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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Still prefer alumimium-I Think.

    Found a difference between the Boreas and the Giant TCR today. Up till now I have thought the two frames virtually the same to ride, but I have been trying to calm down the TCR as it seems a little skittish. It seems to follow the little variations on the road and hit a manhole cover and it bounces a bit. Cured it somewhat by running the Ultegra wheels at a lower pressure than I normally would but still have to think about riding more than on the Boreas.

    That was till today. I have hills in my area and if I was to asked a choice between the two bikes for hill climbing ability- it would be difficult as they are very close. But if I had to give an answer it would be the TCR. Don't know why but it just seems to be easier to pedal up the hills.

    Now today- I went out for a short ride and went down a 16% hill. I am used to speed so I just went for it. This hill has a curve halfway down it and today- I had to fight the bike round the curve. Didn't brake but in hindsight- it could have been messy hitting the bank. Have to admit that I went for it and managed to break 50 mph on a road bike for the first time. Boreas has got to 48 but today was the fastest I have ever gone on a road bike.-But that TCR was hard to controll round that curve. Boreas just does not move out of line or even feel unsafe at speed.

    So It looks like I still have some work to do on the TCR. And Although I am not unhappy with the bike- I am wondering if C.F. suits my riding style and ability.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Are the dimensions and geometry identical on these two bikes? Why are you drawing general conclusions about materials based on two specific bikes with handling differences when there are so many other factors that could be at play?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Funny this should come up today... I was out riding the other night and kind of noticed anew how aluminum (aluminium) is really sensitive to road feel. OK, bumps are a drag and if my carbon forks and seat post are supposed to dampen vibration, I'd hate to think what this frame would feel like without them. On the flip side, I can really feel the texture of the road under my wheels... I feel *connected* to the road. Whether one likes that, I suppose, is a matter of taste. I do.

    Now, I'll grant you I haven't had a lot -OK, *any*- experience with carbon so my observations are a little skewed. I almost feel like my LeMond frame is pretty darned stiff and very responsive. Guess I need to try a CF frame at some point.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    If you want to try a less expensive way to reduce road vibration you can try larger tires. The effect on speed for a non-racer is very small (sometimes nothing).

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/components/tires
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  5. #5
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    Last year I took three bikes out for a 5-10 mile test ride -- a '06 Specialized Roubaix (CF), a '07 Trek 1500 (aluminum) and a '06 Lemond (steel). The Lemond was the best handling. The Specialized, in turn, was the smoothest riding and had the best brakes. The aluminum frame? It won best teeth rattler.

    I purchased the Specialized.
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  6. #6
    Gios
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    Alu?

    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Why are you drawing general conclusions about materials based on two specific bikes with handling differences when there are so many other factors that could be at play?
    I'd second that. I have and have had bikes in all the main materials, and by the far the least comfortable or solid ride was my Gios Alu. Great bike, designed to be a nippy and fast climber, which it was, but not particularly comfortable or even for that matter stable. But you only have to look at the geometry to see that.

    Based on my own experience with alu, steel, ti. and CF, I'd have to say that a well made CF frame in a size/geometry that suits would win out every day.

    My Fondriest CF bike tracks like it's on rails, and is a superb descender and pot-hole handler (even better than my Merckx steel, which suprises me). Maybe you could look at changing the fork for one that's a bit slacker? Or maybe for whatever reason, it's not a bike for you?

    B

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Now as far as I can ascertain- without getting it physically checked out- These two bikes are so similar that they are almost the same according to the geometry specs. True slight differences in set up with the Bars on the TCR being a bit higher- but Geometry, weight and ride position- these two bikes are almost identical.In fact I even changed a few bits on the Giant to even get the Anciliaries as near as damn it the same.

    The problem I have is not with comfort but in handling. That Boreas Frame is Aluminium. Top rate aluminium at that and I for one do not find aluminium harsh. Or at least not at this quality and comfort is boosted with the C.F.Forks and Seat post. So ride comfort is not a problem on either bike.

    In the testing I have done- I have kept the same set of wheels to each bike and is the best set of wheels and tyres for the TCR. The Ultegras with the Michelin PR2's and I have no problems with these wheels at all. The TCR is still a bit skittish. Hit a rough spot on the road and the front end moves about. Hit a bit of resurfaced tarmac on the edge of it and it will follow the line of the repair. This has been improved by dropping tyre pressures on the TCR but is still not perfect. It just seems to me that the bike is not set up for the type of riding I want to give it------But it has a definite advantage over the Boreas. It climbs hills. On the flat- If I can keep an eye out for the Road surface- It gives a good ride. And I am not disapointed with the ride of the bike at all. BUT when I push either bike to its limits- Like at speed on a downhill with that Curve in it- I know which bike I feel more confident on.

