Noob technical questions
I'm a first year roadie - bought a fancy road/touring bike on clearance last fall and have ridden 1,700 miles so far this year. I just bought a used road bike as a second bike for use on bad weather days and through the winter, and have upgraded / replaced some parts and am learning how to adjust things myself.
Bike setups: Primary: Litespeed Blue Ridge, Ti frame, Full Ultegra, triple, 9 speed STI, Open Pro wheels
Second used bike: 1993 Schwinn Traveler, Cro-Mo frame, Full Shimano Exage EX300, 7 speed cassette, indexed down tube shifters, double Biopace, basic wheels
So hear are my questions:
First - what is a lug? Don't laugh, I know it's where different parts of the tubing come together but does every bike have them? Where the tubes come together on my Litespeed are smooth, however on the Schwinn there are metal "housings" that the tubes go into so you can't see where they acually join - is that a lug?
Second - What is wrong with Biopace? The LBS that I had put a new rear wheel on the Schwinn was surprised at the Schwinn - the bike looks brand new. The guy I bought it from had it in his basement and thought he may have used it twice - he never got into biking. They thought that it was a decent bike and I would have to spend about a grand today to get a similar quality bike. They liked the Biopace. However, on these forums, I could find nothing good being said about Biopace. I see the front rings aren't round, rather slightly oblong, but when I peddle, I don't notice any difference between the two bikes.
Third - Why can I climb hills on the Schwinn easier than the Litespeed? Or is it in my head? The Litespeed, having the triple you would think would make it easier, but I find the Schwinn is actually easier. The Schwinn's weight is about 4 lbs heavier than the Litespeed. Could this be from the Biopace?
Fourth - Geometry - the Litespeed has a compact frame and the Schwinn a traditional frame. What is the difference other then the slanted top tube? Is one better than the other?
Fifth - Why do other biker (hard core jesery) acknowledge me when I'm all decked out on the Litespeed, but when I'm riding the Schwinn w/o a helmet on recovery days they don't seem to notice me? (Sorry, that wasn't a tech question).
Sixth - How much improvement in performance would the Schwinn show if I put the Open Pro's from the Litespeed on it with the 7 speed cassette w/spacer? The LBS had a cool looking set of Dura-Ace wheels that would look real nice on the Litespeed.
1)The Schwinn is lugged and brazed.The Litespeed is welded. 2) Sheldon Brown says his knees like Biopace. Others differ.YMMV. 3) I duno. The world is full of nutty stuff. 4) The sloping TT is the big difference.Neither one is 'better'. 5) Some hard cores have sticks in their azzes.Maybe they are the ones you are seeing on recovery days. 6) Better wheels are always good.How much better depends.
Originally Posted by markm109
3) Fit, probably. It could be that you just happen to be better matched to the Schwinn wrt body position. Look at how you sit on each bike, all the angles, distances, etc. Better yet, have someone who knows something about bike fitting do it with you.
5) Is the road surface softer on your recovery days? Is that why you don't wear a helmet? Your speed is a minor player in the decision to wear a helmet. The distance you fall is a much bigger factor. Besides, whether you're going 8 MPH or 18 MPH, if you get hit by a car going 30 MPH, guess what, you're going 30 MPH. I don't want to start another screed on helmet wearing (almost as "third rail" a topic as chain lube), but don't use your speed, or the kind of bike you're riding, as determining factors. Oh, as to your question, who cares if they acknowledge you? When you really get the hang of the Litespeed, you can blow past 'em without acknowledging them.
6) Will require some serious twiddling. The rear triangle spacing on the Litespeed is greater than the Schwinn. You can "cold set" the dropout spacing (search on "cold set" on Sheldon's site), but spacing the cogs, getting good chainlines, etc., will be a project. If it works, yes, the results will be noticeable, esp. wrt. weight. The old adage is "an ounce of the wheels is like a pound off the frame"; i.e. reducing rotational weight buys you much more performance advantage.
Being steel, he can just spead it by hand, drop the wider hub in and ride it. A 7 speed HG casette as he says goes on a 8/9 HG hub with a 4.5, spacer first and requires no other changes.It's quick simple, and a no brainer.
Originally Posted by madpogue
to answer your first question, yes, those "Housings" are lugs.
third question: maybe you climb better on the schwinn cause steel is real and/or the geometry is better for you. i _feel_ like i climb better on my steel bike which is 1 lb heavier than my ti bike, so i know where you're coming from (i don't have a comp on my steel bike, but i spin like crazy and i know i'm on a higher gear..). hard to explain i guess.
my guess is the wheels won't make a big diff.
Not much fun when you have a flat in the field. Had to wrestle with this on a used tandem I bought once; found out the hard way the wider hub had been put into a "spread" frame. If it's gonna be permanent, may as well re-space the dropouts; all it takes is a 2x4 and some patience. You'll thank yourself next time you have to slide the wheel out for a flat fix.
Originally Posted by sydney
Never caused me a problem. But I don't ride a tandem....YMMV
Originally Posted by madpogue
1. Lugs are metal sockets that the frame tubes fit into. A lugged frame is joined with a brazing process that uses less heat and consequently weakens the steel tubeing less. Few bikes are made with lugs today because the lugs add weight and require more hand work to build.
2. Biopace refers to essentially eleptical chainrings to minimize the power loss at the dead top and bottom of the pedal stroke. It actually works well at low cadences but causes a jerky pedal rhythm for riders who like to pedal faster.
3. I'm guessing that you prefer to pedal higher gears rather slowly. If so, you're the poster child for Biopace.
4. If you end up with your hands, feet and butt in the same places relative to one another it shouldn't make much difference, should it? Compact geometry is claimed to be a little more rigid due to using smaller triangles and allows the manufacturer to use less material in the construction of the frame. Since "How much does it weigh?" is the first question a prospective customer usually asks, even a teence less weight makes it easier to sell bicycles. I personally still prefer traditional geometry because I think that it looks better.
5. It's just human nature. If you go into a high school lunch room, all of the kids will be sitting at tables with the other kids who look just like them. Bike riders, even adult bike riders, are no different.
6. It'll be better, but not so much better as you might think because you'll still be riding that heavy, old frame. If it was my bike, I'd mount some heavier, more puncture resistant tires on the old wheelset and use them on the good bike whenever I expected to encounter a lot of broken glass.