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Thread: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Amen.

    CG height no matter on 2 wheel vehicle that leans as it steers.
    CG height is not at the seatstay top tube intersection though. It must be about the smalish rear triangle; that makes the difference.
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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by colker View Post
    I just showed you there is another way around your fit numbers w/ a parallel horizontal top tube. What´s the problem?
    Except you'd have more head tube above the top tube than below. I'm no welder, but I'd imagine that isn't ideal.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    Except you'd have more head tube above the top tube than below. I'm no welder, but I'd imagine that isn't ideal.
    You are right.. it´s a less supported structure (head tube fork and headset) but then Pegoretti has been doing it on smallish frames as well. I like it better from a taste viewpoint only.
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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by colker View Post
    Bars were parallel to stem and top tube.

    Does it matter if it does not flow anymore and each part of the bicycle seems plugged to another like plumbing?
    The great Fausto Coppi didn't get the memo apparently.


    It is nice and all to try to romanticize the past but it isn't what history is all about. From the very beginning bicycle handlebars have been angled according to the preference of each rider.

    As for the last argument, the pipes attached together with lugs and housing going everywhere look more like plumbing job than the sleek integration of some modern bikes.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 11-22-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    The great Fausto Coppi didn't get the memo apparently.
    And that´s what Bartali fans disliked about him.
    I came here for the socks.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by colker View Post
    It´s a way of thinking it but a JP Weigle won´t build like that and it looks balanced.
    This isn't a Weigle, but you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for one from 30' away. Seat lug to saddle rails is almost the same as the head tube length between the headset cups.

    DSC00599.jpg
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Something bonkers happened with the photo uploader. Try this, for a Weigle-style but still with similar exposed seatpost and headtube length. 130mm from the seat cluster to the saddle rails, and the headtube is around 140mm. I could actually use a bit more drop but that Nitto tall stem is all the way down. I’ll get around to it eventually but it’s fine...

    4EEFE22C-FA63-47D2-84B4-29D3F00937EB.jpg
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick k View Post
    Something bonkers happened with the photo uploader. Try this, for a Weigle-style but still with similar exposed seatpost and headtube length. 130mm from the seat cluster to the saddle rails, and the headtube is around 140mm. I could actually use a bit more drop but that Nitto tall stem is all the way down. I’ll get around to it eventually but it’s fine...

    4EEFE22C-FA63-47D2-84B4-29D3F00937EB.jpg
    Link didn´t work.
    I came here for the socks.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Holy Headtube Extension!

    Edwig van Hooydonck back in the 1989 Tour of Flanders and P-Roubaix on his super-Freuler edition Colnago.
    Attached Images Attached Images
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo View Post
    Holy Headtube Extension!

    Edwig van Hooydonck on his super-Freuler edition Colnagos.
    That didn't work - not sure why.

    Maybe if I link to some

    Redirect Notice

    Redirect Notice
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    you're lamenting the fact that a 2020 Porsche 911 doesn't look like a 1965 356.

    it's really easy why most modern bikes don't have level top tubes. they aren't made out of skinny small diameter steel tubes anymore. for most normal race bike positionals- if you want to achieve them with modern shift levers, modern saddles, modern stems, and modern handlebars- and most importantly modern frame materials- the bike just doesn't work with a level top tube. the only exception to this is really big bikes or any other bike that for some reason requires an above average saddle to bar drop.

    big carbon tubes would make most level top tube bike designs look really imbalanced and bad. they'd force the rider to run very little seat post-and the whole thing would just look out of sorts.

    time trial and track bikes almost universally have level top tubes because of the required saddle to bar drop. but road bikes- especially those for average or short riders- aren't going to work with level top tubes for the most part.

    there's nothing you can do about the fact that aluminum and carbon as materials work better when the tubes are bigger. the properties of the steel used to make lugged race bikes works better with smaller diameter tubing. so if you want the benefit of the increased stiffness, decreased weight, and other qualities that modern composites offer you as a frame builder- your tubes are going to be fatter and your bike is going to look better and more balanced and work better for the athlete with some top tube slope in general.

    there really isn't anything to debate or talk about here. if you are average to short- run a regular amount of saddle to bar drop, use modern components and modern bar shapes- unless your bike is made out of small round tubes- it's probably going to sit too tall, not have enough exposed seat post and not "match" at all the style of modern -8' threadless stems, tapered forks, short and shallow bars, modern brake levers, etc. etc.
    bamboo, aluminum, wood.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    you're lamenting the fact that a 2020 Porsche 911 doesn't look like a 1965 356.

    it's really easy why most modern bikes don't have level top tubes. they aren't made out of skinny small diameter steel tubes anymore. for most normal race bike positionals- if you want to achieve them with modern shift levers, modern saddles, modern stems, and modern handlebars- and most importantly modern frame materials- the bike just doesn't work with a level top tube. the only exception to this is really big bikes or any other bike that for some reason requires an above average saddle to bar drop.

    big carbon tubes would make most level top tube bike designs look really imbalanced and bad. they'd force the rider to run very little seat post-and the whole thing would just look out of sorts.

    time trial and track bikes almost universally have level top tubes because of the required saddle to bar drop. but road bikes- especially those for average or short riders- aren't going to work with level top tubes for the most part.

    there's nothing you can do about the fact that aluminum and carbon as materials work better when the tubes are bigger. the properties of the steel used to make lugged race bikes works better with smaller diameter tubing. so if you want the benefit of the increased stiffness, decreased weight, and other qualities that modern composites offer you as a frame builder- your tubes are going to be fatter and your bike is going to look better and more balanced and work better for the athlete with some top tube slope in general.

