Cosmic

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My Marino Polo Bike

5 Comments

I’m very happy with my Marino frame, it has come out clean and tidy and at a respectable weight of 2.6kg.  I would recommend Marino as a frame builder, he works very fast and for a very reasonable price.

I wanted this bike to be more maneuverable than my previous (700c) polo-bike so I decided to try 26″ wheels and make the frame as small as possible.

A lot of people have been taking the bike for a spin and commenting that it rides really well, so here is the geometry.

Trail is actually 61 and BB height is 295 on 1.6 tyres.

The wheelbase is 70mm less than my previous bike , at 940mm.  The trail has now been reduced to 61mm (not as pictured), from 71mm.  These two factors have made a noticeable difference to the handling.

I’m enjoying the increased maneuverability of this bike, it turns in small circles and the reduced weight and stronger wheels give me confidence to hop the bike around when stuck in corners.

Ryan McCaig, of Oak Cycles, convinced me to go with a 3cm shorter top tube and add that length to the stem, this was a great idea and I’m grateful to Ryan for that advice.  That decision reduced my wheelbase, more evenly distributed my weight between the wheels and meant I could ride less trail without feeling twitchy due to the longer stem.

Colin, Edinburgh Bike Polo, was also a great help.  He has an amazing understanding of the science of bike geometry.  Thanks so much Colin for being awesome.

Ultimately, I am not sure that 26″ wheels are right for someone my height (6′ 3″).  I am noticing the bike does not hold speed as well as my 700c polo bike.  I am definitely pedaling more on court, and I do feel marginally slower as a result.  This may be as I have only been riding the bike for a few weeks and need more time to get used to it, but I think it is a result of the smaller wheels.

I love the way this bike handles, I have found the right geometry, but I am still undecided on wheel size.

I hope this information is useful to you and helps you build your own polo frame.  If you want a more artfully finished frame and enjoy the personal touch that a traditional frame-builder can offer, then I wholeheartedly recommend Oak Cycles.  Ryan built himself a polo bike this year, you may have seen it at various polo tournaments in Europe, it’s holding up well.  He’s now building a frame for Elena, from Geneva, as her Hells Belles MVP prize.  Really looking forward to seeing that one.

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5 thoughts on “My Marino Polo Bike

  1. Hi Todd,
    I really appreciate your detailed post about this Marino custom frame. I’ve been getting ready to place an order with him and came across your post on the LBPF. I’m 6’4″ so I think I’ll end up with a very similar geometry. I have a few questions if you’ll be obliged…. did you use 30 degree rake on your fork to achieve the 61mm trail?….having any problems with pedal strike or toe overlap?….what length of crank arms are you using?(if you can avoid pedal strike and toe overlap, using longer cranks such as 175′s could make up for the power and speed you feel you’ve lost with the 26″ wheels)….any details you would change if you could do it again?
    I play on a newly assembled team in central Canada… look for us at Worlds 2012 on your side of the pond!

    cheers, Duane

  2. Hi Duane, Rupert here. The forks have 27mm rake, I think. They are SE Landing Gear 700c forks that I carried over from my old bike. Yes cranks are 175, no toe overlap or pedal strike. I’m not sure what changes I would make if i were to build it again. I need a bit more time on it, but I may have another go at it come spring.

    • Thanks for the answers Rupert. Todd, we don’t have a team name yet. There is power in mystery! But lets just say the stars have aligned….

  3. Yeah that’s Rupert’s bike D. What’s your team called? Where abouts in Canada you playing.
    Good luck with the build mate.

  4. Pingback: Polo bike geometry + addons - Page 3 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

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