ride of aluminum

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by sam218, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. sam218

    sam218 New Member

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    How do these compare in ride harshness to each other/steel frame?
    (columbus slx). Trek, Klein, cannondale caad4/5, columbus airplane/starship.
     
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  2. old&slow

    old&slow New Member

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    Personal opinion only, but based on a lot of miles on a range of frames -
    Worst - C'dale. Had a CAAD4 with Mavic Cosmos & then Ksyruims in it, ordinary alloy seat post. Transferred every vibration/bump/ripple/pebble. Awful, but plenty stiff & responsive ... pay your money, make your choice.
    Next - Airplane. Had that in an Orbea XL8R with carbon seat stays. Same wheels and still an alloy seat post. Pretty comfy ride but very flexy in the front triangle, not particularly noticeable on the road but obvious when bolted into a trainer.
    Equal Best - Reynolds 832 steel and Trek 5500 carbon. Steel with alloy seat post and Trek with carbon post. Mavic Cosmos in the Reynolds & Ksyriums and now full carbon clinchers in the Trek. Both very compliant, quiet ride quality with the Trek obviously being much more rigid. The Trek has cracked where the right hand chain stay plugs into the bottom bracket. It's a 1995 production but has only ever been used as a race bike so hasn't done big miles.
    My pick, and I've put my money where my mouth is and just ordered one, is titanium. I actually have never ridden Ti but have combined my own experience with that of other experienced riders and have to think that it represents the best combination of ride qualities. At least I hope I've made the right choice, time will tell. As a general rule, if ride harshness is what matters most to you, forget anything with big diameter aluminium tubes and once you have chosen a frame, be very careful what wheel/tyre combo you choose.
    Hope I've helped and not confused you ?
     
  3. sam218

    sam218 New Member

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    Thanks. for what its worth I met a Saturn pro who said he liked his (sponsored by) lemond titanium.
     
  4. jcthomasjr

    jcthomasjr New Member

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    Why don't you visit a few bike shops and ride these types of bikes. They are readily available and then you could form your own opinion on the ride characteristics of each model.
     
  5. grampy bone

    grampy bone New Member

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    It seems like most people blame the frame for the the ride quality. Unless you ride several different frames with the exact same tires and rims and forks, there is really no way to tell whether one frame is more harsh than the other. Check out this article from Sheldon Brown's page for more info on frame material differences:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

    One of the points he makes is tire and saddle choice makes more of an impact on the "comfort" of a bike than the frame. Also, tubing thickness, diameter and geometry have more of an effect on the stiffness of the frame than the frame material.
     
  6. kevinmcdade

    kevinmcdade New Member

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    I used to think my aluminum bike was smooth until I bought a steel framed bike. I set my steel bike up just like my aluminum bike as far as wheels, tires, and seatpost go. I love the smooth quiet ride of my steel bike and it is not even a top of line steel frame. I love my aluminum frame for its handling characteristics...it corners great and is very flickable (it that makes any sense). I feel alot more planted on my steel but alot quicker and faster on my aluminum. I would never give either of them up...they both have their good points and bad points. I hope to add a carbon framed bike to my stable soon.
     
  7. Peter Verdesi

    Peter Verdesi New Member

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    I've been riding Cannondale bikes pretty much my whole adult life. The oldest one that I still currently own is an R900 without a carbon fork. It was pretty harsh but I noticed a big improvement when I put a set of Spinergy Rev X's on the bike (I've had those Spinergys for about 8,000 miles and they are still true and smooth). It seemed that the carbon wheels smoothed out the bumps a little bit. I just got into doing triathlons so I bought a 58cm Multisport 4000 Cannondale (CAAD 4) which has a carbon fork and 650c Spinergy wheels. The Multisport rides a lot nicer then my R900 (in terms of comfort) although with the 650c wheels it does not handle quite as well (most of the larger triathlon bikes come with 700c wheels now). A couple of months ago I got a really sweet deal on a Litespeed Vortex (Titanium) which came with Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels. All I can say is WOW. If you cycle alot and want the best of both worlds; great handling, comfort and low weight, go with the titanium bike. It's hard to sell to the wife or significant other but worth it if you have the funds. Oh by the way, the R900 is now sitting in the basement attached to a Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer (it still has a place in my heart)
     
  8. spongebob

    spongebob New Member

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    Best ride is with TITANIUM!
     
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