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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:36 pm
Posts: 416
Started this subject earlier and now I think its important enough to make a topic about.
What is the best frame in terms of handling?

For some years I've used Colnago :P . Started with 60cm center-top, then 59cm and now 58cm (see photo).
Always running a 10cm stem only last month 11cm. Seems the toptube is too long. Im 1.85cm by the way.

[url]
http://www.izegemkoers.be/index.php?sho ... 7&start=42[/url]
[url]
http://michaelmuusse.freehostnow.org/DSC_2587.jpg
[/url]

Im actually VERY VERY very bad and slow in corners. Most of the time braking so hard that after the corner I have a gap of 10meters.
Descending is even worse. Not going over 60km/h. Taking hairpins almost standing still. 10km/h. And still 1 leg out of the pedal.
In a mountain GranFondo race with time registration I've got for example a top30 ranking with climbing time and a position 2000 ranking in the descent.
On local club circuits 10year olds pass me in the corners on both sides :evil:


So what is a recommended frame with excellent descending and cornering properties???

Im thinking about Specialized Sworks tarmac or Trek madone6.9 2010.

Image
Just looks as a very stiff and stable frame just looking at the geometry.

Image
used in paris roubaix etc but it looks horrible!

Image
a sloping Colnago ??? de reviews are good though and its Colnago <3 <3 <3


I'll use Hyperons and Campa Chorus...


Thanks, Michael.
(http://www.michaelmuusse.tk)


Last edited by michael on Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:19 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:29 pm 
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in the industry

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oh no...Sram Racing Speed.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:41 pm 
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will buy frame only and if that is not possible with trek, sell the sram gruppo


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:57 pm 
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The Colnago is considered to be one of the very best handling frames out there. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I suggest that you ride with cyclists who can help you learn to corner and descend better.

And I would go for the EPS.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Location: Leg hurty
I know it's not on your list, but a Parlee Z4 is an awesome descender.
Every bit as good as my C40/C50s I've previously owned.
It's also stiffer in the BB than either of the Nagos.
As has already been mentioned though, a great frame won't turn you into a better descender, you need to work on it by practicing and following guys who you know are quick downhill.
I know a great many people who class themselves as slow downhill, but almost all of them suffer from the same problem........not looking far enough ahead and anticipating the turns early enough to set yourself up properly before you even hit the turn.
Think well in advance, keep your head up and try to be more confident by setting yourself up earlier. :D
Cheers, Rob.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Handling is as personal as saddle choice...

It's not just the geometry but where you specifically fit within that geometry AND with experience, determining what character you prefer...

Quick, stable, sluggish, twitchy.... people like different things and bike fit and body type are all in the mix...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Location: eh?
Sorry but in your case it's got nothing or very little to do with the bike.

Aside from proper descending technique, which it seems so many fine riders are surprisingly ignorant of, you should be extremely careful with tire pressures. I would never exceed 110 psi and lower can be better with the right tires. Somewhere in chat or training there is a thread that discusses descending/braking technique.

As for top tube lengths, at 185 cm height and assuming average body proportions, a 58 cm TT is not going to be too far off. 57cm might be better and I suspect 56 would be too short.

Good luck and study the proper technique. You should be able to wear the labels off your tires from cornering without ever feeling like your about to lose it.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Yes its a difficult thing.
Some riders seem to have more problems to find a suiting bike, then others...
Or maybe some riders dont care and can handle everything on 2 wheels without problems.

Being confident and not afraid is also an important thing. After a major accident 2years ago confidence is gone.
Every little hole in the road I hit, makes me think Im going to crash.

