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Cowboy up
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve heard from multiple sources how Trek and LeMond have long top tubes compared to other bikes. I don’t see this to be the case, at least for the larger frame sizes. The values I looked at did not consider things such as head tube length, only the seat tube, top tube, and seat tube angle. It was a quick survey from websites and tried to see how the top tube lengths compare. Some values are listed below but don’t know if a table will display well. Differences in measurement methods and sloping top tubes also create some problems.

Manufacture, Model, “Size,” ST ct, STcc, TT, STA

Trek Madone, 60 60 -- 58.2 72.5
62 62 59 59 72.5

LeMond Reynolds, 59 -- 59 59 72.5
61 -- 61 60.5 72

Bianchi S9 Matta, 61 58 -- 58.5** 72.5
63 60 -- 59.5** 72.5

Cannondale six13, 59 57* -- 58.3 72.5
60 58* -- 59 72.5
63 61* -- 60 72

Colnago Trad, 63 -- 58.2 58.7 73
64 -- 59 59 73
65 -- 60 59.2 73

Look 585, 57 -- 57 57.5 73
555, 59 -- 59 58 72.5

Specialized Tarmac SL, 61 58 effective 60 72.5
Roubaix, 61 57 eff 60 72.5
Allex Pro, 60 56 eff 59.1 72.5
62 58 eff 60.5 72.5


*I think Cannondale measures ST by center to top of top tube
** Bianchi horizontal effective top tube

Comparing a 59 STcc, 59 TT, 72.5 STA Trek or Lemond with other bikes:

If I estimate ST cc measurements by subtracting 2 cm from the ST ct measurement (it’s 3 cm difference for the size 62 Trek having a 59 STcc) , and consider that at these sizes one degree increase in the STA is a 1 cm increase in effective TT length then it seems Bianchi, Cannondale, Colnago, and the perhaps the Look 585 size 57 have longer top tubes for their size compared to a Trek or Lemond.

Any insight on frame geometries is appreciated.
 

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you're figures are off...

The notion that Lemonds have long TTs has been incorrect for a long time, since Trek now owns the Lemond brand. If the TTs were ever long, that changed with new ownership.

Some brands have changed their geometry at least a small amount with the decreased number of sizes offered in sloping TT designs (LOOK for example).

Whether a particular brand has a long TT can also vary depending on the size that you are comparing. Some may be longer in the small sizes and shorter in the larger sizes (Colnago).

To really compare "frame size" you need to accurately match the head tube length, with the headset installed.

In the case of a LOOK 461/555 compared to a Trek, compare a 51cm LOOK to a 54cm Trek. In this case, the LOOK has a 74.5 STA and 52.5cm TT. The Trek has a 74 degree STA and 54.5cm TT. That makes the Trek 1.5cm longer, after accounting for the difference in the STA.

Take another example, a 58cm Trek with a 73 STA and 57.1cm TT compared to a Colnago. Here, it's tougher to decide which size to compare. The 55cm Colnago has the same head tube length, but it's standover is 1cm less. The 55cm has a reach that's 1.8cm less than the Trek and the 56cm Colnago is about 1.6cm less than the Trek.

Making the last comparison of a 57cm LOOK 585 to a Trek, you should compare it to the 60cm Trek. In this case, the STA is the same. The Trek still has a 6mm longer TT than the LOOK, based on HT length (remember to include the headset - both should be about 190mm).
 

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Cowboy up
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for responding. My figures are difficult to read that is for sure. The table does not display well. No wysiwyg. It looks fine in the edit window but not in the post. There should be five columns of values. I will separate the headings by commas and put in "--“ for missing values.

The LeMond data is from a 2003 catalog for the Reynolds steel frame (Zurich). The 2006 values seem to be the same for the LeMond Sarthe, which is their True Temper OX Platinum Steel or “classic frame” geometry now. The current Zurich has a sloping top tube which has changed the geometry somewhat. Most other data came from current catalogs and web sites.

So a longer head tube reduces the effective top tube? Is there any rule of thumb for the relationship or a way to compare frames with different head tube lengths?
 

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http://www.lemondbikes.com/why_lemond/geometry/sloping.shtml

that may help you.

i have the tourmalet, which is in the "sloping top tube" geometry catergory.....do I really notice it? When compared to other brands, slightly. for example a kid on our team has a specialized allez elite in my size, and when riding that i feel more upright. He complains of having a flatter/sorer back when riding my bike. I don't think its a huge difference however.

and the zurich is listed as a sloping tt geometry

but looking at the pics it almost looks like the classic geometry would have a longer tt. Look at the geometry as listed on the site i guess.
 

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Absolutely not myth. For example, a size 54 Trek 5900 is actually 50.3cm center to center on the seattube (many will tell you it's 51 c-c, but that's off by 7mm), and the toptube is 54.6cm. Most brands I know with that kind of toptube length are generally taller, and for some European brands, much taller.
 

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No...

Art853 said:
So a longer head tube reduces the effective top tube? Is there any rule of thumb for the relationship or a way to compare frames with different head tube lengths?
You missed the point about the head tube length. It's most useful for comparing the vertical size of the frame so you're comparing the two sizes that are mostly nearly the same. It has nothing to do with the TT length, but you can't accurately use the 1cm per degree correction factor for the STA if the frames are not close to the same size. With so many ways to measure "frame size", many folks would compare a 54cm Trek to a 54cm LOOK, which is totally wrong. Also, with some brands having conventional headsets that are 1.5-2.5cm taller than integrated types, you can't rely on a head tube length alone to tell you the vertical size of the frame. With a conventional headset you add 25-30mm for the headset. An integrated headset will only add 5-15mm to the head tube length. LOOK frames come with a 15mm extended top on their headset, other brands may come with the shorter 5mm top, but either can be changed out.

