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Can a better bike improve results?

Old 07-23-19, 02:22 PM
  #76  
BengalCat
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Generally speaking, a "better bike" will not make you functionally or relevantly faster. It has a greater potential to make you more comfortable, but that too has its limits.

Overall fitness and good physical and mental training will be the path to faster.
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Old 07-23-19, 02:33 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by BKE View Post
WOW, 72 replies, I'm not even going to look at the 1st 10. Here's my take, right from the horses mouth (from an interview). As a young racer (his earliest years, juniors maybe?) Segan had a race where his bike didn't arrive on time so...........he raced using his sisters bike. Win? I don't know but I bet he spanked a bunch of folks. It's training/conditioning for amateurs and if they get to the level where carbon/wght. becomes a factor then they probably won't be here on BF.
My guess is this is correct. Kind of like an Olympic caliber swimmer; if they wear a swim cap and shave their body or wear one of those state of the art body suits they can trim off a 100th of a second. If I go swimming in a members only jacket and a toboggan, I wouldn't be any slower than if I was nude.
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Old 07-23-19, 02:53 PM
  #78  
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Try not hold yourself back by labeling a bike the way the industry sells them, a race bike as you.put it can be more comfortable than an endurance bike as you say it .

A higher quality bike will sure give you the potential to be faster , and more efficient , allowing you to go faster with less effort , usually .

At some.point you will just have to hold the speed and get used to the energy output.

But as for fit you can set you bike up to allow you the most comfortable aero position if you try out different heights and lengths on your bars and seat , i have a madone and its just fine , I do plenty of 100 mile rides on it 1000 miles a month , but it's set up for me so just do that and if your not going off road get a better road bike or convert an old tt bike , get creative with it 😶
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Old 07-23-19, 03:10 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
I hear you. I think that is probably spot on. I also feel like my truck drives better after I wash and shine it up! So I'd imagine on a slick bike I would expect to have a little extra motivation in my legs and it would probably show up on Strava afterward.

So I tell you what. I am going to get a new bike and on my first club ride I'll go balls out like I've never gone before and finish 15 minutes behind the A group instead of the usual 30-35 and come back here to share all my glory!
My motorized vehicles (to include the lawn tractor) reacts really well to an oil change.
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Old 07-23-19, 03:19 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle View Post
Try not hold yourself back by labeling a bike the way the industry sells them, a race bike as you.put it can be more comfortable than an endurance bike as you say it .

A higher quality bike will sure give you the potential to be faster , and more efficient , allowing you to go faster with less effort , usually .

At some.point you will just have to hold the speed and get used to the energy output.

But as for fit you can set you bike up to allow you the most comfortable aero position if you try out different heights and lengths on your bars and seat , i have a madone and its just fine , I do plenty of 100 mile rides on it 1000 miles a month , but it's set up for me so just do that and if your not going off road get a better road bike or convert an old tt bike , get creative with it 😶
This is good advice. I have a teammate who races road on his CX bike. He just switches wheelsets and goes.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:38 PM
  #81  
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I've been riding a alum $1200 Spec Allez the past six yrs. This winter I upgraded to a carbon Spec Roubaix Elite. I think it was $2200. The new carbon bike is definitely lighter but the jury is still out whether it is faster, I don't think so. But the 105 components shift smoother and I find myself choosing to ride the carbon Roubaix. The Allez is 56" and the Roubaix is 54". I'm not really sure what is the exact right size for me, but both seem about right, but I can tell and feel the 56" bike is bigger. Re: comfortable ride. I had a $80 WTB Volt Pro saddle on the old Allez for the past year. No doubt that saddle is MUCH more comfortable than the saddle that came with the Roubaix. It's .5" wider which makes a big difference. I just switched out the saddles today because I'm be mostly using my old Allez for bike/swim rides when i stash the bike.

