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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for Bikes with Incredible Ride Quality

    Hey all,

    My girlfriend just got a brand new Cervelo R5. It's too small for me, but I rode it and was absolutely blown away by the ride quality. It felt stiff in all the right places, but at the same time it seemed to absorb shock and road chatter like nobody's business.

    What other bikes out there have similar ride quality? I want to get a new bike and see what other options are out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    Hey all,

    My girlfriend just got a brand new Cervelo R5. It's too small for me, but I rode it and was absolutely blown away by the ride quality. It felt stiff in all the right places, but at the same time it seemed to absorb shock and road chatter like nobody's business.

    What other bikes out there have similar ride quality? I want to get a new bike and see what other options are out there.
    Trek domane or if you want something racier go for the Madone.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevina6 View Post
    Trek domane or if you want something racier go for the Madone.
    The Trek Domane does have the advantage of the IsoSpeed Coupler which acts as a mini-suspension in the rear.

    That being said, most shock absorbency on road bikes is in your tires. You may want to check what brand, make, TPI and pressure of the tires this bike has compared to other bikes you think feel more harsh.

    "Stiff in all the right places" has to do mostly with the frame and to an extent, the wheelset. Shock absorbency has to do mostly with the tires.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  4. #4
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    A lot depends on your weight.
    If you are not average or close to it the best way to get the ride quality you want would be from a competent custom builder.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    Hey all,

    My girlfriend just got a brand new Cervelo R5. It's too small for me, but I rode it and was absolutely blown away by the ride quality. It felt stiff in all the right places, but at the same time it seemed to absorb shock and road chatter like nobody's business.

    What other bikes out there have similar ride quality? I want to get a new bike and see what other options are out there.
    Just a suggestion before you make any decisions.

    I'd check her air pressure and the comparative size of her tires. Nothing makes more difference in ride quality than wheels, air pressure, and tire size.

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    ^This^ The biggest difference you can make is tire size/pressure...by a long shot. If you overinflate the tires on your Domane by 10 or 20 psi the ride will go from smooth to harsh. That said, the Domane SL or SLR (and the Checkpoint) have the smoothest ride I've yet experienced.
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  7. #7
    tlg
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    I heard these ride really plush

    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Just a suggestion before you make any decisions.

    I'd check her air pressure and the comparative size of her tires. Nothing makes more difference in ride quality than wheels, air pressure, and tire size.
    You have this correct except for wheels. While wheels can make your bike feel more or less stable, they cannot make your bike feet more or less "plush". That's all in the tires.

    And yes, I forgot to mention tire width along with the other tire factors I mentioned in post #3. Wider will be more comfy.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I heard these ride really plush

    They do, but if you can keep up with me on a 50 mile ride on one of these, you're a better man than I am.

    I rented a fat bike at a cross-country ski center once. Ride 7 miles on groomed snow with an average speed of around 6 mph. I felt like I got the same workout as a 40 mile road ride.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  10. #10
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    Tire seem to make a big difference, and can make most any bike more comfortable for not a lot of money. Tubeless bumps the comfort up another notch. Tires can also make a bike uncomfortable. I test rode a Domane ALR6? a little while back, and the ride was harsh. I was unimpressed. It felt pretty much like an Emonda ALR. I didn't check the pressure, but I believe the shop put in 100psi in the 25s before the ride. I typically run 85-90psi in a 25 on my bikes, and those were smoother over rough terrain. Generally, I'd avoid fancy moving frames and stems and stick to good wheels and tires on a decent frame. A 27.2 post and a carbon bar would also help.

    There is a recent podcast out there discussing the impact that tires vs. frame have on vertical compliance. I don't recall it being all that informative, but if I remember correctly, tires and frame are about equal in ride quality contribution. They had some less than ideal tests to back that up though.

    Another big difference I've noticed is the fork. I have an Enve 2.0 on one bike and a Whisky Road+ on another. The Whisky is a lot more forgiving. It flexes more too, but mostly fore/aft. I imagine it's a similar sensation to IsoSpeed. Even so, it's not enough to detract from anything that I do, though the brakes do seem to flex/occasionally rub the tire under really heavy braking. That could either be fork flex or the long reach brake arms flexing.

    Anyway, this thing with 28s (tubeless in the back) and that Whisky fork is the most comfortable road bike I've ever ridden. It's inexpensive Reynolds 520 straight gauge steel main tubes with I don't even know what rear end. Something not as nice, surely.



    Edit - if you want something nicer than a $400 Kona frame, I've had that wheel/fork combo on a titanium Lynskey. That was also quite nice, and slightly lighter/fancier.
    Last edited by Pisgah2000; 04-27-2018 at 09:45 AM.

  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    Tubeless bumps the comfort up another notch.
    I know a LOT of people seem to think this is true. That would mean that you're overinflating your clinchers for some reason. Pinch flat resistance? As I've posted dozens of times: Why would you overinflate clinchers to avoid something that might happen once or twice a year if you're not paying attention to the road? If you're running both types of tires at the same pressure the tubeless tire will almost always have worse ride quality due to its heavier casing and bead.
    I doubt anyone can really say that a carbon bar is more comfortable than an aluminum bar. Bar tape selection will make more of a difference. A 27.2mm post? You'd first have to have a frame that used that size, and it would have to have a bunch of post showing above the top of the seat tube. Some posts might flex more than others. Blanket recommendations like this don't make any sense to me.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I know a LOT of people seem to think this is true. That would mean that you're overinflating your clinchers for some reason.
    Eh, I ride on crushed gravel a fair bit, and some of the roads are rough so you'll hit things regardless of how you attentive you think you are. It's also nice to not worry. Pinch flat resistance is a good thing. I run 10-15psi lower on the tubeless, and running those pressures with tubes results in more pinch flats than I'd like. It's not a game changer like it is on an MTB, but it is more comfortable without worrying about flatting. I've been there and done that several times.

