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Can this frame be used to build a decent road bike for someone 1.73m (5.6 feet)? It has 58cm ST, 58cm TT.

frame

7005 aluminum Easton Ultralite aero tubing. 1" aluminum threadless fork.

I'm coming from MBX and never even rode a road bike :)

What are the things i should look for? nothing too indepth, just the major mistakes i can make when starting with a frameset.

For one thing, is a 15yr old aluminium aero even a good choice these days?

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I believe that is a question for your LBS. Your specific fit information (in-seam, reach, etc) will determine if the size will work or not. Not to mention if the frame will support modern components and the like. I'd consult with them as the answers you get here will likely be subjective at best. –  Jack M. May 8 '12 at 18:46
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My answer is not subjective! :-) –  Angelo May 8 '12 at 18:57
    
The answers so far cut it to the chase: if you ALREADY HAD this frame, so perhaps you should consider investing time and money in it. Since you are just thinking about buying it or not, it seems better to stay away, even if it fits more or less fine. Just a thought, of course, it all depends. –  heltonbiker May 8 '12 at 19:39
    
By the way, "MBX" would be the same as "BMX"? Or is it mountain-bike? –  heltonbiker May 8 '12 at 19:40
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had the measurements all wrong. 56st, 55tt, 31" standover... but you guys made a good point on the disadvantages on getting parts for it and the chance of it not being usable. Will only go down this road if i can get it for almost free, which i doubt. thanks guys. –  gcb May 8 '12 at 20:47

3 Answers 3

Given the age of the frame, it's limitations in terms of component choice, and the size of the frame compared to what I would expect a rider of the height described by the OP to ride, I would say building this frame is a waste of money and time.

For a rider who is 5'6" tall, a typical frame size is 52cm. This frame is a 58 cm, 3 sizes large. Even if you have an unusual body type which pushes you to a larger than average frame, unless you are wildly out of proportion, you will not move up by 3 frame sizes.

In addition, since the frame is alloy, and 15 years old, at least, there is the issue of metal fatigue to consider. While many people ride alloy bikes which are 10 or more years old, the useful, efficient life of an alloy frame is typically 5 years. Had you owned and ridden this bike for 10 years, so that you were familiar with its limitations, handling, and perhaps attached to the frame sentimentally, I might consider rebuilding it. Since that is not the case, I would not spend the money to build a frame with no useful life left.

And last, if you build this frame, it is likely that you will have difficulty sourcing properly sized parts, or will have to compromise with shims and adaptors to make the build work. I know that 1" stems are getting rare, and it's possible that the axle width on this frame is narrower than a typical modern road bike, although that is only guesswork.

All in all, I see many reasons not to build it, and none to go ahead. But at the end of the day, it's your bike, and your body. You will need to decide for yourself.

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It's impossible for anyone to give firm answers to any of these questions without more detail. Get in contact your LBS. However, my gut reactions:

  1. The frame is probably too big for you. I'm 6'2" and comfortably ride a 58cm frame. At 5'6", you will likely want something smaller. Use an online fit calculator or go into your LBS to get fitted.
  2. Carbon forks are a significant improvement over aluminum, and you can easily find inexpensive bikes with aluminum frames and carbon forks or completely carbon frame and fork. Unless you're getting a great deal on this frame, I suspect you can do much better for an equivalent price.
  3. If the fork is threaded (i.e., the steer tube has screw threads going up it), I'd pass. Virtually all road bikes nowadays use threadless steerers, so finding good threaded road stems is becoming more and more difficult.
  4. Any other component compatibility would need to be determined by your LBS. What's the threading of the BB shell? What's the dropout spacing?
  5. The condition of the frame would need to evaluated by your LBS. Are there cracks? Structural weaknesses? Aluminum fatigues constantly throughout use unlike steel or carbon. Steel can potentially last forever, while aluminum has a fundamentally limited lifespan.

Without knowing the price, I can't say definitively, but all my instincts say to pass on this one. It's probably too big for you, objectively better frames are likely comparatively cheap, and potential component compatibility issues won't exist with newer frames.

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This, plus the fatigue life of aluminum, says pass, yes. The likelihood of being happy with the bike, when all is said and done, is vanishingly small. –  zenbike May 8 '12 at 19:09

Looks like a basic alu frame from a lesser known mfg. Probably fine. Some things to consider with a new (or used) frame:

  1. Check alignment of frame and fork, check that spacing is correct for your hubs. (see sheldon brown article)

  2. Look for cracks. Should be easy to see with yellow paint.

  3. Have BB professionally installed. This will ensure that your cranks are in proper alignment.

  4. At 15 years old, the frame may or may not use recessed nuts on the brakes. If not, your brake caliper choice will be limited.

Can't help you with sizing. Competitve cyclist has an elaborate sizing procedure that you can use to determine if a frame is approximately correct. It depends on your exact measurements, not just height.

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Sizing is badly off, assuming the frame measurements and rider height is accurate. –  zenbike May 8 '12 at 19:02
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@zenbike, most likely yes-- 58/58 cm for 5'7" seems large unless arm length and inseam are disproportionately long (it happens)! –  Angelo May 8 '12 at 19:05
    
It does happen. But it would need to be an extreme disproportion to justify a 3 frame size shift upwards. –  zenbike May 8 '12 at 19:07

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