alloy is the same. For a very large frame, the thicker pipes may be exactly what you need to keep it stiff.


Metallurgical chemist's hat on here....501 and 531 aren't the same thing; 501 steel's main alloying elements are molybdenum and chromium, for 531 it's molybdenum and manganese (also, 531 is seamless and made from a solid billet of steel, whereas 501 tubes are shaped and welded from flat plate). Different elements, but the end goal of making a more durable steel is the same I guess.

'Scuse the pedantry. :oops:

David


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:40 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:47 pm
Posts: 11
I'm in Rugby, Thorntons, Paddox and a couple of other small LBS - I have no idea what they are like though. Recommendations positive and negative in open forum or by PM would be useful.

Just realised I typed Meteor............. It's a Mercury - The Pink one -in 18-23 Raleigh steel.

Regards

Alyn


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:00 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8209
Location: New Forest, UK
David B wrote:
hamster wrote:
Just one thing to say. While 501 is seen as a lower grade of tubing, it is because it is thicker and has cruder butting than 531. The metal alloy is the same. For a very large frame, the thicker pipes may be exactly what you need to keep it stiff.


Metallurgical chemist's hat on here....501 and 531 aren't the same thing; 501 steel's main alloying elements are molybdenum and chromium, for 531 it's molybdenum and manganese (also, 531 is seamless and made from a solid billet of steel, whereas 501 tubes are shaped and welded from flat plate). Different elements, but the end goal of making a more durable steel is the same I guess.

'Scuse the pedantry. :oops:

David


I didn't know that David - the strength data in Tony Oliver's book is the same as 531. I learn something every day!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:11 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
Posts: 2369
Hunterliney wrote:
I'm in Rugby,
Ah, i'm well out of date as to Rugby bike shops, not lived there since the early 90s.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:38 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
hamster wrote:
David B wrote:
hamster wrote:
Just one thing to say. While 501 is seen as a lower grade of tubing, it is because it is thicker and has cruder butting than 531. The metal alloy is the same. For a very large frame, the thicker pipes may be exactly what you need to keep it stiff.


Metallurgical chemist's hat on here....501 and 531 aren't the same thing; 501 steel's main alloying elements are molybdenum and chromium, for 531 it's molybdenum and manganese (also, 531 is seamless and made from a solid billet of steel, whereas 501 tubes are shaped and welded from flat plate). Different elements, but the end goal of making a more durable steel is the same I guess.

'Scuse the pedantry. :oops:

David


I didn't know that David - the strength data in Tony Oliver's book is the same as 531. I learn something every day!


Glad it was useful info rather than pure nit-picking! Actually, IIRC I think the tensile strength data on the official Reynolds website is/was identical for 531 and 525 (Cr-Mo steel like 501, but seamless fabrication) tubing.

David


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