Responsive Bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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meic
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Responsive Bike

Postby meic » 8 Jan 2015, 12:08am

There is a thread running asking for suggestions for a responsive bike.

What responsive means is something that people just intuitively know, I guess.
Except for me that is, so I havent a clue what people are talking about.

I would have an idea with a motorbike, throttle response, power, light steering, sharp brakes that dont throw you off.
Yma o Hyd

sreten
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby sreten » 8 Jan 2015, 3:14am

Hi,

The thread is essentially nonsense, and there is nothing to add.

Especially as its with fat tyres, it is clearly wishful thinking.

rgds, sreten.

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honesty
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby honesty » 8 Jan 2015, 7:41am

I wouldn't write it off as nonsense, and fatter tyres don't automatically mean slow.

I personally just take it to mean a bike with a more sporty geometry and a bit lighter, but not a super light twitchy race bike.

elPedro666
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby elPedro666 » 8 Jan 2015, 7:50am

I have always taken responsive to mean a bike that surges forward when you pedal and reacts quickly to rider inputs. A bike that effectively feels light, regardless of actual weight.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby Bonefishblues » 8 Jan 2015, 8:13am

I shout at mine when I want to go more quickly.

I'm still waiting for a response.

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Mick F
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby Mick F » 8 Jan 2015, 8:17am

elPedro666 wrote:I have always taken responsive to mean a bike that surges forward when you pedal and reacts quickly to rider inputs. A bike that effectively feels light, regardless of actual weight.
Me too.
Mick F. Cornwall

Vorpal
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby Vorpal » 8 Jan 2015, 8:18am

With bikes, I associate responsiveness to how well I can feel the surface I'm riding on and how quickly I can respond to that, via the bike. However, it's not a clear characteristic. It is largely subjective, and also relative.

So, 2 or 3 factors are involved: stiffness, steering geometry, and perhaps weight, or transmission efficiency. In general, a stiff, light frame, and new drive train will be more responsive than a heavy, flexible frame and worn components. Things like suspension and fat tyres will reduce reponsiveness. And a responsive touring bike is different than a responsive road bike is different than a responsive mountain bike.

Because it is subjective and relative, I don't think it is a ridiculous thread. But I also don't know if other people can contribute much, except to say what each individual prefers.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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pjclinch
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby pjclinch » 8 Jan 2015, 8:41am

I'd guess the acceleration thing as mentioned (my TSR is a lot more responsive to effort going up a hill than my Brom), but also steering. Responsive is what people who like twitchy steering call twitchy steering. Twitchy is what people who dislike responsive steering call responsive steering...

Try a Moulton or a Brom and try them no-hands. They're not impossible to ride no handed but they're certainly a lot harder than a road bike, tourer, or (especially) a classic roadster. On the other hand they're very nippy through tight corners in traffic. A bike with lots of trail tends to have self-centring steering, but a "responsive" bike doesn't, you have to exert more control but you potentially get more control in return.

I first came across the term in skiing, cross country skis described as being "more responsive" on cornering compared to alpine downhill skis because they're so much lighter. That is, they respond far more to the terrain than alpine bulldozers, rather than they respond far more easily to the skier's wishes, so they require more input/technique.

It's really down to preference. You choose, you lose, in other words.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

elPedro666
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby elPedro666 » 8 Jan 2015, 9:07am

"Responsive is what people who like twitchy steering call twitchy steering"


Hard to argue with that! Made me chuckle as it's a perfect distillation of the kind of the kind of subjective description we're discussing.

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mjr
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby mjr » 8 Jan 2015, 9:11am

I think my Revolution Streetfinder is responsive. It steers and accelerates easily and the V brakes are pretty good stoppers, although its 16kg isn't light. I'm often amazed how "point and whoosh" it feels after riding most other bikes. Most dramatic is when it's the last leg of a journey preceded by a train and a London hire bike... which might be sturdy and easy but you'd never call those responsive, would you?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 8 Jan 2015, 7:44pm

Hi,
On a good day an old hack can feel like lightning...........especially when your leaving others behind.
But on a bad day no hyper plastic fabrication will be worth a dollar when you get overtaken by a shopper with tweeds and trouser clips.................
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

JohnW
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby JohnW » 8 Jan 2015, 7:58pm

elPedro666 wrote:I have always taken responsive to mean a bike that surges forward when you pedal and reacts quickly to rider inputs. A bike that effectively feels light, regardless of actual weight.


+1

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Responsive Bike

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 8 Jan 2015, 9:22pm

Hi,
Saw this tonight on TV.........anything can be responsive :lol:
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..