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Big is relative
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CanyonGirl said:
Ok, so I've got my bike choice narrowed down to Scott Addict R4 and Cervelo RS. I've ridden them both on short rides but I'm still not sure which one corners better. Anybody know?
I don't want to come across like a jerk, but both bikes will corner well. It is all about how comfortable and confident you are when you dive into the corner. You can't go wrong with either bike. If you intention is to race criteriums, buy something you don't mind crashing.
 

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CanyonGirl said:
Ok, so I've got my bike choice narrowed down to Scott Addict R4 and Cervelo RS. I've ridden them both on short rides but I'm still not sure which one corners better. Anybody know?
No idea which one corners better - but here is a general rule of thumb. A lower bottom bracket (we're talking a couple millimeters here) will corner better if all other things are held constant. Since you can't hold all other things constant with the 2 bikes in question, this becomes an inexact science.

Additionally, it usually matters not what bike you are on, rather your general bike handling skills. If your'e talking about racing crits, if you get gapped on a 90 degree corner on one bike, the other bike would not have helpped one bit.

Sorry for the non-answer. (but I'd guess that both are pretty cool bikes)
 

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size??

I've got to agree with the others who note that cornering ability is more due to the rider's ability than the bike and if you race, buy something you can afford to trash. It will happen.

The RS is a more relaxed bike with a taller head tube, for those who can't handle a common 8-10cm drop to the bars.

In the 51cm size, I found the R3 (not RS) to be overly quick, jittery and rough riding. I'm don't need the tall head tube on the 51cm RS. Cervelo geometry just doesn't appeal to me, period.

The Addict has much more common geometry for given size - nothing odd at all.

If you want a really nice frame and happen to fit the a 49 or 51cm size, the LOOK 585 Ultra at Excel Sports is hard to beat for $2200. I just ordered one from Excel Sports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm a size 52cm

Question. People are saying cornering depends on the ability of the biker yet my brother in law (who races) says that cornering ability is a very important part on the bike and missed it on his R3 but found it in his CR1. Of course he is in a different price level altogether. His bikes are worth much more. I've heard bike stores say that some bikes corner better than others also. I feel comfortable cornering having biked many years but just want to know the difference between these 2 bikes. In my short 15 minute ride they felt similar but after I buy is I'll be doing much longer rides so I was curious. Is it not important if I'm not a racer? I ride long rides every day in canyons and flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Longer head tube?

In my short ride and with a big gap between riding bikes (scott and cervelo RS) I never noticed the longer head tube. What's the benefit of that? I'm used to riding a bianchi which is very aggressive and actually am not crazy about the feel (of Bianchi) but do I want a longer head tube while climbing canyons?
 

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Bike handling & cornering is a funny, complicated business. The more upright the frame is for a given size, and the shorter the wheelbase is, people usually describe the handling as quick, squirrelly, less stable, hair trigger, chose your own adjectives. Lots of riders like bikes like this for riding crits or climbing. Slacker angles and longer wheelbases yield (generally speaking) a smoother ride, more stable handling. The lower the center of gravity, the less rider skill will be needed when cornering. Bikes with lower bottom brackets usually have this characteristic, bikes with higher BBs and steep angles don't.

Among race bikes most riders make a distinction between criterium, road, and tt bikes. Crit bikes are usually more nervous handling, and generally need more skill/guidance from the rider. When I was racing, my crit bike was very upright, stiff, and had a high bottom bracket so I could pedal through turns. It was a great bike, but it felt like riding a unicycle with an auxiliary front wheel. Road bikes are more laid back, a touch slower to respond to control inputs, and seem a little bit easier to ride.

So....which one corners better? I don't know. It depends so much on rider skill, bravery, tire traction, road surface, etc. that I don't think anybody could make a definitive statement. So, it's up to you to decide. Ride the bikes, try some tight turns, see what feels best to you. You might not want to limit yourself to just 2 bikes from which to choose. Different frame materials, different sizes, different forks/fork rakes, wheelbases, angles, handlebars are all going to make a difference. You'll just have to pick the one you like best.

I've left many things out of the handling/cornering "equation", but hopefully you have a couple of guidelines. If you're torn between 2-3 bikes that seem pretty equally matched to you, my suggestion (and no...I'm not kidding about this) pick the one that has your favorite paint job, and that has a brand name you like better. IMO/IME I couldn't fall in love with a truly terrific bike if I hated the way it looked.
 

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Since you are new to this, I seriously doubt that you will be pushing the envelope of cornering anytime soon. Heck, half the Cat IV riders I race against don't even come close to using the full potential of their bike's cornering ability during races because they are too scared to take the corners fast. I've even seen guys lean down into a corner only to straighten up a bit in it and then lean back down.

Are you really going to be encountering a lot of corners on your rides? If not, worry more about comfort instead of cornering. Now, if you plan on actually racing the bike and doing courses like I did two weeks ago (e.g., 30 laps at 8 corners per lap equals 240 corners in an hour), then you should really worry about a bike's cornering ability.

With all that said, I have yet to come across a bike that I couldn't fly through a corner on. I have done it on Colnagos, Treks, Bianchis, Cannondales, and a Mino Denti, and really have never about any one of them cornering any better than the other. I hardly even worry about cornering ability when buying a frame. I did compare BB height between my Colnago and the Bianchi I was interested in, but that didn't even matter too much to me.
 

