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New Road Bikes Less Aggressive?

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New Road Bikes Less Aggressive?

Old 09-06-19, 07:56 AM
  #1  
spinconn
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New Road Bikes Less Aggressive?

I truly love my Roubaix in all ways, but my eye does stray on occasion when I see the slim lines of a steel bike. It seems I need to get one, my last being a 1980's Pinarello.

Not being so flush as to consider a custom bespoke bike I have been looking at factory steel bikes and only saw cheap models, or with Pinarello and Colnago, bikes that were not true road bikes. Then I saw the Colnago Master Light. Elegant and beautiful.

I have been reading up on it and read in reviews that it, an 80's bike, is more aggressive in geometry than modern road bikes. I am no expert on it but I assume modern bikes are more evolved so I would think they are faster. I understand more aggressive means less comfort but we are talking about racing bikes.

So, why would modern designs be less aggressive than an 80's road bike?
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Old 09-06-19, 08:06 AM
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Sy Reene
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Are you reading that 80's steel racing road bikes are more aggressive than today's steel road bikes? Or any material frames made today for racing? If the former, this wouldn't surprise me as I can't imagine there's a large market for actual racers looking for a steel solution. Steel is generally marketed today as a 'comfortable' frame material.
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Old 09-06-19, 08:55 AM
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Mainly because the sport has evolved, like everything else. Reseach is crucial when it comes to technology. The ultimate goal is to win that race & cut off seconds. The geometry being one of the way to reach that goal, today's specs are most likely a lot better than 40 years ago.
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Old 09-06-19, 09:27 AM
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woodcraft
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Because aggressive= harsh= feels faster but turns out not to actually be faster same as tires?
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Old 09-06-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Because aggressive= harsh= feels faster but turns out not to actually be faster same as tires?
I remember when Cannondale began supplying bikes for their world team Saeco, the team complained that the frames were way too harsh riding. I owned one of the 3.0 frames and that frame was built like a track frame. It would beat me up so bad that 50 miles felt like 90.
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Old 09-06-19, 10:11 AM
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bike fit has changed too, in the 80s the pros all sit way behind the BB, nowadays they are all sitting forward to get that extra aero gain

Last edited by Chi_Z; 09-06-19 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 09-07-19, 09:38 AM
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I've got one of these 80s steel framed bikes with the traditional level TT. I don't find it to be any more uncomfortable than my Spec Roubaix. Granted I've got modern STI shifters on it as well as a Brooks B17 saddle. But, to be fair, the reason for the chance was that it wasn't comfortable with old brake levers and the original saddle.😄
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Old 09-07-19, 03:32 PM
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SundayNiagara
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Jamis make 2 steel bikes that are surprisingly lightweight. A 105 & Ultegra.
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Old 09-07-19, 03:39 PM
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If you want a harsh riding frame, from my experience the Master will be perfect for you
Mine was the harshest riding bike I have ever owned.
My Concorde feels lower at the front than my Moots, but much of that is to do with the stem angle I think.
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Old 09-07-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Steel is generally marketed today as a 'comfortable' frame material.
Maybe that's why they can get away with more aggressive geometry?
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Old 09-07-19, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Maybe that's why they can get away with more aggressive geometry?
The OP was saying that the '80s Colnago was described as having a more aggressive geometry than comparable modern road bikes, not the other way around.

There was a period in the '80s when some Italian bikes were built with a shorter wheelbase (i.e., a more aggressive geometry) than the standard road racing geometry of, say, French bikes or earlier Italian bikes, the idea presumably being that some Italian sprinters had asked for road frames that handled and accelerated more like track sprint frames.

At about the same time, Cannondale must have had similar requests from American sprinters, which would have been why they produced their Criterium series for a few years alongside their standard geometry road racing frames.

Speaking of Italians and Cannondale, Mario Cipollini's team was sponsored by Cannondale for a few years. Here's his spontaneous, on-road tribute:

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Old 09-07-19, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
The OP was saying that the '80s Colnago was described as having a more aggressive geometry than comparable modern road bikes, not the other way around.that some Italian sprinters had asked for road frames that handled and accelerated more like track sprint frames.
Which was exactly my point: an aggressive geometry built on a more forgiving material may be easier to control and more comfortable than an aggressive geometry on an unforgiving material.
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Old 09-07-19, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
So, why would modern designs be less aggressive than an 80's road bike?
Road bikes in the 80s varied greatly. They cant be grouped into a single style.

