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Does a steel 29er Hardtail ride more comfortable than an aluminum 29er Hardtail? Looking for the more comfortable hardtail: Vassago Bandersnatch or Sette Razzo for my older bones?
 

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It sounds like you have a problem with your seat I would suggest getting a leather suspension seat with springs, I would suggest one of the three seats:http://www.brookssaddles.com/en/Shop_ProductPage.aspx?cat=saddles+-+city+%26+heavy+duty&prod=B67
I don't have any experience with the Brooks but it's considered "the standard"
http://www.permaco.com/en-us/dept_7.html
I have used the Persons Apollo and Majestic Saddles and the Apollo is by far more comfortable of the two. The Apollo also has a shortened rear "wing" which means that you can move it further back than most saddles. I have used the Apollo on both road and mountain bikes and it makes huge difference,especially on a road bike. It can really absorb all the bumps and subtle obstacles that you are bound to encounter during road riding.

I have also used the Gyes Leather Bicycle Saddle:
http://www.crowcycleco.com/bicycle-components/saddles/gyes-leather-saddle-560-005.html

It's far superior in quality and construction to the Apollo Saddle, I have had five Apollo's and one required a replacement. However it has two disadvantages compared to the Apollo saddles. The first one is the leather, it just isn't as soft so it has a "firmer" ride. Another issue is the wing itself. The Apollo saddle can be pushed back further than the Gyes, and probably the Brooks Saddle due to it's "small wing" design.

Another thing is it's much cheaper to get a new Saddle than a new bike! If I'm wrong you're out maybe $80 a new bike on the other hand is a much more expensive proposition.
 

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Easily steel. Aluminium is the harshest by a long shot. If you've got the dough then go titanium. As mentioned get some large volume tyres live the Schwalbe big apples for the city or WTB Weiwolfs for trails at 25 - 30 pressure. Any more comfortable than that and you may as well be on an armchair.
 

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Hugor said:
Easily steel. Aluminium is the harshest by a long shot. If you've got the dough then go titanium. As mentioned get some large volume tyres live the Schwalbe big apples for the city or WTB Weiwolfs for trails at 25 - 30 pressure. Any more comfortable than that and you may as well be on an armchair.
Calling BS.
Another MTBR urban myth IMO.
Have had steel (Sir9 and Zion), Scandium with CF seatstay (Mamasita) and Aluminium (El Comandante).
IMO none of them felt significantly harsher than the other.
Ran all of them with 2.1's front and back and mainly fully rigid.

IMO good build quality and geometry will also effect ride quality.
Will get back to you on the improved ride quality that ti brings to the table when I have a good few rides on my Blacksheep under my belt.
 

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Comfort in frames is all about the design and build, not about the material.
For added comfort look at large volum tires, low pressures, thinner seat posts and a fitting comfy saddel. As stated before in this thread...
 

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simenf said:
Comfort in frames is all about the design and build, not about the material.
For added comfort look at large volum tires, low pressures, thinner seat posts and a fitting comfy saddel. As stated before in this thread...
That is my experience on my road and mountain bike as well. I recently changed from a steel Karate Monkey to an cheap aluminum Access 9r from Performance. The Access is IME more compliant. :eek: I suspect that the longer chain stays play a role in this.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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See what not asking a properly worded question does? You make a bunch of folks give you more confusion than you started with.;)

Is steel more compliant than the other material? Yes, all day long (unless you mean some crazy cheap, thick walled POS). Thin walled butted steel has a ride with no equal in terms of forgiveness and snap.

Is aluminum stiffer, therefore, less flexible, and thus, capable of building a less compliant frame? Yes (unless you mean some of the uber-expensive offerings that have aluminum pushed to it's limits, often with carbon involved, or things like Scandium). Cheap, thick walled pricepoint type alloy frames are like riding with a jack hammer up your arse.:eekster:

Comfort is so many things. Back pain, butt pain, shoulder pain, hand pain, they all have different solutions, (fit, component choice, design, body type, fitness level etc) .

But to call steel no different in ride quality than aluminum is a disservice to the OP, and the material.
 

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But to call steel no different in ride quality than aluminum is a disservice to the OP, and the material.

Even aluminum frames from different manufacturers can have a very different feel, I have a Gary Fisher Rig (converted into a 1x9) and a Giant XTC 29er 1 although both bikes are made of aluminum the Giant is definitely stiffer, its frame is lighter too.

I've also tried Rocky Mountain's Hammer 29er Geared steel hardtail, it has better ride than either the Gary Fisher or the Giant, but it has one major drawback:it doesn't climb as well as the Giant.

So sure it's possible to get a bike with a less road chatter but it may affect climbing. Honestly I think a leather suspension saddle is your best bet.
 

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MendonCycleSmith said:
See what not asking a properly worded question does? You make a bunch of folks give you more confusion than you started with.;)

Is steel more compliant than the other material? Yes, all day long (unless you mean some crazy cheap, thick walled POS). Thin walled butted steel has a ride with no equal in terms of forgiveness and snap.

Is aluminum stiffer, therefore, less flexible, and thus, capable of building a less compliant frame? Yes (unless you mean some of the uber-expensive offerings that have aluminum pushed to it's limits, often with carbon involved, or things like Scandium). Cheap, thick walled pricepoint type alloy frames are like riding with a jack hammer up your arse.:eekster:

Comfort is so many things. Back pain, butt pain, shoulder pain, hand pain, they all have different solutions, (fit, component choice, design, body type, fitness level etc) .

But to call steel no different in ride quality than aluminum is a disservice to the OP, and the material.
I have to disagree based purely on frame material. The compliance of "steel" frames per se is an urban legend. Tires, assuming they are not inflated to ridiculous pressures, have far more compliance and would mask any vertical frame flexing.

I'm aware that you have qualified the type or quality of steel and aluminum utilized but one does not have to go to extremes. It is my belief that a well designed frame trumps the material used.

I think this issue is best explained in the linked article by the late and highly respected Sheldon Brown.

Ronnie.
 

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Well without studies looking at every different frame manufacturers geometry and its vertical compliance it seems this question is unanswerable.
However it goes without question that of the 3 common materials used to manufacture frames that the most elastic and hence most comfortable metal starts with titanium, then steel and followed by aluminum.
I accept that geometry has a very large factor to play but it is an unknown variable in this comparison.
As a bioengineer I do not know where carbon fits in the equation as we don't use it.
If I was the OP I would suggest titanium and if I couldn't afford that then I would go steel.
 

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Only applies if you drink the Sheldon Brown kool-aid. Mr. Brown was a bright fellow but he also is pretty singular in his frame article. He considers comfort using only his butt as his gauge. And makes some large assumptions which are purely math based, pertaining to a perfect world. He never for instance takes resonance into account.
Frame material does make a difference the same as chain stay length or any other piece of the design.
I love reading Sheldon Brown but his is his own opinion and he isn't nor ever was a final authority, at least not that I know of.
 

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In my humble opinion, I think frame material is more applicable to road bikes where the tires have 100+ PSI. The tires are very hard an transmit much more of the raod to your sit bones. Plus, on a road bike you tend to ride seated a much higher percentage of the time than on a mountain bike... On a mountain bike, you have (relatively speaking) large volume squishy tires... and you're probably only sitting on the seat 1/2 the time, give or take... I think comfort issues have to do with the seat, the seat position, the correct frame size, the correct stem lenght and bar hieght and width... my recommendation is to get professionally "fitted" to your bike if it's causing you discomfort.
 

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So let's say hypothetically, that you had 2 bikes one a steel hardtail and one aluminum and they had the same geometry and same wheels tires etc. that they would feel the same?
 
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