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3 weekends. 3 Centuries, 3 different bikes

Old 07-11-16, 08:17 PM
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3 weekends. 3 Centuries, 3 different bikes

So, in my never ending quest for a comfortable century ride I decided to try out several of my rides over essentially the same route. Results were surprising yet not I guess. They correlate pretty much to which bike sees the most use.

I'll start with my 2009 Scott CR1 Pro - A lightweight C.F. bike that has been a good climber for me in past years. This bike was rocking my lightest wheels, a pair of Zen Cyclery Siddartha wheels. Bike weighed around 17.5 lbs on the ride. Sporting Conti GP4000s II tires 700x25. Running an Ultegra 10 speed groupset with a Dura Ace Crankset.



The result... I hated it. By mile 75 I was so physically done, beat up by the harsh ride. I finished the century but I was very unhappy. So much for the supposedly "compliant rear end" on this. Oh and it was sporting a Brooks Cambium C15 saddle which works fine for me and has been on a couple of my bikes. This bike just banged, banged and banged over all the road imperfections. In fairness, the roads I ride are rough, cracked chipseal.

Then we have the 2015 Lynskey R265. A bike I bought specifically to be my "comfort ride" for centuries and such. Sporting November Nimbus Ti wheels and the same size and type conti tires. Ti relaxed frame with curved seatstays and a C.F. Fork. This one comes in right under 20 lbs ready to go. Running Ultegra 11 speed.



It was pretty good. Just a bit harsher ride than the winning bike on the rougher pieces of road. Still a very good ride and I'd not hesitate to take it out for any long ride. It was sporting a Fizik Kurve Chameleon saddle that I like very much.

But the sorta surprising winner was a late 1990s NOS Giordana XL Super (superleggero) I picked up this winter and had built up with a modern Campagnola Athena 11 speed setup. Running some Miche hubbed, Mavic Open Pro 32 hole wheels built up by Velomine. Fairly heavy wheels with the same Conti tires as on the other bikes. This is a steel bike made from Excel Podium steel with an Excel Eco fork. A tad over 20 lbs as ridden.



I finished the century on this feeling fresh and ready for more. I cannot explain why but this bike just works for me. It to has a Fizik Kurve Chameleon saddle. This one too I would not hesitate to do any ride on. So comfortable but it is also crazy fast, handles very well, and just brings a smile to my face. I can't explain why but the fork on this bike just seems to soak up all the road imperfections so much better than any of the other bikes I have.

To keep this up though I think I'm going to try out 3 more of my bikes to see how they do. A 2003 LeMond Tourmelet, a 1989 Giordana Antares, and a 1989 (I think) LeMond Ventoux.

Anyway just thought I'd share this. The Giordana has been my favorite for daily riding since I got it up and running but I didn't expect it to do better than the Lynskey for the century.
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Old 07-12-16, 12:07 PM
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Interesting, the bike with the tapered, curved steel fork felt the most comfortable to you. I've noticed my bike with a similar fork flexes a bit on rough roads to help soak up shocks. I thought the carbon forks were the ones that were supposed to soak up road shock!?


Could you tell if or what difference the various saddles made to ride comfort?
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Old 07-12-16, 07:38 PM
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Well the Fizik's seem a tad more comfy. To be honest I find the chamois in my newest pair of bibs make comfort in that area better more than the saddles. I rotate through 3 bibs on my daily rides and the one pair is much better than the others for comfort.

I have repeatedly asserted in various threads here that these Giordana steel forks are more compliant and comfortable than any of the many C.F. forks I have on my other bikes. Usually it just get's me called a liar but I really do find it the best. I have while area of really bad road surface I ride pretty much every day. On all bikes but the Giordana's I have to hold the bars loose and let them dance in my hands on the hard hits. On the Giordana's ( I have 2 different ones) I can maintain a normal grip and let the forks take up the hits. For sure they are better than the CF fork on the "sportive" Lynskey.

This is the other Giordana with a fork similiar in design but made of a different tubeset. It too works well.



By comparision this LeMond Ventoux was supposedly built by Billato like the two Giodana's and is the same tubeset at the white and pink bike above. But it's front end does not seem to ride as nice on the rough stuff and the bend of the fork is much straighter than the two Giordana's.



But there is more tire clearance on this frame so I am sorting it out with 700 x 28 tires right now. Hoping to add this to the century mix if it proves comfortable enough once sorted out.
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Old 07-12-16, 09:17 PM
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did you do the century in Utah? If so, did you stay in the valley or go up into the mountains? When I lived in Utah, I rode to Park City and then back the next day. I think I wouldn't have made it if I stretched that out to 100 miles
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Old 07-13-16, 05:10 AM
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It's funny, but my favourite riding bike is an old Shogun 400 with very similar fork set-up to the Giordana. It's configured as a fixed-gear, and the frame is quite heavy compared with my other bikes. I know there are all sorts of discussions on riding hands-free, but I find it much, much easier to do so on the Shogun that any of my other road bikes.

Despite all that, I have set up my titanium Hasa as my current randonneur bike, and seems to be doing the job quite well for me at the moment.

I do have an eye out for another Shogun 400 or 200 frame and fork, and if I ever find them, I will likely expand the rear drop-outs and see how it goes as a nine or 10sp.
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Old 07-13-16, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
did you do the century in Utah? If so, did you stay in the valley or go up into the mountains? When I lived in Utah, I rode to Park City and then back the next day. I think I wouldn't have made it if I stretched that out to 100 miles
I did some climbing on them but only about 5 miles up one mountain. Park City is about 80 miles away for me and i,ve always wanted to do an out and back to there.
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Old 07-13-16, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
It's funny, but my favourite riding bike is an old Shogun 400 with very similar fork set-up to the Giordana. It's configured as a fixed-gear, and the frame is quite heavy compared with my other bikes. I know there are all sorts of discussions on riding hands-free, but I find it much, much easier to do so on the Shogun that any of my other road bikes.

Despite all that, I have set up my titanium Hasa as my current randonneur bike, and seems to be doing the job quite well for me at the moment.

I do have an eye out for another Shogun 400 or 200 frame and fork, and if I ever find them, I will likely expand the rear drop-outs and see how it goes as a nine or 10sp.
Well, after a 23 mile ride on the white and pink bike at an average of over 19mph the day after the last century I decided to convert it to 11 speed to. It's fast and comfortable so I want to add it into the mix.
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