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Old 11-15-08, 12:56 PM   #1
Bikedued
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You ever have a slow, tiring bike?...Mystery....

The bike I'm talking about is a late 80's Shogun Alpine GT(touring with Canti's). Tange Infinity tubing, stock triple, cartridge BB with less than 30 miles on it, etc. I have changed wheels and tires, even 23's with skinny rims!, checked the BB for tightness in the bearings, different tire brands and so on. There's no brake drag anywhere. The problem is that I get on this bike, and within a mile or two I feel worn out? The leg extension is right. I've checked nearly everything on the bike. Could it be the touring geometry doesn't agree with my body for some odd reason? Maybe the BB is defective and tightens once it spins a few hundred times and warms up? I just dug it out today, threw on some wide aeros and 40c tires, and headed out to the local convenience store. Same old worn out feeling by the time I got there. It's like riding into a headwind, even when there's no wind at all. It's not really a weight issue I don't think. I have other bikes the same weight that roll just fine. I'm stumped.,,,,BD

I guess it would be the perfect training bike, huh? If you can keep this going you should fly on another bike, lol....
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Old 11-15-08, 01:37 PM   #2
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I have a bike like that, no matter what I do to it it kinda "slugs" along I starting thinking that maybe it was me? but it doesnt happen on any of my other bikes
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Old 11-15-08, 01:45 PM   #3
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Are your derailer pulleys free-turning? Any tight links in the chain? Does the bike feel like it coasts well? Little things like this make a difference. If you've tried completely different wheels, then that can't be the difference. Maybe it's all the vortices hanging off those cantilevers (smoke tunnel testing?); or it just doesn't look cool/sleek enough for your head to believe that it's not "draggy."
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Old 11-15-08, 01:50 PM   #4
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That slow feeling is the main reason for me to thin a bike from the herd. I think it has to do with the amount of flex vs. stiffness in the tubing, the geometry particular to what works for you, and who knows what else. I don't mind going slow--but I don't want to feel slow!

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Old 11-15-08, 02:00 PM   #5
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My wife's beach cruiser is like that. My hard tail mountain bike "flies". Both have big, fat tires. I think it is the frame geometry (poor ergonomics) and perhaps some energy absorption in the frame (high hysteresis) rather than a light, springy (low hysteresis) frame.
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Old 11-15-08, 02:06 PM   #6
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Back in the 1980's I worked on a lot of Shoguns. Everyone wanted something better put on it. Here. Here. And here...Then they gave up. I never pursued the reason they stopped wanting more, but my guess was that they gave up as their bike showed no sign of improvement. They wanted a faster bike and after several upgrades - lost faith. LOL. Whatever it is/was, there seemed to be no cure back then.

I'll bet you can find some really good condition Shoguns out there - in the back of garages and basements.
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Old 11-15-08, 02:16 PM   #7
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I had a bike like that, and it was the wheelset. The front wheel was binding, and only when the skewers were tightened and the load was on it. Off the bike, it was fine, on the rack, it didn't show a lot of problem, but on the road, it was like having the brakes on.
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Old 11-15-08, 02:36 PM   #8
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Some bikes are just dead like that.

Following up on what robbie mentioned....lift each wheel off the ground. Do the wheels oscillate on their own? If everything spins free....well, ummm, you've got a bike to place on CL or Ebay.
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Old 11-15-08, 03:01 PM   #9
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slow

I have an old trek 950. It began it's life as a mountain bike, with giant knobby tires that felt slow on pavement. I turned it into a nice touring bike, with reasonable width slick tires. Only problem, it still felt slow. I've gone over it from head to toe, new tires, fresh cartridge bottom bracket, overhauled the hubs, headset, realigned the brakes, everything I can think of, and it's still slow.

I did find a solution, I gave it to a friend who was used to riding a Magna, to him it rides like a dream.
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Old 11-15-08, 03:12 PM   #10
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If you're used to a racing bike, a touring bike is going to feel like a truck. The stays are a lot longer, and there is a lot more flex in the frame, which saps energy. Also, if you have a riding style that favors hammering higher gears vs spinning lower gears, you're just going to lose that much more power to frame flex.

If it's a touring bike, it's designed for long, slow comfortable rides. Try riding around with 50 lbs of camping gear and the bike may feel a lot better to you.

JMHO!
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Old 11-15-08, 03:55 PM   #11
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Jan Heine, editor of Bicycle Quarterly, talks about a quality in bicycles called "planing".

Planing: The ability of a rider to get in sync with a bicycle. When the bicycle planes, riding with high power output becomes easier, probably because less lactic acid is produced in the rider's leg muscles. Planing is associated with frame flex. The term is borrowed from boats, which use less energy at higher speeds as they plane and rise out of the water. See Vol. 4, No. 4; Vol. 5, No. 4; Vol. 5, No. 4.
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Old 11-15-08, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo Grande View Post
If you're used to a racing bike, a touring bike is going to feel like a truck. The stays are a lot longer, and there is a lot more flex in the frame, which saps energy. Also, if you have a riding style that favors hammering higher gears vs spinning lower gears, you're just going to lose that much more power to frame flex.

