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How much speed can I buy?

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How much speed can I buy?

Old 12-07-19, 07:31 PM
  #26  
badger1
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Not a big fan of science are you?
Actually, yes -- yes, I am. Hence my response.
That is all.
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Old 12-07-19, 07:33 PM
  #27  
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The notion that it's "all in the motor" is flat out ridiculous. There are numerous threads with numerous riders' data showing people going extremely quick on extremely low watts. Just perusing Strava can give you hella information on just how slippery some people can be.. Your body position is place number one to start and there are mphs available from there if you have the skill and knowledge and devotion to suss them out.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 12-07-19 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 12-07-19, 07:39 PM
  #28  
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1-3 mph
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Old 12-07-19, 09:25 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by DeathCurse7 View Post
I have descended only up to 38 mph mostly because im scared lol but you can see my rides on strava "Rayan Jamshidian" is my username there.
Unless i looked up your user name incorrectly your last ride was an average of 19.5 mph. personally, i would be happy with that. typically mine are around 16-17 but i do climb alot so it slows me down. that is somethign i an working on presently.

i think rubiksoval is right though, the motor is not everything but to think that buying your way faster is not quite right either (although it won't hurt but it will/can be expensive). think about your clothing, your stance on your ride, the mechanical soundness of your ride, your fuel, etc.

and a descent at 38 is nothing to sneeze at. that is typically my top speed going down my local favorite...

https://www.strava.com/activities/2856393009

-scott
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Old 12-07-19, 09:28 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
To answer your thread's title question: for all practical/legal/ethical purposes? None.
Not a big fan of science, are you?

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
The notion that it's "all in the motor" is flat out ridiculous. There are numerous threads with numerous riders' data showing people going extremely quick on extremely low watts. Just perusing Strava can give you hella information on just how slippery some people can be.. Your body position is place number one to start and there are mphs available from there if you have the skill and knowledge and devotion to suss them out.
Yup.

Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
[Chart from From Velonews and [url=https://cyclingtips.com/2010/04/biggest-bang-for-your-buck-in-time-trial-equipment/]Cyclingtips, snipped]
Those all seem additive?
No, those are differences from one change at a time; some of those things are independent enough so they're additive but there are some items that interact. Chris Yu from Specialized talked about that in this podcast, along with a nod to aero watts and style watts. I think that podcast also talked about tires/tubes/inflation pressure, but that certainly shows up in the Marginal Gains podcasts. Tires/tubes/inflation pressure don't show up on that chart but they have a *great* bang-for-buck in terms of performance (but zero bang-for-buck in terms of style -- no one can see your tubes or inflation pressure).

Last edited by RChung; 12-07-19 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-07-19, 10:23 PM
  #31  
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Start by riding more and running less. Actually, start by not having your Strava save every ride as both a run and a ride.

Ride more, get faster. Worry about marginal gains later.
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Old 12-07-19, 10:36 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DeathCurse7 View Post
Alright so I am wondering how much faster I could get if I get some actual decent cycling gear. Currently I have an aluminum entry level bike (trek 1.2), alloy wheels, not the best fitting clothing, a non aero helmet, and a kinda old drive train. So if I got the top of the line equipment (carbon fiber rim, aero helmet, etc) how much faster do y'all think I can get. I am curious since I a have a hard time staying with some people even though I train more than them and also I can't descend that fast.
Not much.

Sticking to someone's wheel, getting comfortable riding with your forearms level on the hoods, an aero jersey (morevalue has previous season Louis Garneau mondo size samples on ebay), decent tires (Continental GP4000 or 5000), and latex tubes will each do more for you than $2000 carbon wheels.
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Old 12-07-19, 11:03 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jbasirico View Post
The process of trying out all the aero and equipment enhancements, aka exercise, may also result in speed increases that could be conflated with the results of said purchases. However, if it gets you on the bike, then it's worth it (at least in my mind when compared to the alternative).
​​​​​​A power meter is a deconflation machine. 🙂
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Old 12-07-19, 11:04 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
New wheels, carbon fiber frame, and the latest and greatest drive train will buy you close to zero more speed. It would gain some proportional to the fraction of weight saved and grade of incline, on the steeper hills (maybe a tenth or two mph overall). Some people put a lot of stock in "stiffer" giving better "power transfer" and while we lose some power with a noodly feeling bike, it's usually overblown IMO. Not counting flexing the brakes to the rim, it surely isn't more than a fraction of a percent of power lost in flex, which comes to even less of a fraction of speed.

Racing tires & tubes, aero equipment and freer bearings is where the speed gains are. Body position. How much depends on how you're riding that Trek.
​​​​​​Brakes to the rim? Did I just step into a time warp?
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Old 12-07-19, 11:53 PM
  #35  
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The added psychological advantage of all new equipment alone is worth 2-3mph. You'll ride harder and think you are getting faster and eventually you will, plus you need to justify the purchase.