In general, road bikes in the first few years had more tire clearance than similar level road bikes in the closing years of the decade.
Some were 73/73 frames. Some were more relaxed and others were more aggressive.
Then you have the general approach of brands where models closer to entry level were more relaxed than top comp models.

Are new road bikes less aggressive? Compare a trek Emonda with an 87 Schwinn Circuit or Super Sport. Head tube angle, seat tube angle, wheelbase, fork offset...are the differences really significant?

But that's just one example and to categorize an entire decade off an example would be a mistake...
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Old 09-07-19, 10:19 PM
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eja_ bottecchia
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
If you want a harsh riding frame, from my experience the Master will be perfect for you
Mine was the harshest riding bike I have ever owned.
My Concorde feels lower at the front than my Moots, but much of that is to do with the stem angle I think.
I don’t feel any distinguishable ride difference between my 1989 Bottecchia and my “re-imagined” Colnago Master.


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Old 09-07-19, 10:36 PM
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sumgy
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I don’t feel any distinguishable ride difference between my 1989 Bottecchia and my “re-imagined” Colnago Master.
Did your Master have the Gilco crimped tubing?
My Master Olympic did and it rode harsh.
I felt every bump on it.
Maybe our roads have gotten better?
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Old 09-07-19, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Which was exactly my point: an aggressive geometry built on a more forgiving material may be easier to control and more comfortable than an aggressive geometry on an unforgiving material.
The best handling bike I ever had was also the stiffest with the steepest head angle. It was a 1990 Tesch s22. Amazing turning and absolutely instinctive road handling. It did what it was supposed to do better than any motorcycle or bicycle I ever rode. It also beat the crap out of me. A friend has it now, he's 250 pounds and does short rides on it.
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Old 09-08-19, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post

At about the same time, Cannondale must have had similar requests from American sprinters, which would have been why they produced their Criterium series for a few years alongside their standard geometry road racing frames.
At that time, the vast majority of races in the US where criteriums. I also believe that Cannondale did not take much rider input when designing the bike. It was the worst bike they ever built. ‘If some stiffness is good, more must be better’ is not necessarily the right approach to road fame design
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Old 09-08-19, 12:13 AM
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Next year's bike is always more "aggressive" because the customers are male
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Old 09-08-19, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Did your Master have the Gilco crimped tubing?
My Master Olympic did and it rode harsh.
I felt every bump on it.
Maybe our roads have gotten better?
I guess it's all a matter of personal perception and taste. My mid 80s Colnago Master (Gilco tubing) is more compliant (read less harsh) and doesn't corner as well as my Merckx Corsa Extra.

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Old 09-08-19, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I guess it's all a matter of personal perception and taste. My mid 80s Colnago Master (Gilco tubing) is more compliant (read less harsh) and doesn't corner as well as my Merckx Corsa Extra.
Same wheels?
I am comparing mine against my Concorde Prelude with PRX tubing, both on 32hole Open Pro's.
But then again, I think the Prelude rides smoother than my Moots on 32 hole rims.

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Old 09-08-19, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Same wheels?
I am comparing mine against my Concorde Prelude with PRX tubing, both on 32hole Open Pro's.
But then again, I think the Prelude rides smoother than my Moots on 32 hole rims.

Yes, same wheels. Both are shod with Zondas or a custom build of Campy Record Hubs & DT 411 rims, same exact build down to the spoke nipples. That's ^ a nice bike.
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Old 09-08-19, 05:22 AM
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As the OP I am appreciating all of this information but the pictures are just as enjoyable. My goodness those are beautiful bikes. Somebody should make a calendar of bikes of this style.
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Old 09-08-19, 01:30 PM
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Some of them could be nice looking bikes but I must say that the modern bulky looking cranksets and threadless headset / handlebar stem combos don't do much for the aesthetics.
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Old 09-08-19, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
Some of them could be nice looking bikes but I must say that the modern bulky looking cranksets and threadless headset / handlebar stem combos don't do much for the aesthetics.
Yep, but some people cannot get their bars in the position they want with a quill stem I guess?
I definitely prefer the look of quill stem and more period correct parts with my skinny steel tubes, and am lucky enough to be able to get a comfortable position using them.
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Old 09-10-19, 07:00 PM
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In my opinion, there's nothing more beautiful than an old steel frame going down the road at speed. If I have to put pink handlebar streamers on my bike to make that happen, I will.

Besides, they all look the same when all you can see is the chainstays and rear dropouts

Last edited by nomadmax; 09-10-19 at 07:12 PM.
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