Opinions on REI brand bikes (Novara)?



S

SMS

Guest
Rich Clark wrote:
> "Zix" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>
>> Can anybody offer any experiences / insights / advice
>> on whether this might be a good bike to get? It's on sale
>> locally is why I ask.

>
> My experience with Novara is getting old, but fwiw it's this:
>
> The bikes are competitive and comparable to other name-brand bikes that come
> from Asian factories. The prices can be attractive, especially when on sale.
> REI's warranty is excellent.
>
> What colors the decision (other than your compatibility with the bike
> itself) is the quality of the bike department in your local REI. Some seem
> to be as good as many an LBS (and in some locales, they function as such).
> Others seem to be little better than mass-market stores. This will
> principally affect how well the bike is assembled and prepped, how flexible
> they are with matters like stem-swapping and other custom setup issues, and
> what you can expect from the wheels.


Good point. We have an excellent REI bicycle department at the store
near me. Actually I've only purchased a Marin brand mountain bicycle
from them (a good deal on a steel frame mountain bike), but they did a
good job on the assembly. The first one that they got from their
warehouse was damaged, and rather than try to pass it off on me, they
contacted me to tell me about the problem and the reason for the delay.
I've also been impressed with the various weird littleparts they carry,
that I would more expect to find at a shop that's been around a lot longer.

One thing about REI is that they have good hours, unlike some bicycle
shops that seem to have hours to suit the needs of the staff, rather
than that of the customers.
 
S

SMS

Guest
greggery peccary wrote:

> if you are an
> rei member & can wait there is a 20% off any 1 reg priced item sale later
> this spring. it's a good time to buy something big.


It's going on now.
 
G

greggery peccary

Guest
"SMS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> greggery peccary wrote:
>
> > if you are an
>> rei member & can wait there is a 20% off any 1 reg priced item sale later
>> this spring. it's a good time to buy something big.

>
> It's going on now.

oh ****!
 
just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet. I
have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what I'd be
looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock aluminum
before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?
 
S

Sorni

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet. I
> have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what I'd be
> looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock aluminum
> before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?


Prejudice. Myth. Snobbery.

Bill "4 bikes and 3 are AL" S.
 
N

Nuckin' Futz

Guest
41 wrote:
> Claire Petersky wrote:
>
>> put more shock up through the butt than many peo ple would like

>
> Since you are American, I believe the correct and patriotic expression
> is "shock and awe".
>
> Please, do your part to support the President in this time of war.


Or, be like you and look for any far-fetched excuse to bash him.

NF
 
4

41

Guest
Nuckin' Futz wrote:
> 41 wrote:
> > Claire Petersky wrote:
> >
> >> put more shock up through the butt than many peo ple would like

> >
> > Since you are American, I believe the correct and patriotic expression
> > is "shock and awe".
> >
> > Please, do your part to support the President in this time of war.

>
> Or, be like you and look for any far-fetched excuse to bash him.


He don't need no help these days, but I am glad to offer..
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
>> "Zix" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> Here is in the USA we have a co-op outdoor store chain
>>> called Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) which has its own
>>> brand of bikes called Novara.
>>> I was looking at their Strada racing bike which has an
>>> aluminum frame and Shimano 105 components in 5 places,

-snip-
>>> Can anybody offer any experiences / insights / advice
>>> on whether this might be a good bike to get? It's on sale
>>> locally is why I ask.
>>> Personally I am not sure that an Alu frame is for me,

-snip-

> Ryan Cousineau wrote:
>> Behold the Approved Standard rbt answer:
>> -the most important factor in enjoying a new bicycle is ensuring the
>> fit is correct, and this is likely to mean dealing with a shop that
>> can fit you properly and is willing to make the appropriate
>> stem/bar/saddle changes to get things right.
>> -the feel of "stiffness" is best tuned by adjusting your bike's tire
>> pressure in 5 psi increments. There are only a few exceptions, most
>> notoriously the infamously whippy Vitus 979 frames. The second most
>> important factor in the ride of a bike is probably frame geometry,
>> followed by the type of bar tape you use.


jim beam wrote:
> that's parody, right? tire pressure has absolutely ZERO effect on a
> frame's mechanical properties or a wheel's mechanical properties, both
> of which are significant factors in ride quality. it may be ok to joke
> about this stuff once in a while, but it's dangerous here on r.b.t.
> because repetition means people start to believe the most outrageous
> b.s. as "fact".