Also I wonder if the tires that came with the Roubaix are slower?? I measured the circumference on floor with tape start/stop and the Roubaix was 2134 while the Allez were 2105. What's that all about??
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Old 07-23-19, 08:36 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It's hard to quantify. Some of the improvement is likely to be psychological: You feel faster and stronger, so you are faster and stronger. I admit that I do this myself sometimes. Saturday I put my race wheels on my bike to go on the River Ride. I'd gotten dropped the week before and I wanted to save as many watts as I could. Plus, I've hardly raced at all this year and it seems a shame to keep these wheels just hanging in the garage. Did those wheels mean the difference between getting dropped or not? Probably not. But maybe they helped a little bit too. It's just impossible to quantify.
than probably yes it made u a litter faster but not by much maybe 1/2 mile over 50 miles if that but race wheels just feel fast until u hit those pot holes
if u were going at speeds over 20mph and your wheels are 40mm or deeper
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Old 07-23-19, 11:06 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by ridingfool View Post
than probably yes it made u a litter faster but not by much maybe 1/2 mile over 50 miles if that but race wheels just feel fast until u hit those pot holes
if u were going at speeds over 20mph and your wheels are 40mm or deeper
It was a group ride, not a TT. In my experience with this ride, average speed is primarily determined by who shows up, the time of year, and the wind. And whether Iím fit enough to hang on. If I get dropped, my average speed goes way down.
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Old 07-24-19, 09:37 AM
  #84  
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a better tool will always make a person better, if they know how to use the tool.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:48 PM
  #85  
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My two cents, I went from a typical 17mph averager to being able to do sub 5 hour centuries solo without aero bars, races, etc. in about a year and a half. It took around 10 hours of training per week with specific plans and a power meter, all winter too in order to obtain a dramatic improvement.

While training would appear to be the largest factor, I also upgraded through 3 bikes, Trek 1.1, 2016 Tarmac Expert, and now a custom build Emonda, and I would posit that buying expensive and amazing bikes makes you want to get out there more, train harder, and aim higher.

If I stuck with my original Trek 1.1 I could almost guarantee I'd just be putting in the odd 30 mile ride here and there, maybe once or twice a week and never really improving. The more things I buy, better bikes, smart trainers, power meters, etc. the more I want to use them, and the stronger I become.

So, to answer your question, IMO, if you buy a newer, better bike, it'll get you out there more, which will make you hella stronger!
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Old 07-24-19, 04:19 PM
  #86  
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Best century on an upright: 18 mph, with drafting
Best century on a recumbent: 23 mph, solo

But if you're talking about moving from your current bike to one that's a slightly lighter/stiffer version of the same thing, then no you're not going to see any appreciable gains. Your best bet is going to be a training plan.
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Old 07-25-19, 09:51 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
My two cents, I went from a typical 17mph averager to being able to do sub 5 hour centuries solo without aero bars, races, etc. in about a year and a half. It took around 10 hours of training per week with specific plans and a power meter, all winter too in order to obtain a dramatic improvement.

While training would appear to be the largest factor, I also upgraded through 3 bikes, Trek 1.1, 2016 Tarmac Expert, and now a custom build Emonda, and I would posit that buying expensive and amazing bikes makes you want to get out there more, train harder, and aim higher.

If I stuck with my original Trek 1.1 I could almost guarantee I'd just be putting in the odd 30 mile ride here and there, maybe once or twice a week and never really improving. The more things I buy, better bikes, smart trainers, power meters, etc. the more I want to use them, and the stronger I become.

So, to answer your question, IMO, if you buy a newer, better bike, it'll get you out there more, which will make you hella stronger!

