New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

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srb88
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Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 6:21pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 8:27am

Jamesh wrote:Standard geometry it isn't!

To me standard geometry would be between 72 - 74° depending on usage.

Take an old Raleigh catalogue and look up the geometry's in there or the spa website to see what constitutes standard geometry.

What's the general intended usage of the bike?

Best to go back to them in a civilised manner to see what can be done..

Cheers James


The bike has 'Audax' in it's name... I'd struggle to ride 20k comfortably, let alone 200k. For reference I can typically bang out 100k-200k Audax rides on other bikes without difficulty, if not especially quickly.
Although there was one last year where I was first back which I tried to act really nonchalant about- the crowning glory of my athletic career...

Jezrant
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Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby Jezrant » 10 May 2019, 9:08am

I hope you can get a refund from them as you're clearly unhappy with the frame. I would have thought with enough persistence, they will take the frame back and refund your money. You do sometimes see frames that have been returned by customers hanging up on the ceiling in the shops of framebuilders. Unfortunately, for some old-school framebuilders who made their name mainly building racing frames, steep seat angles on small frames is, for them, indeed the standard geometry. I rode frames like that for many years without realising there was a problem. If you have no joy with the framebuilders, I'd sell it and take the hit as life's too short, etc. Just my 2 cts. :)

srb88
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Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 6:21pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 9:13am

Jezrant wrote:Unfortunately, for some old-school framebuilders who made their name mainly building racing frames, steep seat angles on small frames is, for them, indeed the standard geometry. I rode frames like that for many years without realising there was a problem. If you have no joy with the framebuilders, I'd sell it and take the hit as life's too short, etc. Just my 2 cts. :)


Although this maker has made their name building non-racing bikes - mostly touring and audax from what I can see in recent years, and their old catalogues - available online with some searching - don't indicate anything steeper than 74 degrees, even on race models.

fastpedaller
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Location: Norfolk

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby fastpedaller » 10 May 2019, 9:40am

Brucey wrote:
However when buying a frame of OTP geometry it is probably incumbent upon the purchaser to ask what the geometry is, exactly, and the vendor to supply that information on request. In this case I can see nothing but an argument arising, since it presumably can't be proved that the question of geometry ever arose, or that their 'standard geometry' might not fit some folk or indeed vary from other people's 'standard geometry'.



cheers


That's all very well, but (and it's not often I'll disagree with Brucey's opinion), surely (excepting a TT usage) a 76 degree seat will only be suitable for a very small percentage of riders, I'd say about 3% at a guess. The maker should (IMHO) be making it clear to any prospective purchasers that the seat angle has been made steeper in order to prevent toe overlap with the front wheel. This seems to me to be a 'compromise too far', and I wouldn't expect the customer to have to ask.
Last edited by fastpedaller on 10 May 2019, 9:51am, edited 1 time in total.

srb88
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Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 6:21pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 9:44am

fastpedaller wrote:
Brucey wrote:
However when buying a frame of OTP geometry it is probably incumbent upon the purchaser to ask what the geometry is, exactly, and the vendor to supply that information on request. In this case I can see nothing but an argument arising, since it presumably can't be proved that the question of geometry ever arose, or that their 'standard geometry' might not fit some folk or indeed vary from other people's 'standard geometry'.



cheers


That's all very well, but (and it's not often I'll disagree with Brucey's opinion), surely (excepting a TT usage) a 76 degree seat will only be suitable for a very small percentage of riders, I'd say about 3% at a guess. The maker should (IMHO) be making it clear to any prospective purchasers that the seat angle has been made steeper in order to prevent toe overlap with the front wheel. This seems to me to be a 'compromise too far', and I would expect the customer to have to ask.
I assume you mean 'wouldn't expect' ?

fastpedaller
Posts: 1963
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby fastpedaller » 10 May 2019, 9:50am

srb88 wrote:
fastpedaller wrote:
Brucey wrote:
However when buying a frame of OTP geometry it is probably incumbent upon the purchaser to ask what the geometry is, exactly, and the vendor to supply that information on request. In this case I can see nothing but an argument arising, since it presumably can't be proved that the question of geometry ever arose, or that their 'standard geometry' might not fit some folk or indeed vary from other people's 'standard geometry'.



