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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With my general functionality declining in recent years, I find myself unable to train as much as I'd like. Even though I do work on my strength and flexibility, I would like to switch to a more comfortable frame.

The aims are:

  • Less reach, as I feel my shoulders would benefit from the arms being less extended and more vertical (already am on an 80 mm stem)
  • Lower saddle height, because of a pelvic instability/LLD that I've never been able to fully address, and has gotten worse.
  • Possibly higher bars if the reduction in drop from lower saddle height isn't enough to address tension in the upper back.
Current frame:
Reach: 399 mm
Stack: 520 mm
Virtual top tube: 549 mm.
Fork cut to allow 20 mm of spacers.

Me:
Height: 176 cm.
Cycling inseam: 80-81 cm.

Current setup:
Saddle set back: ~50 mm (STA is 74 degrees)
Saddle height: ~720 mm. The saddle won't go lower, and I'd like to try it so, see above for the reason.
Drop: down to ~50 mm from ~90 (2013).
Reach to stem: 510 mm.
Bars: FSA, 75 mm reach; SRAM levers.

Likes:
  • Preferably full carbon frame and fork, but not breaking the bank
  • Threaded BSA BB shell
  • Less aggressive geometry
    Think my preference here would be for a regular head tube height (140-150 mm) and a fork that can accommodate more spacers (like 40 mm, not just 10 or 20).
  • Standard seat mast, accepting round seat posts.
  • Internal cabling
    Looks cool, and I would imagine my rear brake cable would appreciate being shielded from sweat. Any pros/cons I should be aware of?
Personal inclinations, low priority:

  • Don't mind a little slope/curve in the top tube, but not a fan of very compact geometries or extremely curved top tubes.
  • Appreciate cleaner lines more than sculpted or muscular designs.
  • If not completely a brick aero-wise (traditional round tubes, or worse), that would be a plus.
  • Not a weight weenie, though affordable CF framesets seem reasonably light (the one currently in use is ~1500g).

From some research, most Ribble frames have transitioned to Press Fit, are no longer sold individually, and complete bikes offer little adjustment in terms of spacer height.

Planet X sells the RT-57 and RT-80 ticking most of my boxes. In the M size, these offer about 20 mm more stack than I have now, but reach is 385-388, only 10-15 mm less, thinking that I would rather be looking at something like 370-375.

Feeling like I could use some pointers! also open to Chinese options.
 

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I can't give specific advice but I think you will have a much wider choice of frames if you get a Praxis converter BB for a press fit frame. I use one with an Ultegra crank in a Z series Felt, the BB is 100% solid. There are other adapters which are well reviewed, the Praxis is the one I can heartily recommend.
 

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If you can use bigger tires than you use on your current frame that will give you a more comfortable frame without buying a new frame assuming you use good ones at the proper PSI.
Frames make a difference but if comfort is the goal you should focus on tires clearance (proper fit is a given).
 

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Carbon with a BSA is indeed rare these days. There are some signs this is changing, though. Have you considered a steel frame? Lots of options there.
 

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Current frame:
Reach: 399 mm
Stack: 520 mm
These are your most important dimensions and will make the most difference in your position. If these reach and stack measurements are correct, your current frame is very aggressive similar to that of a triathlon bike. I would recommend an endurance bike like the Cannondale Synapse or Trek Domane. If you go to their websites and look up their geometries, you will see quite a difference:

Cannondale Synapse Size 54:
Reach: 378
Stack: 570

Trek Domane Size 54:

Reach: 374
Stack: 575

You can get both these bikes starting at around $1,800. They are both full carbon and have round seatposts and internal cabling. Threaded BB shells are increasingly rare these days, so you will be hard pressed (pun intended) to find them. I'm not crazy about press fit bearings either, but it's where things are going.

Chinese frames? Don't go there unless you have your affairs in order. Seriously.
 

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I agree with what's been said here and will only add that you should be able to order the popular Canyon Endurace for a good price in a month or so. I also recommend checking out the Giant Defy and the new Fuji Gran Fondo if you can.
 

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I don't want to turn this thread about the OP's search for a new frame/bike into a debate over "Chinese frames" (as Lombard put it, while giving two examples of frames made in China that somehow weren't "Chinese frames").

But if it's helpful for the OP: Hongfu, Dengfu, and FlyXii all offer road framesets with BSA bottom bracket that will fit your needs. And while there are plenty of scammers offering counterfeits that everyone should avoid, those three companies have been selling to satisfied customers for many many years now. Personally I have over 15,000 miles on 4 different framesets from China – all trouble free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First, thanks for taking the time to reply, everybody.

If these reach and stack measurements are correct, your current frame is very aggressive similar to that of a triathlon bike.
The measurements are indeed correct - I validated them on the bike using levels and are matching the manufacturer's published geometry.

While it is a road frame, it has been designed for competitive use, and has been extensively used in UCI events across Europe, including big tours and classics.

