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  1. #1
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    Looked at bikes today

    I ride on the road, but I am usually on roads that go through the middle of the woods, or on the bike path(paved). I went on a 24 mile ride yesterday, following a road along the river, then a road closed to motor vehicle traffic around the back of the reservoir, then on the highway for a couple of miles, then the bumpy bike path for the last five miles.

    My butt was killing me after the first twelve miles. I cannot believe that I used to sit on a leather uncushioned seat all day without it bothering me(same bike, my 82 Moto).

    Well anyway, it dawned on me yesterday that the kind of riding I do and the places that I like to ride to, and my poor butt, that I would like a full suspension bike. Today I looked at a Specialized Camber Comp 29, and a Trek Fuel EX 7 29. I want a bike that doesn't weigh more than the bikes I have now, they are not real light bikes, but I'm concerned about the weight of the suspension, so I am looking at carbon bikes.

    I am wondering what your opinions are of aluminum verses carbon mountain bikes.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Your bike is almost as old as I am. But I can't help wondering if you're giving it a fair shake. I much prefer to be on a road bike for the riding you're describing. But I'm often surprised by the tire pressures people are using on the road.

    When I have 23 mm tires mounted, I like 80 psi front/95 back. Less for fatter tires. I weigh 145 lb right now.

    Going back to your question, I don't think it's that important when the bikes in question are full suspension. Frankly, I don't think it's that important when they have no suspension either, compared to tire pressure. But the argument has a little more to it.

    Are you coming back after a few months off the bike?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    If you've been off your bike for more than a couple or three months it takes some miles over a few rides to toughen up again.
    After that you will be fine.

  4. #4
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    I've been riding pretty steady, although I am down to about once a week now. I'm running 85 psi in tires that are rated for 70 psi, don't know why I'm so obsessive about that. All of the roads I took are extremely bumpy. My Moto is a grand touring bike, designed for long distances, it shouldn't be hurting me. My LBS told me that at my age peoples backs give out, I have a bad back and bike riding doesn't bother me at all. I am also considering the idea that I might like riding off road.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If your tires are rated for 70 psi, how wide are they?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    If your tires are rated for 70 psi, how wide are they?
    They are the old standard 27X1 tires. Not sure how to answer your question, I certainly have seen tires at lot narrower than mine.

  7. #7
    Thinking about riding.
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    I rode some of the most technical, rocky trails in my area for over a decade on hard tails. Buying a full suspension for bike paths is a really odd concept to me.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    85's a lot for a tire that wide. Try just inflating to 70. Try less.

    I'm a sucker for fancy tires. Like 120 tpi casings. You may not be able to find that in 27", but if you're thinking about a new bike anyway...

    Do you plan to tour? It not, the new endurance road bikes might be a good fit for you. They're somewhere in between a racing bike and a sport touring model.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    since 4/10/2009
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    full suspension is NOT what you want. the suspension is going to bounce while you're riding it on the road, and you probably won't like that coming from what you ride right now. it will feel like you have flat tires all the time.

    You have an old bike. Those old 27 1 1/4 tire sizes are not offered in many different varieties (tread patterns, casing types, etc), and you don't have many width options.

    Something newer with 700c wheels will give you better options. Tire width will depend on what you get. A lot of race type bikes will max at 25mm width. This isn't what you want. A lot of endurance geometry bikes will come with 25mm tires but be able to fit up to 28mm tires. Consider cyclocross, gravel road, or touring bikes and you'll be able to fit 38-40+mm wide tires on them, and they'll offer nice cushion on rough roads comparatively speaking. If you want more cushion from there, a rigid 29er mountain bike will give you more tire cush. Generally speaking, though, as you move along this progression I've outlined, gearing gets lower and lower as the bikes become more capable for rougher terrain. It will limit your top speed somewhat on pavement. With the type of riding you describe, I don't see it mattering too much.

    Frame material matters, too. An aluminum bike will be stiff, possibly even somewhat harsh. But usually less expensive. It will typically be combined with other materials and design to improve ride quality. On road bikes, almost always with a carbon fork unless it's super cheap. Inexpensive steel like what Surly uses is a workhorse material. Super durable. Better ride quality than all aluminum construction, but can be a little harsh at times. Better steel will drop some weight and give a better ride quality. I have a Salsa Vaya steel touring bike with 700x38mm tires on it. Really nice ride. Love that bike. It can easily fit 700x40mm tires, FWIW. Carbon can offer both stiffness and a comfortable ride, depending on how the frame is designed. Because of the different construction (carbon bikes are made one sheet of carbon fiber "fabric" at a time, and properties can be adjusted by modifying shapes and fiber directionality, whereas bikes made from tubing have a limited suite of shaping techniques that can be applied).

  10. #10
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    It always go back to test rides to find out what works for you. For the riding that you are doing an FS is more bike than you need. Go to some shops tell what you want to do ,test ride many bikes repeat until you buy something.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    full suspension is NOT what you want.
    I have to agree with NH here. How about a same/similar bike with way more tire? Or how about putting 700s on your current bike and using the room for more tire? And different bars? Even a 29r HT in softer steel with a light and lockable fork (and softer seat, I like the SelleAnatomicas, super comfy) would be light years better on the old bones then what you are on now, IMO. I know folks that rail some pretty nasty stuff on Fuel EXs. That would be overkill , again, IMO. Maybe an older soft riding steel All-Rounder road setup might be better. Good luck!
    "It's not that bicycling is so important, it is that everything else is equally unimportant."-Bruce Ohlson.