    As for the rest, that's just what I've experienced with bikes I've owned. Take it for what it's worth... possibly nothing, just like any advice on here.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I know a LOT of people seem to think this is true. That would mean that you're overinflating your clinchers for some reason. Pinch flat resistance? As I've posted dozens of times: Why would you overinflate clinchers to avoid something that might happen once or twice a year if you're not paying attention to the road? If you're running both types of tires at the same pressure the tubeless tire will almost always have worse ride quality due to its heavier casing and bead.
    I doubt anyone can really say that a carbon bar is more comfortable than an aluminum bar. Bar tape selection will make more of a difference. A 27.2mm post? You'd first have to have a frame that used that size, and it would have to have a bunch of post showing above the top of the seat tube. Some posts might flex more than others. Blanket recommendations like this don't make any sense to me.
    I can say that. When I switched from an aluminum cinelli to an easton ec90... the difference was so noticeable until I got used to it, that I kept checking my front tire, thinking it was going flat.

    Then after I wrapped the ec90 with fizik microtex tape, I stopped wearing padded gloves. Didn't need em anymore.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    I can say that. When I switched from an aluminum cinelli to an easton ec90... the difference was so noticeable until I got used to it, that I kept checking my front tire, thinking it was going flat.

    Then after I wrapped the ec90 with fizik microtex tape, I stopped wearing padded gloves. Didn't need em anymore.
    I wouldn't be sure the difference had anything to do with material though. I too have noticed differences between bars and the harshest have been carbon, the most forgiving have been carbon, and the alloy ones I had were about in the middle of those two.
    used all three with same stem, bike, and tires so feel it's pretty fair compare and definitely would not blanket say anything about material bars are made from.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I wouldn't be sure the difference had anything to do with material though. I too have noticed differences between bars and the harshest have been carbon, the most forgiving have been carbon, and the alloy ones I had were about in the middle of those two.
    used all three with same stem, bike, and tires so feel it's pretty fair compare and definitely would not blanket say anything about material bars are made from.
    The bar was the only thing I changed when I noticed the pronounced before-after feeling I described above.

    It really was that dramatic of a change.

  16. #16
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    Nobody has mentioned it yet, but tubulars will always give a better ride.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    The bar was the only thing I changed when I noticed the pronounced before-after feeling I described above.

    It really was that dramatic of a change.
    I got that and don't doubt it. My point is that the it wasn't because the new ones were carbon alone because I've had/used carbon bars that were definitely more harsh than other alloy bars I'd used. And I've had carbon bars that were more forgiving.

  18. #18
    Is it the future yet?
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    Don't know how they compare to Cervelo (keep an eye on that bottom bracket), but TIME and LOOK ride amazing and you don't need to use flat or fat tires with them either.
    I've also heard great things about the Bianchi Infinito
    Last edited by maximum7; 05-15-2018 at 08:30 PM.

  19. #19
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    I have year old Trek with a Reynolds 531 steel frame, a Brooks Team Pro saddle on a CF seatpost, a box-section tubular wheelset with 28mm Challenge tubulars mounted. The ride quality is FABULOUS!
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximum7 View Post
    Don't know how they compare to Cervelo (keep and eye on that bottom bracket), but TIME and LOOK ride amazing and you don't need to use flat or fat tires with them either.
    I've also heard great things about the Bianchi Infinito
    Funny you mention Cervelo. I went to their Brain Bike presention a few years ago. We were listening to their head engineer, Damon Rinard, talk about carbon frames. He talked about all sorts of stuff as we had toured their So-Cal carbon facility that morning. At some point one of the attendees asked what the difference in 'ride quality' was between their best riding frame (R3) and their stiffest (S3). He said "5%...next question". At that time there were no Domanes, but the Roubaix was available. He swore up and down that the frame made very little difference in what the rider was feeling. If you wanted a better ride he said saddle/chamois/bar tape/tire selection & pressure would make much more difference.
    So there's that. One of the most respected engineers in the business doesn't think there is much difference between the best and worst 'ride quality' when you're looking only at the frame/fork.
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I have year old Trek with a Reynolds 531 steel frame, a Brooks Team Pro saddle on a CF seatpost, a box-section tubular wheelset with 28mm Challenge tubulars mounted. The ride quality is FABULOUS!
    The 28mm Challenge tubulars are mainly what is giving you that "fabulous" ride quality. Everything else is insignificant. See below:

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Funny you mention Cervelo. I went to their Brain Bike presention a few years ago. We were listening to their head engineer, Damon Rinard, talk about carbon frames. He talked about all sorts of stuff as we had toured their So-Cal carbon facility that morning. At some point one of the attendees asked what the difference in 'ride quality' was between their best riding frame (R3) and their stiffest (S3). He said "5%...next question". At that time there were no Domanes, but the Roubaix was available. He swore up and down that the frame made very little difference in what the rider was feeling. If you wanted a better ride he said saddle/chamois/bar tape/tire selection & pressure would make much more difference.
    So there's that. One of the most respected engineers in the business doesn't think there is much difference between the best and worst 'ride quality' when you're looking only at the frame/fork.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    Great post, thanks
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    The 28mm Challenge tubulars are mainly what is giving you that "fabulous" ride quality. Everything else is insignificant. See below:
    This bike has been an ongoing project for about the last decade. The Brooks Team Pro saddle made a great difference, but right now it has a light plastic/padded saddle on it. The CF seatpost also makes a small difference, but, man, those Paris-Roubaix tubulars!
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    I have a Cannondale EVO, no complaints at all about ride quality or comfort.

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