Light bike or stiff bike?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Kermithimself

I'm contemplating on buying a new bike, aren't we all? As a weightweenie I'd love to own a light bike, but looking out my window it's hard to find any climbs longer than 1 km. And looking at my powermeter I would be worried that a light bike wouldn't be stiff enough for my 1400-1500 watt sprints.

But are the frames of today stiff enough, even when they're lightweight? For instance, could I get away with riding the AX Lightness Vial Evo or a Ridley Helium, and not finding it too "soft"?

And the next question - would I be better off with an aero frame such as a Venge or Felt AR than a lightweight frame? I race almost every weekend, 120-140 km's.

Sorry if similar threads have been made previously, but can't seem to find them then.
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by ToffieBoi

Having a light bike is quite nice, a good way to show off actually.
But buying a bike which suits your needs are more important.

If you are a really strong and like to sprint, you need a stiff bike. I might not feel the flexing frame (183cm tall skinny guy), but you definitely will feel it. It is the worst feeling on the ride, when you can feel, even sometimes see that you are flexing the frame.

If you don't have climbs around, don't go for light frames and climb wheels. You don't need them.
Having an aero frame and aero wheels will make the difference after 100k ride.

They all are my opinions, might not be true of course ;)

by Weenie

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by motormouth

The only thing I would consider when going for 'stiffness' is how comfortable the ride will be, what you will be doing with it. I like stiff bikes myself and can't stand noodlely rides, but I couldn't imagine doing 140kms on a crit bike. Newer carbon models seem to be able to give you both characteristics (stiffness and comfort) with the tradeoff being the cost.
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by tinozee

How much do you weigh?

Your topic reminded me of this review I just read on the Foil. ... eview.html

I'd say the Venge, but I don't like it's look.

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by Kermithimself

Thanks for the feedback.

It's definately essential to get the best of both worlds in terms of stiffness and comfort. I'm not looking for a Roubaix bike, nor a Velocite that will be too stiff and impossible to ride more than a couple of hours.

I have a good set of aero wheels, Reynolds Aero 58, that are quite stiff but wide enough to offer some comfort. So next question - will an aero frame actually have a noticable difference compared to say a classic roundtube bike? The tests I've seen always seem to compare extremities such as a roundtube frame and 32 spoke low profile wheels to an aero frame with aero wheels. That will definately make a big difference, but how about frame only?
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by Ozrider

For a decent ride quality and stiffness Trek Madone, SWorks Tarmac, Colnago C59 or C60, BH, Giant TCR, Parlee Z5i, Crumpton, etc are all options.
The latest carbon bikes are quite light -700-900g frames, plenty stiff enough and have enough "vertical compliance" to make them comfortable enough for 100 - 200km rides.
Of the above bikes the Madone and BH are semi - aero.

Parlee Z5, Trek Madone, Colnago Dream,
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by Grill

Get a Foil HMX for best if everything. Anyone who says its uncomfortable is being silly. I used mine for everything including true 4 seasons riding and many 400 and 600k audaxes loading with 5-10kg of luggage. The main determination of comfort on any bike is tyres and tyre pressure.

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by mjduct

Most lighter bikes are pretty stiff due to the grades of carbon they have to use to support the same forces as frames weighing 1.5-2x as much.

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by fitty4

Addict sl? it should be semi aero, comfortable and very light

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by boots2000

Racer, not many climbs? I think you answered your own question.
Aero bike.
In addition to the ones mentioned- I like the Madone and also the Cervelo S3, though I would wait for the 2015 Madone in case they move the brake.

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by Spaetzle

aero = opposite of stiff

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by jackie

its depend on the type of terrain that you race in. if it hilly, then helium might work for you.
I have the Noah and the Parlee Z5si.. which is theory is a climber bike as its light.
when i ride / train on them on the same terrain/ course, its always the Noah that is slightly faster in term of timing and speed.
Equipments on them are identical, so that would mean that having a aero bike on a typical flat terrain is alot better.
however having said that, even on my climbs, the noah is term of speed is faster and time is more or less the same as my parlee, however the parlee allow me to climb with little effort and therefore allow me to do more loops than the noah.

above are just my 2 cent worth of opinion

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by em3

...don't forget to to consider the 2014 Cervelo R5 - aero, very stiff, very comfortable and very light. EM3

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by efeballi

R5? Aero? Stating that the Squoval profiles are aerodynamic is just marketing hyperbole tossed by Cervelo.
If you don't have big climbs around, I agree with the above comments. Aero and stiffness will trump weight. Scott Foil, Ridley Noah, Spec Venge, Canyon Aeroad are all viable options.

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by Weenie

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by Spaetzle

A canyon aerod is everything but stiff

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