"Comfortable" road bikes

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by rdk, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. rdk

    rdk New Member

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    Can someone correct or explain my understanding of the following:

    Is the Giant TCR more racier, and the OCR more comfortable?
    In Specialized, is the Sequoia more comfortable than the Allez?
    What makes one bike more comfortable, and the other more agressive?

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm an older guy upgrading from a flat-bar road bike, doing weekend rides of 70 - 120 km, ATB this year and in the future, but not looking for the ultimate in speed. When in bike shops I want to be looking at the right sort of thing.

    Cheers
     
    Tags:


  2. In aus.bicycle on Sun, 29 Oct 2006 22:36:02 +1100
    rdk <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Can someone correct or explain my understanding of the following:
    >
    > Is the Giant TCR more racier, and the OCR more comfortable?
    > In Specialized, is the Sequoia more comfortable than the Allez?
    > What makes one bike more comfortable, and the other more agressive?
    >


    It's about how they feel to you. And how you end up customising them
    to you.

    Best bet is to ride one of each, trying the same things on each, and
    make notes. What feels different? If they ahve difference crontrols,
    which one do you like better.

    If it's a commuter, find some bumpy tarmac.

    I suspect that the main difference is going to be who you buy it
    from. Who spends more time talking to you about fit on a bike, who
    seems to have more clue about commuting kit.

    Zebee
     
  3. Artoi

    Artoi Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Zebee Johnstone <[email protected]> wrote:

    > In aus.bicycle on Sun, 29 Oct 2006 22:36:02 +1100
    > rdk <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > Can someone correct or explain my understanding of the following:
    > >
    > > Is the Giant TCR more racier, and the OCR more comfortable?
    > > In Specialized, is the Sequoia more comfortable than the Allez?
    > > What makes one bike more comfortable, and the other more agressive?
    > >

    >
    > It's about how they feel to you. And how you end up customising them
    > to you.
    >
    > Best bet is to ride one of each, trying the same things on each, and
    > make notes. What feels different? If they ahve difference crontrols,
    > which one do you like better.
    >
    > If it's a commuter, find some bumpy tarmac.
    >
    > I suspect that the main difference is going to be who you buy it
    > from. Who spends more time talking to you about fit on a bike, who
    > seems to have more clue about commuting kit.


    After getting a second set of wheels and tyre, I found the ride to be
    quite different. So if the two bikes have different wheels and tyres
    (and tyre pressure), then it may not be a fair test of the frame.
    --
     
  4. dave

    dave Guest

    rdk wrote:
    > Can someone correct or explain my understanding of the following:
    >
    > Is the Giant TCR more racier, and the OCR more comfortable?
    > In Specialized, is the Sequoia more comfortable than the Allez?
    > What makes one bike more comfortable, and the other more agressive?
    >
    > The reason I'm asking is that I'm an older guy upgrading from a
    > flat-bar road bike, doing weekend rides of 70 - 120 km, ATB this year
    > and in the future, but not looking for the ultimate in speed. When in
    > bike shops I want to be looking at the right sort of thing.
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    >

    Slightly. THe TCR is also less stable. (more resposive :)
    Dunno about the specialised
     
  5. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    rdk wrote:
    > Can someone correct or explain my understanding of the following:
    >
    > Is the Giant TCR more racier, and the OCR more comfortable?
    > In Specialized, is the Sequoia more comfortable than the Allez?
    > What makes one bike more comfortable, and the other more agressive?


    Generally, it's a combination of the seat tube angle and the handlebar
    height. The
    steeper the seat tube, the more aggressive the bike feels, and the
    further forward your weight is. This is generally more for racing
    cyclists than touring roadies, especially as you get a bit older and
    lose flexibility and upper body strength.

    The other factor is headstem height (handlebar height generally). If
    you have a look a the different heights of the handebars you'll see
    that the more relaxed seat tube bikes also tend to have higher
    handlebars. It's generally about your rotation around the bottom
    bracket.