Hmmm.
"wheel's mechanical properties" ??

I bet you or I could feel the difference between a 130psi
23mm tire and a 90psi 28mm tire.

I bet you or I couldn't feel any differences among any
wheels as long as the spokes are tight enough to not fall out.


--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
J

jim beam

Guest
A Muzi wrote:
>>> "Zix" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Here is in the USA we have a co-op outdoor store chain
>>>> called Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) which has its own
>>>> brand of bikes called Novara.
>>>> I was looking at their Strada racing bike which has an
>>>> aluminum frame and Shimano 105 components in 5 places,

>
> -snip-
>
>>>> Can anybody offer any experiences / insights / advice
>>>> on whether this might be a good bike to get? It's on sale
>>>> locally is why I ask.
>>>> Personally I am not sure that an Alu frame is for me,

>
> -snip-
>
>> Ryan Cousineau wrote:
>>
>>> Behold the Approved Standard rbt answer:
>>> -the most important factor in enjoying a new bicycle is ensuring the
>>> fit is correct, and this is likely to mean dealing with a shop that
>>> can fit you properly and is willing to make the appropriate
>>> stem/bar/saddle changes to get things right.
>>> -the feel of "stiffness" is best tuned by adjusting your bike's tire
>>> pressure in 5 psi increments. There are only a few exceptions, most
>>> notoriously the infamously whippy Vitus 979 frames. The second most
>>> important factor in the ride of a bike is probably frame geometry,
>>> followed by the type of bar tape you use.

>
>
> jim beam wrote:
>
>> that's parody, right? tire pressure has absolutely ZERO effect on a
>> frame's mechanical properties or a wheel's mechanical properties, both
>> of which are significant factors in ride quality. it may be ok to
>> joke about this stuff once in a while, but it's dangerous here on
>> r.b.t. because repetition means people start to believe the most
>> outrageous b.s. as "fact".

>
>
> Hmmm.
> "wheel's mechanical properties" ??
>
> I bet you or I could feel the difference between a 130psi 23mm tire and
> a 90psi 28mm tire.


of course! that's not what i'm saying andrew. please read it again.

>
> I bet you or I couldn't feel any differences among any wheels as long as
> the spokes are tight enough to not fall out.


rubbish. did you ever bother to look at damon rinard's wheel testing
page? he's /measured/ it all andrew, but you're retort is purely
subjective. that just doesn't wash.

>
>
 
jim beam wrote:
> A Muzi wrote:
>
> > jim beam wrote:
> >
> >> that's parody, right? tire pressure has absolutely ZERO effect on a
> >> frame's mechanical properties or a wheel's mechanical properties, both
> >> of which are significant factors in ride quality. it may be ok to
> >> joke about this stuff once in a while, but it's dangerous here on
> >> r.b.t. because repetition means people start to believe the most
> >> outrageous b.s. as "fact".

> >
> > Hmmm.
> > "wheel's mechanical properties" ??
> >
> > I bet you or I could feel the difference between a 130psi 23mm tire and
> > a 90psi 28mm tire.

>
> of course! that's not what i'm saying andrew. please read it again.
>
> > I bet you or I couldn't feel any differences among any wheels as long as
> > the spokes are tight enough to not fall out.

>
> rubbish. did you ever bother to look at damon rinard's wheel testing
> page? he's /measured/ it all andrew, but you're retort is purely
> subjective. that just doesn't wash.


You could measure the difference in stiffness between
a metal bed frame and a wood bed frame. But could you
measure the difference in comfort between the two
frames once they've got a mattress and boxspring on?

