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Carbon or Ti(12 posts)

Carbon or TiMikeBu
May 20, 2002 10:01 AM
My wife is making the switch over from Running to Biking because of some knee and neck problems. I currently have her on a somewhat cheap Cannondale road bike and want to get her into something nice. But because of her neck I need to get her something that rides smoother then the very stiff and punishing bike she currently has. What has a smoother ride carbon fiber or Titanium? I was thinking of getting her something like a Litespeed or a Trek oclv. What do you guys recommend?
hmmDougSloan
May 20, 2002 10:20 AM
I doubt either will make a significant difference for a joint problem (neck?). The difference between carbon and ti, to me, is largely road buzz/vibration damping, not shock absorption. Geometry likely matters more there. A longer wheelbase will be bit more forgiving.

However, tires and tire pressures matter far more than any frame, except maybe a suspension frame. Would she consider a Softride?

Doug
hmmMikeBu
May 20, 2002 10:32 AM
Yes she has had 2 operations on her neck to correct a bulging disk. She can ride pretty much pain free except for when the pavement gets bumpy. The SoftRide suggestion is a great one that I hadn't thought of. She doesn't know much about bikes so the unconventional appearance isn't a problem...
wider tires...at least 25c with less air pressure (nm)ColnagoFE
May 20, 2002 10:32 AM
re: Carbon or TiLen J
May 20, 2002 10:43 AM
There is another rider on the board (Elifantino) who has a disc problem in his neck. He found that a suspension seatpost worked for him. I think he even put one on his Trek Carbon.

The other issue you may want to be concerned about is as an example Handlebar height relative to seat height. Check out the Rivendell site for some good reading on Recreation riders, comfort & bar height.

Ultimatly, you should have her test ride several bikes as The way a material is utilized has as much to do with comfort & stifeness as the material itself. Look at Ti Lightspeed as an example. The classic is butter smooth while the Ultimate is rock stiff.

Finally, you may want to look at a cutom Ti buildeer if she can't find anything comfrotable enough. Look at the serotta gallary pictures for examples. I think this guy had this one built because of neck problems. Custom builders will do anything for a price.

http://www.hydromedia.com/cgi-bin/photopost/index.pl?photo=20

Good luck

Len
handlebar heighttarwheel
May 20, 2002 11:58 AM
I agree with Len about the handlebar height. If she has a large drop from the seat to handlebar height, it would force her to crane her neck to see the road ahead. I would start would with something high by today's standards -- perhaps with the bar even with saddle height and adjust downward if possible. This is a case where you might be better served with a bike with a threaded (quill) stem, making it easier to adjust the bars up and down. I'm not sure about Doug's suggestion about a long top tube -- it seems to me that this might also for her to crane her neck more. In a situation like this, your best advice would be to consult a professional frame fitter, like a Serotta dealer, would should be able to recommend an ideal geometry -- which may be available in some stock frames or might necessitate a custom frame.
I agree with both Doug and ColnagoFe...Dave Hickey
May 20, 2002 10:44 AM
Tire size and pressure is going to make the biggest impact on ride quality.
re: Carbon or TiCarbon fiber fanatik
May 20, 2002 4:25 PM
I read the other responses..some good ideas except...lower tire pressure is a bad idea.. pinchflat anyone? I would suggest a softride frame for sure with a higher handlebar height.. just an opinion.
Wider tires = lower pressure = no pinch flats = more comfort (nmKerry
May 20, 2002 5:49 PM
re: Carbon or Timackgoo
May 20, 2002 9:33 PM
Lower pressure could be 150 to 100. At 100 pinch flats may not be an issue. Put her on tubs and that problem is solved. I'm currently riding a Ti bike, although a nice bike I'm not overly impressed with Ti as being the panacea of bikes. My next bike will be carbon. I have a feeling though that after all this I'll be looking at steel again. I'll keep the other bikes of course.
re: Carbon or Ti? Try a "Y"yfoiler
May 21, 2002 4:42 AM
If you can find one, may I suggest you put her on a Trek OCLV "Y" foil. It's a beam bike (no seat tube) that was sent to the shelf because UCI outlawed it for racing in Europe. I have a similar problem with neck and lower back. I use the Y-foil along with Spinergy R2s with Vectran spokes (my training wheels). This set up combined with the carbon fork on the Y really soaks up the road vibration better than anything around (without going suspension). With this much road dampening I can still run my Vittorias at 120-140 psi for the least rolling resistance. It also is a VERY responsive bike. Stiff as heck for a great "jump" because of the small rear triangle, climbs great, decends like a banshee on rails and only comes with one problem. ...And that is, if you try it out, well, you may want one too.

For more info and to check them out here's the "Y" user group >> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/yfoil/

Hope this gives some food for thought.

Marty
re: Carbon or Ti? Try a "Y" -- FOUND A SMALL ONE ON E-BAY !yfoiler
May 21, 2002 4:51 AM
I don't know what size frame she needs but this may be very serendipitous---here's rare 51cm Y foil frame up for bid on e-bay. Usually don't see many small 51cm's.
(no I'm not selling anything it)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1830132796

Good luck!

Marty
yfoiler@yahoo.com