Re: [CR]RE: Frame size/saddle-height/handlebar height

Example: Framebuilders:Masi

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 08:34:38 -0800 (PST)
From: Tom Dalton <>
Subject: Re: [CR]RE: Frame size/saddle-height/handlebar height
To: Diane Feldman <>
In-Reply-To: <000b01c08df2$b71e6b40$>

David, To characterize consumers as "suckers" simply because they buy what is made available to them might be bit unfair. Perhaps you are simply suggesting that the bike industry (and the publications that are supported by it) is not putting customers' needs first these days. I would have to agree with that. But, I bet it's a lot easier to point to Lance Armstrong's Trek, say "it weighs 18 pounds and has 18 gears and he won the Tour de France," than to say "you're old, over weight, and you're no Lance Armstrong. Your requirements are nothing like his. To obtain a posture that your tired body is capable of maintaining, you need a bigger frame. Given that you don't have a personal mechanic or an unlimited supply of chains and freewheels, and considering that you don't know how to properly select your gears anyway, you don't need 9-speed STI... "

To be sure, significant forces in the bike industry are selling customers gear that will ultimately hinder their progress as riders and drive them away from the sport. These are the companies that sold everyone MTB's (yuk) and then fully-suspended MTB's (double-uck) and now nobody is buying much of anything. They didn't enjoy cycling, even after they bought in to the $2000 Y-bike. They've moved on. Go figure. The bike industry certainly shoots itself in the foot now and again.

Getting back to the poor consumer, how can we blame him or her? Without significant experience, or honest advice from someone with significant experience, he or she is left to use what's most readily available. This leads me to a certain gripe I have about attitudes voiced by some CRer's and other Retro types: Is it reasonable to expect that people will go out of their way to track down out-of-production equipment to "enhance" their riding experiece, when what most people care about is the ride and not the asthetics, history, nostalgia, etc. that drives us to our strange pursuit? Really, if I'm going for any half-serious ride I ain't packing friction shifting, toeclips, or tubulars, be sure of that. The new stuff is simply better. If I ever get back to the point where I'm riding more than twice a week, I'll be 9-speed STI'ing as soon as I can afford it. Aside from that fact that such systems provide performance advantages over my current 7-speed downtube system, I just don't want to have to hunt down old style Campy axles and NOS 7-speed freewheels when I inevitably need them. I don't have the time or the money to use and maintain collectable equipment. I'll save it for the ocasional nostalgia ride.

BTW- It was Rodale Press. Now it's Rodale Inc. Since they fired everyone who actually rode a bike, Bicyling has become a bigger rag than ever. I can't tell ad from editorial anymore. But are they really a significant influence on consumers? I think shop employees and fellow riders have a lot more influence here. Most people are smart enough to see Bicycling for what it is.

Tom Dalton

--- Diane Feldman wrote:

> And it's why most recreational riders are suckers if

\r?\n> they let themselves get

\r?\n> scammed into buying the newest types of road bikes

\r?\n> by bike companies or

\r?\n> Rodale Publishing!

\r?\n> David Feldman

\r?\n> ----- Original Message -----

\r?\n> From: "Andrew & Merilee Gillis"

\r?\n> <>

\r?\n> To: <>

\r?\n> Sent: Friday, February 02, 2001 10:01 PM

\r?\n> Subject: [CR]RE: Frame size/saddle-height/handlebar

\r?\n> height



\r?\n> > To all CR's:

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > I want to thank Tom Dalton for his thorough and

\r?\n> well reasoned coverage of

\r?\n> > the issue of modern vs retro saddle height (and

\r?\n> handlebar height). I only

\r?\n> > want to add a few items to his list (IMHO):

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > 1. My copy of Bernard Hinault's (& Claude

\r?\n> Genzling's) book "Road Racing

\r?\n> > Technique and Training" comments on pg 101

\r?\n> (Climbing, seated back) :

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > "The position for flat riding that we described

\r?\n> earlier is also good for

\r?\n> > climbing, especially because the saddle is high.

\r?\n> If road riders used to

\r?\n> > feel they had to raise their saddles for mountain

\r?\n> passes, it was because

\r?\n> > they were often too low by ergonomic standards."

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > 2. Besides all of the modern road and technology

\r?\n> improvements which have

\r?\n> > increased bicycle speed and necessitated a

\r?\n> powerful and aerodynamic

\r?\n> > position, I think that the increase in high

\r?\n> dollar/high stakes racing

\r?\n> > sponsorship promotes a trend towards "perfect"

\r?\n> body types. Those whose

\r?\n> > physiologies aren't skeletally perfect just don't

\r?\n> cut it.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > 3. Modern arched cycling shoes allow for a higher

\r?\n> seat position due to the

\r?\n> > alignment of the foot. Old style flat-soled shoes

\r?\n> (I'm virtually certain)

\r?\n> > promoted a flatter angle of the foot and

\r?\n> consequently a lower seat height.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > 4. A too-low handlebar position is verifiably hard

\r?\n> on the body. I have

\r?\n> some

\r?\n> > mild bone spurs in the back of my neck due to 20

\r?\n> years of straining to

\r?\n> > raise my head up. I've solved this problem by

\r?\n> using an extended steering

\r?\n> > tube (added a 13mm headset washer) and a higher

\r?\n> stem.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > The Nitto "Pearl 12" stem is the same horizontal

\r?\n> size as a 13 cm Cinelli,

\r?\n> > but is vertically 4mm higher than a Cinelli 1A,

\r?\n> and 6mm higher than a

\r?\n> > Cinelli XA, relative to their maximum heights

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > I'm also glad to have the option of installing a

\r?\n> 3T "Morphe" handlebar if

\r?\n> I

\r?\n> > ever need to go higher (about 13mm higher than

\r?\n> 1997 Cinelli Eubios).

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > 5. I was indirectly reminded of the

\r?\n> non-correlation of my bicycle design

\r?\n> > and posture to modern "professional" machines thru

\r?\n> an article in European

\r?\n> > Car magazine: A comparison between the VW 1.8

\r?\n> turbo engine and a Formula 1

\r?\n> > engine showed that the two designs are so

\r?\n> task-specific that there is

\r?\n> > virtually no similarity!

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > regards,

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Andrew Gillis (warming up in Long Beach, CA)