Now this is a response I can relate to. This is what I'm leaning towards actually. I'm most likely going to get a new bike after I looked into upgrading my wheelset and doing some other minor things. It's going to cost well over half as much as what I bought the bike new for. Also, this bike is 22.7 lbs without water bottle cages, saddle bag, etc. I really want a bike that is several lbs lighter. And maybe even more important is the additional motivation I believe a new bike will give me...just like you said. I'm really eager to make a decision on a new ride.
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Old 07-25-19, 09:55 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Best century on an upright: 18 mph, with drafting
Best century on a recumbent: 23 mph, solo

But if you're talking about moving from your current bike to one that's a slightly lighter/stiffer version of the same thing, then no you're not going to see any appreciable gains. Your best bet is going to be a training plan.

My thoughts have changed quite a bit over the last few days on any potential new bike. I say potential but I'm almost certain I'm going to upgrade. But now I'm pretty set on getting something much better quality and more aerodynamic, including rider position. My bike is 22.7 lbs and has a ginormous head tube and I want at least 4 lbs lighter and a lower geometry. I'm going to be sure and make the upgrade worth it. Great feedback and I appreciate it.
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Old 07-25-19, 11:10 AM
  #89  
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Yes. I average 1-2 mph faster on rides on my carbon fiber Trek Domane... than my aluminum Trek 1.1.
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Old 07-25-19, 12:27 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by DomaneS5 View Post
Yes. I average 1-2 mph faster on rides on my carbon fiber Trek Domane... than my aluminum Trek 1.1.
I can't tell you how refreshing this response is You addressed my actual query!
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Old 07-25-19, 12:46 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
I can't tell you how refreshing this response is You addressed my actual query!
Glad I could help.
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Old 07-25-19, 04:43 PM
  #92  
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My fastest solo century was an an aluminum-framed KHS CX bike running 32mm file treads. 101.2 miles in 5h16m.

A few years later, I would do 102.0 miles in 5h17m on my Cervelo R3-- which is over five pounds lighter than the KHS, has skinny tires, etc, etc.

Buy whatever you want because you want it. If that serves as motivation, great. I like buying new stuff-- most people do.

But know that the bike is a very small part of the equation. So long as it fits you properly, the amount of speed gained per dollar in buying a fancy CF-everything road bike is so poor it's best not to think about it at all.
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Old 07-25-19, 06:43 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
...But now I'm pretty set on getting something much better quality and more aerodynamic, including rider position. My bike is 22.7 lbs and has a ginormous head tube and I want at least 4 lbs lighter and a lower geometry. .
So, what I'm hearing is "same type of bike, just slightly improved." Expect the same effect on your performance - same but slightly improved. Training is still going to have a bigger effect. Maybe the new bike will encourage you to train more.
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Old 07-25-19, 08:07 PM
  #94  
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I tend to agree with Blazzingpedals about the level of improvement that might be achieved by going from an already decent road bike to a new more expensive one.

Now if you were switching fundamentally different style bikes, That is much different. If I were to buy a Giant Content SL Disc road bike to compliment my 31 lb Giant Sedona comfort bike with its bolt upright seating position and cheap 2" semi knobby tires, There is no doubt in my mind there would be a big improvement in performance. Almost enough to cover a gap like you are describing.

That said, If a new bike inspires you to ride more, is more comfortable then what you have, or just makes you happy to ride, Then by all means go for it if it's not a financial burden. Another bike might very well make a small improvement in performance, Just don't expect the night and day improvement a good road bike would make over a comfort bike. Happy trails.

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Old 07-25-19, 11:01 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
I tend to agree with Blazzingpedals about the level of improvement that might be achieved by going from an already decent road bike to a new more expensive one.

Now if you were switching fundamentally different style bikes, That is much different. If I were to buy a Giant Content SL Disc road bike to compliment my Giant Sedona comfort bike with its bolt upright seating position and cheap 2" semi knobby tires, There is no doubt in my mind there would be a big improvement in performance. Almost enough to cover a gap like you are describing.