I would recommend an endurance bike like the Cannondale Synapse or Trek Domane. If you go to their websites and look up their geometries, you will see quite a difference:
I'm sure those are plenty nice, but I'm afraid my budget for this year can't be stretched anywhere that far. Same goes for the Canyon Endurace that was recommended by another poster.

But if it's helpful for the OP: Hongfu, Dengfu, and FlyXii all offer road framesets with BSA bottom bracket that will fit your needs. And while there are plenty of scammers offering counterfeits that everyone should avoid, those three companies have been selling to satisfied customers for many many years now. Personally I have over 15,000 miles on 4 different framesets from China – all trouble free.
Problem is, I don't have any idea where to start? I looked up Hongfu and Dengfu before starting the thread, other than a rather bare showcase of models, I could no find no information on where or how to buy.

A quick eBay search did not return any relevant result from either Europe or International sellers.

Carbon with a BSA is indeed rare these days. There are some signs this is changing, though. Have you considered a steel frame? Lots of options there.
My beater has a steel frame. There are a number of reasons for my CF preference, one of which is, when ordering a frameset online, a CF one is less likely to be damaged during shipping, unlike a metallic frame which can be easily bent by rough handling, where CF would, in most instances, simply spring back into shape.

much wider choice of frames if you get a Praxis converter BB for a press fit frame. I use one with an Ultegra crank in a Z series Felt, the BB is 100% solid. There are other adapters which are well reviewed, the Praxis is the one I can heartily recommend.
No doubts about that, and I'm aware of Praxis; however, switching to Press Fit would mean, among other things, having to buy new tools and parts, and/or having to bring the bike to the LBS.

While I'm sure there ought to be plenty of fine bike mechanics around, I always seem to find myself dissatisfied with the quality of the work done in LBSs.

It seems rushed, at best, and mind-boggling building mistakes aside, nothing seem to ever be torqued to spec.

Beyond the grief, servicing the bikes at home also saves me a ton of time and some money.
 

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If your budget is limited and you want carbon, take a serious look at Giant and Fuji. They tend to offer some of the best bangs for the buck, particularly if you get the Fuji from Performance bike. I know people that have walked out that shop with all carbon, brand new 2016 Fuji SL, Fuji Transonic, and Fuji Gran Fondos for $1000 or less. Both also come with lifetime warranties.
 

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My beater has a steel frame. There are a number of reasons for my CF preference, one of which is, when ordering a frameset online, a CF one is less likely to be damaged during shipping, unlike a metallic frame which can be easily bent by rough handling, where CF would, in most instances, simply spring back into shape.
Huh, seriously?? CF cracks a lot easier than steel bends. Not to mention bikes are shipped across the pond to warehouses and then to bike shops all the time. I don't think many of them are damaged. And in the unlikely event that it is, any reputable online store will pay for return shipping. All you will lose it time.
 

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There used to be two popular bikes C-59 & the Dogma. Dogma is still threaded. Both are not exactly cheap. I've kind of wondered what I'd personally do if my current C-59 were to need replacing. I'd either bite the bullet and get a C-60 trying their hybrid solution or go to Seven and get a custom carbon frame with titanium lugs built to my spec, the extra weight would be negligible.
 

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No doubts about that, and I'm aware of Praxis; however, switching to Press Fit would mean, among other things, having to buy new tools and parts, and/or having to bring the bike to the LBS.

While I'm sure there ought to be plenty of fine bike mechanics around, I always seem to find myself dissatisfied with the quality of the work done in LBSs
I'm a home mechanic too. The Praxis needs 2x bottom bracket tools to fit (as the two sides screw together inside the BB shell), so you'd need to borrow or buy a second one; but apart from that needs nothing new. Fitting Shimano Ultegra was easy and I'm no expert. I think your SRAM should be fine too.
 

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if you can find someone that locally that uses the GURU fit system they can set it up to get you comfortable and pick frames that will get close to that fit for you. There's probably other fit systems that will do this, its just one that I'm aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
BTW I did some research on the Planet X frames mentioned above, and it looks like they're actually open mold Chinese frames themselves.

I'll have to do some more, as I've located some useful resources about shopping in China, that apply specifically to the country I live in, suggesting that ordering from PX may still be preferable.

I also have a question about headsets compatibility. PX seem to specify the FSA C-40 #42 for several frames they're selling - which they price at a rich €85. It's cheaper elsewhere, but still around €60.

I've seen other, much cheaper, headsets that seem equivalent: outer diameter, inner diameter, and angles. Would there be any problem swapping the C-40 for one of those?

If your budget is limited and you want carbon, take a serious look at Giant and Fuji. They tend to offer some of the best bangs for the buck, particularly if you get the Fuji from Performance bike. I know people that have walked out that shop with all carbon, brand new 2016 Fuji SL, Fuji Transonic, and Fuji Gran Fondos for $1000 or less. Both also come with lifetime warranties.
Can't buy from Performance as I am in Europe, I will have a look around though.

