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  1. #1
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    The ever shrinking seat tube!!

    I'm always window shopping for a newer ride and am intrigued with the longer / slacker geometry of todays frames. But I notice that seat tubes have dropped from what was once around 20 to 20.5 for large frames ( Yeti's and Intense's ) to 18 to 18.5 inches in size large. I've already gone from my large 2007 Yeti 575's 20.5 ST to my current 2014 large Yeti sb95a's 19.5 ST.

    On one hand I don't care for the look of frames when they get too stretched out for larger sizes. But at the same time, I don't like the look of having a seatpost sticking out 12 - 15 inches. It's like " man, his bike is happy to see him"!!

    So I find myself looking at XL frames now to accommodate my 35.5 inch inseam, and even those are usually 19.5 at the most, but the TT and reach are starting to get too long!

    Anybody else feeling this?

  2. #2
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    It's compact geometry, where the seat tube shrinks, but the top tube and measurements roughly stay the same. Supposed to be stiffer, lighter and cooler looking.
    I think it's why no one measures sizes by the seat tube anymore. And you can buy a bike in a larger size without it injuring yourself at a stop due to lower standover on compact. You used to have to buy a bike one size too small and put a longer stem on it to get a similar result.

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
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    My inseam is 35" also and I only ride XL.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
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    Head tubes are dinky too. This results in stupid low stack heights and the need for 2" of spacers and 3"riser bars. Stems are so so short now that there is effectively no rise to get out of them. Companies like salsa, Santa cruz, and Trek are all the same.

  5. #5
    turtles make me hot
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    Yep. I recently built an XL Surly Krampus and had to get these Jones H Bars with a couple inches of rise built into em so I could have a normal spacer stack. Good thing I like swept bars.
    I like turtles

  6. #6
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    Seat tubes are getting shorter to make room for longer droppers.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Seat tubes are getting shorter to make room for longer droppers.
    +1

    More drop equals shorter ST's

    Much better for the jank ^^

    Buy an XC bike maybe?

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001 View Post
    Head tubes are dinky too. This results in stupid low stack heights and the need for 2" of spacers and 3"riser bars. Stems are so so short now that there is effectively no rise to get out of them. Companies like salsa, Santa cruz, and Trek are all the same.
    I don't mind the shorter seat tubes, especially with the longer droppers available now... but the really low stack heights stopped me from buying a new bike this season. Low stack and for some reason manufacturers cut the F-ing steerer off means I would need to Ebay any fork the bike comes with then buy it again new and uncut figure I will wait for a good discounted or even used demo so I wont take such a big hit flipping the fork $

    Seems like bikes are designed as mediums the XL's get a stretch but not much else or at least not proportional... went on a couple big group rides and all the mediums had bars around an inch lower than saddle hight... the 2 tall guys had seats towering above the bars by 4 inches or more.

    Im only 6'3" but a little more leg than average for my height.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Lee View Post
    I don't mind the shorter seat tubes, especially with the longer droppers available now... but the really low stack heights stopped me from buying a new bike this season.
    That's partially why I'm probably going to a 29er. I tested a Trek Remedy yesterday and with 30mm of stem spacers and a 27.5mm riser bar was still way too low. It was unfortunate because the bike was great otherwise.

    The ever shrinking seat tube!!-2018-01-28-12.24.20.jpg

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Seat tubes are getting shorter to make room for longer droppers.
    Yes, because everyone needs a 200mm dropper post...

  11. #11
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    I'm not tall, but maybe the need more drop than normal people

    At 5'9" I'm happy to see shorter seat tubes because it makes it possible to fit a large frame to get enough reach. I suspect the average designer is 5'10.5".
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Lee View Post
    I don't mind the shorter seat tubes, especially with the longer droppers available now... but the really low stack heights stopped me from buying a new bike this season. Low stack and for some reason manufacturers cut the F-ing steerer off means I would need to Ebay any fork the bike comes with then buy it again new and uncut figure I will wait for a good discounted or even used demo so I wont take such a big hit flipping the fork $

    Seems like bikes are designed as mediums the XL's get a stretch but not much else or at least not proportional... went on a couple big group rides and all the mediums had bars around an inch lower than saddle hight... the 2 tall guys had seats towering above the bars by 4 inches or more.

    Im only 6'3" but a little more leg than average for my height.
    Yeah...I would fully agree with this. Being 6'4" that's exactly what I'm dealing with on my 2018 Kona Process 153 (XL). One of the things I noticed right away was how much pressure I felt on hands/wrists compared to setup on my two older 26" bikes (both XL). The geo on the Process gives me plenty of reach but the bars seem very low with few options to get where I need to be. After getting bike out of the box and assembling, I was surprised that fork steerer tube did not have more length. Came with 18mm of spacers which was the max I could use for length of tube.

    Not many rides on it but eventually I'm probably going to need a riser bar. Regarding seatpost...I really like the 170mm dropper which gives plenty of travel for comfortable climbing position when fully extended.
    07 Kona Dawg Supreme
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Seat tubes are getting shorter to make room for longer droppers.
    Most people don't spend all that much time with the seat dropped so I don't think this is correct. I want the 90% of the riding time to be comfortable. If not, I would buy a downhill bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001 View Post
    Most people don't spend all that much time with the seat dropped...
    So what? My mate doesn't but he still bought the biggest dropper that would fit in his frame. The one-percent of people who can really ride have careers paid for by the dreamers.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    Yeah...I would fully agree with this. Being 6'4" that's exactly what I'm dealing with on my 2018 Kona Process 153 (XL). One of the things I noticed right away was how much pressure I felt on hands/wrists compared to setup on my two older 26" bikes (both XL). The geo on the Process gives me plenty of reach but the bars seem very low with few options to get where I need to be. After getting bike out of the box and assembling, I was surprised that fork steerer tube did not have more length. Came with 18mm of spacers which was the max I could use for length of tube.

    Not many rides on it but eventually I'm probably going to need a riser bar. Regarding seatpost...I really like the 170mm dropper which gives plenty of travel for comfortable climbing position when fully extended.
    Riser bar & riser stem (think they make those)... Plus, a riding bud of mine has a thicker crown race (think that's what it's called) i.e. between fork crown & head tube. It's so he can run a tapered fork steerer in a straight head tube... I'm guessing you could use/find similar to raise the front end.

    PS - some fatter grips would also help.

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
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  16. #16
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    I run a 200mm dropper and did not/ would not buy a bike that could not take at least 185. Seat tubes are shrinking for droppers and they will continue to do so now that every decent trail bike comes with a dropper.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, and calling 20.5" ST frame, a 21.5" frame / XXL.....another trend working against us.
    Slimmer pickings, but thankfully still some very good bikes in both carbon and aluminum to select from, and as others pointed out, long droppers.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Seat tubes are getting shorter to make room for longer droppers.
    Several of y’all have beat me to it. With 150/175 common and a few 200mm droppers out there, I think MORE bile companies should adapt. A lot of people, especially shorter riders on smaller frames, are stuck with 125 (sometimes only 100) mm droppers. There’s tons on threads/complaints on this very issue all over the net.

    Also, any of you y’all guys wanting
    more stack but plenty low enough seat tune for a big dropper, look at Guerrilla Gravity!
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001 View Post
    Most people don't spend all that much time with the seat dropped so I don't think this is correct. I want the 90% of the riding time to be comfortable. If not, I would buy a downhill bike.
    Meaning you disagree with Travis Bickle about the reason seat tubes are shorter? Or you disagree with the design of shorter seat tubes to allow longer droppers?

    Either way, I disagree. That’s clearly the reason for shorter tubes, and I don’t understand why you couldn’t be comfortable with the seat post extended for that 90%.

