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  1. #1
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Idea! Since so many framemakers and enginerds hang out here...

    ...I was just curious why more frames aren't designed with lower top tubes? With the bigger wheels comes less standover because the top tube has to attach to a higher point (off the ground). Here are reasons I can think of why a framemaker would resist, and possible solutions:
    1. Less room on seattube for waterbottle : Put waterbottle mount under down tube instead, or use a side release cage and a shorter bottle.
    2. Less heel clearance at the seatstays : Bow them inwards where the heels may hit, and definitely run disc brakes on the rear.
    3. Limited choices of seatposts that long : Team up with custom seatpost makers such as Black Sheep, et. al.
    4. A lot of leverage on the frame from the long seatpost : Strengthen potential weak points with braces or more material
    5. Frame "twisting" out of plane? Not sure about this one, but it seems to me that a smaller triangle wouldn't flex as easily.
    6. Harder to shoulder the bike : This ain't cyclocross. Roll the bike!
    A lower top tube seems safer since you have to fall further down to do some damage to your body. Also, they look better to me, as long as they don't droop downwards (sorry Spicer fans!) Plus, you'd potentially get more flex from the seatpost, making for a cushier ride. All of these advantages would work for both tall and short people, eh?

    BTW, Heavens knows that I definitely don't need a new frame! But, here's to dreaming with Photoshop



    Here's the actual bike:

    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  2. #2
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    u even made the shadow appear as the fake top tube? hahahaha
    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

  3. #3
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    Yes, I'm too hung up on the quality of the Photoshopping to give an opinion. Even the crack in the railroad tie in the background is repositioned correctly.

    Do you do this (graphics of one sort or another) for a living?

  4. #4
    Squalor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    ...I was just curious why more frames aren't designed with lower top tubes?
    'Cause not all of us are short.

    Aren't Niners designed with 410mm post in mind?

    Some pics from my machine for your cause though...

    LP

    PS - Good hanging out with you and crew this weekend. Good times.
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  5. #5
    Glorified Hybrid Owner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    [*]A lot of leverage on the frame from the long seatpost : Strengthen potential weak points with braces or more material
    Bingo!

    Talk about a lever arm...you think Fishers have problems.

  6. #6
    The Duuude, man...
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    wow, you got mad skills with photochop....i'm jealous...
    FS: Everything

  7. #7
    try driving your car less
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    and the 'by ricky D.' looks like it was carved into the wall!

    about the lowered TT thing: my upcoming custom bike actually has a higher TT junction than the stock bike i am coming off of, but still plenty of clearance. builder said it is stronger and doesnt want to mess with lots of bracing, etc.

    his point is... why lower it? besides clearance for clarence thomas. it makes the bike weaker and you need a custom seatpost. the extra bracing weighs more than the extra ST... or something.

    in any case. can you do some more cool photoshopping? make your bike into a chopper!
    Only boring people get bored.

  8. #8
    Squalor
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    Quote Originally Posted by pswann
    Yes, I'm too hung up on the quality of the Photoshopping to give an opinion. Even the crack in the railroad tie in the background is repositioned correctly.
    Ah yes...but he couldn't reproduce the Maxxis logo on the rear tire from where he moved the rear seatstays now could he?

    Slacker...

    LP

  9. #9
    www.badgercycles.com
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    "[*]Less heel clearance at the seatstays : Bow them inwards where the heels may hit, and definitely run disc brakes on the rear."

    Tire clearence for the seatstays. You would have to make a really sharp bend for tire clearence. Not sure what you mean by "bow them inwards"? Bow them where? There is a tire in the way. Anyway - that is the main issue I see.

  10. #10
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    Good job! Crazy skills

    Not with Photoshop but if you can ride a bike without a rear brake???

    You da man!

  11. #11
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    Not with Photoshop but if you can ride a bike without a rear brake???

    You da man!
    Fixie! (Occasionally during winter)
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  12. #12
    Needed Less ~ Did More
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    1) Bottle under the down tube is great in dry climates, not s great in the UK....esp if you ride through a farm yard then take a nice big gulp of water with added "body" yuck!

    2) Less room on the back for seatstays so you have to join them on the top-tube rather than the seat tube.





    3) Long seat posts (within reason) are available, RooX make a 430mm one....making the frame only work with one make / type of seat post is another headache for customers and limits your market.

    4) Like the Salsa 29er? (and the big pink Solitude) Standover room plus a "normal" back end. Some people don't like the look of a dropped toptube / brace but some people don't likes drooped tubes either

    5) Smaller triangles are "stiffer" in the vertical plane (for a given tube set) as to twisting out of plane (head tube > seat tube vertical) is a different matter that I will have to have a think about.

