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My quest for comfort is finally over, or is it?

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My quest for comfort is finally over, or is it?

Old 04-13-19, 08:57 AM
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sweetspot
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My quest for comfort is finally over, or is it?

I have a Jamis Renegade Exploit bike and from the begining I was trying to make this bike as comfortable as possible. The frame was a good starting point because it is steel and offers a lot of nice flex. But I wanted more so I started with swappping a seatpost for VLCS 2.0 made by Ergon. A lot of improvement but still I wanted more. So I changed tires for bigger ones (Panaracer GravelKing SK 43mm - but not tubeless and with narrow rim they measure just 41 mm). Then I wanted to get even more comfort so I bought Redshift Shockstop stem. After experimenting with elasotmers I settled for the most supple combination dedicated for drop handlebar and it works really nice. For the comfort of my butt I bought a Brooks C17 saddle (very good purchase indeed!) and to get more upright position I swapped the Rithey evomax comp handlebar for Specialized hoover bar with 15 mm rise and 12 flare and used Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bar tape. Another great addition but I also needed better gearing for going uphill so I changled rear cassette for Shimano 11-40 and rear derailleur for new Shimano 105 R7000. With longer chain it works very nice. For my weak knee I also bought a Speedplay Frog cleats. Now the last thing I was considering was going for even more wide tires but this could cause a lot of problems (toe overlap, changing the front derailleur for new Shimano 105 7000 to get more space in the back and a potential problems with too narrow rim - 17 mm wide) so I decided not to. But maybe there are better (more supple) tires in 42mm size out there because I feel that, although very durable and safe, the Panaracer Gravelking SK are not the most comfortable tires on the market. What do you think?


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Old 04-13-19, 08:11 PM
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You're doing it wrong.


But on a serious note, you're doing it wrong. The vast majority of a bikes "suppleness" is derived from the tires. You should have stuck with your 43mm GKs and set them up tubeless. Tubeless is the key here, it makes such a huge difference it's not even funny. It's a plenty supple tire but if you're looking for even more supple (and less durable) then there are other options, like Compass tires.
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Old 04-13-19, 10:18 PM
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I have found more comfort in less stack not more stack.
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Old 04-14-19, 01:43 AM
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Get some ti spindles for the Frogs.

I picked up a cheap used set of ti Frogs and switched out the steel axle on my pair.

It genuinely felt as is the 'hits' through the pedal were duller/softer a bit.

Or maybe its just in my head !
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Old 04-14-19, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Tubeless is the key here, it makes such a huge difference it's not even funny. It's a plenty supple tire but if you're looking for even more supple (and less durable) then there are other options, like Compass tires.
Sweetspot... what air pressure are you riding? Tubeless allows lower air pressure. If you can go tubeless, do it with those GK SKs. you could go down to 30-40psi once tubeless. Maybe even less.

eric/fresno, ca.
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Old 04-14-19, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ericzamora View Post
Sweetspot... what air pressure are you riding? Tubeless allows lower air pressure. If you can go tubeless, do it with those GK SKs. you could go down to 30-40psi once tubeless. Maybe even less.
eric/fresno, ca.
30 PSI or even less. So to be honest I already use pressure dedicated for tubeless. That is why I don't see the point in changing to tubeless but maybe I am missing something?

Originally Posted by shoota View Post
You're doing it wrong.
But on a serious note, you're doing it wrong. The vast majority of a bikes "suppleness" is derived from the tires. You should have stuck with your 43mm GKs and set them up tubeless. Tubeless is the key here, it makes such a huge difference it's not even funny. It's a plenty supple tire but if you're looking for even more supple (and less durable) then there are other options, like Compass tires.
How did you set up your Alex rims tubeless? From what I know it is very narrow rim that additionaly requires some inner rings to work tubeless which sounds not that good...

And do you belive that tubeless tire is more supple than tubed with the same pressure?

Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
I have found more comfort in less stack not more stack.
I think this is a personal matter. If you start with a small frame and low stack (like me) you can gain more comfort by rising the handlebar. For me this was chagne for the better not worse.
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Old 04-14-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
I think this is a personal matter. If you start with a small frame and low stack (like me) you can gain more comfort by rising the handlebar. For me this was chagne for the better not worse.
true, I guess I should have said comfort for me starts at having the hoods = to saddle height or lower than
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Old 04-14-19, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
30 PSI or even less. So to be honest I already use pressure dedicated for tubeless. That is why I don't see the point in changing to tubeless but maybe I am missing something?



And do you belive that tubeless tire is more supple than tubed with the same pressure?

Absolutely. Tubeless > tubed, in every situation, way, shape, and form.
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Old 04-15-19, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Absolutely. Tubeless > tubed, in every situation, way, shape, and form.
Iím going tubeless on my gravel bike in a couple months, when I swap tires, so Iím planning to put this to the test!

On my mountain bike, riding technical single track, itís a game changer for sure. But on my gravel bike and the relatively tame gravel I ride, Iím not as sold. I have 650x47 GKSK and with pressure at 30 or a tad lower (25mm KOM internal width) Iíve always found them supple. So I figured why bother. But I want to try it just in case!
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Old 04-15-19, 08:50 AM
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Tubless lets you run low pressure without getting a pinch flat, and of course helps seal reasonable size punctures.

