tire size and suspension trade offs

Discussion in 'Wheels, Brakes and Suspension' started by graydog8josh, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. graydog8josh

    graydog8josh New Member

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    Suspension is meant to make the bike more comfortable. But if you're trying to go fast, then you want the bike to be stiffer and you dont want the energy to be lost through suspension. has anyone tried running narrow tires and no suspension and no seat springs and been able to achieve greatness? Just curious because i myself have some 26X 1.25 slicks, that i could and would use on the front and or the back on my motorized bicycle if it were to add to performance.
     
  2. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    I personally prefer hard tails for any kind of serious riding because they are much more precise handling and I don't like the extra slop suspension brings to a bicycle, be it on dirt or street. Having said this, a top of the line suspended bike CAN be a very sweet ride if you don't mind spending thousands for the quality needed to get this level of performance.
    The kind of riding style I use benefits from wider tires and more cush even on street. I am a throw it in backwards kind of rider who grew up on flattracks and gravel roads so a hardtail is best for my style. Most people will be more confident and slightly faster on pavement with a good solid hardtail frame and wide tires which are more forgiving.
     
  3. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    I'm not 100% sure I agree completely with the points raised (given the exclusion of the wallyworld type coilover "shocks"), as full (front & rear) suspension isn't always for comfort alone, with today's adjustable dampener shocks fully suspended bikes can even gain stability over unsuspended in certain conditions, such as washboard & other repetitive road variances, let alone recovery from major impacts, bumps or holes...

    For smooth, high speed & competitive track/pavement use there's something to be said for running a hardtail, or even w/o front shocks for that matter - but I think it's more simplicity & weight savings than anything else, dialing in the shocks for a firm, quick response (bound & rebound) negates much if not all the "squishy" feel. As for "energy to be lost through suspension" I think that's primarily applicable to pedal power as the shock's compression rate would have little to no effect on the power transfer from engine chain to rear sprocket... even if it did (depends on suspension geometry, compression under engine load), it couldn't be much, negligible even in comparison to say, the flutter drag between two different T shirts...

    Personal preference & riding technique on the other hand - those I think are far more direct factors & ones not to be underestimated.

    Were I to build a dedicated track racer, it would most likely be at least a hardtail w/only moderately wide tires - but this would be for weight & rolling resistance reduction, anything I build for the street will have at least front shocks as no minute preformance difference is worth the pounding & numb hands lol ;)
     
  4. Cuereus

    Cuereus New Member

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    im still a little to the motorised bike world but not the bike world. im still braking in my 2nd build which is a road bike with no suspension, my 1st was a mountain bike with front suspension and in my opinion i actually dont feel that much more vibration from the road or engine its a little but not that much. that being said i cant jump gutters and its a little rougher going over speed bumps and things alike. as for a track bike, you would still want fairly wide tires for handling purposes with thin rims you run a big risk of losing grip in turns where you want to lean right into them, but if your running in velodrom or a coarse with banked corners go for the thin rims... i guess its all about the purpose of the bike for ride with long straights and easy turns, i would guess you would see the difference in thin slicks than a standard tire
     
  5. a_dam

    a_dam New Member

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    Well, not sure about "greatness" but...

    This year will be the sixth year I've been running a 1973 Schwinn Continental with a homemade friction drive. My first motor was a 25cc from a homelite leaf blower I bought used for 10 bucks. It was still running strong last year when I put on a 28cc motor from a McCulloch weedwacker I pulled out of the garbage. I only replaced the motor because I wanted to test it.
    The 25cc would top out at about 27mph and I know the Mac will hit 30. I dialed back on the throttle because it was a little faster than I like to go.
    I don't think I could get speeds like that if it wasn't for those skinny, smooth tires at 80psi. Of course there are a lot of cons to using these bikes. You have to really watch the road for dips, bumps, holes. Very bad on gravel. I suppose the ride is pretty hard, but I've been riding these bikes all my life (just tured 49) so it don't bother me. Also very little tread on the tires I can find so they don't last as long as I'd like, but they last longer that you'd think.
    I just came here today to post a question about wider tires for my bike.

    There's a few people here who've used road bikes. Go for it!
     
  6. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    This is what I meant by spending for the quality needed to get a good suspension. I've never found any affordable (under $1500) suspension bike that felt stiff enough for me. A good tunable shock and fork are a great way to get better handling, but you are not going to get this level of performance without spending some serious coin.
     
  7. graydog8josh

    graydog8josh New Member

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    right now on my rides to class runs im running my 26 1.25 slick on the front and 24 1.75 street tire in the rear. No issues so far, my speedo is off now and i havent reset it. I think that running to class and back this slick isnt really too bad. I was afraid it was going to be deadly and dangerous, but i can just tell that the front is much lighter and the braking distance has increased slightly. That might be a function of the bike going faster due to reduced weight and having less tred to stop with. I only run front brakes and try to ride as low and as far back as possible.
     

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