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So 853 was calling my name....

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So 853 was calling my name....

Old 08-09-22, 04:47 PM
  #26  
bulgie 
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
<snip> realizing that I can lay down enough power to rather noticeably flex the OS 853 out of the saddle or climbing, and lately I have a right proper need for efficiency...
Sounds like you're saying stiffer is more efficient, did I read that right?

I've been looking for evidence on that question for the last 45 years, and most of what I've seen points to the opposite, that stiffer frames are slower for many (most?) riders.

It could be that you're the rare rider that truly needs a stiffer frame, but you might be fantasizing a bit if you think your output is higher than the pros who used to happily sprint and win on some of the lightest whippiest "undersized" tubes of yore.

Bicycling magazine used to have a "Tarantula" frame stiffness testing fixture, and tested the frame Greg Lemond won the World Pro Road Race Championship on in a sprint, against a couple of known-great road sprinters including Sean Kelly (multiple TdF Green Jersy winner). Bicycling declared Lemond's TVT the most flexible frame they had ever measured.

But you might actually benefit from a stiffer frame than Lemond's. I'm not being sarcastic. Adapting your pedaling to use the stored energy in a flexy frame is a learned skill, which you may not have developed. Pros can see a quarter-million miles of racing and training over their career, so it's no insult to say you don't pedal like a pro.

Yes "Stiff frames are for beginners!" overstates the case a bit, but it's catchy...

In the late-'90s, I worked at the place that built Schwinn Paramounts out of oversized 853, and I gotta say, I didn't like those frames much. We framebuilders were given the option to make one for ourselves, as a benefit (I think it was free or maybe we had to pay for the paintjob). I chose to pass on that offer, it wasn't a frame I would ever want to ride. And my muscle makeup was definitely on the fast-twitch, sprinty side. In my undistinguished racing palmares, the races where I won or placed, it was almost always in a sprint. Often in crits. I should have been the target market for those frames, but I found I went better on undersized tubes and road geometry.

I do like 853, the steel, just not some of the larger tubes they make it into. They also make some small and thin tubes in 853 and that might be what USAZorro has in the Bob Jackson he mentioned. That sounds like my kinda frame! As long as it fits fattish tires I don't think I'll ever willing ride smaller than 30 mm tires ever again.

Mark B
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Old 08-09-22, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Sounds like you're saying stiffer is more efficient, did I read that right?

I've been looking for evidence on that question for the last 45 years, and most of what I've seen points to the opposite, that stiffer frames are slower for many (most?) riders.

It could be that you're the rare rider that truly needs a stiffer frame, but you might be fantasizing a bit if you think your output is higher than the pros who used to happily sprint and win on some of the lightest whippiest "undersized" tubes of yore.

Bicycling magazine used to have a "Tarantula" frame stiffness testing fixture, and tested the frame Greg Lemond won the World Pro Road Race Championship on in a sprint, against a couple of known-great road sprinters including Sean Kelly (multiple TdF Green Jersy winner). Bicycling declared Lemond's TVT the most flexible frame they had ever measured.

But you might actually benefit from a stiffer frame than Lemond's. I'm not being sarcastic. Adapting your pedaling to use the stored energy in a flexy frame is a learned skill, which you may not have developed. Pros can see a quarter-million miles of racing and training over their career, so it's no insult to say you don't pedal like a pro.

Yes "Stiff frames are for beginners!" overstates the case a bit, but it's catchy...

In the late-'90s, I worked at the place that built Schwinn Paramounts out of oversized 853, and I gotta say, I didn't like those frames much. We framebuilders were given the option to make one for ourselves, as a benefit (I think it was free or maybe we had to pay for the paintjob). I chose to pass on that offer, it wasn't a frame I would ever want to ride. And my muscle makeup was definitely on the fast-twitch, sprinty side. In my undistinguished racing palmares, the races where I won or placed, it was almost always in a sprint. Often in crits. I should have been the target market for those frames, but I found I went better on undersized tubes and road geometry.

