Great post. I was just venting to another listmember how so many people seem to buy bikes too small, and then complain about having to jack the bars up to get comfortable.
In China, I think they call it "feng shui".
Grant McLean Toronto.Ca
Jan Heine wrote: Instead of getting shims in the headset, sloping top tubes and other trickery, just get a taller frame. That is how the French did it, and it looks much nicer when the stem isn't half a foot above the TT. You can use totally standard components.
For example, a typical Singer may have a 62 cm (c-t) seat tube and a 57.5 cm (c-c) top tube. That frame rides the same as a 59 cm Rivendell... but, in my opinion, looks a lot better. As long as you can straddle the frame, no problem. I assume you'll ask for a low BB anyhow, making any frame easier to straddle.
Look at old photos - many riders until the 1960s had less than a fistful of seatpost showing. It's not that they didn't know how to make smaller frames back then. On the rough roads, with the long race distances, and resulting slow speeds, they just liked their bars higher. (Even today, you see European pros ride higher bars than most American Cat. V racers...)
These days, a bike with a Campy NR post at the insertion limit just looks wrong to me (just my personal opinion, of course). But I believe no part of a bike should be at the limit from the get-go. For example, the seat tube angle should be such that the saddle isn't pushed back all the way. The stem shouldn't be pulled out as far as it will go. The tires shouldn't fill all available space. When a bike is new, it should have some possibility for adjustment. Later, for a second or third owner, the situation looks different - you make do, and you'll be glad that the bike wasn't spec'd too extremely to begin with.
BTW, Mercian do an excellent job for a very affordable price.
Jan Heine, Seattle
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