Do racers "feel" different?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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archy sturmer
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Do racers "feel" different?

Postby archy sturmer » 13 Jan 2018, 3:40pm

Ten years ago, newly returned to cycling, I bought on eBay a Peugeot Prestige, late 80s/early 90s vintage, I'd guess, not realising that it is, apparently, an out and out racer.
I've never managed to get on with it – I've tried replacing the drops with flat bars and even those "bullhorn" type (can't remember the proper name).
Adjusted seat height, bar height, all sorts - it just doesn't feel right. My everyday Trek hybrid feels fine, the Peugeot feels "unstable" is the only word I can describe it. The most obvious difference between the two is the wheel base: at 38.5 inches the Peugeot is about 2inches shorter
The size is right for me, the frame doesn't appear to be bent, so here is my question: Do bikes like this always feel different from "ordinary" bikes? Has anyone else experienced the same thing, or is it just me?
That's not a recent photo, by the way

Samuel D
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Samuel D » 13 Jan 2018, 4:08pm

Road bikes have geometry designed for racing and that does make them twitchy. The effect comes mostly from the head-tube angle and trail in combination with tyres of low rolling resistance (that exert a lower centring force via the trail lever), the shorter wheelbase not making much difference by comparison.

There are bicycles that broadly look like road bikes (racers) and have the same aerodynamic advantage without the twitchy steering. The Spa Audax is an example, although it might still be too twitchy for your tastes. There must be others more stable still.

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foxyrider
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby foxyrider » 13 Jan 2018, 5:03pm

Of course they feel different, there would be no point if they didn't.

As to twitchy - a well designed a set up road bike should not be twitchy, it should feel planted and predictable. But if you are used to a hybrid it might very well feel twitchy by comparison as the steering is more precise and immediate, essentially in a fast moving bunch and twisty roads taken at speed.

An Audax machine doesn't by default give you middle ground - mine is actually twitchier than my race bike and unpredictable even after six months of regular riding - it's just not as 'planted' as my race bike.

Changing the bars etc on your Peugeot has almost certainly made things worse, it was designed to be ridden low and 'fast'. Embrace the difference, enjoy the extra speed and (don't all jump down my throat) comfort on longer rides.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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foxyrider
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby foxyrider » 13 Jan 2018, 5:03pm

Duplicate post removed
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Bonefishblues
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Bonefishblues » 13 Jan 2018, 5:08pm

I've never really felt one for fear of a black eye. I imagine they would feel rather taut and sinewy.

Brucey
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Brucey » 13 Jan 2018, 6:33pm

archy sturmer wrote:Ten years ago, newly returned to cycling, I bought on eBay a Peugeot Prestige, late 80s/early 90s vintage, I'd guess, not realising that it is, apparently, an out and out racer.
I've never managed to get on with it – I've tried replacing the drops with flat bars and even those "bullhorn" type (can't remember the proper name).
Adjusted seat height, bar height, all sorts - it just doesn't feel right. My everyday Trek hybrid feels fine, the Peugeot feels "unstable" is the only word I can describe it. The most obvious difference between the two is the wheel base: at 38.5 inches the Peugeot is about 2inches shorter
The size is right for me, the frame doesn't appear to be bent, so here is my question: Do bikes like this always feel different from "ordinary" bikes? Has anyone else experienced the same thing, or is it just me?


There may have been variations (esp in small sizes) but IIRC Peugeot road bikes of that period usually had a fairly generous amount of trail; enough to make riding no hands rather easy.

Give it a hundred miles or so and it may feel like 'normal' and the other bikes rather tank-like.

Steering feel varies with all kinds of things including wheel weight, tyres, weight distribution, wheel alignment, all sorts. But if you cannot ride your bike easily no hands, there is a very simple explanation; most probably your headset is knackered, most likely through being badly adjusted (which is commonplace).

cheers
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archy sturmer
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby archy sturmer » 13 Jan 2018, 6:52pm

Thanks for that Brucey. I can't ride no hands anyway! Regarding the headset, what would be the symptoms of it being knackered? (This is the "old fashioned" type,not the modern ahead-sets).
That's not a recent photo, by the way

Brucey
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Brucey » 13 Jan 2018, 7:03pm

if you lean the bike even slightly to one side, the steering should 'flop' under its own weight. If it doesn't do this, the headset is binding. Commonly a headset that is or has been overtightened develops an 'indexed' or self-centring characteristic, where the bike just wants to go straight, and you go down the road steering in a jerky and erratic fashion. About half of all the bikes that I examine have badly maintained headsets, in some way shape or form, and most of the bad ones have been overtightened.

