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Comfort: it's about the speed not the distance....(5 posts)

Comfort: it's about the speed not the distance....Bruno S
Nov 25, 2002 4:04 PM
One common statement I see on this forum is: this frame is good for rides less than xx miles but too stiff for longer rides. Well this is not true. I have been doing a century on Sundays for the last 4 weeks at about 16.5 mph on my entry level AL Specialized. The frame was comfortable enough. After the ride I had no complaints about road vibration, holes on the road, etc. This last Sunday I went out with some triathletes and did about 40 miles. The average speed on the flats was about 24-25. After the ride I was completly beaten up. I used to ride at those speed all the time but after starting my LSD I had fogotten how harsh the ride can get. This makes a lot of sense and adds another variable to how people perceive the ride of a bicycle or frame material. So next time someone tells you his/hers frame is comfortable ask how fast its ridden. Probably most frames will be confortable at speeds of 18 mph or less even for long rides.
good point!Kerry
Nov 25, 2002 4:39 PM
one more thing to hold constant in comparing frames. Same wheels, same speeds, same roads. Otherwise all the "this one beats you up and that one is a noodle" comments don't hold water.
Built for comfort: not for speed ...That's another story.Chainstay
Nov 25, 2002 5:45 PM
"After starting your LSD!" How valid are your perceptions from one ride to the next? Try some hash maybe.

ps: Good point about the ride intensity. I think a lot of it is the strain your upper body takes when you are hammering
And also,Ray Sachs
Nov 26, 2002 4:40 AM
your reduced ability to use your body's natural shock absorbers (knees and elbows, and to a lesser extent ankles and wrists) when you're shelled. When your fresh and relaxed and going at a maintainable pace, it's easy to stay on top of the riding situation and lift your body slightly out of the saddle for little road imperfections. Once you're exhausted, you tend to smack into stuff you'd have floated over earlier in the ride.

I have a bike I like for shorter distance hammer rides and one I prefer for longer distance rides at a sustainable pace. It's not because one beats me up more than the other - its because one puts me in a more aggressive position and one is more conducive to a more relaxed, all-day position. Neither inherantly absorbs shock better than the other.

-Ray
three kinds of comforttrekkie1
Nov 26, 2002 7:14 AM
I think there are three kinds of comfort.

1. What you feel when you go over bumps. Frame flex and geometry, which are minor compared to tires and tire pressures, might help to reduce shock a bit. Some frame materials, tube shapes, and wall thicknesses determine shock transmission. Big aluminum tubes are usually the worst.

2. Buzz. Some frame materials help to reduce buzz more than others.

3. Positioning. Correct positioning can help not only to make you feel more relaxed, absorb bumps, etc., but also can help you make more power while feeling less strain. I think only the last item there is affected by how hard you are riding, and frame material has little to do with that, unless potentially there is a cumulative effect of bumps, buzz, and positioning discomfort.

The point is, compare apples and apples. Positioning is not the same as damping comfort.