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Changes to increase speed

Old 07-08-20, 03:44 PM
  #26  
Hikebikerun
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Originally Posted by joebiker1 View Post
All good thoughts, thanks everyone. At this point I am leaning towards adding a second bike (not in a huge rush) vs changing the setup on my current bike while I continue to work at increasing speed and endurance w/ my current bike. I'm leaning towards a 105 semi-compact w/ and 28mm tires for some comfort and rim brakes for ease of maintenance, either aluminum or carbon. Other than CAAD13, is there anything else I should consider in the under $3K range (best if $1500-$2500) that would be alum or carbon and good quality/value? Am I crazy for wanting rim brakes (lighter, cheaper, and easier maintenance), semi-compact rather than compact, and 28mm vs 25mm or does that sound like a good setup?
I just upgraded to my first road bike about a month ago. I also decided on rim brakes to make maintenance/adjustment easier (didnít wasnít to mess with fluids/bleeding... also the quick release makes it easier to transport the bike).

I ended up with a carbon frame Trek Emonda SL5 with 105 groupset and 25mm tires for $1600 and am very happy with it. I was partially at the whim of the LBS and the minimal options they had in stock, but Iím 100% satisfied so far.
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Old 07-08-20, 03:48 PM
  #27  
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Kinda a fun "game" if you have a PM, is to see what you can do/change in speed for the same course and same power.
This is not the same course, and is wind aided, but it is the only pic I have. You can generally pickup 1-3 mph in the >20mph zone on the same bike just changing around a few things.

What I have seen for the same power, the same bike...
1 Raise bars, so forearms parallel to ground.
2 Get torso lower
3 hide cables
4 Shave legs / arms
5 Better kit. This can get pricey, but matters at higher speeds.
6 Aero helmet
7 Areo wheels (technically not same bike)
8 Tuning tire size and pressure (technically not same bike)
9 Tune legs and arm position
10 - Almost another topic, but descending has a lot of options, from semi-safe to downright stupid - but fast.



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Old 07-08-20, 03:53 PM
  #28  
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Here is how I would make changes to increase speed.......

-Pull over at house of Marcel Kittel
-Knock on Mr. Kittel’s door
-Ask Mr. Kittel to ride my route
-Ask Mr. Kittel where he keeps his Haagen Daz ice cream

Voila.......I just increased my speed while eating ice cream.
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Old 07-08-20, 05:23 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
You are a runner. Now you are cycling.... start swimming and join us on the Tri Side!!
Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.
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Old 07-08-20, 06:26 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Sounds like a great reason to get a new bike!

But I wouldn't expect 22-24 mph average speeds any time soon. That's getting right up there towards "good average speed" territory. And that doesn't happen overnight.
24 mph solo is pretty fast. On a standard road bike sub hour 40k is still an accomplishment, which takes just under 25 mph.
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Old 07-09-20, 03:06 PM
  #31  
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Thought I'd post an update. My clipless SPD pedals and shoes came in yesterday, along with a proper jersey, and w/ the gear and focusing on body position, I did a 22 miler today (cut short due to rain) about 0.5 mph higher on average (17.5 mph) and I was easily in the 22.5-23.0 mph range cruising on flats. I'd say the shoes (stiff carbon soles) and pedals made a big difference.
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Old 07-09-20, 04:27 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by joebiker1 View Post
Thought I'd post an update. My clipless SPD pedals and shoes came in yesterday, along with a proper jersey, and w/ the gear and focusing on body position, I did a 22 miler today (cut short due to rain) about 0.5 mph higher on average (17.5 mph) and I was easily in the 22.5-23.0 mph range cruising on flats. I'd say the shoes (stiff carbon soles) and pedals made a big difference.
Do you have an on-bike power meter and display?
Those of us into science and data...want to know how fast for how much power for how long. Like most of our rides, I'm sure you are interrupted by lights etc. But it is hard to tell what 17.5 or a 22.5-23 means alone without an out and back/loop (negating wind), your weight and power and time. All that said, you sound pretty fast, but as you mentioned, you are not exactly starting out from 0 with all the indoor training you've done.
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Old 07-09-20, 05:28 PM
  #33  
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I haven’t done any indoor training, I am a longtime runner that started cycling around 6-7 weeks ago. I don’t have a power meter, that is on my list. I honestly didn’t think I’d get this into cycling, but am definitely loving it and would like to have some data to look at.
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Old 07-10-20, 07:52 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Hikebikerun View Post
LOL. You got me excited and googling around for these cheap light weight wheels for my 1 month old Emonda SL5. Took about 5min to realize what you did there.
Noo noo not the Meilenstein Lightweight wheels, there's some sub $1000 wheelsets all carbon, and deep by a brand called "Light Bicycle Wheels" https://www.lightbicycle.com/carbon-...ad-bike-wheels
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Old 07-10-20, 07:54 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Hikebikerun View Post
I just upgraded to my first road bike about a month ago. I also decided on rim brakes to make maintenance/adjustment easier (didnít wasnít to mess with fluids/bleeding... also the quick release makes it easier to transport the bike).

