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Confused on Materials

Old 10-03-18, 08:10 PM
  #26  
TiHabanero
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Been there, done it. Only ride steel now as I find it perfect for nearly all things I do on a bike. Tires are your best option for plushness. Use Conti 700x37 City Ride tires, known to be a bit harsh. When run at 80psi, they are harsh, at 50psi they are a dream. Put your money in the tires and save on the bucks.
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Old 10-04-18, 12:46 AM
  #27  
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If you want to soak up road roughness, get fatter tires.
First reply nailed it. Bigger tires make all the difference in a rigid frame bicycle (or any other vehicle, for that matter).

Try rolling on 35 or 40mm wide tires, air em down to 35-50 psi depending on rider weight. Tire width and pressure will make a way bigger difference than frame material.
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Old 10-04-18, 07:41 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ill go another direction and suggest that frame geometry is how you get to the bike you want.

You want a Caddy? A bike with longer than average chainstays and a more relaxed front end will get you there. Bonus is that typically the bikes with longer than average chainstays and a more relaxed front end are also built to handle wider tires.

Steel isnít as jarring as aluminum. Carbon isnít as jarring as steel. Steel will Ďflexí more than Carbon.
All my drop bar bikes are steel, so I am admittedly biased, but they can be made light enough and stiff enough for me to not feel like I am losing anything while still being comfortable.

As mentioned though, wider tires will absorb road imperfections the best. Its just that proper frame geometry allows for those wider tires to be used.
QUALITY wider tires can still roll as fast or actually faster than mid-tier thin road tires. You then get comfort and speed- the best of both worlds.

If you run quality 35mm tires on a bike with 435mm chainstays and 55-60mm of trail, you will have something that is stable, soaks up bumps, and handles fine at both lower and higher speeds. Itll be the big boat of a Caddy you mentioned earlier, while still capable of going plenty fast.

I agree with this post. Iím a big fan of good quality steel bikes for their ride characteristics. I tried some of the new, longer chainstay bikes at Rivendell and they were surprising. Incredibly smooth (Cadillac-like?) while still nimble. Their Clems are nice but my favorite is their new 650b MIT Atlantis. It can run narrow-ish tires but can also handle up to 2.2Ē. Seemed like the perfect all-arounder. I guess they have a new Homer coming out with longer chainstays but I havenít tried it yet. I would guess it will be a little lighter and more road bike-ish than the Atlantis. Great bikes. I love my Hillborne.

john
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Old 10-04-18, 05:29 PM
  #29  
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Big, comfortable tubless tires. Don't forget titanium if it is in budget.
no doubt a proper sized bike is the real key.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:37 AM
  #30  
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This bike is a freight train. Takes a few seconds to get up to speed, but just keeps going once you get it moving.

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Old 10-05-18, 09:48 AM
  #31  
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The Above is your
" I want a nice ride. A truck that goes down the highway like a Cadillac. "
it is a very classic roadster, that is still in Production , as a reliable tool for transportation..
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Old 10-05-18, 11:36 AM
  #32  
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I've tried it all, but like the steel best, and the right tires make the ride after that. Fat tires will slow you down a bit I guess, but the ride on bad roads becomes better.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:31 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I've been riding for years on a 1993 steel frame. Having just bought a PlanetX Pro Carbon Evo bike it provides an interesting comparison. The carbon bike provides much more feedback through the steering, etc, and yet the ride isn't harsh. Perhaps not quite as compliant as the steel frame, it's hard to say. Unfortunately there turned out to be a manufacturing fault on the PlanetX frame and it has to go back so I'm back on my steel bike again. It certainly lacks the immediacy of the carbon bike. Most noticeable is that when accelerating away from lights it felt as if I had the handbrake on, so to speak. I was surprised it was so noticeable; I reckon the difference in weight is only around 2kg, which is very little when you factor in my 77kg so it must be down to the stiffness of the frame meaning that much more of your effort gets transmitted to the road.

I know there was a time when aluminium frames gave a very harsh ride but I doubt that's the case now. They've been around a long time and I imagine manufacturers have found ways to temper out the undesirable characteristics without losing their benefits. It was also true that the earliest ones were a bit 'noodly'. I rode one - made before frame builders had discovered oversize tubes - and synonyms like 'ripe banana' spring to mind. I think you need to try one or two and decide what you think.

Hope that helps.
Nice post. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:36 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I'd go at least to 38 mm to get enough volume to be comfortable without pinch flatting. Get a quality tire w/a high thread count. Soma has some high-end tire models like the Shikoro. Also look at offerings from Compass and Panaracer. Be open to the new crop of 650b x 47 mm bikes that I'm seeing more and more of. Are there any shops near you? Maybe visit and ask to look at gravel bikes.
Thanks for this post.

There are several shops in the area. I'm on 700x42c right now. On the asphalt I average about 11/12mph on a ride. And it's a sweet ride but the bike weighs 40lbs. and I want a road bike, mostly road. I'd like to run 32c if I can get a comfortable ride. I want to up the speed average, put more miles on a bike.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:59 PM
  #35  
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I'm just getting back to this thread since a few days ago. Great posts. Thanks SEAN and mstateglfr. agmetal... THAT is a sweet bike. Really cool.

