PDA

View Full Version : Smooth and Snappy?


TAW
06-22-2005, 10:37 AM
Is it possible to get a bike that's both smooth and snappy? Having recently sold a CSI, I have some money to buy a frame. I still have a Look CF frame, that while smooth, doesn't have the joy of stomping on it and feeling it go. I sometimes feel like I'm dragging it up a hill. So I was thinking of a Legend/Concours, but also have found a Pegoretti Fina that's my size and might work. I do occasional crits and some duathlons (non aerobars) and want a bike fit for those races. I'm open to opinions, and thanks in advance.

Richard
06-22-2005, 12:40 PM
Out of curiousity, was your CSI smooth, snappy, neither, both?

slowgoing
06-22-2005, 12:48 PM
The Fina is a good choice, very snappy, about as comfortable as steel, but not on longer rides. A Calfee has snap but would be even smoother.

Skrawny
06-22-2005, 01:04 PM
If someone has a little time, please give me some definitions.

What excatly is the characteristic of "snappy?"

What about "whippy?" -some have said it like it's bad, some like it's a good thing.

(I can figure out smooth on my own)

Thanks,
-s

William
06-22-2005, 01:15 PM
If someone has a little time, please give me some definitions.

What excatly is the characteristic of "snappy?"

What about "whippy?" -some have said it like it's bad, some like it's a good thing.

(I can figure out smooth on my own)

Thanks,
-s

Don't forget "Buttery Smooth". ;)

To me:
"whippy" is the same as "noodley". Too much frame flex.
"Snappy"= stiff frame (with the right amount of give) that rockets when you put the hammer down and has tight responsive feel/handling.

Just my definition...

William Webster ;)

Climb01742
06-22-2005, 01:16 PM
whippy usually refers to a frame being too flexible. a litespeed ghisallo is whippy.

snappy usually means the bike responds quickly to the rider stepping on the gas. i use the term "jump" sorta interchangeably.

smooth and snappy? two words: carbon fiber. of course, i'm biased. :beer:

e-RICHIE
06-22-2005, 01:30 PM
of course, i'm biased.

i think that belongs in the "Gay vague" thread.

Climb01742
06-22-2005, 01:32 PM
i think that belongs in the "Gay vague" thread.

but was i born biased or did i become biased?

flydhest
06-22-2005, 01:36 PM
TAW,

How big are you? I think that matters a lot.

I think it's odd that people would equate snappy with stiff, but, of course, as William so ably points out, these are each person's own definition. When I describe a frame as "snappy" I would also say "springy" and I think of, at least in my size (60) the two CSi's I've owned. Some flex, so that the bike feels alive, yet not so that the frame "gives" when you push it. An old Bridgestone catalogue talked about the idea of jumping off a wooden floor (as I have done numerous times as a high jumper) versus jumping off a concrete slab. The concrete isn't going anywhere, but it's worse to jump off. My Legend is a bit smoothers and a bit less springy. For a smaller person, I would think that a Ti Serotta would do what you want. I rode a Merlin Road for a while and it was too soft for my taste.

Having ridden an OCLV, Calfee, and Giant carbon, there is a wide range of how each feels. The OCLV, to me, feels very stiff, but dull. It's smooth . . . sort of. The Calfee felt quick and sprinter-like, but perhaps a bit too much and not powerful enough for my taste. The Giant was great going up hill and scary coming downhill, but it was somewhere in between the OCLV and the Calfee in terms of feel.

With regard to smooth, despite skrawny's comment, I think there's value to discussing what someone means. When people say things like silky or buttery or whatever, all I can think of is that their full of $hit. No road bike that I have ever ridden has been like sitting on a sofa when you hit a small pothole. As a result, I think people try to be evocative in their metaphorizing (I love that word) and end up just exaggerating "smooth" to justify to themselves or others what the bike can or can't do. As far as I can tell, an early 1990s Cannondale with 28c tires is going to be smoother than most steel bikes I've ridden. If the point is insulation from road imperfections, smoothness is most effectively purchased through wheels and tires. Heck, for smooth, get a 650b wheeled bike with 35 tires.

Big Dan
06-22-2005, 01:46 PM
T, what was wrong with the CSi?.. :confused:
I for one find my Serotta steel bikes to be fairly "snappy" unless you are at slow speeds.
For nasty conditions like headwinds and rain I rather go with my Merckx , which is neither smooth nor snappy. For some reason when I push myself back the EM gives me the best response.....

:D

Climb01742
06-22-2005, 01:58 PM
fly points out something important...talking (or writing) about how a bike rides is more often (i find) about semantics than it is about riding. finding the right words to describe what we feel while riding is damn hard. like "smooth". five riders, five definitions of what "smooth" is.

complicate that with custom frames. no two custom CSi's are exactly alike. my two ottrotts were/are about as different as two frames can be. so not only are we using different vocabularies, we are referring to different frames...even when both frames in question are a CSi, or a legend, or an ottrott.

my head hurts.

weisan
06-22-2005, 02:02 PM
No wonder Richie-sawa keep saying, "I don't understand what it means."

TAW
06-22-2005, 02:09 PM
I actually sold the CSI for fit reasons, primarily. It was a little long in the top tube, and someone I knew it would fit wanted it, so I sold it. I liked the responsive feel of the CSI, but I like the smoother feel of the Look. Some of the roads that I ride regularly are choppy. I am 5'8 and 160. I guess I'm just wondering if another bike might ride a little smoother than the CSI but with the same snap. Is that even possible? Thanks for the input.

Climb01742
06-22-2005, 02:11 PM
I actually sold the CSI for fit reasons, primarily. It was a little long in the top tube, and someone I knew it would fit wanted it, so I sold it. I liked the responsive feel of the CSI, but I like the smoother feel of the Look. Some of the roads that I ride regularly are choppy. I am 5'8 and 160. I guess I'm just wondering if another bike might ride a little smoother than the CSI but with the same snap. Is that even possible? Thanks for the input.

yes.

zap
06-22-2005, 02:30 PM
Yes

umm

Ditto

Big Dan
06-22-2005, 02:39 PM
I feel the plug for plastic coming............... :eek:

T, also remember that the wheels can be a factor on how the frame reacts to your input.
Bigger tires can also make a frame feel smoother...

Ok boys bring in the plug.......... :cool:

OldDog
06-22-2005, 02:41 PM
Super Smooth and Snap with some Sass....a ride to really please your *ss - get in line for a Sachs.

Len J
06-22-2005, 02:48 PM
for me if I was rating bikes on smoothness on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not smooth and 10 being the couch you speak of), I might say.

1 = an old Cannondale Aluminum (a Bike that knocks your fillings out) with High Pressure 700X20 tires on stiff wheels
10 = Touring Bike with 32 spok OP rims and 700 X 35 tires.

In this case, I would rate the merckx MXL about a 7 and the Ottrott ST with the Firm Tubing as an 8 (Both with OP's and 700 X 23 tires.

The "Snappy" Scale might be (1 being lethargic, flexy, unresponsive, while a 10 would be a rocket ship. Put the pedal down and the bike jumps)

1 = some old cheapy Titanium bikes that flexedwhen you looked at them

10 = Jerk's Big Leg Emma Not built at all for anything other than jump.

in that case, I would rate my Merckx MXL about an 8 and the Ottrott St about a 7.

I think scales like this help me understand distinctions.

Len

Sandy
06-22-2005, 02:50 PM
Smooth and Snappy- Serotta Sandy's Steel Serotta (CSi)

Snappier and perhaps a little less Smooth- Serotta Sandy's ST Serotta- Ottrott ST

Not Smooth at all and even less Snappy- Serotta Sandy

The design and tubing choice is critical, I would think.


Snappy Smooth Sandy

93legendti
06-22-2005, 05:07 PM
Is it possible to get a bike that's both smooth and snappy? Having recently sold a CSI, I have some money to buy a frame. I still have a Look CF frame, that while smooth, doesn't have the joy of stomping on it and feeling it go. I sometimes feel like I'm dragging it up a hill. So I was thinking of a Legend/Concours, but also have found a Pegoretti Fina that's my size and might work. I do occasional crits and some duathlons (non aerobars) and want a bike fit for those races. I'm open to opinions, and thanks in advance.

Legend ST or an Hors Categorie.