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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-18-08, 02:55 PM   #1
Lizzylou
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Upgrade Placebo

As stated in another thread, I just received a new pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and was told that I had to post a complete review since they were new. However, I don't really want to review the tires so much as the effect they have had on me. The various properties of these tires have been discussed and rediscussed so many times, I don't think you really want to hear about them again... do you????

Well, here is the thing... Everything I read about these tires said that they are heavy and they are going to slow me down. Fact: they are heavy. Fact: I am slow to begin with.

On my first ride with these tires (5 miles to make sure I hadn't pinched the tube somewhere) I felt faster, lighter, more agile, and more stable. The bike looked sexier. Now, I know that I definitely wasn't lighter (these tires ARE heavy). And I'm pretty sure I was still slow. But I felt faster and lighter. On my 2nd ride (today's commute) I still felt all of those things.

I know the bike certainly isn't lighter, and I'm fairly positive that we (my bike and me) aren't faster. I am, however, completely convinced of the improved sexiness of my bike though.

I think upgrading the tires was kinda like taking a sugar pill. They didn't actually make me lighter and faster, but I am weak minded enough to 'think' they did.

I can't wait to install my new fenders now... they've been sitting around for about a month now waiting for the new tires before I installed them. Once those bad boys are on I'll be the fastest, sexiest thing on the road (at least in my own mind).
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Old 09-18-08, 03:08 PM   #2
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If the marathons made you fast, the fenders will make you *fly*!!!
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Old 09-18-08, 03:49 PM   #3
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Remember; think happy thoughts and you can fly.
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Old 09-18-08, 09:57 PM   #4
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I *just* mounted a second Schwalbe Marathon on my commuter bike. I had been riding on a Marathon in the rear, plus a gum-sidewalled ancient road tire on the front wheel.

With a new wheel and matching tire up front, my bike's looking so much better! I am sure this cosmetic improvement will likewise lead to easier, more pleasant riding, regardless of the actual physics of it.
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Old 09-19-08, 03:24 AM   #5
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I *just* mounted a second Schwalbe Marathon on my commuter bike. I had been riding on a Marathon in the rear, plus a gum-sidewalled ancient road tire on the front wheel.

With a new wheel and matching tire up front, my bike's looking so much better! I am sure this cosmetic improvement will likewise lead to easier, more pleasant riding, regardless of the actual physics of it.
That's the theory of it. Actual performance isn't important... Perceived performance is.
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Old 09-19-08, 04:56 AM   #6
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Maybe it is because you have a tire that will let you 'plow though' rather than dodge some of the road hazards that are out there. Less worries, happy riding and a feeling of speed. I know that when I ride my mountain bike commuter with Marathons I have less worries than my road bike with Pasela TGs.

Or perhaps you just have the tires fully inflated now?
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Old 09-19-08, 06:44 AM   #7
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or perhaps you just have the tires fully inflated now?
+1
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Old 09-19-08, 07:17 AM   #8
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Lizzy Lou, I'm similarly convinced I'm faster on my Marathon Supreme 700x35 than on my old Botrager Race Lite 700x28... which, of course, defies all conventional wisdom...
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Old 09-19-08, 10:17 PM   #9
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No data, eh? Being an insane hoarder of data who records the time, speed, wind speed and air temperature of every commute, I could clearly quantify that moving from the 700x23 Michelin Lithion that my commuter was borrowing from my road bike to the 700x28 (actually 25) Forte GT2/k with Mr. Tuffy didn't just feel slow, it dropped me a good .8-1 mph.
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Old 09-20-08, 05:40 AM   #10
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No data, eh? Being an insane hoarder of data who records the time, speed, wind speed and air temperature of every commute, I could clearly quantify that moving from the 700x23 Michelin Lithion that my commuter was borrowing from my road bike to the 700x28 (actually 25) Forte GT2/k with Mr. Tuffy didn't just feel slow, it dropped me a good .8-1 mph.
Ah, but you knew about the switch. You'd need to have someone randomly switch your tires without you knowing to actually tell if there's a difference. You may just be suffering "Downgrade Placebo".
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Old 09-20-08, 06:57 PM   #11
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In my case, the upgrade placebo wasn't tires, it is a new mountainbike handlebar for my old Schwinn LeTour. I just now finished the job of replacing the old dropbars with the new mtb handlebars and new cane creek crosstop brake levers. My Schinn has a big smile on her face. I'll take pictures tomorrow when it's daylight...after my 21 mile commute.
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Old 09-21-08, 12:17 AM   #12
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Woohoo! I am purchasing some slick new 700 x 36c tires to replace my 700 x 36c tires because of an upcoming trail needs. I wonder if the placebo will kick in for me too! :-)
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Old 09-21-08, 12:42 AM   #13
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If you love the way your bike looks and feels, why would you want to ride fast and spend less time on it?
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Old 09-21-08, 08:22 AM   #14
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Here she is! Fresh from my weekend 27 mile commute. I finally got her just the way I like her. Replaced the old dropbars (which hurt my back) for the mtb handlebars, also Cane Creek brake levers, Serfas E-gel seat and comfy Bell comfort grips. NOW she needs new tires!
Ernest

Before


After

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Old 09-21-08, 10:03 AM   #15
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Don't underestimate the placebo effect. I KNOW that my truck and motorcycles ALWAYS drive better, corner more easily and make the sun shine after changing the oil and washing them. Even the radio sounds better....
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Old 09-21-08, 11:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Big_e View Post
Here she is! Fresh from my weekend 27 mile commute. I finally got her just the way I like her. Replaced the old dropbars (which hurt my back) for the mtb handlebars, also Cane Creek brake levers, Serfas E-gel seat and comfy Bell comfort grips. NOW she needs new tires!
Ernest
Nothing like a good face lift to freshen things up.
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