Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    242
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Go fast mods on commuter bikes?

    Hi Everyone.

    I started commuting on an old 35+ lb mountainbike with knobbies.

    Then I got a 14 speed old steel frictionshifting road bike that fit me well.

    Now I'm going somewhere inbetween with an Aurora + rack, fenders, Arkel Bug, etc.

    I'm still learning about this, and for example, the difference between even 20 psi (90 to 110) or some skinnier tires, or just getting into the habbit of cleaning and lubing my drivetrain every week seems to make a noticable difference to me.

    I keep looking around and seeing people pitching low resistance bearings, lighter wheelsets, supra dupra go fast bits etc.

    Now, I'm not going to spend too much on loosing weight off the bike, as if it's that important to me, I'd just put less than the 20lbs of stuff that goes into my backpack currently, but for example bearings, do these type of things make a really noticable difference to an average commuter?

    Thanks

    -- James
    It is easy to win an argument, but the greater reward is to win an ally.

  2. #2
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Dallas Suburbpopolis
    Posts
    1,481
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jbarros
    I keep looking around and seeing people pitching low resistance bearings, lighter wheelsets, supra dupra go fast bits etc.

    Now, I'm not going to spend too much on loosing weight off the bike, as if it's that important to me, I'd just put less than the 20lbs of stuff that goes into my backpack currently, but for example bearings, do these type of things make a really noticable difference to an average commuter?

    -- James
    Short answer:

    NO!

    you have the 2 big ones done: hi-pressure slicks and a clean drivetrain.
    a light wheelset does make a noticeable difference but you're talking $250+++
    beer-bottle target

  3. #3
    Top Speed 53.1mph nightc1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville, AL
    My Bikes
    GMC Denali Road Bike ($150), Generic MTB ($50)
    Posts
    159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    20 pounds in your backpack? That seems to be the thing holding you back the most at this point. You might shave a part of a pound off here or there... like mentioned wheels would be the next thing... but beyond that lightening the load would give the best benefit....

    or shifting the load a rack would improve things

  4. #4
    assonfire Heyduke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    324
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    you have the 2 big ones done: hi-pressure slicks and a clean drivetrain.
    a light wheelset does make a noticeable difference but you're talking $250+++
    To improve ineffeciencies, replacing any moving parts (wheels, drivetrain, etc.) is your best value but you are looking at spending some dough.

    Another consideration is bike fit. An aggressive fit will likely prove more efficient than a lax, upright position. Of course, comfort is a huge consideration as well.

  5. #5
    Former Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    dropmachine.com
    Posts
    4,061
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Reduce air drag.

    Seriously.

  6. #6
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross
    Posts
    11,347
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Big honkin' quadriceps. Best 'go-fast' mod for any bike.

    I've got a 38 pound MTB commuter rig, and I weigh 250 pounds. That's a lot of weight to get movin', but I can keep a 17mph average on my rolling commute, and 18-20mph on the flats.

    If you're already keeping the hubs and drivetrain well serviced, then shaving off a couple grams here and there might not really add up to much of a total weight savings. You're already getting the benefit of clean, smooth running components. The next step in 'go-fast' technology is to beef up the engine.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  7. #7
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    4,645
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is a difference, but it's hard to quantify.

    I had one fixed-gear bike - a Cannondale Capo with lower end parts. I have the gearing like I like it to stay in my comfortable cruising range on the flats.

    I purchased a different bike with the same gearing but high-end parts. On this bike, my speed increased several mph and pushed me to the top of my comfortable cadence zone in the flats.

    I can't pinpoint what, exactly did it. The hub bearings are definitely better, the drivetrain is slightly smoother, and the bars are slightly lower.

  8. #8
    Soma Lover
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Logan, UT
    My Bikes
    one bike for every day of the week
    Posts
    765
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nightc1
    or shifting the load a rack would improve things
    +1.

    Once you've ditched the backpack for a light duty rack and a pair of small panniers you'll never go back.

    If you consider how much cooler you will be, they probably won't slow you down at all.

    Tires: 700x32 Randonneur Pro
    Tubes: find some good 700x28-32's that weigh ~130g
    Drivetrain: clean and properly lubricated with no rust whatsoever
    Wheels: Cheaper than $250 is fine but make sure they're perfectly tensioned 32-spoke with double wall rims that are at or below about 470g each. CXP23's on Tiagra or Sora Hubs?

    I see plenty of hybrids built up with poorly tensioned 36-spoke wheels and rims weighing 550g each. If properly tensioned, these wheels qualify for clydesdale or touring duty. As they come of the machine, they're no stronger than a much lighter, well tensioned, 32-spoke wheel. If you lose 100g of rim weight, another 100g of tire weight, 30g of spokes, and 30g of tube, you'll probably pick up almost 2 mph. The weight of the rest of the bike makes much less of a difference.

