When racing, how important is comfort?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

I do my best to avoid riding more than 60miles on a single ride because I find it just too uncomfortable but I've only done long rides on aero bikes. I've owned other types but for whatever reason I've not taken them out for longer efforts.

Anyway, I'll be doing a hilly 100+ mile race in June and am wondering if I should attempt this on my S3 or pickup something else like an Emonda or Domane which would get used for this event but also long rides in general.

The Emonda I assume would be more comfortable than the S3 but the Domane with its Isospeed decoupler front and back would be that much more comfortable.

Assuming I can get the fit setup about the same, what would you say makes more sense for hard long efforts?


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madik
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by madik

What is your most common discomfort issue?

by Weenie


hack
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by hack

Ride the S3. Use 25mm tires if you're not already and you should be fine.

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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

madik wrote:What is your most common discomfort issue?


Fatigue, saddle soreness, neck stiffness.


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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

hack wrote:Ride the S3. Use 25mm tires if you're not already and you should be fine.


I was previously on 22 conti tubs and then 23 vittorias but am now on 25 tubeless. I will certainly try a century with the current setup in the coming weeks.


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hack
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by hack

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
hack wrote:Ride the S3. Use 25mm tires if you're not already and you should be fine.


I was previously on 22 conti tubs and then 23 vittorias but am now on 25 tubeless. I will certainly try a century with the current setup in the coming weeks.


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I've raced on the first gen Venge and the SL4 Tarmac on some awful roads up to 90 miles and haven't noticed a difference in comfort after putting the 25s on.

Jhomewood
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:30 am

by Jhomewood

Don't forget to actually lower pressure in your wider tyres. No end of people say 25c is more comfortable but run them at 110psi like they did their 23c.... Put them at 85-90 and you'll be golden.

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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

hack wrote:
VTR1000SP2 wrote:
hack wrote:Ride the S3. Use 25mm tires if you're not already and you should be fine.


I was previously on 22 conti tubs and then 23 vittorias but am now on 25 tubeless. I will certainly try a century with the current setup in the coming weeks.


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I've raced on the first gen Venge and the SL4 Tarmac on some awful roads up to 90 miles and haven't noticed a difference in comfort after putting the 25s on.

What sort of pressures are you running and what do you weigh?



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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

Jhomewood wrote:Don't forget to actually lower pressure in your wider tyres. No end of people say 25c is more comfortable but run them at 110psi like they did their 23c.... Put them at 85-90 and you'll be golden.


I just switched to tubeless 25s on my new wheelset and I will certainly try this out.


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hack
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by hack

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
hack wrote:
VTR1000SP2 wrote:
hack wrote:Ride the S3. Use 25mm tires if you're not already and you should be fine.


I was previously on 22 conti tubs and then 23 vittorias but am now on 25 tubeless. I will certainly try a century with the current setup in the coming weeks.


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I've raced on the first gen Venge and the SL4 Tarmac on some awful roads up to 90 miles and haven't noticed a difference in comfort after putting the 25s on.

What sort of pressures are you running and what do you weigh?



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Weigh in around 180lbs and run between 100 to 105 front and rear. Some guys I race with are similar in weight, but run less pressure. I don't like how the bike feels when the pressure is much lower though. Almost too compliant.

Jhomewood wrote:Don't forget to actually lower pressure in your wider tyres. No end of people say 25c is more comfortable but run them at 110psi like they did their 23c.... Put them at 85-90 and you'll be golden.

Agreed ... run less than your 22s or 23s, but find what you like. I could get away with 90 and not have pinch flat issues, but I just don't like how the bike feels at that pressure.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
madik wrote:What is your most common discomfort issue?

Fatigue, saddle soreness, neck stiffness.
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The neck issue could be remedied by more upright position. A proper bike fit is the starting point.
Also chances are that there are other saddles that you will find more comfortable than your current one.

As for general fatigue, could be fitness or perhaps the bike is beating you up a bit. Some people simply suffer more from certain qualities of certain bikes. I find my hands take a beating if I ride a very rigid fork - some of the new disc forks are bricks. I am totally unaffected with more typical road forks.

In general to answer your question, there can be a huge difference in how some people will feel between riding a bike that they find very comfortable and one that is less forgiving. I adhere to a couple of basics to maximize comfort as far as the bike goes. 27.2 seatpost with lots showing (so sloping top tube), and stem and handlebar not too stiff.

I don't know how much more comfortable an Emonda would be. Certainly the Domane would be comfortable but they are heavy and the geometry is not for everyone. Even the new SLR is not that light. If I had to choose the ultimate in comfort but still raceable, I would get a Cannondale Synapse Hi Mod. The Black Inc. version with rim brakes would be my pick.

All of this assumes that you have optimized your tire situation which you seem to have done.
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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VTR1000SP2
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by VTR1000SP2

I appreciate the fiscally responsible approach taken to my question. Will mess around with pressures in the coming weeks.


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User avatar
VTR1000SP2
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

Mr.Gib wrote:The neck issue could be remedied by more upright position. A proper bike fit is the starting point.

As for general fatigue, could be fitness or perhaps the bike is beating you up a bit. Some people simply suffer more from certain qualities of certain bikes. I find my hands take a beating if I ride a very rigid fork - some of the new disc forks are bricks. I am totally unaffected with more typical road forks.

In general to answer your question, there can be a huge difference in how some people will feel between riding a bike that they find very comfortable and one that is less forgiving. I adhere to a couple of basics to maximize comfort as far as the bike goes. 27.2 seatpost with lots showing (so sloping top tube), and stem and handlebar not too stiff.

All of this assumes that you have optimized your tire situation which you seem to have done.


The current setup I have on my S3 was the result of post Retul experimentation with stem angles. I have it dialled in very well right now for a fast 40 mile effort without any discomfort.

I'm using a different saddle since my last long ride which was an Antares VS. I'm not on a Berk Lupina padded but also picked up a Specialized Power as I've read good things about them and I am a get low and aero kinda guy who doesn't like to move about much.

The S3 has an aero post and isn't really designed for comfort despite being the newer iteration which shares some of the R series tech in the rear end. Not much I can do here but my stem isn't overly stiff and does noticeably flex when sprinting which isn't something I do often.

Hopefully the move to 25s will be enough and before I abandon the theory, I will switch to softer 25s with Tubes if the Schwalbe Pro Ones don't quite give me the smoother ride I should get from 25s.


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spud
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by spud

saddle comfort and neck comfort can be related - more upright position to alleviate neck issues can cause more weight on saddle, resulting in irritation. Also, my first long rides of the year always give me neck and shoulder issues (I ride a pretty aggressive position). However, I adapt after a few weeks, no more neck issues etc.

Not much in the way of answers here, but dropping pressures is a great fix for most things. But do pay attention to saddle tilt as well.

by Weenie


beeatnik
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:26 pm

by beeatnik

Saddle and fitness.

On super hard rides, I can hang w the top guys in the region (cat1s and neopros) for 50-60 miles. But on longer rides, the discomfort sets in and I find myself constantly shifting my weight on the saddle. This coincides with neck/shoulder pain. Minute after riding, I'm pain free. I ride Ariones; too lazy (and cheap) to try new saddles. So these days, I rarely do "long" rides,

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