    there really isn't anything to debate or talk about here. if you are average to short- run a regular amount of saddle to bar drop, use modern components and modern bar shapes- unless your bike is made out of small round tubes- it's probably going to sit too tall, not have enough exposed seat post and not "match" at all the style of modern -8' threadless stems, tapered forks, short and shallow bars, modern brake levers, etc. etc.
    I see the logic and it makes sense. I am not lamenting anything since anyone can still buy a high end road bicycle like bixxis, Pego or stebel w/ horizontal top tubes. Even a not so expensive De Rosa Neo primato has it. BIg corporation bikes like Trek, Canyon, Specialized, Cannondale otoh all have slopping top tubes. Just saying.
    I came here for the socks.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Colker, If you want to see if what TK is talking about go try a bike with a sloping top tube, simple as that. I've had steel bikes with sloping top tubes from both Dave Kirk and TK and I know EXACTLY the sensation that TK describes. It just feels nice when out of the saddle particulalry climbing. And isn't feeling good a big part of the reason we dress up in spandex and do this in the first place?
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Costello View Post
    Colker, If you want to see if what TK is talking about go try a bike with a sloping top tube, simple as that. I've had steel bikes with sloping top tubes from both Dave Kirk and TK and I know EXACTLY the sensation that TK describes. It just feels nice when out of the saddle particulalry climbing. And isn't feeling good a big part of the reason we dress up in spandex and do this in the first place?
    I have 2 xc mountain bikes w/ same reach and stack; both steel, one has the smallish rear triangle. Road bikes are different i know but i ride those mtbs on the same trail w/ the same wheels and i can not see much difference.
    I definitely want to try a slopping top tube road bike. I like changing my mind.
    I came here for the socks.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Dave Moulton talks about the history of sloping top tubes in this blog article.

    It's part of a 3 part series, so you should start with the first one.
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    BSA had sloping top tube bikes in 1910.
    Some great vintage bike shop pics too.

    1910 BSA Road Racer built from 'A' Pattern Fittings – The Online Bicycle Museum
     

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    In Italy we say "non guardare il dito, guarda la luna" ("don't look at the finger, look at the moon").
    So you just look what the actual size of the head tube is. Mr. RS also said something like "everybody looks where the forks steerer ends, but almost none looks where it begins".
    I find those to be very true words. Just look at the whole picture and where the heatube starts and how long it is. I've been sizing my bikes right this way: length of the top and head tube, the rest goes hand in hand.

    Now this is a "stock" 54cm size frame, hence the bars with a bloody good long reach. See the headtube? It's about 14cm only, but the top tube is dropped so the seat cluster results lower without having a sloped top tube. And no spacers under the stem, so the top headset bearing is right under it. Then you get the bike to corner like on rails without having a popeye-arm-sized head tube.
    What's it better, to have a dropped top tube, or two inches of spacers under the stem? As far as connecting the forks to the stem, the former solution is better.



    When quill stems where in use, it didn't seem so offending to have the stem popping up from the forks, this would be approx. 40mm of spacer on a threadless stem...
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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Andrea, those are beauties.

    For my part, I like to try things.

    After years of riding traditional / classical frames with horizontal TTs, I've been riding various compact frames with sloping TTs over the past few years. These are not mass produced cookie cutter frames, although I get Richie's point re: mass production efficiency.

    All of the compact frames I've owned provide easier standover vs. a traditional horizontal TT frame in a similar overall size - so less, "ow, my hip". That said, one of the three frames is truly compact, and feels it. It reminds me of my BMX childhood - I perceive that it's easier to throw my weight around, front to back and side to side. A lot like the quote attributed to TK. The bike feels lighter, reactive, toss-able. OG Spooky Skeletor. It's a fun bike.

    Is this feeling/perception objectively measurable? Who cares? It is the experience of the bike, and I like it. Horses for courses.

    That said, I agree that the horizontal TT configuration makes for the most elegant, classical, aesthetic bicycle. I don't think the original question pertained solely to wall hangers, although I appreciate the point about beauty. How much seatpost and stem is too much? That's more or less the same as how much bare skin is too much? Some say any is too much, some say there is no such thing as too much, and yet others say I'll tell you when I see it.

    Surely we can agree: There is never just one answer for every set of circumstances.

    I'm thinking my next bike will have a horizontal TT.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    In Italy we say "non guardare il dito, guarda la luna" ("don't look at the finger, look at the moon").
    So you just look what the actual size of the head tube is. Mr. RS also said something like "everybody looks where the forks steerer ends, but almost none looks where it begins".
    I find those to be very true words. Just look at the whole picture and where the heatube starts and how long it is. I've been sizing my bikes right this way: length of the top and head tube, the rest goes hand in hand.

    Now this is a "stock" 54cm size frame, hence the bars with a bloody good long reach. See the headtube? It's about 14cm only, but the top tube is dropped so the seat cluster results lower without having a sloped top tube. And no spacers under the stem, so the top headset bearing is right under it. Then you get the bike to corner like on rails without having a popeye-arm-sized head tube.
    What's it better, to have a dropped top tube, or two inches of spacers under the stem? As far as connecting the forks to the stem, the former solution is better.



    When quill stems where in use, it didn't seem so offending to have the stem popping up from the forks, this would be approx. 40mm of spacer on a threadless stem...
    I am all for the Pego way.. I should have said sloped and not dropped top tube.
    I came here for the socks.

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    Default Re: What´s the reasoning behind dropped top tubes on a road bike?

    The lines haven’t moved; the dots that connect are in a different place.

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