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  1. #1
    Narb.
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    Smoothness of ride - frame material, rims, or both?

    I've read things here and there that suggest that frame material determines how smooth a ride is, in terms of the bike eating up bumps and whatnot.

    I've recently built up a new bike, and have noticed that it eats up bumps nicely! Going over them is real smooth compared to my first bike. I'm wondering, though, why this is. The frame material obviously comes to mind, but I've also come to wonder if the rims are also a significant factor on this.

    Also note that my first bike is multi-geared whereas the new ride is a single fixed.

    Setup 1: Bianchi Volpe (cromoly), ACE-19 Alexrims.

    Setup 2: Iro Angus (reynolds 631), Mavic CXP-22.

    What do you guys think?

    Is the leap from cromoly to reynolds really that great of a change? I've heard aluminum is horrible when it comes to bumps, but always thought cromoly was considered pretty decent stuff.

    Is it the frame, the rims, both, or could it be something else?

  2. #2
    Paste Taster Retem's Avatar
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    mostly the ride depends on frame construction and not much else tires also effect ride but that is the primary factor construction
    I am dyslexic so bear with my posts.... [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    crown heights sucka
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    geometry, too, is totally key.

  4. #4
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    Tire pressure?

  5. #5
    thanks for not picking me deimos's Avatar
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    hubs?

  6. #6
    sVe Bikkhu's Avatar
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    Frame, tires.
    I got nothing to do
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    everything is so ****ed up
    I guess it's natural that way

  7. #7
    Senior Member nathbdp's Avatar
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    of course its going to be smooth if you only go 5 mph granddad.

  8. #8
    Narb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathbdp
    of course its going to be smooth if you only go 5 mph granddad.
    I clocked in at 11mph this afternoon.

    Shows what you know.

  9. #9
    fuelled by vodka buro9's Avatar
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    It's any place with a moving part (hubs, bottom bracket, headset), anywhere that bears load (tyres, tyre pressure, rims, spokes, hubs, frame) and the surface you're riding on.

    So as a simple answer, both.

    Most people will find the biggest difference will be in changing wheelset. Velocity Deep V's may look colourful and pretty, they may also be virtually bombproof, but they ride like **** (compared to Mavic CXP 33's for example - and yes I own some Deep V's but I do so because of potholes and look, not look alone).

    I notice an enormous difference on my road bike between my Campag Neutron wheelset and my Fulcrum Racing 1's. The Fulcrums are a lot smoother and purr along, but I'll choose the Neutrons if I know I have serious hills to climb.

    Oh, and tubs run better than clinchers. As with all things though, it's up to you to decide whether you feel the pros and cons of clinchers outweigh the pros and cons of tubulars *for you*.

  10. #10
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    I am just repeating the impression I got from reading Grant Peterson, but isn't getting fatter tires and running them at lower psi the most effective way of smoothing out your ride?

  11. #11
    crown heights sucka
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    so, to summarize: everything that can be changed about a bike will affect the smoothness of the ride in some way. everything.

  12. #12
    oldsprinter oldsprinter's Avatar
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    Oft overlooked is the seatpost - swapping to carbon with set back soaks up harshness.

    Carbon forks make a massive difference compared to aluminium ones. Carbon rims too.

    Obviously, radial spokes are harsher than 3x.

    number18 your statement "so, to summarize: everything that can be changed about a bike will affect the smoothness of the ride in some way. everything." is a bit OTT. - Bottle cage? Front and rear mech? Skewers? Bottom bracket? Cassette? Chain? Headset?

    The key things are frame, tyres, rims.

  13. #13
    Paste Taster Retem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina
    Retem, you've never ridden a few different wheel build setups and noticed differences in the rides with each of them? I have.
    no not when they are laced tight and true and the tires are at 130psi the most difference is in the construction lugged tig fillet as well as geometry for sure mostly a construction thing
    I am dyslexic so bear with my posts.... [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
    crown heights sucka
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsprinter
    Bottle cage? Front and rear mech? Skewers? Bottom bracket? Cassette? Chain? Headset?
    over the top, OK, (i was being sarcastic), but:

    Frame material
    Frame geometry
    Frame construction
    Wheel size
    Tire width
    Tire tread
    Tire inflation
    Seatpost material
    Rim material
    Number of spokes
    Manufacture of spokes
    Arrangement of spokes
    Quality of wheelbuild
    Saddle material
    Saddle rail material

    That's a lot of factors! Am I forgetting anything?
    Last edited by number18; 04-23-07 at 02:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Paste Taster Retem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackar.
    Is the leap from cromoly to reynolds really that great of a change? I've heard aluminum is horrible when it comes to bumps, but always thought cromoly was considered pretty decent stuff.

    Is it the frame, the rims, both, or could it be something else?
    reynolds is chromoly and my aluminum eai brass knuckle actually rides smoother than my khs flite 100 which is reynolds 520 butted chromo tubing.
    as far as wheels
    on my beater I have a set of formulas laced to weinmanns 36h a little wobbly my winter bike so...
    on my khs phils laced to cxp 22 36h tight and true pretty stiff the frame is very harsh especially the forks being round legged they yeild a jolting ride
    on my brass knuckle mavic ellipse tight and true very stiff wheels being an aluminum frame with compact geo and steep angles you would expect thtis to be a harsh ride but really it is like butta and stiffer than the khs the forks are bladed and have a little more rake takes some of the knocks out

    hopefully this clarifies all have tires that are 120psi and up I weigh 220# and ride my bikes hard so I like to keep my wheels as tight as possible
    I am dyslexic so bear with my posts.... [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
    Paste Taster Retem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsprinter
    Oft overlooked is the seatpost - swapping to carbon with set back soaks up harshness.
    also saddle rails help too cromo or ti saddle rails are the nicest
    I am dyslexic so bear with my posts.... [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
    raodmaster shaman
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    frame material
    geometry
    wheels
    tire pressure

    they all effect the ride. mess around with different combinations and you'll start to understand how.