But kidding aside, there can be a difference between a borderline old road bike and a modern lightweight carbon fiber bike. It isn't all just psychological.
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Old 12-08-19, 10:27 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Brakes to the rim? Did I just step into a time warp?
Maybe. I mean "disregard it" by "not counting brakes to the rim" because the claim is not so uncommon yet still dubious. If I don't give mention to it someone is sure to point out how wrong I am.
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Old 12-08-19, 10:38 AM
  #37  
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2 mph increase for $80:

Narrow handlebars: $50.
Long, "slammed" stem: $30.
Riding naked*: free.

*naked except for helmet
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Old 12-08-19, 12:21 PM
  #38  
asgelle
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
2 mph increase for $80:

Narrow handlebars: $50.
Long, "slammed" stem: $30.
Riding naked*: free.

*naked except for helmet
Skin is slow.
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Old 12-08-19, 12:23 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Skin is slow.
Jar of vaseline: $5.
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Old 12-08-19, 01:01 PM
  #40  
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Wheels, tires, and hubs matter more the slower and beginner you are because at slow speed on level ground you're mainly facing rolling resistance, and beginners lack the power to take on big hills. The faster you ride, the more air resistance takes over. On long climbs power to weight dominates, and your body weight will pretty much determine how hard that will be since as a beginner there won't be a lot of sustainable power. Still, 1-2mph is 1-2mph and it's not that hard or expensive to get a frame, wheels, and tires to check that box; you can then focus on developing power and losing weight (if the latter is a factor) without any excuses.
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Old 12-08-19, 01:22 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Skin is slow.


Ripples just like baggy clothes!
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Old 12-08-19, 01:51 PM
  #42  
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To be frank I absolutely sympathize with OP's question and it's not necessarily "I want to buy all the speed that I can" as much as "how much speed am I giving up?"

The best suggestion for a literal answer, in my opinion, is to look at the Strava segments and how much (or little) power is measured for some of them at a given speed. Trying to identify and disregard drafting and wind assisted, which is sometimes possible if you poke around enough. Naturally it would be just a rough estimate.
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Old 12-08-19, 07:16 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
Wheels, tires, and hubs matter more the slower and beginner you are because at slow speed on level ground you're mainly facing rolling resistance, and beginners lack the power to take on big hills. The faster you ride, the more air resistance takes over. On long climbs power to weight dominates, and your body weight will pretty much determine how hard that will be since as a beginner there won't be a lot of sustainable power. Still, 1-2mph is 1-2mph and it's not that hard or expensive to get a frame, wheels, and tires to check that box; you can then focus on developing power and losing weight (if the latter is a factor) without any excuses.
1-2 MPH.

A $20 pair of Latex tubes will do more for you than $2000 carbon fiber wheels. Tires will provide the greatest gains. Hubs don't matter. Aerodynamics impede your speed more than rolling resistance even at beginner speeds.

Assuming 75kg bike plus rider, 0.004 Crr, and 0.3 CdA which is low for a new rider 15 MPH is going to cost you 19.7W in rolling resistance and 55.3W in aerodynamic drag.

Rolling resistance is linear with speed, so 1 MPH is another 1.3W and 2 MPH 2.6 W.

Aerodynamic drag increases with its cube, so 1 MPH increases power overcoming drag by 11% - 12W. and 2 MPH 44% - 24W.

Wheels hardly make a difference assuming your starting point is a modern 25mm+ deep alloy rim, not an actual rectangular box section rim..At common apparent wind yaw angles better wheels usually save under 1.5W at 20 MPH and 4W at 30, with the difference increasing to 3.5W and 12W respectively using bad contemporary alloy wheels in atypical crosswinds.

Better tires will get you 10-20W at 20 MPH, an aero jersey 5-10W over race fit, latex tubes 2.6–6.6 W but require inflating your tires daily instead of weekly.

Multiply tubes and tires by .75 to get the effects at 15 MPH, and wheels/jersey 0.4 for 7.5 - 15W tires, 2-4 for jersey, 2-5 tubes.

A training program can get you 50W or more but the question was about equipment.

Wheel makers measure at 30 MPH where drag requires 3.4 times the power to overcome as it does at 20 MPH. They often compare against the venerable Mavic Open Pro which was slow 20 years ago. They sometimes use atypical crosswind situations.

At 30 MPH (700 W on a drop bar bike without someone blocking wind) Tour Magazine measured 11 W between best and worst wheels, which is 3.2 W at 20 MPH and 1.4W at 15 MPH.

November Wheels measured good alloy wheels doing 2W better at low angles of attack than the 45 mm Zipp 303 with a 7.5 W maximum spread at higher angles which is only 2.2 W at 20 MPH. The HED Belgium+ was within 4 W at 0 degrees with a worst case 12 W departure becoming 1.2 W and 3.5 W at 20 MPH respectively. $2000 Zipps do less for you than a $25 pair of latex tubes.

