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I have been offered possession of a very old and interesting bicycle, made in 1933. It appears to be in quite good condition, and has a lot of interesting history. However, it features a 26'' frame, which is rather large for 6'0'' me. In fact, I usually ride a 22'' frame.

Because of the era of production, the length of the bike is actually fine, and it's just the hight that is off. I'm wondering what sort of things I might do to mitigate this, as part of a larger restoration project.

The only one that occurs so far is to perhaps reduce the wheel size to 26''. Naturally this could cause problems with the brakes, but I can see several ways around that.

What other things might be done?

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    I recommend some sort of groin protection. – Deleted User May 4 '15 at 17:47
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    In the interest of your jewels becoming old and interesting I would leave the bike as a display piece. – paparazzo May 4 '15 at 17:53
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    For what its worth, 26" frame doesn't mean much -- frame sizing is not comparable across wheel sizes and is not very comparable under different models with the same wheel size (especially under different eras). But if it is too large, I'd agree with Blam. – Batman May 4 '15 at 18:27
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    IMHO: A bike that old should be left in original condition. If you can't ride in that condition, use it as a show piece, donate it to a museum or give it to someone who can. – mattnz May 4 '15 at 21:27
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    Bikes used to be much higher in the 30s as saddles nearly rested on the top tube. – Carel May 5 '15 at 18:06
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Because of the era of production, the length of the bike is actually fine, and it's just the hight that is off.

Where is the problem then? Saddle too high even when lowered as far as possible? The wheel size is completly irrelevant for that problem. Or are you unable to stand on the ground without your privates hitting the top tube?

  • I think stand-over clearance is an unfounded myth. It should seem like a problem in theory, but rarely is in reality. Larger frames fit me better, leaving me with very little stand over clearance. It has never been an issue. When stopping I usually stay on the saddle and point a toe down (regardless of stand over). When jumping off, you usually tilt the bike to the side increasing the stand over. – Rider_X Jul 3 '15 at 23:05
  • “When stopping I usually stay on the saddle and point a toe down (regardless of stand over)” are you sure your saddle is high enough? – Michael Jul 4 '15 at 6:22
  • Yes. I have been fitted professional a number of times. Last time was this year. And they even had lasers, no sharks though. – Rider_X Jul 4 '15 at 7:13
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Aside from lowering the seat, you might also look for handlebars that curve/point backward to prevent the rider from leaning forward too much. But this really also depends on the rider's arm and leg lengths. Can you find a smaller bike?

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