This looks OK

Frame Job

Frame Job

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Last year we read that Philippe Gilbert is riding a 50cm (top tube of 535mm) BMC frame and he is 1.79m (5’10”) tall. Now it’s reported in Cyclingnews that Ritchie Porte’s Pinarello is a 46.5cm frame (top tube of 515mm) and Porte is 1.72m (5’8”) tall. He is no Nairo Quintana but somehow he is on Quintana’s old bike. Porte is just one inch shorter than the average Australian male, he is not short. And I used to think Sean Kelly’s bike was a tiny bit small for him.

Taylor Phinney was moved down from a 60cm to a 58cm frame when he joined BMC. He is 1.96m (6’5″) so it’s not a radical move, I can understand a very tall person wanting a less whippy frame, not that a BMC 60cm carbon frame is in any way loose. And they are getting the advice of people who know what they are doing, so there are some solid ideas here just ones I haven’t thought of.

What are the advantages of riding such small frames? Really, I don’t know and would like to understand. Ritchie Porte is 1.72m, rides a kid’s bike and has a 120mm stem on it, how is that a good bike fit? Has everything we learned about bike fitting been with a huge caveat: after many measurements and calculations, here is what frame you should ride but if you want to throw all that out the window and go down six centimeters, that works too. And yet, Mr Porte looks pretty good on it so tell me, oh wise ones, what am I missing?

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// Look Pro // Riding Ugly

  1. @Marko That has got to be one of the finest bikes to have graced this site; the cages and tubulars don’t detract at all. Chapeau.

    Rule #8 should be amended to cover the use of tubulars in hardman northern classic green or blue. (Road surfaces/weather conditions permitting of course).

    The bent seatpost, on the other hand, probably stops it from being the finest bike…

  2. @Marko Drooooool !!

  3. @Mikael Liddy

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @Marko

    Fuuuuuuck…

    What he said. When did that get added to the stable?

    Gracie. I acquired the frame in the fall. Just built it up in December. Thanks.

    @starclimber

    @Barracuda Thanks. What’s more, it weights 15 lbs.

    @Chris I’ll take the feedback on the seatpost. (as you know I have a long and storied history with seatposts). These frames take a 28.0 which is near impossible to find. Add to that find in the right length, not some aftermarket POS, and under the price of a testicle and it’s a hard bill to fit. And there was no way I was going to shim it given my past. So when I saw this in a 28 and the unorthodox way of achieving the setback I wanted for a price I could live with I snatched it up. It’s a Thomson Masterpiece which is fitting quality with the rest of the bike. That said, should a Colnago 28.0 straight post in carbon ever show on ebay that doesn’t cost $300 I may buy it. Don’t even ask what I went through for that fork.

  4. @Marko

    @VeloSix Touché

    1 / 6

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    Definitely a fine looking steed, although I would have never guessed by the pix that its a 54cm.  Seriously, it makes me question the size of my bike…. at 6’0″, I’ve taken it to be a 58cm, 110mm, which I paid heavy to have a pro fit performed

  5. @Marko Having seen the photos your recent population burst on FB, I’d say you could up the price to two testicles for  a Colnago 28.0 straight post in carbon.

  6. @VeloSix It’s a 59 so your logic still holds

    @Chris Coffeespit! I can afford to throw a kid in there now too with my second ‘nad.

  7. @marko

    @VeloSix It’s a 59 so your logic still holds

    @Chris Coffeespit! I can afford to throw a kid in there now too with my second ‘nad.

    Oops, it was posters I was mixing up….  Had to go back and read them again….  Too many windows open… poor attention span. @lucky is the lurch riding a 54cm.

  8. @Chris

    @Marko That has got to be one of the finest bikes to have graced this site; the cages and tubulars don’t detract at all. Chapeau.

    Rule #8 should be amended to cover the use of tubulars in hardman northern classic green or blue. (Road surfaces/weather conditions permitting of course).

    The bent seatpost, on the other hand, probably stops it from being the finest bike…

    Vittoria Evo Pave CG if I’m not mistaken.  I use them on my winter bike.  Tough as nails.

  9. @edster99 You’re not mistaken

  10. @edster99 Indeed. Awesome on the pave and essential on the pot-holed shite around my neck of the woods.

  11. @marko

    @Chris Coffeespit! I can afford to throw a kid in there now too with my second ‘nad.

    That might be taking Rule #11 a bit too far!

  12. I’ve always had a soft spot for Colnagos – having had an all-steel Colnago Super back in the 80s. Marko, that is a gorgeous bike – just the right balance of black with yellow accents. I have similar old school cages on my #2. They do the job and are cheap.

  13. @Nate In fairness (regarding Ryder’s handlebar position), one thing that we’ve not talked about is the fact that “riding on the hoods” is the new “riding in the drops”.  There’s massively more saddle-to-bar drop amongst pros than there used to be in, say the Prophet’s era, but it also seems like many pros spend more time on the hoods than they ever used to.  For that matter, most handlebars are relatively flat behind the hoods rather than having the hoods partway down the curve of the bars.

  14. @ChrisO

    @ScottyCycles62

    Damn. I’m 6’2 and ride a 63cm frame with a 100mm stem. If I tried to ride a 60 I’d be balled up and my knees would get in the way when pedaling in a turn.

    Not if you have sufficient saddle height.

    I’m an inch taller than you and riding a frame 7cm smaller with a 120mm stem.

