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pierce 06-30-2010 12:19 AM

all that fancy stuff aside, there's lots of good steels, not just the expensive euro stuff... for instance, tange double butted as used on better specialized, miyata, fuji frames, and so forth. good frames have forged tips for the wheels, and be light and stiff but springy

there's a lot of bike frames out there that are complete and total crap, too. heavy soft steel, stamped ends, dead ride. you can't go by the brand, you kinda need a clue what it is, or how to recognize a good frame from bad one.

decent wheels are important too. spokes must be stainless, and ideally double butted, tension should be even, rim and brake surface smooth, and bearings must be good quality. 700c rims should be double wall. I'm not a fan of the deep V things with all the crap written on them, gimme plain thin silver hoops any day.

as a budget example, the taiwan circa 1999 wheels I got with this $45 Diamondback aren't half bad. joytech steel hubs (the cheap kind) but with good quality bearing surfaces. they were touchier to setup than high end alloy cone hubs.

anyways, lotsa good asian steel bikes made in the 80s/90s from the better factories and brands. that Trek 612 the guy turned into a fixie a few pages back, I would have fixed the gears, and used it as a road bike.

Zodiac 06-30-2010 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pierce
all that fancy stuff aside, there's lots of good steels, not just the expensive euro stuff... for instance, tange double butted as used on better specialized, miyata, fuji frames, and so forth. good frames have forged tips for the wheels, and be light and stiff but springy

there's a lot of bike frames out there that are complete and total crap, too. heavy soft steel, stamped ends, dead ride. you can't go by the brand, you kinda need a clue what it is, or how to recognize a good frame from bad one.

decent wheels are important too. spokes must be stainless, and ideally double butted, tension should be even, rim and brake surface smooth, and bearings must be good quality. 700c rims should be double wall. I'm not a fan of the deep V things with all the crap written on them, gimme plain thin silver hoops any day.

as a budget example, the taiwan circa 1999 wheels I got with this $45 Diamondback aren't half bad. joytech steel hubs (the cheap kind) but with good quality bearing surfaces. they were touchier to setup than high end alloy cone hubs.

anyways, lotsa good asian steel bikes made in the 80s/90s from the better factories and brands. that Trek 612 the guy turned into a fixie a few pages back, I would have fixed the gears, and used it as a road bike.

If you're talking about mine (the Trek conversion) i turned it into a single speed. I did that because it's a lock up bike, outside in brooklyn, with a giant Krypto chain. I already have road bikes, and this was to be a simple but elegant grocery getter, or ride to the bar rig.

Also the derailleurs were beyond repair and I wasn't putting anything but sweat, grease and tires into it.

The frame is nice though, smooth roller, good shape as a lugged steel. We also determined through that Trek ID site from the serial # that it was a custom frame (1979). Renyolds.

Dahveed 06-30-2010 06:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EvilGenius
I'm basically curious about the geometry for a roadbike for my size.

6'1" with 32" inseam.

I want a basic strong simple frame.

You make it sound simple. Like there is a magic formula for the perfect bike. Frame geometry is a complex and often discussed concept and it is also dependent on frame material, the desired ride characteristics and the intended use.

Also, not every manufacturer measures their bikes in a consistent manner. With compact frames, there is some wiggle room as to the exact measurements. Some use a projected top tube length, others don't.

Go to the LBS (actually several of them) and look at various models. Ride bunch of them and then you can decide.

ducnut 06-30-2010 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbasa
No problems with bunching at all. Just be careful to get them in a length that allows for decent pedal form.

I figured there might be some things to look out for. I'll need to nose around STL shops, as nobody carries MTB apparel, around here. I don't want to dick around with returns/shipping with the internet.

I wear a certain brand of work shorts, as leg length is critical for someone like me who does a lot of climbing and squating. Too long a short hangs up on the kneecap.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbasa
Don't forget chamois cream!

TMI Moment: Now that I'm "of a certain age" some of my boy parts tend to stick to my leg. Chamois cream keeps that from happening. Worth the money to eliminate any potential chafing issues.

I never ride without it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by EvilGenius
I'm basically curious about the geometry for a roadbike for my size.

