BUT the most important thing I was talking with him was his (and mine too) opinion about stiffness of frames in general. Mr. Smolik is, and I support that 100%, an advocate of comfortable, 'ridable' frames. To quote him:
'I hope the stiffness craze reached a new and all-time high with this frame. I hope frames now become ridable again.'
We were joking about our old Vitus 979, TVT and Reynolds 753 frames (yes, Mr. Smolik is one of the few happy people to have a Reynolds Certificate for that tubeset!). But we both agreed that these fine frames are still a perfect choice for people that actually RIDE their bikes, not compare penises about their frames stiffness.
That coming from the very man who just presents the world record holder in STW makes me smile.
- I know two people who still own TVT frames. Like you and Mr. Smolik, they use to joke about these frames. They were so flexible that your gear would always shift when attacking uphill... Both ride modern style alloy frames now, Giants to be precise.
- Look still builds rather "old style" carbon frames, lugged, glued, small tube diameter. Look riders like Jaja have been seen to open their rear brakes for uphill so the rim won't touch the brakepad - and it was not only the rims fault, he was using ADAs...
- downhilling on SLX or 753 frames was downright scary if you happened to be in the 80kg+-class...
All this is *not* my idea of "rideable", whatever Mr. Smolik may mean by that term.
A large percentage of those who do significant (5 figures) mileage/year on their bikes (and buy their equipment themselves) use presumably "unrideable" stiff frames. Maybe not so unrideable at all?
The problem in general is: if you build a frame that is good in one specific (hypothetical?) test, it does not nessecarily mean that the frame will perform well in reality. And Mr. Smolik thinks the same about super-stiff frames as I do: stiffness is NOT the main goal, ridability is!
I agree that we have a trend here that only STW counts at all, maybe due to "Tour"s testing method. And maybe that testing method has a blnk spot in some aspect.
But everybody's free to think of a better way to measure frames!
Snowman and Strong Walker
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