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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, 10:23 AM
  #26  
RChung
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Now that would just be silly, everyone knows aero is faster
You can do both, you know. That's allowed.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:32 AM
  #27  
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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.
Well it's conversation. You just never know where it's going to go once you voice it to the masses. You as the OP should certainly steer it to stay in line with what you are expecting. But don't be surprised if more are interested in the side conversation.

I did like your title though. For the most part and to a large extent it is the engine.

I don't think your PR's are so much about the type of bike as they are about how those two bikes fit you, are equipped with the proper gearing and yes even the proper tires for the route you ride. I wouldn't use a TT bike for a typical group ride. IMO a gravel bike is not much different than a road bike. Mostly just allowances for bigger tires. Between TT bike and the gravel bike, I'd expect the gravel bike is more appropriately geared for the route you ride.

But since I don't know what they actually are, those statements are just supposition on my part. You'll need to fill in the blanks.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:37 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
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.




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
I love the Thursday night Airport Ride, but I usually can't make it due to shuttle duty for kids' soccer practice. But one night I was finally able to make it and took off on the intermediate sprint and won it with clean wheels. Then a buddy rode up and said, "Good job. The thing is, we don't sprint that sign anymore."

D'oh!
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Old 06-12-19, 10:49 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Well it's conversation. You just never know where it's going to go once you voice it to the masses. You as the OP should certainly steer it to stay in line with what you are expecting. But don't be surprised if more are interested in the side conversation.

I did like your title though. For the most part and to a large extent it is the engine.

I don't think your PR's are so much about the type of bike as they are about how those two bikes fit you, are equipped with the proper gearing and yes even the proper tires for the route you ride. I wouldn't use a TT bike for a typical group ride. IMO a gravel bike is not much different than a road bike. Mostly just allowances for bigger tires. Between TT bike and the gravel bike, I'd expect the gravel bike is more appropriately geared for the route you ride.

But since I don't know what they actually are, those statements are just supposition on my part. You'll need to fill in the blanks.
Excellent point, guess I was just taking it personal, I should know better.

While I use the aero bike for TTs, it's not a true TT bike, it's a Fuji Transonic aero road bike. I've just put deeper wheels and clip-on aero bars for my club's TT series. At some point, I'll probably pick up a dedicated TT bike, but I'd also like to stay married, so that'll probably have to wait until next year lol

I'd have to agree, even looking at my Revolt, it looks like a pretty typical road bike, until you notice how much clearance the fork and chainstays have. Stack is only 26mm taller than my Fuji, so it's just a bit more relaxed. With the 28mm road tires, it's really just a comfortable endurance geo road bike.





Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I love the Thursday night Airport Ride, but I usually can't make it due to shuttle duty for kids' soccer practice. But one night I was finally able to make it and took off on the intermediate sprint and won it with clean wheels. Then a buddy rode up and said, "Good job. The thing is, we don't sprint that sign anymore."

D'oh!
LOL At least you got a good workout in!

I do a fast group ride with my LBS, and haven't quite learned the sprint zones yet, nothing is announced or marked, they just know when to go. Some strong guys in that group too, which is good, helps me push myself.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:57 AM
  #30  
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PRs in group rides? The group speed has far more to do with our speed than our effort. Example: a race I rode twice. Second time would have ticked every PR. 26.6 mph for 105 hilly miles. All I did was ride near the front, make the split with 15 miles to go and not get dropped over those final miles. Yes, the hardest thing I've ever done. But a finisher the year before finishing 10 minutes slower would have soloed the last 15 miles and won by 10 minutes. Both races, over 100 riders. Second race, 3 hours, 56 minutes and change. All 30 of the remains of the field finished under ~3:58. First race, 4:19 in pouring rain. Field sprint. Now the second race set the course record. Old record was a minute or two slower. John Howard - who went away with John Allis with 50 miles to go!

Now, if the OP was driving the pace most of the ride, OK, the PRs are relevant.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:58 AM
  #31  
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I think people are getting hung up on the group ride thing that you got an advantage over a solo ride. But I think your larger point is true about the engine. I recently did a road race with an entry level 2018 Allez, so it's about 22lbs. I finished in the upper half of the field, 90sec behind the winner, but any lack of contention was due to my own fitness and likely not any equipment limitations. If I had been doing anything other than sweet spot training, I might have had the extra physiological gear needed to be in contention. But, I was curious about upgrading my wheels from the stock box section ones, and I'm honestly not convinced any upgrade will really give me an appreciable difference. When I ride solo, I don't care about speed for a few tenths of mph difference, and when I'm in a group other factors come into play. I've posted this under a couple of wheel related topics and it hasn't triggered any responses.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:59 AM
  #32  
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A gravel bike on GP5000's is likely about as fast a setup, given what was pictured, than some folk's older road bikes on pretty generic road tires and box rims. Not everyone on an A ride is on a Venge/Propel/Timemachine with deep dish wheels and aero/race geometry and fit.

In fact, those tires on CRR alone could be up to 10w+ per tire faster than another road tire. So 20w faster.

