I am in the process of shopping for a new bike. While I have tried to teach my self as much as I can about bikes I have had a hard time understanding these different terms and that they actually correlate to while riding.
stiffness: Aluminum bikes are said to be very stiff, but they are also criticized for being such a rough ride. What would a stiff bike actually feel like? What is good about it? What is bad?
road noise: Is this an actual noise? Or is this small vibrations that can be transmitted (or dampened) by the frame? If is the later can that make you body ache while riding? If it is just a loudness issue than is that just a personal preference?
flex: The definition of this term is quite obvious, but is it something you want? Is it something you can actually feel? Or is it something that dampens out vibrations?
There are probably even more terms that I haven't hear yet. If you know of more please give me (us) some definitions! If you want more definitions this would be a great place to ask!
PS I have an CAAD9 (aluminum frame with carbon fork. I have recently replaced the carbon handle bars with aluminum ones and started changing the fit around. Yesterday i tried to ride and after a short 8 miles I had to stop. I had really bad back and elbow pain. Could this be because my fit is all funky? Or could replacing the carbon handle bar allow that much more vibration mess with my body?