6'1" with 32" inseam.

I want a basic strong simple frame.

You may consider something from Surly. Most everything they have is basic steel and most are in the $1100-$1500 range. Many LD riders buy the Long Haul Trucker and hit the road on cross-country trips, in out-of-the-box spec. So, must be fairly decent stuff, as they look for simple and reliable bikes.

As "pierce" suggested, a 58cm is probably a good start. Or, a 60cm, if you like a little more room. I always error on the smaller side, as I like a tighter feeling bike. Again, you might test ride some bikes to see what you prefer.

Make sure to look at geometry specs for top tube length. Many manufacturers use the seat tube length for the advertised frame size.

I'm a happy owner of a Specialized Tricross Comp. Versus a true road bike, it has opened up a lot more opportunities to ride. If I spot a dirt road or path, I take it. I'm just having a blast with the bike.

Zodiac 06-30-2010 07:06 AM

You can't beat a Surly for the price, their full builds are a great deal!


So are Raleighs.

pierce 06-30-2010 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zodiac
You can't beat a Surly for the price, their full builds are a great deal!


So are Raleighs.

evilgenius is riding a $150 Target schwinn comfort-bike. I'm guessing he's not quite ready for a Surly or another custom frame (rock lobster, echelon, waterford, 100s more little boutique companies build nice(!) custom steel frames in the $1000+ range for frame+forks).

I was trying to give him some info he could use to intelligently shop for an oldie-but-goodie on craigslist or whatever.

Zodiac 06-30-2010 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pierce
evilgenius is riding a $150 Target schwinn comfort-bike. I'm guessing he's not quite ready for a Surly or another custom frame (rock lobster, echelon, waterford, 100s more little boutique companies build nice(!) custom steel frames in the $1000+ range for frame+forks).

I was trying to give him some info he could use to intelligently shop for an oldie-but-goodie on craigslist or whatever.


I've seen some good cheap deals for Surly's on CL, sometimes 1/2 price of new.

Also, just to clarify for EG, the Surly isn't a custom frame - just a good chinese chromoly double butted tank.

A Surly frame (new) alone is only around 300+ bucks.

pierce 06-30-2010 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zodiac
I've seen some good cheap deals for Surly's on CL, sometimes 1/2 price of new.

Also, just to clarify for EG, the Surly isn't a custom frame - just a good chinese chromoly double butted tank.

A Surly frame (new) alone is only around 300+ bucks.

so if you were to custom build a bike for that, based on what I've been finding parts for, and assuming you don't want to go beater parts, I'd expect something like...
  • $300 - frame
  • $300+ - wheelset (probably $400 for decent-not-fancy 36-spoke touring rims)
  • $100 - front,rear Tiagra derailleur (reasonable inexpensive road parts)
  • $100 - Sugino crankset
  • $25 - bottom bracket
  • $50 - cheap but effective V-brakes
  • $60 - decent seat
  • $30 - seatpost
  • $25 - headset
  • $70 - decent road bars
  • $100 - road brakelevers+shifters
  • $10 - cables etc

we're somewhere up around $1200 and this bike just has cheap serviceable bits on it. its REAL easy to spend triple those amounts on fancier kit like Ultegra.

building your own wheels from, say, Velocity Dyad or Synergy rims (classic look, modern materials == win win), you could easily spend $150 on a pair of rims, $72 on 36*2 good spokes at $1 each, and $150 for shimano 105 (midrange) hubs... see, thats $400 already before labor (figure about $100 shop cost to build two wheels by someone who's good).

Uncle Pollo 06-30-2010 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ducnut
I figured there might be some things to look out for. I'll need to nose around STL shops, as nobody carries MTB apparel, around here. I don't want to dick around with returns/shipping with the internet.

I wear a certain brand of work shorts, as leg length is critical for someone like me who does a lot of climbing and squating. Too long a short hangs up on the kneecap.



I never ride without it.




You may consider something from Surly. Most everything they have is basic steel and most are in the $1100-$1500 range. Many LD riders buy the Long Haul Trucker and hit the road on cross-country trips, in out-of-the-box spec. So, must be fairly decent stuff, as they look for simple and reliable bikes.