The mattress doesn't affect the mechanical properties
of the bedframe. But the differences between mattresses
damp out the _perceptible_ differences between bedframes,
even though the bedframes test different in a testing jig.
 
R

Rich Clark

Guest
"Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> [email protected] wrote:
>> just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet. I
>> have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what I'd be
>> looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock aluminum
>> before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?

>
> Prejudice. Myth. Snobbery.


Maybe.

I once test-rode (i.e., 10-mile hilly loops) a Fuji Roubaix and a Roubaix
Pro in quick succession. This was when (2003?) the only significant
difference between the two was that one had a steel frame and a double and
the other had an aluminum frame and a triple. Same wheels, tires, forks (cf
with steel steerers), saddles, pedals (mine), bars, stems, etc.

The frames had the same geometry, although obviously their mass and the
size/shape of the tubes were different. And these were not high-end bikes,
so the sort of refinement of some more thoroughbred frames was no doubt
absent.

Still, the difference was pronounced. The aluminum bike chattered over road
irregularities that the steel bike soaked up. The aluminum bike kicked me in
the butt. The aluminum bike felt more solid when climbing out of the saddle.
The aluminum bike also *sounded* different, but some of that might have been
the extra links due to the triple.

This is, of course, subjective, anecdotal, and based on a single set of
samples. Not conclusive in any way. A different rider might have had a
different experience and a different reaction.

But my experience was that the differences between steel and aluminum in two
otherwise similar bikes are real, and meaningful, and contribute to the
character of a bike in ways that matter. That doesn't make one better than
the other, but I think it is something that helps make a particular bike
what it is.

Personally, I look for long-distance comfort, even in my "training" bike. I
don't race, even against myself. So when choosing road bikes, I've ended up
with steel (a Novara touring bike and my Roubaix Pro) or ti (an Airborne
'cross frame) every time.

I did once buy an aluminum hybrid, though. I agree with the general
principal that the fatter the tires, the less the frame material matters
from a comfort perspective.

RichC
 
R

Rich Clark

Guest
"Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> [email protected] wrote:
>> just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet. I
>> have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what I'd be
>> looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock aluminum
>> before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?

>
> Prejudice. Myth. Snobbery.


Maybe.

I once test-rode (i.e., 10-mile hilly loops) a Fuji Roubaix and a Roubaix
Pro in quick succession. This was when (2003?) the only significant
difference between the two was that one had a steel frame and a double and
the other had an aluminum frame and a triple. Same wheels, tires, forks (cf
with steel steerers), saddles, pedals (mine), bars, stems, etc.

The frames had the same geometry, although obviously their mass and the
size/shape of the tubes were different. And these were not high-end bikes,
so the sort of refinement of some more thoroughbred frames was no doubt
absent.

Still, the difference was pronounced. The aluminum bike chattered over road
irregularities that the steel bike soaked up. The aluminum bike kicked me in
the butt. The aluminum bike felt more solid when climbing out of the saddle.
The aluminum bike also *sounded* different, but some of that might have been
the extra links due to the triple.

This is, of course, subjective, anecdotal, and based on a single set of
samples. Not conclusive in any way. A different rider might have had a
different experience and a different reaction.

But my experience was that the differences between steel and aluminum in two
otherwise similar bikes are real, and meaningful, and contribute to the
character of a bike in ways that matter. That doesn't make one better than
the other, but I think it is something that helps make a particular bike
what it is.

Personally, I look for long-distance comfort, even in my "training" bike. I
don't race, even against myself. So when choosing road bikes, I've ended up
with steel (a Novara touring bike and my Roubaix Pro) or ti (an Airborne
'cross frame) every time.

I did once buy an aluminum hybrid, though. I agree with the general
principal that the fatter the tires, the less the frame material matters
from a comfort perspective.

RichC
 
S

Sorni

Guest
Rich Clark wrote:
> "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> [email protected] wrote:
>>> just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet.
>>> I have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what
>>> I'd be looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock
>>> aluminum before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?

