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Testing of Frames; Why Not Here?(6 posts)

Testing of Frames; Why Not Here?merckxman
Nov 2, 2002 8:28 PM
Seems to me that bike tests here (in the U.S.) are virtually all based on rider impressions. In Italy, in the magazine CICLISMO,you get those same impression reports plus they actually have scientific tests they perform on the frames they review. They have a computerized jig that creates different forces on every frame they test. Each review is accompanied by several graphs depicting frame performance in these tests. Wouldn't it be nice if someone were doing that here? It would be interesting and informative. Going further: Why not require manufacturers to use standardized tests and make results available for their products? Does that make sense? Wouldn't it help in buying decisions? To get an idea of what might be unveiled take a look at
re: Testing of Frames; Why Not Here?fbg111
Nov 3, 2002 7:07 AM
Would be nice for consumers, but who would "require" such tests, and who would enforce them?
I think there's a German mag that does it as well(nm)kenyee
Nov 3, 2002 8:30 AM
I think there's a German mag that does it as well(nm)Stampertje
Nov 4, 2002 3:50 AM destructively tests lightweight frames. They repeatedly stress the frame with forces ranging from 1100-1300 N and check when they break. Not the sort of test you see in most magazines.

Fiets (Dutch only) measures the deflection of a frame under force to measure fork, bracket and torsional stiffness and also quote a balance factor (which is explained in the book "Bicycling Science").

These tests don't say much about ride characteristics but if you're 200 pounds or Marty Nothstein, you might want to stay away from frames that are tested as "noodly".
Correlating numbers and the real worldKerry
Nov 3, 2002 3:21 PM
The fly in this particular ointment is that there is no consensus about what frame test numbers mean in relation to real world riding. There have been a host of various tests over the years, and the people doing the tests often posit theories about what their numbers mean, but there have not been blind tests to see if rider feedback agrees with the test numbers. Until this gets nailed down (commence holding your breath NOW!) there's no light at the end of this tunnel.
RE: Correlating numbers and the real worldSean2
Nov 3, 2002 6:07 PM
Take that same arguement to comparing sound levels. We all hear differently, but when you know what level is comfortable for you, you'll be able to get exactly what you want. Surely, there are ways to measure vibration, stiffness, vertical compliance, longevity, etc... and we definately don't want to go in the other direction whereby we are all hanging for any word from a pro's mouth about how a frame feels to them.. objective testing would improve the sport and experience of cycling immensely.