November Wind Tunnel Testing the Al33, XR31T(FSW3), and other alloys. Front wheel only, with rear aerodynamic gains minimal because it’s in the turbulent air coming off the pedaling rider’s legs. Note the apparent wind angle distribution - most of the time the wheels would have a 4 W extreme spread (1.2 W at 20 MPH). Airspeed is 30 MPH. Divide by 3.375 for 20 MPH power.



Typical weight changes produce negligible effects. Their speed difference isn’t measurable on flat ground. Improvements uphill are proportional to the total change. 500g lighter wheels save a 70kg rider on a 9kg bicycle just 25 seconds an hour climbing in the mountains - 0.7% faster, which is a 1.75 W savings for a rider producing 250 W.

Rotating weight doesn’t matter at a steady speed, and is still negligible accelerating.

If that 500 g was where the rubber meets the road it would count double accelerating for up to 1.3% of total kinetic energy. However, accelerating that rotating weight from 0–20 MPH takes only 2 (kinetic energy rotating + in a straight line) * 0.5 kg * (8.9 m/s)^2 / 1000 kj / j = 0.079 kj which is what you spend covering 12 feet at 20 MPH requiring 35 kj / mile.

In practice the effects will be lower because most of the weight savings is closer to the axis of rotation from things like swapping a steel freehub for aluminum.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 12-08-19 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:39 PM
  #44  
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As others have mentioned, things to improve/buy, in this order:

Rider position
Clothing
Tires/tubes
Helmet
Wheels

Increase your volume, your last four weeks look good, keep that going.
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Old 12-10-19, 08:05 AM
  #45  
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I used to have a trek 1.1, I never washed or greased it, I don't think I even put air on the tires for basically the whole year I had it. That was the first year I began cycling. Unfortunately, it was destroyed after a run-in with a car... I then purchased a Spesh Tarmac Expert and was considerably faster (went from averaging 17 mph when really trying to 21-22mph).

I should also note that I only took the Tarmac outside after 6 months of rigorous training with a power meter on Trainerroad. If I got myself another Trek 1.1 now I'm sure it wouldn't hold me back that much. My biggest shock was getting a power meter and realizing just how slow I was... being able to quantify that and improve it with targetted exercises yielded far more in terms of speed and ability than any single upgrade. IMO, buy a single-sided Favero Assioma (or ask for it for Christmas), slap that on your bike, realize that you probably can only hold around 180-210 power for an hour and work to improve it!
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Old 12-10-19, 09:18 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by DeathCurse7 View Post
I have been riding for about a year my strava is "Rayan Jamshidian" i cant post URLs sorry I have been using strava to track my rides for a couple of months.
17 YO and riding for a year? You need a consistent structured training regimen. You need to buy time. You'll get there before you know it.
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Old 12-10-19, 10:41 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
. Actually, start by not having your Strava save every ride as both a run and a ride.
Holy crap, this.

Also, OP... Get a power meter and you'll see more gains than any kind of bought speed. You'll figure out where you are lacking, and I'm guessing it's on the flats and downhills. Back when I was a junior I could outclimb pretty much anyone in the state (proven). BUT I'd get dropped on the flats because that's just a different kind of power. Once I started focusing on flat/downhill speed everything got really fun. You'll figure out that 250W on a climb is softpedalling, but 250W on a 4% downhill takes a good bit of effort.
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incorrect.
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Old 12-10-19, 11:18 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by DeathCurse7 View Post
By the way I'm just 17 and I don't want to dope/get an ebike. I was just curious about how much more effort I was Putting in compared to everyone else in group rides and if its fair to compare myself to people with really good equipment. Hopefully in the future if I get some more money so I can make a couple of upgrades.
Everyone's answering the question as if the OP were doing ITT's. And it's all well and good to get both stronger and slipperier, but riding in a pack is more about skill than strength, and the aerodynamic concerns are more about good drafting than a few watts saved with shoe covers or what have you.

My advice to the OP is to keep going to the group rides. Look for the guys who've been on the ride forever, maybe a little silver in the hair. Who may not always be at the front, but they never get dropped. Watch what they do, watch how they pedal, how they stay out of the wind, how they stay off the brakes, etc.

Just like there are a lot of watts to be saved with more aero equipment, there are lots of watts to be saved by good pack skills.
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Old 12-10-19, 11:22 AM
  #49  
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I used to race on a Trek 1.2. Eventually I swapped it for something much nicer. My results got about 0% better.
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Old 12-10-19, 11:27 AM
  #50  
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It depends on how heavy your wallet is. Attempting to buy a lot of speed will at least save some weight there.
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