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Stepping up in Rideability from Conti 4000

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Stepping up in Rideability from Conti 4000

Old 06-12-19, 04:19 PM
  #26  
rm -rf
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Bar tape! That can help.
I've been using Specialized S-works Roubaix tape. It's cushy and easy to wrap. I recently tried Supacaz tape -- it's durable and comes in interesting colors, but it's noticeably less cushy and it's very hard to pull tight enough when wrapping the bars.

Using a bigger rear tire: that could help. Some vibration reaches you from the saddle and pedals. The downside is not moving the old front tire to the rear after the rear wears out. The front will stay there for years since front tire wear is very minimal, accumulating little cuts and rubber cracks.



Low pressure

I like low air pressure -- it's great for comfort, and doesn't seem any slower at all. But it can cause more pinch flats.

Over the last year, I've had a couple of pinch flats after going for years without any. Both were from solo, moderately large, sharp edged gravel pieces sitting on an otherwise smooth road. Downhill speeds make pinch flats from these item more likely -- I can roll over them at low speeds with no problems.

Pinch flatting on a downhill at 30 mph is not fun. My tubeless ready rims kept the beads locked in place, but the steering with a flat tire is extremely vague and squirrely. Both times, I drifted halfway across the road before I could stop.

I tried bumping up the pressures, but the better ride at lower pressures is worth the risk to me. I'm trying to dial back my downhill speeds "most of the time".

GP5000

I got some GP5000 this spring. The 25mm GP5000 measures 28mm on my very wide HED 20.5mm internal width rims. The GP4000S measured 29mm. So I inflate as if they are 28 or 29mm.
At 170 pounds, I'm still running 65 psi front, 80 psi rear. Both the GP4000 and 5000 are very good on chipseal at these pressures.

The GP5000 seemed a little twitchy for a few weeks, compared to the old GP4000S. I wondered if there's a couple of reasons why: perhaps the tire profile is a little more rounded? It's a little more grippy -- it's very stable in fast turns. I don't notice any handling changes now, I've likely adjusted.

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-12-19 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:55 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Bar tape! That can help.
I've been using Specialized S-works Roubaix tape. It's cushy and easy to wrap. I recently tried Supacaz tape -- it's durable and comes in interesting colors, but it's noticeably less cushy and it's very hard to pull tight enough when wrapping the bars.

SNIP
2 weeks ago (re: what I quoted above) I would have paid no attention to that suggestion.

HOWEVER, for months now I have been having a real problem with my right wrist (outside/ulnar at the base of the wrist). It would be fine until about an hour into the ride. At that point shifting using my Campy Ergo paddles (push in with your fingers) would be come quite painful. About 10 days ago, for no particular reason, I started using a brand new pair of Bontrager cycling gloves with extensive padding (compared to the old, worn out, things I had been wearing). The wrist pain is 80% gone and to the point that it is completely ignorable and hardly the top of the list of this 70 year old cyclist's lists of aches and pains.

So I can see this being helpful. Thanks for that and the other input.

dave
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Old 06-12-19, 04:56 PM
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Another vote for Vittoria Graphene with thin latex tubes for clinchers.
The high end Spec tire (older tubular 24mm) is heavenly, as is VeloFlex tubular 25mm.


Double glove.
Consult a wheelbuilder, balancing spoke tension for a given rim might benefit ride quality - how many spokes in your wheels?

A fine lugged steel frame soaks up road buzz pretty well. (Columbus SLX - French fit)
Seatpost with minimal suspension.


Many options.

edit: this could be a whole discussion of frame tubes and frame sizes in the C&V Forum.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:57 PM
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Abe - got it. Thanks.

dave
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Old 06-12-19, 05:08 PM
  #30  
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Wildwood - my daily wheels are 32 spokes front and rear on Velocity A23 rims. They were/are intended to be bombproof vs being fast and comfortable. I had never considered those parameters (assuming proper adjustment) to be big drivers of comfort. But maybe I am wrong here.

Thanks.

dave

ps. I just had a pretty detailed 'go-over' done on the bike. And the front wheel needed some spoke tension adjustment/truing. I'm not sure that I sensed anything in the ride, but I did notice that it now handles a good bit better riding no hands.

ps. See my comment WRT gloves in post #28 above.
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Old 06-12-19, 06:22 PM
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I was typing as you posted a minute before me.
Good gloves are remarkable, but for extended chipseal, I double glove with a thinner, softer (usually older) inner.
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Old 06-12-19, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I was typing as you posted a minute before me.
Good gloves are remarkable, but for extended chipseal, I double glove with a thinner, softer (usually older) inner.
Interesting. And to go back to a previous post. What exactly did you mean by a seatpost with minimal suspension? I usually think of a suspension seatpost as a off-road kind of thing. Were you referring to some form of that?