It does't make the bike ride more comfortable at the same PSI. Its great if you only have one bike and don't mind the maintenance, but its not a requirement. Its biggest benefit for me was preventing pinch flats on gravel or rough terrain, while letting me run lower pressures.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:25 AM
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Agree tubeless is superior if your wheelset is already tubeless ready.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:38 AM
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Well . . . it's an overgeneralization to say that tubeless is ALWAYS superior. It depends on the tire. Not all tires are created equal and sometimes tubeless-ready tires are much heavier and stiffer than their tubed equivalents. I've ridden Challenge tires since before most people knew gravel was a thing -- I'm a fan. But Challenge's Gravel Grinder tubeless tires tend to be pretty stiff and harsh compared to their tubed versions. (For that reason, I'm changing to Challenge's Strada Bianca tubeless for road/upscale gravel and to WTB 650b's and Panaracer 700c's for tubeless on fun gravel.)
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Old 08-18-19, 04:23 AM
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To explore the topic more I starder a comfort challenge project (the address is: gravelbikes.cc) where I want to test all the possible solutions for improving riding comfort. Right now apart from flexing seatpost from Ergon and shockstop stem I managed to test 700x50c tires and measured the difference between tubed and tubeless tires. But I want to do much more test in the future. If you have any suggestions what exactly should I test please tell me. Thank you!

Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Well . . . it's an overgeneralization to say that tubeless is ALWAYS superior. It depends on the tire. Not all tires are created equal and sometimes tubeless-ready tires are much heavier and stiffer than their tubed equivalents. I've ridden Challenge tires since before most people knew gravel was a thing -- I'm a fan. But Challenge's Gravel Grinder tubeless tires tend to be pretty stiff and harsh compared to their tubed versions. (For that reason, I'm changing to Challenge's Strada Bianca tubeless for road/upscale gravel and to WTB 650b's and Panaracer 700c's for tubeless on fun gravel.)
My tests shows that tubeless setup is not necessary ALWAYS superior - not if we look on damping properties
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Old 08-18-19, 06:49 AM
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Just a thought, but maybe some of riders need a different geometry + jones bars + 27.5+ tires? maybe even suspension.

truth be told I can't run a jack hammer like I did when I was in my 20's, I also can't run an earth compactor like I did in my 20's. but I have been out of that industry for 30 years, I am not near as strong as I was then.

Maybe the quest for "bicycle comfort" starts with core and strength training? tighten up and condense the mass.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Absolutely. Tubeless > tubed, in every situation, way, shape, and form.
Tire swaps. Just popping on a different set of tires to try out is a quick job with tubes that becomes work with tubeless. Honestly, I rarely got flats with tubes. I've probably spent more time faffing with tubeless sealant and getting tires seated than I ever have spent on the side of the road fixing a flat.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Tire swaps. Just popping on a different set of tires to try out is a quick job with tubes that becomes work with tubeless. Honestly, I rarely got flats with tubes. I've probably spent more time faffing with tubeless sealant and getting tires seated than I ever have spent on the side of the road fixing a flat.
Ok, you got me, congrats.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post


Iím going tubeless on my gravel bike in a couple months, when I swap tires, so Iím planning to put this to the test!

On my mountain bike, riding technical single track, itís a game changer for sure. But on my gravel bike and the relatively tame gravel I ride, Iím not as sold. I have 650x47 GKSK and with pressure at 30 or a tad lower (25mm KOM internal width) Iíve always found them supple. So I figured why bother. But I want to try it just in case!
from my measurements (at least for 700c 43 and 50mm Gravelkings) going tubeless is in most cases not beneficial in terms of comfort. But ability to safely ride on tire with 20 psi is a huge bonus of using a tubeless setup. Yet at 30 psi there should be no difference, especially with a wide 47 mm tire in my opinion - but I do too want to test it and will test it soon to be 100% sure
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Old 08-19-19, 09:20 PM
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All, keep in mind that when the OP speaks of comfort, he is talking about measurements taken with an iPhone app which measures vibration.

With this app he has determined that tubed tires are more comfortable than tubeless.

Tires set up tubeless are more comfortable?


-Tim-
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Old 08-20-19, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
All, keep in mind that when the OP speaks of comfort, he is talking about measurements taken with an iPhone app which measures vibration.

With this app he has determined that tubed tires are more comfortable than tubeless.

Tires set up tubeless are more comfortable?


-Tim-
yes, but to be more exact it is an android app called Vibration meter and tubed tires are generally more comfortable but with small exepctions like 50mm tire run at 20 psi in the back. Another note is that based on comments I got here I will try to rerun those test but this time with my phone mounted on the handlebar and under saddle to see if the general conclusion will be the same.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:40 AM
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If we are to measure "Vibration"...... at what frequency is that Phone app measuring at?
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Old 08-20-19, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
from my measurements (at least for 700c 43 and 50mm Gravelkings) going tubeless is in most cases not beneficial in terms of comfort. But ability to safely ride on tire with 20 psi is a huge bonus of using a tubeless setup. Yet at 30 psi there should be no difference, especially with a wide 47 mm tire in my opinion - but I do too want to test it and will test it soon to be 100% sure
20psi to 30 psi on that tire, is like saying there is no difference between 80 psi and 120 psi on a 700x25.
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Old 08-20-19, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
If we are to measure "Vibration"...... at what frequency is that Phone app measuring at?
Not an Iphone, an android one And do you asking about frequency of each measurement? I don't have an exact data but it measures changes many times per second and it measures vibrations constantly even for a longer periods of time (much more than I need to run my test route). So it is enough for my purposes.
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Old 08-20-19, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
20psi to 30 psi on that tire, is like saying there is no difference between 80 psi and 120 psi on a 700x25.
I was not talking about a difference between 20 and 30 psi there. I was talking about feeling a difference between tubeless and tubed at 30 psi on 650b 47mm tire
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Old 08-20-19, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
So it is enough for my purposes.
enough said then...
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Old 08-20-19, 09:16 AM
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Having been an app developer I can't imagine using a phone to measure something as small as vibrations. There's just no way that can be accurate.
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