I ended up with a carbon frame Trek Emonda SL5 with 105 groupset and 25mm tires for $1600 and am very happy with it. I was partially at the whim of the LBS and the minimal options they had in stock, but Iím 100% satisfied so far.
I own a disc brake TT bike and road bike, have put on over 7000 miles so far between the two (moreso on the road bike) and haven't bled any brakes, changed pads, rotors, or done any maintenance. The big thing is I wanted stopping power in rainy humid conditions with carbon wheels, and that's literally the only way to achieve that. It was also great when I took a trip to California for a Fondo, I could death grip those brakes for 40+ minutes down the mountain and not worry about heat buildup.
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Old 07-10-20, 07:56 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Do you have an on-bike power meter and display?
Those of us into science and data...want to know how fast for how much power for how long. Like most of our rides, I'm sure you are interrupted by lights etc. But it is hard to tell what 17.5 or a 22.5-23 means alone without an out and back/loop (negating wind), your weight and power and time. All that said, you sound pretty fast, but as you mentioned, you are not exactly starting out from 0 with all the indoor training you've done.
Seems he stated a 17.5mph average for the entire ride with some moments in a higher range, probably not including stops.
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Old 07-10-20, 07:59 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
Seems he stated a 17.5mph average for the entire ride with some moments in a higher range, probably not including stops.
I got my threads confused. There is another similar, the speed was a bit higher. My points are the same for both threads. Optimize riding position and style first, then change equipment.
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Old 07-10-20, 01:25 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
Seems he stated a 17.5mph average for the entire ride with some moments in a higher range, probably not including stops.
Correct, 17.5 mph moving avg over the entire ride (lots of speed bumps, lights, and stops), but when I could stay moving without having to slow down, I was hitting 22.5-23 mph on the flats and was able to hold that speed. Much better than I was doing just a few days ago, and if I had to guess, the shoes/pedals made the biggest difference, followed by position, then clothing.
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Old 07-10-20, 05:28 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by joebiker1 View Post
... the shoes/pedals made the biggest difference, followed by position, then clothing.
As speed gets higher - aero matters more (position, clothing). As cadence gets higher, the shoes matter less.
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Old 07-13-20, 06:43 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by joebiker1 View Post
Hi everyone -
I have a recently purchased Surly Midnight Special (~25 lbs) in the 1x configuration (40t chainring, 11-42t 11-speed cassette), 650b wheels with WTB Horizon tires (47mm). I purchased the bike to have the versatility to ride mixed terrain and thought the gearing was fine for my needs even on pavement, but I am finding myself more and more on the roads/paved bike paths and more addicted to speed! I am a 44 year old longtime runner, so started in good shape about 6 weeks ago and have gotten up to solo near 30 mile rides at avg speed of 17 mph with flat pedals and running shoes. I find I can cruise around 20 mph for some good stretches (mostly flat since I live in FL), but would like to get to a comfortable cruising speed of 22-24 mph for 30-40 mile rides. I do have clipless pedals and shoes on order, but am wondering how much my current bike/configuration is affecting my speed vs just my own ability. Would I see any appreciable speed increase from the following changes?

1. Change gearing to have a 50t up front (max the frame can handle) and 11-30 or so in the back
2. Change wheels and tires to 700c x 28mm
3. Both of the above
4. Purchase a more dedicated, lighter (17-19 lb) road bike with gearing and wheels/tires per 1 and 2 above (though I would do a semi-compact in front). By my estimate, this would cost at least ~$700 more than 1 and 2 above combined for something like an aluminum or basic carbon w/ 105 and rim brakes such as a CAAD13 or Orbea Orca M30. Of course, I could also spend a bit more for something nicer and am in the fortunate position of being able to do so if I feel it would be useful. This would give me 2 bikes, which would be a luxury, but I'd hate to see each bike only get used part time, I feel like it would be somewhat wasteful.