>>
>> Prejudice. Myth. Snobbery.

>
> Maybe.
>
> I once test-rode (i.e., 10-mile hilly loops) a Fuji Roubaix and a
> Roubaix Pro in quick succession. This was when (2003?) the only
> significant difference between the two was that one had a steel frame
> and a double and the other had an aluminum frame and a triple. Same
> wheels, tires, forks (cf with steel steerers), saddles, pedals
> (mine), bars, stems, etc.
> The frames had the same geometry, although obviously their mass and
> the size/shape of the tubes were different. And these were not
> high-end bikes, so the sort of refinement of some more thoroughbred
> frames was no doubt absent.
>
> Still, the difference was pronounced. The aluminum bike chattered
> over road irregularities that the steel bike soaked up. The aluminum
> bike kicked me in the butt. The aluminum bike felt more solid when
> climbing out of the saddle. The aluminum bike also *sounded*
> different, but some of that might have been the extra links due to
> the triple.
> This is, of course, subjective, anecdotal, and based on a single set
> of samples. Not conclusive in any way. A different rider might have
> had a different experience and a different reaction.
>
> But my experience was that the differences between steel and aluminum
> in two otherwise similar bikes are real, and meaningful, and
> contribute to the character of a bike in ways that matter. That
> doesn't make one better than the other, but I think it is something
> that helps make a particular bike what it is.
>
> Personally, I look for long-distance comfort, even in my "training"
> bike. I don't race, even against myself. So when choosing road bikes,
> I've ended up with steel (a Novara touring bike and my Roubaix Pro)
> or ti (an Airborne 'cross frame) every time.
>
> I did once buy an aluminum hybrid, though. I agree with the general
> principal that the fatter the tires, the less the frame material
> matters from a comfort perspective.


Yeah, I should have mentioned that two of my three AL rides are mountain
bikes (one hardtail, one FS), so obviously suspensions and fat tires have a
lot more to do with "comfort" than the frame material.

My first road bike (since I was a kid, anyway) was an AL Klein (strangely
enough called a Q-carbon for the seat stays, I guess), and that bike is
SMOOTH. For whatever reason I never felt like my teeth were rattling on
it -- especially with the stock Bontrager Race Lite wheels. My Velomax
Ascent IIs are (seem?) a lot stiffer, and the ride was appreciably harsher
on 'em.

Then I bought a Madone SL (carbon) frameset, and I must say the ride is NOT
that much nicer than the Klein's -- perhaps due to the Velomaxes? Still
trying to get it dialed in, however, so hopefully some day...

Bill "it's only money, right? RIGHT?!?" S.
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo

Guest
Zix wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Here is in the USA we have a co-op outdoor store chain
> called Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) which has its own
> brand of bikes called Novara.
>
> I was looking at their Strada racing bike which has an
> aluminum frame and Shimano 105 components in 5 places,
> and I was curious if anyone had any experience with this
> bike. Here is a link:
> http://www.rei.com/online/store/Pro...productId=47968697&parent_category_rn=4500865
>
> >From a parts perspective it looks good to me (I'm not

> a bike mechanic, nor rich) but I don't know about the frame.
> I was told by a salesman it was made in Taiwan by the same
> manufacturer that makes the Litespeed. I haven't verified that
> claim with the customer service people yet.
>
> Can anybody offer any experiences / insights / advice
> on whether this might be a good bike to get? It's on sale
> locally is why I ask.
>
> Personally I am not sure that an Alu frame is for me,
> having experienced for a year the Alu stiffness factor in
> my previous bike, but I'm responding to the components
> and sale price and trying to be practical.
>
> Thanks.


Like we say all the time, these days you can't really buy a 'bad' bike
from a bike shop. I consider REI's bike department as good as and some
times better than a more normal, stand alone bike shop BUT you can
'buy' a bad bike shop. Problem with the REI bicycle is not the bicycle
but the inability to ensure the thing fits you and the desire of the
REI to make it fit you, like swapping stems and such. If they will,
good bike, if they won't, get a fit somewhere, go into REI armed with
that info and match the bicycle to your fit info.
 
