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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was wondering if there are any conventional concepts dealing with ride differences and specific frame dimensions. I have five different bikes that I rotate through and one feels "quicker" than the others. All the bikes are set up with the same cockpit dimensions so that they all feel exactly the same when I hop on, but the quicker bike has a shorter top tube; hence a longer stem. Are there certain attributes of different elements of the frame that will do specific things to the ride quality? I have read that wheel base changes things as well as chainstay length but does the top tube make a difference, or are there other things I should be looking at?

Generally, what I am wondering has to do with building another steel frame and emulating the feel of the quicker bike (Ridley Al frame). Are there certain things I want to match? Is it possible that the Aluminum is doing this? One of my frames is Ti and it is lighter than the Ridley but I just don't have enough experience with Al to recognize whether what I am feeling is based on materials or dimensions.

Thanks
 

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It's ALL opinion.

My opinion is, I don't think chainstay length or top tube length influence the bike's quickness as much as the head angle and fork rake because I like to think we perceive the STEERING as quickness; changes in wheelbase due to chainstay length and top tube length are minor, as a percentage change in wheelbase.

Head angle and fork rake affect steering and stability, and I think that's where you'll feel the greatest differences in handling.

I also think material does NOT produce a quick handling bike.
 

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Feelings

chas0039 said:
I have five different bikes that I rotates through and one feels "quicker" than the others.
Is it quicker? Or is it just twitchy? One person's "responsive handling" is the next person's "unstable." If you want a faster bike, frame geometry is not the issue to worry about (within the range of normal road bikes). If you just want the bike to "feel quicker" then it's mostly about trail and then also a short wheelbase. Whether obtaining that feeling is a good thing or a bad thing is another discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I will have to look closely at the weight of all the bikes. The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to think that the quickness is a feeling of lightness. It also seems to be a feeling of being closer to the ground, if that makes sense. Very little of it has to do with steering, as I recall, but now I will have to judge more closely as I compare the feel.

Thanks for the input.
 
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