    Now I am not saying that I dislike the TCR- It is just that I am a bit disapointed in that the C.F.Frame is not quite to my riding style and it is taking longer than I thought to get it dialled in to me. Or is it that I am so used to a rock hard frame- That I can't get used to one that has some flexibility in it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    So, the head tube angle, seat tube angle, top tube length, bottom bracket drop, chainstay length, rake, trail etc... per the manufacturer's geometry spec sheets (not how it looks or feels) are all exactly the same? That's surprising.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    So, the head tube angle, seat tube angle, top tube length, bottom bracket drop, chainstay length, rake, trail etc... per the manufacturer's geometry spec sheets (not how it looks or feels) are all exactly the same? That's surprising.
    Not exactly- but If you want to pick holes- The chainstays on Boreas are1 mm longer-Top tube is 5 mm shorter-wheelbase is 2 mm longer- seat angle is 1/2 degree more. Now if I were a top rate rider- I would feel these differences- as It is-with that little difference I don't and won't. If I went to a different size on the Giant- Say down to an XS frame- then I wouldn't notice the difference either after I have adjusted the Saddle and stem length- but that would be way out on the Boreas Geometry.

    Nothing there that will affect the feel of riding the bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  10. #10
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    I would be quite surprised to find that there isn't a CF bike out there that would match or exceed your beloved Boreas. I've ridden enough CF bikes to know that there are vastly different ride characteristics. While BluesDawg points our frame geometry as a major factor in handling, there are other equally important variables. With any modern frame material it is possible to build stiffness, horizontal and vertical compliance, and other characteristics into a frame depending on how much of the material is used in different places and different ways. So, I doubt that it's just a material difference between the two bikes. One other very common adjustment that can cause wildly differing handling experiences is the headset. I know from several first hand experiences that over tightening the headset can change a bikes handling characteristics from stable and predictable, to erratic and very unpredictable. So, I would respectfully submit that a more accurate statement might be that you prefer the Boreas over the Giant TCR. (Please note that I have no vested interest in any frame material given I have bikes of steel, CF, and alum. and love them all.)
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I'm only nit-picking to point out that that there are many little differences that can affect handling, which you did note was different (we weren't talking about feel). You say the differences are too small to notice, but you did say you noticed a difference in the handling. One bike climbs better, the other corners better. As BSLeVan pointed out, there are many other things besides angles and dimensions and all of these things affect bikes made of any material. I just don't understand how you can determine that the differences are due to material and not all the other possible factors.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    Gios
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    Just to add to the other comments here:

    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Nothing there that will affect the feel of riding the bike.
    Even if that were true, you haven't mentioned any of the other variables such as HD angle, rake/trail, drop etc. etc. Not to mention the overall geometry .. how much of a "compact" frame is the Boreas compared to the TCR?

    Unless the Boreas is designed as a copy of the TCR (hard to believe) then it will ride differently, regardless of the material. And maybe ride better (for you in any case).

  13. #13
    Señor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
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    The point brought up regarding headset adjustment is a good one. Either too loose or too tight can be very bad at speed downhill. Another thing to check is setback. I've found that Zero setback posts can cause some squirrelly handling. Moving to a shorter stem and more setback has down wonders for me on a couple of bikes that had previously exhibited iffy handling characteristics.

    There are so many variables. It's hard to isolate the cause.

  14. #14
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    I think that all the conversations here on the pros and cons are, heaven forbid, a good reason to own just one decent bike that will serve for whatever purpose you use it. During this winter I have been riding the same bike just out of either laziness about adjusting this and that and sorting out s/bag/tools, cleaning,oiling etc. And I did not want to use my best summer bikes. How spoilt we are. I just dumped it in the garage, next morning jumped on it as it was and pedalled off. I only realised yesterday that I was achieving quite good times [bike is a realy nice 80s 501 steel Raleigh] and not really thinking about the bike, just riding. I was therefore automatically changing gear, correcting my riding for the different road surfaces and traffic conditions and therefore riding safer by not thinking about the bike at all but what was going on around me. If your frame is whatever you will never realy know if there is anything wrong with it if you stick to the same bike. After all when we were happy go lucky kids we just rode the same bike everywhere in all conditions and were very happy with that. Well I was!

    Jim

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim1 View Post
    ... own just one decent bike...
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
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    StapFam: I've appreciated this thread. It has caused me to think about the riding qualities of my different bikes in more detail. This, has lead to a greater awareness of riding qualities and the relative importance of each. For example, despite the overall advantage in terms of energy expended for distance traveled, I would much sooner have a bike that can fly down a mountain side at 50mph with great stability than I would one that is a top notch climber (Of course the ideal bike would do both.) I would also prefer a less jarring ride than the acceleration that comes from super light wheels and the lightest frame-set. Finally, I've realized that with any bike I;ve ever owned I've made adjustments in my riding to accomodate the idyosyncratice characteristics of that particular bike.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  17. #17
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Well, less jarring ride comes from many factors. Stability down hill, too. Certainly I've found aluminum to be generally in the less comfortable bikes, but they've also been the least expensive and least complexly engineered. And the most comfortable bike I've had is carbon, but it's also the most expensive and most engineered.

    Geometry makes a big difference, but the material lying on that geometry has to work with it for that rider!

    Back to riding qualities. http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...ed_roubaix_pro

    General philosophy of fit and geometry does very well, a classic approach for an all-day fast bike. Key is to fit with saddle back and bars forward. Like the old-school Colnago fit, see http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/reviews/colnago.shtml for the bad fit, too big results on the slack head tube bikes. Makers even miss or ignore this for marketing purposes. The Specialized Roubaix and Giant OCR have the relatively high head tube, relatively slack head approach. Both seem to come with post and stem suggesting they're popping folks on one size too big.

    In looking at the long stage races, I still see people on this type of classic geometry. Carves rather than dives through turns, easy to ride long miles. The material doesn't matter so much. A 1970s Colnago will do it in steel, but has to be fitted right.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...ws/wilier_thor gives another view on one of these types of frames. I have one of these, rides fabulously. Light wheels, reasonably light frame, but no jarring at all, carves turns at high speed with great confidence, very stable, climbs like a rocket, and doesn't go off the road if I sight see! But I'm sure most shops would have popped me on a larger size and given me a 100 mm stem. I'd have a clunky understeering disaster. Instead I've got a set back post and a 125 mm stem, so I'm out over the wheels and have a steady handling performance machines I don't notice.

    I've noticed that any bike too big needs to be softer for me to enjoy it. Being over a nimble machine feels more comfortable. A bike put on like shoes.

  18. #18
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    Enough with all the argy-bargy. Most valid test: get an alumin(i)um TCR (they make them) and test against the carbon TCR. Same ti(y)re pressure.

    Then make your choice and sell the one you don't want to a fellow BF50+ er, at a hefty discount as we're all mates here. Oh, and free shipping would be nice too.
    '04 Giant OCR2|'87 Schwinn World Sport F/G conversion (6,129)|'92 Trek 820 MTB|'85 Schwinn Super LeTour
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  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcoppola View Post
    Enough with all the argy-bargy. Most valid test: get an alumin(i)um TCR (they make them) and test against the carbon TCR. Same ti(y)re pressure.Then make your choice and sell the one you don't want to a fellow BF50+ er, at a hefty discount as we're all mates here. Oh, and free shipping would be nice too.
    Even thinking of that. Just face it- these are bikes. Even the OCR is a bike and so is the Raleigh Pro-race frame that I used to ride. So why I just cannot get this C.F. bike right- Is bugging me.

    Just face it- I have a top quality bike in the Boreas. It handles exactly how I want it to. It goes up hills- Goes down them and gives a good comfortable ride on our roughish country lanes. I may not be into racing but this bikes handles at the speed and over the terrain I want to use it on. Spec of the frame is on the link and this is not a cheap frame. Cost in the UK is around the £1100 mark so probably more than most of us pay for a bike. And after 8 months of riding it- It is worth it.

    http://www.boreas-bikes.dk/pages/ignis.html

    Now the Giant is a commercial bike. But the TCR is one of the higher end bikes. Not in the extravagant league but still a bike of note. Built up from the TCR C frame but with the TCR C3 spec with a couple of changes.


    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-GB/...ad/1394/29619/

    From my point of view- Both bikes should be good- Or perhaps it is that I have one good bike and I am trying to compare it with a superb one. Only one thing for it- And to get a lot miles on both bikes so that I can get used to both of them.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  20. #20
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Or perhaps it is that I have one good bike and I am trying to compare it with a superb one.
    BINGO! We have a winner.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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