I've learned a lot in this thread. Lots to consider but nearly every post points to the tires. I'll always remember that.!!

Someone here mentioned a Bianchi that he loved. A buddy of mine rode a Bianchi for about a year back in the day...90's or so. Said it was the best bike he'd ever road. Even the discounted Bianchi's are expensive today. Nice bike. Better name. I hate buying the name.
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Old 10-05-18, 04:18 PM
  #36  
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I just built a frame for my daughter. Being a small 53ish cm frame to be used for touring and commuting, I designed it with 46cm chain stays and an old Reynolds 531 top tube to help the ride quality. Designed for 700x32 tires. Took it out on a trial ride yesterday and between raindrops today. Purposely rode some rough pave' and it rides like a dream with my 230 pounds on it, and imagine when loaded with gear and my daughter it will have just a slightly harder ride, but not too much harder. Frame flex is good, wider tires are great, and the two together are ideal for tuning ride quality.
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Old 10-05-18, 05:12 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Thanks for this post.

There are several shops in the area. I'm on 700x42c right now. On the asphalt I average about 11/12mph on a ride. And it's a sweet ride but the bike weighs 40lbs. and I want a road bike, mostly road. I'd like to run 32c if I can get a comfortable ride. I want to up the speed average, put more miles on a bike.
You're faster than I am. I'm honestly pretty slow. Going to a narrower tire might be right if speed is the goal.
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Old 10-05-18, 05:24 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
agmetal... THAT is a sweet bike. Really cool.
Thanks! It's a 1937 Raleigh Tourist (Model 21). Later models are better-known by their model number, DL-1
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Old 10-05-18, 05:30 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Metal rings when hit. Carbon goes "thud." Beyond that they're both stiff. If you want to soak up road roughness, get fatter tires.
This.
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Old 10-05-18, 07:28 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
I'm getting up there in age and I'm finding that the single most important quality in a bike is the ride. I want a nice ride. A truck that goes down the highway like a Cadillac. A bike that doesn't notice the cracks and the holes and the gravel and the debri that city, town and and trails present.

These days Aluminum seems to be king yet many find out that Aluminum is too stiff. It pounds. It beats you up. The cracks and holes win...everytime. So some go back to Steel. Some turn to Carbon Fiber. Others love their Aluminum.

Talk to me about Carbon Fiber. It too is described as stiff, like Aluminum. Is it.?? Is Aluminum too stiff for you.?? Is Carbon Fiber the best of all worlds.?? Does Carbon Fiber ride like a Cadillac. Is Steel still the king of a nice ride.??

Bring me up to speed. It's been a long time since I bought a bike. Talk to me about Carbon Fiber. And it's ride.

I've always rode a bike. Always. But now I am becoming a bike rider. There's a difference. I'm getting serious about it at age 56. I want a nice ride...
I am 55. I have ridden steel, aluminum and carbon farily extensively. I bought a titanium touring bike in August. I liked it so much I sold my carbon road bike and bought a titanium road bike. You are looking for the ride of a good titanium frame.
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Old 10-06-18, 11:06 AM
  #41  
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If you want a drop bar bike, I would get an all-road bike that takes 40mm tires. Unless you are going high-end steel, I would probably get aluminum or carbon.
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Old 10-08-18, 09:33 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Well alrighty then... I like the replies. It's mostly about tires. And air pressure.

I want an Endurance type of bike that has a good roll, 85% asphalt, 15% gravel, grass, compact dirt and little mud. Mostly a road bike with 700 x 32c tires.

Will the 32c be a big enough tire to run at a lower pressure.?? 35c, 38c.... How wide can I go to still have a moderately fast road roll.??
Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Cycles did some testing on this and found that here was very little, if any, speed loss due to rolling resistance with fatter tires. I canít remember how large they tested but I think it exceeded 42mm. They also found an increase in speed on rougher roads with larger tires due to the smoothing effect. I use 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralight tires on my Rivendell Hillborne and was amazed at how fast and smooth a fatter, supple tire can be. This was in comparison to my Bianchi Veloce with 23mm tires. When I realized I was just as fast or faster on the Hilborne, I sold the Bianchi. It was a nice bike but I just didnít ride it anymore after buying the Riv.

john
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Old 10-09-18, 04:53 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by surlyprof View Post


Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Cycles did some testing on this and found that here was very little, if any, speed loss due to rolling resistance with fatter tires. I canít remember how large they tested but I think it exceeded 42mm. They also found an increase in speed on rougher roads with larger tires due to the smoothing effect. I use 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralight tires on my Rivendell Hillborne and was amazed at how fast and smooth a fatter, supple tire can be. This was in comparison to my Bianchi Veloce with 23mm tires. When I realized I was just as fast or faster on the Hilborne, I sold the Bianchi. It was a nice bike but I just didnít ride it anymore after buying the Riv.

john
Interesting. I would think there'd be an point where the impact from the rotational weight of the extra rubber/wheel assembly would hinder performance? It seems finding the diminishing returns for what is ideal to the cyclists needs/preferences might be researched?
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Old 10-09-18, 05:37 AM
  #44  
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Better yet go with the forever metal titanium.
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Old 10-09-18, 05:48 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Interesting. I would think there'd be an point where the impact from the rotational weight of the extra rubber/wheel assembly would hinder performance? It seems finding the diminishing returns for what is ideal to the cyclists needs/preferences might be researched?
Itís been a while since I read the article but I do believe there was a size where he saw a slight slowing. I think it had more to do with the added rotational weight rather than rolling resistance but I donít remeber for sure.

