Small Frame Suggestions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Small Frame Suggestions?

    Hi everyone,

    I thought you folks might have some advice for me. I'd like to build up a 'crossy, go everywhere bike for road, fire roads, dirt trails, etc. A cyclocross frame is the likely suspect, but I'm 5'4" with short arms. 700c-wheeled frames usually have toe-overlap and long top tubes (too long for me, anyway). Also, I have some nice 26" equipment that I'd like to use. The ideal bike would be:

    1. 26"-wheeled
    2. singlespeed-able (no eccentric hubs, please)
    3. Cheap

    I'm about to give in a get a Surly Crosscheck in 46cm, buy *another* set of wheels and fuss with bars and stems and spacers and hope I find a good setup. It's the most versitile frame, I believe. If anyone has this size, is their toe overlap?

    Any other ideas? Maybe a Surly 1x1 with dirt-drops?

    Thanks,
    Ginz

  2. #2
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    I was/am in the same boat as you. 5'4" also, but don't think I have particularly short arms. After playing around a lot with the idea of a Surly Cross-Check, I abandoned that idea when a) I couldn't find a red 46cm frame anywhere, and b) I realized that I had just about everything I needed to build a dedicated 26"-wheeled singlespeed bike.

    So, xrmattaz hooked me up with a very tasty Surly 1x1 after some considerable debate around that frame, an On*One Inbred and a Kona Explosif. The Explosif was the priciest of the lot and the Inbred didn't allow me a disc brake option, so the 1x1 is was, then. I should have it build up over the next couple of weeks - I'm treating the innards of the frame now.

    I have no doubts that a 16" 1x1 with dirt drop bars would come quite tasty. I presently run On*One Midge bars on a road-going MTB and I really, really, love them. The more I ride those bars, the more I love them.

    But one bike to take the road, fireroads and singletrack's going to be tricky. Not from a geometry standpoint but from a gearing standpoint. This is why I have one singlespeed for the trails and one singlespeed for the road. If I had to ride my 32/20 gearing for miles on end on the road, I'd go nuts. And there's no way my 46/18 gearing on my road-going MTB is even remotely capable of the trails I ride.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your input. It's difficult decision because the Crosscheck is so much more functional than the 1x1. I like the der. hanger <gasp> and long horizontal dropouts.

    I was thinking of the xtra-small 1x1, roughly a 14" frame.

    Good point regarding gearing. This bike probably won't see singletrack. I'm getting board with my street fixe and 23mm tires. I'd like to be able to hit the asphat then cut through the park on the fireroads to make my rides more interesting.

    Can't decide.... argh!

    Thanks again,
    Ginz

  4. #4
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    The 1x1 in a 14" frame will be too small for you. I double checked this with Nick at Surly before I ordered my frame. The 16" is what you want.

    It's a bit of a moot point, though - your description sounds like you are indeed screaming for a Cross-Check. Nick also confirmed that the 46cm Cross-Check was designed for people of our stature in mind. Rock with the Cross-Check, I say.

  5. #5
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    Mary bars?

    I chatted with my friends at the LBS about the Crosscheck. It looks like the top tube is too long for me once you add drop bars. I can't comfortably reach the hoods (or the drops, for that matter) with a top tube of 52.5. How about Mary bars, set up as a singlespeed? That would give me a normal length stem, give me hand positions closer than the hoods would be, and provide a nice, all-around go anywhere setup.

    This bike will be primarily a road singlespeed, but will see plenty of fireroads and occasional rolling singletrack.

  6. #6
    King Pin
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    Good job! 1x1

    If I were you, I'd just go with what Des (Spinwheelz) did. Build up a Surly 1X1 with a tall (Salsa) stem and Midge bars, choose the proper gearing and rock on.

    I have a roadie fixie that I ride sometimes, but most often the nod goes to the fixie Sofa King (both have Midge bars!), as it is just more versatile. Wanting to do a fifty mile-ish road ride the other day.....grabbed the Sofa King, pumped up the Mutano's to fifty pounds and had a ball! Dropped the pressure down to twenty eight this morning and had a wonderful three hour singletrack journey!

    One bicycle CAN do everything...Matt Chester tol' me so!




    Quote Originally Posted by Ginz
    I chatted with my friends at the LBS about the Crosscheck. It looks like the top tube is too long for me once you add drop bars. I can't comfortably reach the hoods (or the drops, for that matter) with a top tube of 52.5. How about Mary bars, set up as a singlespeed? That would give me a normal length stem, give me hand positions closer than the hoods would be, and provide a nice, all-around go anywhere setup.

    This bike will be primarily a road singlespeed, but will see plenty of fireroads and occasional rolling singletrack.

  7. #7
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