Wondering what you experienced folks think. I love the Surly, and maybe I will get to my goals with it as is, but I feel like the wheels/tires/gearing might be holding me back either now, or soon as I continue to get stronger. Thanks!

donít worry, you can buy speed

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/cyclingt...equipment/amp/
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Old 08-04-20, 11:23 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
As cadence gets higher, the shoes matter less.
This is backwards right? On my gravel bike under 80 the flat pedals are fine. When I go over a 100 my feet start to come off the pedals. My road bike I have assimo power pedals so always clipped in. I can't imagine doing over 100 for very long on flat pedals.
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Old 08-05-20, 07:30 AM
  #42  
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You could check out titanium as well as alu and carbon - a Lynskey R300 with 105 and stock wheels runs just about $2500 with their current discount code. One of the reasons I'm suggesting this is that there's apparently a bike shortage in the country these days - don't know how it is in Florida, but in NYC it seems that there's slim pickings on most standard sized bikes under about $3-4k. The shop I rode by yesterday only bikes >$6k near the window...

Other tips that would help:
- For rides longer than about 10 miles, get some lycra shorts in addition to your jersey. The right ones reduce chafing and keep your bits happier, meaning you can spend less time hurting (or stretching) and more time spinning. Yes, they look silly.
- Make sure you're getting proper leg extension, especially when moving from flats to clipless. I would recommend moving your saddle up a couple of millimeters at a time until it starts getting uncomfortable, then back off. Saddle height could change as your body gets adapted to cycling, as well - I know I'm more flexible later in the season than when I've come off of winter/spring of just running.
- Try crouching. I'd expect your gravel bike has a relatively tall stack height, meaning you're presenting more frontal area. Bending and tucking your elbows knocks down your height, reducing your frontal area - which becomes increasingly important as your moving speed goes up. You could also play with the handlebar height and pull out any spacers under the stem, if that's more comfortable for you.
- Don't gravel bikes tend to have wider handlebars? Once you get up to speed and you feel safe (low traffic, no lights, etc), could try moving your hands inboard from the drops/hoods and seeing how that feels. Narower also equals less frontal area. I'm not a fan of this one, personally.
- Hydrate. I keep an SIS gel with me for rides above 15-20 miles to get electrolytes in, as well.

Other than that... keep riding!
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Old 08-05-20, 07:32 AM
  #43  
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To gain speed or overall increase in mph it is simple and I had to do this too. Lose weight < not necessarily bike weight, body weight. And then keep riding and pushing your ride each time a bit in different areas to increase the overall speed.

I lost 13 lbs. in two months by eating a no-carb < basically no-carb diet and riding my arse off. I sprint for short runs and mix climbing with seated climbs and standing climbs to work the different leg muscles to build overall ability then put it all together for my routine rides then compare them on Garmin Connect to see the areas I have improved and which areas are either stagnant or even regressed.

It has worked and I am approaching the barrier to get my body weight into the 180's since high school and I am nearing 51 yoa! Diet has been the big factor to losing my weight and getting my overall route quicker however. It is amazing when we actually pay attention to the crap we put into our bodies and why we say we can't lose. Grilled foods and veggies and almost no bread anymore. Been a wonderful thing to increase my speeds.
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Old 08-05-20, 08:46 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
This is backwards right? On my gravel bike under 80 the flat pedals are fine. When I go over a 100 my feet start to come off the pedals. My road bike I have assimo power pedals so always clipped in. I can't imagine doing over 100 for very long on flat pedals.
You are correct, you need to be clipped in and the shoes should be roughly the same mass. Now re-reading the OP I see " flat pedals and running shoes. " and I had assumed we were talking cheap cycling shoes vs better ones. I'd still say my comment would hold true under that speed where you can't keep your foot on the pedal.

I had some numbers from a guy that was saying 93-94 rpm was where people were putting out the most power. I don't think 120RPM is better than 110RPM. My comment was saying 90s are better than 60s and I was assuming the setup (you had a shoe with cleats) was the same.

Sole flex/give contributes to "hot feet" the area of the foot over the axle gets fatigued and I assume hot because blood rushes there to deal with the irritation.

