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Tight road bike clearance

Old 06-23-09, 04:48 PM
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dave manner
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Tight road bike clearance

Hello all!
I noticed the more modern road bikes have tight wheel clearance, what is the benefit of this?
Thanks!
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Old 06-23-09, 05:08 PM
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Fashion
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Old 06-23-09, 06:24 PM
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Can you explain what you mean by "tight road clearance"
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Old 06-23-09, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "tight road clearance"
not loose?
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Old 06-23-09, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
Fashion
That's about it. Same reason they have gears the average weekend cyclist can't turn: It's what the racers use. When I got a bike that let me put on tires bigger than 700x25, it changed my whole attitude about cycling.
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Old 06-23-09, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dave manner View Post
Hello all!
I noticed the more modern road bikes have tight wheel clearance, what is the benefit of this?
Thanks!
I presume that you mean minimal tire clearances. Fashion and lighter weight due to the use of less material in frames and forks. Also allows use of shorter reach brakes which are again stiffer and lighter, providing better braking for a given weight.

If you want the ability to fit larger tires, fenders, racks etc go for a cyclocross, touring or drop bar commuter bike. All will typically be more practical for all except the true total performance oriented road rider IMO.
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Old 06-24-09, 08:54 AM
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Thanks Everybody

Thanks to all replies!
I just assumed there would be a noticeable ride difference with tight clearence between the wheel and frame....I read on Sheldon Brown's Website there is no performance advantage to such a design...
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Old 06-24-09, 09:02 AM
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I always assumed that shorter chain stays = stiffer chain stays.

Also means shorter wheel base.

The road forum may be able to give a more accurate answer though, if your prepared to venture there and ask such a question.
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Old 06-24-09, 12:54 PM
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also the shorter you can make the chain stays the faster and better your pedal power is transfered in to momentum. however I do own a bike frame from 1981 with 14 1/2 in chainstays. the rear wheel goes between twin seat tubes. how is that for tight? there is a real down side to this and it prevents you from running a fatter tire x28/x30 if you wanted to soften your ride for a longer tour or bumpy commute.
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Old 06-24-09, 01:19 PM
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Marketing...

The current market is dominated primarily by two types of bikes. Buyers tend to have to buy from those two groups which are aimed in two directions...

Lance wannabes... Those that think that any bicycle with curvy handlebars have to be race bikes. These are the majority of bikes sold today. Very tight clearances, etc.

Tourers... Those that think that a bike has to be capable of full-on loaded touring. Fairly heavy frames, room for decent sized to large tires racks and fenders, etc.

What I think most riders would really like if they had a chance to ride one is the return of the Sports Tourer, a good all around geometry that walks the middle ground, and has a comfortable ride, but still capable of some speed, and doesn't weigh a ton. Capable of moderate tire width and maybe some fenders.
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Old 06-24-09, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
Marketing...

The current market is dominated primarily by two types of bikes. Buyers tend to have to buy from those two groups which are aimed in two directions...

Lance wannabes... Those that think that any bicycle with curvy handlebars have to be race bikes. These are the majority of bikes sold today. Very tight clearances, etc.

Tourers... Those that think that a bike has to be capable of full-on loaded touring. Fairly heavy frames, room for decent sized to large tires racks and fenders, etc.

What I think most riders would really like if they had a chance to ride one is the return of the Sports Tourer, a good all around geometry that walks the middle ground, and has a comfortable ride, but still capable of some speed, and doesn't weigh a ton. Capable of moderate tire width and maybe some fenders.
Saying it's just marketting is complete BS IMO.

Also bikes from the 3rd group you described do still exsist.

Lots of companys are starting to make their road bikes comfier as well, for example one of the bikes from the scott line up (can't remember its name but the low end carbon one) is being engineering with slightly flexy stays to aid comfort, and is being given a slightly longer head tube and shorter top tube.
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Old 06-24-09, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dheorl View Post
Saying it's just marketting is complete BS IMO.

Also bikes from the 3rd group you described do still exsist.

Lots of companys are starting to make their road bikes comfier as well, for example one of the bikes from the scott line up (can't remember its name but the low end carbon one) is being engineering with slightly flexy stays to aid comfort, and is being given a slightly longer head tube and shorter top tube.
Yes. I love the way people on this forum don't like some bikes and say it's marketing. Bikes are built a ceartin way because that's what a segment of the riders want.

You're right that several manufacturers make sports bikes - Connondale and Trek are two. Specialized also makes CF frames that are siomewhat similar buut one is geared towards comfort.
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Old 06-24-09, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Yes. I love the way people on this forum don't like some bikes and say it's marketing. Bikes are built a ceartin way because that's what a segment of the riders want.

You're right that several manufacturers make sports bikes - Connondale and Trek are two. Specialized also makes CF frames that are siomewhat similar buut one is geared towards comfort.
Yes, it is about marketing. If it wasn't for marketing, people would buy what they need. It's because of marketing that people spend big and go well beyond what they need and buy what they want. In fact that's the whole point of marketing - to make the buyer want your product, and to make them pay as much for your product as you can.

Show me a slightly overweight middle aged merchant banker that goes for a ride with the other 'roadies' on a Sunday morning that needs a $10,000 carbon bike and team kit. Being accepted into the clique is also part of a marketing strategy, not only have the marketing machine convinced them that they need all the gear, they also convinced them that their peers also need all the gear to be worthy of inclusion. It's all in the marketing of the image.
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Old 06-25-09, 05:22 AM
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Yes, marketting and peer pressure is why alot of people buy bikes like this, but it isn't why the bikes are designed like that in the first place.
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Old 06-25-09, 11:13 AM
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So, there is a performance advantage then?
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Old 06-25-09, 12:04 PM
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Well, I think you may be referring to a bike where the frame and the front tire are very close together. In some cases, when you make a sharp turn, your toes can actually rub against the front wheel. So why do they do this?

It is about geometry. Placing the wheels close to the frame makes the wheel base of the bike shorter. A bike with a short wheel base tends to be very "responsive". It turns quickly. It often accelerates a bit faster or seems to. It also has a harsher ride. And it can be so responsive that it feels a bit uncontrollable to some riders.

A bike with a long wheel base will have a more comfortable ride. It will not turn really quick. But it will probably feel very stable.

High performance bikes tend to have short wheel bases. Now certain high performance bikes are made for longer rides and like centuries. In this case, some builders use a slightly longer wheel base than the minimum in order to produce a less punishing ride.
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