Thinking about a new bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Slider2699, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. Slider2699

    Slider2699 Guest

    I want to thank everyone for helping me when I wanted larger tires on my current bike. I think,
    however, that I'm going to buy a new bike, or a new frame for my current components. My current bike
    is a 52cm Easton aluminum frame race bike. I've heard that because my frame size is so small, that
    aluminum produces an exceptionally stiff and brutal ride? Is this true? I know that there is a train
    of thought that says frame material doesn't matter, but it seems to make sense that a smaller frame
    = a stiffer frame. Or am I way off? I had a mid 80s Raleigh touring bike when I was a teenager, and
    could ride it comfortably all day. The bike I have now is very uncomfortable, but I don't know if
    it's the bike, the aluminum frame/skinny tires, or the fact that I'm not a teenager any more. I'll
    be using my bike for general fitness riding and commuting, but I'd like to be as comfortable as
    possible while riding a drop bar road bike. I don't really want to ride a 'bent on the road here in
    retiree central. I know I had a bunch of questions, but if anyone can suggest a nice comfortable
    bike that will fulfill my requirements, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to be able to run a relatively
    fat 700c tire, the bike must be comfortable enough for hours in the saddle, and it must have
    accomodations for a rack and fenders. I'm willing to spend $1500 maximum. Thanks in advance!

    Mike
     
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  2. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I want to thank everyone for helping me when I wanted larger tires on my current bike. I
    > think, however, that I'm going to buy a new bike, or a new frame for my current components.
    > My current bike is a 52cm Easton aluminum frame race bike. I've heard that because my frame
    > size is so small, that aluminum produces an exceptionally stiff and brutal ride? Is this
    > true? I know that there is a train of thought that says frame material doesn't matter, but
    > it seems to make sense that a smaller frame = a stiffer frame. Or am I way off? I had a mid
    > 80s Raleigh touring bike when I was a teenager, and could ride it comfortably all day. The
    > bike I have now is very uncomfortable, but I don't know if it's the bike, the aluminum
    > frame/skinny tires, or the fact that I'm not a teenager any more. I'll be using my bike for
    > general fitness riding and commuting, but I'd like to be as comfortable as possible while
    > riding a drop bar road bike. I don't really want to ride a 'bent on the road here in
    > retiree central. I know I had a bunch of questions, but if anyone can suggest a nice
    > comfortable bike that will fulfill my requirements, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to be able
    > to run a relatively fat 700c tire, the bike must be comfortable enough for hours in the
    > saddle, and it must have accomodations for a rack and fenders. I'm willing to spend $1500
    > maximum. Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Mike

    Take a look at the Specialized Sequoiah series, especially the Expert and Elite (the middle and top
    models, respectively). $1100 for the expert, $1400 for the Elite. Braze-ons for fenders and rack,
    Shimano 105 group with STI, comes with 700x28 (IIRC) tires, and room for bigger if you want, fancier
    wheels on the Elite, drop bars, suspension seat. Marketed as a more comfortable performance bike.

    I've also seen some nice bikes in this range in the touring and cross- bike lines from Bianchi and
    Raleigh, though I can't recall the models at the moment. Wait, I think the Raleigh is the C700.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  3. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    > My current bike is a 52cm Easton aluminum frame race bike. I've heard that because my frame size
    > is so small, that aluminum produces an exceptionally stiff and brutal ride? Is this true? I know
    > that there is a train of thought that says frame material doesn't matter, but it seems to make
    > sense that a smaller frame = a stiffer frame. Or am I way off?

    All frames are essentially infinitely stiff when it comes to the smoothness of the ride.

    You want a smoother ride, don't spend you money on a new bike, just put some bigger tires on and
    don't pump em up so much.

    Between a good fit and some decent sized tires, those are the keys to a comfortable ride.

    jon isaacs
     
  4. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Slider2699" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My current bike is a 52cm Easton aluminum frame race bike. ...
    > I had a mid 80s Raleigh touring bike when I was a teenager, and
    could
    > ride it comfortably all day. The bike I have now is very uncomfortable, but

    > I don't know if it's the bike, the aluminum frame/skinny tires, or the
    fact
    > that I'm not a teenager any more.

    Probably Yes, Yes, and Yes. Touring bikes are designed to be ridden all day. I'm not familiar with
    the Easton, but from the description as a "race bike", I doubt if comfort had as much part in its
    design. Fatter tires are more comfortable, at least in the extreme. A ride on rough road in thin,
    100 psi tires and then on mountain bike tires is enough to demonstrate this. And you are older.

    So, maybe you want a touring bike like a Trek 520 or an REI Novarra Randonee.
     
  5. On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 01:10:48 +0000, Mike Kruger wrote:

    > I'm not familiar with the Easton, but from the description as a "race bike", I doubt if comfort
    > had as much part in its design.

    I am amazed that this particular fiction gets repeated so much here. Racers in stage races have to
    be able to stay on their bikes for 6-8 hours a day, day after day for a month. Clearly comfort has
    to be a consideration in their design. Not, perhaps, the test-ride-around-the-block comfort of a
    hybrid or FS mountain bike, but comfort once you are in shape, for the long haul.

    Things like suspension seatposts, fat saddles, and upright bars are touted as being more
    comfortable. But suspension components rob energy, making it harder to finish your ride, fat saddles
    chafe and press on all the wrong places on your butt, making them unrideable for more than 30 miles,
    and upright bars offer you only one hand position, causing hand/wrist problems, and put more of your
    weight on your saddle, exacerbating the problems caused by that fat, soft saddle.

