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Geometry: Crit. vs. Century vs. Touring vs. TT vs. CC etc.(8 posts)

Geometry: Crit. vs. Century vs. Touring vs. TT vs. CC etc.jpa
Apr 12, 2002 7:23 AM
What are the comparative details, ride qualities, functional differences, reasons for, etc.
A rather big question, but I'll take a short shot at itRay Sachs
Apr 12, 2002 10:36 AM
Crit bikes: Somewhat steep angles, tight geometry, shortish wheelsbase, very quick handling, high bottom bracket for pedalling through tight corners, short wheelbase. Very quick handling and responsive. The tradeoff is that it might not be real comfortable for long rides and handling is a bit twitchy when you're just trying to hold on in mile 180 of a double century.

Century: Still very responsive, but a bit more laid back and more stable than a crit bike. Probably slightly longer chainstays and lower bottom bracket for more stability, overall somewhat longer wheelbase. Better for long days in the saddle at fast pace. You'll probably be more comfortable and somewhat more relaxed than on a crit frame toward the end of a long ride. Similar to a sport-touring frame, but a bit more race oriented.

Touring: Heavy, strong, comfortable (more upright position), and wickedly stable. VERY long wheelbase (including very long chainstays), both for stability under load and for heel clearance with panniers. Generally heavier and more durable frames and components. Must be stable to handle loads, tend not to be very reponsive handling unloaded. Fun to ride in their own way, but not if you're in a hurry. Good commuters, errand bikes, tourers, and for slow social rides.

TT: like a crit bike, but with extremely steep seat tube angle to move the rider forward on the bike and into a more aero position. Good for max effort flatish time trials and triathalons where no drafting is allowed. Not very comfortable for a longer ride.

CC: What's a "CC" bike?

Sport-Tourer: Personal bias time. Best of all worlds for lots of recreational riders (ie, ME). Similar to a century bike, but slightly more relaxed and stable than a racing bike and generally more versatile too. Can carry light loads, fatter tires, fenders. Real stable but still plenty fast and responsive when you want to motor. Good compromise between a century and touring bike. Good for all day rides at a pretty good pace. Don't give up much of anything in fast paced rides and the right motor can do just fine racing them. Some people are thinking of these when they say "century" bike and they are really really good for recreational centuries but probably not a racers first choice.

Hope this helps,

Nice shot!Anvil
Apr 12, 2002 11:09 AM
I think CC means CycloCross. To follow your lead Cross bikes have slacker angles that road frames, typically shorter top tubes and slightly shorter seattubes compared to a riders road bike. Chainstay & seatstays have greater clearances for mud and the larger tires used for off-pavement racing, bottom brackets tend to be higher than road frames and Cross bikes are generally equipped with cantilever brakes.
CC=Cyclocross.... DUH!Ray Sachs
Apr 12, 2002 11:27 AM
I just bought one of these less than a year ago - no reason I should have thought of it :)

BTW, except for the higher bottom brackets, cross frames can be really good sport touring frames too. The Lemond Poprad cross frame actually has a very low BB and is a great sport tourer in addition to being good off road.

CC=Cyclocross.... DUH!xxl
Apr 12, 2002 11:46 AM
Following this thread, I ran across the term "audax frame," and wondered if anyone had a notion as to what that might be. I always thought "audax" was something like touring, and assumed similar frame designs. However, some do distinguish between the two; does anyone here know why?
Audax bikesTrent in WA
Apr 12, 2002 12:57 PM
An "Audax" bike is a lot like a sport tourer, on Ray's analysis--they're designed to be comfortable for really long (200-1200 km), lightly-loaded rides. They tend not to be as heavily built as tourers, though they frequently have much the same geometry, sometimes with slightly shorter chainstays.

Hope this helps,
a bit on TTcyclopathic
Apr 12, 2002 2:54 PM
BB moved rearward hence need for 650c wheels in all sizes but extralarge. Bullhorn bars, aerowheels, aerobars with barend shifters. Stiff to transfer power.

in your definition century bike = road bike
for me century = audax = sport/light tourer
but I think this could be argued forever.

century/audax bikes often have lights/systems attached semi-permanently, 3 whaterbottles, huge english saddle bags or likes, full size pump. Clip on aerobars. Steel is the material of choice. Brooks is the name to live with.
Yeah, a lot of overlapRay Sachs
Apr 12, 2002 5:08 PM
I agree on the century / audax / sport tourer. I've seen a lot of racing bikes that are slightly more relaxed and stable than a really steep crit bike and that are set up to accommodate triple chainrings referred to as century bikes though. And a lot of folks ride centuries on them. My own preference for long rides (and even for a lot of short ones) is for a sport tourer / audax type bike.