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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-05-10, 11:45 AM   #1
avner
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The feel of higher end components?

So I did some research on my sputnik. it turns out I have an 07 Sputnik with an Vero(FSA) Crankset and Formula hubs laced to DA18. This weekend I rode someones Langster Vegas with Mavic Open Pros laced to all Cities, an Omnium cranks, S-Works Stem, Carbon Fiber Seat post/Handlebars and it was ridiculous. Geared at 18/48 vs my 17/48 it felt like a completely different bike, pedalling was stupidly smooth, it felt responsive and clean. Much Cleaner then my ride.

What I want to know, is I am feeling newer components? (mine are 3, nearly 4 years old.) Better components? (Old cranks and ****ty rims?) Or is it geometry? (Langster is more aggressive?)

I'm just curious because i've never felt a difference like that on a bike.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:58 AM   #2
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A new or well lubed chain will transform a bike. Best $15 I spend.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:24 PM   #3
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Geo plays a large roll. I went from A Peugeot UO8 to my Tommaso Track. Big difference.

I also went from Pake crank to Miche, formula hubs to miche, (and for my butt) charge to selle italia.

Big difference
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Old 10-05-10, 12:29 PM   #4
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tires. Big difference for me.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:31 PM   #5
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It is certainly worth considering replacing older parts. I bought my current bike used a little over one year ago. When I got it, I knew the derailleurs were somewhat old and worn. Just a couple weeks ago, I finally decided to get them replaced. It made a world of difference. Everything about the bike feels better. Anyways, 3 or 4 years (depending on how much you ride) is probably long enough that you should look into replacing some pieces of your bike.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:35 PM   #6
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Custom built wheels feel totally different than stock wheels. If you are on stock 2200gram wheels, and rode around on 1600 gram wheels, that will make a huge difference. Add to that if he has foldable tires and you are on wire-bead tires,.... you are probably spinning around on maybe 2 extra pounds of wheel/tire. BIG DIFFERENCE.

The Langster will be stiffer as a framset, the Omniums will be stiffer also. Translate that into a much more direct and "urgent" feeling at the pedals.

Carbon post/bars/stem may smooth things out, but a nice fork and a good wheelset will do more than all three of those things combined. My Langster, Carbon Cranks, Ouzo Pro Fork, Carbon Cobra base bar, Fizik Airone Carbon CX, Thompson post, 1500g handbuilt wheels, blah, blah, blah rides like a COMPLETEY different bike than a stock Langster. Night and day.

If you can, swap wheels with your buddy, and see where that gets you. I would suspect that its more than 1/2 of what you felt.

Most guys won't be able to feel crank stiffness. I know I can't. BB stiffness is more likely what you are feeling between the two. That to me says, the Omniums are nicer, ligher but probably not what you were feeling.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:40 PM   #7
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+1 on pretty much everything that has been said.

Want your bike to feel better? Get a new chain (or just clean yours and re-lube), get NICE tires (GP4000 will do), and if you have the money get a nice wheelset. Don't worry about stem, seatpost or crank.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:43 PM   #8
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I have the same question being that im in a build and choosing components....price plays a big part.

I am building up a pista concept that I plan on keeping for a while, so I may throw more its way.

I am very confused though.
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Old 10-05-10, 01:16 PM   #9
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My general rule of thumb. If I like the bike and plan on keeping it, I buy the best and build it slowly. I hate rebuying parts because I got mediocre parts the first time around.

Case in point where I did not follow my own rule.
On my Langster I purchased some FSA Carbon cranks (broke them), moved to Aluminum Campy Chorus, then Aluminum Campy Record, now on Carbon Campy Centaur. Finally done. If I had just purchased my current cranks ~$185 rather than used FSA's ($125), Chorus ($85), Record($125) I would have saved ~$300 and been happy at the get-go.

