Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Not what you think

It's not the SuperBee. It's been raining and I'm tired of getting wet. So I finished building up the Raleigh because it has fenders. This frame measures 23" center to center or 58.5cm. Yea it's to big for me by conventional standards. But the frame was the right price . . . free. Thanks Bruce!

The frame was designed for 27 inch wheels, not 700c. Normal brakes won't reach, so I found some long reach Dia Compes and they do the trick very well. The even have a little room left.

So what is the difference between 27" and 700c? . . . 27"= 630mm dia., and 700=622mm dia. so 8mm or it lowers the bike and adds 4mm to the brake reach. The Bottom bracket height is with 700x25c tires is 265mm so it's on par with a lot of frames designed for 700c. I have a Fuji the measures 263mm. I'm going to put a set of Jack Browns on it so it will raise it up a little more. Not that it needs to be raised up to compensate for the difference. I'm just pointing out the change can be done.

I found this old seat a long time ago. and what luck it's a Brooks. The quintessential old school saddle. It's a little tattered and worn. I'm told these are the most confortable seats ever made. They have been around for over 100 years. So I gave it a shot, and it looks good on the bike. Yep about as hard as it looks. They say you have to break them in. Basically they form to "your" butt after a while. So this begs the question . . . Who butt is this seat formed to since it's at least 30+ years old. I say that because I've had it for at least 15 years sitting in an old cabinet.

Oh yea that short stem. 6.5cm. Normally I would use a 12cm with a 55cm top tube (67cm roughly). This top tube measures 22-1/2" according to Raleigh, and that matchs my measurement of 57.2cm. So basiaclly I need a 10cm and I would agree,only this is all I had. Notice I don't have any tape in anticipation of the switch. But it's a nice old 3TTT though. Wish it was 10cm.

Over all I like the ride. As far as the frame being to big it's debatable. I'm using it as a commuter.
The seat tube is longer than I'd like, but I can still adjust the seat up and down, So I'm good to go. Also a consideration is whether or not I can get the bars low enough. When you have a frame and it has a horizontal toptube, the longer the seat tube, the longer the head tube, the longer the head tube, the higher the bars come up. and the answer is yes. I want them about 1 to 2 inchs below my seat on this rig, and I can go even lower.

The top tube is longer than I'd like, but I can adjust the reach by getting the right size stem, Ironically even with a long toptube I still need a longer stem.

Some people worry about Standover height. I can't figure out why people worry so much about it this. I have about 1/2" clearance, maybe more on a cold day when "The Boys" are retracted, but it's been hot lately so "The Boys" are relaxed and I got about 1/2". Anyway some people say they need 2". Look if your out riding, and you find yourself straddling the toptube, with both fleet flat footed . . . you not riding your bike . . . and if your not riding your bike, then what's this got to do with riding your bike? . . . Mountain bikes are another issue so I'm just sticking to city commuting . . . even when I stop I have one foot on one peddle, and I lean the bike. You have to lean the bike to get on and off anyway. To me standover height is the most usless dimension manufactures publish for frames that have horizontal toptubes. The only use I've really had for it is to determine other dimensions. say they don't give bottom bracket height, or drop, I can determine that by using the seat tube length, seat tube angle angle, and standover height assuming it's a horizontal top tube . . . yep that was a little rant.


The Unabashed Blogger said...

I noticed your seat and handle bars are the same height. I come from a mtb background and find that the position for road bikes to be a bit uncomfortable. I'm not sure I need a new tube or maybe a different style of handlebars, but either way I feel that I am leaning to far forward and my handle bars are lower than my seat. My bike was free so I wasn't worried about sizing. Lot's of people ride like that, but many don't.

What say you?

BTW- the bike looks great. I really like the colors and style.

CurbDestroyer Chronicles said...

The handlebars are about 1 inch below the saddle. I like my bars about 3 inches below my saddle. I’m experimenting with what I see on a lot of Randonneur ( )bicycles. The saddle and bars are at about the same height.

Here are some interesting Randonneur sites.

Look in Photo Galleries

Some other good ones

Some people believe that raising the handlebars make the ride more comfortable. They raise them because they think sitting upright makes it easier on their back because they are not bent over as much. Raising your handlebars puts more weight on your back and takes it off your hands, arms and shoulders.

The trick is to find what’s comfortable for you. You have to find the balance of how much weight you want on your hands, arms, and shoulders, and how much you want on your back.

If you like your MTB position, you can transfer it to your road bike. The MTB position is more upright so you can change positions and maneuver easily and see down the trail when you’re off road . . . roughly. On a road bike you generally are in 3 positions. 1) Sitting with hands on the top of your bars, 2) Sitting while your hands are in the drops, 3) Standing/out of the saddle. Also the more aerodynamic your position is, the more efficient you are. Since air resistance grows exponentially with speed, so the gains are greater on a road bike.