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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hi guys...

i need some frame advice...basically, i built up my current roadie with a zonal frame, and campy gear, (chorus, record and centaur...)...

the frame is a bit iffy (alloy steerer, carbon forks, carbon seat stays) and it was bought b/c it was all i could afford at the time... don't laugh at me, but when i'm going down hill, it seems as tho i can flex the rear when i load her up in a tall ratio and really give it hell... maybe in my head... but being 185lbs, it isn't a confidence inspiring frame..

normally i have no complaints... but on long rides.. well... my but feels like it's been in prison...

.. soo... i'm looking at a jamis eclipse now to swap out the frames... it may be an older one, it has renolyds 853 steel tubing, external h/s, full carbon fork (easton ec70), but it also has a full carbon rear (seat and chain stay)... frame and fork weighs 2285gms... is this a good frame? is jamis a good company? i searched and the posts i found didn't give me my answers.. my thinking is to swap my frame out with this, and ebay off my exsisting alloy frame, or to keep it for a cheap(er) shimano 105 or campy veloce gruppo...

also, what is the majority opinion on mixed steel and carbon frames? I favour steel (or ti) for the longevity it provides, does a carbon rear detract from this aim? would this frame be stiffer in the rear than my alloy frame? opinions?

my other thought is to keep my money and save up for a full ti frame and to pull the trigger when / if my alloy frame breaks... no, i haven't bought into the "alu fails within 5yrs" argument, but the noises it makes under stress isn't filling me with confidence either...

apart from that, does anyone have some frame recommendations, with longevity top of the list? please keep them sanely priced, ie, no custom jobbies..i work fine with most 57-58cm frames anyways.. i like to buy my stuff new off ebay or mail order if that gives a clue..

cheers,

joe


ps: also does anyone think it is wise to wait a few years with my alloy frame and perhaps look to get into a full carbon job in the future.. i've noticed those 600USD frames popping up... perhaps carbon will be the new aluminium in a few years time? or am i clutching for straws here?
 

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It sounds like your complaints are that the frame flexes a bit, and your butt hurts on long rides I'm not sure that any other frame is going to change either of those a whole lot. Most frames can flex sometimes. It's not that big a deal. What you are feeling is probably wheel flex anyhow. Butt pain is more likely due to saddle or bike fit issues than frame material. Saddle fit and construction, and tire pressure make more difference to butt feel than frame material.

Unless your frame is coming apart, the noises are likely to be from the BB or even a wheel skewer. Alu frames don't all fail, I am still riding a 20 year old Vitus. Frame material does not determine a frame's ride, tube diameter, wall thickness and shape do.

If your current bike fits you well, just ride it. If it doesn't fit, get something that fits.

There's nothing wrong with riding a "cheap" bike. Your speed as a rider is determined by your willingness to work and your tolerance for suffering, and those are not things one can buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
henry.. ahh for frame and forks.. under 1k usd?

eric, i appreciate it man... so you think these claims of carbon and steel bikes being a better "ride" are unfounded?

i find my bike pretty comfortable under 40kms, (no bike pants btw) but halfway up my 120km journey, it really killed, and that was with nice padded bike pants...

despite having a 76cm seat from BB centre figure produced for me for fit, i hiked my seat up a notch or two on the post's markings and it felt better today... may play with that for a bit...

my bike isn't cheap noting the groupset...so yeah the frame is the lowest spec thingy on the bike... i hear from ppl here that the frame is where the money should be... i'm mainly looking for longevity and quailty... but your 20yo alu frame def. makes me feel better... perhaps i have fallen victim to the press...

i would really like to know how a steel carbon mix would preform though... a lot of ppl here swear by steel.. are they wrong? it did occur to me that it was rather funny spotting all these steel bikes equipped with record... whilst the frame is a pound or more heavier than most alu or carbon frames... i guess steel is only popular in the US... yet titanium is still interesting for me...

opinions greatly appreciated...
 

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I hate to deliver the bad message, but it's hard to tell exactly what carbon does, or any material for that matter. It depends a lot on the design, construction, geometry, and fit. That last part may be good news for you: fit can really do wonders to your bike's handling.

To take a small example, setting your saddle height too high means that the center of weight is set higher, and can mean worse handling and cornering. To take another example, a longer-wheelbase frame usually means more stable handling, but less reactivity. You mention Zonal tubing, which is fine and usually makes a fairly sturdy bike, but you make no mention of the bike's geometry yet nor how your fit is on the bike. I'll bet that I can design you a less stable bike using the most expensive parts and materiel. It will not be hard at all.

Additionally, I agree with the other poster that it could be a wheel issue. Are your wheels true, and are they properly aligned and dished?

Finally, good bike handling requires a lot of practice and study. There's a fine art of shifting your weight around the bicycle that you may be able to learn more to improve your happiness. Some people shift their weight *away* from the seat when taking a sharp turn, which in many cases is patently a Bad Idea.

