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Can a better bike improve results?

Old 08-25-19, 03:46 PM
  #126  
ridingfool
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
Mr. ridingfool,

I've actually purposely held off on updating this post as it took a little longer for my new Bianchi to get shipped to me. I really wanted to get at least one club ride in before trying to provide results. The last 2 weeks I just wasn't able to make it to the club rides...but I intend on getting in at least one this week. But...I do have 4 full rides under my belt on the new bike and most importantly I rode 100K this weekend in a large event here in Texas. So I will go ahead and tell you what I know up to this point...or maybe we should say I'm providing my "opinion" of what I have found so far.

YES, I am faster and more efficient on my new and higher quality bike! So to reset things; I went from a very entry level bike, a Fuji Sportif 1.5, to a Bianchi Infinito CV Disc Ultegra. So to me, this is apples and oranges. The Infinito is a far superior bike. Full carbon and a full 5 lbs lighter. Ultegra compared to Tiagra groupset.

I found on my very first ride, just solo on the same roads around my part of the city that I always ride, that I moved faster with the same effort as compared to my Fuji. My natural and comfortable riding position is more sporty and aero. I shattered PRs on segments I have ridden 50 times. I do however feel there was some adrenaline involved as well as just a mental edge. But there is no question I just feel faster and more athletic on the new bike.

Yesterday on the 100K I kept up with riders and a pace that I didn't know I had it in me. At this pace and with the other riders I'm with, we consistently flew by hundreds of riders while climbing. I'm looking down and see that I'm moving at more than 20 mph consistently while climbing and that was very rare before and almost never happened. I got dropped a couple of times due for one reason or another, like slowing to drink a pickle juice when my calf tightened up, and was able to kick it into gear and get caught up. Overall I finished the 100K with an average of 19 mph. For me, that just wouldn't have happened on the old bike and I'm 100% certain of that. I also feel like riding an equal distance on the new bike as compared to the old bike I am quite a bit less fatigued when I finish. Of course that may mean I now need to push it and work harder.

While there is no scientific study to my situation here at all, I can tell you beyond any doubt that this new and much better bike has made me appear to be a better rider while putting out the same energy as before. Now I can't prove the energy thing of course. The new bike probably gave me quite a bit of a mental edge from my previous self and I'm sure that counts for a couple of watts. I just know that whether it's on a level segment, or and maybe especially while climbing, I can move faster and with less stress and strain.

I'm eager to get to my next club ride and then of course update the results.
If your climbing at 20 mph either they are almost flat climbs or you really need to think about going pro if the hills are steep.keep up the good work and enjoy the new bike.
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Old 08-25-19, 04:57 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by ridingfool View Post
If your climbing at 20 mph either they are almost flat climbs or you really need to think about going pro if the hills are steep.keep up the good work and enjoy the new bike.
Oh no no no. I didn't mean to deceive or misrepresent. Hills and definitely the word steep should probably not come into play in this situation. In this case I'm just referring to a gain in elevation or a gentle incline. Going up as opposed to just flat or down. And with some starting momentum we were trucking up even smaller "hills". It's a much more fun bike to ride though!


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Old 08-25-19, 07:10 PM
  #128  
rm -rf
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Speed vs power
Wind resistance goes up as the speed^3. It takes a lot more power to go just a little faster.
For example, from this bike speed calculator, taking the defaults:
137 watts: 17mph
210 watts: 20 mph. That's 50% more power to go 18%, 3 mph faster!