  9. #9
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Enroute
    Posts
    515
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    Big honkin' quadriceps. Best 'go-fast' mod for any bike.

    I've got a 38 pound MTB commuter rig, and I weigh 250 pounds. That's a lot of weight to get movin', but I can keep a 17mph average on my rolling commute, and 18-20mph on the flats.

    If you're already keeping the hubs and drivetrain well serviced, then shaving off a couple grams here and there might not really add up to much of a total weight savings. You're already getting the benefit of clean, smooth running components. The next step in 'go-fast' technology is to beef up the engine.

    Guadrophenia!


  10. #10
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,617
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There's nothing like new wheels. I wonder if more regular attention to hubs (like, uh, *any* attention...) would regenerate that new wheel feel.

  11. #11
    Top Speed 53.1mph nightc1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville, AL
    My Bikes
    GMC Denali Road Bike ($150), Generic MTB ($50)
    Posts
    159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cachehiker
    +1.

    Once you've ditched the backpack for a light duty rack and a pair of small panniers you'll never go back.
    or just strap the backpack (if not overfilled) onto the light duty rack or get a more aero trunk and no panniers.

  12. #12
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Dallas Suburbpopolis
    Posts
    1,481
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    There's nothing like new wheels. I wonder if more regular attention to hubs (like, uh, *any* attention...) would regenerate that new wheel feel.
    a lot of recent hubs have sealed bearings... what are you dealing with?

    i generally poo-poo on fancy bearing claims, since those things spin slow. the wheel spins only once per second for every 5mph (approx), so even at like 20mph, the bearings are lazing along at 240-250rpm. that is ssssllloooowww. i'd love to see some quantization of how much if any extra drag there is from a bad vs good bearing, or standard vs ceramic, etc.
    beer-bottle target

  13. #13
    Guy on a Bike TreeUnit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    C-Bus
    My Bikes
    Chromoly Univega with Nexus Hub
    Posts
    250
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get "Urban" Tires. Smoother, more efficient coasting

    Try Drop Bars. I've seen commuter moutain bikes with drop bars before. Drop Bars allow you to lean and have less air resistance

    Pedals w/ toe clips allow for more efficient pedaling.

    If the bike has front shocks, get a new fork. Nothing kills efficiency like shocks

    Get helmet if you dont have one, and a shirt that isn't loose. Both will slightly decrease your air resistance, and the helmet might save your life.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    242
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I'm picking up my Arkel Bug today, so that will take care of getting the weight off my back and onto a rack.

    I know I'm going to be in trouble for this one, a quick search on Sheldon's site yielded nothing... how do I do hub/wheel maintenance?

    Thanks


    -- James
    It is easy to win an argument, but the greater reward is to win an ally.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    242
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by acroy
    a lot of recent hubs have sealed bearings... what are you dealing with?

    i generally poo-poo on fancy bearing claims, since those things spin slow. the wheel spins only once per second for every 5mph (approx), so even at like 20mph, the bearings are lazing along at 240-250rpm. that is ssssllloooowww. i'd love to see some quantization of how much if any extra drag there is from a bad vs good bearing, or standard vs ceramic, etc.
    Granted roller blade wheels are a LOT smaller and hence spin alot faster, but the difference between abec 1-3-5 bearings on those is amazing. That being said, those things spin REALLY fast for a given speed. Like you said, not so much with bicycle wheels, and it's $200+ to find out directly (at least for those ceramic ones)

    -- James
    It is easy to win an argument, but the greater reward is to win an ally.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TreeUnit
    Get "Urban" Tires. Smoother, more efficient coasting

    Try Drop Bars. I've seen commuter moutain bikes with drop bars before. Drop Bars allow you to lean and have less air resistance

    Pedals w/ toe clips allow for more efficient pedaling.

    If the bike has front shocks, get a new fork. Nothing kills efficiency like shocks

    Get helmet if you dont have one, and a shirt that isn't loose. Both will slightly decrease your air resistance, and the helmet might save your life.
    well since the OP has an aurora, he has all of those by default. But that would still be good advice for the mountain bike commuters.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    My Bikes
    a green one and a black one
    Posts
    230
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cachehiker
    +1.

    If you lose 100g of rim weight, another 100g of tire weight, 30g of spokes, and 30g of tube, you'll probably pick up almost 2 mph. The weight of the rest of the bike makes much less of a difference.
    Does the weight of the wheels make a big difference once you're underway? I can see how it would affect accelerating and braking, but once you're at steady speed, is the spinning weight any different than weight on the rest of the bike?

  18. #18
    Senior Member jimisnowhere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    My Bikes
    60's lowrider, 80's Cavaletto Centurion, 94 Specialized Rockhopper sport
    Posts
    473
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Clips and straps or clipless pedals, study pedal technique and perfect it.