    big soft tires and spongy rims can make the stiffest frame feel plush. and high pressure tires on stiff rims can make a noodle of a frame feel harsh.

    the frame is going to be the main factor on bigger bumps (it has the most capacity to absorb energy), while tires will have a bigger influence on how much of the little stuff (cracks and pebbles) you feel. this all varies and overlaps though. the frame is the biggest component of the ride while the wheels and tires are kinda a way to "tune" it to your liking.

  18. #18
    fuelled by vodka buro9's Avatar
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    Several people have mentioned larger tyres with lower pressure. But for me a smooth ride is one where the effort is low and the speed is great... that of the most efficiency.

    Reducing rolling resistance is what defines a tyres influence on a smooth ride.

    Isn't that why the majority of us ride thin, treadless, high-pressure tyres? Speed and smoothness?

    I'm not going to let air out of my tyres to gain a 'smooth' ride, when in reality it's just cheap suspension and the penalty for doing so will be higher rolling resistance which means more effort to roll along, and may also mean the ride is 'bouncy'.

  19. #19
    sVe Bikkhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buro9
    Several people have mentioned larger tyres with lower pressure. But for me a smooth ride is one where the effort is low and the speed is great... that of the most efficiency.

    Reducing rolling resistance is what defines a tyres influence on a smooth ride.

    Isn't that why the majority of us ride thin, treadless, high-pressure tyres? Speed and smoothness?

    I'm not going to let air out of my tyres to gain a 'smooth' ride, when in reality it's just cheap suspension and the penalty for doing so will be higher rolling resistance which means more effort to roll along, and may also mean the ride is 'bouncy'.
    It really depends on the air volume of the tire. I gave up riding high-pressure 23īs few years ago. Just stupid to do that on average city pavement and I like to keep fillings in my teeth. Nowdays I am a big fan of tires with more air volume and am an advocate of "balloon bike" concept. Currently I ride Schwalbe Kojak 35/700 slicks. But then again, donīt ride so fast anymore, either. But I do think that bigger tires with slightly less air pressure equals more comfort, with almost no noticeable increase in rolling resistance and also help to keep those bearings and rims sweet.
    I got nothing to do
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    everything is so ****ed up
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  20. #20
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    The question is so completely unquantifiable that to even ask it is
    totally absurd. There are so many factors, all of which are basically
    negated by the rider and his preference or mood or how much he's
    had to drink.
    Last edited by bonechilling; 04-23-07 at 06:31 AM.

  21. #21
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Rim profile will play a big roll as will tire size and level of inflation. Deep V rims are MUCH stiffer radially than say an Open Pro...I can feel the difference between the Fusions (25mm) and the Open Pro as well. Most rims these days are AL unless you are rocking CF which are mostly very deep profile and will also be very radially stiff.

    Spoke tension does not play a significant roll.

    Frame design would be above frame material for ride quality impact.
    The views expressed by this poster do not reflect the views of BikeForums.net.

  22. #22
    fuelled by vodka buro9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling
    The question is so completely unquantifiable that to even ask it is
    totally absurd. There are so many factors, all of which are basically
    negated by the rider and his preference or mood or how much he's
    had to drink
    .
    Heh, certainly that would make the biggest difference.

    So... what booze makes for the smoothest ride? Surely spirits over beers, less of a liquid belly.

  23. #23
    é wot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mander
    I am just repeating the impression I got from reading Grant Peterson, but isn't getting fatter tires and running them at lower psi the most effective way of smoothing out your ride?
    Yes ... I have a Jamie Roy, which is fairly thick-walled big-tubed aluminum, and heavy-duty stiff wheels, so it ought to be harsh according to all the conventional wisdom; but, with 700x32c* tires with 120tpi casings, it's a really nice ride. And still fast, too.

    The quality of the tire makes a big difference. Cheap tires are stiff. More flexible tires are harder to make and therefore more expensive; but they are both faster and more comfortable.

    *that's nominal, they're actually 28mm wide. Vittoria Cross XN Pro.
    a life well lived is the best revenge

  24. #24
    Dude. Natron's Avatar
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    Frame substance is the only thing that matters. Components couldn't matter less. Steel gives a stiff but forgiving ride and makes all of the components you attach to it much better than they were before you pulled them out of the box, free of charge. It's because steel frame tubes compress along their length which gives a more comfortable ride. This phenomenon happens nowhere else in nature and with no other steel tubing used for any other application! It's literally magic! There's no scientific fact to back this up but ask almost anyone here and they will nearly bet their lives on the 'steel is real' myt---- err..... fact.

    SCIENCE!!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by buro9
    I'm not going to let air out of my tyres to gain a 'smooth' ride, when in reality it's just cheap suspension and the penalty for doing so will be higher rolling resistance which means more effort to roll along, and may also mean the ride is 'bouncy'.
    I was under the impression that pneumatic tires actually offer very good suspension for their weight (something about a linear response), much better than say a solid rubber tire on a suspension fork, and that's why they are on all cars, motorcycles and bikes, aircraft landing gear etc.

    Is flex in the bike less inefficient than flex in the tires? I don't believe this but maybe you have a good reason why.

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