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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't bought a new frame in a while, and I'm tempted to try one of the newer monocoque carbon frames, especially now that some are available in "standard" (rather than "pro") geometry. I'm 6'3", 195 lb, with very long inseam (38"+) and relatively short torso, so I need a short top tube (<60cm) and as long a head tube as I can find.

I live in the hills, and most rides will involve a 50+ mph technical descent with switchbacks, and often choppy pavement and sand. I've been through a number of steel and Al stock frames, and had trouble with death-wobble in certain conditions (mostly on the brakes) on most of them. I'm hoping some of the new carbon frames with oversize steerers will be better. Not much opportunity to test-ride a lot of bikes, here. I'm not racing, so I don't need the ultimate in stiffness or light weight, and I probably won't spend much more than about $2k for a frame/fork/post. Would plan to transfer over my 7800 group and CK/Deep V wheels.

So, assuming I can find a good fit, what is the most rock-solid descending frame you've been on?
 

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Oh man that's a tall order in a CF bike with a tall head tube.

Here's what I've seen, since I ride aluminum.
- Cervelo's. No. I nearly got crashed out this weekend b/c a tall dude on a Cervelo got some speed wobble going on a very minor totally non-technical downhill. Also I've seen them exhibity sloppiness in crits where the corners are non-smooth.

- The new Treks. Better reputation for overall stiffness, but I don't recall seeing many of them out there yet. Worth a test ride anyway.

- Specialized - same as Trek.

but really, the way to do this is to find the LBS that will let you take their bike down that hill so you can see for yourself.
 

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Get a Colnago. They descend at 50+ like buttah! :D I've been riding a Master XL for about 10 years now and love it. I'm 6'2", 200 and ride a 62cm FWIW. Guessing the carbon offerings would be the same since most of their frames share the same geometry.
 

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My 61cm Cervelo soloist carbon frame has always been stable for me, even at 50mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bocephus Jones II said:
Get a Colnago. They descend at 50+ like buttah! :D I've been riding a Master XL for about 10 years now and love it. I'm 6'2", 200 and ride a 62cm FWIW. Guessing the carbon offerings would be the same since most of their frames share the same geometry.
I'm actually looking at a 58s Colnago frame, which should fit well except the head tube is a bit short. I wish Colnago would list their front end geometry, what's the big secret?
 

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I think that stability can have a lot to do with how many spacers you have under your stem. Also the way you are positioned on the bike. Have the LBS give you a good fitting. If you are going at breakneck speeds down mountain passes, then don't let them place you in a comfort position.

Buy a new bike and adjust it right and you wont get the death wobble.
 

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fallzboater said:
I'm actually looking at a 58s Colnago frame, which should fit well except the head tube is a bit short. I wish Colnago would list their front end geometry, what's the big secret?
58 and you're 6'3'? That sounds really small for a Colnago frame for someone of your size. I ride a 60 in something like Bianch, but a 62 in Colnago.
 

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Since you're a tall guy, you need a tall frame, and tall guys have special needs in regard to bike frames. Addressing frame shimmy is one of them. You MIGHT find a stock frame to fit your unusual proportions, but you'd do better with a custom frame in your case due to your height, proportions, and concern for shimmy.

Ignore material; for you it's all about fit. And Lennard Zinn has a reputation for being able to fit tall guys. You owe it to yourself to consider a Zinn frame. I am not affiliated with Zinn in any way.

http://zinncycles.com/index.php
 

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fit

Bochephus is correct Colnago decend better than most; it is what they do. Also I am 5'11" and use a 58 Colnago. With the Colnago, use the top tube as the guide not the seat tube so much. At your height the top tube will be short and low if you get too small a Colnago
also consider a Pegoretti they have the krueller(sic) head tubes. A DeRosa is also very stable as are Merckx......................lots a choices.
 

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Have a look at a Trek Madone with "Performance" fit (not "Pro" models). They have taller head tubes for a given size and don't differ in any other way from the Pro frames. If you're looking at complete bikes be aware that Performance versions all come with compact chainrings. You might even be able to ride a 60 in their bikes. The stock fork is excellent too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bocephus Jones II said:
58 and you're 6'3'? That sounds really small for a Colnago frame for someone of your size. I ride a 60 in something like Bianch, but a 62 in Colnago.
A Colnago 58s is equivalent to a 61 in their straight geometry, and the 59 top tube is the same as what I'm used to. The head tube may be a bit short, but should be OK with an inverted stem. I will need a long post with low offset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You mean I can't go at breakneck speeds in comfort? ;^)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I should check out Zinn, again. I've been using 180's, but have been interested in trying longer, which I could do with one of his customs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
davidka said:
Have a look at a Trek Madone with "Performance" fit (not "Pro" models). They have taller head tubes for a given size and don't differ in any other way from the Pro frames. If you're looking at complete bikes be aware that Performance versions all come with compact chainrings. You might even be able to ride a 60 in their bikes. The stock fork is excellent too.
I've been told that the Treks may be a little soft, but I'm not sure if that's warranted. I'll have to see if I can find one to try.

The Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix 61 cm non-Team frames both have real long head tubes, and should fit OK. I live in a small town, though, so the shops don't stock odd sizes in the higher-end stuff to test. I have to admit that I'm slightly biased against the mass manufacturers, just because I don't like seeing my same bike every time I turn around (my motorcycles are an '01 Aprilia and '94 Ducati). I'm sure their pro-level bikes are good, though.
 

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fallzboater said:
The Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix 61 cm non-Team frames both have real long head tubes, and should fit OK.
Indeed, really long head tubes. They even make the Roubaix in a 64cm. I'm 6' 4.5", riding a Tarmac Pro 58cm and loving it. I could have gone with either the 58cm or the 61cm and got an equally good fit using different stems and saddle set-back. I decided to go with the smaller top-tube of 58.2 rather than 60.0cm, since I'm proportionally longer in the legs than the torso. I don't have enough miles on it to make a definitive statement on descending stability, but so far it has been awesome and absolutely rock solid. I'm also using the Dura Ace tubeless wheelset and that improves the comfort and stability enormously over rough pavement.
 

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Cervelo RS? I am 6'4" with a 38" measured inseam...the most I have gotten it to was 40mph on a downhill, but no shimmy....you have long legs and short torso like me....61cm RS is relatively tall and short frame.
 

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fallzboater said:
I've been told that the Treks may be a little soft, but I'm not sure if that's warranted. I'll have to see if I can find one to try.
I have never heard anyone say that about the current Madones (or the old ones for that matter). You will find them to be really stiff, especially in the BB area. Compare all the models you're looking at on their geometry sheets, you'll find one brand's 60cm is not necessarily the same as another.
 

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Look KX light has solidity
merckx mxl will throw a ton 'o steel downhill...
 

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davidka said:
I have never heard anyone say that about the current Madones (or the old ones for that matter). You will find them to be really stiff, especially in the BB area. Compare all the models you're looking at on their geometry sheets, you'll find one brand's 60cm is not necessarily the same as another.
The Trek's I have ridden descend well and seem reasonably stiff when climbing. However they have a soft road feel compared to other high end bikes I have ridden. The Treks tend to smooth and out dampen road vibrations and bumps more so that the others. You get less road feedback with the Treks.
 
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