Anyway here is a photo of my bike, i just took it.
Seems the toptube is too big?


centertop;58cm
toptube cc; 56cm




Ps. Descending technique. Know it all! No braking in the corner or only at the rear. outer leg pushing on the pedal. making half a stroke with inner leg coming out of the turn. Looking out of the corner. 8bars rear 7.5front when dry. 65kg

Changed Bora for Hyperon to have less influence of side wind and better feel and cornering! The igh rims made it extra difficult.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Like you, I am not a great descender and am fairly nervous when cornering. I've been through a few bikes in the last decade - a Trek 5500, Look 585, Pinarello Prince (old version) and FP5 and finally a Colnago Cristallo. In terms of stable handling, I have found the Colnago to be the best by far, both because the bike is very solid and because the handling is quite slow. The Pinarellos were the worst, with (for me) fast, twitchy handling, and I sold both. I also found the Trek geometry quite stable, almost as much so as the Colnago, but I don't know how the geometry of the current models compares. I can only say that the Colnago has given me much greater confidence in descents and I am taking corners a lot faster now. My comments relate to the Cristallo, which is no longer available, but I would expect the CX-1, the Extreme Power or EPS to have similar characteristics. As others have pointed out, however, a lot depends on fit and personal preference.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:16 pm 
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Location: UK
You sound like my nemesis Michael, I’m your exact opposite, I descend like a legend, easily hitting 50+mph on the down-hills and having no issues on the hairpins. I put it down to doing a lot of mountain biking as a kid and not yet having bailed on any high speed descents (oh and weighing 80kg certainly helps). It’s the up-hills where I’m left hanging….

I think descending is 90% confidence 10% kit. You already have a truly beautiful bike, I don’t know if changing it to a more sprightly handling bike will actually improve your descending ( I personally like quite relaxed handling), but if it makes you feel more confident and you enjoy the ride more then it’s worth it!

For my tuppence I'd take the Colnago over the Trek anytime, but that's based on my snobbery rather than anything meaningful :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:18 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
My feeling: just like fast and slow-twitch muscles, people have fast-twitch and slow-twitch neurons :).

I'm definitely slow-twitch. I don't like surprises. I like nice stable lines in corners. For me, I want trail. 74 degree head tube? No thanks. My Fuji SL/1 has a 71, and I really like the way that corners. Concously counter-steer it into a line, get my COM low, keep a light grip on the handlebars to avoid over-reacting to road bumps, relax, relax more, relax more, look where I want to go and not where I don't want to go, apex later in corners rather than sooner, and relax.

A key to relaxing is a strong core, so I'm supporting my body like a cantilever rather than with my arms. My arms are bend, relaxed, absorbing shocks rather than transmitting them. Relaxing starts with my jaw (smile), then my neck (hunch my shoulders and let my head drop), then my shoulders (my neck hangs from my shoulders, not sit on top of them), then my arms. Descending is like yoga on the bike.

It also helps if I wear contacts rather than my usual eye glasses, as my eyes water behind the glasses.

I still can't keep up with the best descenders, but all of this helps.

Okay, so that's more than geometry. But the long trail definitely makes me a better descender. Look series have long trail. I think the Madones do as well. Comparisons differ by size. So you'll want to research it yourself.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Location: eh?
michael wrote:
Yes its a difficult thing.
Some riders seem to have more problems to find a suiting bike, then others...
Or maybe some riders dont care and can handle everything on 2 wheels without problems.

Being confident and not afraid is also an important thing. After a major accident 2years ago confidence is gone.
Every little hole in the road I hit, makes me think Im going to crash.



Ps. Descending technique. Know it all! No braking in the corner or only at the rear. outer leg pushing on the pedal. making half a stroke with inner leg coming out of the turn. Looking out of the corner. 8bars rear 7.5front when dry. 65kg

Changed Bora for Hyperon to have less influence of side wind and better feel and cornering! The igh rims made it extra difficult.



Well I think this explains things. Dude you are tall and you weigh nothing. High center of gravity - no mass. I bet the biggest improvement you would get would be from some really heavy wheels and fat tires to get some mass down low. Also at 65 kg you should try 7 bar front and rear maximum! Remember when you brake before the corner (80 % front brake, 20% rear) those pressures will rise. Also about the outside pedal thing - not only push down, but push down really hard and roll that ankle slightly toward the bike. You should have no weight or almost no weight on the saddle. You should feel the tires hook up like your on rails. Practice in some safe areas and your confidence will come back. Choose a corner you can practice on and keep upping the speed. Hands on drops always no matter how simple the situation corner or straight descent - just ask Jens.