cheers


That's all very well, but (and it's not often I'll disagree with Brucey's opinion), surely (excepting a TT usage) a 76 degree seat will only be suitable for a very small percentage of riders, I'd say about 3% at a guess. The maker should (IMHO) be making it clear to any prospective purchasers that the seat angle has been made steeper in order to prevent toe overlap with the front wheel. This seems to me to be a 'compromise too far', and I would expect the customer to have to ask.
I assume you mean 'wouldn't expect' ?


You are absolutely correct ..... I scanned my note in haste! I do hope you get a refund. As an aside you clearly read carefully enough to spot my error :D , so I can be assured they didn't even put their frame angles in the small print! I've now edited my other note. Thanks for spotting it.

srb88
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Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 9:52am

Well I've made my request. laid out firmly and clearly, but fairly, I think - I'm still avoiding naming the company and will continue to do so, unless they stand by their design in which case they ought to be happy for it to be discussed. I do appreciate it's a pain for them, as a small company trying to compete with multinational manufacturers. I feel much worse about challenging them than I would a larger company, but it could have been avoided by highlighting this unusual feature. If they do sort the issue out reasonably, I may do a short positive thread naming them for sorting it out despite the extra hassle on their part, as I appreciate they probably run on fine margins.

Jezrant
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Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby Jezrant » 10 May 2019, 10:03am

Professional cyclists who were on the small side rode bikes with steep seat angles on long multi-stage races like the Tour de France for decades. I still occasionally ride a vintage Italian racing bike like that. With a bit of tweaking you can sometimes improve the fit, but it sounds like you will never be happy with this frame. I would wait until you get your money back from them, or sell the frame privately, before you 'name and shame'. A much more expensive mistake is buying a car only discover that on long drives to Scotland the seats are awful.

srb88
Posts: 48
Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 6:21pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 10:18am

Jezrant wrote:Professional cyclists who were on the small side rode bikes with steep seat angles on long multi-stage races like the Tour de France for decades. I still occasionally ride a vintage Italian racing bike like that. With a bit of tweaking you can sometimes improve the fit, but it sounds like you will never be happy with this frame. I would wait until you get your money back from them, or sell the frame privately, before you 'name and shame'. A much more expensive mistake is buying a car only discover that on long drives to Scotland the seats are awful.


Of course - though I've not found significant evidence on a frame this size - it's small, not tiny. Also, it's marketed as an Audax model, not a professional race bike suitable for an elite cyclist who may have the training to tolerate a position 99.9% of others would find intolerable.

I'm not out to name and shame either as a threat or punitively following the outcome - if they seriously back this design it's reasonable to name the company in discussing the merits/drawbacks of their product, however.

Samuel D
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Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby Samuel D » 10 May 2019, 10:40am

Others may disagree but I consider such a steep seat tube angle simply an error of design. Who’s asking for this and what’s the advantage? If it ever made sense it doesn’t in the days of threadless headsets with stems of any length and angle easily available while seatposts and saddles have no such freedom.

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horizon
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Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby horizon » 10 May 2019, 10:45am

horizon wrote:How does a steeper seatpost prevent toe-overlap?


Apologies, I meant seat tube but everyone graciously ignored the error - thank you. :)
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

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horizon
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Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby horizon » 10 May 2019, 11:04am

My understanding (having looked at dozens of frame dimensions) is that the top tube length is shortened in order simply to provide a smaller frame size for shorter riders. This is achieved not through changes at the front end (not all of which I understand) but by increasing the seat tube angle (usually to 74 deg). Front end changes may increase the risk of toe overlap but I cannot quite see how this is related to seat tube angle. The only good reason IMV for increasing seat tube angle is to accommodate riders with a short femur relative to height. The overall height of the rider is still no real guide (IMV) to seat tube angle.

My impression of the OP's case is that a genuine mistake has occurred. It is inconceivable that a 76 deg seat tube angle would be specified on an Audax bike. AIUI even most road bikes come in at 74 maximum. I think the toe overlap is a red herring in this case.

What I do think though is that reach is indeed a real issue with 700c diamond frame bikes and it is never really addressed properly except by thoroughly conscientious builders. But it isn't an issue here.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

slowster
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Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby slowster » 10 May 2019, 11:33am

76 degrees is so far out from commonly used seat angles on off the peg touring and audax frames that I would reject the frame. If the builder wants to sell frames with such unusual geometry and not expect customers to complain, then they need to publish the geometry on their website and/or confirm it in writing/email before completing the order, so that the buyer is informed in advance.

If it's the builder I think it is, their website shows a photograph of their audax bike with a similarly small frame and a Brooks saddle. Despite the saddle being set back on the rails, the nose of the saddle appears to be directly over the bottom bracket. I doubt that it would be possible for any of the recognised bike fitting methodologies to produce an acceptable riding position on that bike.

srb88
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Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 6:21pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 11:46am

horizon wrote:My understanding (having looked at dozens of frame dimensions) is that the top tube length is shortened in order simply to provide a smaller frame size for shorter riders. This is achieved not through changes at the front end (not all of which I understand) but by increasing the seat tube angle (usually to 74 deg). Front end changes may increase the risk of toe overlap but I cannot quite see how this is related to seat tube angle. The only good reason IMV for increasing seat tube angle is to accommodate riders with a short femur relative to height. The overall height of the rider is still no real guide (IMV) to seat tube angle.

My impression of the OP's case is that a genuine mistake has occurred. It is inconceivable that a 76 deg seat tube angle would be specified on an Audax bike. AIUI even most road bikes come in at 74 maximum. I think the toe overlap is a red herring in this case.

What I do think though is that reach is indeed a real issue with 700c diamond frame bikes and it is never really addressed properly except by thoroughly conscientious builders. But it isn't an issue here.


I agree - my femur length is 1:4 of my height - bang average.

I wondered if a genuine mistake had occurred but they weren't admitting it, so I checked with a company that uses their frames as stock, and they confirmed the 76 degree angle. However I do wonder if they had to contact the maker to ask this rather than having their own charts, as the maker has referred to me consulting this other company without me mentioning it.

srb88
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Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 6:21pm

Re: New frame. Steep seat angle. Unrideable.

Postby srb88 » 10 May 2019, 11:53am

slowster wrote:76 degrees is so far out from commonly used seat angles on off the peg touring and audax frames that I would reject the frame. If the builder wants to sell frames with such unusual geometry and not expect customers to complain, then they need to publish the geometry on their website and/or confirm it in writing/email before completing the order, so that the buyer is informed in advance.

If it's the builder I think it is, their website shows a photograph of their audax bike with a similarly small frame and a Brooks saddle. Despite the saddle being set back on the rails, the nose of the saddle appears to be directly over the bottom bracket. I doubt that it would be possible for any of the recognised bike fitting methodologies to produce an acceptable riding position on that bike.


I have now formally rejected the frame, in a calm, structured fashion with reference to several other similar bikes on the market and the relevant legislation. They have replied swiftly, to be fair, but rejecting a refund / replacement.

I also mentioned that I had sought advice on a forum, without naming the company. They have been fairly insulting about this, referring to 'so-called experts' and that good cyclists don't make good builders.

In my reply I am pointing out gently that I think this is harsh - forums are full of very knowledgeable people, many of whom work in the industry, design bikes, have been pro riders, and even builders such as Dave Kirk and Richard Sachs use forums. Further, pro cyclists do contribute to frame design. Also the example of the late Mike Hall, who helped Kinesis design one of their bikes.

They have criticised the design of all of the models I listed, pointing out that the smaller sizes use slacker head angles. In my reply I am suggesting to them that even if they think their way of doing it is better, given that it differs to the vast majority, they still ought to point this out in the frame details or on order, even as a positive design choice if they think it is the best way to do things.

My next reply will be an attempt to negotiate, at my cost - perhaps a restocking fee as suggested - to resolve it quickly and amicably, before pursuing more formal advice.