Thanks again.

dave
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Old 06-12-19, 06:44 PM
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Hrm. Along those lines...I've always wondered if anyone has ever noticed a comfort benefit from carbon seatposts?

Wheels and comfort is 100% a myth. Any wheel you can sense increased comfort with is undertensioned to the point you have to worry about dying during your ride. Seatposts...I'm slightly less pessimistic about their ability to provide a bit of comfort.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:59 PM
  #34  
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I've run latex on my carbon single and our steel tandem for several years. Never had a problem. I weigh 147 and run my 23mm 4000iis at 80 front and 100 rear on my single, 95 front and rear with the 28mm 4000iis on the tandem. Never had a pinch flat on the single, but I've had a slow leak on the tandem which then pinch flats. Not the fault of the latex. The low pressure limit is always pinch flatting on RR tracks and the like.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
Interesting. And to go back to a previous post. What exactly did you mean by a seatpost with minimal suspension? I usually think of a suspension seatpost as a off-road kind of thing. Were you referring to some form of that?

Thanks again.

dave
Chiming in . . . my stoker has a Specialized CoblGoblr carbon post which she likes. It takes the buzz out, not a real suspension post but really light and comfortable, zero bouncing. Like all Spesh, can't buy online. If the butt is the issue, totally worth trying. If it's the hands, carbon bar, lower pressure.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:46 PM
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https://road.cc/content/buyers-guide...nd-cosset-your

anything, for a price.
this info is a month old, maybe others.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:32 PM
  #37  
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I run the Vittoria G+ 28c at 90 psi front, 93 rear. I weight 155 lbs. Bike is traditional 531 steel and moderately stiff for those tubes. Open Pro rims, 32 or 36 spokes and as many crosses as feasible.

I'd probably run the 25c tires 10 psi higher.


Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
...

I tried bumping up the pressures, but the better ride at lower pressures is worth the risk to me. I'm trying to dial back my downhill speeds "most of the time".

GP5000
I got some GP5000 this spring. The 25mm GP5000 measures 28mm on my very wide HED 20.5mm internal width rims. The GP4000S measured 29mm. So I inflate as if they are 28 or 29mm.
At 170 pounds, I'm still running 65 psi front, 80 psi rear. Both the GP4000 and 5000 are very good on chipseal at these pressures.

...

I will never run a big difference in pressure front to rear. Racing days, the word was 5 psi or less. We never questioned it nor regretted it. Now I hear the "experts" say we should adjust our pressures by the percentage of weight front and rear. No way am I ever doing that! If I hit a stone in a hard stop behind a car, I DO NOT want to ever pinch flat and blow a front tire. But in that hard stop, I have 100% of my weight on that tire. Carefully adjusting the pressure to be best at 40%? Not me! I'll stick to what those vets told me 40+ years ago. Knowledge that was probably 80 years old then.

Ben

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Old 06-12-19, 11:52 PM
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Yeah, given 'bombproof' rims there may not be much variability through spoke tension.

maybe the answer is in a thread in Wheelbuilders Forum
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Old 06-13-19, 05:40 AM
  #39  
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I have conti 4000sii on my bike currently. I forget if they're 25 or 28 (I switch between the 2 sizes regularly) but they're pretty big. I like them and have been running the model of tires for many years.

However, my girlfriend recently switched from tubulars to clinchers because she moved from Italy (where tubulars are still quite standard) to the USA (where she had a hard time finding affordable tubs) and she got conti 4000sii on my recommendation and HATED them. She said she felt slow and felt like she was riding with solid rubber tires rather than tires that were full of air. I did some research and bought her some Veloflex "Open Tubulars" (their name for their clinchers) and some latex tubes and she said her life was changed. They're not even expensive tires either, but I'm not sure how easy they are to find outside of Italy.

I just bought a set for myself but haven't set them up yet as the contis tend to last a really long time.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I run the Vittoria G+ 28c at 90 psi front, 93 rear. I weight 155 lbs. Bike is traditional 531 steel and moderately stiff for those tubes. Open Pro rims, 32 or 36 spokes and as many crosses as feasible.

I'd probably run the 25c tires 10 psi higher.





I will never run a big difference in pressure front to rear. Racing days, the word was 5 psi or less. We never questioned it nor regretted it. Now I hear the "experts" say we should adjust our pressures by the percentage of weight front and rear. No way am I ever doing that! If I hit a stone in a hard stop behind a car, I DO NOT want to ever pinch flat and blow a front tire. But in that hard stop, I have 100% of my weight on that tire. Carefully adjusting the pressure to be best at 40%? Not me! I'll stick to what those vets told me 40+ years ago. Knowledge that was probably 80 years old then.

