Sloping v Horizontal TT

Garry H
Garry H Posts: 6,639
edited May 2008 in Road beginners
Could somebody explain to me the differences, ride-wise, between a horizontal and a sloping top tube road frame? Why would one be preferred over the other?



  • In itself, the slope doesn't make much difference, apart from slightly increasing the distance between the tube and your sensitive bits ;)

    But usually the sloping tube is part of a package of frame design elements which attempt to make the overall frame more compact, for a given height.

    Various advantages are claimed for a more compact frame. Personally I don't think it makes a huge amount of difference, but I know people who are prepared to argue for and against it with some passion.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    This topic is frequently done to death - most recently "Horizontal Top Tube Frames" (below). I think that it's mainly a matter of personal preference and aesthetics (altho' possibly rider size has some relevance to the choice).

    Me? I prefer sloping, mainly I suspect because most of the first part of my (return to) cycling was on mtbs. Traditionalists that many cyclists are, most my age seem to favour horizontals. When I ride with CTC older members, if I'm on a sloper then whatever the components etc it will be termed a "mountain bike"!!
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  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    The biggest advantage to sloping top tubes has absolutely nothing to do with the people
    who ride bikes. It's all about frame makers only having to build 4 sizes(S,M,L,XL) as
    compared to building horizontal top tubes at 1 or 2 CM increases and having to produce
    maybe twice the amount of sizes. Smart move on their part and of course the ad-men
    make all kinds of claims of greatness for these frames. You've got to have one.
    In the end it is still basically 2 triangles put together and not anywhere close to any
    kind of "revolutionary" design idea. Just a money saver for frame producers. Pardon
    me, I'm starting to rant.

    Dennis Noward
  • Smokin Joe
    Smokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    The big advantage is not having to worry about seat tube lenght when you buy a frame. With horizontals it can be a pain trying to find a frame with a ST and TT dimension that suit you personally.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    I fully understand the manufacturers' take on this, but I also think that for some riders at least there ARE advantages in slopers.
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