Like this one, for example. Is there any plus or minus to this frame design?

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(I'm shopping for an 80s/90s steel frame bike and the GTs may be a possibility. It turns out I kinda like a horizontal top bar for the look of forward motion that to me a compact frame doesn't have.)


2 Answers 2


A significant drawback I've found (I've got one of their hybrids) is reduced options for mounting things:

  • My toddler seat has to go lower than it otherwise would, making it much harder to fit panniers underneath.
  • I can't fit a triangular tool bag there
  • It makes fitting a D-lock mount inside the triangle harder

GT Traffic 3.0 with seat bracket etc.

(obviously these 3 are pretty much mutually exclusive anyway)

Also it makes shouldering the bike harder -- your shoulder is further forward meaning the bike isn't as well balanced.

  • 1
    > Also it makes shouldering the bike harder .. All good points. I do some shouldering every time on my regular route, and that new joint is right where my shoulder goes. I couldn't tell whether it might be easier or harder.
    – compton
    Aug 26, 2017 at 16:23
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    @compton it makes a big difference to me. I don't do it very often but a long flight of stairs, with a pannier on the rear rack as well is noticeably harder with the GT than my tourer.
    – Chris H
    Aug 26, 2017 at 16:24
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    @compton it's a GT traffic 3.0, from about 2010. The toptube has some rubber/plastic strips glued to both sides as anti-scratch gimmicks.
    – Chris H
    Aug 26, 2017 at 16:38
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    It might be better for shouldering, if you can fit a permanent pad somehow.
    – Criggie
    Aug 27, 2017 at 8:14
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    @Criggie I thought about that and have tried making pads from eBay I've had with me, but never anything fixed. My bike is already back heavy enough so I'd rather lift as close to the saddle as possible. If you were front heavy it could even be beneficial.
    – Chris H
    Aug 27, 2017 at 15:00

These things are also known as Hellenic stays, a term which will find plenty of opinions.

Their main benefit is distinctive looks, but there are also some claims about increased stiffness. The main drawback is increased weight and cost of manufacturing, since the design requires longer seatstays and two extra joints.

  • To clarify: stiffness in which dimension? A diamond frame is stiff enough in the vertical anyway.
    – Chris H
    Aug 27, 2017 at 15:02
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    Well, the claims aren't that specific. "Laterally stiff, vertically compliant" is the usual one but I'm quite sure it wasn't invented at that time and I really can't imagine how those seatstays could accomplish it.
    – ojs
    Aug 27, 2017 at 19:04

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