    I don't know the Giant or Specialised raneges, but Trek, for example,
    do a more relaxed line of roadies called the "pilot". If you compare
    this :

    http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=107&category_id=3&subcategory_id=27

    which has a racing geometry, to this :

    http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=157&category_id=3&subcategory_id=30

    You'll see a difference quite quickly, I hope :)

    It is usually possible to set up racing geometries for more relaxed
    riding, it involves short stems, setback seatposts, steerer tube
    extensions and so on, but generally, you're better off with the right
    bike in the first place.

    Hope that helps ....
     
  6. Artoi

    Artoi Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I don't know the Giant or Specialised raneges, but Trek, for example,
    > do a more relaxed line of roadies called the "pilot". If you compare
    > this :
    >
    > http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=107&category_
    > id=3&subcategory_id=27
    >
    > which has a racing geometry, to this :
    >
    > http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=157&category_
    > id=3&subcategory_id=30
    >
    > You'll see a difference quite quickly, I hope :)
    >
    > It is usually possible to set up racing geometries for more relaxed
    > riding, it involves short stems, setback seatposts, steerer tube
    > extensions and so on, but generally, you're better off with the right
    > bike in the first place.


    I find the comparison a bit arbitary. If one uses different stem/steerer
    tube extension/seat adjustment to move all the body contact points to be
    identical on the two bikes, then how does the geometry of the frame
    affect the ride?
    --
     
  7. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    wheelbase.
     
  8. Bikesoiler

    Bikesoiler New Member

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    Chainstay length & Front centre length (BB to front axle).
     
  9. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Artoi wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > I don't know the Giant or Specialised raneges, but Trek, for example,
    > > do a more relaxed line of roadies called the "pilot". If you compare
    > > this :
    > >
    > > http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=107&category_
    > > id=3&subcategory_id=27
    > >
    > > which has a racing geometry, to this :
    > >
    > > http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=157&category_
    > > id=3&subcategory_id=30
    > >
    > > You'll see a difference quite quickly, I hope :)
    > >
    > > It is usually possible to set up racing geometries for more relaxed
    > > riding, it involves short stems, setback seatposts, steerer tube
    > > extensions and so on, but generally, you're better off with the right
    > > bike in the first place.

    >
    > I find the comparison a bit arbitary. If one uses different stem/steerer
    > tube extension/seat adjustment to move all the body contact points to be
    > identical on the two bikes, then how does the geometry of the frame
    > affect the ride?


    As a few others have mentioned, wheelbase is a major factor, as is fork
    rake, trail, stiffness of various parts etc, which combine to alter the
    handling, stability and 'feel' of the bicycle. Get yourself a copy of
    "bicycling science, 3rd ed" if you want the gory details.

    There's also the all too often case that sometimes you simply cannot
    get a rider far enough up and back even with risers and very short
    stems, if the bike is too long for them. I face this problem sometimes
    when fitting people who bring a bike in that isn't the right geometry
    for their body. Risers, very short stems and very laid back seatposts
    are generally hacks to get around someone having a bike that doesn't
    fit them. This is particularly an issue with a lot of women and older
    men, who lack the upper body strength or who have shorter arms and
    torsos, less flexibility and so on.
     
  10. Artoi

    Artoi Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Artoi wrote:
    > > In article <[email protected]>,
    > > "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > > I don't know the Giant or Specialised raneges, but Trek, for example,
    > > > do a more relaxed line of roadies called the "pilot". If you compare
    > > > this :
    > > >
    > > > http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=107&categ
    > > > ory_
    > > > id=3&subcategory_id=27
    > > >
    > > > which has a racing geometry, to this :
    > > >
    > > > http://www2.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=157&categ
    > > > ory_
    > > > id=3&subcategory_id=30
    > > >
    > > > You'll see a difference quite quickly, I hope :)
    > > >
    > > > It is usually possible to set up racing geometries for more relaxed
    > > > riding, it involves short stems, setback seatposts, steerer tube
    > > > extensions and so on, but generally, you're better off with the right
    > > > bike in the first place.

    > >
    > > I find the comparison a bit arbitary. If one uses different stem/steerer
    > > tube extension/seat adjustment to move all the body contact points to be
    > > identical on the two bikes, then how does the geometry of the frame
    > > affect the ride?