That's on the hoods. To go 20 mph:
210 watts on the hoods,
170 watts in the drops. Aero is critical.
And you need to be able to stay in that aero position at least reasonably comfortably.

~~~~~

Handlebar setup

I have a similar Bianchi. A great bike. Your grin says it all.

One thing that I really like is that I can stay in the drops comfortably. It's an obvious speed improvement whenever I do it, and the drops also have better handling control, and more palm comfort on very bumpy roads. And the frequent change in hand positions between hoods and drops is good for my back and shoulders, too.


Try a setup like mine:

flip the stem back to it's upward position. (you'll have to re-set the headset bearings tension when you reinstall the stem. It's easy, but make sure you know how to do it -- the top cap is lightly tightened to set the bearing tension, then the two pinch bolts hold the stem in place. See the Park Tool guides online)

Rotate the front curve of the bars downward until the bar ends are pointing to near the top of the rear tire. About where rim brakes would be mounted. That's just slightly tilted downward from level for the flatter ends of the drops.
Fine tune by sitting on the bike in a doorway and see if the flatter part of the drops touch the whole width of your palm as you lower your arm and hand to the drops.


You may want to reposition the hoods a little higher, but they actually look correct for this better bar rotation already.
Again in the doorway, sitting on the bike, I shake out my arm to get it neutral, then try to reach naturally to the hoods. I want the small slope of the hoods to fit my hand as it reaches the hoods. Then my wrist is in a neutral position.
I have the slope of the hoods angled up a bit, perhaps 10 degrees. There's a little tradeoff between hood/brakes angled up and the reach to the brakes in the drops. Test it out.

If you slide the hoods up or down the curve of the bars, make sure to remove the tape holding the cable housing to the bars. Push the end of the housing into the hood sockets so it's seated correctly. Then redo the tape.

~~~

My bar tops are a little bit higher than some of the local riders, but they just about never ride in the drops unless forced to by high winds or sprints.