What I was referring to is then cadence goes up for the same amount of power there is less force on the shoe sole each revolution, so less flex in the sole, and less force per area on your foot.
Also the difference in stroke force go down. At low RPM the 3:00 gets a larger % of the force than at a higher RPM. That again flexing the shoe. There are a lot of opinions of where force should be applied, but as you spin higher RPM there is less choice in the matter and less force on the foot.

Last edited by Doge; 08-05-20 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 08-05-20, 10:54 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by joebiker1 View Post
Correct, 17.5 mph moving avg over the entire ride (lots of speed bumps, lights, and stops), but when I could stay moving without having to slow down, I was hitting 22.5-23 mph on the flats and was able to hold that speed. Much better than I was doing just a few days ago, and if I had to guess, the shoes/pedals made the biggest difference, followed by position, then clothing.

I don't think anyone else has mentioned it concisely, but since you're new to cycling, here's a good checklist of things that can help your pursuit of speed:
  • Get a cadence meter and train yourself to pedal low-resistance at high rpms. Everyone has a different optimal cadence (generally in the 75-100 range), but this will help you find where you feel most efficient. Also, cadence meters are generally inexpensive compared to power meters. Start with the cadence meter, and then consider the power meter later.
  • Use a gear calculator (such as https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html) to figure out how fast you can actually expect to go in each gear at a given cadence. Once you know your optimal cadence, you will be better able to assess if your bike's gears are right for your fitness & speed goals.
  • Get your bike position dialed in, making sure you are giving yourself the ability to hold an aero position for long periods. Consider whether or not your handlebars allow you to get aero easily (and no, leaning over flat bars with your elbows flared out doesn't count).
  • Optimize your tire pressure for the ride you are taking each day. This has been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum, but narrower tires are not automatically "faster" than wider tires; it depends on several different factors. The great equalizer of rolling resistance seems to be tire pressure: too low and you'll have excess rolling resistance, too high and you'll lose power as the tires bounce over rough pavement. The aero factor of the wheel-tire combo matters as well, but before you buy new equipment, you can better assess the gains you'll get if your current equipment has been optimized.

Anyway, good luck setting up your bike(s)!
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Old 08-05-20, 12:15 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
I don't think anyone else has mentioned it concisely, but since you're new to cycling, here's a good checklist of things that can help your pursuit of speed:
  • Get a cadence meter and train yourself to pedal low-resistance at high rpms. Everyone has a different optimal cadence (generally in the 75-100 range), but this will help you find where you feel most efficient. Also, cadence meters are generally inexpensive compared to power meters. Start with the cadence meter, and then consider the power meter later.
  • Use a gear calculator (such as https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html) to figure out how fast you can actually expect to go in each gear at a given cadence. Once you know your optimal cadence, you will be better able to assess if your bike's gears are right for your fitness & speed goals.
  • Get your bike position dialed in, making sure you are giving yourself the ability to hold an aero position for long periods. Consider whether or not your handlebars allow you to get aero easily (and no, leaning over flat bars with your elbows flared out doesn't count).
  • Optimize your tire pressure for the ride you are taking each day. This has been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum, but narrower tires are not automatically "faster" than wider tires; it depends on several different factors. The great equalizer of rolling resistance seems to be tire pressure: too low and you'll have excess rolling resistance, too high and you'll lose power as the tires bounce over rough pavement. The aero factor of the wheel-tire combo matters as well, but before you buy new equipment, you can better assess the gains you'll get if your current equipment has been optimized.
Anyway, good luck setting up your bike(s)!
First one doesn't really matter. Going out and buying a computer just to measure cadence is a total waste, in my opinion.
Second one certainly doesn't matter.
Third one definitely matters a lot, but will take lots of trial and error and time to adapt. Never too late to start.
Fourth one matters, but the actual tire and tube is what I'd worry about first and then maybe start with a calculator as a starting point for pressure and go with trial and error for riding style and roads (pinch flatting a lot = too low, regardless of what a calculator says).

Speed comes down to decreasing drag and increasing power. Get tight clothes, get your head as low as you can without impacting your vision (this is what will take a while to figure out and adapt to), get good tires and tubes, and start doing progressive workouts and you're mostly there.

It's easy to say, but a helluva lot harder to implement. And actually getting "mostly there" will probably take a few + years.
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Old 08-05-20, 12:38 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
First one doesn't really matter. Going out and buying a computer just to measure cadence is a total waste, in my opinion.
Second one certainly doesn't matter.