John
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Old 10-09-18, 07:10 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by agmetal View Post
This bike is a freight train. Takes a few seconds to get up to speed, but just keeps going once you get it moving.

That's a 1937 Dawn Safety Tourist, no? The frame angles on that thing are really low! How much does it weigh?
https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/File:Im1937Ral-p011.jpg
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Old 10-09-18, 08:34 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
That's a 1937 Dawn Safety Tourist, no? The frame angles on that thing are really low! How much does it weigh?
https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/File:Im1937Ral-p011.jpg
Nope. 1937 Tourist. A Dawn anything would have 26" wheels, my bike has 28" wheels. The angles have been measured at 66ļ parallel. I've never weighed it, but it's up there! You don't really feel the weight too much when you're riding though, because it just rolls once it's up to speed.

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Old 10-09-18, 09:24 AM
  #48  
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Ah, I learned something, thanks.

It's quite nice, in any case. Looks to be in fine shape. Good to know it still rides well.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 10-09-18 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:54 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
I'm getting up there in age and I'm finding that the single most important quality in a bike is the ride. I want a nice ride. A truck that goes down the highway like a Cadillac. A bike that doesn't notice the cracks and the holes and the gravel and the debri that city, town and and trails present.

These days Aluminum seems to be king yet many find out that Aluminum is too stiff. It pounds. It beats you up. The cracks and holes win...everytime. So some go back to Steel. Some turn to Carbon Fiber. Others love their Aluminum.

Talk to me about Carbon Fiber. It too is described as stiff, like Aluminum. Is it.?? Is Aluminum too stiff for you.?? Is Carbon Fiber the best of all worlds.?? Does Carbon Fiber ride like a Cadillac. Is Steel still the king of a nice ride.??

Bring me up to speed. It's been a long time since I bought a bike. Talk to me about Carbon Fiber. And it's ride.

I've always rode a bike. Always. But now I am becoming a bike rider. There's a difference. I'm getting serious about it at age 56. I want a nice ride...




Getting serious about a comfort ride seems like a contradiction- like saying I want a good sleep, so I'll get the softest possible mattress.

If riding slow on a heavy bike, the frame material matters not at all. Supple tires is the only real variable.

I'm imagining that your riding area is flat- that 40 lb 'just rolls once it's up to speed' thing peters out quickly when you get to a hill, & the discomfort sets in.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:56 AM
  #50  
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If cost is no object I think it's definitely Carbon Fiber. It's a very malleable material, they can make the most comfortable bike you've ridden with it, or the stiffest bike you've ever ridden with it. It's possible to make terrible frames with carbon fiber as well (I rode a full carbon Scott frame a long time ago that was super stiff and bounced around the road) or they can make the best frames.

Experience test riding in the last few years has left me feeling that they've also greatly improved frame design with aluminum frames as well. Newer and better designed aluminum frames are better than older or poorly designed aluminum frames. I still think carbon fiber is the best but there's a debate over whether say a 10% improvement in ride quality is worth paying twice as much for a full carbon frame.

I've tried steel but I wasn't impressed despite the claims of it being comfortable. It seems like all the bike manufactures who have made improvements in bike design use either aluminum or carbon fiber, while manufacturers using steel are stuck on older designs that aren't as good as the new designs for ride comfort.

Other factors for a comfortable ride:
- Bike size
- Bike fit, is the bike adjusted for you
- Tire size, wider is more comfortable but wider is also slower (you can get to skinny that's slower to but that's skinnier than comes with most bikes).
- Tire manufacture/design. Some tires are designed for comfort. Tires I know of:

Specialized Roubaix Pro (what I use)
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ro...=228240-132291

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...rathon_supreme

I think Schwalbe might make even more comfortable "just comfort don't even care about speed" tires but I'm less familiar with those

- Your own flexibility / core strength / etc

I hurt my leg doing non-biking stuff and in the process of trying to fix it I started doing a workout warmup routine called Limber 11:

This significantly improved my comfort on my bike, I was able to stay more upright more easily and riding just became easier. I don't know if it would work for everyone but it worked for me. You bodies ability to keep itself upright and hold itself in comfortable positions, and to absorb bumps etc in the road, also improves comfort while riding.

----------------------------

Part of this comes down to how much speed you're willing to sacrifice for comfort. I'm not willing to be uncomfortable but a well designed aluminum road bike with specialized roubaix pro tires has been the balance I've gone with between comfort/speed/cost. If I wanted something really plush I could go with 40c schwalbe marathon supreme's on a bike designed to use them, but that trades off to much speed for my tastes right now.
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