By Rick Schultz
Just watched a video where a mechanic discusses why he prefers one frame compared to another, in this case, Trek vs. Giant.
He considers what makes a “nice bike.” But for him, ‘nice’ means (a) does it look good, (b) what components the manufacturer put on the frame.
He asks “What would I rather have?”
- From a mechanical engineering point of view, I would look at carbon grade vs. carbon grade. If one bike uses T300 and the other T800, which do you think has the “better” carbon?
- Look at how the frame is built from the inside. Stick a camera down each of the tubes like some of the more highly technical reviewers do, and see the real quality of the carbon frame.
- Look at the roundness of the holes of the BB shell.
- Look at the tolerance of the holes of the BB shell.
- Do the center of the holes line up?
If 3, 4, or 5 are out of spec, this will not only limit the service life of the bottom bracket bearings but will add greater resistance so that it takes more force to turn the cranks.
That is what I look for when comparing frames.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.