Would this make riding more comfortable?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by saintsfan342000, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. saintsfan342000

    saintsfan342000 New Member

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    Hey everyone,
    I am trying to "carbonize" my optimo CAAD9 bike because I find that the road buzz is to much for me after ~40 miles, and my understanding is that carbon fiber damps vibrations much better than metal. Unfortunately I have very little money to spare (I am a college student!), and probably cannot afford a seatpost or handlebars, and certainly not wheels or crank. Do you think these would make a big difference?
    http://www.cycleco.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=392

    Thanks a lot!
     
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  2. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    People rode and lived on Alu bike and components for century rides and more. As a young college student with a tight budget, I think you should forget what they say about CF and just toughen up. If you can't endure a measly 40 miles on a nice CAAD9, then you have real problems as a roadies, even with a CF bar end cap. :p
     
  3. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    Those will do very little to help. Besides having a carbon frame, I believe having carbon bars, stems, etc does very little in terms of dampening vibrations.
     
  4. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    Don't inflate your tires to max pressure.
     
  5. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    Just want to + 1 this. Tire size and pressure makes a very significant difference in comfort, and there is a school of thought that in certain cases it does not slow the ride, but may even speed it (i.e. rough roads where the tire would roll rather than bounce over roughness). I believe if you go to sheldonbrown.com, there is an explanation and maybe even a chart on how your body weight and tire size should affect optimal inflation pressure. Just as vehicle tire pressure depends on weight and size, so does bicycle pressure.

    So, in my experience the things that really make a difference in comfort are (assuming you want to make the best out of your current frame):

    tire size and pressure: put on the largest size your frame will accomodate. I have a CAAD7 which is probably similar to CAAD9. I have SQUEEZED a 28 tire in there, but now am riding a 25 which is really about as large as I should have on there. If you haven't already, try that. I'm assuming you're running a 23, not a 21?

    Once you get the largest tire on there you can, don't over inflate it. I'm about 75 kg (165 lbs or so) and I never fully inflate my tires. I once looked at the chart I mention above and have used it and have not gotten pinch flats except when I totally ignore tire pressure for more than a week!

    Like I said, it is really debatable if these two factors (size and pressure) will really slow you down, depending on road surface. Regardless, unless you're a full on racer, in a close race, it is meaningless.

    Handle bar tape: don't be afraid to use some nice padded tape.

    Gloves. Maybe gel gloves will help you. You should try them. For me, it happens that the high end gel gloves I most recently bought aren't optimal for my hands, and my old cheaper ones are actually more comfortable - just an example of individual differences though.

    These things are all cheap (the pressure especiallly ;)), and in my experience actually help as opposed to carbon stuff which is highly debatable (my expensive carbon seat post did nothing!)
     
  6. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    What Camilo said....
    To sum up, these are the only things that make a difference to comfort:

    tyre pressure and width
    gloves and/or tape
    saddle type and/or shape
    AND also I would add secondarily: position/fit on the bike (specifically the contact points) and using quality cycling shorts.
    Carbon this or that ain't gonna "damp" anything exceptin maybe your wallet ;)
    FWIW I also ride a CAAD 9....one of the best bikes I've ever ridden. I use 23c tyres pumped up to what Michelin recommends for my weight - 6.5 to 7 bars (I'm 65kg) - and it's plenty comfy. Also, in the past I've used 25c as well - also gave a very smooth ride.
     
  7. Tapeworm

    Tapeworm New Member

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    Nah, forget about carbon this and that.

    Small hard tires, eg: 19s at 160psi. Then ride till things go numb. Then ride some more. No chamois and a solid looking saddle will help this along. Something that makes you realise you have a prostate every time you go over a bump. Thats the way to do it :p

    Much cheaper to change your perception of comfort than change the bike :D

    In all seriousness I have a very nice alu bike which I can sit on for many hours. A good bike fit and saddle that fits you would be the key to make it "comfy".
     
  8. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Wood dampens vibrations very well, so why don't you glue some veneer on your frame tubes? Maybe saw out your seatstays and replace with ash or oak? I know you're on a budget but be careful to get a good billet, maybe marine or aviation grade.
     
  9. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork New Member

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    As mentioned adjusting tire pressure/tire size is the easiest way to dampen the feel of the road. Most riders put too much pressure in their tires. More pressure doesn't usually equate to more speed except on roads that are in perfect condition and even then the difference isn't that big. On the roads most of us ride on less pressure may be faster. Again not that much of a difference. I am 59 years old and 210 lbs and have some pretty seriouis neck issues. I can feel the difference of a pound or two in my tires. In fact I have to plan for the temperature during the ride for example if it is hotter than expected and the pressure goes up a few pounds my neck gets very painful. I ride 107 in the rear and 105 in the front and haven't gotten a flat of any kind in over 3000 miles. If you weigh substantially less than you should probably be riding 100-105 lbs at the most.
     
  10. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    As others have said, agree that tire pressures, as well as the tire itself, makes most difference in ride comfort. Rock hard tires may be great in lab testing on steel rollers, or on a smooth track surface, but they don't work well on real roads since all that buzzing represents energy going into through the frame and heating up your body.

    I can't claim to feel a difference of 2 psi, but @ 185 lbs I use ~100 front/105-110 rear in 23 mm GP4000. Based on what I've read, at 210 lbs, you could be running 25's at 95 psi for even more comfort without any increase in rolling resistance.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I hear Stuart O'Grady calling some college kid with a flash bike.... what's he saying?

    http://visibleprocrastinations.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/htfu-csc.jpg

    "Harden the F*ck Up" - the official message brought to cyclists by Stuart O'Grady and Team CSC. Better yet, wrap some Bennotto bar tape and go make like Roger De Vlaeminck on the cobbles...
     
  12. rowskein

    rowskein New Member

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    You could harden the f*ck up but to be honest i'd prefer to get my two outside fingers on both hands back to normal! Two years ago i did a 330 mile endurance event on a Trek 1000. I still have altered sensation in the outside fingers. I did the same event the following year on a Madone 5.2 and didn't suffer any problems or aggravation of my problem at all.



    I still ride both bikes and they are set up the same. When i'm out on the Trek 1000, after 50+ miles the afore mentioned fingers can start to tingle and be aggravated. This doesn't happen on the Madone. I also have two friends that did this same event the second time around I did it. One went with carbon and the other aluminum. The chap who went with the aluminum route now suffers the similar issues to me. I'm not going say it's worth the money for a carbon bike. I'll just let you know my experience and you can see if it's relevant for you.



    For me I think the Trek 1000 is good for around the 100 miles mark. Much more than that and suffering spoils the fun of it! I've hear this bike described as a bone shaker and I'm sure there are plenty of aluminum bikes with a much more comfortable ride. (My friend was on a specialised Allez 07)



    P.S.



    I agree with all the comfort tips mentioned, using 25mm tyres also helps. If you're doing long distance comfort is important.
     
  13. Wyldsyde

    Wyldsyde New Member

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  14. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    I don't. I think the only carbon 'bits' that 'may' have an effect are frames(complete) and carbon forks. Use bigger diameter tires and lower the air pressure a bit.
     
  15. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Get carbon bar end plugs with Zertz inserts. Those should dampen vibration.
     
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