    6) Carry the bike? 29ers are the right height to lean on the bars while pushing

    I think that stand over is slightly over-rated, as long as you have 3-4" more is wasted.

    Now what bugs me is short head tubes (90mm) then having 2" rise bars and a 30mm stack of spacers.....Grrrrr

    Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    ...I was just curious why more frames aren't designed with lower top tubes? With the bigger wheels comes less standover because the top tube has to attach to a higher point (off the ground). Here are reasons I can think of why a framemaker would resist, and possible solutions:
    1. Less room on seattube for waterbottle : Put waterbottle mount under down tube instead, or use a side release cage and a shorter bottle.
    2. Less heel clearance at the seatstays : Bow them inwards where the heels may hit, and definitely run disc brakes on the rear.
    3. Limited choices of seatposts that long : Team up with custom seatpost makers such as Black Sheep, et. al.
    4. A lot of leverage on the frame from the long seatpost : Strengthen potential weak points with braces or more material
    5. Frame "twisting" out of plane? Not sure about this one, but it seems to me that a smaller triangle wouldn't flex as easily.
    6. Harder to shoulder the bike : This ain't cyclocross. Roll the bike!
    A lower top tube seems safer since you have to fall further down to do some damage to your body. Also, they look better to me, as long as they don't droop downwards (sorry Spicer fans!) Plus, you'd potentially get more flex from the seatpost, making for a cushier ride. All of these advantages would work for both tall and short people, eh?

    BTW, Heavens knows that I definitely don't need a new frame! But, here's to dreaming with Photoshop



    Here's the actual bike:

    Last edited by Singlespeedpunk; 09-07-2006 at 12:07 PM.
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
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    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  13. #13
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    Lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Fixie! (Occasionally during winter)
    That's funny

  14. #14
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by robpennell
    "[*]Less heel clearance at the seatstays : Bow them inwards where the heels may hit, and definitely run disc brakes on the rear."

    Tire clearence for the seatstays. You would have to make a really sharp bend for tire clearence. Not sure what you mean by "bow them inwards"? Bow them where? There is a tire in the way. Anyway - that is the main issue I see.
    Y'know, having a slight s-curved seatstay when looking at it from the top. I've heard a couple of reasons why it's done (heel clearance and to put the v-brake bosses closer to the centerline of the frame). Of course you'd bow it outwards where the tire sits. You can kinda see it on my frame:
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    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  15. #15
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    Muy elegante.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Y'know, having a slight s-curved seatstay when looking at it from the top. I've heard a couple of reasons why it's done (heel clearance and to put the v-brake bosses closer to the centerline of the frame). Of course you'd bow it outwards where the tire sits. You can kinda see it on my frame:
    I'm with ya but the lower the seatstays are the closer the wide part (tire) is to pedal rotation.

  17. #17
    Kill your... television
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    Safer for the bits

    And smooth ride too
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    "Whereas Motoman's bike looks like an industrial, TinkerToy experiment gone horribly wrong." - Aquaholic

    Ti
    Misfit

  18. #18
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by robpennell
    I'm with ya but the lower the seatstays are the closer the wide part (tire) is to pedal rotation.
    Ding ding! The light bulb went off in my head after reading SSP's second reason, which you just confirmed. Thanks Rob and Alex!
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  19. #19
    used to be uno-speedo....
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    I specced mine with a more dramatic sloping top tube. No problems with heel or tire clearance.
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  20. #20
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    with you. my seat tube length (c-c) has gone from 17" 11 years ago (kona cindercone 20") to 14.5" c-c on my new tIF. Taking advantage of the long strong seatpins, lessening standover and increasing comfort...its all good. at the moment i am maxed out on a 380mm moots, or a wee bitty room to spare on a thomson 410mm. it helps i like the aesthetics as well...

    in terms of how far i would go, i think i am there. cant see any real advantages of an even shorter seat tube...i also have v brakes on a 14.5" c-c kelly 29er and i dont connect with them as i ride. (i do tend tobe a touch pigeon toed tho') and there are no tyre clearance or bottle issues (i use 2 large bottles within the front triangle)...so yup. there we go.

  21. #21
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    and yet again, that willits is just beautiful...any other pics of it? is that a willits or a moots s'pin? yum.

