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The race for comfort is rear biased but it should be now about front of the bike...

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The race for comfort is rear biased but it should be now about front of the bike...

Old 06-20-19, 05:15 AM
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sweetspot
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The race for comfort is rear biased but it should be now about front of the bike...

Both new GT Grade and Cannondale Topstone Carbon use a very sophisticated solutions to provide a suspension like comfort focused on the rear of the bike. But the comfort comes mostly from the front of the bike so all the effort should be focused on making front more comfortable. Yet only Specialized with futureshock, Canyon with hoover handlebar and Giant with D-Fuse handlebar is trying to to something in that area. As a owner of shockstop stem I can say with confidence that we need more of solutions like that instead of making rear more and more flexing. So it is dissapointing that Cannondale, with a history of front suspension on road bikes (headshok) did not go in that direction while making new Cannondale Topstone Carbon. Now we have to wait for 2020 Specialized Diverge to see an implementation of the improved future shock...
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Old 06-20-19, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
But the comfort comes mostly from the front of the bike so all the effort should be focused on making front more comfortable.
Good to know! Wonder why Giant and Cannondale haven't figured it out.
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Old 06-20-19, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Good to know! Wonder why Giant and Cannondale haven't figured it out.
Actually they both did that is why they made a D-FUSE handlebar and headshok.

My point is that they all should seek the right balance between front and rear comfort. Try to lock the front suspension on full MTB bike and you will immedietaly feel the difference which will not be compenated by even the best rear suspension. That is why i think that 2020 specialized diverge can be the best overall package in terms of comfort both front and rear. And that is why i feel that new cannondale topstone carbon is a missed opportunity...
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Old 06-20-19, 07:18 AM
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2.3 inch tires at 28 PSI is like riding on a cloud. I rode a Trail Donkey 3.0 with this setup - It was basically point and shoot. Picking a line was an afterthought.

For "The right balance between front and rear comfort" or those who need more than wide tires should be eagerly anticipating the Niner MCR RDO.


-Tim-
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Old 06-20-19, 07:38 AM
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Gravel bikes have an upright geometry with more rider weight distributed through the seat, so that is why you see this bias towards rear suspension. Personally, I think I prefer no suspension system at all, but my rides aren't very bumpy.

Cannondale's "Kinpin" system seems like a combo of Giant's extremely dropped seat stays and Trek's IsoSpeed decoupler (though I'm sure Trek would take issue with this characterization and provide pages of documentation about whey their system is more advanced).
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Old 06-20-19, 07:46 AM
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in my opinion, vibrations are far worse than bumpy.

If the front of your current bicycle is a compliance problem, then try using the handle bars to steer the bicycle rather than using them as an upper body support. Pull on the bars, don't push the bars.
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Old 06-20-19, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
in my opinion, vibrations are far worse than bumpy.

If the front of your current bicycle is a compliance problem, then try using the handle bars to steer the bicycle rather than using them as an upper body support. Pull on the bars, don't push the bars.
I find I can take care of most of the vibration through the front of the bike with tire pressure. When I used to run my 700 x 35c tires at 75 psi years ago I would feel numbness and soreness through my arms after a gravel ride. Once I got 700 x 38c Challenge Gravel Grinders and dropped the pressure down to 60 psi or less, this problem went away. It was dramatic and immediate.

And my next bike will run tubeless, and I think this will help more yet.
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Old 06-20-19, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
in my opinion, vibrations are far worse than bumpy.

If the front of your current bicycle is a compliance problem, then try using the handle bars to steer the bicycle rather than using them as an upper body support. Pull on the bars, don't push the bars.
This. I ride a cyclocross bike on gravel on tires narrower than most here 33-38c and I never get hand discomfort. Lots of core stability and light weight on the hands. Front suspension imo should be reserved for maintaining traction primarily, not for comfort
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Old 06-20-19, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
And my next bike will run tubeless, and I think this will help more yet.
This is my first tubeless setup, 40mm @ 40psi is fantastic.
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Old 06-20-19, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
2.3 inch tires at 28 PSI is like riding on a cloud. I rode a Trail Donkey 3.0 with this setup - It was basically point and shoot. Picking a line was an afterthought.

For "The right balance between front and rear comfort" or those who need more than wide tires should be eagerly anticipating the Niner MCR RDO.


-Tim-
Cannondale says that what they have done with carbon topstone adds comfort like 9 mm wider tire. So you are totally right. We need more gravel bikes with bigger tire clearance.
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Old 06-20-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
Cannondale says that what they have done with carbon topstone adds comfort like 9 mm wider tire. So you are totally right. We need more gravel bikes with bigger tire clearance.
That's interesting! I didn't see that tidbit, but did see the quote from Cannondale that the "Kingpin" system is capable of 30mm of travel. That seems like a lot! Too much, even?

I will have to see what various testers and reviewers have to say. Test rides are helpful too, but you can only tell so much from riding around the block at the bike shop a few times.
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Old 06-20-19, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
This is my first tubeless setup, 40mm @ 40psi is fantastic.
Go as low as you can without bottoming out the rim.

Experiment. It might be a surprise how low you can really go.

