Frame advice

I was fleeced by Evans bought a Trek 2.3 road bike a couple of years ago on the evans version of the cycle to work scheme and it is way too small for me (it's a 56, I am 6 foot tall with a fairly long back and I have done a few thousand miles on it and it still kills my back). I am thinking about getting all the nice 105 bits taken off it and using them to build a winter road bike/fast commuter/light tourer type deal that actually fits. I've been riding a Dawes ultra galaxy in a 58 for the last year or so and I love it, although the reach is perhaps a tiny bit too long for me if on the hoods (it's the old style not the new compact version). However I'd rather keep this bike for touring until I'm old and crinkly rather than having it written off by an impatient pr*ck commuting in London. So . . . . . .

. . . . is this a good idea? what frame would people recommend? I've had 2 people recommend a Ribble winter trainer and I am leaning towards this, however I'm a bit nervous about buying a frame over the internet without trying it for size. Loving my galaxy is making me lean towards steel - does anyone know of a lightish steel frame that they would recommend or is it best to stick with aluminium and accept a harsher ride? Budget is not hugely restrictive but I'd rather not spend too much on a bike that is going to be a work horse - (I am intending to buy a nice carbon best bike at some point in the future if I get fit enough tot deserve one!). I'm looking for something with fairly upright geometry as I have hugenormous breasticles that give me back pain if I'm too bent over :whistle:

thanks chaps!
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
Building a bike from bits is horrendously expensive, Becs. You will get far better value if you get a new one that fits. Last years model if you can find one.
 

P.H

Über Member
What you describe sounds like a light tourer, sometimes also labeled Audax or training. It'll have geometry somewhere between a tourer and road bike, take road bike components so most of the kit and wheels from your Trek will fit straight on. I wouldn't rule out Aluminium, geometry and tyres will have a greater affect on comfort than frame material, having said that I'd also prefer steel. It's just that frames made from cheap steel have no advantage over aluminium ones and will be considerably heavier. Good steel frames will be more expensive. Shame on Evans for selling you the wrong size bike, but it's not just them, I had a proper bike fit session a few years ago, it was the best £50 I've spent on cycling and has given me the confidence to know what frames will fit me.
A good example of this type of frame comes from Arvis (£415), it gets rebadged by a lot of dealers so you see them with a variety of names the most common probably Hewitt. Depending on which side of London you're on, these near Bedford have a good reputation;
http://www.byercycles.co.uk/Bikes 0611/002 Aravis audax frames .html
Decent Aluminium frames with a carbon fork are likely to be £100 cheaper, a couple worth looking at are Tifosi CK7 and Kenisis Racelight T2;
http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/products/racelight/t2
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Really? I am new to this but as far as I can see it I have everything I need except a frame that is big enough - am I missing something?
Nope, you sound like you are spot on and other then the frame, some new cables is all you will need (might not even NEED those if yours are still the right length to route on the new frame and are in good shape, but you may as well replace them :tongue:)

Steel in general is not that heavy if you buy a high quality frame as it will be butted (thinner walls in the centre, thicker near where it is welded).

I dont know of specific frames that will suit you, but if you say the 58cm Dawes seems to stretch you out, IMO you would be better going for a smaller frame, say a 56cm to get the reach right, then pushing the saddle up and if necessary raising the handlebars a bit with an angled stem. When you look at the sizes, look to the geometry chart and look for the "virtual top tube length" or "horizontal top tube length", this is the most important measurement.

Maybe the issue you are having with the other bike from Evans is that they sized you for the right top tube length but now to get the saddle height right, you/they have pushed the seat up and now the bars are too low and you are leaning forward a lot, try flipping the stem to raise the bars a bit?
 
Nope, you sound like you are spot on and other then the frame, some new cables is all you will need (might not even NEED those if yours are still the right length to route on the new frame and are in good shape, but you may as well replace them :tongue:)

Steel in general is not that heavy if you buy a high quality frame as it will be butted (thinner walls in the centre, thicker near where it is welded).

I dont know of specific frames that will suit you, but if you say the 58cm Dawes seems to stretch you out, IMO you would be better going for a smaller frame, say a 56cm to get the reach right, then pushing the saddle up and if necessary raising the handlebars a bit with an angled stem. When you look at the sizes, look to the geometry chart and look for the "virtual top tube length" or "horizontal top tube length", this is the most important measurement.

Maybe the issue you are having with the other bike from Evans is that they sized you for the right top tube length but now to get the saddle height right, you/they have pushed the seat up and now the bars are too low and you are leaning forward a lot, try flipping the stem to raise the bars a bit?
Thanks Rob3rt (and to P.H. also)
With regard to the Trek I have tried everything. I spent a long time changing the saddle position then eventually went for a fitting where they told me I was between sizes so they would normally recommend going down to the 56 but when looking at me on it on turbo they agreed it was too small. The net result is I now have a bike with a very long flipped stem and an incredibly ugly headset extension and a saddle pushed way back (otherwise known as "bastardised" by the Sunday london ride chaps!) and it is still not comfortable for any more than 20 miles. When I say the Dawes feels a little long it is only a fraction and I have done plenty of 60+ mile rides on it, even across Dartmoor fully loaded and have had no back problems - it just feels a bit nicer when I hold the straight bar rather than the hoods! I'm sure improving my core strength will help me cope with the geometry of the pre-bastardised Trek but many very experienced people (Delseqq and the like) have told me to sell it and go bigger.

