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Do Japanese frames really have a "dead" ride quality?

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Do Japanese frames really have a "dead" ride quality?

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Old 11-14-15, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by look171 View Post
No, all touring bikes feel lazy going into and coming out of a corner.
Compared to a roadie? Yes, they do. They all feel dead unloaded compared to a roadie - it's a question of how dead. They're usually using heavier tubes (the odyssey can be an exception with some SL) and they have more relaxed geometry.
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Old 11-14-15, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I've never known the "dead" feel to have been defined, at least not to any universally-held standard.
True Words These!

We each have, perhaps, our own subjective definition of "dead." For me the only bikes I ever had that felt dead were a custom-built 531 bike that was hit head-on by a BMW (with me on it but at very low speeds!) and an early seventies Stella that was run over by a tour bus. Almost any bicycle makes me feel more alive, even the Schwinn Hollywood that was my only transportation in my starving student days.

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Old 11-14-15, 08:43 PM
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I define a dead ride as one that does not put a huge grin an my face and give me a thrilling sensation when I ride it. Some bikes give me a bigger grin than others. The only bike that did not put a grin on my face so far was a Trek OCLV .
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Old 11-14-15, 08:44 PM
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today i found one mountain bike fuji tahoe 1990 does anyone know what steel is use and how is ride that bikes?
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Old 11-14-15, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
True Words These!

We each have, perhaps, our own subjective definition of "dead." For me the only bikes I ever had that felt dead were a custom-built 531 bike that was hit head-on by a BMW (with me on it but at very low speeds!) and an early seventies Stella that was run over by a tour bus. Almost any bicycle makes me feel more alive, even the Schwinn Hollywood that was my only transportation in my starving student days.

Brent
I think there's truth here - it's probably a word we use differently. We all know about the role of tires in road feel.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
I define a dead ride as one that does not put a huge grin an my face and give me a thrilling sensation when I ride it. Some bikes give me a bigger grin than others. The only bike that did not put a grin on my face so far was a Trek OCLV .
After riding, racing steel bikes, almost all were Italian, since I was a teenage, I bought a LOOK KG171. The Jalabert special. That thing was flexy, but it rode well. Plenty of spring back (alive feel, to me) off the saddle. I am not a big guy, so a little flex is always welcome. Then, I bought an OCLV. It rode like a dead log but stiff and the feed back was dead, or I should say, not what I expected. Got rid of it after one season and got a Cannondale CADD3 from my club for cheeeeap.

They dial that in the new carbon bike so well that it rides like a Cadillac very still where you need it. I love my Time Compare to my 4 year old Ridley Damocles.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:20 PM
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I'm looking to possibly get a Japanese touring bike. Not to tour but because I think they're just that damn cool. Would the suggestion be to pass, since I don't intend to tour with it, but to just ride it?
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Old 11-14-15, 09:29 PM
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A few mentions here about tires. Let me be specific, get rid of those big heavy tires and nab a set of Michelin Krylion 23's and pump them up to 115. Now, tell me how dead that feels.

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Old 11-14-15, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006 View Post
I'm looking to possibly get a Japanese touring bike. Not to tour but because I think they're just that damn cool. Would the suggestion be to pass, since I don't intend to tour with it, but to just ride it?
Heck no. Buy it and ride the crap out of it.....because you like it.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
If one were to get a bunch of similar frames and paint them all black without decals I doubt many people would be able to tell you the country of manufacture based on the ride quality.
If you painted all my bikes black my red one wouldn't be as fast. But the Japanese ones would still be great.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006 View Post
I'm looking to possibly get a Japanese touring bike. Not to tour but because I think they're just that damn cool. Would the suggestion be to pass, since I don't intend to tour with it, but to just ride it?
It depends on your wants, needs, and which tourer. They're great commuters and all arounders.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
If you painted all my bikes black my red one wouldn't be as fast. But the Japanese ones would still be great.

I need another red bike so I can go fast again. I have no red bike at the moment and it is killing me. I have orange that is part red but it is not quite as fast as my old red one due to the yellow in the paint. It is so close but just not the same.
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Old 11-14-15, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by look171 View Post
After riding, racing steel bikes, almost all were Italian, since I was a teenage, I bought a LOOK KG171. The Jalabert special. That thing was flexy, but it rode well. Plenty of spring back (alive feel, to me) off the saddle. I am not a big guy, so a little flex is always welcome. Then, I bought an OCLV. It rode like a dead log but stiff and the feed back was dead, or I should say, not what I expected. Got rid of it after one season and got a Cannondale CADD3 from my club for cheeeeap.

