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  1. #1
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    Is this possible? Frame modifications

    Hey all,

    Just a quick question. I got a really good deal on a steel frame CX bike (09 lemond poprad). I have a feeling its a little bit too big for me. Does anyone know if there are any companies or builders out there that can modify a frame to make it smaller? I honestly have no idea if this is even possible, as I don't have any experience with welding or building bike frames.

    The components themselves are worth more then the price of the bike, so if I had to ditch the frame, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I just thought modifying this frame may be easier and cheaper then finding another steel frame that I like as much as the poprad.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    What size is the frame and what size are you?

    CX frame should be about the same size as a road bike. This is so that you have enough room to shoulder your bike. Technically, you can shrink a frame but in reality, cost is in the MEGA buck region as it takes a long time to do, it is quicker for a frame builder to construct a new frame. I have done it on 1 occasion (lugged), never again!!!!

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  3. #3
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    Its a 57. I'm just over 6'. I've put on a shorter stem already, but I just feel like I am really reaching, especially when I'm in the drops. I don't use it for actual racing, its a commuter/around town bike.

    But thanks for the answer. Maybe I should just sell the frame. I just don't know a whole lot about the used steel bike market, and wouldn't really know what to look for to replace the frame that is just as nice.

  4. #4
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Re: Is this possible? Frame modifications

    Technically anything is possible but it would be a totally impractical amount of labor and cost way more than a new frame and you'd probably be left with some weird geometric compromises.

    For example, to reduce the seat tube height, you'd need to cut out the top tube, cut out the seatstays, cut some length off the seat tube, then re-weld the top tube at both ends, and note that at the top tube/head tube joint, and the seat tube joint, the top tube needs to drop down to the seat tube at a steeper angle, so it has to be re-cut carefully there, which might remove enough material from the top tube end to end that it won't reach the seat tube any more. And, the tube was probably spec'd with internal taper/butting for exactly the original length, such that you'll be re-welding at a slightly thinner are of the tube not meant for a joint.

    And even if that worked, you're left with an awkwardly high head tube for a bike of that size, unless you want to cut some off the top of the head tube too, but it might be tapered in such a way that you can't cut an inch off the top and still have sufficient material there to ream out a headset cup ... And you've still got an awkwardly long head tube on top of it all.

    . . . See where this goes? So i am not a frame builder but it seems impossibly impractical to try, the whole thing goes together basically.

    Sent from (redacted by nsa)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppman View Post
    Hey all,

    Just a quick question. I got a really good deal on a steel frame CX bike (09 lemond poprad). I have a feeling its a little bit too big for me. Does anyone know if there are any companies or builders out there that can modify a frame to make it smaller? I honestly have no idea if this is even possible, as I don't have any experience with welding or building bike frames.

    The components themselves are worth more then the price of the bike, so if I had to ditch the frame, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I just thought modifying this frame may be easier and cheaper then finding another steel frame that I like as much as the poprad.

    Thanks
    Possible, not practical.
    Cheaper to buy a new frame.
    Nothing is a good deal if it does not fit, but that frame should be in the proper range. I am about your height and have always ridden 58-60cm road and 'cross frames.

    Raise the bars, not just use a shorter stem.
    mtbtires.com
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  6. #6
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    Flat bars.

  7. #7
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    What he ^^^ said.

    Also, that frame "should" be about the right size for you. Do you have weird proportions?

    (I know, not quite the answer to the question you asked, but it's been answered pretty thoroughly)

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I don't think I have weird proportions (other than being skinny). Just under 6' 1'', pant length size is 32/33 and dress shirt sleeve length is 34/35. The bike fits great "vertically" its just that I've developed lower back pain recently (not really sure if its associated) and I've always felt that I really need to reach to have my hands on the brifters or in the drops.

    I'll look into raising the bars or different handle bars. Or maybe just go the new frame route if all that doesn't work.

    Thanks for your input.

  9. #9
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    If back pain is the issue, my guess would be flat bars would be a better solution than a too-short frame since a properly sized frame will probably have better handling for you. Probably.

  10. #10
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    Not to go off-topic too much, but I'm exactly the same size as you and a 57 would be just right for CX. That frame has a 575 effective top tube, which should be just about perfect for a relaxed ride. As for your back issues, a longer top tube may hurt or it may help. The more you lean forward, the more you take weight off of your butt and put it on your hands. This may actually take some pressure off your spine (or at least distribute it differently) and feel better, especially for longer rides where you get fully warmed up.

    Apologies if you know all this or you've tried it and it does not work for you.

    Jim

  11. #11
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    Thanks again guys. I know very little about road/cx frame sizing as I've been a life long mtber but only into the other side of things recently, and don't know much about sizing. I'll work on the stem/handlebars some more as it seems I should be able to make this work.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaquesN View Post
    Not to go off-topic too much, but I'm exactly the same size as you and a 57 would be just right for CX. That frame has a 575 effective top tube, which should be just about perfect for a relaxed ride. As for your back issues, a longer top tube may hurt or it may help. The more you lean forward, the more you take weight off of your butt and put it on your hands. This may actually take some pressure off your spine (or at least distribute it differently) and feel better, especially for longer rides where you get fully warmed up.

    Apologies if you know all this or you've tried it and it does not work for you.

    Jim
    To add, try riding with the saddle pushed forward a little along with what advise given here.This has worked for some. A lot of riders make the mistake of trying to sit up-right with a back problem, but this places all your upper body weight onto the troubled area. If you unload your back by putting more of your upper body weight onto your arms to share the load more evenly, the better balance can result in less pain.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  13. #13
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
    To add, try riding with the saddle pushed forward a little along with what advise given here.This has worked for some. A lot of riders make the mistake of trying to sit up-right with a back problem, but this places all your upper body weight onto the troubled area. If you unload your back by putting more of your upper body weight onto your arms to share the load more evenly, the better balance can result in less pain.

    Eric
    Yup. Long, low and stretched out loosens my back and relieves pressure.
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  14. #14
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    Hey;

    Regarding frame reconfiguration; Anything is possible. Very little is feasible.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Yup. Long, low and stretched out loosens my back and relieves pressure.
    It's quite dependent on what problem is causing the pain, of course. For some, it is rolling the spine up, for some arching it forward, and some just relieving vertical pressure. Playing with seat height and angle in order to roll your hips forward/backward can have positive effects on back strain.
    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. #15
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    I had tried moving the seat forward, but that gave me knee pains....

    I haven't had a chance to make any changes to the bike setup, but I will once I get home from this trip.

  16. #16
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    Reach issues need to be addressed at the stem and handlebar, not the saddle.

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