Dear Hilary In answer your posting and question "Have you ever tried a frame with a 1 1/8in top tube? You won't necessarily go any faster with a 11/8in top tube but given other design features being constant you will find the handling of a frame to be more precise. Where this is most of benefit is on bumpy downhills - but on any road that is not smooth the benefits will be-felt. Riders in the past of course managed with the frames available then but so did riders manage with ordinaries when that was all that was available. Frank:
Once again I see you display an unattractive hostility toward Hilary! You simply cannot indulge yourself in attacking a person rather than offer calm reasoned points that would support your opposite view.
In this case, you have really left yourself exposed by being wrong. As a frame builder, rider & sellerof a wide range of pro bikes for over 35 years, I happen to know that the larger top tube does indeed make a difference in steering stability. Is it essential for all bikes and all riders? No, but it's a fact and is a good way to ensure that big frames behave....
But the debate is not the purpose of this message. I am essentially giving you a final warning that you must stop attacking Hilary (or anyone else) or you will be expelled from this list. I urge you to not send e-mail messages for perhaps 10 minutes & re-read to catch yourself...so that you are not acting spontaneously andd thereby getting yourself in trouble.
Understand I am keen to have you stay, I love most/many of your posts but I cannot allow outbursts or attacks.
Yes funnily enough I have ridden an oversize top tube Butler and Rensch for touring and racing purposes and noticed no difference whatsoever. I rode when there were still tramway sets on many streets in London and have toured extensively, all around Britain and most of Europe. You can include the French Alps in the 1950's when the descents were really bumpy. I am of the opinion that there is no advantage of oversize top tubes in steel frames otherwise all the cracks of the 40's and 50's would have been riding them and this was clearly not the case. The fashion if they were so successful would have continued. People have made many claims over the years bent cranks, egg shaped rings etc. All of this stuff was proved to be of no benefit whatsoever. Perhaps just possibly hype and gimmicks to sell trendy equipment and magazines. Finally I noticed you are selling a Rensch on ebay at the moment what are those two fancy bits on the down-tube? Are they the remains of pump-pegs which have been removed at some time. This will be my last posting as I have received another warning from Dale. So much for free speach which my nephew is defending in Bassra. So much fro debate.
Frank Cohen Hoxton UK