R

RonSonic

Guest
On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 07:02:24 GMT, "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Rich Clark wrote:
>> "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]
>>> [email protected] wrote:
>>>> just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet.
>>>> I have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what
>>>> I'd be looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock
>>>> aluminum before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?
>>>
>>> Prejudice. Myth. Snobbery.

>>
>> Maybe.
>>
>> I once test-rode (i.e., 10-mile hilly loops) a Fuji Roubaix and a
>> Roubaix Pro in quick succession. This was when (2003?) the only
>> significant difference between the two was that one had a steel frame
>> and a double and the other had an aluminum frame and a triple. Same
>> wheels, tires, forks (cf with steel steerers), saddles, pedals
>> (mine), bars, stems, etc.
>> The frames had the same geometry, although obviously their mass and
>> the size/shape of the tubes were different. And these were not
>> high-end bikes, so the sort of refinement of some more thoroughbred
>> frames was no doubt absent.
>>
>> Still, the difference was pronounced. The aluminum bike chattered
>> over road irregularities that the steel bike soaked up. The aluminum
>> bike kicked me in the butt. The aluminum bike felt more solid when
>> climbing out of the saddle. The aluminum bike also *sounded*
>> different, but some of that might have been the extra links due to
>> the triple.
>> This is, of course, subjective, anecdotal, and based on a single set
>> of samples. Not conclusive in any way. A different rider might have
>> had a different experience and a different reaction.
>>
>> But my experience was that the differences between steel and aluminum
>> in two otherwise similar bikes are real, and meaningful, and
>> contribute to the character of a bike in ways that matter. That
>> doesn't make one better than the other, but I think it is something
>> that helps make a particular bike what it is.
>>
>> Personally, I look for long-distance comfort, even in my "training"
>> bike. I don't race, even against myself. So when choosing road bikes,
>> I've ended up with steel (a Novara touring bike and my Roubaix Pro)
>> or ti (an Airborne 'cross frame) every time.
>>
>> I did once buy an aluminum hybrid, though. I agree with the general
>> principal that the fatter the tires, the less the frame material
>> matters from a comfort perspective.

>
>Yeah, I should have mentioned that two of my three AL rides are mountain
>bikes (one hardtail, one FS), so obviously suspensions and fat tires have a
>lot more to do with "comfort" than the frame material.
>
>My first road bike (since I was a kid, anyway) was an AL Klein (strangely
>enough called a Q-carbon for the seat stays, I guess), and that bike is
>SMOOTH. For whatever reason I never felt like my teeth were rattling on
>it -- especially with the stock Bontrager Race Lite wheels. My Velomax
>Ascent IIs are (seem?) a lot stiffer, and the ride was appreciably harsher
>on 'em.
>
>Then I bought a Madone SL (carbon) frameset, and I must say the ride is NOT
>that much nicer than the Klein's -- perhaps due to the Velomaxes? Still
>trying to get it dialed in, however, so hopefully some day...


So much has to do with the maker of the frame. I've owned a Klein mountain bike
and the frame did not ring like some other bikes. My Redline Cross bike is
downright smooth even for being an inexpensive aluminum frame. There's a craft
here that I think gets ignored in the "aluminum's harsh and Ti is nice"
sloganistic logic.

Ron

>Bill "it's only money, right? RIGHT?!?" S.


Uh, right. When I get some, I'll let you know.
 
R

RonSonic

Guest
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 16:44:38 -0500, "Rich Clark" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>
>"Zix" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]
>
>> Can anybody offer any experiences / insights / advice
>> on whether this might be a good bike to get? It's on sale
>> locally is why I ask.