I do like 853, the steel, just not some of the larger tubes they make it into. They also make some small and thin tubes in 853 and that might be what USAZorro has in the Bob Jackson he mentioned. That sounds like my kinda frame! As long as it fits fattish tires I don't think I'll ever willing ride smaller than 30 mm tires ever again.

Mark B
I am not remotely fast but I do love bigger tires and whippy frames. The really old Raleigh and motobecane 531 frames I have are very comfy and have room for 35s and fenders. Apparently that's my pocket. Doesn't mean I won't eventually enjoy the peloton but I'm pretty happy with older bikes.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Sounds like you're saying stiffer is more efficient, did I read that right?
<snip>

Yes "Stiff frames are for beginners!" overstates the case a bit, but it's catchy...
Ah, right, that's why all of today's pros ride on the stiffer carbon fiber frames too and how almost every review of classic steel bikes I've seen by professional riders and journalists who are used to riding on carbon fiber these days specifically mention how their average times over set distances decrease and they notice in particular that their efficiency sprinting or climbing suffers... It's because they don't know how to use their power like in days of yore! Thanks. Very helpful.

-Gregory
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Old 08-09-22, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
I am not remotely fast but I do love bigger tires and whippy frames. The really old Raleigh and motobecane 531 frames I have are very comfy and have room for 35s and fenders. Apparently that's my pocket. Doesn't mean I won't eventually enjoy the peloton but I'm pretty happy with older bikes.
Comparing the two is an apples to oranges thing - pick a fruit, one will always seem preferred over the other.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Comparing the two is an apples to oranges thing - pick a fruit, one will always seem preferred over the other.
I personally love riding both depending on the mood I'm in. I took my '79 Mercian out for 60 miles on Sunday morning and managed a reasonable 18.8 mph pace without getting uncomfortable but certainly without trying to go too fast at any point in time. Earlier in the week I was out on my Look 675 blasting out of every stop trying to hit 28+ out of the saddle and then maintain my 22-23mph average throughout an aching 30-mile ride. The bicycles were as different beneath me as my workout routine was atop them.

Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
It could be that you're the rare rider that truly needs a stiffer frame, but you might be fantasizing a bit if you think your output is higher than the pros who used to happily sprint and win on some of the lightest whippiest "undersized" tubes of yore.
Mark,

The statement above is a false dichotomy, and the primary reason I was rather short with my previous response to you. The benefits I receive from riding a stiffer frame has nothing to do with my wattage compared to pro riders and I have no disillusions about my relative strength as a rider. The fact is that a majority of today's professionals and serious amateurs benefit from the difference in frame qualities in just the same way that I do because we're all using the machines under relatively the same conditions and with the same goal in mind - getting from point A to point B as fast as we are able. If my average power is 160w over a 60-mile ride (as my latest Strava ride suggests) and the average pro rider is doing 300w or more over the same distance, the advantages they will gain by riding a more efficient bicycle will probably be even more pronounced than for myself. Technique will certainly have something to do with it too, but the fact is all of the professionals nowadays are riding on frames like the one I ride, and I find it to be very efficient for hard efforts. This is particularly true compared to my steel bicycles with slender tubing, even though the weight difference between the machines is negligible compared to the total rider/bike mass (which, in my case, hovers around 200 lbs).

I've ridden many thousands of miles on old steel bicycles, and I've still got a dozen of them. But there has never been a time when I could get up out of the saddle on one, smash the pedals and move forward or upward as instantaneously as I do on my stiff, modern bicycle. The handlebars flexed, the frames flexed, the crank arms flexed, the chain would rub noisily on either side of the front derailleur cage and my brake pads would touch the rear wheel and all of that kinetic energy was going somewhere other than the pavement in a way that I know could never be translated to "efficiency." The only steel bicycle I've had that matched my carbon frames was one with modern compact geometry and extra OS tubing that essentially mimicked the dimensions of the popular carbon frames of the time. Oh, and it had a carbon fork as well.

