On Feb 2, 2010, at 9:22 PM, james black wrote:

On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 23:36, Grant Petersen <gr...@rivbike.com> wrote:

TCO ends up being a problem---in my opinion---only in theoretics, but not in practice. THere are some builders who would disagree; and although in the spirit of diplomacy and reasonableness and "agreeing to disagree" and all that, I accept that....I can't understand it. To fear TCO or to regard it as Dangerous....well, it's ust something that to me doesn't make any sense.

I also disagree - I strongly dislike toe clip overlap, having
encountered it on a few frames (I usually ride long-raked 60-62cm
frames now, so have little problem). It can be a problem
trackstanding, riding slowly, turning sharply while riding a fixed
gear, riding offroad, and climbing slowly. If it doesn't make you
crash, it's still annoying, inconvenient, and I don't want to sit
around while riding constantly thinking, "Oh, I better be careful not
to jamb my shoe into my fender". Bicycles should not cause this kind
of low-grade anxiety. It's unnecessary - if a bike has TCO, the wheels
are too big. Design it out with smaller wheels!

Easier said than done. Any standard bike 60 cm or smaller will have to have 559 wheels- even 650B isn't small enough to guarantee no TCO. Most people find those aesthetics unacceptable as the small wheels makes the bike look like a toy in their eyes (I ride a '96 60 cm All Rounder with 559s, so I get that reaction a lot).

Bicycle design involves compromises. You can eliminate TCO with a 68 degree head angle and 70 mm fork offset. But most people don't want to ride the bikes that would result from that geometry (You'll find that geometry on millions of old British 3 speeds. They handle like wheelbarrows but no TCO). You can eliminate TCO with a 62 cm top tube and normal angles, but nobody under 6 feet tall will be able to ride it and it'll look funny on a 56 cm frame. Or you can use a naked 23 mm wide tire instead of a 45 mm tire with fenders. Or you can build frames with tiny trail due to huge fork offsets (but I won't buy 'em. I had that geometry years ago, don't want it again. 55 mm trail is just about right).

Sorry folks, but TCO is a necessary design compromise in many cases. Get a pencil, some graph paper, a compass, a straightedge and draw up some proportional drawings of bikes. You'll see the hopeless problem pretty quickly. It's easy to say "get rid of TCO" but it's well-nigh impossible to do so in every instance without designing something like the Moulton. I've done enough frame design to have worked this out for myself.

I've got bikes with TCO, having size 13 feet and not liking to pedal on my tippy toes results in this. I haven't have a crash or a near crash in years, the last being riding fixed on the street on my old track bike (zero toe overlap problems on the velodrome, which is where such bikes belong. They don't belong on the street, speaking from experience) years ago. I'm used to the TCO since most of the bikes I've owned since I was 14 have had TCO, I don't pedal through corners at low speeds and have low enough gears- and thankfully enough strength- to not have to weave back and forth up hills. My riding style is adapted to the reality of my bikes. It's just not a problem.

I think there are a number of us who want our cake and get to eat it too: sporty fast geometry with 45 mm tires, full fenders and no TCO. I'd say "pick two." Some enchiladas can't be readily served whole.

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