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Anyone ever built a road bike like this?

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

Anyone ever built a road bike like this?

Old 04-19-10, 07:48 PM
  #1  
Ward83
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Anyone ever built a road bike like this?

First off, let me just say that I'm new to biking, so this may be a totally impractical idea. I'm a long-time car enthusiast, so the mechanical aspects of a bike make perfect sense to me. However, it's the application of these aspects that I'm still learning about. Anyways, has anyone ever seen/built a road bike with full suspension, disc brakes, and maybe a steering stabilizer? The suspension would need to be stiffer than a MTB setup, and not need nearly as much travel, maybe just an inch or two. I think with disc brakes you could get away with a lighter rim with less rotating mass, since the braking surface wouldn't be needed. The steering stabilizer may not be needed either, but I was thinking it might help with endurance, or on high speed downhill runs. I know there are hybrid bikes that are sort of like this, but I'm thinking of something that's still not really meant to go offroad, and would still have drop bars, etc. Is this a crazy idea?
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Old 04-19-10, 07:56 PM
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Just buy a full suspension mountain bike and put drop bars and road brifters on. I personally think it is crazy. You can't have the best of both worlds, so building a road bike that can be a mountain bike is like having an airplane so you can taxi around the runway.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:03 PM
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See:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5800

It doesn't have disc brakes, but it does have full suspension.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:04 PM
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Yeah, I know it wouldn't quite be a full road bike, and would be less efficient because of the suspension sapping away some of the pedal effort. But, if it was comfortable to ride for long periods, I think the performance hit might be a decent tradeoff. I thought about converting a MTB frame, but I think they might be a little too heavy, and have more suspension travel than needed. I could be wrong though, like I said I'm still new to this.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:07 PM
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I can only see this making sense in very specific applications (like P-R, I guess), but otherwise you're getting a lot more of the worst of both worlds than you are getting any of the benefits.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:09 PM
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if you're not going off road with it, the suspension will do little but slow you down on a paved surface. something like roubaix is an exception because of the brutal cobbles, which explains why nowadays they use tubular 27's and boxed section rims with high spoke count,sometimes even steel forks. on a paved surface, you're just squandering power that could be used to aid you in going farther, faster.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ward83 View Post
Yeah, I know it wouldn't quite be a full road bike, and would be less efficient because of the suspension sapping away some of the pedal effort. But, if it was comfortable to ride for long periods, I think the performance hit might be a decent tradeoff. I thought about converting a MTB frame, but I think they might be a little too heavy, and have more suspension travel than needed. I could be wrong though, like I said I'm still new to this.
If you're more concerned about comfort, your best bet might be a cx bike with fat tires, but otherwise road components. The tires will do a lot to soften out the ride...full suspension is just too much for any kind of road.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:11 PM
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A Cannondale T-1 has a great ride with road bike gearing.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvile View Post
If you're more concerned about comfort, your best bet might be a cx bike with fat tires, but otherwise road components. The tires will do a lot to soften out the ride...full suspension is just too much for any kind of road.
+1. 35 or 38 tires at 60 psi should be super smooth.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:19 PM
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Thanks for the sanity check guys. I guess I was underestimating how much power is actually lost in the suspension, even with a stiff setup. I'm not having any comfort problems with my current junker bike, I run out of legs long before anything else.
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Old 04-19-10, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ward83 View Post
Thanks for the sanity check guys. I guess I was underestimating how much power is actually lost in the suspension, even with a stiff setup. I'm not having any comfort problems with my current junker bike, I run out of legs long before anything else.
Tires are suspension. Anything wider thatn 28mm is going to provide as much suspension as practical. As for disk brakes, they've been used in CX and touring bikes for a while, but haven't caught on with road bikes. The limiting factor isn't the caliper, it's the tires.
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Old 04-19-10, 09:00 PM
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I tried using a full suspension mountain bike for a cross race, slowed me down. I even had very skinny, 1.5" knobby tires at high psi. On the road I think it would suck the life right out of you, especially climbing while standing.
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Old 04-19-10, 10:53 PM
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Cannondale tried a front suspension on a road bike years ago. It worked quite well, but added considerable weight to the frame. The suspension was not much better than a current carbon fork. Somewhere around the year 2000, Cannondale dropped the front suspension idea. I'm not aware of anyone trying a rear suspension on a road bike. As for disc brakes, I think most of the higher quality dual pivot brake systems are adequate. If needed you can always add salmon Kool Stop brake pads to really slow you down. Disc brakes add too much weight. I know it's been tried but I havn't seen it catch on at all.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:18 PM
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Full suspension, no, that would be silly.

But there are some lightweight road suspension forks, even with disc brakes.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:30 PM
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Specialized Zertz inserts, anyone?
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Old 04-19-10, 11:30 PM
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My Raleigh Sojourn has disk brakes. I can't tell that they're any big advantage for normal riding. They're okay, not something to seek out, either.

That bike is also comfortable, or at least for up to 10 hours or so it is. You wouldn't gain anything with a suspension. If you saved 1% of your power or a half-pound of weight, that would be worth more than all the suspension in the world.

I don't even know what a steering stabilizer would do. You can adjust geometry on the fork and make steering more or less stable, if that helps, without adding any pieces. More stable = less maneuverable and vice versa, so it's not necessarily something you want a whole bunch of.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:53 PM
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if you want comfort on the road, get 28c width tires and don't inflate them to the max, play with inflation levels based on your weight.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvile View Post
Specialized Zertz inserts, anyone?
They're up there with pixie dust, unicorn horns and bontrager buzzkill bar plugs
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Old 04-20-10, 12:12 AM
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Alternatively, the Cane Creed Thudbuster seatpost can also take some of the edge off.
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Old 04-20-10, 12:23 AM
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Travis Brown's Leadville 100 bike from last year.
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Old 04-20-10, 12:23 AM
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OP

If you want a comfortable road bike get a fitting for the type of riding you are doing.

If you are riding rougher road/ off road and want road bike characteristics then get a cross bike. You don't buy a sports car and then jack up the the suspension to go off road (ok ok I know some do but it's not the best approach)

The reason that road bikes don't often come with disc brakes is because the brains trust that runs the spot, the UCI has deemed them illegal. They are also banned for UCI cross racing.
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Old 04-20-10, 02:10 AM
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your concept remind me of those worthless brake pad marketed as a race ready street pad.

they overheat on the track, wears out rotor and squeal like a mofo on the street.

that's why most people have a dedicated race only brake set up(usually a rotor, race pad and fresh dot4 fluid) for the track because
they work way better doing one thing only.

if you dig deeper you'll find out there's tons of high performance road bike that are build with more relax emphassis, they have
carbon layout with more vertical "forgiviness", more upright geo.
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