Does Stiffness Matter?

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by bpsmith, 5 Feb 2018.

  1. bpsmith

    bpsmith Veteran

    Ok, I know a number of people aren’t fans of GCN here, but this video appears pretty impartial and raises a big question on stiffness. What’s your opinion on how much the stiffness of a frame matters? What are your perceived differences between bikes which you own or have ridden?

    Alan O, johnnyb47 and raleighnut like this.
  2. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Veteran

    Market Rasen
    According to most women, yes.
  3. Threevok

    Threevok Carpe Rotam

    South Wales
    I was expecting Fnaar at any moment
    Oldbloke, Rooster1, dave r and 3 others like this.
  4. AndyRM

    AndyRM XOXO

    Whitley Bay
    Enjoy your worms!
  5. I prefer the feel of a stiff one. If it’s at all floppy, I find it compromises my performance, and feels wrong.
  6. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    Leaving all the silly childish innuendo aside, I think it probably makes chuff all difference unless you are at the very top of the game where it 'might' have a tiny impact that could be the difference between a 1st or 2nd place in the sprint for the finish line in a race.
    For most (and by most I mean 99.9% of the cycling population) it will make no difference, but could hugely affect bike comfort, which will in a roundabout way have an effect on performance. So a 'stiffer' bike may actually have a negative impact.
    I say all this assuming we are not including bikes that are so uselessly soggy that the brakes will rub during periods of intense effort (and obviously a set of suitable wheels will be needed too), we aren't including such bikes are we?
    simon.r, 400bhp, Bodhbh and 5 others like this.
  7. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    This video leaves me wondering why we haven't yet adopted full frame suspensions on road bikes...
  8. Drago

    Drago Soiler of Y fronts

    Does stiffness matter? Stick a hinge in each of your rear stays and see how your times are affected.
  9. Profpointy

    Profpointy Guru

    Maybe not quite what's being asked but my first "proper" bike used to flex badly at the back if I had heavy panniers on - this was thr frame itself not just the (possibly poor) pannier rack. My admittedly rather heavy thorn with substantial rack nor my much lighter condor fixie suffers from this. Although swayed (see what I did there?) by luggage related experience I am convinced that sideways flex feels vaguely odd and is undesirable. Efficiency, well dunno as I guess the loss is relatively low, but still not summat I'd want
    bpsmith likes this.
  10. Threevok

    Threevok Carpe Rotam

    South Wales
    If (like me) you have ever commuted on a full suspension, eventually, as the bushings start to wear, the rear end starts to "snake"

    When switching to the GT Avalanche (which was like riding an anvil) there was a world of difference
  11. dave r

    dave r Pedalling Pensioner

    Holbrooks Coventry
    In the 1990's I had two 531 framed bikes, the Dawes was stiff and I didn't notice flex at all, the Raleigh did flex noticeably at the back at max effort, I don't remember this impacting performance but the Raleigh required a touch more effort at times when I was riding it.
    bpsmith likes this.
  12. OP

    bpsmith Veteran

    So if you were to put the same effort in with the Dawes, then would you have gained in performance?
  13. dave r

    dave r Pedalling Pensioner

    Holbrooks Coventry
    maybe, I don't remember any so if there was it was very small.
    bpsmith likes this.
  14. Hugh Manatee

    Hugh Manatee Veteran

    When I had hair and a 30" waist, my main race bike was an Alan with a 23.5" frame. It flexed. A lot. To me it felt springy as if each flex had a reaction that fired me up the hills. I was a fairly good climber.

    I did rides and times on that bike that I haven't come close to since. I reckon the marketing people are the ones putting all the emphasis on stiffness.
    dave r likes this.
  15. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    anecdotal evidence suggests that an over-stiff frame will fatigue a rider faster.
    dave r likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice