Re: [CR]Re: blind tests, was lots of other things...

(Example: Framebuilders:Tony Beek)

Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 14:17:05 -0700
From: "Doug Van Cleve" <>
To: "Jan Heine" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: blind tests, was lots of other things...
In-Reply-To: <a0521062dc0e04a3aacb5@>
References: <>
cc: Classic Rendezvous <>
cc: Classic Rendezvous


I am pretty sure I am stating something that many of you know but here it is anyway. Bicycle Guide (I think it was them) had a big batch of Mondonicos made that were identical geometry and components, same size and painted the same. I think the tubing ranged from Gara (straight guage mang-moly) through EL or EL OS. They had 5 or 6 testors ride them all and evaluate them. Basically nobody was very accurate on any guesses about the tubing. I am pretty sure this article is scanned and online somewhere...

Doug Van Cleve Chandler, AZ

On 7/16/06, Jan Heine <> wrote:
> At 3:52 PM -0400 7/16/06, Harvey M Sachs wrote:
> >In short, I think this is a hard experiment to do. Actually, the
> >first trial would be two bikes of one set of tubing, and another of
> >a different. Just to see if a series of riders can reliably tell
> >which one is different... That could be scary.
> There was an experiment that was mentioned in passing in the very
> first Rivendell Reader. They built three bikes, one with much stiffer
> chainstays. Otherwise they were identical. They had 13 or 14 riders,
> and all but one could tell that one bike was different from the
> others. However, when asked which one was stiffer, the answers were
> split 50:50.
> The author concluded that stiffness does not matter. However, that
> interpretation is incorrect. If all but one rider can feel the
> difference it matters. The exeriment shows that "stiffness" cannot be
> felt per se, and that different riders have a different idea of how a
> stiff bike might feel. For example, if I didn't know that my Singer
> was made from lightweight, flexible tubing, I might think it was
> "stiffer" because it climbs and accelerates so well. Conversely, the
> overly stiff bikes that I can't move might be interpreted as
> "flexible noodles" that sap all my energy.
> But asking about stiffness is asking the wrong question. I would have
> liked to know which bike the testers felt was easier to ride fast,
> which accelerated better, and which climbed better.
> So if a bunch of random riders can tell when a frame has different
> chainstays, I believe a totally different tubeset would be even
> easier to tell.
> --
> Jan Heine
> Editor/Publisher
> Vintage Bicycle Quarterly
> c/o Il Vecchio Bicycles
> 140 Lakeside Ave, Ste. C
> Seattle WA 98122