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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a road bike that fits me.

I recently purchased some Midge bars in an attempt to get comfortable on my current bike to no avail.

I must say I adore the Midge's hand position in the drops, the best of my limited experience. I can easily get to the brake lever in the drops which is something I struggled with with other drop bars, an I could ride there all day happily.

The problem is, I can't, even with a steerer extender and riser stem get the bars high enough to function properly for me. Close, but still about an inch to go. Of course, as the bars have come up, they have also come closer, making the cockpit a bit cramped. My current bike is a little too small I am finding.

The reason I need high bars is due to a high saddle position 32-32.5" above the BB. I'm 6'1", with a 36.75" inseam. Unfortunately, the long legs left me with a relatively short torso, and on top of that I'm not particularly flexible and like my MTB bars about 1" below my saddle. From what I can tell I'm built a bit like Matt Chester, so I know there is hope for me with drop bars.:)

Ultimately, this may culminate in a custom build, but for right now I am considering two options:

Get a Cross Check set up for Midge drop bars. I would use every bit of the X-checks steerer and a riser stem to get to a correct height, but I think it would work.

or

Set up and ride the Monkey as a roadie. The Monkey is nice because the suspension corrected fork brings the front end up...I still use all the steerer available. (also nice because I could then buy a Haro Mary to replace the Monkey's commuter position)

Anyway, I want a versatile roadie that is comfortable to ride in the drops and versatile enough for fenders, racks, etc Having the tops of the Midge's about even or a little higher than the saddle would make me comfortable in the drops.


The questions:

1. Cross Check or Monkey roadie?

2. What size cross check. I ride a (large 24.3ETT) Monkey with a 70mm stem. The road bars sweep forward about 2.5 inches to the inside of the drop where my hand would sit. Should I simply subtract 2.5" from the 24.3 ETT of the Monkey and get the 54 (seems quite small to me), or is it more complex? As the bars come up, you are shortening the cockpit, so could probably get away with a 58 (24.8 ETT)?

3. Should I be considering any other non-custom frames.

Thanks
 

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climb
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Enel,

What size is your current bike? Will the new bike be used off-road? Will the bike have gears?

I'm 6'1" with 35.5" inseam and 31.5" seat hieght. I, personally, would be looking at the 60cm xcheck.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I have an XL KM that fits awesome with longish stems, and a CC 60cm that is just a bit too big. I use plain Salsa road drops.

Have you looked at the fork PLUS headtube length between CC and KM? The diffence might be less than you think.
A nice idea might be to get a longer fork for the CC. 420mm would almost gove you that inch. However, the slacker angles (by 1º) will see you wanting to slide the seat forward some half inch, so you'll need a longer stem or frame even more.

I am about to build a Monocog (or my existing KM) as a Midge bar commuter/do-all. Main thing for me is they accept FAT slicks, which make me so happy. Less braking for corners, and most corners I cut straight off anyway. High speeds, possibly higher than with most narrow tires.
Midge bars seem to fit nicely with top tubes longer than the typical road bike? Perhaps as you say due to the height they're mounted at, bringing them closer to the seat...
 

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eric just ride the poor monkey!it needs some lovin.just put a high stem,ive got
a great salsa 40 degree rise just sitting here.that with some spacers will put
the bars just about right.besides THE MONKEYS GOT SOUL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
jl said:
Enel,

What size is your current bike? Will the new bike be used off-road? Will the bike have gears?
I ride a size "large" Softride Solo. It is one of the older tubular softride frames.

Looks like this:



That was set up for commuting with mustache bars...liked it, but not as much as the Midges. The steerer extender also made me nervous on the descents.

I bike would be used primarily for road/dirt road/commuting.

I really like the "beam" experience, but I can't get the bars up and I think it will have to go.

Gears...yes, but the ability to go SS/fixed would be nice.

Softride's stats say the ETT for the large with the saddle in the 73 degree position (I ride slightly steeper) is 58cm. This is probably most equivalent to the 60 cm Cross check's 60 cm ETT at a Sa of 72 degrees.
 

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Drawing board.

It sounds like you need to take the measurements from a bike that fits the way you want it to and figure out which option will put the BB, saddle and drops where you want them to be.

Suspension corrected or not, the KM wasn't designed for drop bars. As Cloxxi noted, any additional A-C needed for the fork was taken out of the HT so that it could be ridden with flat or riser bars and a normal stem.

Here is a pic of my Large KM with midge bars and a 100mm/15 degree stem. You can see how far out you'd have to go with steerer length and stem angle to get the bar up. FWIW, I am 6'4" and the saddle in the pic is set low for trail riding.
 

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Squalor
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Enel - Welcome to my world...

I am 6'1" all legs (81cm saddle height) and like my bars near my saddle.