  22. #22
    www.badgercycles.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by dRjOn
    with you. my seat tube length (c-c) has gone from 17" 11 years ago (kona cindercone 20") to 14.5" c-c on my new tIF. Taking advantage of the long strong seatpins, lessening standover and increasing comfort...its all good. at the moment i am maxed out on a 380mm moots, or a wee bitty room to spare on a thomson 410mm. it helps i like the aesthetics as well...

    in terms of how far i would go, i think i am there. cant see any real advantages of an even shorter seat tube...i also have v brakes on a 14.5" c-c kelly 29er and i dont connect with them as i ride. (i do tend tobe a touch pigeon toed tho') and there are no tyre clearance or bottle issues (i use 2 large bottles within the front triangle)...so yup. there we go.
    14.5" is no problem but the 11.5" to 12" c-c shown in Ricky's pic is a whole new nightmare.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlespeedpunk
    I think that stand over is slightly over-rated, as long as you have 3-4" more is wasted.
    Man, I wish I could get 3-4" of standover on any production 29" frame! Do most 29er riders have that much standover? I guess I'm just too long in the torso, too short in the legs. I have about a 33.5" cycling inseam, 6'0" tall. I'm lucky to get 2" of standover on any 29er I've tried. I guess I'm just the odd man out in 29er land

  24. #24
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    ... and if we just ... Christmas Bikes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoe
    Man, I wish I could get 3-4" of standover on any production 29" frame! Do most 29er riders have that much standover? I guess I'm just too long in the torso, too short in the legs. I have about a 33.5" cycling inseam, 6'0" tall. I'm lucky to get 2" of standover on any 29er I've tried. I guess I'm just the odd man out in 29er land

    Odd man out? ....heheheh... What is "standover?" I wouldn't know, I have never had any.

    On my One Niner and SIR 9 my 'jewels' are right on the top bar when i'm standing flat-footed on the ground. It makes for some very 'interesting' ways of avoiding the crushed nuts syndrome when I stall or stuff up on the trails.

    I have become very adept at tilting the bike sideways on quick dismounts..

    Years of practice = no crushed nuts.

    I call those high top-tube bikes Christmas Bikes. Christmas = Crushed Nuts.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  25. #25
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    Anyone else having Grove-X flashbacks based on the photoshopped pictures in the thread?
    grove_x.JPG

  26. #26
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    The real reason to avoid such long seatposts is because every stinkin' person you meet will ask you why you bought a frame that's too small for you. My 26er had a 14" seat tube C-C (i'm 6' long legs) and that's what happened to me. It seemed to make sense to gain back some standover to compensate for a 5" fork, but maybe pleasing others is important, too.

    Folks are slow to accept things that look different.

  27. #27
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoe
    Anyone else having Grove-X flashbacks based on the photoshopped pictures in the thread?
    Yeah, here's my old EWR (made by Grove also?):



    I really liked the low standover of the bike.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  28. #28
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    The real reason to avoid such long seatposts is because every stinkin' person you meet will ask you why you bought a frame that's too small for you. My 26er had a 14" seat tube C-C (i'm 6' long legs) and that's what happened to me. It seemed to make sense to gain back some standover to compensate for a 5" fork, but maybe pleasing others is important, too.

    Folks are slow to accept things that look different.
    10-12 years ago, I knew a guy that rode a Nevil, which IIRC had ~10" seattube and a crazy long post. Looked cool but weird back then. I think I'd really dig it now.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoe
    Anyone else having Grove-X flashbacks based on the photoshopped pictures in the thread?
    grove_x.JPG
    Ummm... is that part of the bottle cage I can see, or has the rider left some vital parts of his anatomy behind?


    Great spot for a cage...lol..


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillitsBrand.com
    Muy elegante.


    Hey...
    my buddy Darren is going to do the pix for you guys eh?

    sweet stuff
    and I dig the fact that there's another Austin cycling thing happening.

    btw, where's that pic taken?

  31. #31
    Blanco
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    A seatpost that long is going to bend back and forth a lot, in addition to putting a lot of stress on the frame.

    I think it's smarter to make the seat tube longer (to the lowest point you'd ever lower the seat) and add a bit of gusseting/bracing to the ST/TT junction. Why? The ST will be larger diameter than the seatpost it contains, and therefore stiffer, lighter, or both. Also you can add a brace to the ST, but not to a seatpost.

  32. #32
    used to be uno-speedo....
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    I like (and the reason I made my seat tube shorter) is Jeff Jones' take on it all...

    With the newer long/strong seat posts available, I am able to shorten the seat tube to increase stand-over and reduce weight. The long seat post absorbs some of the shock from the trail resulting in a smoother ride. It also means for serious technical riding or tricky descents, you can drop the seat far lower than on a traditionally designed bike.