    Proper fit. Seats you can sit on and bar grip that feels good lets you push harder, longer.


    jim
    I can ride the solarcycle with no hands.

  19. #19
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lenexa, KS
    My Bikes
    06 Trek 1200 - 98 DB Outlook - 99 DB Sorrento
    Posts
    2,400
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Engine upgrades. It's like a video game. The more you play, the better engine you have. If you still have a mountain bike, take it out and do some really good technical singletrack and dirt hills with it on the weekends. Work on endurance during the week (maintain a little higher cadence than usual all the way home, for example) and don't worry about the bike for a bit.

    Really, the human on the bike is almost always the cheapest to upgrade, but you have to do it over time. It also happens to be the weakest link most of the time. For instance, there's no sense in me worrying about the difference between a 7 pound madone and a 35 pound schwinn varsity when I'm still more than 40 pounds overweight. There's no sense in worrying about infinitesemal inefficiencies in bearings and drivertains when my lungs, heart, and legs are holding me back. There's no sense in going for aerodynamic wheels, bottle cages, or handlebars when my flabby belly and thick wasteline are acting like a barn door.

    The way I figure it, work on the engine first.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
    My latest tip: Carrying your laptop
    My latest geeky project: Ethernet-testing cuff links

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    298
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For hub repair info check the Park Tool web site Repair Help section. They have good descriptions and you will discover it is pretty obvious once you get it apart.
    Be sure to get cone wrenches before you try this out as you *need* wrenches that thin to do it correctly, there is no substitute that I am aware of. The wrenches are cheap and pay for themselves in a hurry.

  21. #21
    M_S
    M_S is offline
    All Mod Cons M_S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Face down in a snowbank
    My Bikes
    K2 Enemey Cyclocross franken build; Redline D660 29er, Volpe SS Cross
    Posts
    3,694
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Put 35 or larger cross tires on the Aurora.

    Hit the trails to improve handling.

    Out of laziness, don't take the cross tires off the bike for a week of pavement riding. Then put the 28 slicks back on. I guarantee the bike will feel faster, and your handling will be better to boot

    Well, it worked for me.

  22. #22
    Former Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    dropmachine.com
    Posts
    4,061
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TreeUnit
    Nothing kills efficiency like shocks
    Only shocks that suck.....


    Edit: Okay, let me expand on that. I think shocks designed for XC racing have very little impact on mountain bikes on the road. I had a XC fork with lockout, and I used to constantly be locking it out whenever I was on pavement under the impression that it was soaking effort. Then I began riding to work with and without it locked out, and found... no difference in time whatsoever.

    Big DH and freeride shocks slow the bike down noticeably, but if a XC suspension is robbing you of more than a tiny bit of efficiency, it isn't set up right (or is too low-end TO set up right).
    Last edited by ghettocruiser; 06-30-07 at 09:01 AM.

  23. #23
    ^_^ Industrial's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    My Bikes
    Cannondale System Six, Specialized FSR-XC, Specialized Langster, Univega Arrow Spot, Raleigh Sports
    Posts
    657
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    Only shocks that suck.....


    Edit: Okay, let me expand on that. I think shocks designed for XC racing have very little impact on mountain bikes on the road. I had a XC fork with lockout, and I used to constantly be locking it out whenever I was on pavement under the impression that it was soaking effort. Then I began riding to work with and without it locked out, and found... no difference in time whatsoever.

    Big DH and freeride shocks slow the bike down noticeably, but if a XC suspension is robbing you of more than a tiny bit of efficiency, it isn't set up right (or is too low-end TO set up right).
    Your right, most people that "commute" on bicycles with shocks do it because that's their only bike. They are either poor, don't know better or don't care that much(they are not bike geeks like us). Which almost always means it's a cheap bike with really sorry dual suspension from walmart. I think the perception (for non-bike people) is that road bikes are for geeks that wear tights and mountain bikes are for tough X-games people. The more gadgets the better. Dual suspension, disc brakes, 27 gears...all for $199. I think we've all seen these people, we all probably know a few of these people and tried out their bikes at one point and developed a negative opinion of shocks.

    To the OP: I'm upgrading my entire bike to dura-ace(from tiagra that came stock). To be honest, I'm doing it just because I find it fun and I can never leave anything alone. The only thing that'll really help me go fast is when I upgrade the wheels and maybe the crank. Not from weight savings so much but just because my stock wheels and crank seem to flex alot when really going up hills.

  24. #24
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    southeast pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike
    Posts
    3,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can see how it would affect accelerating and braking, but once you're at steady speed, is the spinning weight any different than weight on the rest of the bike?
    At constant speed on flat ground, bike weight barely matters at all.

    At constant speed on an uphill, weight definitely matters but the difference between spinning weight and non-spinning weight does not matter.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,189
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Twenty pounds is a lot in a backpack. Leaving the whole thing home would help mpre than any conceivable bike upgrade.

    Paul

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •