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  1. #1
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    All City Macho King vs. Niner RLT vs. Milwaukee Bike Company Mettle?

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    I'm shopping for a new cross bike to use as a do-anything road bike/commuter/gravel grinder. I'd like to be able to run big tires and a rack and fenders if needed. I'd prefer steel (853 or Platinum OX) and disc brakes. Custom is not on the table right now because of the wait times. Does anyone have experience with any of the three bikes listed above?

    Macho King: Geometry is a near-perfect match for that of my beloved road bike. It won't take a traditional bolt-on rack, but I shouldn't need a rack very often.

    Niner RLT: It's alloy, but I can get a good price. The geometry of the 53 is very close to that of my road bike. Will take a rack and fenders.

    Mettle: On paper, this bike is perfect- steel, fat tires, rack and fenders . But the short head tube makes me leary of finding the right fit. I end up between sizes (50 and 53).

    Help! I have bike money burning a hole in my pocket!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2010
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    The All City X bikes are ones I've kept an eye on for awhile. They have very short head tubes. Incredibly agressive. The smallest size (with 520 TT) has a HT that is 95 mm. That's beyond agressive. Is that what you want? Seems like you posted in a thread where I was asking advice a couple of years ago that you liked a tall HT? Or maybe that was someone else?

    That was a thread I subscribed to because I learned a lot about geometry in it from the respondants. (Including you!). Are you talking about your 2007 Fuji Supreme RC? http://archive.fujibikes.com/archive...odname=Supreme RC

    That head tube is a lot higher. If that is the case, there are a lot of companies with similar geometry in the style you are looking for. (Salsa Warbird, maybe?). Or maybe the Surly Straggle. (Both without looking up geometry. But it seems they would work for me, and the All City looked impossible. And I tend to like a fairly short head tube because I have a zero-offset seatpost, and the high head tube shortens the cockpit too much. Other than that, our geometries are similar proportion-wise. The thing about most is they are not going to have that high end steel. Suggestion, Gunnar makes off the shelf as well as custom, and they have (I think?) 953 steel available. I believe they have at least 3 versions of cross bike (Fast Lane, Cross Hairs, and the Hyper X. Another possiblility I have in mind for someday. Yep. I spend too much time on this).

    This was the discussion (for anyone else who is interested, it was a great thread).

    For the others you mentioned. I've no idea.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-21-2014 at 06:08 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
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    You have a good memory. I do like a taller head tube, since my arm and leg lengths put me in a bigger frame than my height would indicate. And yes, I'm still riding that Fuji Supreme RC. Alas, I do not have stack and reach numbers for it.

    I wouldn't need the smallest size in the Macho King. Actually, the 52cm geometry seems to match that of my Fuji most closely, and it has a 130mm head tube. The Niner in a 53cm size has a similar length head tube as well. I test rode a 50cm Niner and couldn't get comfortable in the drops- too cramped. The Mettle is only 99mm for a 50cm frame, which is likely the size I would need in that frame.

    I really do want the Mettle for so many reasons, but it's designed to race and the head tube length worries me.

    Thanks for helping me talk this through.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    You have a good memory. I do like a taller head tube, since my arm and leg lengths put me in a bigger frame than my height would indicate. And yes, I'm still riding that Fuji Supreme RC. Alas, I do not have stack and reach numbers for it.

    I wouldn't need the smallest size in the Macho King. Actually, the 52cm geometry seems to match that of my Fuji most closely, and it has a 130mm head tube. The Niner in a 53cm size has a similar length head tube as well. I test rode a 50cm Niner and couldn't get comfortable in the drops- too cramped. The Mettle is only 99mm for a 50cm frame, which is likely the size I would need in that frame.

    I really do want the Mettle for so many reasons, but it's designed to race and the head tube length worries me.

    Thanks for helping me talk this through.
    The 52 has a HT of 13, but a TT of 550. That's pretty darn aggressive. For comparison, my (race) road bike has a 13 HT and a 535 TT. 12 HT would be super aggressive, and anything lower just unworkable for me. I'm just curious. Interesting how people make different sizes work.

    Is that what you want? (Are we looking at the same charts?).

    How tall are you? I'm 5'7" with a 33.3" PBM and long arms.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
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    And a seat tube angle of 73. For comparison's sake, my Fuji has a STA of 73.5 and TT of 545. Taking into account the STA difference, they should have the same effective TT. I just have to make sure that I have enough saddle rail available to accomodate a slightly slacker STA. What's the STA on your road bike? IME, top tube length has to be considered in the context of STA.

    I rode the 53 cm Niner again today. With the 145 mm head tube, I'll probably angle the stem down and slam it to get the right balance of weight between my butt and hands. That has me looking more closely at the Macho King again.

  6. #6
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    Seat tube is a huge deal with me, too. MY STA is about 73.8, if memory serves. That's a problem, I need a 0 offset seat post, so could use it even steeper, but if I go to a larger bike, then the ST is even more slack. As it is, with 0 offset, saddle all the way forward, and my cleats all the way back, I'm still too far back form a KOPs perspective. On my CAADX, the HT is 145 mm, with 535 TT (same as road bike, but HT 130), so I need a 130 mm stem. Road bike has 110 mm stem. I do have an old Le Monde with a 545 TT and a 119 mm HT. It has a 100 mm stem. Seat tubes on all are at or just slightly less than 74 degrees.

    Can't remember, is one degree of STA = to 1 cm of top tube?

    Becky, are you the same height as me? Around 5'7"? I thought that old thread mentioned you were more petite than that. Just trying to picture the bike size. For the saddle rail you mentioned, do you push the saddle all the way back? Or all the way forward? Would you benefit from either a more setback seat post? Or perhaps a 0 offset seat post?

    I wonder if I could ride the MK with the 550 TT. Seems very long. Hmm. No, 73 is slack for me. That's the problem, going bigger means a slacker STA. Going higher HT usually means a very long stem.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #7
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    With a 73.5 STA and a zero-offset post, I can achieve KOPS with the seatpost clamp in the middle (or close) of the saddle rails. I do run stems that are +/- 100mm to get the right reach though. I only use a setback post on steep STA frames.

    Yes, 1 degree slacker = 1 cm longer in the TT, relative to the bottom bracket.

    I'm only 5'4", but I'm getting the sense from our discussion that I have longer femurs than you do and you probably carry more height in your torso than I do. Smaller frames are often too steep for me, often don't allow enough room for my arms unless I run a long stem, and mean a lot of saddle to bar drop.

    Have you ever played with the Bike Comparator spreadsheet: http://gearinches.com/blog/misc/bike...ry-comparator? I think you'd love it!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    With a 73.5 STA and a zero-offset post, I can achieve KOPS with the seatpost clamp in the middle (or close) of the saddle rails. I do run stems that are +/- 100mm to get the right reach though. I only use a setback post on steep STA frames.

    Yes, 1 degree slacker = 1 cm longer in the TT, relative to the bottom bracket.

    I'm only 5'4", but I'm getting the sense from our discussion that I have longer femurs than you do and you probably carry more height in your torso than I do. Smaller frames are often too steep for me, often don't allow enough room for my arms unless I run a long stem, and mean a lot of saddle to bar drop.

    Have you ever played with the Bike Comparator spreadsheet: http://gearinches.com/blog/misc/bike...ry-comparator? I think you'd love it!
    I'll try it sometime. So far I've just done the math in my head with the exception of that trigonometric eq posted on that thread I like so much. (Only did that once).

    With a 0 offset and 74 degrees, cleats and saddle to the max etc., my knees are still a bit too far back. There is no bike where I need offset that would reasonably fit. (Except a time trial bike? Shudder. Can't see ever wanting one. Heh. Maybe I could turn one into a road bike to get the steep seat tube? ). Makes it impossible to go up a size since ST get more slack as they g et bigger, which I sometimes feel I'd like for other reasons (like HT height on the All City). Just sounds so weird that you would use the same bike size as me. I'm 3 inches taller! My crank arms are 172.5. Probably should run 170's, but then I'd lose power-transfer. Though maybe I'd gain some by being a little further forward?

    Just to make things more complicated, Civilian Bikes makes a X that is similar to All Cities', but I like it better. Le Vive le Roi. Competitive Cyclist had it a couple of years ago at a very reduced price. Really wanted it, but the short HT made me nervous. Think it's almost identical to All City X bikes.

    I'm a bit of a freak with my KOPs issues. This is why I always have so much toe-overlap, then. (That and huge feet! Size 43.5). Do you find that you ride a very large bike compared to other people your height? I know you said you did, but I can't picture it. Aren't most people around 5"4" using a TT around 52 or less?
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-23-2014 at 07:13 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
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    Actually, looking at the Civilian again I realize the HT is 12.5 on the 535 TT. That's doable. STA is 74. Okay. That would actually work. Not sure what I was looking at before, though. (Maybe it changed?). I thought the HT was more like 10 cm's on the 535. Huh. And the frame material is that OS pt.

    They also have a nice SS option. Which is totally doable where I live. (I live at sea level). I think I'd gain some good pedal stroke skills on a SS. And sounds fun.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-23-2014 at 07:15 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
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    Mar 2008
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    Bike salespeople and fitters have a fit with me because of my proportions, and it took me a long time to realize that I was uncomfortable on my bikes because they were too small. I don't think my bikes are overly large, compared to others who are of similar height, but definitely a size bigger than many of my short friends. Along the same lines, many are shocked to hear that I'm only 5'4". My proportions make me look taller, I think.

    Looking at that Civilian now- yum!
    Last edited by Becky; 11-23-2014 at 04:33 PM.

  11. #11
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    Everyone thinks I'm 5'10" or so due to my proportions, but I'm only 5'7". So, yeah. Know what you mean.

    It would be funny if you ended up on the Civilian! Love that bike.

    Edit: Ha! I knew I wasn't imagining it with the civilian. They've changed the geometry!

    Here is the frameset from a couple of years ago. A 55 cm TT has an 11.4 cm HT. That's just nuts! Plus, the STA on that is 73, so really wonky for me personally.

    And there is very little difference between sizes. Even the 61 cm TT has a HT of just over 19. No wonder they were on sale. (Had an Ultegra for around 1200 or so, and the 105 for 1000. Was DYING to order, but knew it would never work. The 53 (closest to my size) has a HT of 10 cm.

    The new geometries look great, though.

    Wonderful. Another for the N + 1 list!
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-24-2014 at 05:29 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
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    Mar 2008
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    2,738
    I feel compelled to re-visit this thread, as I'm eagerly waiting for the bike shop to re-open so that I can order my Macho King frameset! After much consideration and research, I realized that there are ways around the rack mounts issue, and I really do want a steel cross bike.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I feel compelled to re-visit this thread, as I'm eagerly waiting for the bike shop to re-open so that I can order my Macho King frameset! After much consideration and research, I realized that there are ways around the rack mounts issue, and I really do want a steel cross bike.

    Congrats! And I understand what you mean about rack mounts. My new (but not yet built) Krampus doesn't have them. I'm going to Order an Old Man Mountain Pioneer rack from Sky King's store. They can mount through the axel, and we are working on quick-release p-clamps. That will be handy, because I only want the rack for when I give my dog a ride on back. (With a nice basket from my previous bike).

    I was quite limited in my choices until I discovered the OMM! Even better is the ability to remove the thing quickly! I think this has turned out well for both of us.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  14. #14
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    Mar 2008
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    I'm thinking about the Arkel seatpost rack. Any thoughts about or experience with it?
    Last edited by Becky; 01-06-2015 at 09:13 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I'm thinking about the Arkel seatpost rack. Any thoughts about or experience with it?
    I don't have the Arkel rack, but one by another brand that I used on my CAADX by attaching it to the seatpost with Arkel bags hanging from the sides.

    Have to say, I hated a rack on the cross. It changed the feel of the bike. Now I use a Revelate Viscacha (I probably spelled that wrong). It attaches to the bike just like a regular seatbag, but it's huge and fits a lot. I can't even tell it's there. I can fit my school books, folders, change of clothing, small towel, hygeine items, Ipad mini, Ipod, and wallet when I commute to work. (My school is work-related, so I'm allowed to do school work there).

    I'm about to order a Revelate Tangle to go under the TT. Good place to put my shoes when I commute. If I wanted, I could easily put the Viscacha on my Pinarello with its carbon seatpost and there wouldn't be any damage. Since I wear perscription glasses, I need somewhere to put them where they won't get damaged on the ride. I fastened a sport zip-shut eyeglass case to the attach-points on the bag, and the case looks like it's just sitting on the back. It's a cheap one I bought at Walmart several years ago when I went camping, but then never used.

    I'm thinking about replacing my current TT bag with a Gas Tank

    I do still have the rack and may use it if I go to the grocery store or some such. Mostly worried about my CAADX being stolen if I do that. I would use a Kryptonite lock. But still. My bike fits in my office at work. So never leave it outside.

    Jones also makes a lot of frameset bags that could work.

    Back to the rack! I just bought a Surly Krampus Frameset. One of it's uses will be to take my smallest dog for rides with him riding in a rear basket. I have a Wald on my hybrid at the moment, and a nice basket attached. (He loves this!). I want to do the same on my Krampus, but it doesn't have rack mounts, and I want to use it as a trail bike, too, so would need to remove the rack easily. Decided on the Old Man Mountain rack. It attaches through the rear axel and p-clamps (Stacey is working on a quick-release version of the p-clamps). The Bike Hermit actually recommended that I buy the 700c non disc version, even thought it's a disc bike. (Not sure why! ). Anyway. When I ordered the Viscacha from Bike Touring News, it had to be sent from Idaho to SE South Carolina, and it got here in a day and a half. (I ordered late in the day). Great service, and I like keeping it in the TE family.

    I'm not certain, but I think one of the things I didn't like about the rack that attaches to the seatpost was that the weight distribution was rather high for a rack. It may be that the OMM's lower center of gravity would be good for commuting.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-07-2015 at 08:08 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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