They dial that in the new carbon bike so well that it rides like a Cadillac very still where you need it. I love my Time Compare to my 4 year old Ridley Damocles.
I have not tried out Modern CF but would love to. The good ones are beyond my means and I would not trust used. The OCLV felt like I was riding a stationary bike down the road. All workout, no thrill. I understand your feeling totally.
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Old 11-14-15, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
I have not tried out Modern CF but would love to. The good ones are beyond my means and I would not trust used. The OCLV felt like I was riding a stationary bike down the road. All workout, no thrill. I understand your feeling totally.
I had a Trek Tri-series for about 2 weeks that was made of 531, but that just felt dead to me. Sort of like what you described. Nothing "wrong" with it, but it just wasn't right for me.
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Old 11-14-15, 10:22 PM
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Lots of interesting info here - thanks!

Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
Troll.
Definitely not my intention. I have seen several casual mentions of this sentiment on multiple threads, did a search to learn more but didn't find much, and thought it might be an interesting discussion point.

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
What year is your Lotus Odyssey? While I don't think there are national characteristics to bikes, what you have to understand is that the odyssey was never a racing bike, and most (not all) were full tourers. Compared to the liveliness of a pure roadie, yes...all touring bikes are going to feel dead.
I have an '81 Odyssey, which isn't quite the dedicated touring machine that it would later become (and become known for). I gather it has a very similar frame (if not identical) to the Lotus Legend of the same year. More a sport-touring geometry somewhere between a roadie and tourer.
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Old 11-14-15, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pemetic2006 View Post
I'm looking to possibly get a Japanese touring bike. Not to tour but because I think they're just that damn cool. Would the suggestion be to pass, since I don't intend to tour with it, but to just ride it?
I do not understand the people who unload fine, fine-ass touring bikes because they "don't tour."

No, a touring bike isn't going to ride or corner or respond like an ultralight race bike- it's not supposed to.

I liken the ride of my tourers to the ride of a 1972 Cadillac Eldorado.
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Old 11-14-15, 10:29 PM
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For Taiwanese frames is it more of an honored-ancestor ride?
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Old 11-14-15, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by darth lefty View Post
for taiwanese frames is it more of an honored-ancestor ride?
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Old 11-15-15, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
Yes
...and no.
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Old 11-15-15, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mainah View Post
I've seen several folks on this sub mention that Japanese steel frames are often well built, but tend to have a "sterile" or "dead" ride quality to them. I'm curious to know if this is a widely held view, and if so, what is the explanation? Frame tubing? Geometry? I recently overhauled an '81 Lotus Odysssey (Tange Champion 2 tubing), which has a classic sport touring geometry, and I can't say I notice much of a substantive difference in ride quality between it and a Trek 610 (531 tubing) that I used to ride -- both ride great. (However, I unfortunately had to let go of the Trek a few years ago during a move, so I can't do a side-by-side comparison.) Thoughts?
Idiotic.

You can't begin to compare the craftsmanship, skill or finish of 70s or early 80s Japanese frame building or kit to anything. It was a world apart in the skill level, tolerances, and quality control that even Klein, Cannondale, GT (Morgul-Bismark), YETI, or any other US framebuilder could never even get close to matching. Grant Peterson is absolutely right about that but of fact. Regarding peak-Japan kit. The days of getting hand polished components or frames built in facilities backed by 0% loans will never be seen again. Taiwan has better quality control because of technological advances but the reality is that the average Centurion selling on Craigslist is a better built bike than a Waterford or any other U.S. made boutique frame.

There is so much disingenuous BS in cycling with many companies and builders fighting in a predatory fashion for a piec of the same small slice of pie. It's a Rivendell or Mercian, not both for most. Unlike car collectors bike folks seem to hav more constrained budgets. However, you talk to those free of agenda and that have had Plain Jane Japanese steel racing lightweights and they'll tell you they were some of the best bios they've ever owned (for a given tube set or comparable tubeset/size.

Does vintage Japanese have the same cache as Italian steel, no, but that nothin' to do with the bikes and everything to do with branding and unsubstantiated bias. The 19 year old brazing in Italy for big head badges had nothing on the master builders in Japan during that era.

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Old 11-15-15, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I do not understand the people who unload fine, fine-ass touring bikes because they "don't tour."

.
so they can ride their 9000 dollar Pinarellos with deep dish carbon wheels to Starbucks, park it, with their matching jersey socks and their brand name gloves and drink their cold coffee. Can't do that on a touring bike where the gap between the tire and the seat tube is 1/2".
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Old 11-15-15, 01:38 AM
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I suspect I might have contributed to this bias, by mentioning that my Lemond felt so much livelier than my beloved '86 Schwinn Peloton. Please let me know if I'm just being paranoid and it wasn't me.