    >
    > As a few others have mentioned, wheelbase is a major factor, as is fork
    > rake, trail, stiffness of various parts etc, which combine to alter the
    > handling, stability and 'feel' of the bicycle. Get yourself a copy of
    > "bicycling science, 3rd ed" if you want the gory details.


    Sorry for not being specific.

    I note a number road bike frames has the same dimensions in terms of
    wheel base, chain stay length etc per above, but one having a
    traditional road geometry while the other being a compact. Under this
    kind of comparison with seat and bar adjusted, what differences would it
    make to the ride?
    --
     
  11. So now we're getting to a full list... contributed piecemeal.

    - Tyre width (bigger means lower inflation pressure, which in general is
    more comfortable).
    - Frame geometry (longer means that the frame can absorb more vertical
    shock without transmitting it all up your bum).
    - Fork geometry (ditto, but this time the jarring goes up your arms to
    your neck).
    - Frame material (ceteri paribus carbon fibre is more comfortable than
    steel alloy which is more comfortable than aluminium).
    - Handlebar material and shape (drop bars are more comfortable than flat
    bars.
    - Body position (none of the above matters unless the bike "fits" you
    and you can find comfortable riding positions).

    Most of these factors relate to compliance. That is the degree to which
    some part of the bike flexes to absorb road shock. Of course there is
    some tradeoff between stiffness and compliance. The trick is to find a
    bike that is stiff enough and compliant enough for your personal taste.

    I have a cronic neck injury, so vertical jarring is very tiring because
    my head s so big ;-) That's why (for me) the Giant TCR Composite and OCR
    are the most comfortable of the Giant road bike range. The TCR ALUXXX is
    stiff and strong, but I find the vibration through my hands tiring. My
    TCR Composite is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned (about 12
    in total).
     
  12. In aus.bicycle on Mon, 30 Oct 2006 18:57:53 +1100
    Patrick Keogh <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > I have a cronic neck injury, so vertical jarring is very tiring because
    > my head s so big ;-) That's why (for me) the Giant TCR Composite and OCR
    > are the most comfortable of the Giant road bike range. The TCR ALUXXX is
    > stiff and strong, but I find the vibration through my hands tiring. My
    > TCR Composite is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned (about 12
    > in total).


    I suppose I should speak up here.....

    For those with neck and back problems, I think the best bike to do the
    miles on is a recumbent.

    There is a huge variety of bents, from low trikes and flat-on-your-back
    two wheeled lowracers to the high-performance short wheelbase high
    racer bikes like the big brothers of my Giro, to the small wheeled long
    wheelbase tourers like the easyracer.

    Biggest hassle is trying one... If you aren't in Canberra then it's
    hard to try even one let alone enough to determine which format you
    like.

    Being a sufferer of Duck's Disease[1] I only found two I could fit on,
    both SWB highracers, and the Bacchetta Giro was love at first ride.
    Fast enough to win races (bod in the UK is regularly fastest unfaired
    bent in major races on a Giro 20) and easy enough for an old grampus
    like me to ride without falling over or blowing up. While tugging a
    fair chunk of luggage.

    The price of entry is high alas, but if you are someone with neck, back,
    or wrist trouble, you don't want to enter races, and you are happy to
    tell other people their bike looks funny too, then it is worth a try.

    I'm happy to give anyone in Sydney a go on mine, although being the
    small frame it won't fit you if you are more than about 5'10"

    Zebee

    [1] the curse of the Seagoons!
     
  13. Strong in you the force is.
    To the dark side go I shall not.
    (Cuts cockroach in half with light sabre).
     
  14. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Artoi wrote:

    > Sorry for not being specific.
    >
    > I note a number road bike frames has the same dimensions in terms of
    > wheel base, chain stay length etc per above, but one having a
    > traditional road geometry while the other being a compact. Under this
    > kind of comparison with seat and bar adjusted, what differences would it
    > make to the ride?


    As a gross generalisation, a "compact" frame will be stiffer (all else
    being equal) but the subsequent longer seat tube will make up for it by
    being more flexible than a shorter post, so generally, not a lot of
    difference, all else being equal. The point generally is that in most
    cases the geometry is *not* equal and a relaxed bike typically has a
    different geometry to make it easier/possible to set up a higher and
    further back position. The ride itself all else being equal between a
    compact and a traditional frame bike with the same rake, trail, fork
    angles, seat tube angle etc will be very very similar, such that most
    people would struggle to feel a difference.
     