  33. #33
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    Yeah, that bike is sick, but so is Shontell, so fair enough. We're doing official product photoshoots over the next few weeks and doing a riding shoot next weekend so they'll be more to look at. Jared is also doing a little writeup on her bike and new company developments on our blog in the next couple days.

    http://www.willitsbikes.com/blog/

    I'm not sure if that's a Willits or Moots post. I know Wes and Jared want to do their own but their current design, like the Moots, has a tendency to slip a little with heavier riders. When they get it dialed, it'll be available.

    -steven

    Quote Originally Posted by dRjOn
    and yet again, that willits is just beautiful...any other pics of it? is that a willits or a moots s'pin? yum.
    Retired Willits Brand Bicycles Webmaster::
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  34. #34
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    Yeah, me and Darren are all over the site. He's really good. So far so good with the new Willits setup. It's a pretty unique situation. Really good, smart guys.

    Shontell took a trip to Colorado as soon as she got that bike so I think that's when it was taken. She's a beast.

    -steven


    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    Hey...
    my buddy Darren is going to do the pix for you guys eh?

    sweet stuff
    and I dig the fact that there's another Austin cycling thing happening.

    btw, where's that pic taken?
    Retired Willits Brand Bicycles Webmaster::
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    South Austin, Texas ::

  35. #35
    Glorified Hybrid Owner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Yeah, here's my old EWR (made by Grove also?):



    I really liked the low standover of the bike.
    Cool. There are some EWR fans on the DR forums.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    10-12 years ago, I knew a guy that rode a Nevil, which IIRC had ~10" seattube and a crazy long post. Looked cool but weird back then. I think I'd really dig it now.
    What's his face? formerly at Broadway Bikes? Mikey? I forget. Whatever his name is, he had the only Devil I've ever seen. Very small, very cool and he rode the sh!t out of it.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
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  37. #37
    DWF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Y'know, having a slight s-curved seatstay when looking at it from the top. I've heard a couple of reasons why it's done (heel clearance and to put the v-brake bosses closer to the centerline of the frame). Of course you'd bow it outwards where the tire sits. You can kinda see it on my frame:
    S-bends are the best, especially if you have big tires or ride with a toe out foot position. You're right, S-bends became more popular with the arrival of V-brakes as they helped locate the boss closer to the rim, something your didn't really have to worry about with cantis.

    Of course, the real reason for bending stays is that they look so freakin' cool!!

    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF
    S-bends are the best, especially if you have big tires or ride with a toe out foot position. You're right, S-bends became more popular with the arrival of V-brakes as they helped locate the boss closer to the rim, something your didn't really have to worry about with cantis.

    Of course, the real reason for bending stays is that they look so freakin' cool!!
    Love the internal routing.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
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  39. #39
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhound
    Cool. There are some EWR fans on the DR forums.


    EWR inspired, no doubt.

  41. #41
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    DWF, there are a few locals that have your frames and I've seen 'em up close.

    I know you're not taking orders now, but have you built any 29ers? Any pics?
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  42. #42
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    on a related note of achieving low standover frames: ive noticed one or two times that frames with bent top tubes seem to occasionally fail at that point. *obviously* correct engineering is important, but i cant understand why a curved tube (which as far as i understand tends to have thicker wall tubing, so when bent the 'stretched side' doesnt become too thin?) and has no obvious sharp edge or join would fail? is it a stress riser having a bend or something?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dRjOn
    on a related note of achieving low standover frames: ive noticed one or two times that frames with bent top tubes seem to occasionally fail at that point. *obviously* correct engineering is important, but i cant understand why a curved tube (which as far as i understand tends to have thicker wall tubing, so when bent the 'stretched side' doesnt become too thin?) and has no obvious sharp edge or join would fail? is it a stress riser having a bend or something?
    Not with the gauge of steel used for the top tube on the above Quiring!

  44. #44
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    yeah.. im not sure i phrased that well...i s'pose the summary would be is a bent tube any more of an issue, *even given* that the gauge will need to be more than a straight tube, in that application? or can they be used (if used properly) with no downside (other than the trivial it may weigh a little more)

    my guess would be no...

    reading this back to myself is like trying to swim through porridge...och well.