BTW your bike looks very nicely set up. The amount of set back suggest you are not overloading the front end. Saddle to bar drop is a lot which can make descending a bit scary but overall looks good. Colnagos have a reputation as very stable predictable handlers. You won't improve anything by changing your bike. Maybe experiment with a higher bar position but that is all I would do.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Location: London, UK
Some tips to help you go faster:

1) Put on some good sticky tyres (couldn't see what you had). Pro Race IIIs are nice. If your buddy can ride down a hills on cheap tyres without falling off at speed x, you can also do it. Cheap tyres are a false economy. Then check your brakes are in excellent condition. That means nicely worn in pads to hit the whole rim, adjusted 'just so' so they work how you want.

2) Work on your braking technique
To go round a corner fast you need to work on the following steps:
a) Get to know what the maximum braking you can make on the back wheel alone, on the front wheel alone then in tandem. Build up from 10mph to 30+ in a straight line, no curves. Practice skidding until you can just skid then immediately unlock the wheel. This skill will save your skin when you begin to brake and corner. Also you should find that you can brake hard initially with the both wheels, then as you slow down and weight transfers to the front you need to release the back brake

3) Practice corners using a speedo
Take a 90 degree corner without traffic and ride round it at 10mph, 11mph etc. Just focus on being smooth. You will find you can build up to 30mph (i.e. much faster than you think is possible) if you are smooth, get weight centred on the bike and do not panic. Note that the bike will signal to you that you are about to fall off well before there is any danger.

4) Get your eyes up and ride as fast as visibility allows
There is no way to ride at 30+ mph if you are looking 2 metres ahead of you. You need to be looking 25m ahead, or as far as the road allows. Look at the road's vanishing point as it goes round the corner. As you ride towards the corner is the vanishing point moving towards you? If so you may need to brake more as the corner is tightening. If the vanishing point is moving away from you start pedalling. Simple.

5) Choose lines to maximise visibility through the bends NOT to maximise the radius of the curve
On the racetrack you can cut into corners to maximise the radius of the curve. On the road this is a bad idea because once you are tight to the apex of a curve your visibility forwards is minimal, meaning you need can only be safe if you are slow. Basically you should ride at the outside of the bend throughout the bend. This means you can see ahead as far as possible and allows you to make best use of technique 4.

6) Ride safely not stupidly.
There is a time and a place for going fast downhill. Attempting to ride so fast that you cannot stop within the distance you can see ahead is foolhardy.

I realised after buying a moderately fast car that I would likely have a bad accident unless I got training, so I went on a police pursuit driving course tutored by the guy who trains Oxfordshire police. It's highly recommended and a lot of fun, both for car driving and bike riding and it's where I learned 4 and 5. I won't tell you how fast I went on the course, but it was fast.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Location: Québec, Canada
I've NEVER rode a bike with such handling and descending capabilities. It is an F1!! I can say I am good at downhill, but this bike adds me confidence with its razor sharp handling!!
Argon 18 Gallium Pro. This is a 2009, but the 2010 is the same, except the colour. It's now white.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Different approach - I tried touring with loaded bags - had to try to keep weight balanced when descending / moving the weight around to suit the corner. It gave you more of an idea of how weight affected handling into and through the corner and perhaps gave you more of an idea as to what potential there is for carrying speed thru rather than clipping off.

I'd always recommend to try not to be braking when going thru the corner itself as your messing up the bikes natural grip, much like driving a car thru a corner.

I always try to be the first person or second in a group descending. You have to deal with everyone elses problems if you are in the trailing group and I tend to pick up speed as I go, so it helps to avoid needing to overtake.. but keep looking around & relax the body so the bike can roll and do what it wants as its running thru the corners.

Re the good brakes thing - I do most of my training with ceramic rims, so you have more chance to stop things when / if it goes wrong or there is a car coming round the corner that your not expecting.. your Nag as it is looks fine to me, can't see why you'd go changing it, just relax and get some time in the saddle :D Perhaps get some green koolstop pads to increase braking??


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Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:55 pm 


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