Speed comes down to decreasing drag and increasing power. Get tight clothes, get your head as low as you can without impacting your vision (this is what will take a while to figure out and adapt to), get good tires and tubes, and start doing progressive workouts and you're mostly there.
Well actually, cadence and gearing are essential to finding what power anyone can sustain over a given ride. You even said it yourself: "speed comes down to...increasing power." You can't increase power very effectively if you don't know where you are starting.

Also, no one said to buy a computer "just to measure cadence." OP obviously has some way to measure speed already, and they stated a preference to have more data from their rides. Adding a cadence meter offers a low-cost entry point to give useful data.

Just a tip here Ruby, if you don't have anything useful to add to the thread, don't post.
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Old 08-05-20, 12:52 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
Just a tip here Ruby, if you don't have anything useful to add to the thread, don't post.
Disagreeing with you does not make his post useless.
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Old 08-05-20, 01:04 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by joebiker1 View Post
Hi everyone -
I have a recently purchased Surly Midnight Special (~25 lbs) in the 1x configuration (40t chainring, 11-42t 11-speed cassette), 650b wheels with WTB Horizon tires (47mm). I purchased the bike to have the versatility to ride mixed terrain and thought the gearing was fine for my needs even on pavement, but I am finding myself more and more on the roads/paved bike paths and more addicted to speed! I am a 44 year old longtime runner, so started in good shape about 6 weeks ago and have gotten up to solo near 30 mile rides at avg speed of 17 mph with flat pedals and running shoes. I find I can cruise around 20 mph for some good stretches (mostly flat since I live in FL), but would like to get to a comfortable cruising speed of 22-24 mph for 30-40 mile rides. I do have clipless pedals and shoes on order, but am wondering how much my current bike/configuration is affecting my speed vs just my own ability. Would I see any appreciable speed increase from the following changes?

1. Change gearing to have a 50t up front (max the frame can handle) and 11-30 or so in the back
2. Change wheels and tires to 700c x 28mm
3. Both of the above
4. Purchase a more dedicated, lighter (17-19 lb) road bike with gearing and wheels/tires per 1 and 2 above (though I would do a semi-compact in front). By my estimate, this would cost at least ~$700 more than 1 and 2 above combined for something like an aluminum or basic carbon w/ 105 and rim brakes such as a CAAD13 or Orbea Orca M30. Of course, I could also spend a bit more for something nicer and am in the fortunate position of being able to do so if I feel it would be useful. This would give me 2 bikes, which would be a luxury, but I'd hate to see each bike only get used part time, I feel like it would be somewhat wasteful.

Wondering what you experienced folks think. I love the Surly, and maybe I will get to my goals with it as is, but I feel like the wheels/tires/gearing might be holding me back either now, or soon as I continue to get stronger. Thanks!
I see all the talk about aero and training, but it seems to me that gearing must be near the top of the list in terms of what needs to be changed. From the OPs description, it sounds like a lot of riding is done in 40-11, or the highest possible gear. And he wants to go faster.

For a comparison, here is the OPs gearing compared to what I am running, and I don't consider myself all that fast. Also I'm old, but I use the 53-12 quite often and I don't think I could even pedal the OPs bike over 30 mph.
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Old 08-05-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
Well actually, cadence and gearing are essential to finding what power anyone can sustain over a given ride. You even said it yourself: "speed comes down to...increasing power." You can't increase power very effectively if you don't know where you are starting.

Also, no one said to buy a computer "just to measure cadence." OP obviously has some way to measure speed already, and they stated a preference to have more data from their rides. Adding a cadence meter offers a low-cost entry point to give useful data.

Just a tip here Ruby, if you don't have anything useful to add to the thread, don't post.
No, they're not essential in the least. Finding out what power you can sustain is as simple as using a powermeter. Short of that, you're not going to figure that out outside of a rough estimate that becomes increasingly rougher with varying conditions (read: useless).

Nah, cadence is a red herring. Buying something solely to measure that is a waste of money.

The thread is about going faster. There are things that matter a lot, there are things that matter a little, and there are things that don't matter at all when it comes to the pursuit of speed. Personally, I prefer to focus on things that matter the most first, things that matter a little after that, and I simply don't bother with things that don't matter. I like to go fast, so it's an interesting topic for me.

And you have 17 posts. I have 3,408 posts. So, there's that.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 08-05-20 at 01:09 PM.
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