  15. Artoi wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Zebee Johnstone <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> In aus.bicycle on Sun, 29 Oct 2006 22:36:02 +1100
    >> rdk <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> >
    >> > Can someone correct or explain my understanding of the following:
    >> >
    >> > Is the Giant TCR more racier, and the OCR more comfortable?
    >> > In Specialized, is the Sequoia more comfortable than the Allez?
    >> > What makes one bike more comfortable, and the other more agressive?
    >> >

    >>
    >> It's about how they feel to you. And how you end up customising them
    >> to you.
    >>
    >> Best bet is to ride one of each, trying the same things on each, and
    >> make notes. What feels different? If they ahve difference crontrols,
    >> which one do you like better.
    >>
    >> If it's a commuter, find some bumpy tarmac.
    >>
    >> I suspect that the main difference is going to be who you buy it
    >> from. Who spends more time talking to you about fit on a bike, who
    >> seems to have more clue about commuting kit.

    >
    > After getting a second set of wheels and tyre, I found the ride to be
    > quite different. So if the two bikes have different wheels and tyres
    > (and tyre pressure), then it may not be a fair test of the frame.
    > --


    Yes, I have always wondered how relatively ordinary folk like myself are
    expected to notice the subtle differences in a bicycle during a test ride.
    As you say, there are so many things which can change a bike's immediate
    feel. For example, one bike may have a saddle that makes the bike feel
    great, at least temporarily, but it may not seem as good when you use it a
    lot for touring or commuting.

    Cheers,

    Vince
     
  16. rdk

    rdk New Member

    Joined:
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    Thanks for all the advice, especially Bleve.

    RDK
     
  17. Artoi

    Artoi Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Artoi wrote:
    >
    > > Sorry for not being specific.
    > >
    > > I note a number road bike frames has the same dimensions in terms of
    > > wheel base, chain stay length etc per above, but one having a
    > > traditional road geometry while the other being a compact. Under this
    > > kind of comparison with seat and bar adjusted, what differences would it
    > > make to the ride?

    >
    > As a gross generalisation, a "compact" frame will be stiffer (all else
    > being equal) but the subsequent longer seat tube will make up for it by
    > being more flexible than a shorter post, so generally, not a lot of
    > difference, all else being equal. The point generally is that in most
    > cases the geometry is *not* equal and a relaxed bike typically has a
    > different geometry to make it easier/possible to set up a higher and
    > further back position. The ride itself all else being equal between a
    > compact and a traditional frame bike with the same rake, trail, fork
    > angles, seat tube angle etc will be very very similar, such that most
    > people would struggle to feel a difference.


    Thanks.

    Just one final point. Does the longer seatpost in a compact frame have
    an effect on the stiffness performance of the bike? I understand that
    power riders pretty much don't leave much of their weight on the seat
    during the ride, so how does the stiffness in the seatpost affect the
    critical frame stiffness for power transfer? Given this scenario, isn't
    the stiffness of the frame more important? So in a way, it justifies the
    use of compact frames if one is going for stiffness alone. Is this
    correct?
    --
     
  18. Artoi wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Artoi wrote:
    >>
    >>> Sorry for not being specific.
    >>>
    >>> I note a number road bike frames has the same dimensions in terms of
    >>> wheel base, chain stay length etc per above, but one having a
    >>> traditional road geometry while the other being a compact. Under this
    >>> kind of comparison with seat and bar adjusted, what differences would it
    >>> make to the ride?

    >> As a gross generalisation, a "compact" frame will be stiffer (all else
    >> being equal) but the subsequent longer seat tube will make up for it by
    >> being more flexible than a shorter post, so generally, not a lot of
    >> difference, all else being equal. The point generally is that in most
    >> cases the geometry is *not* equal and a relaxed bike typically has a
    >> different geometry to make it easier/possible to set up a higher and
    >> further back position. The ride itself all else being equal between a
    >> compact and a traditional frame bike with the same rake, trail, fork
    >> angles, seat tube angle etc will be very very similar, such that most
    >> people would struggle to feel a difference.

