Small People don't like Stiff Frames ..

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by telrad, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. telrad

    telrad New Member

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    I've read heaps of opinions about various bikes because I'm about to buy a new road bike. Lots of people seem to say that bike "X" or "Y" is too stiff in the tail (especially Al frames) where others say they're OK. Having reviewed about 10-15 of these opinions where the person has given their weight, it seems to me that "small" people notice stiffness more that "large" people.

    What do you think?
    What's your experience?
    What bikes do you think are stiff or soft in the tail?

    Do you think a Cervelo Soloist 105 is better/worse than a Giant TCR2? (I just threw that one in for interest)
     
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  2. zewol

    zewol New Member

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    Stiffness is greatly related to the material used for the frame... you already know that but aluminium frames are stiffer that carbon ones and steel ones are the stiffest.

    But some 'alliage' are available on the market too...
     
  3. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    It's 99% personal choice-- Alu frames seem fine to me. Riders all have these crazy myths about what's better to ride-- some of it is fact, but a bunch of it is just insane.

    So ride whatever you want.
     
  4. rider

    rider New Member

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    It all depends on how wide the tyres are, tyre pressure, type of saddle, suspension if any, surface of the road you are riding on and physical/mechanical characteristic of the material used to build the frame.
     
  5. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    I think you need to test ride some bikes and see what feels good to you then ask us about the bikes.
     
  6. Mario Jr.

    Mario Jr. New Member

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    That´s the most obdurade opinion I have heard in a long time...
    Wake up, and face the reality!
    You might as well say, that Nike shoes run faster than Reebok, and adidas run fastest.
    The truth is that a carbon frame can be made just as stiff, or even stiffer, than with any other material. But so can alu. Even steel can be made superstiff, but the weight vill suffer a lot, then.
     
  7. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    You can get sub 18 pound steel bikes.Thats not suffering much.
     
  8. Mario Jr.

    Mario Jr. New Member

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    Yeah, but then the stiffness is poor, or at least poorer than if it was a good alu frame.
    Scott´s new carbon frame weighs 890g, and is stiffer than Cannondale Caad 5, 6, 7 and Optimo.
    That´s not a subjective statement, but facts from the very meticulous german "Tour" magazine.
    Of course my old Merckx Columbus Max frame was very, very stiff, but it weighed 2300g!
     
  9. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Maybe,but my Fuji Marseille,853 steel is 18.8 stock and i'm 190 and i have'nt felt any flex.Not a subjective statement,fact from a rider.Look,you can get any frame from any material if poorly made and it will flex.I will say ANY frame,the lighter,the more possible it will flex but i would be concerned about crank flex,stem flex and handlebar flex if i was a big time racer but a guy that just rides 100 miles a week like me,flex is the least of my concerns.If i weighted under 150,it would be no concern.
     
  10. zewol

    zewol New Member

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    I know that nowadays they came make bike of every style with any material , but roughly if you buy a bike not worth 5000$ you won't end up with carbon stiffer than alu and steel that weights less than the two mentionned before....

    the reality is that we all dont have a big budget for big bikes with big designs that cost a bunch.
     
  11. telrad

    telrad New Member

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    You may be one of the examples (no offence) of a larger rider who doesn't notice tail stiffness. One of the bikes Im interested in is the Giant TCR2 - I read about 30 reviews of that bike and a lot of them said it was too stiff in the tail - most of the people who said that were "small".

    I don't think im talking about flex here but about ride comfort - ie do I want a bike with carbon rear stays or not?

    cheers
     
  12. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Yes, ride comfort is a different issue than BB flex. In fact, IMO one of the advantages of the carbon rear is that you can build a flex-free race bike with a decent ride. Based on the few new bikes I've test ridden, I'd say your answer is yes, you want a carbon rear stay if you're looking for ride comfort. I've owned only steel bikes so far, but have a carbon-rear bike on order now.

    Of the few bikes I test rode, the new Trek 2300 (and 5200) felt like a very plush ride to me; you might want to check them out. Ride a Trek 1000 afterwards, or Fuji 853 frame, and I think you'll notice the difference.

    Understand not everyone likes a soft, damped ride. Some race guys here say the CF frames are too "dead" for them, that C'dale Al or custom steel is just right. I'd say a lot depends on how you use the bike. A crit racer probably doesn't care as much about ride comfort as a century rider. I still love the "real steel" feel too, just ready to try something different now.

    Dan
     
  13. telrad

    telrad New Member

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    Thanks Dan,

    I'm about the same. Ridden steel all my life thought I'd like to try something new .. but what? Unfortunately, I live in a small town (just 3 bike shops) and can't test drive everything but I'll try!

    Something else occurs to me about the original question .. small people ride small frames and a small frame will be stiffer than a big one just because its smaller.

    cheers
     
  14. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    IMO,rear carbon stays dont do much if any.All the road buzz is coming through the seat tube.Never heard of tail stiffness,thats a new on me.Yes,smaller frames,less likly to flex but like i said,i just ride so if its not like a wet noodle,i'm fine.
     
  15. merubeyurubu

    merubeyurubu New Member

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    YES! This is a correct answer... The same thing applies to iceclimbing boots. Stiffness of the sole in size 47 is completely different (and to the worse) than for size 43...

    Also, stiffness in a bike frame is, to all intents and purposes a function dominated completely by the geometry (both the frame itself AND the tube's x-section etc etc). A carbon bike can be made flexible, an Aluminum bike can be super stiff. Ok, all things being equal (they never are though) a tube of equal diameter and equal wall thickness will be stiffer in steel than Al, but designers don't work that way. Given a target stiffness x laterally and y vertically it is possible to craft this from virtually any of the common engineering materials...
     
  16. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    Its kind of like that 400 pound guy who test drove a car and said it pulled to the left constantly... :)
     
  17. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    To answer the question,i like cervelos a lot.
     
  18. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    that's like saying you need a seatpost-shock on a full-suspension mtn bike because the rear suspension doesn't do anything . . . everything comes through the seat-post!

    how does road/trail buzz get to the seat-tube? it has to come throgh the tires, which are the only things touching the road. the tubes directly connected to the axles/wheels are the fork and rear triangle stays . . .

    you can think of carbon forks and carbon rear triangles as "minimalist full-suspension" for a road bike. hopefully dampening some high-frequency vibrations whilst not sapping energy to propell the bike forward.

    i just got a new K2 Mod 5.0 frame (Alu w/ carbon rear triangle and fork) and it is lighter (2.7lbs), stiffer (no FD rub on out of the saddle sprints or climbs), and just as comfortable for long rides as my 12 year old Reynolds 753 frame. i just have my subjective opinion, but i think the carbon rear had something to do with the comfort while the oversized and shaped aluminum impacted the first 2.

    i ride a 50-51cm frame in standard geometry sizing, though my new bike is compact (we can have debates on whether these are stiffer than standard too) so you might classify me as smaller heightwise. 160 lbs, which might not.
     
  19. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Agree, the CF rear should do as much to filter out the road buzz as a CF fork does. I can get FD rub from my 531 Raleigh frame also; I'm looking forward to more BB stiffness and a smoother ride from the carbon fork/rear and Al main tubes as well.

    Dan
     
  20. Mario Jr.

    Mario Jr. New Member

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    No, you will not have as much, if any, filtering from the CF rear, as you will from a fork. The fork can move freely back and forth, whereas the rear is part of a fixed triangle. The difference between an alu and a CF rear is very very little in that manner.
    I own a bikeshop, and I have had the opportunity to ride two completely similar bikes, with one having a CF rearstay. The difference was much smaller, than a different tire choice would show.
     
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