P.H. - thanks for the links and you are spot on with what I am after. I am on the right side of London for Bedford so I might check that place out.

Does anyone have any experience with the Ribble winter trainer? It seems really good value to my novice eyes - maybe even worth getting the whole bike and swapping the bits over to the Trek perhaps?
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
If the Dawes is just a tiny bit too big and you intend to keep that, can you borrow or buy a cheap stem that is maybe 10-20mm shorter and see what it is like? You could also possibly tilt the hoods back toward yourself a bit by rotating the handlebars so the drops point a bit more downward (not to much or then it will start to look like a bastardised bike too, lol) but it might help a bit.

Core strength will help, but of you are regularly covering miles and still finding it to be a bit of a nag then there is likely something just a teensy bit off.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
first of all you were done by Evans, and they should be ashamed of themselves. And if someone from Evans is reading this, it's time to put matters right. The bike is too small all round.

I'd take the Dawes in to Brixton Cycles and ask Lincoln or Barney for advice. Ask them if they can get a 57 Dolce in for you to test ride.
 
first of all you were done by Evans, and they should be ashamed of themselves. And if someone from Evans is reading this, it's time to put matters right. The bike is too small all round.

I'd take the Dawes in to Brixton Cycles and ask Lincoln or Barney for advice. Ask them if they can get a 57 Dolce in for you to test ride.
Thanks DZ. I will have to pootle down there sometime soon - I was going to just get a shorter stem from Dad but it would be nice to get a check over, although for the most part it's super comfy. You have seen me on both bikes so I value your advice highly! With regards to the Trek I'd just quite like to make something of a bad buy if possible. The 57 Dolce - is that a specialized? Do they do proper bike fittings in the shop?

Ideally by the end of the year I'd like to have the Dawes for proper touring, a shiny carbon best bike (reward for getting slimmer when I get there) and a fast commuter/audax thing made fairly cheaply with bits of Trek that will be the everyday commuter.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
first of all you were done by Evans, and they should be ashamed of themselves. And if someone from Evans is reading this, it's time to put matters right. The bike is too small all round.

I'd take the Dawes in to Brixton Cycles and ask Lincoln or Barney for advice. Ask them if they can get a 57 Dolce in for you to test ride.
+1. Fit is going to be the key issue here. BC will do you right.

BTW, for 2013, Trek have got a new disc-braked urban CX/winter bike/light tourer, the Crossrip- if it's anything like as good as my Portland, it would be well worth a look (and the 105 bits from your 2.3 could go on the carbon when you get it). The Ribble's a great value frame, but it's skinny tyres only, and having 28mms or larger on will definitely compensate for any harshness in the frame.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
Thanks DZ. I will have to pootle down there sometime soon - I was going to just get a shorter stem from Dad but it would be nice to get a check over, although for the most part it's super comfy. You have seen me on both bikes so I value your advice highly! With regards to the Trek I'd just quite like to make something of a bad buy if possible. The 57 Dolce - is that a specialized? Do they do proper bike fittings in the shop?

Ideally by the end of the year I'd like to have the Dawes for proper touring, a shiny carbon best bike (reward for getting slimmer when I get there) and a fast commuter/audax thing made fairly cheaply with bits of Trek that will be the everyday commuter.
the Dolce is a Spesh, and it's 'women=specific'. Some people (including my brother, who knows more about this than I do) reckon the women-specific thing is horsefeathers, but the idea, as I understand it, is that they cater for a longer leg length and a shorter reach to the bars - and that sounds a bit like what you're after. But....you only get to find out by trying it.

I think that the bike fitting thing is neither here nor there. It's about having a proper conversation with someone who knows what they're on about and watches you ride it. When Susie bought her bike I was too nervous to offer much help, but the BC staff watched her carefully, made some small adjustments and said 'that's right'. And, of course, it was!
 
the Dolce is a Spesh, and it's 'women=specific'. Some people (including my brother, who knows more about this than I do) reckon the women-specific thing is horsefeathers, but the idea, as I understand it, is that they cater for a longer leg length and a shorter reach to the bars - and that sounds a bit like what you're after. But....you only get to find out by trying it.

I think that the bike fitting thing is neither here nor there. It's about having a proper conversation with someone who knows what they're on about and watches you ride it. When Susie bought her bike I was too nervous to offer much help, but the BC staff watched her carefully, made some small adjustments and said 'that's right'. And, of course, it was!
Excellent. I'll give them a call. Weirdly Dad and I got measured at the same place and I came out as a 56 and he a 58, even though I am taller than him. Although when I nick his Roubaix it feels quite good!
 
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