I'm going to tell you now that it is going to be hard to get in the right position on the CrossCheck. I have owned 2. A 58cm and a 56cm and I never could get the bars to the appropriate height. If I had to buy another it would be the 60cm and just use a short stem. With the Midges and the WTBs you really need to get them up there. Seriously - It gets said all the time, but the bars are just better when they are higher.

I'm also not a big fan of LOTS of spacers and I had to do that on the CC. I've posted a bunch of pictures of my CC setups so that will give you an idea of what I had to do to get the bars where I had them and they still were not high enough. Hence the Rock Lobster (posted pics in a thread a few days ago).

I really don't know what to tell you. This is the reason custom frames are made. Also, I'm not sure of your tastes, but Rivendells are not a bad alternative. I personally would go with a custom builder though.

Another production bike that just came to mind is the Serotta Fierte. It's a straight up roadie, but it has a pretty tall headtube and they ride nicely. They run short in the TT so I would look at the 60cm if I were you. That's the size I rode on a test ride, and it fit pretty well.

Good Luck and let us know what you come up with.

LP
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your Lobster sort of got me thinking in this direction.

What I am hearing (and it is not a bad thing) is that I am screwed and better call a builder:)

Just had to work the cheaper options to clear the conscience.
 

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lanpope said:
Enel - Welcome to my world...

I am 6'1" all legs (81cm saddle height) and like my bars near my saddle.

I'm going to tell you now that it is going to be hard to get in the right position on the CrossCheck. I have owned 2. A 58cm and a 56cm and I never could get the bars to the appropriate height. If I had to buy another it would be the 60cm and just use a short stem. With the Midges and the WTBs you really need to get them up there. Seriously - It gets said all the time, but the bars are just better when they are higher.

I'm also not a big fan of LOTS of spacers and I had to do that on the CC. I've posted a bunch of pictures of my CC setups so that will give you an idea of what I had to do to get the bars where I had them and they still were not high enough. Hence the Rock Lobster (posted pics in a thread a few days ago).

I really don't know what to tell you. This is the reason custom frames are made. Also, I'm not sure of your tastes, but Rivendells are not a bad alternative. I personally would go with a custom builder though.

Good Luck and let us know what you come up with.

LP
LP,

I'm glad you posted this. I've been holding off on the CC because it just hasn't felt right. I'm thinking about creating an on/off-road scorcher. You have now confirmed what I've been thinking all along... Rivendell...

I just don't have the bling right now for a custom :(...

So Enel, that's where I'm goin'. Hopefully by labor day I'll have it all set up :)...
 

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ShivaSteve said:
Have you looked at Surly's Long Haul Trucker? I think the head tube is taller in a given size than the Cross-Check.
The LHT is a great bike except... vertical dropouts. I would drop coin instantly on an LHT if it had the CC dropouts. Oh, well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think I have the sizing figured out. With Fixedgeardan's Super-rise Salsa stem, I am finally at a comfortable position in the drops.

The bike looks absurd:



Rube Goldberg would be proud:



But it fits me pretty well when I ride in the drops:



Forgive gayish running clothes;)

With this stem, I think I can make the crosscheck work with the Midge bars. From the axle to the top of the stem on the steerer is 700mm = crosscheck's 400 mm a-c + 300 mm steerer.

I love that with these bars I can reach the brakes easily in the drops with a single finger. I always had trouble getting to them with typical roadie bars. Probably because the excessive drop (for me) put me is an awkward position. Time to put on the bar wrap, I'm sold.

Any comments on the position?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Very nice looking bike.

Would be a killer commuter/all rounder.

Wish I had a nice short inseam like that.
 

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Soma Smoothie ES? Might be a touch long in the top tube and it's got vertical dropouts, but it comes in tall sizes and you can get a fork with a 400mm steerer.
 

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Enel said:
I think I have the sizing figured out. With Fixedgeardan's Super-rise Salsa stem, I am finally at a comfortable position in the drops.

The bike looks absurd:



Rube Goldberg would be proud:



But it fits me pretty well when I ride in the drops:



Forgive gayish running clothes;)

With this stem, I think I can make the crosscheck work with the Midge bars. From the axle to the top of the stem on the steerer is 700mm = crosscheck's 400 mm a-c + 300 mm steerer.

I love that with these bars I can reach the brakes easily in the drops with a single finger. I always had trouble getting to them with typical roadie bars. Probably because the excessive drop (for me) put me is an awkward position. Time to put on the bar wrap, I'm sold.

Any comments on the position?
that whole bike is soo wrong!
 

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King Pin
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Eric,

Just put the Midge's/Ritchey 120mm 7 degree stem on the Surly Steamroller all 'rounder. Position is very similar to 2far's Crosscheck.

Long reach road brake up front, 35mm Ritchey Speedmax tires....could easily go to 38's.

I'll let you check it out, headtube on the Steamer is pretty long.....I'm very comfy on her!
 
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