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Ti versus Al/Carbon fiber--please compare the ride quality(12 posts)

Ti versus Al/Carbon fiber--please compare the ride qualityNatC
Apr 9, 2003 7:28 AM
I'm shopping for a new bike and am drawn to two models in particular (the Douglas Precision Ti and the Douglas Fusion). One frame is all titanium and the other is made of an Easton Ultralite aluminum front triangle with carbon fiber rear seat stays.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=28306&CGRFNBR=273&CRPCGNBR=273&CI=1,223,273&TextMode=0

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=28322&CGRFNBR=273&CRPCGNBR=273&CI=1,223,273&TextMode=0

I'm looking for a forgiving, supple ride so I can be comfortable. I don't intend to race, so sprint performance means nothing to me. Which of the two above-mentioned frames would be more comfortable?
re: Ti versus Al/Carbon fiber--please compare the ride qualityHeron Todd
Apr 9, 2003 7:53 AM
First, if possible, go to a shop to try some different bikes. Shopping by mail order can be tough unless you know specifically what you want.

Second, comfort or ride quality, when it comes to the frame, will be primarily determined by position, wheelbase, and fork. Frames are inherently stiff vertically. You won't notice much difference there. A longer wheelbase generally gives a smoother ride. The fork can make a big difference since it is cantilevered off of the front of the frame. It DOES flex. Watch out for stiff unicrown forks.

Frame material is really a secondary matter. The primary considerations with material are weight, durability, repairability, and stiffness (lateral and torsional, not vertical).

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
http://www.heronbicycles.com
Agree, great response!Nessism
Apr 9, 2003 10:10 AM
I couldn't agree more with Todd here. The frame flexes very little in the vertical direction. Rider position, frame geometery considerations, and fork selection are the real keys to frameset comfort.

Regarding fork selection, many (most) of the newer carbon forks are VERY stiff and not very comfortable for non-racers and/or lightweight riders. Kind of a bummer for those people looking for comfort.

Ed
Disgreed..alansutton
Apr 9, 2003 10:19 AM
Tyre pressure and width has more to do with comfort than geometery and fork selection.
Disgreed..Heron Todd
Apr 9, 2003 12:19 PM
>Tyre pressure and width has more to do with comfort than geometery and fork selection.

If you will notice, I specifically spoke of the ride quality of the frame. Certainly, once you go beyond frame and fork, lots of things, especially tire pressure, affect ride quality.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
http://www.heronbicycles.com
Both ride like steelalansutton
Apr 9, 2003 8:16 AM
Ti rides like a light steel frame.
Aluminum rides likes a heavy steel frame.
Carbon stays are for marketing purposes only.
So the obvious solution seems to be....Steel? nmSpunout
Apr 9, 2003 8:21 AM
so every thing rides like steel?nmthe bull
Apr 9, 2003 9:07 AM
Yes, to some degree...alansutton
Apr 9, 2003 9:51 AM
everything can be made to ride like steel. Consumers tend to be more influenced more by marketing hype an looks than how frames actually ride. If you are looking for a smoother ride, look into wide low pressure tyres. If you are concerned with weight, buy frames constructed of aluminum alloys.
Heavy aluminum bikes ride like Huffy's..........nmMR_GRUMPY
Apr 9, 2003 9:52 AM
Thanks for your input, everybody. nmNatC
Apr 9, 2003 7:22 PM
Thanks for your input, everybody. nmripper
Apr 10, 2003 12:13 AM
i have an all ti frame made by TST who contracts all the douglas ti bikes. i love it for long hours in the saddle. its very comfortable and plenty light. i only notice minimal flexing in the bottom bracket when sprinting hard. unlike most, i got to go to the factory and pick my frame because i work 5 minutes away.

if the previous posts are to be belived it doesn't matter which bike you choose, frame material doesn't matter. however if general consensus on this board matters at all, it seems that people genrally classify ti as a comfort, light bike and aluminum as a stiff, race bike.