Why on earth has Greg Lemond spent the past few years developing one of the most advanced, stiffest carbon fiber bicycle frames ever made and touted it as the greatest bicycle he could conceive if his whippy old TVT 30 years ago was already good enough for him based on sheer pedaling talent?

LeMond (team-lemond.com)

-Gregory

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 08-09-22 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 08-09-22, 06:34 PM
  #31  
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Here's the geometry chart for you. Same as the Circuit I had.
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Old 08-09-22, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Here's the geometry chart for you. Same as the Circuit I had.
That's good to see again. For some reason I thought mine was a 58 because that's the c-c but it's actually a 60, and that's precisely why the top tube is so darn long! Not a bad position to be in with a 90mm stem for me but not a ride for sightseeing.

Look52telecaster has himself the 62!

-Gregory
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Old 08-09-22, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Ah, right, that's why all of today's pros ride on the stiffer carbon fiber frames too and how almost every review of classic steel bikes I've seen by professional riders and journalists who are used to riding on carbon fiber these days specifically mention how their average times over set distances decrease and they notice in particular that their efficiency sprinting or climbing suffers... It's because they don't know how to use their power like in days of yore! Thanks. Very helpful.

-Gregory
Well your dismissive tone makes it seem like you're not interested in seriously considering the other side, and that's OK. You can't go too far wrong riding the same bikes the pros ride. And the stakes aren't very high for most of us, so it's not like we need a once-and-for-all answer to this question, to put it to bed. I just find it intellectually stimulating to speculate on it, with no real benefit in sight. I'm funny that way.

But consider this scenario:
  • Lightness is what sells bikes, and for physics/geometry reasons it's easier to make a lighter bike that's still durable (fewer warranty returns) if you make it stiff. In most cases if you try to design in some flex, it will make the frame either weaker or heavier.
  • All manufacturers face this quandary, and to buck the tide and make a flexy carbon frame (again, probably at least a little heavier and/or weaker) would probably be suicide in this market. So regardless of whether there's some tiny pedaling efficiency improvement to be had from some engineered-in flex, no one is going to try it.
  • Pro racing exists to sell product. Pro racers ride and praise whatever frame they're told to. One guy won several (5 I think) national championships, and raced in two Olympic Games, on a steel track frame I made. It was painted and decaled as three different brands of bike depending on what team he was on that year. In each case, he praised his bike sponsor as The Best, because he was a professional (I think they're literally contractually obligated) Including when his team was sponsored by Merlin his steel frame was painted to look like titanium, with Merlin decals on it! So that year, Merlins were The Best! Merlin had tried and failed to make him a frame that was stiff enough for him. (Yeah, I can make stiff frames too, I'm not "all about flex"!)
  • Pro racers also often don't know what they're talking about, not educated or interested in science/engineering. Nothing wrong with that, it's not their job. Greg Lemond himself, in a book (maybe ghost-written) said the main thing you want in a race bike is for it to be as stiff as possible. He had been given one superlight flexy undersized steel frame after another throughout his career, and had probably never ridden a stiff frame in his life, so how would he know? And on World Championships race day, of the two frames his mechanic had prepped for him, he chose the more flexible one, likely without even knowing it was more flexible. Maybe he'd have won on any frame (quite likely!), but the flex in his whippy TVT at least didn't prevent him from winning. I think this shows the differences in efficiency due to frame flex, if any, are small compared to other more important factors.
  • Bike reviewers and journalists are famously ignorant of science/engineering (yes there are exceptions), but they sure as heck know which side their bread is buttered on. A reviewer who tried to buck the tide and consistently praise a different kind of bike than the pros ride wouldn't last long in the biz. Magazines don't exist to find the truth, they're there to sell more magazines (and the products advertized therein). "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." ― Upton Sinclair
  • Consumers have been told so many times by magazine reviewers and manufacturers that stiffer is better, that they don't even know that it's controversial. Which causes a feedback loop, making the magazines even less likely to "teach the controversy". Actually educating their readers wouldn't help them sell more magazines, it would just piss off a large segment of their readers whose minds are made up. Ain't gonna happen, even if a magazine had a writer/editor who was educated enough to know there's a controversy, and such writers are rare in cycling journalism.
  • Consumers and pro racers alike are prone to placebo, and confirmation bias. These are not small effects, they can easily swamp any actual differences in efficiency. When a riders say they "notice in particular that their efficiency sprinting or climbing suffers", we can pretty much discount this, by around 100%. We know we're talking about differences that are too small to feel. Numerous experiments have shown that human perception of small differences is amazingly unreliable. Jim Papadopoulos (a PhD professor of mechanical engineering who's specialized in bicycles for decades) and a couple of his grad students did a controlled experiment where experienced riders were given bikes that weighed 5 lb more or less and asked to try to determine which they were on, by riding alone. They usually thought they could tell, but their results were 50-50, equal to a coin toss. Five pounds! Think you could beat those odds? Maybe, but can you explain how these anonymous riders you cite could notice their efficiency suffer? The difference has to be quite large before we can trust human perception alone, and I don't think we're talking about such large differences. Placebo and confirmation bias can easily explain those "perceptions".
  • Lowering times for set distances could be caused primarily by frames gettinng stiffer, but for that to be true the added efficiency from stiffness would have to large enough to swamp the improvements from aerodynamics, training and medical science (including doping). Not to mention smoother roads, and increased world-wide popularity of cycling bringing in larger numbers of athletes, including from countries that don't have a long history of bike racing at a high level. Pogacar and Roglic coming from Slovenia, Meintjes from S.Africa for some recent examples, or Froome from Kenya. There's a lot of money to be made as a pro cyclist these days, and it appears that some athletes who would have gone into say football in years past are getting on a bike instead. Less chance of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) too.
The scenario I just laid out isn't necessarily true, but it's consistent with the evidence you mentioned.