If you came in saying you went off the front, solo, for a 1/2 hour before getting caught on the gravel bike and were rocking 32mm+ gravel grinder tires at a minus 10 to 15w penalty per tire then I'd have been more impressed.

I've brought the CX bike to the A ride before thinking it was gravel night. Oops. Did just fine, could break away when the road grade went positive just fine. The 1x was annoying trying to go downhill.

If you want to prove it's really the engine, try it again on your gravel tires and try to stay at least a 1/4 mile off the front solo for at least 1/2 hour or so. Not cheating a stop light or some crap either.

If you can........then you're at the wrong group ride.

Everybody knows that a mixed surface geometry drop bar bike with road tires does the job 99% as well as a dedicated road machine does. That's not a revelation.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:01 AM
  #33  
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So between the two bikes, is there significant gearing differences? Or do you think your performance difference was more from the tires or how your sit on the two bikes?
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Old 06-12-19, 11:09 AM
  #34  
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If the bike is 4lb heavier, and any of these strava PR's are hills, then you would have been even faster on your lighter bike. Not sure what the point is here, you had a good ride, maybe the group was faster, maybe you had a tailwind, maybe you ate your Wheaties today, it doesn't matter. If you rode a 4 lb lighter bike, and did the same course under the same conditions, your times would have been faster. Unless of course your bikes are not set up the same or the position is not optimized, etc. etc. But, all other things being equal, a 4-lb lighter bike will be faster, especially going uphill.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:20 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
A gravel bike on GP5000's is likely about as fast a setup, given what was pictured, than some folk's older road bikes on pretty generic road tires and box rims. Not everyone on an A ride is on a Venge/Propel/Timemachine with deep dish wheels and aero/race geometry and fit.

In fact, those tires on CRR alone could be up to 10w+ per tire faster than another road tire. So 20w faster.

If you came in saying you went off the front, solo, for a 1/2 hour before getting caught on the gravel bike and were rocking 32mm+ gravel grinder tires at a minus 10 to 15w penalty per tire then I'd have been more impressed.

I've brought the CX bike to the A ride before thinking it was gravel night. Oops. Did just fine, could break away when the road grade went positive just fine. The 1x was annoying trying to go downhill.

If you want to prove it's really the engine, try it again on your gravel tires and try to stay at least a 1/4 mile off the front solo for at least 1/2 hour or so. Not cheating a stop light or some crap either.

If you can........then you're at the wrong group ride.

Everybody knows that a mixed surface geometry drop bar bike with road tires does the job 99% as well as a dedicated road machine does. That's not a revelation.
They are def good tires, I like them. The other guy that was on a gravel bike was on 32mm gravel tires, but he's a strong rider. It was a bit of a revelation to me, but as I mentioned, I think it was just my preconceived notion that a gravel bike would be slower.


Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
So between the two bikes, is there significant gearing differences? Or do you think your performance difference was more from the tires or how your sit on the two bikes?
Transonic has 52/36 and 11/28, the Revolt has 48/32 and 11/34. I spin out at about 35mph on the gravel bike, but that wasn't really an issue, the extra gearing may have helped on a couple of the climbs tho. In truth, I would say my performance was probably about the same overall, guess I was just surprised that the gravel bike wasn't much different from the aero bike. The extra comfort definitely helped on some of the rougher sections.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:36 AM
  #36  
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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.
I tend to think this way. In a large ride that is moving quickly, my wattage is pretty low and easily sustained. I am not working hard, the guys at the front are.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:58 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
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.
#1 Aero improvement you can make? Helmet. #2 ? Wheels. The frame falls behind these two. You gave your gravel bike a pretty good aero upgrade just by swapping wheels. That plus not getting beat up (aka the bike deflecting all around instead of tracking in a straight line) helped. And you were probably well rested and fueled. Sometimes you just feel good.

Could you tell you were faster during the ride? That's always fun, when you feel faster, then you check the numbers afterwards, and you were.
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Old 06-12-19, 12:36 PM
  #38  
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In fact, I think if you're a rider on a group ride who constantly drops the group somehow when on your roadie/race bike.......start bringing the slack geometry slow tire bike for a better workout and maybe better tactics. You ride differently when you're able to just attack and disappear versus having to in-fight and conserve/burn.

It's fun once or twice to drop the group up all the hills, but after a while you're just doing intervals alone. It's more fun being "in the mix".

It sounds like a "flex", but it's a valid point to intentionally handicap yourself on a group ride to make it interesting. Nobody is winning anything. Strava PR's or KOMs don't win races or get you a PR in a time trial.
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Old 06-12-19, 12:43 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
In fact, I think if you're a rider on a group ride who constantly drops the group somehow when on your roadie/race bike.......start bringing the slack geometry slow tire bike for a better workout and maybe better tactics. You ride differently when you're able to just attack and disappear versus having to in-fight and conserve/burn.

It's fun once or twice to drop the group up all the hills, but after a while you're just doing intervals alone. It's more fun being "in the mix".