If you happen to have a smallish frame, and a headset with roller bearings in it, the steering will (IME) probably be crap anyway.

cheers
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brynpoeth
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Jan 2018, 7:15pm

Bonefishblues wrote:I've never really felt one for fear of a black eye. I imagine they would feel rather taut and sinewy.


Tour de France teams have several masseurs, their job is to feel riders muscles before and after races and advise them about asthma

One has to work hard but the money might be good
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Grandad
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Grandad » 13 Jan 2018, 10:41pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
I've never really felt one for fear of a black eye. I imagine they would feel rather taut and sinewy.


Tour de France teams have several masseurs, their job is to feel riders muscles before and after races and advise them about asthma

One has to work hard but the money might be good


I'm at a loss to link these posts to the topic of this thread. Am I being thick?

Debs
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Debs » 13 Jan 2018, 11:59pm

archy sturmer wrote:My everyday Trek hybrid feels fine, the Peugeot feels "unstable" is the only word I can describe it. The most obvious difference between the two is the wheel base: at 38.5 inches the Peugeot is about 2inches shorter
The size is right for me, the frame doesn't appear to be bent, so here is my question: Do bikes like this always feel different from "ordinary" bikes? Has anyone else experienced the same thing, or is it just me?


Some road race bikes feel twitchy by nature of the given frame geometry, and if so it maybe best to sell it on and find an alternative bike that feels right.
My 2001 Caad 4 Cannondale was terrible for twitchiness, very lightweight aluminium it was a fab hill climber but one needed great skill and care when descending, gorgeous looking bike too, but i sold it because the twitchiness of the ride was too darn fatiguing.

IMO built in twitchiness is a sign of imperfection of the angles used in the frame design- there are frame builders, and there are frame builders - if you know wot i mean. Fortunately i've also been blessed with some fine handling road race bikes [of around 38" wheel-base] a couple custom made in the early 1980s out of Renolds 531c, and presently carbon fibre Trek which also handle very predictably and feel fine.
Are you sure you have the correct frame size?
I see so many cyclists riding around on frames far too big for them...

Twitchiness can be made worse if you use a frame size that's too big with a shorter handlebar stem to compensate, always better to have the right size frame with the correct stem length to give a sensible steering feel.

I agree a knackered head-set will produce a horrid twitchy ride, good for noting but thrupenny bit cornering :D

Debs

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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Roadster » 14 Jan 2018, 12:51pm

Grandad wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:
I've never really felt one for fear of a black eye...

Tour de France teams have several masseurs, their job is to feel riders muscles...

I'm at a loss to link these posts to the topic of this thread. Am I being thick?

I believe the posts in question are mischievously taking "racers" to mean riders, not their machines.

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archy sturmer
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby archy sturmer » 14 Jan 2018, 2:18pm

Thanks for all the replies (serious and otherwise) folks!
My other gripe with the bike is the impossibly (for me, anyway) high gearing - 16 closely spaced ratios. I know I could replace the cassette with something a bit more accommodating, but I'm inclined to think the bike is not for me.
Just one thing - any suggestions on how I can date this bike?
That's not a recent photo, by the way

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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2018, 2:21pm

many cycle parts have date marks on them, including shimano parts and some french stuff like maillard hubs. Peugoet went bust and stopped making lightweight bikes at a certain date and many of their old catalogues are online.

If you post pictures, maybe someone will recognise the model, or an easily datable part that is fitted to the machine.

cheers
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Bonefishblues
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Re: Do racers "feel" different?

Postby Bonefishblues » 14 Jan 2018, 2:37pm

archy sturmer wrote:Thanks for all the replies (serious and otherwise) folks!
Just one thing - any suggestions on how I can date this bike?

You're a rich seam of comedic material, I give you that :wink:

I'll resist for fear of causing further thread confusion :lol: