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Gaining 4mph Without Fitness

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Gaining 4mph Without Fitness

Old 07-29-19, 09:38 PM
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Debo3osu
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Gaining 4mph Without Fitness

I see a lot of people asking how to make their bike faster and everyoneís response is always ďget more fitĒ or ďbe more aero.Ē Thatís great and all, but my fitness hasnít changed much but Iím 4mph faster on average. How? Hint: It will take $ but can be done.

Background: Got into road cycling 3 years ago for a charity ride, bought a cheap aluminum Motobecane junker with aluminum spd pedals. Felt like it weighed 30 pounds. Averaged 15mph on a good day and 16mph if I really pushed it.

After my wife finished several minutes ahead of me on her ultralight S-Works I decided that would never happen again.

Step 1: Get a carbon bike. Any carbon bike will add 1mph simply because it is lighter and has better power transfer.

So you can gain ~1mph just by getting any carbon bike.

Step 2. Donít get just any carbon bike. Get a NICE carbon bike. Lightweight. Aero. Great components. Carbon wheels. These will run you $5-10k. I got the Canyon Endurace SLX 9 with SRAM Red eTap. Definitely wasnít cheap, but added another 1mph because of further weight reduction and better components.

So far Iíve added ~2mph simply by spending money. This is a much better solution than getting fit.

Step 3: Replace anything that isnít carbon with carbon. This includes seatpost, stem, bar, saddle, cranks and pedals. I only had to change a few things as the Canyon was already set up pretty well. I got the Specialized Power Pro carbon saddle with titanium rails (Canyon setup wouldnít take larger carbon rails), carbon cages, and Dura Ace pedals. Again, the carbon not only reduces weight but also reduces vibration and increases rider comfort and power transfer.

Step 4: Get lightweight carbon shoes with SPD-SL red clips (0 degrees of motion) that fit correctly and have them set up professionally to ensure maximum power transfer (carbon on carbon) and no knee injuries.

Steps 3 and 4 added about 0.5mph.

Step 5: Get a complete proper fitting. You may want to do this before buying new bars, stem, etc. I had to get a new Canyon aerobar to fit me properly. Also make sure you have the right saddle width. The right setup will increase your power transfer and reduce injury.

Step 6: Improve your technique (independent of fitness). Get a power meter, cadence meter and speed meter and integrate with Garmin Edge. Read articles about technique and use these tools to improve.

Steps 5 and 6 add another 0.5mph. Weíre now at a 3mph improvement.

Step 7: Get fast tires. Specifically, focus on rolling resistance but also factor in puncture resistance so that you have confidence at speed. Tubes or tubeless, your choice. I like tubes and run 50g Conti butyl tubes with Conti 5000 tires. Canít go wrong. The Specialized Cotton Turbo is also a good choice. Go wide (25-28) and keep at the ideal psi (plenty of articles out there based on your tire).

Step 8: Adjust your brake levers. Youíll have a lot more confidence during high-speed descents if the levers are at your fingertips. If you canít figure it out take it to your LBS.

Step 9: Keep your bike clean, especially the chain and gears. Plenty of good stuff out there, I like Park Toolís cleaner. Clean chains = fast bike.

Step 10: Get aero. Wind resistance is your biggest enemy at speed. In addition to getting an aero bike, get form-fitting jerseys and shorts (Iím a huge fan of Pearl Pros), a light aero helmet, aero gloves, and socks. Learn to get in an aero position during sprints/descents. If you really want to get crazy and shave your body, go for it. Get rid of that bulky seat post bag and only carry what you need. I use Specializedís integrated SWAT Road Bandit tube holder. Saves weight and lost energy through things jostling. Get light bottles and only carry them if you need them.

Boom, there you have it. Those last items add 1mph for a total gain of 4mph. I was averaging 19mph easy and 20mph when I really got after it. And that is solo. Plus, it made me love riding so much that Iíve also improved fitness and have added an extra 1-2mph. Now I blow by the clowns in the peloton with their dumb time trial bikes and helmets and matching jerseys. Yeah, my endurance bike just spit gravel in your face. My wife wonít even ride with me anymore because Iím miles ahead in a matter of minutes.

So there you have it. 3 years ago Iím a 40 year old golfer that thought biking was for losers, now Iím at the front of grand fondos.

Canít afford all this stuff? Not my problem. Stop wasting time doing nonsense and do something with yourself so that you can buy nice things on a whim. Or just work on your fitness I guess.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:47 PM
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seypat
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I'm not paying a toll for crossing your bridge.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:52 PM
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surak
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Dang, after 3 years of riding with a power meter, your fitness hasn't changed much?
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Old 07-29-19, 09:53 PM
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king_solom0n
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Yeah the first four steps can be ignored. The rest is mostly good though.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I'm not paying a toll for crossing your bridge.
+1000
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Old 07-29-19, 10:08 PM
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seau grateau
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Do a wheelie.
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Old 07-29-19, 10:11 PM
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Lol $10k bike to avg 20mph
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Old 07-29-19, 10:16 PM
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Well this should be a good one..
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Old 07-29-19, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Lol $10k bike to avg 20mph
Maybe for 20k he can average 22mph
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Old 07-29-19, 11:07 PM
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Now I blow by the clowns in the peloton with their dumb time trial bikes and helmets and matching jerseys. Yeah, my endurance bike just spit gravel in your face. My wife wonít even ride with me anymore because Iím miles ahead in a matter of minutes.
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Old 07-29-19, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Debo3osu View Post
My wife wonít even ride with me anymore because Iím miles ahead in a matter of minutes.


Sometimes it's not about finishing first.

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Old 07-29-19, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Lol $10k bike to avg 20mph
In fairness, in megacities like LA and NYC people pay way more than that to average way less speed...for cars.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:08 AM
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Miles ahead in minutes =~ 60 mph= car. Maybe that's why your wife won't ride with you.

I've actually down all that stuff (except the pro fit & the clean bike) but I'm a couple mph slower than when I was 20 on a steel bike with baggy shorts.

Maybe could get those gains by moving to Texas or such.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:18 AM
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Epic first post.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:21 AM
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I smell some Ti-6Al-4V
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Old 07-30-19, 01:56 AM
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This is great advice. I'll add you can buy the roading company and get them to put smoother asphalt on your favourite routes. That should run you $30-40million but worth 1mph so why wouldn't you?
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Old 07-30-19, 02:43 AM
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Great first post. You'll fit in well here.

Originally Posted by Debo3osu View Post
My wife wonít even ride with me anymore because Iím miles ahead in a matter of minutes.
More likely you're miles ahead in a matter of minutes cuz your wife doesn't want to be anywhere near you.
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Old 07-30-19, 03:17 AM
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Welcome GIGJAM.

Gee
I'm
Great
Just
Ask
Me
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Old 07-30-19, 04:19 AM
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Nice.

Needs more dialing up to 400W though. You need a witty catchphrase if you want to become part of BF folklore.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
so you improved your ride (25%), got serious about fitness (75%), and now you're an elite prick? Congrats!
Egomaniac with an inferiority complex.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I smell some Ti-6Al-4V
I smell what you did there. And it stinks!
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Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:52 AM
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Everything made sense except the wife part since i highly doubt you are married.
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Old 07-30-19, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Lol $10k bike to avg 20mph
Right! I wonder how I'm able to manage a 20 mph avg on so many of my old steel C&V bikes that cost me a couple of hundred?


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Old 07-30-19, 06:17 AM
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You know, I re-read the OP and there are actually a few nuggets of good advice hiding in there.

Specifically, Steps 5 and 6 are worthy of consideration: proper fit and proper training.
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Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
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Old 07-30-19, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Debo3osu View Post

Boom, there you have it.
..blah blah..

All that cash and you're still a loser.

Get an e-bike and go faster yet..but you'll still be a loser.

Yet another candidate for the ever-growing "ignore" list..
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