It sounds like a "flex", but it's a valid point to intentionally handicap yourself on a group ride to make it interesting. Nobody is winning anything. Strava PR's or KOMs don't win races or get you a PR in a time trial.
This is good advice. I sometimes (but not always) deliberately bring a slower bike to a group ride that I know is going to be less intense than my capabilities. Not only because it slows me down a little, but also because it is less responsive and reminds me that the point of the ride is to be social or just to get in some base miles. Unlike the OP, my CX bike is markedly slower (steel, heavy, upright geometry but more to the point, 35 mm gravel tires) than my road bike. It's a good choice for some group rides. Not for others.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:10 PM
  #40  
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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.

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.
Are you riding in St Paul, MN? 'cause that's exactly my experience on the rough roads around St Paul (I've been on washboard gravel roads that's easier to ride than St Paul's paved roads. ). I took the heavy gravel bike for a group ride while waiting for part for the road bike, the "slow" gravel bike isn't the big penalty you'd expected (based on marketing hype). I'm not the strongest rider with our group but I ended up riding off the front and having to back off. The result for me, I'm riding much lower tire pressure on my road bike for the St Paul group rides and getting more PRs.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:55 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Are you riding in St Paul, MN? 'cause that's exactly my experience on the rough roads around St Paul (I've been on washboard gravel roads that's easier to ride than St Paul's paved roads. ). I took the heavy gravel bike for a group ride while waiting for part for the road bike, the "slow" gravel bike isn't the big penalty you'd expected (based on marketing hype). I'm not the strongest rider with our group but I ended up riding off the front and having to back off. The result for me, I'm riding much lower tire pressure on my road bike for the St Paul group rides and getting more PRs.
In the constellation of bad roads in the Twin Cities metro, Saint Paul gets special mention for being abysmal this year. It's truly hazardous. Patching from the rough winter has helped quite a bit in many spots around town. Except in St. Paul.

What St. Paul group rides do yo do?
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Old 06-12-19, 02:37 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
In the constellation of bad roads in the Twin Cities metro, Saint Paul gets special mention for being abysmal this year. It's truly hazardous. Patching from the rough winter has helped quite a bit in many spots around town. Except in St. Paul.

What St. Paul group rides do yo do?
I ride with the Birchwood Wednesday night HILLZ group. All the best hills are in St Paul .... and the worst road conditions!
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Old 06-12-19, 02:37 PM
  #43  
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On the geometry tangent: What is the wheel base of the two bikes? Chainstay length? Head tube angle?

I've been of the mind that longer chainstays help with tracking a straighter line at the expense of a "feeling" of responsiveness. I have 2 bikes both with 20 inch (50cm) chainstays by design. I find they easily & deceptivly ride 18-22 mph on the flat/level but "feel" around 14 or 15mph.

Also the relaxed head tube angle may kick your front wheel further ahead (by comparison) making for a longer more stable bike that so you again, ride a straighter line. Also rough surfaces (which you say you ride on) is less likely to knock you to a new direction. Slacker HTA results in a bike that "rails" corners better (meaning at the expense of easy mid-corner corrections)...All this, of course, dependent on appropriate rake & trail being smartly chosen.


I ask because if your gravel bike does indeed have longer chainstays & slacker headtube than your aero bike it may help to explain your surprise. In short: In your particular situation, your gravel bike cutting through terrain may mean more than your aerobike cutting through the air.

I'm sure someone here will pipe in to educate me on my "wrongthink" but in anycase, for whatever reason, it sounds like you have a nearly optimal ride for conditions.

Rock on!
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Old 06-12-19, 03:30 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I ride with the Birchwood Wednesday night HILLZ group. All the best hills are in St Paul .... and the worst road conditions!
Hah. I sometimes ride the TCBC "Gears Tears and Fears" hill climbing ride on Tuesday nights. I'm sure it's the same hills and the same road hazards.
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Old 06-12-19, 05:14 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
#1 Aero improvement you can make? Helmet. #2 ? Wheels.
Depends on which helmet and wheels you started with. That's particularly so for helmets, which tend to be much more individualized. That said, for most riders, in most common sizes, clothing matters roughly about as much as a helmet, and handlebars matter roughly about as much as wheels.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:12 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
...handlebars matter roughly about as much as wheels.
Huh, that's interesting.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:35 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
Depends on which helmet and wheels you started with. That's particularly so for helmets, which tend to be much more individualized. That said, for most riders, in most common sizes, clothing matters roughly about as much as a helmet, and handlebars matter roughly about as much as wheels.
And position matters more than all of those... combined.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:56 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
And position matters more than all of those... combined.
Have you found a position you can ride without handlebars? I haven’t. Where do you attach the brake levers?
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Old 06-12-19, 09:39 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Have you found a position you can ride without handlebars? I haven’t. Where do you attach the brake levers?
You don't attach the brake levers. You just hold them in your hands.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:10 PM
  #50  
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when its a great rider on a lesser bike its the rider , when its a less rider on a great bike its the bike !
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