Thre can be some error relying on head tube length, since fork lengths vary from 365mm to 374mm. Only a few brands seem to use forks in the top of this length range, so I usually ignore it. It would be rare for few millimeters of extra HT length to create a fit problem. Usually it's a too-short head tube that most rider complain about.
 

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C-40 said:
To really compare "frame size" you need to accurately match the head tube length, with the headset installed.
Not to divert the thread too badly, but...why have Treks always had such short headtubes? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like all the Madones I see on the road or in the shop require a good number of spacers to get the bars to a reasonable height. The few 5200 and up frames that I've worked on in the last few years have always seemed to have very short headtubes, too. Almost like Trek is waiting for the comeback of threaded steerers and quill stems.
 

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Defender of Freedom...
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Maybe your thinking of Fisher?

I could be wrong but I don't recall advertising longer TT length as a selling feature for Trek/Lemondsw/Kleins back in my shop days. So many brands have such differing TT/ST/HT lengths that it would be hard to say it was just a Trek and Co. feature. Fisher on the other hand uses shorter stems and longer TTs compaired to most other MTB brands.
 

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I believe that "Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Bicycling" published in 1987 had a lot to do with the perception that Lemond bikes have long top tubes. In his book, LeMond devotes 35 pages to bike fit. He doesn't write much at all about top tube lengths, but devotes a lot of copy to seat tube angles. He warns against "steep seat tubes" again and again, which, in his opinion, make it impossible for most riders to achieve a good fit. Then writing about upper-body extension a few pages down, he says "Keep in mind that the first time you get into what is actually a good, aerodynamically efficient position you will feel extremely stretched out."

Even if they didn't remember the details of LeMond's advice, most readers understood clearly that LeMond advocated a "relaxed" position slightly behind the bottom bracket and very stretched out over the top tube. It's easy to see how the long LeMond top tube story came out of that.

FWIW, I still consider the book excellent advice on bike fit. ISBN 0-399-13229-5
 

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Actually...

the head tubes are not short, they extend a small amount above the TT, just as they did in the old days of lugged steel. This seems to be a common misconception. Take a close look at a standard lugged steel frame. The HT is probably no more than 1cm above the TT.

Trek TTs are just long, for a given HT length. Their odd method of measurement also makes people think the frame is larger than it is. The c-c size is at least 3cm less than the Trek size.

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?...+without+Fork&vendorCode=GIOS&major=1&minor=1
 

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It's because of the weird geometry......

SDizzle said:
Not to divert the thread too badly, but...why have Treks always had such short headtubes? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like all the Madones I see on the road or in the shop require a good number of spacers to get the bars to a reasonable height. The few 5200 and up frames that I've worked on in the last few years have always seemed to have very short headtubes, too. Almost like Trek is waiting for the comeback of threaded steerers and quill stems.
Treks ST's and sizes aremeasured from the center of the BB to the top of the seat collar. So a 56 is really more of a 52 on a comparable center to center measurement. If the St is shorter, the TT is going to be shorter.

These were designed as race bikes with lots of drop from the seat to the bars. But even most racers have some spacers........non-racers need lots of spacers/riser stems.

It's a weird geometry.

Len
 

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Lemonds were typically like Merckx in geometry

with a seat tube that put you slighlty behind the pedals and a TT about the same length as the ST. it does make them fit nicely for long in the torsod folks. A 59c-c Lemond had a 59 TT and a fairly 'back' saddle position. This stretches out the cockpit while most Italian frames seem to have long legged,short torsoed riders in mind. TT's that are 1-2c's shorter than the ST and then creating more or less stretch through the St angle. So in many bikes if I were to buy by TT (in general) I'd ride a 62 but in a Lemond a 59 fit pretty well.
 

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Part of the reason is Trek's "racing geometry". Part of the reason is many Lance fan's who don't ride enough to have the kind of flexibility to ride with such a big drop nevertheless end up with the Madones.
 

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Its funny how a lot of the Discovery boys ride with several spacers under their stems, unusual for pro riders.
I too feel that treks have long top tubes for a given height frame.
For example, for a C50 has a 14.2cm headtube with a 54.3 tt. In trek, to have a 14cm head tube (treks '56' frame) you end up with a top tube of about 56.5.

If you want a trek with a tt closer to 54, you end up with a headtube of 12cm or slightly shorter.

To me, that means long top tubes for a given height (or short head tubes...).
I see -so- many treks set up with ugly high rise stems and lots of spacers, because people need the proper top tube length, and then have to make up for the tiny head tubes...
 

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J24
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Lemond Long Top Tube Not a Myth

My first new road bike was a 1997 Lemond Alpe d'Huez (reynolds 525, cromo fork) and measured:

TT 54.5 cm C-C, that to me is a long TT;
ST 53 cm C-C at 73.25 deg;
HT 110 mm at 73 deg.;
fork rake 4.7 cm;
BB drop 7 cm,
chain stay 41.5 cm
Wheelbase 98.4 cm

Lemond continued with this geometry on their steel bikes, Zurich etc., at least to end of the 90s .
 
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