    The main difference between a touring frame and a racing frame is that the touring frame has room
    for fatter tires (which yes, are more comfortable), fenders, racks and lights. The slacker geometry
    is the least critical of the differences.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "It doesn't get any easier, you just go faster." --Greg LeMond _`\(,_ | (_)/ (_) |
     
  6. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    From: "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]>
    > On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 01:10:48 +0000, Mike Kruger wrote:
    >
    > > I'm not familiar with the Easton, but from the description as a "race bike", I doubt if comfort
    had as
    > > much part in its design.
    >
    > I am amazed that this particular fiction gets repeated so much here. Racers in stage races have to
    > be able to stay on their bikes for 6-8 hours a day, day after day for a month. Clearly comfort has
    > to be a consideration in their design. Not, perhaps, the test-ride-around-the-block comfort of a
    > hybrid or FS mountain bike, but comfort once you are in shape, for the long haul.

    Again, I'm not familiar with the Easton, but I would imagine that speed would be a prime
    consideration in a racing bike, and comfort a necessary but secondary consideration. These
    considerations are basically reversed on a touring bike.

    To be honest, I was really forgetting about stage races, since the races I see in person are
    criteriums far shorter than 6-8 hours, or velodrome races which tend to be even shorter (and use
    track bikes). I hear they have a nice stage race somewhere in France in the summer, though ;)

    The riders who might be particularly interesting to hear from on this speed/comfort topic are the
    riders doing brevets this year to prepare for Paris-Brest-Paris. Doing 1200 km in 90 hours, or even
    200 km in 13 hours, demands both speed and comfort. Plus, there are a fair number of middle-aged
    butts on those bikes, whereas there are darned few 50 year old stage racers.

    >
    > Things like suspension seatposts, fat saddles, and upright bars are touted as being more
    > comfortable. But suspension components rob energy, making it harder to finish your ride, fat
    > saddles chafe and press on all the wrong places on your butt, making them unrideable for more than
    > 30 miles, and upright bars offer you only one hand position, causing hand/wrist problems, and put
    > more of your weight on your saddle, exacerbating the problems caused by that fat, soft saddle.

    You make good points that refer to comfort considerations in general. Just to be clear, though,
    these aren't things I recommended in my original reply, just good advice you are offering the
    original poster.

    > The main difference between a touring frame and a racing frame is that the touring frame has room
    > for fatter tires (which yes, are more comfortable), fenders, racks and lights. The slacker
    > geometry is the least critical of the differences.
     
  7. Slider2699 <[email protected]> wrote:
    : My current bike is a 52cm Easton aluminum frame race bike. I've heard that because my frame
    : size is so small, that aluminum produces an exceptionally stiff and brutal ride? Is this
    : true? I know that there is a

    Hm, think frame stiffness is a very good thing, because of better power transfer?

    : I had a mid 80s Raleigh touring bike when I was a teenager, and could ride it comfortably
    : all day. The bike I have now is very uncomfortable, but I don't know if it's the bike, the
    : aluminum frame/skinny tires, or the fact that I'm not a teenager any more. I'll be using my
    : bike for general fitness riding and commuting, but I'd like to be as comfortable as possible
    : while riding a drop bar road bike. I don't really want to ride a 'bent on the road here in
    : retiree central.

    Get a real bike, not a department store "comfort" bike. Also make sure it fits you perfectly - maybe
    you are currently having some fit issues with the bike?

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  8. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Slider2699" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I want to thank everyone for helping me when I wanted larger tires on my current bike. I
    > think, however, that I'm going to buy a new bike, or a new frame for my current components.
    > My current bike is a 52cm Easton aluminum frame race bike. I've heard that because my frame
    > size is so small, that aluminum produces an exceptionally stiff and brutal ride? Is this
    > true?

    No.

    > I know I had a bunch of questions, but if anyone can suggest a nice comfortable bike that will
    > fulfill my requirements, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to be able to run a relatively fat 700c tire,

    That's about the only requirement, if road shock is making you uncomfortable.
     
  9. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Mike Kruger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > The riders who might be particularly interesting to hear from on this speed/comfort topic are the
    > riders doing brevets this year to prepare for Paris-Brest-Paris. Doing 1200 km in 90 hours, or
    > even 200 km in 13 hours, demands both speed and comfort. Plus, there are a fair number of
    > middle-aged butts on those bikes, whereas there are darned few 50 year old stage racers.

    I've been doing brevets for years, and I'm over 50. Aluminum is my choice for frame material (and
    wheel rim, handlebar, stem, crank, seat post and hub material). Steel is good for spokes, fasteners,
    axles and bearings, plastic for electronics housings and seat shells. I haven't seen a compelling
    use for titanium yet. None of these materials have anything to do with comfort.
     
  10. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Peter Cole wrote:

    > Steel is good for spokes, fasteners, axles and bearings, plastic for electronics housings and seat
    > shells. I haven't seen a compelling use for titanium yet. None of these materials have anything to
    > do with comfort.

    Well, the plastic seat shell is more comfortable than a steel seat shell would be.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  11. Sam Yorko

    Sam Yorko Guest

    Mike Kruger wrote:
    >
    >
    > To be honest, I was really forgetting about stage races, since the races I see in person are
    > criteriums far shorter than 6-8 hours, or velodrome races which tend to be even shorter (and use
    > track bikes). I hear they have a nice stage race somewhere in France in the summer, though ;)
    >

    Yeah, I heard that Lance somebody won it. You know, the guy who is sponsored by the company that has
    the reputation for being slow...

    Sam
     
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