As "pierce" suggested, a 58cm is probably a good start. Or, a 60cm, if you like a little more room. I always error on the smaller side, as I like a tighter feeling bike. Again, you might test ride some bikes to see what you prefer.

Make sure to look at geometry specs for top tube length. Many manufacturers use the seat tube length for the advertised frame size.

I'm a happy owner of a Specialized Tricross Comp. Versus a true road bike, it has opened up a lot more opportunities to ride. If I spot a dirt road or path, I take it. I'm just having a blast with the bike.

I have the same measurements than EV (6'1 and 32 inseam) and a 60 is going to be too long.

Unless he goes for the sweep back bars.

Zodiac 06-30-2010 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pierce
so if you were to custom build a bike for that, based on what I've been finding parts for, and assuming you don't want to go beater parts, I'd expect something like...
  • $300 - frame
  • $300+ - wheelset (probably $400 for decent-not-fancy 36-spoke touring rims)
  • $100 - front,rear Tiagra derailleur (reasonable inexpensive road parts)
  • $100 - Sugino crankset
  • $25 - bottom bracket
  • $50 - cheap but effective V-brakes
  • $60 - decent seat
  • $30 - seatpost
  • $25 - headset
  • $70 - decent road bars
  • $100 - road brakelevers+shifters
  • $10 - cables etc

we're somewhere up around $1200 and this bike just has cheap serviceable bits on it. its REAL easy to spend triple those amounts on fancier kit like Ultegra.

building your own wheels from, say, Velocity Dyad or Synergy rims (classic look, modern materials == win win), you could easily spend $150 on a pair of rims, $72 on 36*2 good spokes at $1 each, and $150 for shimano 105 (midrange) hubs... see, thats $400 already before labor (figure about $100 shop cost to build two wheels by someone who's good).


Yes, I do know all this. I only pointed him towards Surly as you can get a decent bike for around 1k fully built new, or one for around $400 to $600 used on craigslist or ebay.

Bulletproof, durable, easy to work on, easily modified for different uses (all their frames accept larger tires) etc.

pierce 06-30-2010 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ducnut
I'm a happy owner of a Specialized Tricross Comp. Versus a true road bike, it has opened up a lot more opportunities to ride. If I spot a dirt road or path, I take it. I'm just having a blast with the bike.

it looks like an awesome bike, but I'm scared to death of carbon fiber used in a structural fashion, like the forks and seatpost. I also wonder how those would hold up under a heavier rider...

what do those cost? I'm guessing $2000-3000 for the Comp model?

EvilGenius 06-30-2010 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pierce
so if you were to custom build a bike for that, based on what I've been finding parts for, and assuming you don't want to go beater parts, I'd expect something like...
  • $300 - frame
  • $300+ - wheelset (probably $400 for decent-not-fancy 36-spoke touring rims)
  • $100 - front,rear Tiagra derailleur (reasonable inexpensive road parts)
  • $100 - Sugino crankset
  • $25 - bottom bracket
  • $50 - cheap but effective V-brakes
  • $60 - decent seat
  • $30 - seatpost
  • $25 - headset
  • $70 - decent road bars
  • $100 - road brakelevers+shifters
  • $10 - cables etc

we're somewhere up around $1200 and this bike just has cheap serviceable bits on it. its REAL easy to spend triple those amounts on fancier kit like Ultegra.

building your own wheels from, say, Velocity Dyad or Synergy rims (classic look, modern materials == win win), you could easily spend $150 on a pair of rims, $72 on 36*2 good spokes at $1 each, and $150 for shimano 105 (midrange) hubs... see, thats $400 already before labor (figure about $100 shop cost to build two wheels by someone who's good).

:huh

Askel 06-30-2010 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajmaki
Hitting the MTU trails tomorrow for the first time on the new steed,


I'd offer to ride with you tonight, but I gotta get home and pack for a 4 day tour down to Marinette, WI this weekend.

Enjoy the new ride. Shoot me a PM if you want to go riding sometime.

pierce 06-30-2010 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EvilGenius
:huh

you need to define better what it is you're looking for, then.

my old road bike cost about $400 in 1975. I'd venture thats about $2000 in today's money. it was nowhere near top of the line, the high end road bikes were close to $1000 then, and the equivalent new bikes today are up around $8000.

I *think* what you should be looking for in a budget price range is a 80s/90s steel Japanese touring bike, such as a Fuji, Miyata, Centurion, etc, with a good tange or whatever double butted cro-mo frame, and reasonable grade parts. try and avoid 27" wheels as the tire selection is really limited, and stick with 700c wheels. I'd suspect a 23 or 24" aka 58 or 60cm size would be about right given your stated size. In the old days, size of conventional frames with horizontal top tubes was measured from the center of the BB to the seat bolt, and the top tube measured from the center of the seat tube to the center of the head tube was pretty much the same length, +/- a little according to the whims of the builder.

a touring frame will have fender/rack points on the dropouts, and will have clearance for fatter tires and fenders. a race frame will have shorter chain stays, the back wheel will practically touch the seat tube, and there will be no fender points or clearance. The key metric here is the length of the chain stay, a short stay frame has very little clearance, a longer one has more.

a good steel frame has a lively ride without being 'whippy'. a whippy frame is one that flexes excessively side to side as you pedal hard. the old test was to stand beside the bike, hold the bars and seat, lean it away from you, put a toe on the crank and press it away from you, and feel how much it flexes. some springy flex is good, too much is bad.

given a particular premium tube, like Tange Champion #1, the 3 main tubes will be made of this, but the stays and forks may or may not be made of the same, depending on the grade of the frame (cheaper frame will have cheaper stays, forks).

in addition to the size of the frame (length of seat tube, length of top tube), and the length of the stays, the other major factor is the fork angle and trail. this effects how the bike steers... too steep and the bike is very maneuverable but twitchy. too raked and the bike is stable but has lazy steering. very stable is good if you're going to go touring with front panniers!

EvilGenius 06-30-2010 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pierce
you need to define better what it is you're looking for, then.

my old road bike cost about $400 in 1975. I'd venture thats about $2000 in today's money. it was nowhere near top of the line, the high end road bikes were close to $1000 then, and the equivalent new bikes today are up around $8000.

I *think* what you should be looking for in a budget price range is a 80s/90s steel Japanese touring bike, such as a Fuji, Miyata, Centurion, etc, with a good tange or whatever double butted cro-mo frame, and reasonable grade parts. try and avoid 27" wheels as the tire selection is really limited, and stick with 700c wheels. I'd suspect a 23 or 24" aka 58 or 60cm size would be about right given your stated size. In the old days, size of conventional frames with horizontal top tubes was measured from the center of the BB to the seat bolt, and the top tube measured from the center of the seat tube to the center of the head tube was pretty much the same length, +/- a little according to the whims of the builder.

a touring frame will have fender/rack points on the dropouts, and will have clearance for fatter tires and fenders. a race frame will have shorter chain stays, the back wheel will practically touch the seat tube, and there will be no fender points or clearance. The key metric here is the length of the chain stay, a short stay frame has very little clearance, a longer one has more.

a good steel frame has a lively ride without being 'whippy'. a whippy frame is one that flexes excessively side to side as you pedal hard. the old test was to stand beside the bike, hold the bars and seat, lean it away from you, put a toe on the crank and press it away from you, and feel how much it flexes. some springy flex is good, too much is bad.

given a particular premium tube, like Tange Champion #1, the 3 main tubes will be made of this, but the stays and forks may or may not be made of the same, depending on the grade of the frame (cheaper frame will have cheaper stays, forks).

in addition to the size of the frame (length of seat tube, length of top tube), and the length of the stays, the other major factor is the fork angle and trail. this effects how the bike steers... too steep and the bike is very maneuverable but twitchy. too raked and the bike is stable but has lazy steering. very stable is good if you're going to go touring with front panniers!

Part of my question was more or less when someone who builds frames decides to do it.

How do they figure out the lengths and angles? Which obviously depends on the rider.

I'm also wondering what the length of the top tube should be on my bike.

Maybe it's right, maybe it's not.


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