So I wouldn't give up on your bike yet.
 

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get the fit right first...

If you're not well versed on bike fitting, then a professional fitting may be worth the money, just be sure you get all the critical dimesnions, like saddle height written down. Speaking of saddle height, it sounds like you're still experimenting. Keep in mind that raising the saddle moves it both up and back - 3mm back for each 10mm up. If nothing else is changed, raising the saddle increases reach and the drop from the saddle to the bars, so there's a lot going on if the saddle fore/aft and stem height/length aren't changed to compensate.

Saddle height can be roughly set by adusting the height until the foot is level with the leg locked out at the bottom of the stroke. IMO, this is as high as most folks should use. It requires the heel to be raised 2-3cm in order to produce the desired 30 degree included angled of the leg at the bottom of the stroke during normal pedaling. Personally, I set my saddle at least 1cm lower because I don't pedal with my heel raised very much. The biggest mistake I see is inexperienced riders following the old advice to keep raising the saddle until your hips rock, then lower just a bit. I see people with the saddle so high that their leg fully extends and the heel is raised just to reach the bottom of the stroke. That's much too high. To have a fast, smooth cadence of 90-110 rpm, you have to keep some bend in your leg.

A cheap (or expensive) saddle of the wrong shape can be torturous. I've tried a lot more uncomfortable saddles than comfortable ones. Unfortunately there's no way to know what may work other than by trying them. I found that the majority of saddles on the market were too flat in the sitbone area. I needed something more rounded and found it in the Fizik Gobi.

Don't buy a new frame until you've got the saddle height, reach and handlebr height all figured out. Then you can determine the best head tube and TT length, so your new frame won't have a stupid looking stem and spacer setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys.. i really appreciate the input... i'll likely stick with my current setup... to answer the question, its a columbus zonal tubed compact frame..

i'll try adjusting it c-40, those are good tips... i think by raising my seat yesterday i was pretty much at the point you describe... yeah, i noticed about backwards movement of the seat (esp. with a compact frame) and i did adjust that forward.. i think it was more comfortable, but again, discomfort only comes in 50-60km rides.

thanks for all that info and advice...


but it still remains unanswered, i would like to know if all these claims that one frame is more comfortable than another are true or not? how can any framset be measurably more "vertically compliant" than another? or is it some other property such as vibration dampening that is being touted by some?

thanks,

joe
 

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Hey all, new to the forum's here and just back into cycling again after a year long back injury. Which leads me to the queston at hand. When I came back to cycling about 6 months ago, my back's comfort was high on my priorities as I did not want a jarring ride, but a more comfortable ride.

I've ridden a lot of bikes in the last 6 months. The first bike I bought was a canondale R500 (alu fame with carbon fork). I chose the R500 because a: the trek 1000 felt like someone was hitting me in the middle of my lower back with a small hammer and b: I didn't want to spend a lot of money getting a new bike if my back wasn't going to stand the ride.

Well as it turned out the R500 did me well and in the next 3 months, I rode about 1200 miles on it without much complaint to my back. Then I rode my friend's 585 with full campy record and it changed my life :D Never have I ridden a bike that was a: that light or b: that responsive with such a smooth ride. I really wanted one, but just didn't have that kind of spare cash to throw around (frame at the local shop is about 3k usd). I did, however buy a full carbon frame...thinking it was the material exclusively that gave such a great ride.

I bought a Trek pilot 5.2. It fit perfect since my friend and i were talking about doing some lite touring. The only problem, my body hated the geometry of the the bike. It was probably the worst ride i've ever had. It rode sluggish, felt heavy and my back felt everything under the wheels.
So I sold it. I ended up buying a Look 555 frame (about 1k usd less than a 585) and have been happy ever since.

So I guess what i'm saying is, while I believe the materials do make a big difference in the ride you are going to get, the geometry of the bike makes just as much difference.
 

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555Rider said:
Hey all, new to the forum's here and just back into cycling again after a year long back injury. Which leads me to the queston at hand. When I came back to cycling about 6 months ago, my back's comfort was high on my priorities as I did not want a jarring ride, but a more comfortable ride.

So I guess what i'm saying is, while I believe the materials do make a big difference in the ride you are going to get, the geometry of the bike makes just as much difference.
There are also many other variables besides frame material that will likely have a bigger impact on his comfort (wheels, tires, tire pressure, saddle choice, saddle tilt, saddle setback, top tube dimension, saddle to bar drop, stem length, bar reach, shorts etc).

I'd only get a new frame after the fit is verified and the saddle is sorted out. Otherwise, you could have some severe buyers remorse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
wow! thanks !!

cheers for all the info guys.. i really appreciate it...


you've all definately given me something to think about... so i'm experimenting with my frame... the tips on comfort on seldon's site are great.


this really is a marvellous resource, thanks again!

cheers,

joe
 
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