If it sounds like I've made up my mind and can't be convinced otherwise, I'd tend to disagree, at least I think I'm open to real evidence. It's just a hard question to test scientifically.

On the old Hardcore Bicycle Science mailing list (active from a few years before the turn of the millennium to a few years after), a lot of top luminaries from the bike biz and academia tried to tackle the question, without coming to any consensus. The moderator was Jim Papadopoulos, the guy I mentioned with the 5 lb perception experiment. Later, Jim turned the list moderator reins over to Sheldon Brown. Others who took part included Keith Bontrager, Jobst Brandt, Damon Rinard, John Olsen, Gary Klein, John Allen, Doug Roosa and Andy Ruina. A few dozen people total I think including yours truly, under a hundred for sure. But none of these smart guys could come up with any solid evidence one way or the other to prove that frame flex affects pedaling efficiency, either way. Though there wasn't a vote taken, it was clear there was a majority leaning towards some version of "SOME flex is probably beneficial" or put another way, an infinitely stiff frame (if that was possible) would likely be a little slower. Clearly there can also be such a thing as too much flex, and where the sweet spot is (if there is one) will definitely vary from one rider to the next. I think everyone agreed on that.

So, I'm not saying I have proven any case here, just pointing out that the "Stiffer is Better" crowd haven't proven their case either. All the evidence they point to can be explained by other, unrelated effects. I hope we get a real answer someday, but I am pessimistic; I think it'll always be overhsadowed by bigger effects, and dogged by social/business problems that prevent even serious discussion of the question.

Mark B
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Old 08-09-22, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I personally love riding both depending on the mood I'm in. I took my '79 Mercian out for 60 miles on Sunday morning and managed a reasonable 18.8 mph pace without getting uncomfortable but certainly without trying to go too fast at any point in time. Earlier in the week I was out on my Look 675 blasting out of every stop trying to hit 28+ out of the saddle and then maintain my 22-23mph average throughout an aching 30-mile ride. The bicycles were as different beneath me as my workout routine was atop them.



