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It really is the engine

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

It really is the engine

Old 06-12-19, 07:12 AM
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Rides4Beer
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It really is the engine

I've often heard people say that it's the engine, not the bike. Last night was a good example.

I took my gravel bike to the A group ride, because my aero bike is setup for a TT on Thursday and I didn't want to mess with it. So I put on my road wheelset with 28mm GP5Ks (measure at 30mm) and ended up setting nine segment PRs, riding my non-aero, 4lbs heavier, endurance geometry gravel bike.

I think part of it is the whole "comfort = speed" thing. Some of the roads we were on are pretty crappy, on a road bike you have to be careful and you get a lil beat up in some sections. On the gravel bike with bigger tires and compliance built-in to the seatpost and bars, I was very comfortable and had no problem pushing through the rough sections.

Yes, in a lab, aero trumps all, but in the real world, sometimes it's a lil different. That being said, I'm still riding my aero bike with 88mm wheels and clip-on aero bars for the TT.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:17 AM
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indyfabz
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Sometimes it's both.

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Old 06-12-19, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Sometimes it's both.
True!

To be honest, most people didn't even realize it was a gravel bike until I said something, and then they noticed how much clearance there was for bigger tires.

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Old 06-12-19, 07:29 AM
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In a group ride, I'd think that the number of PRs you get will be dictated by the group's pace, not your own performance on any given bike.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:43 AM
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Aero - the bike, the wheels, your clothes, your position - is much less of a factor on group rides. If you're under 6'2" and not hanging at the front... yeah, get comfy ;-)

Prior to doing one of Atlanta's fastest group rides, my fastest average on the route was round 22mph. I logged a 25+ mph average with the group (same bike).
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Old 06-12-19, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I've often heard people say that it's the engine, not the bike. Last night was a good example.

I took my gravel bike to the A group ride, because my aero bike is setup for a TT on Thursday and I didn't want to mess with it. So I put on my road wheelset with 28mm GP5Ks (measure at 30mm) and ended up setting nine segment PRs, riding my non-aero, 4lbs heavier, endurance geometry gravel bike.
So you are faster with the A group, than you are on a solo ride.

It's not surprising at all.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
In a group ride, I'd think that the number of PRs you get will be dictated by the group's pace, not your own performance on any given bike.
My previous PRs on these segments were also set in group rides. We tend to stay fairly consistent, with hard efforts through several sprint zones. Plus a lot of the pulling last night was done by me and another guy on a gravel bike lol

My point is that we get caught up in the equipment, and that part of it is fun, we all like to buy new shiny things, but at the end of the day, it's the rider, not the bike. Unless you're chasing seconds, you could probably ride any bike that's in good working order and perform about the same. I was just really surprised that I did so well on the gravel bike, being under the common assumption that my aero bike would be so much better on the road.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
My previous PRs on these segments were also set in group rides. We tend to stay fairly consistent, with hard efforts through several sprint zones. Plus a lot of the pulling last night was done by me and another guy on a gravel bike lol
the plot thickens

FWIW, your body position might be aero on TT bike, but at the expense of power production.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Aero - the bike, the wheels, your clothes, your position - is much less of a factor on group rides. If you're under 6'2" and not hanging at the front... yeah, get comfy ;-)

Prior to doing one of Atlanta's fastest group rides, my fastest average on the route was round 22mph. I logged a 25+ mph average with the group (same bike).
Position and clothing definitely. I don't wear loose clothes and my position would have been similar, except for the taller stack. The bike/wheels seem to be a smaller part of it though.


Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
So you are faster with the A group, than you are on a solo ride.

It's not surprising at all.
As mentioned, previous PRs on these segments were on A group rides on my aero bike. Maybe it was just that new bike magic?

I really think it was the comfort factor, being more comfortable going fast on rough roads. (and my bike fitness is still improving, still being fairly new to cycling, about 8 months now)
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Old 06-12-19, 07:54 AM
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Is that bike crabon? It looks crabon. If it is, then obviously it is fast.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:57 AM
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I've known it's the engine for over 50 years. You're just now finding that out? You're slow but you're catching on.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post

As mentioned, previous PRs on these segments were on A group rides on my aero bike. Maybe it was just that new bike magic?

I really think it was the comfort factor, being more comfortable going fast on rough roads. (and my bike fitness is still improving, still being fairly new to cycling, about 8 months now)
Your body position might be aero on TT bike, but at the expense of power production(or handling on rough roads)

Only 8 months of cycling? You'll get many PRs in the next few months/years.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:01 AM
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I do agree with you - we really attribute too much to the stuff.

The bikes in my club's A-group range from $1,500 to $12,000... and there's zero correlation to the speed/fitness of the bikes' owners. There is however a correlation the owners' occupations ;-)
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Old 06-12-19, 08:20 AM
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Unless those PRs were set during sprints in which you went out solo, rather than doing much of the distance drafting, then it's the group dynamics that made you faster.