    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Just one final point. Does the longer seatpost in a compact frame have
    > an effect on the stiffness performance of the bike? I understand that
    > power riders pretty much don't leave much of their weight on the seat
    > during the ride, so how does the stiffness in the seatpost affect the
    > critical frame stiffness for power transfer? Given this scenario, isn't
    > the stiffness of the frame more important? So in a way, it justifies the
    > use of compact frames if one is going for stiffness alone. Is this
    > correct?
    > --

    Theoretically correct, but as Bleve says there'd be few riders who would
    notice this specific tradeoff. If comfort is important, I suggest you go
    ride a couple of bikes and find what fits, keeping in mind the advice
    that has been offered. Sure you can change the fit on most bikes by
    swapping bars, stems, seat posts, saddle position etc., but by the time
    you've done that you're up for a couple of hundred extra bucks, which
    would have been better spent on a bike that fits in the first place.
     
  19. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Artoi wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > "Bleve" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Artoi wrote:
    > >
    > > > Sorry for not being specific.
    > > >
    > > > I note a number road bike frames has the same dimensions in terms of
    > > > wheel base, chain stay length etc per above, but one having a
    > > > traditional road geometry while the other being a compact. Under this
    > > > kind of comparison with seat and bar adjusted, what differences would it
    > > > make to the ride?

    > >
    > > As a gross generalisation, a "compact" frame will be stiffer (all else
    > > being equal) but the subsequent longer seat tube will make up for it by
    > > being more flexible than a shorter post, so generally, not a lot of
    > > difference, all else being equal. The point generally is that in most
    > > cases the geometry is *not* equal and a relaxed bike typically has a
    > > different geometry to make it easier/possible to set up a higher and
    > > further back position. The ride itself all else being equal between a
    > > compact and a traditional frame bike with the same rake, trail, fork
    > > angles, seat tube angle etc will be very very similar, such that most
    > > people would struggle to feel a difference.

    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Just one final point. Does the longer seatpost in a compact frame have
    > an effect on the stiffness performance of the bike? I understand that
    > power riders pretty much don't leave much of their weight on the seat
    > during the ride, so how does the stiffness in the seatpost affect the
    > critical frame stiffness for power transfer? Given this scenario, isn't
    > the stiffness of the frame more important? So in a way, it justifies the
    > use of compact frames if one is going for stiffness alone. Is this
    > correct?


    I'm not sure. Once standing, the seatpost is mostly irrelevant (except
    it's heavy :) ), but even while "power riding" seated (someone can
    levitate? not for very long ....) the stiffness of the overall system
    comes into play. As to how much difference it really makes? We'd need
    jigs etc and some fairly rigorous testing protocols to know for sure.
     
  20. Artoi

    Artoi Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Patrick Keogh <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Theoretically correct, but as Bleve says there'd be few riders who would
    > notice this specific tradeoff. If comfort is important, I suggest you go
    > ride a couple of bikes and find what fits, keeping in mind the advice
    > that has been offered. Sure you can change the fit on most bikes by
    > swapping bars, stems, seat posts, saddle position etc., but by the time
    > you've done that you're up for a couple of hundred extra bucks, which
    > would have been better spent on a bike that fits in the first place.


    I am not in the market for a new bike. But I am interested in the
    technology.

    This advise of trying different bikes is good but at the same time
    doesn't really work. For an inexperienced rider, it's hard to pick up
    the subtle differences b/n the frames, especially with those around the
    block test rides. Then there's the problem with those package bike
    deals. Since getting my new bike some 2 1/2 months ago, I am starting to
    find out how companies would hide cheap parts in a bike that looks
    decent in overall appearance. The brake pad could be cheap, and so could
    the cassette and chains. And then there's the wheel and so the list goes
    on. There really is a case for people who are truly interested to build
    their bike up from a frame and choose your own components. And here in
    Oz, if you are comfortable with eBay and o/s mail-ordering, you can
    really match up a really nice bike for the price of a LBS package deal.
    --
     
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