First: my Japanese-built Schwinn Peloton was built in 1986 of Columbus SP & SL tubing, was chrome plated underneath the paint, and was ridden on 23c tires
Second: my Italian-built Greg Lemond was built in 1994 of Columbus TSX tubing, and was ridden on 25c tires.

All other factors were identical:
~same saddle, seatpost, bars, components, wheels, ...even the bottle cages on both bikes were plastic Velocity in black. Both were even ridden on Continental GP4000 tires, except that the Peloton has slightly narrower 23c.

It's funny that I just ran into this thread after dinking my middle fingernail on each frame for the benefit of my beloved GF. Both her and my Lemond sounded slightly more sonorous when dinking the center of the top tube. But this is very likely due to the fact that my Schwinn Pelotons are both chrome-plated and then painted.
I still love the way my Japanese-built Peloton rides. Did a 72 miler on her today, and it was a special day. Also, I've crash-tested the 86 Peloton at least 8 times and that frame is the Sherman tank of racing bicycles. Bet I could use that frame to machete my way through a jungle of modern carbon frames, build it back up and it would still track truer than gospel.

P.S. Aside from the longer top tube on the Lemond, they have nearly identical BB heights, and all other dimensions are within half a cm as well. The Lemond also has the less-steep seat tube angle, and the saddle is a little less than a cm further back and a little more than half a cm lower.
TLDR, but didnt' want to leave anything out.

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Old 11-15-15, 04:09 AM
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"Deader than a door nail".....
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Old 11-15-15, 04:25 AM
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all bikes are pretty much fun to ride
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Old 11-15-15, 04:38 AM
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Now, the rest of the story...

There was never much of a sporting bicycle tradition in Japan. Before the US Bike Boom almost all of the millions of bicycles produced in Japan for the domestic market were 50 Lb. single speed transportation models with rod brakes. Band brakes on the rear were a luxury and 3 speed rear hubs even more so.

Bicycle purchases were made by ultra frugal Japanese housewives so anything beyond basic black was not going to sell. This bike with all of the chrome would have been a luxury model.



These bikes had substantial rear racks. The wives sat sidesaddle on the rack holding the baby plus shopping bags while the husband pedaled. I was always amazed by how well they could balance at slow speeds weaving in and out of traffic.

Keiren track racing is a "sport" in the same sense that thoroughbred horse racing is a sport. The primary draw is parimutuel betting - legalized gambling!

In the late 60's at least one US bicycle wholesaler went to Japan to have derailleur bikes made to their specs. Their specs were "make us bikes just like the one in this picture".

Almost all of the Japanese bikes imported during the US bike boom were heavy clunkers compared to the 27 to 28 Lb. entry level all steel European models.

Many low end European "gas pipe" bikes had main tubes with wall thicknesses from 1.2mm to 2mm. Japanese bikes had tubes up to 3mm thick and weighed 3 to 4 Lbs. more than equivalent European models.

Heavy tubing like that gives a very dead feel. There's no spring to the frame and the tubing absorbs or transmits all of the road shock and vibrations.

Also, most Japanese rode 19" to 21" frames (50cm - 54cm) with short top tubes, slack angles, long wheelbases and long fork rakes. Very few Japanese could ride a bike over 56cm (22") so they had no idea how to build frames for westerners.

During the US bike boom fad a WHOLE LOT of people got into the business to make a fast buck. Some made a bundle during the first few years. You could sell anything with derailleurs and drop bars and call it a "10 SPEED RACER"!

By the mid 70's a few people knowledgeable about bicycle ride and handling features got involved in with the companies who were importing Japanese bikes.

By that time Japanese components had developed a reputation for ease of use and reliability. That plus Japanese bikes had far better finishes and cosmetics than European entry level and mid range bikes.

In late 70's many mid range Japanese bikes had the same quality that top name European bikes were noted for. The ride and handling of the Japanese bikes had improved drastically and they were taking over the US lightweight bike market. Protective tariffs kept many of those bikes out of much of the European market during those years.

Case in point about dead ride quality:

Our shop was a few blocks away from a university. Every August and January out of town students used to bring their bikes from home packed in bike boxes. We were reluctant to reassemble those because the usually turned into a can of worms!

About 1975 someone brought in a new boxed up top end Centurion. Business wa a little slow so we decided to assemble it for him to check out the quality.

The bike had good quality Japanese alloy components including rims. The cosmetics were very good. The frame had a sticker saying butted 4130 Steel Tubing.

Turns out that while the tubing was 4130 alloy steel, the main tubes were about 2.5mm + thick. The 58cm bike weighed 32 Lbs. - 5 Lbs. more than an entry level all steel French bike!

Most Japanese bikes from the late 70's rode and handled as well if not better than equivalent European brands.

By the early 80's Japanese bikes lost out to less expensive bike made in Taiwan.

So now you know...




verktyg 1964

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