If it's a touring bike, it's designed for long, slow comfortable rides. Try riding around with 50 lbs of camping gear and the bike may feel a lot better to you.

JMHO!
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you say that your leg extension seems about right but ime, even a few millimeters off can make a noticeable difference in power and efficiency. try playing around with saddle setback .in spite of recent arguments to the contrary, i find that KOP issues can be critical. it just might be that the geometry/setup of this bike doesn't allow you to achieve the best knee/muscle angularity.
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Jan Heine, editor of Bicycle Quarterly, talks about a quality in bicycles called "planing".

Planing: The ability of a rider to get in sync with a bicycle. When the bicycle planes, riding with high power output becomes easier, probably because less lactic acid is produced in the rider's leg muscles. Planing is associated with frame flex. The term is borrowed from boats, which use less energy at higher speeds as they plane and rise out of the water. See Vol. 4, No. 4; Vol. 5, No. 4; Vol. 5, No. 4.
Interesting. Never thought of these points. It does seem to travel along much easier in lower gears with a faster spin. I tend to use the big ring and 2-3 up from the small gear in back, with a slow powerful stroke(on racing style frames). I played around with height today a bit, but didn't spend to much time on it.
I fixed several bikes today, I finally had some spare time. Took the fenders off the Club Fuji, they always rubbed. Put a used Deore shifter on the X-03, the old one was missing the cap. Changed the rims and tires on the Shogun. Put another coat or two of Shellac on the black SC, PX-10, and Carabela. This all slowed down the second the sun went away. The temp is dropping, and FAST. Brrrrr.,,,,BD
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Old 11-15-08, 05:15 PM   #13
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Or its just got a bad soul...
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Old 11-15-08, 05:31 PM   #14
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I tend to use the big ring and 2-3 up from the small gear in back, with a slow powerful stroke(on racing style frames).
Ouch!

Try working on your form, BD - find a gear that you can spin reasonably quickly in, providing you still have some resistance against you on the pedals, and that said gear isn't causing you to bounce.

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Old 11-15-08, 05:32 PM   #15
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A couple years ago I found a February 1977 issue of Bicycling with a "frame stiffness test" of about 40 contemporary frames by Frank Burto.
Very interesting. Now I'm convinced to avoid the Raleigh Pro...but I'm definitely going to get my hands on a Condor

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Old 11-15-08, 05:37 PM   #16
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Ouch!

Try working on your form, BD - find a gear that you can spin reasonably quickly in, providing you still have some resistance against you on the pedals, and that said gear isn't causing you to bounce.

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Well the only bike my form doesn't seem to work with is this one. The other bikes don't seem to mind, hehe.,,,,BD
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Old 11-15-08, 05:40 PM   #17
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Very interesting. Now I'm convinced not to try the Raleigh Super Course
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So you have such strong opinions about a bike you've never tried?! Wow.

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Old 11-15-08, 06:00 PM   #18
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My 1936 Columbia feels slow. It may have something to do with the forty some odd pounds it weighs, or maybe the fat tires and the two speed hub.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:05 PM   #19
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Well the only bike my form doesn't seem to work with is this one. The other bikes don't seem to mind, hehe.,,,,BD
Touring bikes are made for carrying heavy loads long distances. You can't expect to ride it the same way you ride a racing bike. One thing to do would be to take off the computer, if you have one. It can be frustrating if you are trying to match the speed of a light weight road bike.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:08 PM   #20
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My 55 Columbia felt like a motorcycle that someone pulled the engine off of, lol. I can definitely understand.,,,,BD
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Old 11-15-08, 06:19 PM   #21
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So you have such strong opinions about a bike you've never tried?! Wow.
As a matter of fact, I meant the Raleigh Pro Mk II, as listed in the chart.

Quite frankly, I would not decline the offer to try one out, but this list seems rather convincing (as much as I admit that Berto can be a windbag at times).

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Old 11-15-08, 06:28 PM   #22
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You might just try coasting down a hill and compare your speed to other bikes on the same hill.

If you have something noticeably binding up (wheel bearings, etc.), they might become noticeably warmer.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:31 PM   #23
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That might not be an accurate test, with a 26-27 pound bike and a 215 pound rider, lol.,,,,BD


Not to mention finding a hill might mean a loooong ride. A freeway overpass would be easier to find.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:46 PM   #24
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The promising and rising star in Asian commerce, Horatio Shogun, died under mysterious circumstances at his bicycle factory. He had fallen into the tubing-machine and was extruded in a rounded, butted form. Or did he slip? Maybe he was pushed? His spirit wanted the investigators to look at the film in the factory-floor cameras. He was certain they would, if they slowed down the film, see the murderer who pushed him and his spirit could at last rest in peace - albeit in extruded form.

As a result of this ghastly event - Mr. Shogun entered into every bicycle-frame ever made with his name on it. He wants you to slow down and look at the film.

(there - mystery solved)

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Old 11-15-08, 07:17 PM   #25
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Was mister Shogun triple butted? That would explain the lack of speed too.,,,,BD
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