Mark,

The statement above is a false dichotomy, and the primary reason I was rather short with my previous response to you. The benefits I receive from riding a stiffer frame has nothing to do with my wattage compared to pro riders and I have no disillusions about my relative strength as a rider. The fact is that a majority of today's professionals and serious amateurs benefit from the difference in frame qualities in just the same way that I do because we're all using the machines under relatively the same conditions and with the same goal in mind - getting from point A to point B as fast as we are able. If my average power is 160w over a 60-mile ride (as my latest Strava ride suggests) and the average pro rider is doing 300w or more over the same distance, the advantages they will gain by riding a more efficient bicycle will probably be even more pronounced than for myself. Technique will certainly have something to do with it too, but the fact is all of the professionals nowadays are riding on frames like the one I ride, and I find it to be very efficient for hard efforts. This is particularly true compared to my steel bicycles with slender tubing, even though the weight difference between the machines is negligible compared to the total rider/bike mass (which, in my case, hovers around 200 lbs).

I've ridden many thousands of miles on old steel bicycles, and I've still got a dozen of them. But there has never been a time when I could get up out of the saddle on one, smash the pedals and move forward or upward as instantaneously as I do on my stiff, modern bicycle. The handlebars flexed, the frames flexed, the crank arms flexed, the chain would rub noisily on either side of the front derailleur cage and my brake pads would touch the rear wheel and all of that kinetic energy was going somewhere other than the pavement in a way that I know could never be translated to "efficiency." The only steel bicycle I've had that matched my carbon frames was one with modern compact geometry and extra OS tubing that essentially mimicked the dimensions of the popular carbon frames of the time. Oh, and it had a carbon fork as well.

Why on earth has Greg Lemond spent the past few years developing one of the most advanced, stiffest carbon fiber bicycle frames ever made and touted it as the greatest bicycle he could conceive if his whippy old TVT 30 years ago was already good enough for him based on sheer pedaling talent?

LeMond (team-lemond.com)

-Gregory
This deserves a response but I'm all tapped out now. I wrote my long reply to your earlier "short" reply without having read this one. I will just say though, about modern Lemond bikes, you know there are business reasons for doing things that aren't strictly justifiable based on pure science, right? Like maybe he doesn't want to go out of business? You have to sell what'll sell. And Greg, bless his heart, never was very clear on what makes a bike "good". Love the guy, but not a scientist. He's not lying, he really believes what he says. And he might even be right! This doesn't prove it though.

Mark B
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Old 08-09-22, 07:57 PM
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I flipped a Peleton Pro (circa 2000) a few years back with an 853 frame and Time carbon fork (steel steerer). It was a very nice riding frame, and fairly lightweight, with the full build weighing in just under 20 lbs with pedals IIRC. If it would have cleared 28mm tires, I probably would have kept it in regular rotation, but I moved it along, cause roads around here dictate I ride at least 28's.
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Old 08-09-22, 08:04 PM
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bulgie Mark,

Altogether a very interesting and informed perspective, and I agree that when it comes down to being strictly scientific about the matter there probably isn't a way to prove the issue of efficiency vs. stiffness, because the variables are far too considerable to rein in for any one rider, not to mention any day of the year or road out in the world.

However, for as much as you might assume I am not really "interested in the other side" of the story, the very pessimistic view you relate of the modern bicycle manufacturing industry and related invention and promotion of new technology seems quite heavy-handed. Do you think tens of thousands of professionals go through their lives studying, designing and fabricating bicycles and advancing related materials like carbon fiber simply because it seems like it'll make them a buck more than the older stuff and that they're only trying to maintain consumer demand? This is a rather petty outlook on things, especially when for fifty years during the post-war period the bicycle industry was as easy as stamping out slightly modified versions of the same old components and changing paint and chrome schemes and tube sets now and then on the frames. A lot of hard and meticulous efforts go into fabricating all of the shapes and dimensions of carbon fiber bicycle frames, and the tolerances for every component these days are unbelievable. Component and frame advancements over the past two decades has been on par with almost the entire period since the derailleur and classic racing geometry became commonplace. It takes many more hours or a far greater investment in industrial processes to fabricate modern carbon bicycle frames than it does to weld or braze together a few tubes, and the consistent variety and evolution of frame dimensions via trial-and-error studies and material developments make the modern bicycle industry rather marvelous, fueled by many passionate people. To dismiss all of those labors as being done merely in order to sell some stuff is pretty much to admit ignorance, complete bias or total disregard.