    I’m curious to know your more precise dimensions (inseam, arm-length, torso?) and bike choices. I’m 188cm, which I’ve been told equates to 6’2.

    I still have my first (and sadly, still-only) road bike which was the shop-“fitted” 58 (classic geo), which indeed does fit fine, but I’ve slowly removed all spacers and still find myself ~40deg from horizontal. Not good – going to try a -30deg stem soon. Had a ride on my step-father’s T-Mobile Giant TCR, which is a Medium, and found myself quite comfortable with that bike and a 130mm stem.

    On the other hand, my TT bike is nominally a size 60 (and is indeed a huge beast) but, with a slammed stem and low-profile bars, I’ve got 19cm of drop and a flat back. It doesn’t get more aggro for a non-UCI position, and between a slammed Speed Concept XL or a pedestaled L, upgrade choices are too many. Bike sizing is a confusing affair.

  15. @cognition

    @Nate In fairness (regarding Ryder’s handlebar position), one thing that we’ve not talked about is the fact that “riding on the hoods” is the new “riding in the drops”. There’s massively more saddle-to-bar drop amongst pros than there used to be in, say The Prophet’s era, but it also seems like many pros spend more time on the hoods than they ever used to. For that matter, most handlebars are relatively flat behind the hoods rather than having the hoods partway down the curve of the bars.

    That’s also a technology-influenced thing. When downtube shifters were all you had, the best option was to keep your hands on the drops at all times, near the shifters. Accordingly, the drops were positioned so you could spend your day in them.

    With the advent of STI shifters and especially Di2, pros no longer need that, and could lower the hoods to that position and keep the drops for special times – breakaways, sprints or whatever required a slightly less comfortable, but faster, position.

    Also, look at the old pros – all of them with their forearms completely horizontal. Modern pros ride with their arms nearly straight down (Ryder is a good example). Both end up with their upper body in a similar, flat position, but the old position depends on core strength a bit more. On the other hand, locked wrists are worse dampers.

  16. @Nate

    @VeloSix Straight elbows — the drops are too low for him.

    Actually, he’s nicked @frank’s Cervelo.  The grimace is a result of popping two neck vertebra through having to extend so much.

  17. @Dan_R

    @Mikael Liddy

    @artman @scaler911 @Dan_R was really cool getting a chance to chat to Darren Baum over pizza & beers last week when he was in town for the TDU.

    Told a story about Cuddles in his Lotto days when Canyon couldn’t build a bike that gave him the fit he wanted. Cadel came back to Geelong & got Darren to put a couple of frames together for him & have them painted white, tucked them under his arm and flew back to Europe. He marched in to the Canyon offices and basically told them to make something to match, otherwise he’d get them painted up to look like Canyons & would ride them instead.

    That’s awesome! “Here! Make this!”

    BMC are obviously a lot more accommodating in that regard: Custom fork assembly with integrated bars for Cuddles!

    http://www.bmctempo.com/every-second-counts-customizing-cadels-tm01/?lang=en

  18. @tessar Yes; I was trying to make the point that with a flat back and horizontal forearms, a pro’s hands now often hit the hoods, while a pro in the 70’s with a flat back and horizontal forearms would be riding in the drops.  I take your point, though. about handlebar-based shifting making it more likely or possible.

    I miss the flexibility of my late teens and early twenties.  I’ll have to work on getting back to a flat lower back…

  19. @wiscot

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Colnagos – having had an all-steel Colnago Super back in the 80s. Marko, that is a gorgeous bike – just the right balance of black with yellow accents. I have similar old school cages on my #2. They do the job and are cheap.

    That’s just what the owner of a Ferrari wants to hear…that his mirrors are cheap!

  20. @The Pressure

    @wiscot

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Colnagos – having had an all-steel Colnago Super back in the 80s. Marko, that is a gorgeous bike – just the right balance of black with yellow accents. I have similar old school cages on my #2. They do the job and are cheap.

    That’s just what the owner of a Ferrari wants to hear…that his mirrors are cheap!

    Dammit! What I meant was, compared to some of the ridiculous prices being charged for carbon cages (the kind that would in fact be appropriate for a steed of this quality), it’s refreshing that Marko has saved beaucoup $$ and gone for a pair of classic – yet still do the job 100% – cages.

  21. @wiscot These are the stainless ones to boot (inox model), opposed to the regular alloy ones. The stainless are lighter (not a big deal as I could afford to lose more than a few bidon cages worth off my mid section these days), don’t mar up bidons (stainless), are prettier (subjective) because they are mat, much thinner gage wire (even cooler), and closer to the price of a carbon cage but still a good 15 bucks less than the average carbon one. And they rarely if ever fail because they’re designed right and the stainless can be bent for a tighter fit. Oh, and they’re Italian just like your ferrari.

  22. @marko

    @wiscot Just teasing gents!!  Sure and she is one fine whip.  (of which i’m envious…my size too in case you’re tired of her awesomeness!!)

  23. @Marko

    @The Pressure More like an homage to awesome bottle cages and awesome tires made for the cobbles. Really nothing random about it. All things carefully chosen after some deliberation.

    Thanx, I love the choice. And it looks better and holds better. The one cage only somewhat disappears against the black seat tube.

  24. @unversio I just bought a pair of those Elite Coke bidons for this build. I thought it would be a great throwback. They’re shaped weirdly though and don’t seat well into the cage. How in the hell could Elite get that wrong? They make both the cages and bidons. I’ll still use them but they leave a lot to be desired.

  25. @marko They’re good to destroy — and the valve is good.

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