20 October, 2009

Polyvalent Stand-Over Heights

A lot of you asked.

BTW, the price is actually $400 for the first batch, not $450 as I wrote a few days ago. We should have a firm ETA for them in a few days.

 Frame Size (cm)
Stand-over Height (mm) w/ 38mm tires.
51
748
54
777
57
805
60
834



14 comments:

JoelMatthews said...

I find stand over a very inaccurate measure.

Which rim, tire, and how much inflation do you use to come up with the number?

Not breaking bad on VO, as you have provided the other, more significant dimensions for seat tube, head tube and chain stay. Standover is pushed by the mass manufacturers who crank out complete bikes, offering few or no options.

It does not make sense to me when so many people insist on standover figures for bikes such as the Polyvalent which offers the owner many custom opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Well, here's the thing, JoelMatthews ... not all of us out here are "experts" in bicycle frame geometry, nor do we wish to be. Many of us are, instead, interested in simply knowing which size of the new frame would be the best fit for our own project, possibly the first bike we've ever assembled.

For us, it is indeed a tremendous help to have standover values offered for a frame of given size, along with the tire size used to measure it. While that value may not be the exact measurement our own final bike will have, it certainly does give us a point of reference.

For us "non-geniuses", we may have a pretty good idea about seat/head tube angles and lengths in terms of how they fit our riding style, but not in mathematical terms of whether or not we can actually straddle the top tube without crushing anything important.

I, for one, greatly appreciate the information!! Thank you, Chris!!

JoelMatthews said...

You do not need to be a genius or even an expert to learn your preferred seat tube and head tube lengths.

Given the impact understanding those two measurements will have on your riding pleasure - you know, things like pedal reach, how far you will have to bend to hold the handlebars or grasp the brake levers - it almost seems silly to pay good money for a bike without.

I can stand over a lot of bikes I could never stand to ride.

Tom said...

Joel- the variables you mention would change the standover dimension like 5mm if they were at one extreme vs another. How many options are there for 650b rims and tires these days?

The tires would be inflated of course.

If you are counting millimeters to the mm, the type of under garments you are wearing would have a more significant impact on standover height values.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The stand-over height for a modern bike with a sloping top tube is suspect, but for a traditional frame like this I think it's very useful. There are folks who want a very long top tube because they use swept back city bars. The problem is that they might not be able to stand over a frame with a long enough top tube. Other like a traditionally sized frame with little seat post showing and so want to cut it close on height.

The only thing that influences stand-over height significantly is tire size. I used 38mm for my calculations, but it's easy to add or subtract a few mm if you use smaller or bigger tires.

JoelMatthews said...

Tom: You make a valid point. With 650B there will probably never be the range say between a 700x23 Schwalbe Stelvio and 700x60 Schwalbe Big Apple. I think I have at least seen 650bx30, and know the Hetre is 42.

While you jest, clothing worn and shoe sole size do make a difference in stand over, which is why I question the validity.

Chris: You make a good point about sloping v straight top tubes. However, in your example, I would say the length of the top tube is going to make much more difference to the rider 99 percent of the time that is, the time actually riding, than the time the rider is standing over the bike. Unless you are buying a bike to stand on the ground with steel between your legs seems how far you have to bend to reach your favorite part of the handle bar in your preferred riding position is a whole lot more important.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you're a short person, as I am, you're well aware that a bike with not enough standover will create problems ... even if it's just for the 1 percent of the time riding when a quick stop happens. Jumping off the saddle onto a hard piece of steel tubing is not something I'd recommend.

Standover IS important (at least to me) ... as much as tube length and angle. In most cases, I find that even the smallest frame size is too tall ... yes I have trouble buying pants, too! And since my daily riding includes many stops, it is very important to me that I can SAFELY straddle the top tube when I hop off the saddle.

Maybe most people are choosing between two frame sizes, without a real worry of standover ... but for us short folk, we're just hoping the smallest frame will fit!

It is EXTREMELY difficult to find a small frame with decent tube angles, proper reach, no toe overlap, and acceptable standover height ... oh, and made from good material, with options for build, too. Yes, it is possible to have one custom built, but I certainly can't afford that.

Bravo to VO for this new frame! It appears just small enough to work!

JoelMatthews said...

Anon 6:30: You can avoid hitting the top tube by jumping to one side (and if riding on streets - sidewalk side is the preference) rather than straight down.

In my opinion, no matter ones height, the most important length should be seat to center of bottom bracket as that controls pedal reach. Next is top tube, as that controls sitting and arm position.

Stand over is somewhere after that.

Preston said...

Anon. 6:30 PM. I must agree with you
on the importance of standover height
and I am not short. A frame that I
ordered from England in 1997 surprised me with a much snugger fit
under my valuables than I expected
partly because of a higher than
expected BB.

Liz said...

Small enough for some, but not for all! Oh, for a 48 or 49cm frame...

It Depends said...

It would be neat to have the option of buying VO frames with the headset and bottom bracket installed -- those are the two bits of work I always end up paying to have done by a pro, anyway, and I know I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight ... as long as the seat to pedal reach and top tube lengths are correct, the frame fits properly, even though I have to jump off the bike to the side to avoid genital trauma?

No, sir ... that is not correct.

That kind of thinking is what makes people uncomfortable riding bicycles. Here in 2009, with technology as it is and designers such as VO, it is certainly possible for a frame to be designed with proper tube lengths and angles, AND with good standover clearance.

Smaller frames MAY need smaller wheels in order to maintain the same geometry, but if you think about it for a moment or two, that makes perfect sense.

I, for one, am not willing to spend good money on a frame that doesn't fit right in ALL dimensions, at least within reasonable tolerances that are managed with seatpost, stem, and crank length. Needing to jump off the bike to one side because I can't straddle the top tube is NOT acceptable in this modern day!

This is my own opinion ... but I feel it is shared by many who continue to search for smaller frames that fit and ride well.

Matthew said...

As someone with a 29" inseam, I can not agree enough with Anon, stand over, especially on traditional, level top tube frames DOES matter. The rest should fit, but I am not buying a frame I can't straddle. Reach to the handlebars is relatively easily adjustable with stem length, although this affects handling. Still, better than tearing your sac

Steve said...

Joel Matthews said:


Chris: You make a good point about sloping v straight top tubes. However, in your example, I would say the length of the top tube is going to make much more difference to the rider 99 percent of the time that is, the time actually riding, than the time the rider is standing over the bike. Unless you are buying a bike to stand on the ground with steel between your legs seems how far you have to bend to reach your favorite part of the handle bar in your preferred riding position is a whole lot more important.


Joel, I don't think anybody seriously disputes that. What I would dispute, though, is the notion that standover is entirely meaningless, that you never stand with both feet on the ground over the frame. That, in my experience, simply isn't true. I had to wait almost 5 minutes for a traffic light to change the other day. It's fine to stand on one leg and "sit" on the top tube for a minute or two, but I just can't do it for as long as that light lasted.

I've also had plenty of situations where an emergency stop was required, such as to avoid a "Right Hook" (car overtakes you and turns right directly in front of you). At a time like that, who has the leisure to dismount carefully, making sure they only stand on one foot?

IMHO if you can't do those things without painfully smacking your naughty bits on the top tube, the bike's simply not practical in the real-world riding I do.