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yesterday's bikes rode better(?)(7 posts)

yesterday's bikes rode better(?)colker
Jun 11, 2003 5:22 PM
my friend came by with a 531 hand made inn the late seventies. one of a kind. custom by a once famous local builder. beautifull chrome lugs. nr stuff. old tires. heavy.
ok, cute, i thought. before leaving, i asked him to throw a leg over and pedal a few yards,just to get a taste, a few seconds on the badly paved path that goes from the house to the street: i never felt anything that smooth.. never! i have a very good road bike. steel. lugged. a nineties bike with modern geometry that i've ridden hundred times on the same path. the old bike felt better. it has a shallow seat angle (it's the same size as mine), a longer top tube and 2cm longer wheelbase.
i'm convinced road bikes had a smoother ride in the past.
Have you considered differences in the wheels/tires/saddle?Kerry
Jun 11, 2003 5:55 PM
These things will have a major influence on your perception of ride. Before I made any claims for a bike like this I would want to time trial it (to see how much slower in might be) and ride some distance. Then I would try to swap in some "modern" wheels (tough due to the rear end, but could be done for a short ride). You'll be having a different conversation then.
Have you considered differences in the wheels/tires/saddle?colker
Jun 11, 2003 6:45 PM
tires are old clinchers. would they ride any smoother tha my conti 2000? wheels have similar rims to my open pro's (they must have been rebuilt some five yrs a go). saddle is suede, looks either a brooks or cinelli. it's very worn out and i we couldn't read the logos.
sure, it was a FIRST impressikon but a very strong one. silky smooth. i felt like floating. the bike didn't feel "heavy" handed. on the contrary. very slick in turns. amazing... i'm sure the geometry has a lot ot do with this. loww bb, longer cs and slack seat angle. the fork has a lot of "curve" on its blades and the crown is flat.
it was the 2cm longer wheelbasegtx
Jun 11, 2003 6:20 PM
My cross bike feels way smoother with my (same) road wheels--very comfy over bad pavement. It just doesn't handle as quick or feel as fast on climbs. Just depends what you want.
it was the 2cm longer wheelbasecolker
Jun 11, 2003 6:55 PM
my bike probably climbs faster with it's 40.5 cs but sure is less comfortable. i would love to have something like that for my 3hr rides. it felt good!
at the same time, sachs builds cs like that. not as long but close and his bikes are not made to be slower! now i can imagine how a sachs feels on the road.
that particular bike was made by the most famous (and i guess the only one) frame builder in rio de janeiro, a guy called esteves. 70's era. the lugs are beautifull, flat fork crown and a lot of curve on the legs. chrome is pristine. there are no framebuilders around anymore. the wonders of global economy.
They did.Alexx
Jun 12, 2003 4:10 AM
And several factors are responsible. First, longer wheelbases. You can still get a longer wheelbase bike in Audax/Radonneur bikes, or something like a Trek 1200 light touring bike.

Tires are another factor. Most tires today have ridiculously stiff treads, in order to resist flats. This really makes the ride rough. If you want a smoother ride, try some old tires (like Conti Sport 1000), but be prepared to stop frequently to fix punctures. Of course, for the utimate in ride, use tubulars....

Spoking style also affects the ride-3x and 4x spoked wheels ride much smoother than radial spoking, and a 36 spoked wheel with DB spokes will always ride smoother than a 16 spoke wheel.

Saddles: well, what do you expect from a hunk of plastic with a thin coat of foam? Old Ideale and Brooks leather sling saddles have 'give' in them, so, of course they ride better.
Different emphasis these days (and Rivendell's on it)cory
Jun 12, 2003 7:55 AM
I have bikes from both eras, plus an Atlantis that's sort of a modern interpretation of the old ideas. When I compare my (or my friends') new-style Treks and Specializeds with either my older rides or the Atl, I have to agree--the newer bikes are stiffer, steeper and (maybe) faster in limited circumstances, but they're not generally as comfortable.
There are lots of factors, most of them already mentioned: Geometry, harder and often too-skinny tires (I run my 700x32s at 95psi; they're cushy), frames that are stiff without considering the disadvantages of stiffness in everyday riding, weight-weenie saddles and more. Not that one way is right and the other wrong, but these days everbody wants to look like a racer, and that carries a price.