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Kawriverrat 08-08-14 12:02 AM

Fuji 1.5 Cross / Nishiki International
I have had a new Fuji cross for close to a year now.I have really enjoyed this bike.Having no problems keeping up with my road bike friends who are supposed to be on faster bikes.
Any way my question arises from when I visited family & I get my old Nishiki out, that used to be dads.

What I noticed almost immediately was that the Nishki's ride was much better than my Fuji. This is even more perplexing to me given the tire & wheel differences.
27" rims 32 tires on the Nishiki & 700c 40 tires on the Fuji.

Am I crazy?

What am I missing?

I never expected this. It goes against most of what I thought I knew.

My Fuji is at home I have yet to get off one & immediately ride the other.
But if some one can help me understand what I think I am sensing here
It would be appreciated. Jeff D.

BobbyG 08-08-14 10:19 AM

I have a 1984 Nishiki International with 700x32 tires. With padded bars and 2 gel seats it is very comfortable. Kawriverrat, you say the International has a "better" ride. I will assume that means comfortable. I don't know if it is the spindly frame or 30 year old steel, but my International is very flexy, and very comfortable. Also with the 32 tires I can only inflatethem to 85psi or the tires balloon out and rub the fork and frame. That too, contributes to a cushy ride as compared to the 23s I had run at 100psi for a couple of years. Then there is the geometry. The steel front fork of the International has moderate trail, but quite a bit by "straight-peg" modern standards. This, too, ads to ride flex. I understand that that sometime in the 1970's Nishiki shortened the International's wheelbase to make it more of a road bike and less of a tourer. The older, longer wheelbase would impart a less twitchy ride, and if the frame was as spindly as mine, it should be even more flexy. Your Fuji 1.5 Cross has an aluminum frame with little or no flex, and a straight carbon fork up front. Again minimal flex. But as far as a "better" ride, that is subjective and subject to the task at hand. Think cars. On a race track, less flex is desirable for control. You need some suspension to help keep the wheels planted, but generally less flex = more control. But driving off-road requires lots of suspension travel and compliance, and yet, a certain firmness is still desired so the car doesn't wallow. As I get older, I have come to favor more flex and comfort. My other Nishiki, a 1997 Blazer MTB turned commuter is also steel, but fatter-tubed with more rigidity. I run 26x1.75 tires at a firm 65psi, and have a gel seat with springs. I can perceive less flex in the ride, and a slightly more twitchy ride than the International, and even with the blazer's meatier road tires, It is more "disturbed" by bumps than the International.

Your Fuji 1.5 Cross is like a new VW Golf GTi, light-weight with firm strut suspension all around. The International is like an older 1960's sports car with softer A-arm suspension up front and slightly worn leaf springs in the back.

I looooove mine!

Kawriverrat 08-08-14 12:29 PM

Bobby, thanks for the reply.

What I was referring to regarding "better ride" is it is far less jolting, the need to stand in the saddle prior to going over bumps & such is not needed as much compared to the Fuji.
The ride is much more comfortable. This coming from a commuter, do it all on one bike perspective.

This brings on the situation of wanting a custom made frame. Let me say first I am not wanting to open the best material for a frame debate. It seems to me that if one wants a stiff, rigid ride most all the available materials will work.

Can the same soft ride be achieved with aluminum, carbon? When compared to a steel frame of the same geometry ?

I've heard nothing but .... the material used for bike frames has little to do with the feel of the ride.....all materials can be designed to ride the same.

I have questioned this, more so now. Even though the bikes here are different. Jeff D.

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