Really sorry to digress here. If you want to continue the conversation, you're welcome to PM me, Mark.

-Gregory
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Old 08-09-22, 08:04 PM
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The 853 frames I’ve owned have been light and comfortable. Never considered them to be “stiff”.
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Old 08-09-22, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
The 853 frames I’ve owned have been light and comfortable. Never considered them to be “stiff”.
I feel like the major factors that contribute to the Schwinn Peloton being relatively stiff compared to more classic frames is the tight geometry, OS tubing and the aluminum fork. I wouldn't call the bicycle uncomfortable but it's responsive nature definitely makes it less forgiving than typical lugged frames with standard diameter tubing.

-Gregory
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Old 08-09-22, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I feel like the major factors that contribute to the Schwinn Peloton being relatively stiff compared to more classic frames is the tight geometry, OS tubing and the aluminum fork. I wouldn't call the bicycle uncomfortable but it's responsive nature definitely makes it less forgiving than typical lugged frames with standard diameter tubing.

-Gregory
The ones I owned were tig welded with OS tubing. Great all-day comfort.
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Old 08-09-22, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
If you want to continue the conversation, you're welcome to PM me, Mark.
No! Don't take it off-line! This is fascinating!
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Old 08-09-22, 11:10 PM
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Wow, I had no idea this would get this intense. I am obviously not the guy to evaluate the steel or the frame. I was just saying what it felt like to me. When I ride I love to travel across town or across the state under my own power. It's a little adventure each time I go and I feel like the best kind of 10 years old you can feel. I may not be cut out for a racing bike but I will say that I enjoy riding a great deal.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I feel like the major factors that contribute to the Schwinn Peloton being relatively stiff compared to more classic frames is the tight geometry, OS tubing and the aluminum fork. I wouldn't call the bicycle uncomfortable but it's responsive nature definitely makes it less forgiving than typical lugged frames with standard diameter tubing.

-Gregory
I have to admit that even though I do yearn for another one of these frames I still have to admit that my Circuit was easy to let go. One size to small but I also just did not like that fork. I've had/have other 853 bikes and they are fine. If I did score another one of these as either a Peloton or Circuit the fork would get swapped. Sometimes bikes just don't work for us for whatever reason. To many things add up to how a bike feels under us to tie it to anything specific in my book.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:36 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
Wow, I had no idea this would get this intense. I am obviously not the guy to evaluate the steel or the frame. I was just saying what it felt like to me. When I ride I love to travel across town or across the state under my own power. It's a little adventure each time I go and I feel like the best kind of 10 years old you can feel. I may not be cut out for a racing bike but I will say that I enjoy riding a great deal.
Yeah, this is an unusual thread for this forum. It does seem like things are getting a bit more confrontational than normal around here. In the end though, all that really matters is how the bike feels to you.
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Old 08-10-22, 07:09 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I have to admit that even though I do yearn for another one of these frames I still have to admit that my Circuit was easy to let go. One size to small but I also just did not like that fork. I've had/have other 853 bikes and they are fine. If I did score another one of these as either a Peloton or Circuit the fork would get swapped. Sometimes bikes just don't work for us for whatever reason. To many things add up to how a bike feels under us to tie it to anything specific in my book.
I am planning on selling mine just because I have a pile of bikes that I don't really need right now, but personally I could live with the fork even out on rougher roads. The caveat is that my ride distances on the Peloton never really got past the 40 mile mark. I think the geometry and reach over the long top tube contributed to my sense of feeling fatigued earlier than usual compared to more upright rides.