That said, If a new bike inspires you to ride more, is more comfortable then what you have, or just makes you happy to ride, Then by all means go for it if it's not a financial burden. Another bike might very well make a small improvement in performance, Just don't expect the night and day improvement a good road bike would make over a comfort bike. Happy trails.
Exactly. I have an out and TT course that I do. Iím 2mph faster on a bike thatís older, heavier, and just 9speed vs 11 speed on my road bike. Because itís a TT bike.
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Old 07-26-19, 01:05 AM
  #96  
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This year I added a '93 Trek 5900, my first carbon fiber bike. It's not completely original, with some Shimano 600 components rather than the original Dura Ace. Fine with me. The fellow I got it from only wanted the DA goodies. I only wanted the frame. It's still a great bike. Even with the 600 rather than Dura Ace, it's still at least 5 lbs lighter than my steel '89 Ironman, about 20 lbs vs 25 lbs.

Sooo... any major improvements in speed? Nope. But the fellow I bought it from told me not to expect too much. It rides almost exactly like my Ironman, but lighter. It's from an era when carbon bikes were built pretty much like steel bikes -- geometry, etc. -- so they didn't look or feel radically different -- just fatter tubes, no externally visible lugs or joints. In contrast the newer Tarmac I test rode last year felt dramatically different, like the difference between a BMW sedan and a Miata.

On a good day and a route with lots of short, steep punchy climbs (we don't have any long climbs here), the Trekenstein is good for 1 mph faster than my usual average on the Ironman on the same routes, same conditions, etc.

Or, I can ride the same speed as I would on the Ironman, with less effort, and ride farther or be less tired after my usual 20-30 mile workout rides.

So the lighter weight is definitely an advantage. Not a huge advantage -- a better engine would make more difference. But it helps enough to make it easier to keep up with some spirited club rides. Especially on climbs.

But the heavier Ironman is more comfortable. It's nearly a perfect fit for me, and I've tweaked, polished and massaged it to wring out as much mechanical advantage as I can within reasonable cost effectiveness. So while it's not quite as fast as the carbon bike over 20-30 miles, it's more comfortable over 50 miles so my times work out about the same over distance.

I'm a little too stretched out on the Trek 5900, due to that nifty but ridiculously long Ibis titanium stem. My neck was injured being hit by cars twice, so comfort is an issue on longer rides. If I can get the fit where I need it, and the Trek is as comfy as my Ironman, it's possible I might see significant differences in speed or finishing times over longer distances.

I like having both. I don't really care whether one is faster. It's just nice to have a choice depending on how I feel on any given day.
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Old 07-26-19, 07:37 AM
  #97  
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I did a ride two days ago on a flat, wind-sheltered packed dirt path (Augusta, GA Canal). There's a Strava segment that encompasses most of the up and back on the trail. It's about 16 km total distance. On my second "lap" - after my first, hard PR-attempt lap didn't get timed because my device wasn't actually recording - I rode at a modest pace.

On the out I was in the hoods. My hands hurt a little from the road buzz - the Domane isospeed and 32c tires help a lot but they aren't magic - so on the back I switched to the drops. Now, we all know there's a speed difference between different riding positions but it's interesting to actually experience it. In my case, my average speed was 27.5 kph on the out and 30.0 kph on the back.

The point? Uhh... I guess it's that with a good enough bike you can ride easier and faster in a better position.

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Old 07-26-19, 05:01 PM
  #98  
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If you want a lower, more aero position, slam your stem, get bars with more drop and ride in the drops all the time. No new bike necessary. If you REALLY want to get lower, this is how you do it:

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Old 07-26-19, 06:48 PM
  #99  
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I've decide to make a change. Some might say it's an upgrade. In either event, whether I'm faster, slower, more efficient, or a hack on a nice bike, It's all about having fun, and I think this will keep it fun for me


Going from the Fuji Sportif 1.5 Tiagra Disc



to...

the Bianchi Infinito CV Ultegra Disc

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Old 07-26-19, 08:49 PM
  #100  
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That's a very pretty color.

My favorite bike of all time was a Bianchi Boardwalk hybrid in blue and white.
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