For a Pista Concept, I would get the best I could. Its not like there is going to be a nicer aluminum frame bike (arguably an Argon 18 Electron.... arguably) to move parts to. Perhaps a custom built Ti frame..... but that is a different animal.
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Old 10-05-10, 01:18 PM   #10
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A LBS has a Specialized Langster Tokyo & a Las Vegas model, they priced it at $ 875. I believe they are aluminum framed, the Sputnik is chromoly steel. I will say, just from spinning the Specialized's pedals backward in SS freewheeel, I could tell it was a pretty nice bike. Everything was new and clean obviously.
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Old 10-05-10, 01:49 PM   #11
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I had a tokyo. Didn't like it. Love my sputnik. I just don't remember my langster feeling anything like this.
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Old 10-05-10, 01:52 PM   #12
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I've said this before:

Ever ride in a luxury car? All of the contact points (where your body touches stuff) is nice and refined. That improves the experience. The same goes for your bike. Spend extra to buy quality:

- Tires
- Saddle (that *your* butt really likes, not anyone else's)
- Bars
- Grip tape
- Shoes
- Pedals

This will greatly improve your experience at moderate cost.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:24 PM   #13
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I understand that Carleton. However this wasn't just a comfortable ride. There was a significant difference felt through the drive train, it was far smoother then mine.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:29 PM   #14
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There was a significant difference felt through the drive train, it was far smoother then mine.
Wheels and tires.
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Old 10-05-10, 04:33 PM   #15
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Do you know how to set proper chain tension? Have you maintained your chain? Does it need to be replaced? Are your tires inflated to the best psi? Do all that little easy stuff first before you start wondering about your crank arms.
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Old 10-05-10, 04:36 PM   #16
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I understand that Carleton. However this wasn't just a comfortable ride. There was a significant difference felt through the drive train, it was far smoother then mine.
Word. Sorry.

Then, it's probably the drivetrain like others have mentioned. An old and dirty chain can feel mushy. There are lots of ways to lose energy (and feel) in a bike's drivetrain.
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Old 10-05-10, 05:40 PM   #17
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Np, good to see you around SSFG again Carleton.

Drive train on my bike seems to be in good shape. Not that best components but I suppose i'll grab some lube and clean my chain this weekend just for ****s and giggles. I definitely believe it could be the wheels. I'm saving up for a new set of Open pros. I'm seriously considering a new crank.

but next item up is Mavic Open Pros laced to Formulas with Grand Prix 4000's.

Last edited by avner; 10-05-10 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 10-05-10, 05:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Custom built wheels feel totally different than stock wheels.
no.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xavier853 View Post
small differences:

Peugeot UO8 to my Tommaso Track.
Pake crank to Miche
formula hubs to miche

big difference:

charge to selle italia.
..
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Old 10-05-10, 05:51 PM   #19
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bottom bracket is by far the most noticeable difference from higher quality
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Old 10-05-10, 06:05 PM   #20
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The biggest difference I've noticed lately on a FG is in the quality (precision machining) of the cog.
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Old 10-05-10, 06:05 PM   #21
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Also, I'm starting to hear/feel a click in my bottom bracket. Sunday night I felt it while I was riding around, just as the cranks spun. Monday when I was goofing around on my bike I only felt it when applying pressure, it happened as each crank hit the 5 O'clock position of the stroke.
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Old 10-05-10, 06:56 PM   #22
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bottom bracket is by far the most noticeable difference from higher quality
one properly serviced bottom bracket is little different from the next.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:30 PM   #23
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In my opinion, anything rotating is going to have an immensely different feeling if it's a higher end component. A good example from before is a nice aftermarket wheelset vs stock wheelset


riding a bike with a nice BB, chainring, chain, cog with the right ratio and proper chainline is bliss
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Old 10-06-10, 12:37 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=adriano;11576304]no.
I went from 2200g machine built wheels to 1500g hand laced, sapim spoked wheels and it was completely different. I suppose if we are talking exact same spokes, hubs, rims.... you are probably right.

As for your BB comment, I agree.... I've ridden DA, Record, Chris King, and even Enduro Cerramic bearing BB's before. Could not tell a lick of difference... then again they were all on completely different bikes so it was not like an apples to apples comparison..... All felt just fine, which is to say, smooth, without play, and with no perceptible increase in drag.

I will say, crappy loose ball BB's do actually feel like crap. But if you put a blindfold on me and had me pedal a bike with a Shimano UN-52 BB and Phil (all else being the same), I seriously doubt I would be able to *feel* a difference.
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Old 10-06-10, 01:41 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
The biggest difference I've noticed lately on a FG is in the quality (precision machining) of the cog.
Agreed. My miche system is pleasing me to no end right now.
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