Vol. 6, No. 4 Frame Stiffness and Planing Double-blind test of 4 frames Frame stiffness changes the bike’s performance How to make a bike lightweight Barra, pioneer of aluminum frames Test: Crumpton Carbon Randonneur
BQ 24 (Summer 2008)
Vol. 6, No. 4 Frame Stiffness and Planing Our biggest test so far: We had four frames built that were identical except in their frame tubes. We built them up with identical parts, and then did a fully controlled double-blind test. The surprising result: Two of three testers could tell minor differences in frame tubing with 100% reliability, and both preferred the most flexible frame. This test proved once and for all that “planing” is real and that more flexible frames work better for some riders. We look at lightweight bikes, testing a Crumpton Carbon Randonneur and examining what makes a bike light. We explore the history of Nicola Barra, the pioneer of aluminum frames, and showcase one of his incredible machines. Forbes Bagatelle-Black examines whether a heavy rider’s faster descending can make up the time lost on the uphills. Light weight is not everything, and we discuss how to design a bike for wide tires, and we test a number of different handlebar bags.