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  1. #51
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    I chuckled at the posts predicting that a bike like this won't sell. Take a look at what's on the market these days and compare to a 1970s bike. Custom or production, 90% of today's bikes would have no hope of selling in 1972. The market continually changes. Even the tradition bound Europeans are putting out "radical" designs. The entire market has changed drastically due to the influence of mountain bikes and their disregard for tradition. I think that this bike looks like what conventional will be in 10 years. Just for the record, I'm a traditional level top tube, level stem guy but I like this bike.

  2. #52
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    Pete, I appreciate the thoroughness of the designs, the completion of the builds, the qualaity of the photos and your willingness to explain and defend your ideas.
    always a pleasure.

    jake

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    When top tubes were horizontal, a road bike weighed 25 lbs.
    If this is an answer to my question why road bikes traditionally had level top tubes, it's pretty cryptic.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    If this is an answer to my question why road bikes traditionally had level top tubes, it's pretty cryptic.
    I think he's trying to convince us that 25 pound road bikes were heavy because they had horizontal top tubes, and not because they had 36 spoke wheels, quill stems, wire bead tires, 9/6/9 tubing...

    The answer to "why did bicycles settle on horizontal top tubes" will probably be either cryptic or apocryphal, assuming you even get one. You see sloping top tubes and longer seatposts on many safeties of the 1890s, but over time the seat tube got longer and the head tube shorter. In some cases the top tube ended up sloping in the other direction. This seems to follow a general trend of lower handlebars.

    Looking through my collection of 1890s cycling books, I can find discussion of larger frames having lower stresses, and also discussion of reducing seat post stresses on frames (for example with the seat pins that put the seat clamp in front of the seat tube). So I could see perceived strength issues at the seat cluster as being one driving factor.

    There might have been some advantage to a level top tube in manufacturing - I'm just waving my hands here but you could determine it was level by using a level or measuring up from the ground. From a sales standpoint it gave you a consistent standover size.

    Maybe the addition of motors to the bicycle and the need for a larger frame had something to do with it.

    Or it just looked 'right'?
    Last edited by dr.welby; 01-19-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Why were they?
    Road bikes need to be sized based on head tube length. It determines handlebar height and saddle to handlebar drop. The horizontal top tube leads to seat tube length c-c which is related to your legs length and determines head tube length.
    All this is changed due to new headsets, stems etc.. it worked around quill stems. I doubt anyone is slower on a 3 hr ride due to riding a traditional design.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    When top tubes were horizontal, a road bike weighed 25 lbs.
    Mine, early 90s steel lugged frame and fork, weighs 21lbs built w/ campy daytona, heavy wheels and heavy pedals.
    compact road frames are ugly to begin with. I want to ride an efficient bike, not a light bike. A bike that fits me and looks good. Compact frames eliminated lots of sizes from the range. Good for companies. Bad for riders.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  7. #57
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    Peter - It was really nice to meet you at Fourbarrel the other morning. Thanks again for the coffee and the guided tour of the bike. Weirdly, I didn't even notice the stem in person and I am nothing if not an aesthete.

    On the right frame, the very wrong thing can often look very right.

  8. #58
    pvd
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    So...... Nobody knows why bikes traditionally had level top tubes. Amazing.

  9. #59
    pvd
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    cataņo, I hope you enjoyed your trip. The ride today was fantastic!

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    So...... Nobody knows why bikes traditionally had level top tubes. Amazing.
    I know...but the only reason I build a horizontal top tube is by customer request. Some like to sit on their top tube during breaks without feeling like they are sliding down a banister.

    Pete, digging the road bike, but damn, we gotta get you to embrace some more colorful finishes

    cheers,

    rody
    As requested by the MTBR gods, I am the voice of Groovy Cycleworks, check it out... http://www.groovycycleworks.com

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    So...... Nobody knows why bikes traditionally had level top tubes. Amazing.
    Think parallel angles, range of sizes, lugged construction and minimum inventory, there's your answer.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    So...... Nobody knows why bikes traditionally had level top tubes. Amazing.
    You know, I originally +repped you for your bike. I regret that now.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  13. #63
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    I must be one of the oldest members contributing to this forum because I certainly remember the bicycle components that dictated the reason we had level top tubes and big frames on road bikes. All seat posts were short back then. Mostly in the 70's that meant Campagnolo and a little later Shimano. They were 180mm long and that means a long seat tube had to come up to meet it. There weren't longer ones for sale. All the road stems like a Cinelli didn't point up so a head tube needs to be long enough to put it in the right position with a seat. And of course almost every frame was built with lugs that confined designs to mostly level top tubes because of the limited angles available.

    I might also mention that the foundation bicycles lots of people got started with back in the bike boom era of the 70's was the Schwinn Varsity, Continential and Super Sport (what I got in '65). They came in a 22 and 24 inch sizes. They weren't measured center to center but center to top. The top tube came in an inch lower than the top of the seat tube. The result of the sizing of these first bicycles was that many thought they needed larger frames then necessary because a 24" Schwinn was in reality a 23".

  14. #64
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    Let's go a bit farther back;

    Very short post.

    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  15. #65
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    So far only one person has gotten close, but it wasn't phrased well enough to get the points for it. It would have to be said in a more deliberate way.

    I'm suprised that this is such a mystery.


    @Rody. YES! I need fancy color but I'm a cheap and impatient guy. 3 days local for cheap powder always ends up being my choice. One day I'll do a fancy paint job and hit you up.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    So far only one person has gotten close, but it wasn't phrased well enough to get the points for it. It would have to be said in a more deliberate way.

    I'm suprised that this is such a mystery.
    It was a hint. I wasn't looking for points.

  17. #67
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    Aaaand... we're done.

    If someone wants to re-start the level vs. sloping toptubes thing in another thread (because that topic has NEVER been discussed on the internet before...) feel free. Pete, if you have more pics or thoughts on stuff not related to stems or toptubes, post a new thread.

    Thanks guys.

    -Watl
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

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