>
>My experience with Novara is getting old, but fwiw it's this:
>
>The bikes are competitive and comparable to other name-brand bikes that come
>from Asian factories. The prices can be attractive, especially when on sale.
>REI's warranty is excellent.
>
>What colors the decision (other than your compatibility with the bike
>itself) is the quality of the bike department in your local REI. Some seem
>to be as good as many an LBS (and in some locales, they function as such).
>Others seem to be little better than mass-market stores. This will
>principally affect how well the bike is assembled and prepped, how flexible
>they are with matters like stem-swapping and other custom setup issues, and
>what you can expect from the wheels.
>
>My 6-year old Novara Randonee, a steel touring bike, has been entirely
>satisfactory and was a singular bargain. But I needed a taller stem and the
>store was completely unable to do anything for me (I ended up buying a
>Nitto), and the buying experience was notably free of any references to
>fitting. On the other hand, there was a highly skilled wheelbuilder who did
>a great job of rebuilding the rear wheel under warranty. On the third hand,
>the bike should not have been sold with the rear wheel so poorly prepared to
>begin with. On the fourth hand, that's what led me to decide to become my
>own wheelbuilder.
>
>Bottom line: if the store isn't nearby, and you aren't equipped to do your
>own maintenance, and you plan to do a lot of riding, investigate the local
>REI's service reputation carefully, just as you would any other LBS you were
>considering buying from.


I'm reminded of the science fiction writer, Larry Niven's Motes. A very decisive
race, they had two dextrous arms on one side and large powerful, more clawlike
limb on the other. Their discussions on an issue went along the lines of "on the
one hand, on the other hand" but the deciding factor was always "on the gripping
hand."

Ron
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Guest
Per [email protected]:
>However I've heard people knock aluminum
>before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?


The only reservation I have is on that nobody else seems to mention: ding and
abrasion resistance. Some alu bikes use rather large tubes with very thin
walls. Throw something like that in the trunk of your car and my guess is that
bad things can happen.
--
PeteCresswell
 
S

SlowRider

Guest
Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
> Like we say all the time, these days you can't really buy a 'bad' bike
> from a bike shop. I consider REI's bike department as good as and some
> times better than a more normal, stand alone bike shop BUT you can
> 'buy' a bad bike shop. Problem with the REI bicycle is not the bicycle
> but the inability to ensure the thing fits you and the desire of the
> REI to make it fit you, like swapping stems and such. If they will,
> good bike, if they won't, get a fit somewhere, go into REI armed with
> that info and match the bicycle to your fit info.


I've always thought the Novara bikes were right up there with
Specialized, Trek, Lemond, Cannondale and other popular brands. They
do seem to give you great components for the price. If the bike fits
and you can get a good deal, then go for it!

Of course, you mightn't want to squander an excuse to test-ride a
variety of bikes. Especially if it gives you an opportunity to sense
the difference between aluminum and steel frames.


-JR
 
B

Bill Baka

Guest
41 wrote:
> Nuckin' Futz wrote:
>
>>41 wrote:
>>
>>>Claire Petersky wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>put more shock up through the butt than many peo ple would like
>>>
>>>Since you are American, I believe the correct and patriotic expression
>>>is "shock and awe".
>>>
>>>Please, do your part to support the President in this time of war.

>>
>>Or, be like you and look for any far-fetched excuse to bash him.

>
>
> He don't need no help these days, but I am glad to offer..
>

Yeah,
Bush does a pretty good excuse of bashing himself every time he opens
his mouth lately. It makes watching the news 'almost' fun.
I can't comment on the bike though, 2 LBS's here and neither sells them.
Bill
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
jim beam <[email protected]> wrote:

> Ryan Cousineau wrote:
> > In article <[email protected]>,
> > jim beam <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Ryan Cousineau wrote:
> >>
> >>>In article <[email protected]>,
> >>> "Zix" <[email protected]> wrote:

> >
> >
> > [REI Novara]
> >
> >
> >>>>I was looking at their Strada racing bike which has an
> >>>>aluminum frame and Shimano 105 components in 5 places,
> >>>>and I was curious if anyone had any experience with this
> >>>>bike. Here is a link:
> >>>>http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=4000
> >>>>0008000&productId=47968697&parent_category_rn=4500865

