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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-21-08, 10:03 AM   #1
makeinu
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frame flex/stiffness and weight

Hi everyone,

I weigh about 125 pounds and, for me, most frames out there seem seriously overbuilt (with weight limits of 200+ pounds). It's very important for me to get a light bike, but I don't want to compromise stiffness. I know that the name of the forum is clydesdales, but unfortunately there is no forum for "mice". In any case, I was wondering how you folks feel about frame stiffness relative to body weight.

People talk about how some frames are flexible and forgiving while others are stiff and efficient. Well, does a medium flexible frame feel like a noodle to you clydesdales? As a featherweight, if I want something fairly stiff should I go with what other's describe as a super flexible frame to get a little compliance or should I go with something that other's describe as stiff?

Thanks for your input.

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Old 01-21-08, 10:19 AM   #2
Tom Stormcrowe
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Actually, you would seriously benefit from an ultralightweight Ti or CF Frame.

Look here:
http://www.helium.com/tm/279561/basi...rame-materials

I think all your questions will be answered.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
I weigh about 125 pounds and, for me, most frames out there seem seriously overbuilt (with weight limits of 200+ pounds). It's very important for me to get a light bike, but I don't want to compromise stiffness. I know that the name of the forum is clydesdales, but unfortunately there is no forum for "mice". In any case, I was wondering how you folks feel about frame stiffness relative to body weight.

People talk about how some frames are flexible and forgiving while others are stiff and efficient. Well, does a medium flexible frame feel like a noodle to you clydesdales? As a featherweight, if I want something fairly stiff should I go with what other's describe as a super flexible frame to get a little compliance or should I go with something that other's describe as stiff?

Thanks for your input.
Wow, I almost weigh two makeinus!
Anyhow, when most of us here or on the commuter forum talk about frames being forgiving, it's usually a reference to its ability to absorb road vibration. Steel and carbon frames are very good at this, but it's at a sacrifice of stiffness somewhere in the design. Designers use things like ovalized tubes and oversized joints at critical stiffness areas on lighter weight materials (bottom bracket, head tube) to keep a frame from feeling 'slushy' when you're really hammering on the cranks, but stiff frames can have the drawback of transferring all the road vibration to the rider depending on the frame material, which fatigues the hands and arms, and makes yer bum hurt. Aluminum is notorious for feeling 'harsh'. The argument goes back and forth that no one can really tell the difference in road chatter between aluminum, steel and titanium frames so we won't get into that here.
At 125 pounds, you can benefit from an ultralight frame without worrying about snapping it like a toothpick (a concern among many of us in the Clydesdale class.) Ride a few of them, and see which ones feel to be the best mix of power transfer (stiffness) without being to harsh on the vibrations (compliance).
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Old 01-21-08, 11:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like what you are looking for is a carbon fiber frame.
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