Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

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rehu
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Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby rehu » 10 Jun 2016, 12:58pm

I want to get into touring, but since there are no LBS that carry touring bikes around here I need to get one online. I've been looking at the Ridgeback Voyage, but very uncertain about the size I should choose. I know its hard to advice on this, but perhaps someone here has experience with the bike.

Info on the bike here: http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/bike/voyage

So I'm between the 57cm (TT 563mm) and 60cm (TT 590mm). Based on the angles of the seat and head tube, the 60 cm should give additional reach as well. I'm 186 cm tall, with an inseam of 88+ cm. I ride quite a bit of mountain bike, and I use a 605 mm effective top tube with a 70 mm stem and some sweep in the bars. I'm quite stretched out on the mountain bike, and would like to sit more upright for touring. To me the TT of the 57cm seem very short, but the stem seems long and the handlebars allow for further reach. I'm basically worried that the 60 cm gives too far reach and makes it hard to reach for the brakes; and that the 57cm will be simply too short. I suppose a shorter stem on the 60cm is possible, but harder to extend the already long stem on the 57cm. Some people seem to think the Ridgeback has quite a long reach for the frame sizes, but seems odd with the short top tube measurements.

I would be grateful for any advice, and would love to hear from anyone with experience from this particular model or other Ridgeback models (the Panorama has a very similar geometry).

Cheers!

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531colin
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby 531colin » 10 Jun 2016, 2:23pm

In old money you are 6' 1" with 34 1/2" inseam.....is that crotch to floor or trouser inseam?

In any case, I would advise you to proceed with extreme caution, and never ever buy a bike you haven't ridden.
In your case, you don't even have a drop-bar bike you are comfortable on to compare, and body measurements are a poor guide to bike fit, flexibility and functionality are key.
The bike geometries are interesting. The 57 has a 74 deg seat tube angle, this is rather steep, and will place the saddle forward which pitches the rider forward and puts weight on the hands. The 60 has a head angle 1.5 deg steeper than all the others. This ought to have a very different fork offset, which they don't tell us. 71 deg head needs about 55mm offset, 72.5 deg. should bring this down to about 40mm for stable steering suitable for a touring bike.

rehu
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby rehu » 10 Jun 2016, 3:13pm

Thanks for the advice and insight! The inseam measure is crotch to floor.

I hadn't thought about the fork offset vs head angle, good point! I think I will try some drop bar racers in a shop to get a feel for comfortable reach. Perhaps look a bit around for alternatives as well...

PH
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby PH » 10 Jun 2016, 3:55pm

Where are you?
Really, if at all possible it's worth traveling somewhere to get it right.

rehu
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby rehu » 10 Jun 2016, 6:58pm

PH wrote:Where are you?
Really, if at all possible it's worth traveling somewhere to get it right.


I'm in somewhat remote Sweden. Very few stores carry touring bikes here. But you are probably right, I and should travel to a bigger city and test ride. Thanks for weighing in.

531colin wrote:In your case, you don't even have a drop-bar bike you are comfortable on to compare, and body measurements are a poor guide to bike fit, flexibility and functionality are key.


I took some initiative on your comment, and found out a friend of a biking buddy has a Specialized AWOL Elite, size L. I just took it for a short test ride, and with a little handlebar adjustment this frame seems very comfortable geometry wise for me. Perfect reach and a nice seated position. It was a short ride, so of course it's hard to tell if this would work. Nevertheless it gives a good pointer to the size.

Compared to the Ridgeback, the large Specialized seems closer to the 60 cm

AWOL Voy 57cm Voy 60cm
TT 600 563 585
HT 210 150 180
HA 72 71.5 72.5
SA 73 73.5 72.5
Stack 640 582 614
Reach 404 391 391
Reach stem 463 496 498


I calculated reach with http://www.bikegeo.net/, and numbers matched perfectly with this for the Specialized. Also the Voyager 60cm matched well with the Panorama 60cm with similar geometry (http://www.cyclingabout.com/list-of-xxl ... -cyclists/). Note that I used 2015 Ridgeback geometries here, since this is the model I'm looking at. Calculated wheelbase also matches the numbers by Ridgeback. Although numbers are not 100% accurate, such as unknown stem length, I think its interesting how the 57 and 60 frames give similar reach due to the different angles. Using 2016 geometries, the 60 gives a little longer reach. You can see the calculation here: http://imgur.com/PNVJ0lH. I also overlayed images of the Voyager and the AWOL, and there the main difference seems to be the stem and tube slopes (although photographic effects and unknown frame size in photos makes that comparison a bit tricky).

