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  #1  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:17 PM
aellaguno aellaguno is offline
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Vintage bike fitting

Hi, so I would love to hear some thoughts on how lenient one can be with steel fitting. Keeping in mind, that when purchasing a vintage bike, Im not going looong distances or riding the bike a lot, Its more of a coffee bike, easy riding, because im too fearful of having the steel frame paint chipped. If I normally ride a 55/56 frame, could I go as low as a 53/54 frame? knowing that it wont fit perfectly, but will at least be rideable? I prefer to risk the comfort side of the riding, but purchase a NOS vintage frame. Or Im i taking the wrong path?

Thanks for your opinions,

ALL
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:18 PM
nate2351 nate2351 is offline
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I think you're overthinking this. If you normally ride a 55/56 then look for a 55/56.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:11 AM
rustychisel rustychisel is offline
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Pretty much this, but maybe it depends how vintage'. For instance, if you bought a 1960s frame with classic 72ยบ seattube and headtube angles, you might find yourself sitting 25mm back from your usual position on a 'newer geometry' bike. This might be adjustable, and might not.

All things being equal (almost certainly not the case) you could use a 53/54cm toptube frame and even things out with a 120~130mm stem, but I'm not sure why you'd bother.
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:16 AM
Peter P. Peter P. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate2351 View Post
I think you're overthinking this. If you normally ride a 55/56 then look for a 55/56.
This.

Pick a frame with a top tube that matches your current properly fitting bike, and you're done.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2018, 09:44 PM
Kontact Kontact is offline
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The head tube on a 53 is going to be 2cm lower than a 55 and 1cm closer to the saddle. Making up the reach is easy, but height might not be. Take a look at your current 55 bike to see how weird looking the bike would be if the top of the headset were another 2cm down from the bars.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2018, 01:25 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aellaguno View Post
Hi, so I would love to hear some thoughts on how lenient one can be with steel fitting. Keeping in mind, that when purchasing a vintage bike, Im not going looong distances or riding the bike a lot, Its more of a coffee bike, easy riding, because im too fearful of having the steel frame paint chipped. If I normally ride a 55/56 frame, could I go as low as a 53/54 frame? knowing that it wont fit perfectly, but will at least be rideable? I prefer to risk the comfort side of the riding, but purchase a NOS vintage frame. Or Im i taking the wrong path?

Thanks for your opinions,

ALL
I don't think you are overthinking it at all...it's good to ask the questions before spending the cash...someday I'll figure that out

Err.

So, what frame do you have now? Or if it's custom, what are the measurements? We need HTA/STA, TT, ST, and HT...

Do you intend to use a quill stem or an adapter?

How vintage is vintage for you?
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2018, 08:15 PM
zennmotion zennmotion is offline
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.

Last edited by zennmotion; 05-29-2018 at 08:25 PM. Reason: grrr stupid computer. repeated post
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2018, 08:19 PM
zennmotion zennmotion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aellaguno View Post
Hi, so I would love to hear some thoughts on how lenient one can be with steel fitting. Keeping in mind, that when purchasing a vintage bike, Im not going looong distances or riding the bike a lot, Its more of a coffee bike, easy riding, because im too fearful of having the steel frame paint chipped. If I normally ride a 55/56 frame, could I go as low as a 53/54 frame? knowing that it wont fit perfectly, but will at least be rideable? I prefer to risk the comfort side of the riding, but purchase a NOS vintage frame. Or Im i taking the wrong path?

Thanks for your opinions,

ALL
A "coffee" bike's paint will be damaged more by locking it up than by riding it. A bike that's too small rides worse than a bike that's too big- within limits of course. A NOS "vintage" bike will be more difficult to find and will be more expensive than a gently used bike- 55/56cm is easy to find (I know, I look often and I need to back away from temptation frequently). Less well known vintage frames can be found very inexpensively compared with names like DeRosa, Colnago, Merckx, Pinarello and are often just as well designed and built, and it can be very nice to have something unique that you've researched. Damn, now you made me look-- Ebay search term "vintage steel frame 55 56" will keep you occupied for a long time. Just now I found a Dave Moulton/Fuso frame for a good price-I'd love to have it! One of the great American builders from when steel was still a race bike. Must back away now... I can guarantee that at least 10 people in here will look at it in the next 10 minutes even if I don't provide the link. Find it yerself...

Oh, hell, here's the link- better that someone in here buys it who can appreciate it. Just the right amount of patina, and it's white so easy touch up if you insist. https://www.ebay.com/itm/56cm-Fuso-C...UAAOSw8NNa11yA

And here is an early Tom Kellogg Ross Signature at a price that should be a crime https://www.ebay.com/p/Vintage-Ross-....c100005.m1851 I had one of these once, the fit wasn't right for me (tried to fit on a 54, but need a 56- sound familiar? ^^^) but the workmanship, lug filing and paint were much superior to popular Italian frames from the same period.

Last edited by zennmotion; 05-29-2018 at 08:38 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2018, 12:25 AM
Wilkinson4 Wilkinson4 is offline
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I have been trying to remember where I read this and finally got it. Getting old!

https://ruedatropical.wordpress.com/...i-to-contador/

A fist full of seat post was common until manufactures started to move toward sloping top tubes, other materials and t-shirt sizing. But, in the end contact points on a bike have not changed all that much for the vast majority of us. Unless you are 20 yo and have the flexibility of a Romanian gymnast a slammed stem isn't the norm. Anyway, contact points matter. I think Dave Kirk has a great thread on that here.

Mike
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Last edited by Wilkinson4; 06-09-2018 at 12:29 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2018, 12:46 AM
Wilkinson4 Wilkinson4 is offline
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And a couple more really good links on the discussion

http://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com/...positions.html
http://davesbikeblog.squarespace.com...n-and-now.html


Mike
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2018, 10:07 AM
aellaguno aellaguno is offline
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Great information and posts, thanks for sharing everyone.
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