I'm also not sure why you would suggest that Bulgie and I were being "confrontational" above, as we were engaged in a pretty civil conversation as far as I can tell. No hard feelings up there. It's an interesting topic for sure and I did mean it when I apologized for the digression. It has got nothing to do with the merits of 853 at this point and we should continue the conversation elsewhere.

-Gregory
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Old 08-10-22, 07:36 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I'm also not sure why you would suggest that Bulgie and I were being "confrontational" above, as we were engaged in a pretty civil conversation as far as I can tell.
I agree, it was both civil and very interesting.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:39 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I am planning on selling mine just because I have a pile of bikes that I don't really need right now, but personally I could live with the fork even out on rougher roads. The caveat is that my ride distances on the Peloton never really got past the 40 mile mark. I think the geometry and reach over the long top tube contributed to my sense of feeling fatigued earlier than usual compared to more upright rides.

I'm also not sure why you would suggest that Bulgie and I were being "confrontational" above, as we were engaged in a pretty civil conversation as far as I can tell. No hard feelings up there. It's an interesting topic for sure and I did mean it when I apologized for the digression. It has got nothing to do with the merits of 853 at this point and we should continue the conversation elsewhere.

-Gregory
LOL, guess I'm spending the morning ruffling feathers. Maybe too much coffee. I'll stand by my comments that there is more arguing on this subforum IMHO than in recent years. I was referring to that more generally when I said that above. All's good with me.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:44 AM
  #47  
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I love all you guys and have learned so much from this forum. Keep informing me!
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Old 08-10-22, 09:14 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
bulgie Mark,........ Do you think tens of thousands of professionals go through their lives studying, designing and fabricating bicycles and advancing related materials like carbon fiber simply because it seems like it'll make them a buck more than the older stuff and that they're only trying to maintain consumer demand? ......

-Gregory
This seems like a premise for a very interesting thread!

Without the benefit of the participation of folks who were designing or specifying bikes, I doubt we can reach any conclusion. However, I can't help but notice that after decades of being happy with very narrow tubular tires, the pro's are now riding wider tires (are they clinchers or tubeless?). This suggests that bike manufacturers and race teams can overlook some basic aspects of bike design.

My impression is that companies are fine with tinkering around with frame material and are even doing some work with aerodynamics, but there are other areas where they appear to be blissfully ignorant. That might be due to the difficulty of quantifying effects or just having no background in the subject. Either way, it seems very possible that the total effects of frame stiffness might not have been evaluated.

OTOH, the whole business of Bicycling magazine having a frame stiffness tester, and the results of it being barely mentioned in its pages just seems odd. Was it a case of the results contradicting what the industry was trying to sell? From my perspective, I'd think that the ability to offer a tailored (and quantifiable) level of stiffness to each segment of the market would be an advantage, not unlike what Specialized does with its Roubaix model.

Steve in Peoria
(still curious about what varieties of stiffness and flex can be achieved with 853 tubing)
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Old 08-10-22, 09:42 AM
  #49  
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The 853 sure makes a nice road touring bike, that Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 is just outstanding. I guess all would say the Sherpa is made of the oversize tubing. I thought of it as springy, and quick in correction. Fully loaded, rides great. I had it built as flat bar hybrid.
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Old 08-10-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
  • Consumers have been told so many times by magazine reviewers and manufacturers that stiffer is better, that they don't even know that it's controversial. Which causes a feedback loop, making the magazines even less likely to "teach the controversy". Actually educating their readers wouldn't help them sell more magazines, it would just piss off a large segment of their readers whose minds are made up. Ain't gonna happen, even if a magazine had a writer/editor who was educated enough to know there's a controversy, and such writers are rare in cycling journalism.
Unless they're Jan Heine and are absolutely convinced the consensus is wrong. I think he's been talking about planing and useful flex almost as long (longer?) than he has the benefits of wide tires with supple sidewalls. Of course, he's a publish who also has a bicycle product to sell, so having a controversy to teach allows him to differentiate his product from the masses.
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