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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 54 and started cycling @ 2 years ago. I am 6 ft 2 in and weigh about 215 lbs. Currently I have a Felt F55 (2005 - 63 cm frame). Turns out the top tube is too long for me. I need about 2 - 2.5 cm less top tube, but the same head tube height as the Felt. I bought a 2005 LiteSpeed Ultimate (all Dura Ace) this past weekend. It is Titanium/Carbon versus the Felt of Aluminum/Carbon). The dealer put an angled handlebar extension and spacers on the Litespeed to make up for the reduced head tube height. The Litespeed componentry seems to be 'light years' ahead of the Felt, but is slightly heavier. The Felt seems to be a better hill climber for me versus the Litespeed, but the Litespeed on flat ground/rolling hills is super strong and smooth.

Any suggestion(s) on what mfg to look at they would have good head tube height with shorter top tube length. Need about 22 cm head tube with about 57.5 to 58 cm top tube.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Have a TERRIFIC day! ;)
 

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have you considered going custom?



jwfrebel said:
I am 54 and started cycling @ 2 years ago. I am 6 ft 2 in and weigh about 215 lbs. Currently I have a Felt F55 (2005 - 63 cm frame). Turns out the top tube is too long for me. I need about 2 - 2.5 cm less top tube, but the same head tube height as the Felt. I bought a 2005 LiteSpeed Ultimate (all Dura Ace) this past weekend. It is Titanium/Carbon versus the Felt of Aluminum/Carbon). The dealer put an angled handlebar extension and spacers on the Litespeed to make up for the reduced head tube height. The Litespeed componentry seems to be 'light years' ahead of the Felt, but is slightly heavier. The Felt seems to be a better hill climber for me versus the Litespeed, but the Litespeed on flat ground/rolling hills is super strong and smooth.

Any suggestion(s) on what mfg to look at they would have good head tube height with shorter top tube length. Need about 22 cm head tube with about 57.5 to 58 cm top tube.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Have a TERRIFIC day! ;)
 

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I had the same problem with my Felt F65. Felt just makes long, low bikes, which work for some people, but evidently neither of us! (I'm 6'1", but it's all legs, so I also need a relatively short top tube and tall head tube.)

Personally, I think it's atrocious that your dealer just sold you an expensive bike -- the Litespeed -- that doesn't fit you, as evinced by the need for a special stem/extender. Screw the components if it doesn't fit -- you can get Dura Ace on any bike. If you're already thinking about the next bike, I would try to return the Litespeed PRONTO and get that next bike somewhere else, where they actually care more about what you need than moving whatever random bike they have in stock. Seriously, the longer you delay, the harder it will be.

Specialized Roubaix size 58 seems to be in the ballpark of what you're looking for. Personally, I went the custom route, and an Independent Fabrication Steel Crown Jewel is currently heading my way.

Cheers,
Ari
 

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You won't find that combo...

with many stock frames. Looking at the F55 geometry chart, I see a 220mm integrated head tube. An extended top headset will add 15mm. On top of that 20mm of spacer is fine, for a total possible length of 255mm. Do you really need that much height?

http://www.feltracing.com/06/06_bikes/f55/geo.html

You also haven't mentioned the stem angle being used. For riders who can't tolerate a lot height difference between the bars and saddle, using a higher rise stem is often the easiest way to increase bar height by 2-3.5cm. Racer types might kid you about the setup, but I don't know that it looks much worse than a custom frame with an excessively long head tube and a lot of TT slope to maintain standover clearance.

How do you know you need a TT that's 2-2.5cm shorter? Have you tried this position on an existing bike by using a short stem? It's a big mistake to think you need something that you've never tried, invest big money in a new frame and then find it's really not the solution.

I'd recommend core strengthening exercises if you can't tolerate at least an 8cm drop from the saddle to the top of the bars.

Here's a link to model that might fit your needs. http://www.serotta.com/pages/fierte_IT.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I went to a high-end sports performance/physical therapy lab that uses computers, laser and video to do a 2+ hr bike fit assesmenet. It includes assessing pedal movement (e.g. - comparing to full circular/power motion). This is where it came down to suggesting a 57.5 - 58 cm top tube versus the Felt F55 60.5 cm top tube.

