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Old 01-27-10, 04:23 AM   #1
daven1986
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Which is most comfortable without losing too much efficiency?

Hi all,

Just an idea going round in my head. I was wondering which of these would be most comfortable without losing too much efficiency. And by comfortable I mean that you don't have to slow down at all while riding - I find with my road bike I am slowing down quite a bit and quite often for speedbumps, potholes, poor road surface etc.

- Full suspension MTB
- Hardtail MTB
- No suspension MTB
- No suspension cyclocross with fat (50mm+) tyres
- Hardtail cyclocross with fat (50mm+) tyres

I would really love to just be able to ride without giving a second thought to the road surface (unless of course it is icy / sandy etc.). The MTBs would have short travel suspension to minimise the efficiency loss.

Thanks

Daven
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Old 01-27-10, 06:35 AM   #2
Esteban32696
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If used mostly on roads, a good hybrid type bike, with or w/o front suspension would be my choice. Many of the full suspension bikes are pretty heavy.
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Old 01-27-10, 07:09 AM   #3
daven1986
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Yeah that is what I was thinking - figured full suspension isn't worth the extra weight if used on the road.

Thanks
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Old 01-27-10, 08:51 AM   #4
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If possible (if it will fit inside your frame properly), you might just want to try a wider tire on your current bike. It may not make you/your bike impervious to road hazards, but it might be enough to bring your anxiety down while keeping your efficiency up.
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Old 01-27-10, 09:03 AM   #5
daven1986
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Yeah I was thinking that, although I run 35 at the moment. I think I can probably fit a 40 or 45 in there (although maybe not under my mudguards!). Not sure if they will run at a low enough pressure to make much of a difference though (I run my 35 at 50psi).
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Old 01-27-10, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
- Full suspension MTB
- Hardtail MTB
- No suspension MTB
- No suspension cyclocross with fat (50mm+) tyres
- Hardtail cyclocross with fat (50mm+) tyres
Not many cyclocross bikes I've seen with any suspension...

How about a full suspension MTB with skinnier, or slick, tires and shocks equipped with lockouts? Efficient rigidity when you want it, and roll-over-anything suspension when you need it.
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Old 01-27-10, 09:46 PM   #7
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I'd get the fattest Marathon Supremes you can squeeze in, and run them at about 55-60 PSI or so. From what i have read, and found with my own bike, that will get you a fairly nice ride, that can shrug off some fairly nasty bumps, ( 3 inch expansion joint at 70 kph anyone? ) without too much of a penalty in rolling resistance.
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Old 01-27-10, 10:53 PM   #8
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Without suspension, the tire size and inflation pressure are the factors that make your bike comfy or no.

The other thing you need to be concerned with is riding technique... even with short travel suspension or fat tires, you should be trying to avoid large obstacles and unweight your tires when you can't avoid them... this is how the most experienced riders riding the longest distances on varied terrain ride.

Do you have back pain problems or other problems that make you significantly more sensitive to jarring or that cause you discomfort? Have you had an expert evaluate your bike fit and your riding position? Because most people riding very long distances on 700 X 28 or 700 X 35s consider that pretty comfy.

In short, fatter and softer tires will make a difference, but if you are riding with your eyes closed not much will help.
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Old 01-27-10, 11:29 PM   #9
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You don't need 50mm tires. Try putting 28s or even 32s/35s if they'll fit on your road bike, and go from there.

If you've got decent wheels, they'll hold up to a fair bit of abuse.
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Old 01-28-10, 01:43 AM   #10
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You don't need 50mm tires. Try putting 28s or even 32s/35s if they'll fit on your road bike, and go from there.

If you've got decent wheels, they'll hold up to a fair bit of abuse.
You're...suggesting the OP run *smaller* tires??

Quote:
Originally Posted by daven1986
Yeah I was thinking that, although I run 35 at the moment. I think I can probably fit a 40 or 45 in there (although maybe not under my mudguards!). Not sure if they will run at a low enough pressure to make much of a difference though (I run my 35 at 50psi).
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Old 01-28-10, 02:10 AM   #11
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How big are the potholes and poor road surfaces you're talking about?

The fastest, most comfortable bikes I've ridden are the "endurance" category full-carbon road bikes. I have to admit that if your potholes are the size of basketballs, that's probably where they aren't the best choice. And since they're obviously expensive, they don't make a very good bike to leave locked up anywhere. But I just could not believe how much better by wrists felt at the end of the ride. I replaced an all aluminum touring bike with 35c tires with a full carbon road bike, and it's been way better (though to be fair, I think the new bike fits me better to).

I heard very good things about the cyclocross bikes to, but those were more expensive ones so they might not work either.

I dunno..it's late and I'm probably not even addressing your real question. I thought it would be cool to just be able to ride over anything...but I just feel so much slower on a bike with a big fat tire that I only need for like 3% of the ride that I find it easier to dodge any "real" potholes, and even my 23c tires (I have good wheels) haven't had any problems from hitting potholes, riding over grass, or going off curbs onto the street (all of which I do regularly).

I guess from what you're describing I would lean towards the no-suspension mountain bike. If you wanted to be able to take curbs, front suspension. I wouldn't get rear suspension - I've tried riding on the road, and without the expensive "fancy" full suspension you lose a *lot* of efficiency if the rear shock isn't locked out.
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Old 01-28-10, 03:51 AM   #12
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Thanks all, in answer to some of the questions:
- The potholes and poor road surfaces are fairly frequent and provide more of an annoying juddering sensation
- I have 23 tyres on my road bike and they have held up to some pretty substantial potholes that I didn't see and hit at speed, however it didn't feel nice!
- I do unweight my bike as I travel over the poor surfaces, but it becomes tiresome to have to do that every few minutes!
- No backpain, just fussy

Perhaps I am asking for too much?
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Old 01-28-10, 03:58 AM   #13
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a full suspension mtb or 29er. bust that seems ludicrous for the road. meaning - one always has to keep an eye on the road surface and maybe you should change the roads you ride on
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