  45. #45
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    I think that the biggest reason from a strength standpoint is that the long unsupported length of the seatpost is going to a weak point as it's at an angle so your weight is trying to make it bend, especially when you add the relatively sharp edge of the seatube concentrating the stress & trying to buckle the back edge of the post. You could make the post bigger in diameter or of a stronger material or heavier or all three but nobody wants a heavy seatpost, especially not if they have to pay more to get it because it's a non-standard diameter.

    From a rider viewpoint I'd say it's not really necessary to have a lower toptube than most bike now have. If anything I like having the top tube where my knees can touch it under some riding conditions.
    Also it looks weird so it would affect sales.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pswann
    Yes, I'm too hung up on the quality of the Photoshopping to give an opinion. Even the crack in the railroad tie in the background is repositioned correctly.

    Do you do this (graphics of one sort or another) for a living?
    It't probably the clone tool. The background straight lines are the easiest to continue when you remove foreground.
    "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" -- Mark Twain.

  47. #47
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Rode with a couple of LBS owners this morning, and the wife was rockin' this low-slung blingy thing (painted Ti 29er):



    (BTW, that's the husband's legs )
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  48. #48
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    That there is one nice IF!

    Was she fast? i think a requirement of owning an IF is that you have to be blazingly fast.

  49. #49
    Kill your... television
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    Believe it or not

    I have actually used all of the stand-over on my Jones. I was riding up a narrow semi-tricky uphill bridge type thingy when I stalled out. I thought I was done-for. I stepped out of my pedal and down to the ground. The ground was about 6 inches to1 foot lower than my tires... I still didn't hit my top tube... It saved me from a tumble in the weeds that day.

    On flat ground 3-4" of top tube clearence is just fine. But, on off-camber and technical situations I can see the benefit of ultra-low top-tubes.
    "Whereas Motoman's bike looks like an industrial, TinkerToy experiment gone horribly wrong." - Aquaholic

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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoe
    Man, I wish I could get 3-4" of standover on any production 29" frame! Do most 29er riders have that much standover? I guess I'm just too long in the torso, too short in the legs. I have about a 33.5" cycling inseam, 6'0" tall. I'm lucky to get 2" of standover on any 29er I've tried. I guess I'm just the odd man out in 29er land
    You're not the only one. I can't seem to find 3-4" standover on any (FS) 29er, with the top tube length I want. It certainly is an important dimension in certain situations as others have pointed out. So hopefully framebuilders are out there listening and will start building us bikes with more standover.

    I wanted to buy a bike in June. But I haven't yet found one I wanted with enough top tube length and short enough standover. Don't want to spend the $$$ for a custom build. So I haven't bought a bike yet.

  51. #51
    mvi
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    No need lower top tube

    Just copied the link from a couple of posts above.
    Who needs a low TT?
    http://www.blackbirdsf.org/christopheoncx/

  52. #52
    Harmonius Wrench
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    I'm not a fan of the "Super Slope"

    I really don't care for the trend towards "super sloping" top tubes in 29"ers. To get the proper top tube length on the last two production frames that I have bought, I've had to install 410mm seat posts at close to max height. This gets me "great standover" , but really, how much do I need? My Karate Monkey fits me with a road seat post installed and I've never been left wanting for standover.

    The one thing that I've noticed also is that with a longer exposed seat post, your seated climbing suffers from a back and forth flexing of the seatpost. I am losing power to a flexing seatpost which flexes because it's unsupported in a vertcal plane from in front or behind, like a seat tube would be. Stick 200 plus pounds of humanity on top of 300mm plus length of 27.2mm diameter tubing and rock back and forth. Like you would when hammering in the saddle. Flex! Yes, it feels good over the bumps but it sucks for seated climbing. Just one of my pet peeves I suppose, since I've never heard or seen anyone mention this before.

    Getting back to standover, I can't say that I've ever needed a whole lot of it. By the time I'm loosing it on the bike, I'm airbourne and standover doesn't help me one iota there. Just my opinion.

    I think that the "super sloping" top tubes have gone too far and that things need to move back up to more reasonable levels in the area of top tube/ seat tube junctions.
    Riden' an Smilin'
    Guitar Ted

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  53. #53
    aes
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    Hey...
    my buddy Darren is going to do the pix for you guys eh?

    sweet stuff
    and I dig the fact that there's another Austin cycling thing happening.

    btw, where's that pic taken?
    The picture was in Durango. Here are a couple more - one in Crested Butte and one from the Camp Eagle race.

    The bike is working out great. The seatpost is kind of a hybrid of a Moots post with Serotta internals, made by Willits. The laid back version of it serves its purpose quite well for the rider it is underneath, but I wouldn't recommend it for heavier riders. Too much bounce.
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