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Since nobody else has mentioned it, let me enter the idea of trail and the effect is has on steering reaction. A bike with greater trail will be more difficult to corner, but will be more stable on high-speed descents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
comfort?

you have a point. I probably won't race so what's more important is which will be more comfortable on hills and long rides. Does anyone know that? I'm flexible so I'm not sure if the longer head tube is necessary on the Cervelo RS but does that make it more comfortable for long rides or more difficult to climb?. The soloist and R3 are getting out of my price range. The Scott is nice and light and I like the way it looks. My brother-in-law loves the higher end version of the Scott CR1(he races and has ridden lots of bikes & owns both Cervelo & Scott). But the Cervelo salesperson laughed that I was comparing a famous Cervelo which wins in The Tour de France to a Scott. I don't care about name brands but he made it sound like the frame was so much better than the Scott. I just want a well made frame for the kind of ride I do. I've been biking for atleast 15 years but on an old steel Bianchi. I definately want light but know that's not everything. So, thoughts anyone?

BTW, I have little kids so it's hard to test ride a bunch of times. I've test ridden for 4 days now and all the bike shops are very far away so I just thought I'd get some expert advice from those of you who know about those 2 bikes.
 

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CanyonGirl said:
you have a point. I probably won't race so what's more important is which will be more comfortable on hills and long rides. Does anyone know that? I'm flexible so I'm not sure if the longer head tube is necessary on the Cervelo RS but does that make it more comfortable for long rides or more difficult to climb?. The soloist and R3 are getting out of my price range. The Scott is nice and light and I like the way it looks. My brother-in-law loves the higher end version of the Scott CR1(he races and has ridden lots of bikes & owns both Cervelo & Scott). But the Cervelo salesperson laughed that I was comparing a famous Cervelo which wins in The Tour de France to a Scott. I don't care about name brands but he made it sound like the frame was so much better than the Scott. I just want a well made frame for the kind of ride I do. I've been biking for atleast 15 years but on an old steel Bianchi. I definately want light but know that's not everything. So, thoughts anyone?

BTW, I have little kids so it's hard to test ride a bunch of times. I've test ridden for 4 days now and all the bike shops are very far away so I just thought I'd get some expert advice from those of you who know about those 2 bikes.
IMO, if you're now placing the emphasis on comfort, none of the bikes mentioned are the best choices. As I read through this last post, one bike I'm familiar with stood out. Specialized Roubaix. It has all the attributes you've mentioned with the emphasis on comfort, but is fully able to run with the best - and save you some $$ in the process.
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=33546
Choice of compact or triple crankset, depending on your terrain.
 

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Get in a few more test miles on both bikes in the same afternoon if possible and decide from there. Both are good and are going to come down to personal prefrences. Buying a bike based on what it says on paper is like marrying based on personal ads. Just test ride a bunch of bikes, even brands you haven't considered if the shop has them handy and then get the one that feels right.
 

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CanyonGirl said:
..but the Cervelo salesperson laughed that I was comparing a famous Cervelo which wins in The Tour de France to a Scott.
He was probably laughing to disguise his ignorance. Actually, the Scott frames are winning more stages and jerseys than the Cervelo in the big tours (Giro & TDF) this year. Ricco (on an Addict) dominated the mountains in the Giro and won the most mountainous stage so far in the TdF. Fact is, neither frame is going to win or lose a race... it is the rider that makes the difference.

...I have a Scott and like it a lot. I think Cervelo makes good bikes, too... even though it seems a lot of their customers seem to have the same ignorant arrogance as the salesperson... too many people who buy after watching hours of commercials on Versus in July.

My wife and I both ride Scott bikes and have nothing but praise for them. Buy whatever bike feels best... they will both corner great.
 

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MarvinK said:
He was probably laughing to disguise his ignorance. Actually, the Scott frames are winning more stages and jerseys than the Cervelo in the big tours (Giro & TDF) this year. Ricco (on an Addict) dominated the mountains in the Giro and won the most mountainous stage so far in the TdF. Fact is, neither frame is going to win or lose a race... it is the rider that makes the difference.

...I have a Scott and like it a lot. I think Cervelo makes good bikes, too... even though it seems a lot of their customers seem to have the same ignorant arrogance as the salesperson... too many people who buy after watching hours of commercials on Versus in July.

My wife and I both ride Scott bikes and have nothing but praise for them. Buy whatever bike feels best... they will both corner great.
yup... a good rider on a $300 bike will decimate a mediocre one on a $15000 bike.
 

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Use same wheels/tires when comparing.

Recommend using the same wheels/tires on different bikes when comparing handling.
Have been riding an addict for over a year now, after owning or riding dozens of road bikes in the last 25 years. Railing corners at speed on this bike is as simple as a flick of the wrist on the inside bar, for me it corners like a dream yet is unbelievably stable for such a light bike. Geometry is long and low - the TT's are relatively long and head tube is short. Wanted an addict for my wife but the CR1 geometry fit better for her average female proportions.
Sorry, don't know about Cervelo.
 

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head tube...

CanyonGirl said:
In my short ride and with a big gap between riding bikes (scott and cervelo RS) I never noticed the longer head tube. What's the benefit of that? I'm used to riding a bianchi which is very aggressive and actually am not crazy about the feel (of Bianchi) but do I want a longer head tube while climbing canyons?
The head tube length, with the headset is really what defines the vertical size of the frame. If you pick a frame with a 140mm head tube instead of a 120mm, whether that makes a difference depends on your preferred handlebar height. In my case, I have a 125 head tube on my 51cm LOOK frame, plus 15mm for the headset and 5mm of spacer. I use an 84 degree stem. If I bought a Cervelo RS in the 51cm size, it would have a 15mm taller head tube and I'd have to change to a 73 degree stem to get my bars low enough. That's no problem, but if the head was any taller, I could not get my bars low enough.

Handlebar height is more about comfort than anything. I can handle a large 10cm drop from the saddle to the handlebars, so a short head tube works fine for climbing or any other kind of riding. Some people are uncomfortable with more than a 5cm drop and that's a big difference.
 
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