  12. #12
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    I would quote all of you, but I think that you are all saying the same thing. I am ashamed to say that my LBS told me the same thing 6 months ago. Thank you. I am now listening. When I was young, 40 lbs was the most you could put in a bike tire. As tires improved the pressure went up. My train of thought was the higher the better. I have a newer bike with 700cc tires that I run 100+ psi. These tires lose a little air-I took it out yesterday and had a real nice short ride. I am really interested in seeing how much air leaked out. I bet you they are down to 40 or 50 lbs which would explain my having a good ride. I am trying not to end this post with DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I had a "duh" moment several years ago. My go-to road tire has been the Continental Grand Prix for years. My old bike came with GP3000s. They're rated for a maximum pressure of 120 psi and I faithfully inflated them to that. But due to some circumstances, I bought a Vredestein Fortezza TriComp one season. It had a higher pressure on the sidewall. I inflated to that and it felt like riding a jackhammer. That got me thinking - where do these ratings come from? What rider are they for? What happens if I use less?

    There are some charts floating around the 'net that relate rider weight and tire pressure, or load over an individual wheel and tire pressure. You should still experiment, but I think they're a good starting point.

    Unless you use latex tubes, your tires shouldn't lose much air in a week or a month unless something's wrong. Bear in mind that the gauge on a bike pump is measuring pressure in the pump. There's usually a check valve somewhere that prevents the tire from pressurizing the pump, so you can't assume they're equal until you've actually started increasing the pressure in the tire. They're also notoriously inaccurate, but I think they're pretty repeatable, so they're good enough as long as you always use the same pump.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    Get a steel touring bike or a steel cyclocross bike. And a new saddle. Suspension really doesn't affect your butt-tocks (Forest Gump) near as much as a supple frame with a good saddle.

    And like was said above, run a slightly lower pressure.

  15. #15
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    Just like everyone else mentioned, lower the tire pressure. How old is the saddle? Might be time for a new one. Same with your shorts....
    Riding.....

  16. #16
    since 4/10/2009
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    The smaller the tire, the bigger the difference a small change in pressure will make in the ride quality as well as your risk for pinch flats. For a 700x23 tire, you may only need to tweak it by at most 10psi to find something you like. For a 700x38 tire, you've got more wiggle room before pinch flats become a problem. On mine (700x38), I usually run about 60-65 rear and 50-55 front. But in the wintertime or on rougher terrain, I'll drop it a lot more. I think last winter, on a ride I did on a rail trail where conditions were awful with snow that melted and became slush and then refroze after a bunch of runners/walkers had passed through, I dropped down to about 20-25psi. I had to ride delicately to avoid pinch flats at that point, but I finally got the traction I needed.

    You want an accurate pump, take a look at this one:
    SILCA SuperPista Ultimate Floor Pump The Finest Bicycle Floor Pump The world has ever seen
    These are made near me. Gotta love it when race car industry people buy or start bike and bike component companies. There are a few of them around here. Zipp wheels came out of the race car industry. Theres a small custom builder here that's a race car engineer who does great work. The new owner of Silca, IIRC, was one of the guys who started Zipp then sold it to SRAM. Graham and Bobby Rahal recently had Wilier road bikes built at the shop where I work part time, also. I met Stephan Gregoire, who is retired from racing, but loves bikes. He was a pretty serious MTB racer for awhile. He lives near the shop where I work and is an occasional customer.

    Sorry for that tangent.

  17. #17
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    The smaller the tire, the bigger the difference a small change in pressure will make in the ride quality as well as your risk for pinch flats. For a 700x23 tire, you may only need to tweak it by at most 10psi to find something you like. For a 700x38 tire, you've got more wiggle room before pinch flats become a problem. On mine (700x38), I usually run about 60-65 rear and 50-55 front. But in the wintertime or on rougher terrain, I'll drop it a lot more. I think last winter, on a ride I did on a rail trail where conditions were awful with snow that melted and became slush and then refroze after a bunch of runners/walkers had passed through, I dropped down to about 20-25psi. I had to ride delicately to avoid pinch flats at that point, but I finally got the traction I needed.

    You want an accurate pump, take a look at this one:
    SILCA SuperPista Ultimate Floor Pump The Finest Bicycle Floor Pump The world has ever seen
    These are made near me. Gotta love it when race car industry people buy or start bike and bike component companies. There are a few of them around here. Zipp wheels came out of the race car industry. Theres a small custom builder here that's a race car engineer who does great work. The new owner of Silca, IIRC, was one of the guys who started Zipp then sold it to SRAM. Graham and Bobby Rahal recently had Wilier road bikes built at the shop where I work part time, also. I met Stephan Gregoire, who is retired from racing, but loves bikes. He was a pretty serious MTB racer for awhile. He lives near the shop where I work and is an occasional customer.

    Sorry for that tangent.
    A $450 floor pump.
    Does it wash the dishes as well?

    Even if I was rich I wouldn't pay that.
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