Anyway, these bikes don't seem dramatically different to me based on this...but I suppose subtle things can make the feel very different.

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531colin
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby 531colin » 11 Jun 2016, 7:32am

I wrote this post yesterday before I saw your post about riding a mate's bike, and your work on the geometries.....but i might as well post it anyway...

I am 5' 10" and about 33 1/4" crotch to floor. I ride 54cm.
I'm not sure you need 2 sizes bigger than me....and if you ride the biggest, what do the 6' 4" guys ride?
I know I said above never buy a bike that you haven't ridden, but as you haven't ridden a drop bar bike, then you are in a poor position to decide by a test ride what is right for you.....they might all feel weird!
You could just buy the 57, knowing that you would want to fit a high-rise stem to get the bars higher, and maybe a long layback seatpost to counteract the steep seat tube angle. If you get the 60 and don't like the steering, you would then be looking for handmade forks to alter that.

Some of these measurements need treating with caution.
"reach" is measured to the top of the frame, so the taller the frame, the shorter the "reach" (because the head tube isn't vertical) ....but the rider is only concerned with reach to the bars, which he will set at the same height on any bike.
A steep seat tube angle gives a short "effective top tube", although the rider will put the saddle in the same place relative to the pedals.

You said you were looking for a more upright position on a touring bike than on your MTB with swept bars, and that could be a difficulty.
With drop bars, you need to be comfortable with your hands on the lever hoods, which are considerably in front of the handlebar stem.
You will need to make some assumptions about handlebar measurements, but it might be useful to compare the hand position on your existing bike with the AWOL, for example.

A lot of these "differences" between bikes can be accommodated by changing the handlebar stem and/or seatpost.....the biggest "difference" between your 3 sample drop bar bikes (both numerically and in its effect on rider comfort) could be the 50mm difference in stem length fitted by the manufacturer.
(edit...actually, the head tube length of the AWOL vs. the 57 ridgeback is 60mm)

Ant
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby Ant » 11 Jun 2016, 8:44am

Do not buy until you try.

I have a 60cm Ridgeback world journey. Lovely frame but is quite long. It was 2011 model and I think the geometry is different now. I would not have bought it if I had tried it first, but it was a sale bargain and so cheap I didn't want to pass it up.

I had put a shorter and taller stem on, which made it a little better but it still felt wrong. I persisted for a while, but recently I have tried selling it as I do not commute on it as much as I used to. I have recently swapped the original drops for some porteur style bars and it has utterly transformed it. Considerably shorter reach, but feels absolutely perfect so I am pretty pleased as the rest of the bike is great. I will now be keeping this one for commuting and longer days out because it is an extremely comfortable frame.

There are so many variables in individual human body size and shape and it can be surprisingly difficult to fine tune a bike. It might be perfect for you, but trying bikes in the shops is always better if you can find shops with bikes in your size.

PH
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby PH » 11 Jun 2016, 10:15am

rehu wrote:
PH wrote:Where are you?
Really, if at all possible it's worth traveling somewhere to get it right.


I'm in somewhat remote Sweden. Very few stores carry touring bikes here. But you are probably right, I and should travel to a bigger city and test ride. Thanks for weighing in.

Ha! OK, more remote than I thought, here in the UK most people are no more than a few hours away from getting to try a touring bike.
Could you not do a short tour on the MTB and plan in a few bike shop visits? Good luck with whatever you choose, however much research you do there's always going to be an element of luck and discovery. I prefer to tour on a flat bar bike, but I wouldn't have known that other than by experience.

rehu
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby rehu » 11 Jun 2016, 12:49pm

Thanks for all the feedback, this is great and I've learned more about bike geometries and steering :) I will probably put of buying for a while.