I have a fairly strong core as I do pilates regularly. One comment made to me locally is moving from a 63 cm to a 57 cm (Litespeed) would most likely cause me being too far forward over the 'power area' for the most efficient pedaling. This makes sense since I noticed a sizeable difference in hill climbing on the Litespeed versus my Felt.

Thanks!

Thanks!
 

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doesn't add up...

jwfrebel said:
I went to a high-end sports performance/physical therapy lab that uses computers, laser and video to do a 2+ hr bike fit assesmenet. It includes assessing pedal movement (e.g. - comparing to full circular/power motion). This is where it came down to suggesting a 57.5 - 58 cm top tube versus the Felt F55 60.5 cm top tube.

I have a fairly strong core as I do pilates regularly. One comment made to me locally is moving from a 63 cm to a 57 cm (Litespeed) would most likely cause me being too far forward over the 'power area' for the most efficient pedaling. This makes sense since I noticed a sizeable difference in hill climbing on the Litespeed versus my Felt.

Thanks!

Thanks!
I'll throw out a few things for you to ponder. First, a TT length without the seat tube angle that goes with it is meaningless.

Both of your frames just happen to have the same 73 degree STA, so you could compare the TT length directly IF the frames were about the same size. Since they aren't, a little compensation must be made for the difference in the size and head tube angle. The actual difference in the reach of these frames turns out be a pretty large 3.5cm. It looks to me like you went too small with the 57cm Litespeed. The 59cm would have been a lot closer to what you wanted in both HT and TT length.

http://www.litespeed.com/bikes/2005/2005geometry.aspx?b=ultimate

The comment about being too far forward on the 57cm, is from someone with no understanding of frame geometry. Since these two frames have the same STA, the frame size does not matter. Once the saddle is up to the same height, you will be in exactly the same place, relative to the BB (assuming the same type of seatpost and saddle). Hopefully the guys who did your fit testing also informed you about measuring the position of your knee relative to the BB. What will be different on the Litespeed is the bike's weight balance. The front-center on the Litespeed is a lot less than the Felt. This will increase the weight on the front end. It should have little or no effect on climbing, but might improve high speed cornering. If you failed to maintain the same position of your knee relative to the BB on the Litespeed, that may affect your perceptions when climbing. Further back can enhance the application of torque and further forward can enchance your spin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your feedback. The assessment firm did go over knee relative to the BB. The assesment was done on the Felt. I agree with you that the 59cm would probably be a better overall fit. The 57 cm was at an absolute steal due to a mis-shipment from the mfg. I felt it was worth a try and if it did not work out, I could easily get my money out of it.
 

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I 6ft 1inch and own a 2002 Giant OCR ELITE 1 it fits me very well. Giant makes nice bikes id give them a try you may find something that you like in their line. Morgan
 

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6'1" rider

I too am alittle over 6 feet tall. Just rode a Giant OCR Carbon frame in size XL and it seems a little big. Giant's website says a size L frame is appropriate for a rider my size, but the seat stem is already quite a ways out on the XL frame, I can only imagine how much seat stem would have to be exposed in the Large frame. What size Giant frame corresponds to a 60cm standard frame?
 

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You can't look at these numbers in isolation. Top tube length without stem length and bar height (relative to saddle height) doesn't tell you much. Head tube length without fork length doesn't tell you much. A higher bar relative to the saddle effectively reduces your reach to the bars. For example, my Heron frames are designed to put the bars about even with the saddle. Compared to a regular road racing geometry, Heron top tubes will fit as though they are 1 cm shorter than on the racing frame.

Also, as someone already pointed out, seat tube angle plays a role. A frame with a 73 degree seat tube angle and a 58 cm top tube does not fit the same as a frame with a 72 degree seat tube angle and a 58 cm top tube.

From your post, it sounds like you would do well on a bit more upright frame. My own Heron frames and similar Rivendell frames would fit that bill. Specialized offers their Rouxbaix with a taller head tube if you are looking for a big-brand bike. It would also help to have a professional fitting done. If you have the raw fit measurements (not necessarily the sizes that the fit formulas provide), either I or the guys at Rivendell could give you some good recommendations. Hope this helps.
 
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