It helps tremendously, especially with rough mountain descents. .
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Old 06-20-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Front suspension imo should be reserved for maintaining traction primarily, not for comfort
+1
Samething for rear suspension. Confort is obviously a « side effect » but I personaly want suspension to maintain traction when the terrain becomes very bumpy.
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Old 06-20-19, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Go as low as you can without bottoming out the rim.

Experiment. It might be a surprise how low you can really go.

It helps tremendously, especially with rough mountain descents. .
Def plan to experiment with the pressure, that was just my starting point, being 185lbs, I didn't want to start too low. Feels great on fast gravel, but had a sketchy descent on my last ride that was more baseball sized rocks than gravel, lower pressure would have really helped. Gonna ride that section again with 35psi and see how it feels. Being more confident and carrying a lil more speed through there would probably help too, I think going slower actually made it worse. lol
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Old 06-20-19, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
That's interesting! I didn't see that tidbit, but did see the quote from Cannondale that the "Kingpin" system is capable of 30mm of travel. That seems like a lot! Too much, even?

I will have to see what various testers and reviewers have to say. Test rides are helpful too, but you can only tell so much from riding around the block at the bike shop a few times.
Yeah they said that but this is True for rear end and in front you just have to deal with 40c tire. I am also interested in cannondale explanation of making so short chainstay (415 mm). If they went with 430 it should be enough for nice 45 even 48c tire.
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Old 06-20-19, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
BBut the comfort comes mostly from the front of the bike so all the effort should be focused on making front more comfortable.
Interesting... I find that I want a stiff front end for good steering and out of the saddle climbing. On rougher parts I just keep my elbows bent, hands loose and let the front end ride. Meanwhile, my butt is planted and putting power down so rear comfort is needed so I can keep my butt on that saddle.

Of course, I also don't like the continued mountain bike-ification of gravel bikes. Here in Mi, gravel biking is much more at the road end of things and basically I just want a slightly slack road bike with room for 45-50mm tires.
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Old 06-20-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Def plan to experiment with the pressure, that was just my starting point, being 185lbs, I didn't want to start too low. Feels great on fast gravel, but had a sketchy descent on my last ride that was more baseball sized rocks than gravel, lower pressure would have really helped. Gonna ride that section again with 35psi and see how it feels. Being more confident and carrying a lil more speed through there would probably help too, I think going slower actually made it worse. lol
This sounds perfect and I know you are an experienced, capable rider, able to dial it in.


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Old 07-14-19, 05:32 AM
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going back to the point I made with this thread. I have created a testing methodology and conducted a series of test to see if I was right and the data shows that I was. There is a lot more to gain now from focusing on the front end of the bike than still on the rear in terms of the riding comfort. Please see my measurements and let me know what you think.

thanks!
https://gravelbikes.cc/features/wher...iding-comfort/
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Old 07-14-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
going back to the point I made with this thread. I have created a testing methodology and conducted a series of test to see if I was right and the data shows that I was. There is a lot more to gain now from focusing on the front end of the bike than still on the rear in terms of the riding comfort. Please see my measurements and let me know what you think.

thanks!
https://gravelbikes.cc/features/wher...iding-comfort/
So you own all the bikes tested and how were the tests conducted?
I genuinely don't know how measuring vibration reduction would happen outside of a lab.
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Old 07-14-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
So you own all the bikes tested and how were the tests conducted?
I genuinely don't know how measuring vibration reduction would happen outside of a lab.
No. I own one bike that I have made as much comfortable as possible in terms of gravel ridding. And I want to test other bike to see how they perform comparing to mine.

And yes I claim that i do as scientific measurements as possible but this is no lab testing. But I get rather repeatable readings so I believe I can use it for comparison.
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Old 07-14-19, 11:53 AM
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Old 07-14-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Yes I know! I have tested it.
https://gravelbikes.cc/tests/redshift-shockstop-stem/
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Old 07-14-19, 02:47 PM
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Actually, for gravel-type riding, I think suspension IS more about comfort than traction. At least on the gravel I end up riding, traction is taken care of by tire pressure. The bumps are just not large enough for suspension to play much of a role in that. I think suspension is mainly needed when people still want to run smaller tires and high pressure.

And in terms of comfort, the rear is more important to me on gravel riding. I don’t have any suspension on my gravel bike. However, I have considered getting a (very short travel) suspension seat post. I have never once considered getting anything for the front.

Mtb is very different, IMO. The terrain is usually bumpy enough that suspension is needed to maintain traction and control. Therefore I find it more important in the front. Also, despite my wanting a suspension post for my gravel bike, I have not found them very useful on a mountain bike.
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Old 07-14-19, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post
going back to the point I made with this thread. I have created a testing methodology and conducted a series of test to see if I was right and the data shows that I was. There is a lot more to gain now from focusing on the front end of the bike than still on the rear in terms of the riding comfort. Please see my measurements and let me know what you think.

thanks!
https://gravelbikes.cc/features/wher...iding-comfort/
Originally Posted by sweetspot View Post

How do you come up with the % more comfortable statistics on your site?
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Old 07-14-19, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
How do you come up with the % more comfortable statistics on your site?
It is all explained in the methodology section. Let me know if you think that aparat from percentage you would like to get also an exact measurement numbers?
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