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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?

Old 11-14-15, 04:45 PM
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Mainah
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Do Japanese frames really have a "dead" ride quality?

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?
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Old 11-14-15, 04:49 PM
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I had a Pro-Miyata and absolutely loved it.
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Old 11-14-15, 04:52 PM
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I raced a 1976 Fuji Pro and it was in no way dead.

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Old 11-14-15, 05:00 PM
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Seems like plain old bias to me. 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. I have a miyata 1000 I put a lot of km on this year and it was quite lively. I also put a decent amount of km on a Canadian built bike made out of Italian tubing that was really nice too.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:05 PM
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Tange 2 rides like Ishiwata 022 which rides like 531 which rides like SL. They are all good stuff.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:06 PM
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No way a 3Rensho has a dead feel to it. I have had two.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:08 PM
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If you have a lot of experience at riding, sure you can tell if you go out and ride a SR semi-pro (wheel base and angles are different) compare to a Cinelli or Gios of the same era. A 3 Renso, Myata, or Panasonic will ride the same. Tires and wheels make a huge difference. I have said this many times before, they all feel pretty much the same as long as the angles are pretty close to each other.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:23 PM
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I've owned 2 Miyata Three-Twelves, a 52 cm that felt dead and a 54 cm that I still have that's lively. Wish I'd owned them at the same time so I could really compare.

My all time fave was an 022 Bianchi from Japan. A bike you could finesse.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:30 PM
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Troll.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:31 PM
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i might use the term "dead" to describe the valite frame i had, but i've only had one of them. that's not a good sample size to draw from. (but it would be hard for me to buy another.)

all the other mid-level japanese bikes i've had were really nice. the list includes:

- both early '80s univega gran rally frames (tange champion).
- '79 sekai 4000 (tange champion).
- '88 miyata 312.
- '85 fiori napoli (tange).
- '83 nishiki international (kuwamura).
- '81 trek 414 (ishiwata).

these were all nicer rides than the lower- and lower-mid level japanese bikes i've had.

oh, and my '84 davidson is made from tange, and it's about the nicest bike i've owned.

Last edited by eschlwc; 11-14-15 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:33 PM
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the Japanese Bianchi I had with Ishiwata was a favored rider. an 84 Centurion touring bike with Tange 2 was where I started my adult cycling and it never disappointed. I have never owned a really high-end bike with Japanese tubing.

Agree with the comment that tires & wheels are main contributor to a bike's 'feel'.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I've owned 2 Miyata Three-Twelves, a 52 cm that felt dead and a 54 cm that I still have that's lively. Wish I'd owned them at the same time so I could really compare.

My all time fave was an 022 Bianchi from Japan. A bike you could finesse.
SMaller frames sometimes have tighter angles. Plus, a smaller frame is going to be stiffer then a larger one.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post

Agree with the comment that tires & wheels are main contributor to a bike's 'feel'.
I always laughed when I hear a salesman say" go ride around the block and see how this race bike feels". There's something else that haven't been mentioned yet. I can't possible tell if a bike is alive by sitting my fat ass on that saddle no matter how fast I go. The only way to tell is getting off the saddle and twisting that thing around. The feedback will tell you immediately. Talking about feeling dead? Some of the early carbon bikes felt dead. Steel bikes all have some spring back off the saddle.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:13 PM
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I've never known the "dead" feel to have been defined, at least not to any universally-held standard.

Many frames feel heavy. To some extent, that can be due to geometry.

Certain marques/models of frames have a distinctive lively steering feel that allows low steering effort and also translates to a balanced feel while climbing out of the saddle. A 1977 Masi Gran Criterium has a steering feel that, once acclimated to, might leave other frames to feeling, for lack of a better term, "dead".

A 1973 PX10, with very steep angles, might leave a 1972 PX10 feeling "dead". Same tubing, same country, but the '72 has touring geometry and the '73 has criterium geometry.
But others might ascribe different characteristics as resulting in what they consider a "dead" feel.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:28 PM
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Yes
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Old 11-14-15, 06:38 PM
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Only when ridden by zombies.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:38 PM
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MINE feels light and responsive, even with the kevlar tires and 4 oz. of slime that are required here in the heart of goathead country. Being an aero oval tube steel frame, the Kamra appears to be a rarity, so I'm not sure it can be used as an example..
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Old 11-14-15, 06:47 PM
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Nothing dead about an Ironman.
There, I beat #robbietunes to it.

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Old 11-14-15, 06:51 PM
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my ironman, team fuji and bridgestone are great rides, nothing dead about the feel.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
Nothing dead about an Ironman.
There, I beat #robbietunes to it.

Top
Darn if you didn't.

The answer to the question is "no."

Put some air in the tires.
There, no problem.
That will be $3.50

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Old 11-14-15, 07:08 PM
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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.
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Old 11-14-15, 07:16 PM
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My team miyata was one of the best bikes I've ever ridden. I still ride 2 bridgestones on a regular basis (an RB-1 and a X0-2); both are great bikes.
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Old 11-14-15, 07:41 PM
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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.
No, all touring bikes feel lazy going into and coming out of a corner.
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Old 11-14-15, 07:42 PM
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Whilst riding a 1984 Centurion Comp TA, 1987 Ironman Expert, 1992 RB-1, 1981 Lotus Odyssey, 1981 Team Miyata, 1987 Miyata 912, 2001 Univega Modo Vivire or gaggle of late 1980's Schwinns (Prelude, Super Sport, Tempo, Super Le Tour), the thought of a "dead ride quality" certainly doesn't come to mind.

That description more aptly describes riding gas pipe Bridgestone Kabukis, Takaras, a Fuji Gran Tourer, Fuji Special Road Racer, and Centurion Sport DLXs.
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Old 11-14-15, 07:43 PM
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I had a Miyata 210 that was very stable, but not especially responsive. I have a Fuji that has a very plush, yet responsive feel. I really don't think it is possible to make such a broad generalization.
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