On stiffness. How much is too much.

How stiff do you want a bike to be?

Some quite good discussion here on stiffness, damping, flex and power transfer & rider comfort, largely around the shift from 25.4 to 26.0 to 31.75mm bars.

the problem is not bikes these days are too stiff but people who want a bike just to ride around on are buying full tilt race bikes and complaining they are not comfortable

Off topic:

This is the stiffest bike frame I have ever ridden - it was unbreakable but goddam felt like your spine was going to explode at the end of every session:

Banshee Morphine FR hardtail:

^ With all that square tubing and gussetts, it doesn’t look THAT stiff…

It’s obvious that you just needed a 25.4 bar.

Edit, On stiffness:
My uncle used to tell me about the big old J-class yachts from the 1920s and 1930s that used to compete for the America’s Cup. In the 1980s a few people replaced the old wooden spars and rigging with ‘modern’ rigs made out of aluminuim and wire. They were so stiff they began to break the hulls, the stress had to go somewhere and something had to give.

thread title is misleading.

It says stiffness, not stiffies.

having gone from a shitty alloy frame with sorta shitty componants, to a decent alloy frame with decent parts made a MASSIVE difference in stiffness and (at least what i portray as) power transmission. but really is not noticably any more uncomfortable than the old bike.

this would be a different story if i went from steel to alloy, but shit alloy to stiffer alloy didnt seem to make a big dif in comfort, if any.

so my opinion = get more stiffies

That Banshee looks like a weapon - gussets galore!

This quote is excellent

Don’t get me started, is all I can really say. It’s been an unpleasant adjustment over the past ten years watching a pastime and sport that I love that’s rife with legend, lore, fable, myth, superstition, shibboleths, snake oil, opinion, anecdotal evidence, blind disambiguation, and truckloads of groupthink…have all of that squeezed out of it and replaced by pure horseshit.

From what angle are you coming at this Blakey? …from a 650beardo perspective or as a FullSicMTBR? The Beardo riding a chromo lugged bidon-ridden Oregon Manifest bike wants some flex in the bars to take the edge off the corrigation of his long and winding roads. The MTBR on the other hand, smashing it along some rocky totes bermed up singletrack at 40kph, wants stiffness in his bars for when he puts the hammer down, he has suspension to suck up the bumps.

witness the stiffness?

Stifness (like lightness) is an old bike industry marketing rubrik that sucks in the gullible, the uninformed and so-called cafe experts. Even worse are the “racers” who like religious zealots like spouting figures and statistics that have never been proved or tested. Frames/components have been marketed as 20% stiffer for the last 20+ years and that’s not only bullshit but impossible.

/bring it on :slight_smile:


also, my banshee has stupidly beefy chain and seat stays. i dunno if that makes it stiff or anything.

Stiff stays and forks can be good combined with more forgiving main frame. The other way round (stiff main frame, with noodly forks/stays) is the crappy to ride as is a frame that’s stiff all over. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not fast (unless it’s 2 laps of the velodrome). A frame that works with you is the winner … back in the day they called it whip . Light, responsive, eager. All frames flex, it’s a good thing and they’re supposed to.

Really stiff bikes make you go faster.

Gonna have to play harder than that.

The trend in road frames these days seems to be about reducing frame stiffness, and a realisation the things were getting out of control in last decade. You’ll notice the trend towards 27.2mm seatposts whereas high performance bikes always had 31 in the past.

Go back and read the thread. Specifically suspectdevice’s posts (mickey from Spooky, and a better MTBer than anyone on FOA.)