To say that this ride and your other PRs were all set during a group ride misses the point. If the group rode harder this time, then you got the benefit. If the group as a whole is speeding up as the riders get more fit later in the season, you got the benefit.

It may not be about bike, but in a group ride, it's the engines, not the engine - assuming that yours is good enough to keep from getting dropped.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Is that bike crabon? It looks crabon. If it is, then obviously it is fast.
It is, that's def what did it! lol


Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I've known it's the engine for over 50 years. You're just now finding that out? You're slow but you're catching on.
Jon
I'm new, and yes, a lil slow.


Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Your body position might be aero on TT bike, but at the expense of power production(or handling on rough roads)

Only 8 months of cycling? You'll get many PRs in the next few months/years.
Yup, definitely looking forward to continuing improvements.


Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Unless those PRs were set during sprints in which you went out solo, rather than doing much of the distance drafting, then it's the group dynamics that made you faster.

To say that this ride and your other PRs were all set during a group ride misses the point. If the group rode harder this time, then you got the benefit. If the group as a whole is speeding up as the riders get more fit later in the season, you got the benefit.

It may not be about bike, but in a group ride, it's the engines, not the engine - assuming that yours is good enough to keep from getting dropped.
Good point, I don't care to look that deep into it, it's just Strava lol I just thought it was interesting.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:45 AM
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I don't know how you can talk about PR's for a group ride without knowing the stats for everyone else on that ride. Even a poor rider will show good on a day that everyone else in the group is doing good. Even if that poor rider winds up getting dropped before the finish.

Certainly it makes comparison of things difficult. Go set some solo PR's on each bike and tell us about it.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Is that bike crabon? It looks crabon. If it is, then obviously it is fast.
(yawn)
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Old 06-12-19, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't know how you can talk about PR's for a group ride without knowing the stats for everyone else on that ride. Even a poor rider will show good on a day that everyone else in the group is doing good. Even if that poor rider winds up getting dropped before the finish.

Certainly it makes comparison of things difficult. Go set some solo PR's on each bike and tell us about it.
It's interesting the amount of pushback this thread is receiving, almost like people don't want to admit that the gear doesn't make as much of a difference as the rider does.

So the group was having a really good day yesterday, which helped me set some PRs. Well, except for the finishing sprint, which I won, guess everyone was blown up by then after helping me ride so fast.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
... the finishing sprint, which I won, guess everyone was blown up by then after helping me ride so fast.
Racing 101. You did it right

I don't think you're getting pushback on the gear side of the thread - it's really the PR on a group ride thing.

I think the takeaway here is the importance of the P in PR. This data is for you. Even if you did those rides solo, you'd get hammered with questions/pushback - What was the weather like? Was it colder? Hotter? Was there a headwind? Have you lost or gained weight? Same tires? Same pressure? Did you catch more traffic lights? and so on...

You know.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
It's interesting the amount of pushback this thread is receiving, almost like people don't want to admit that the gear doesn't make as much of a difference as the rider does.
I don't see anyone saying that the bike alone makes the difference. Most seem to be pointing out other factors.

Last edited by noodle soup; 06-12-19 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
It's interesting the amount of pushback this thread is receiving, almost like people don't want to admit that the gear doesn't make as much of a difference as the rider does.
Then ride it on your TT.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Racing 101. You did it right

I don't think you're getting pushback on the gear side of the thread - it's really the PR on a group ride thing.

I think the takeaway here is the importance of the P in PR. This data is for you. Even if you did those rides solo, you'd get hammered with questions/pushback - What was the weather like? Was it colder? Hotter? Was there a headwind? Have you lost or gained weight? Same tires? Same pressure? Did you catch more traffic lights? and so on...

You know.
True, there are always mitigating factors. Was just an interesting data point to me. Being new to cycling, I'll admit that I've been caught up in the "I need X piece of gear to go faster" mindset. So I guess I just surprised myself that I could basically ride the same on what most would consider a "slower" bike.


Originally Posted by RChung View Post
Then ride it on your TT.
Now that would just be silly, everyone knows aero is faster I'm really not arguing that point, I set several solo PRs with the clip-on aero bars on my regular loop, it's amazing how much of a difference position makes, I would guess more than any other factor. An interesting comparison would be running the clip-on aero bars on my gravel bike (which the winner of the DK200 did).
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Old 06-12-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
It's interesting the amount of pushback this thread is receiving, almost like people don't want to admit that the gear doesn't make as much of a difference as the rider does.

So the group was having a really good day yesterday, which helped me set some PRs. Well, except for the finishing sprint, which I won, guess everyone was blown up by then after helping me ride so fast.
This is more significant than the Strava PR.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:55 AM
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I still want a better bike w better hubs
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Old 06-12-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This is more significant than the Strava PR.
True, and it felt pretty good. Only the second sprint zone I've won so far. But I also like to do a lot of pulling, so I'm usually pretty beat when everyone takes off.


Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I still want a better bike w better hubs
Always. Everyone at work asked me if I got rid of my blue bike (I bring my bike into the office when I'm riding after work), and I said nope, there is no getting rid of them, just getting more! lol
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