My questions are these: In the 60's/70's was there a trend toward larger frames? Are more bicycle enthusiasts traditionally over 6' tall? Were shorter frames more likely to be ridden-to-death and trashed? Or. . . do you think this is a misperception on my part and there really are an equal number of frame sizes available out there if you look at the big picture.
I think you have to go back to the late 1950¹s and see pictures or film of
Coppi on his famous Bianchi to be in the era of really big frames.
I often view my 1988 Tour de France tape and wonder how Pedro Delgado could
ever be comfortable on a frame size approaching that of a circus act!
I always believed that for road racing, choose a frame an inch too small and
for touring/recreation an inch or so larger would be comfortable. The stem
height can be the problem on a very small frame. I tend to work backwards
(being in the arts) and work out my saddle height, I use the inseam x .88
and then figure out how much seat post you want showing.
A few years ago, I found myself being drafted by a middle aged italian who
promptly pulled up beside me and gave me the distressing news that my new
(expensive) racing bike was too big for me and I was foolish enough to feel
concerned. I noticed that his stem was raised very high and his riding style
looked claustrophobic. I promptly went to a ³fit Kit² dealer and discovered
that for a 33.25² inseam (5' 8 1/2" height), my choice of a 55cm c to c seat
and top tube length was right on!
The moral of this story is to ride whatever you like and don¹t be influenced