Broadly speaking I would prefer a frameset, even though complete bikes offer in most instances better value; a complete bike takes up more space than a frameset, and overall the expense can be lower in absolute terms.

I'm a home mechanic too. The Praxis needs 2x bottom bracket tools to fit (as the two sides screw together inside the BB shell), so you'd need to borrow or buy a second one; but apart from that needs nothing new. Fitting Shimano Ultegra was easy and I'm no expert. I think your SRAM should be fine too.
Cool, I wasn't aware of that: I'll be sure to take a better look at the instructions, then.

I like that it opens up the selection scope, but will have to think about it; it adds €80+ to the cost of the frame, and forces me into one brand: I have parts of a Shimano groupset, set aside, that I am planning to complete and put into use at some point.

Huh, seriously?? CF cracks a lot easier than steel bends. Not to mention bikes are shipped across the pond to warehouses and then to bike shops all the time. I don't think many of them are damaged. And in the unlikely event that it is, any reputable online store will pay for return shipping. All you will lose it time.
I've 'cold set' the steel frame of my beater and, admittedly, it wasn't super easy.

I did go through a truly awful experience with buying an alloy frame online, which was delivered with one of the rear triangles bent.

I've never dealt with feather-light CF frames, nor threw my disassembled CF frameset around to see what happens; from what I've read around, carbon frames are a lot more resilient and durable than most would assume, and what I've seen from crashes and other less than happy events over the years seemed to confirm this.

There are other reasons for my CF preference, as well, but the negative experience with that bike and the very positive one with carbon affected me.
 

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Bianchi Intenso:

  1. Carbon frame and fork.
  2. Comfortable ride because of Kevlar in fork and seat stays.
  3. threaded bottom bracket.
  4. internal cable routing.
  5. Frame geometry between endurance and race.
  6. Looks great in signature color Celeste blue.

I'm about the same height, 5' 9" and the size 53 cm fits me. Horizontal top tube about 53.5 cm so I don't feel stretched out with 110 mm stem.
 

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I've 'cold set' the steel frame of my beater and, admittedly, it wasn't super easy.

I did go through a truly awful experience with buying an alloy frame online, which was delivered with one of the rear triangles bent.

I've never dealt with feather-light CF frames, nor threw my disassembled CF frameset around to see what happens; from what I've read around, carbon frames are a lot more resilient and durable than most would assume, and what I've seen from crashes and other less than happy events over the years seemed to confirm this.

There are other reasons for my CF preference, as well, but the negative experience with that bike and the very positive one with carbon affected me.
When frame makers speak of "alloy", they mean aluminum. Aluminum is a totally different story than steel. Aluminum can dent, bend and even crack. CF is stronger than aluminum (able to tolerate tensile, compressive and torsional forces better). However, aluminum is tougher than CF (better able to tolerate blunt impact forces). Try hitting each one with a sledge hammer. You will damage the CF frame more easily than you will damage the aluminum frame.

Steel is stronger than either of the above in all respects. You would have to hit it pretty damn hard for it to dent much less bend. I haven't heard of a steel frame ever cracking unless it has advanced rust damage. The only drawbacks with steel are weight and possibility of rust.
 

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I like that it opens up the selection scope, but will have to think about it; it adds €80+ to the cost of the frame, and forces me into one brand: I have parts of a Shimano groupset, set aside, that I am planning to complete and put into use at some point.
What on earth are you talking about??

You can pretty much buy any frame on earth and find a way of fitting a Shimano crankset. (cue witty remarks).

And if the adapter comes with bearings, then you just saved the cost of buying them separately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What on earth are you talking about??
The Praxis for Shimano and SRAM are two different models. If you want to swap the crankset, then you need to buy a new one.

Never mind that I already have the bottom brackets: Shimano's costed me less than €10's, while SRAM's was about €20-25 IIRC: two Praxis adapters would cost me €160.

Unfortunately the Praxis is only compatible with 68 mm PressFit BB shells, which makes all of this a moot point anyway, as basically every PressFit shell frameset I've seen so far has one of the wider types, more often BB386.

Also, there is absolutely no need to be rude.
 

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The Praxis for Shimano and SRAM are two different models. If you want to swap the crankset, then you need to buy a new one.

Never mind that I already have the bottom brackets: Shimano's costed me less than €10's, while SRAM's was about €20-25 IIRC: two Praxis adapters would cost me €160.

Unfortunately the Praxis is only compatible with 68 mm PressFit BB shells, which makes all of this a moot point anyway, as basically every PressFit shell frameset I've seen so far has one of the wider types, more often BB386.
If Praxis doesn't have it, Wheels Manufacturing makes these too. That's the one my LBS used to convert my BB30 to Shimano.

Also, there is absolutely no need to be rude.
Welcome to the internet, where anonymity breeds rudeness. There are people here that post much worse replies than that one. After 4,000+ posts, I've grown a pretty thick skin. :cool:
 
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