Ant wrote:Do not buy until you try.

I have a 60cm Ridgeback world journey. Lovely frame but is quite long. It was 2011 model and I think the geometry is different now. I would not have bought it if I had tried it first, but it was a sale bargain and so cheap I didn't want to pass it up.

I had put a shorter and taller stem on, which made it a little better but it still felt wrong.


Interesting! How tall are you? From what I can tell the geometries from 2011-2015 didn't change for the Voyage, but I cannot find a world journey model.

Edit: I found a Journey 2012, which is indeed the same geometry for the 60cm except .5 degrees slacker seat tube angle.

Ant
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby Ant » 11 Jun 2016, 1:23pm

Yeah, that's the one, 2012 model. I am 183cm with 84cm inside leg.

yostumpy
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby yostumpy » 11 Jun 2016, 1:25pm

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=95381.0

here is a link to my short review of my newly aquired (January) Ridgeback World Panorama Deluxe. Its a 60cm, with a layback seat post, and a spa nidd saddle (better than a brooks) . I too am 6.2" (187cm ish) In the first picture I have a 100mm 0 degree rise stem, and whist comfy, I was brushing me knees on the bars , when giving it some beans uphill. later I swopped it for a 110 mm 7 deg, flipped. BUT these are Nittos fabulous Noodle bars. The bars it came with had a very short ramp, with a 120mm stem.

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531colin
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby 531colin » 11 Jun 2016, 1:30pm

Ant wrote:Yeah, that's the one, 2012 model. I am 183cm with 84cm inside leg.


I'm 5' 10" (178cm) with 33 1/4" (84cm) crotch to floor and i ride 54cm bikes....something odd here?

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531colin
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby 531colin » 11 Jun 2016, 1:39pm

You have 2 helpful contributors, neither of whom appear, on the face of it, to be lunatics.
One has bought a ridgeback, found it too long, and fitted porteur bars.
The other found his too short, and fitted a longer stem and Nitto Noodle bars which have a long reach (for modern bars) and a layback seatpost
Buying a bike by remote control is fraught with difficulties!

(I'm certain neither of you are lunatics, chaps.....but its interesting, isn't it?)

rehu
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby rehu » 11 Jun 2016, 3:32pm

yostumpy wrote:https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=95381.0

here is a link to my short review of my newly aquired (January) Ridgeback World Panorama Deluxe. Its a 60cm, with a layback seat post, and a spa nidd saddle (better than a brooks) . I too am 6.2" (187cm ish) In the first picture I have a 100mm 0 degree rise stem, and whist comfy, I was brushing me knees on the bars , when giving it some beans uphill. later I swopped it for a 110 mm 7 deg, flipped. BUT these are Nittos fabulous Noodle bars. The bars it came with had a very short ramp, with a 120mm stem.


Ant wrote:Yeah, that's the one, 2012 model. I am 183cm with 84cm inside leg.



Thanks for sharing! How is your riding style in terms of aggressive/laying low (not familiar with correct terms here) or more upright comfortable touring enjoying the scenery a bit? And what do you guys think about the headtube angle and the amount of trail for the steering of the 60cm frame?

531colin wrote:Buying a bike by remote control is fraught with difficulties!

I suppose that is the conclusion here ;)
If I were to get one of the two sizes, in any case I think I would have to swap the stem for height/length. There seems to be a little layback/offset in the stock seatpost, so that could be changed to shorten the reach of the 60cm frame as well. I suppose both could work, and both could fail hehe

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531colin
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Re: Help choosing tour bike size - Ridgeback Voyage

Postby 531colin » 11 Jun 2016, 4:05pm

I find i need to set the saddle position (forward/back) relative to the pedals so that I have very little weight on my hands....if you set the saddle forward (to shorten the reach) that will throw weight onto your hands, which is uncomfortable.
On the other hand, if the reach is too short, I find myself sitting on the back of the saddle, which is also uncomfortable.
I wrote a bit about "bike set up" which you can download here (from the box with the yellow border)...http://wheel-easy.org.uk/ride-calendar.html