Re: [CR] Measuring frame size

(Example: Humor)

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Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 17:07:07 -0400
From: "Ken Freeman" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Measuring frame size

I think top tube length is fine for custom frames, where the seat lug is placed where the customer needs it to establish setback, and the head tube angle and rise can be similarly chosen to suit. But for purchasing a vintage frame, this simple defintion of reach is modified by the fact that the saddle may have to be moved forward or backward to accommodate teh rider. This may add or subtract effectively from the top tube. One may say it's compensated by stem extension or handlebar reach, but I think it still means that top tube is not strictly correlated to upper body reach requirements for vintage bikes.

Ken Freeman Ann Arbor, MI USA

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 12:55 PM, <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I like top tube length as a means of frame sizing.
> In my shops, when I had shops, and then when involved in designing and
> importing frames, I gravitated to top tube length as the base for sizing. I
> was always a center to center guy, but as top tube angles began to slope,
> all seat tube lengths became useless for the most part. And handling went
> out of the equation IMO.
> To steer this back on topic (and prevent a personal rant), as I began
> applying top tube length to size, even to traditional classic or KOM frames,
> I found this to be a consistent means of measuring proper frame size. Over
> nearly three decades, I can't tell you how many times I heard riders comment
> that Italian bikes were just too short in the top tube. I think this was
> because they were buying/being sold bikes based on seat tube length, and if
> these frames, Colnago for instance, were sized center to top (seat tube or
> seat lug), then they were getting a bike that was a cm or two, or three too
> small.
> Ensuring ample standover room and then going for proper top tube length,
> for me, became pretty much failsafe in terms of putting a rider on a bike
> that fit nicely and handled well for them. My $.02 worth, and probably
> overpriced at that.
> Greg Overton
> interjecting useless information from near
> Denver, Colorado