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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:38 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:40 pm
Posts: 422
Location: Aberystwyth
I was wondering which materials match which others for a comfortable ride experience.

Particularly, for my steel frame kona, would I get a better, less harsh ride feel if I went for carbon bars and seatpost? Are there any materials which don't work together well (cause unnecessary wear or squeek annoyingly when they rub for example)?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:54 pm 
Posh Mark
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:49 pm
Posts: 5981
Location: As far from the city as you can be ....
I've aways ridden steel hardtails.

I've found that due to the compliant nature of the steel I've not needed anymore than aluminium bars and posts. Guess its personal prefference.

So people will build entirely with one material e.g. Ti but the properties don't always complement one another e.g. too flexy.

Carbon is suppossed to have vibration damping properties but even this is a talking point.

IMHO stick with steel and aluminium.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:11 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am
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Location: A veritable floating palace
The bike that fits you is best for comfort. I think making sure your bars and saddle are in the right place is much more important than the materials you use.
But a pair of good gloves will help.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:38 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:19 pm
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Location: Odense, Denmark
Can't say I've found carbon bars and seatposts to give any extra comfort. But it's not a fair comparison as the bikes I've had them on were plenty comfy already.

Stuff I did find to make a difference when the bike itself was too harsh -

A long titanium seatpost
Titanium bars

But to be honest mate... tyre pressure. That's the secret.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:31 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: New Forest, UK
In the end, if you make any material thick enough it'll be rigid and stiff, thin enough and it'll be flexy.

The question then is firstly if you can make flexy without breaking and also get stiff while still light.

Most of the differences in bikes are in the frame design, not the material. Although flexy Alu is not a great idea as it cracks. So the bike industry got off in a big way telling us we wanted stiff, because ALu frames had to be like that, and Alu was cheaper to make bikes from (=more profitable) which was why they really wanted to do it.

As for Ti, a pal of mine reversed his car over his Litespeed (don't try at home) and it sprang back - but some Litespeeds in 2006-7 had head tubes tear as they were made too thin. It's all in the design.

A RAAM winner said that it was pretty hard to work out what material your frame was made from, in the dark.


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