Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sloping Top Tube Madness: Version 3.0

I keep tabs on my traffic to the blog here on Guitar Ted Productions and it's a fun way to see how you are getting linked on this here inner-net thang. Well, low and behold, but what do I find on Wednesday night? A boatload of folks are checking it out and alot are from over the pond. Crazy how you can poke a Badger with a spoon from thousands of miles away, isn't it? (paraphrased from a quote by some make up wearin' English bloke, not that there's anything wrong wid dat!)

Anyway.......The firestorm over there seems to be about the following statement that I made regarding top tube clearance:

"On the subject of standover, I checked my Inbred 29"er last night. FIVE inches under the tires when I lifted the bike off the ground while straddling it. That's way more clearance than I need. I can do with three inches, thank you very much! Three inches of clearance means that the top tube could have been designed to meet the seat tube at a higher point. That means that I would have been able to use a traditional mountain post length of 350mm. (Some certain Englishman thinks 350mm posts are for compact roadie frames. Nice try, but 350mm has been a standard post length fot mtb's like.......since the eighties!)"

The last statement being a referance to a comment made by Brant from On One cycles in which he stated;

"The bikes come with 400mm posts - 350mm in the UK is more a roadie length for compact frames."

So, I was commenting how we here in the U.S. have had 350mm posts for mtb's for a long, long time. Your mileage may vary. All righty then!

It seems that they also grasped onto the "three inches of top tube clearance" phrase also. Well, in reality, my 20" Karate Monkey frame only gives me two inches of top tube clearnce! Has that ever been a problem? No. Might want to pass the top tube clearance memo on to the cyclo-cross racers while we're at it here. ( Hrrumph!)

Am I against more top tube clearance? Again.....NO! I just think it's a silly notion that I need FIVE inches of it, that's all. Of course, others will disagree and that's fine. I'm not against having top tube clearance! A re-read of the last paragraph of "Version 2" might be in order here.

"I would like to see a couple of things happen if the designs stay with these "super sloping" top tubes. One: use a larger seat post diameter, like 31.6mm, which would keep the flex in check for us bigger guys and would also be stronger for such a long length of exposed post. Second: supply these longer, (at least 400mm long) posts with your bikes. That way a shorter rider can cut off the excess post, but a longer legged rider can accomodate his leg extension without buying another seat post or going a size bigger in the frame and compromise his top tube length."

So, to close: If we are to have these "super sloping" top tubes, then give us an option to have at least a 400mm post, ( yay! U.K. guys get this, apparently!) and give us a larger, stiffer diameter post for stability during seated climbing. You can always cut off excess post, or shim down to a 27.2mm post for compliance. It's hard to go the other way with it though, ya know?

Got any questions? Don't be afraid to ask them...............right here! In the comments. I'll respond, I promise!

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