  20. #20
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    I was in the lbs the other day and they were working on a bike of an owner who just recently moved here. This guy hated his dropper because he always had to drop it a bit to find his ideal pedaling position. The mechanic just slid the post into the frame more and now at full extension his pedaling is ideal. Never assume that everyone knows how it's supposed to work. I spend way more time fully extended than lowered because climbing takes up most of my riding time. I suspect the majority, like myself are faster going down than up. Anyway, if you make seat tube shorter, you can fit a post with more drop. You don't have to like it to understand it.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I was in the lbs the other day and they were working on a bike of an owner who just recently moved here. This guy hated his dropper because he always had to drop it a bit to find his ideal pedaling position. The mechanic just slid the post into the frame more and now at full extension his pedaling is ideal. Never assume that everyone knows how it's supposed to work. I spend way more time fully extended than lowered because climbing takes up most of my riding time. I suspect the majority, like myself are faster going down than up. Anyway, if you make seat tube shorter, you can fit a post with more drop. You don't have to like it to understand it.
    I'm at least 5x faster going down than up ;-P

    2 of those fasters I'll accredit to my dropper =)

    & low stand over...

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
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  22. #22
    bigger than you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001 View Post
    Most people don't spend all that much time with the seat dropped so I don't think this is correct. I want the 90% of the riding time to be comfortable. If not, I would buy a downhill bike.
    I use a dropper a lot. I still don't spend much time with the seat dropped, just on descents, over obstacles, on step-ups and slightly dropped when cornering, but with a dropper post, 100% of the riding time is comfortable.

  23. #23
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    I only use my brakes 10% of the time. I must not need them either.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  24. #24
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    top tube

    Seems like most are not "shrinking" the seat tube but just connecting the top tube further down it. regardless of reasons, as a tall guy I like the look much better. 2008-2009 my bikes looked like road bike frames with a skinny swing arm.

    The ever shrinking seat tube!!-process_134_se.jpg

    I think this 2012 Giant Trance would look so much better with the top tube swooped and welding way down the seat tube.

    Giant Trance X1 – First ride review - BikeRadar

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Meaning you disagree with Travis Bickle about the reason seat tubes are shorter? Or you disagree with the design of shorter seat tubes to allow longer droppers?

    Either way, I disagree. That’s clearly the reason for shorter tubes, and I don’t understand why you couldn’t be comfortable with the seat post extended for that 90%.
    Admittedly my response was based on me reading that "HEAD TUBES" are getting shorter to accommodate longer droppers. I had been discussing this with someone earlier in the thread and my mind stayed on it. I am obsessed with how low Stack heights are and it follows me everywhere.

  26. #26
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    That makes sense. Adding a pile of spacers has to be compensated for with a bit more stem length.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001 View Post
    Admittedly my response was based on me reading that "HEAD TUBES" are getting shorter to accommodate longer droppers. I had been discussing this with someone earlier in the thread and my mind stayed on it. I am obsessed with how low Stack heights are and it follows me everywhere.
    Ah. That makes sense.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Lee View Post
    Seems like most are not "shrinking" the seat tube but just connecting the top tube further down it. regardless of reasons, as a tall guy I like the look much better. 2008-2009 my bikes looked like road bike frames with a skinny swing arm.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	process_134_se.jpg 
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    I agree to an extent, but the lengths are getting shorter from the center of the b.b. to the top of the s.t.!

    As I stated I'm not a fan of the stretched out frame look. But conversely, like several posts back of the picture of the Trek, there is too much seat post showing in my opinion. I guess I'm looking for a happy medium in the top tube slope. Between top tubes that look like road bikes and sloped top tubes that look like old school (70's era) girl bikes. (presumably so they could ride with dresses.)

    I get that the dropper posts with longer travel are the reason, but my freakishly long legs don't need a lot of drop, as I suspect with other taller riders. Hell even with my old 20.5 inch seat tube frame ( albeit a Yeti 575 with the knuckle top tube) all I needed to do was manually drop my post to the clamp and I had clearance for days!

    First world problems...I know!

  29. #29
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    Seat tube are getting shorter. The above graphic is not an example of the norm. My size Large Stache has an 18.5" ST. Large used to be 19-20.

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