Frame issues...maybe new one?
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  1. #1
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    Frame issues...maybe new one?

    I have posted about this 'issue' in the past, but I think it has come to the point of really bothering me. I have a DEAN El-Diente X-Lite...double butted TT and DT. It is custom sized. I find it to be flexy...ie: Standing along side the bike, you can give the BB a push with your foot and the frame flexes. While on a trainer, I can see the BB section...where all the tubes meet, move from side to side when 'mashing'.
    As I ride, I feel like I am always 'pushing' this bike...I never really get a nice feeling of responsiveness...as if it is 'holding back'... I realize that these 'feelings' are subjective, but compared to a Dean frame that I had prior to this, I remember it was 'spirited' and 'responsive'...but it didn't fit, and it was 'heavy'. This frame was an attempt to get the weight down and have the correct fit. The fit now is fine...but....
    Question: Can flex be 'seen', is what I explain 'normal' (as far as side to side movement), Can I have a custom frame that is quick and responsive and also be light?
    If you live near Long Island, can you recommend someone (maybe YOU) that could assess this frame for me.
    In any case, I will ride it all season and research the issue for next year. Thanks for tolerating this long post. A.

  2. #2
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    Question: Can flex be 'seen', is what I explain 'normal' (as far as side to side movement), Can I have a custom frame that is quick and responsive and also be light?
    > Your 1st one above: I've always been holding that ~theory~ -- but waiting for the right time/place to bring it to. More to a serious pro Bike Shop. In this case, You brought it, in a chatroom. This be a great chat, all by itself.

  3. #3
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    I think this is an issue of "feel". The way you describe things you prefer a frame with a stiff bottom bracket. A stiff frame is not faster per say but it does have a different feel.

    The difference between a "light" frame and a "heavy" one is less than two pounds these days. If you want a stiff Ti frame you are going to have to accept a little more weight - 3.5 lbs vs 2.6 lbs or so. There is no magic pill here...other than going with carbon which had a better stiffness to weight ratio. You pick.

  4. #4
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    imagination...

    A lot of this problem is your imagination. Any frame appears to flex when it's in a trainer, but the movement is really the trainer flexing where it contacts the ends of the axle.

    Standing along side the bike and pushing on the BB will make the wheels flex.

    Riders who complain the most about a lack of stiffness are usually mashers who are nearly always spinning too low a cadence in too big a gear, whether seated or standing. Learning to spin may help. I do a lot of climbing and I rarely see a decent spinner. Most guys mash big gears and when they stand to climb, they often go slower, when they should be going faster. I can bring my climbing speed up by as much as 20% when standing, because I maintain a cadence of 70-80 rpm (even higher for brief periods), while the masher might slow to as low as 50. It's not the most efficient way to pedal a bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40
    A lot of this problem is your imagination. Any frame appears to flex when it's in a trainer, but the movement is really the trainer flexing where it contacts the ends of the axle.

    Standing along side the bike and pushing on the BB will make the wheels flex.

    Riders who complain the most about a lack of stiffness are usually mashers who are nearly always spinning too low a cadence in too big a gear, whether seated or standing. Learning to spin may help. I do a lot of climbing and I rarely see a decent spinner. Most guys mash big gears and when they stand to climb, they often go slower, when they should be going faster. I can bring my climbing speed up by as much as 20% when standing, because I maintain a cadence of 70-80 rpm (even higher for brief periods), while the masher might slow to as low as 50. It's not the most efficient way to pedal a bike.
    Actually, and I am known to have a very vivid imagination, the frame does flex at the BB junction. If you push on the pedal (while standing aside the bike), the lower triangle will move. I would love to have this frame looked at by someone who "knows"... Want to come to NY for the nite? BUT...I do respect your input regarding spinning... I am trying to become a 'better' technical rider.

  6. #6
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    Most of the deflection you are witnessing is more than likely wheel deflection. Lateral stiffness in many modern low spoke count wheels is not very good. Borrow some heavy-duty 32 spoke hand-built wheels and then judge the whimpiness of your bike. I'm rather certain it will feel like a different bike.

    brewster

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