Ben

Man those pressures seem awfully high IMO..

I'm 190lbs. I run gp4000s in 28mm generally at 70F/75R. I've ridden them down closer to 60psi as well and they honestly were fine (and comfy as all hell...), but the front starts to feel a touch squirrely to me then.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:51 PM
  #41  
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Run 80psi in the tires you've got. They'll be at 15% tire drop, so they'll last longer, corner better, and still prevent pinch flats.

If you want even more comfort, and less chatter:
Run 60-75psi in those same tires, understanding that you're somewhat more likely to pinch flat.
Run 30mm tires at 60psi (but you'll need a different bike).
Go tubeless or tubular and drop the pressure to 60-75psi.
Decrease your spoke tension.
Add a suspension seatpost - Ergon CF3, Cane Creek eeSilk, Kinekt, etc.
Add a layer of bar tape or thicker bar tape.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:54 PM
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Do NOT decrease spoke tension. Increasing comfort by forcing what should be a static rim to bend is about the worst possible option. I'd put it about in the same category as using an electric grinder to thin out the tubing on your frame seat stays. Probably worse...
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Old 06-13-19, 04:07 PM
  #43  
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I rode today seeking out chipseal to try out. I was riding my existing tires at 80F/85R as a very conservative test (highly confident that this will not be creating issues). I will be trying lower pressure later. And I mostly just paid attention to what I was feeling.

1) This is incrementally more comfortable than the low 90's pressures that I had been using.

2) There is a difference between the vibration of chipseal and a bumpy road. This is hardly a surprise, but I had never thought about that. They are pretty different issues, probably having different solutions (it seemed to me).

3) I paid really attention to the transition between good asphalt and the chipseal stuff as in "what is it about this chipseal that is uncomfortable?". And my conclusion was that vibration clearly coming up through the seatpost (as is mostly from the rear wheel) was probably 60% of the discomfort. I was not expecting that. So lower pressures and probably wider rear tires is definitely in play here.

There are other options including other tire pressures (and tire makes/models), latex tubes, and adding some kind of foam cushioning to my handlebars in the "sweet spot" a smidge to the rear of the horns of my shifters where my hands tend to spend most of their time. I am speculating that this will be the same as or more effective than either bar tape or a second glove.

This reminds me of the process that I have gone through more than once of trying to find 'a better sound from my guitar strings' (nylon - I play a classical guitar). But in the guitar case new strings cost (typically) between $7 and $20 and an aggressive 'start to end of string' is only 3-4 weeks. The experiment is a bit more expensive on a bike and the 'natural cycle' a good bit slower.

dave
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Old 06-13-19, 04:14 PM
  #44  
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Can't find anything better than conti gp4000s in 25s. Barely fit on the vortex is my only problem but sure glad I'm not stuck with 23s. Run on some bad roads and at 100 psi it's really perfect for most road conditions for me.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:44 PM
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If anyone has any, I'd like some input on comfort differences going to carbon bars and seat post.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
If anyone has any, I'd like some input on comfort differences going to carbon bars and seat post.
Carbon bars yes, FSA K-wing and easton ec70 in my case. Carbon posts no. A seatpost with more setback will be slightly more absorbing, there was a test awhile back that compared a lot of seatposts
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Old 06-13-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
Decrease your spoke tension.
Do not do this.

The spring rate of a wheel doesn't change significantly with spoke tension. In order to appreciably increase the compliance of a wheel, you'd need to basically run the spokes slack. The wheel would be nigh-unrideable and fall apart very quickly.
Spokes need to be kept under considerable tension so that they stay taught in use. Undertensioned spokes fatigue and fail.

To make your wheels more compliant while staying rideable, you'd want to use fewer and/or thinner spokes. But I wouldn't actually choose a spoke arrangement based on compliance goals; there's very little benefit to be found, and potential compromises like lateral wheel flex.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:38 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Carbon bars yes, FSA K-wing and easton ec70 in my case. Carbon posts no. A seatpost with more setback will be slightly more absorbing, there was a test awhile back that compared a lot of seatposts
So the bars made a noticeable difference? Been thinking about getting a set of carbon aero bars for my cross bike.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
So the bars made a noticeable difference? Been thinking about getting a set of carbon aero bars for my cross bike.
Yes, but you can kinda tell just from looking at the length of the lever arm from the stem compared to the seatpost. I can flex the bars by standing and putting all of my weight onto them.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Yes, but you can kinda tell just from looking at the length of the lever arm from the stem compared to the seatpost. I can flex the bars by standing and putting all of my weight onto them.
True. Hell of a lot more weight on the seatpost though..
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