My arms have a natural bit of bend in the elbow, I'm not extending my arms way out and locking the elbow. I have a slightly shorter stem than the original one.


~~~~

Fizik Aliante saddle?

It looks like an Aliante. It works surprisingly well for me, but it took a couple of weeks to get used to it. I hated it on the first ride. Perfect now.

I have mine set with the nose just slightly tilted up. Then the back part of the saddle is fairly level.

I can pass this bike fitting test:
Riding along in a moderate cadence, I slowly lift my hands off the bars. I can do this without sliding forward even a small amount on the saddle, and without a lunge in the pedal stroke to help lift up.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-25-19 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 08-25-19, 09:16 PM
  #129  
bradyweb
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Speed vs power...
I love all this and am definitely saving it to come back to if I feel like I could benefit from an adjustment. Thanks for taking the time!

One of many things I am so happy with about my new ride is just how comfortable it is. I'm actually somewhat shocked at how well the transition has gone. It puts me in a fair amount more of an aero position than my Fuji and I worried my back may not like it. I not only feel good but for the first time I am feel really good riding in the drops for extended periods of time. Especially when I tuck in behind a faster rider and stay low while slowing my cadence and just mashing at speeds I didnt think i could reach and maintaining it for a good length of time.

All I know for certain is I'm having a ton of fun on this bike and my days are currently consumed with looking forward to my next ride
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Old 08-26-19, 01:35 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
.... In the meantime I was curious if I could be a little better/faster on a higher quality bike.
I was in a similar situation and I began to get better with a better bike (an Infinito, by the way, which I see on your list). It isnít the case that a bike swap makes an immediate difference (assuming both bikes are basically the same geometry and basically the same weight). Instead, it initiates a virtuous circle: more gratifying to push myself on the better bike so at the end of rides, I noted my times were better; knowing my times could be better, more inclined to push, to train, to get power meter etc.

In my case, the better bike was the right choice.
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Old 08-27-19, 03:58 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
Mr. ridingfool,

I've actually purposely held off on updating this post as it took a little longer for my new Bianchi to get shipped to me. I really wanted to get at least one club ride in before trying to provide results. The last 2 weeks I just wasn't able to make it to the club rides...but I intend on getting in at least one this week. But...I do have 4 full rides under my belt on the new bike and most importantly I rode 100K this weekend in a large event here in Texas. So I will go ahead and tell you what I know up to this point...or maybe we should say I'm providing my "opinion" of what I have found so far.

YES, I am faster and more efficient on my new and higher quality bike! So to reset things; I went from a very entry level bike, a Fuji Sportif 1.5, to a Bianchi Infinito CV Disc Ultegra. So to me, this is apples and oranges. The Infinito is a far superior bike. Full carbon and a full 5 lbs lighter. Ultegra compared to Tiagra groupset.

I found on my very first ride, just solo on the same roads around my part of the city that I always ride, that I moved faster with the same effort as compared to my Fuji. My natural and comfortable riding position is more sporty and aero. I shattered PRs on segments I have ridden 50 times. I do however feel there was some adrenaline involved as well as just a mental edge. But there is no question I just feel faster and more athletic on the new bike.

Yesterday on the 100K I kept up with riders and a pace that I didn't know I had it in me. At this pace and with the other riders I'm with, we consistently flew by hundreds of riders while climbing. I'm looking down and see that I'm moving at more than 20 mph consistently while climbing and that was very rare before and almost never happened. I got dropped a couple of times due for one reason or another, like slowing to drink a pickle juice when my calf tightened up, and was able to kick it into gear and get caught up. Overall I finished the 100K with an average of 19 mph. For me, that just wouldn't have happened on the old bike and I'm 100% certain of that. I also feel like riding an equal distance on the new bike as compared to the old bike I am quite a bit less fatigued when I finish. Of course that may mean I now need to push it and work harder.

While there is no scientific study to my situation here at all, I can tell you beyond any doubt that this new and much better bike has made me appear to be a better rider while putting out the same energy as before. Now I can't prove the energy thing of course. The new bike probably gave me quite a bit of a mental edge from my previous self and I'm sure that counts for a couple of watts. I just know that whether it's on a level segment, or and maybe especially while climbing, I can move faster and with less stress and strain.

I'm eager to get to my next club ride and then of course update the results.
Congrats on the new bike, it looks great and more importantly you look like you are really enjoying it. I have been following the thread because I have the same question but on a lower level.

Currently riding a Trek Verve 3 which is a comfort hybrid, 700x45 tires and 29 pounds unloaded. Thinking about upgrading to a Trek Sport 4 or a Cannondale Quick 1. 700x32 tires, 6 pounds lighter and better components. Trying to get from 10-12 MPH to 13-15 MPH but with less effort while I build up strength and endurance. Opinions among those I ask are split on whether the upgrade will accomplish what I want. I am 6í1and 235 so losing some weight is also necessary.

Love reading all the replies and opinions to your OP, enjoy the new bike!
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Old 08-27-19, 05:55 AM
  #132  
bradyweb
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Congrats on the new bike, it looks great and more importantly you look like you are really enjoying it. I have been following the thread because I have the same question but on a lower level.

Currently riding a Trek Verve 3 which is a comfort hybrid, 700x45 tires and 29 pounds unloaded. Thinking about upgrading to a Trek Sport 4 or a Cannondale Quick 1. 700x32 tires, 6 pounds lighter and better components. Trying to get from 10-12 MPH to 13-15 MPH but with less effort while I build up strength and endurance. Opinions among those I ask are split on whether the upgrade will accomplish what I want. I am 6í1and 235 so losing some weight is also necessary.

Love reading all the replies and opinions to your OP, enjoy the new bike!
Thanks for the positive feedback. I'll just say that my new bike as well as the positive results my performance has seen from said bike has been amazing. I love it and it makes me want to ride like all the time!

Based on what you mentioned about bike weight and body weight; my new bike is a full 5 lbs lighter and I have lost 18 lbs since the middle of May. So riding wise I have taken off 23 lbs. And I most definitely see results from both reductions.

You probably know what I'm going to say...do it! If you have the means to get the new bike, do it. I don't care if it's only a mental thing that makes us ride faster and farther on new bikes. All I know is I'm having a blast right now!
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