> >
> >
> >>>>Personally I am not sure that an Alu frame is for me,
> >>>>having experienced for a year the Alu stiffness factor in
> >>>>my previous bike, but I'm responding to the components
> >>>>and sale price and trying to be practical.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>Behold the Approved Standard rbt answer:

> >
> >
> >>>-the feel of "stiffness" is best tuned by adjusting your bike's tire
> >>>pressure in 5 psi increments. There are only a few exceptions, most
> >>>notoriously the infamously whippy Vitus 979 frames. The second most
> >>>important factor in the ride of a bike is probably frame geometry,
> >>>followed by the type of bar tape you use.
> >>
> >>that's parody, right? tire pressure has absolutely ZERO effect on a
> >>frame's mechanical properties or a wheel's mechanical properties, both
> >>of which are significant factors in ride quality. it may be ok to joke
> >>about this stuff once in a while, but it's dangerous here on r.b.t.
> >>because repetition means people start to believe the most outrageous
> >>b.s. as "fact".

> >
> >
> > Jim, I hope I'm not misrepresenting others here, but my impression is
> > that one regular in this newsgroup who makes his living designing and
> > selling titanium frames (Mark Hickey) and one regular in this newsgroup
> > who literally wrote the book on bicycle wheels (Jobst Brandt) have both
> > basically said that given the relative amounts of flex in an inflated
> > tire (significant by design) and virtually any bike frame or wheel
> > (magnitudes smaller), the chance of the frame or wheel's "ride quality"
> > being discernible to any sensible degree is virtually nil.

>
> well, i wouldn't call hickey a "designer". he merely parrots anything
> brandt says, has no interest in data acquisition and doesn't know what
> modulus is. brandt otoh uses deliberately misleading examples to try to
> convince either himself or others that he knows what he's talking about.
> if a bike had /no/ tires, it would still react to loading based on its
> structure. the fact that loading still ends up being transmitted to the
> bike via the tires cannot be avoided - a 200lb person sitting on a bike
> still exerts a 200lb load regardless of tire pressure.


Jim, broadly tarring a guy who has a pretty good reputation for building
Ti frames that work properly and another guy who has spent considerable
years in engineering and the bike industry is not gaining you debating
points.

The tires flex. Heat is generated. those loads are damped. Sic transit
gloria mundi. How do you think pneumatic tires work?

> > I would treat geometry considerations separately: angles and dimensions
> > affect how a bike feels in interesting ways, but most bikes exist within
> > fairly small variations on these parameters.
> >
> > I know you disagree, but I judge the "tire-supremacist" arguments as the
> > most reasonable explanation. My own experience has been that frame
> > materials are not very important to bike feel, but I would not put
> > myself forward as an expert.
> >

> i don't know much about tires either, but i know a bit about materials
> and their application, and i can say with certainty that the structural
> attributes of a bike are /not/ affected by tire pressure. and it's the
> structural attributes that affect the way a bike reacts to you riding it.


Frames flex. But not that much unless you've built a Rinard beam bike.
The diamond frame design has pretty much evolved because it's the
stiffest, lightest structure that will fit a human body and two wheels
(and because the UCI has deemed further evolutions improper...).

I would really like to see a blind test of a steel vs. al or Ti frame,
where they had the same geometry, but if there are any differences a
rider can feel between the steel and aluminum frames, we can fix that
with tire pressure, different bar tape, and a new seat.

To get an idea of how much frame materials matter to feel, or damping,
or whatever, note that both the most notoriously flexy frame (I nominate
the Vitus 979) and the most notoriously stiff frames (choose your
favourite year of Cannondale) are made of aluminum.

Frame material is a specification of a bicycle that I think most buyers
should not stress about: it may be determined by other factors, most
notably a desire for, oh, extreme light weight or the ability to carry a
frame repair kit with you on the road or the ability to stick magnets to
your frame. But attributing special damping properties to frame
materials without regard for frame design, especially given the much
more important contributions to "ride" and "feel" made by things like
wheelbase and tire size and pressure, is not reasonable.

--
Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos