Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek Soho
    Posts
    2,161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    okay, fine, maybe it's the engine not the bike..

    the road bike I usually commute on was creaking so I decided to pull out the "tank" after not having ridden it for months. it's an all-aluminum, heavy Trek Soho with drum brakes and an internal gear hub.

    just for old time's sake, I left the platform pedals on and wore my tennis shoes instead of getting all clipped in. I also had the basket on the rear rack with my lunch and clothes to change into. I was curious how much slower it would be than my road bike.

    well.

    yesterday on the road bike with clips and no cargo, and having had the weekend off, I did the commute in 53:22.

    this morning on the "tank", with tennis shoes and a basket full of stuff, I did the commute in 53:48.

    I was stunned. I guess it's the engine, not the bike. And now I feel stupid for having plowed many hundreds of dollars into bikes, components, accessories, etc. It doesn't really make me faster. And if anything, the Soho is a no-maintenance all-weather commuter (also has a belt drive) whereas the road bike takes more than its share of TLC to keep going.

    sigh...
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    My Bikes
    2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Posts
    1,192
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, but which is more comfortable? How many hills do you climb? Steep, or slow? Did you have a good wind this morning or a bad wind yesterday? I've done my commute once in 40 minutes; I've done longer rides in the same time. Typically I do it in 45, as I'm quite slow.

    Supposedly, a nice, light road bike will do the hills easier. I know from experience that when I moved my seat forward on my upright commuter hybrid, I sat more weight on the seat; suddenly it became difficult to pedal. When my weight was light on the seat and heavy on the pedals (like a road bike), it was easier. Now I'm plowing a lot of force into the handlebars and saddle on each stroke, which is probably partly technique and partly posture.

    There are many factors that go into how fast you can get somewhere on a bike. Most of them mean very, very little. An hour ride on flat ground isn't going to change much doing it by mountain bike versus by a nice, fast road bike. Still, you may find the upright more comfortable, or the supline road bike more comfortable. You may find yourself standing more on one, or whatever. That's the difference in bikes methinks.

    Technical speed differences are for racers.
    Last edited by bluefoxicy; 06-28-11 at 07:49 PM.
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  3. #3
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    1,583
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the biggest factor is positioning - on a road bike, I have the ability to get into the drops to fight a massive headwind, whereas I don't have that option on the kid's mtb I ride when I'm at my parents house. The fit of the kid's mtb doesn't really help matters either. I don't think I can top 20mph on that bike, whereas I can average that speed for several miles on my road bike.

  4. #4
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bedrock, IL
    My Bikes
    1969 Schwinn Orange Krate, 5 speed stick shift
    Posts
    3,055
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You can't really compare the two after only one ride. After tracking over a thousand rides on the same 12-13 mile commute, my hybrid averages almost exactly 1 mph less than my lighter flat bar road bike which has narrower tires and a more aerodynamic riding position.

    I find the wind direction and speed to easily be the biggest factor for my speed, so on any given day the "slower" bike can sometimes be quicker.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  5. #5
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek Soho
    Posts
    2,161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
    I think the biggest factor is positioning - on a road bike, I have the ability to get into the drops to fight a massive headwind, whereas I don't have that option on the kid's mtb I ride when I'm at my parents house. The fit of the kid's mtb doesn't really help matters either. I don't think I can top 20mph on that bike, whereas I can average that speed for several miles on my road bike.
    great point, degnaw, on a really windy day the drop bars make a big difference. today and yesterday were low wind days, surprisingly comparable for a side-by-side test. if anything, the "tank" was at a disadvantage b/c I was a little tired from the 30m round trip the day before whereas I had had the weekend off and was fresh for yesterday's ride in.

    and, bluefoxicy, you are right that I enjoy the road bike more. its carbon frame/fork/seatpost make for a much ride over Boston potholes than the all-aluminum "tank" I was on today.
    Last edited by mtalinm; 06-28-11 at 09:04 PM.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  6. #6
    Noobie of the year :) MijnWraak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hour South of Boston
    My Bikes
    1980's Miyata Seven Ten
    Posts
    287
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would ride a belt drive bike way more than any other if I was commuting. Wanna sell your soho?

  7. #7
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek Soho
    Posts
    2,161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MijnWraak View Post
    I would ride a belt drive bike way more than any other if I was commuting. Wanna sell your soho?
    I'd think about it, sure. PM me and we'll talk
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  8. #8
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    My Bikes
    2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Posts
    6,809
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    I find the wind direction and speed to easily be the biggest factor for my speed, so on any given day the "slower" bike can sometimes be quicker.
    This is most certainly true.

    Differences in how many lights I hit green is also a big factor. The effort I make is probably third. Another thing that I've seen is that all things being equal, I'm faster on the second day after a couple of days' rest than the first. Somewhere down the list is the bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    My Bikes
    Dahon Speed TR
    Posts
    942
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have iBke sport (power estimator) programmed for my road bike and my folding bike. When I am going at my easy going ride to work (180W-200W), my moving average speed is about 2.5 miles faster on road bike. Of course, my total weight on road bike is about 30-35lbs less typically.

  10. #10
    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, 2011 RM Flow1
    Posts
    11,319
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sure, it's the engine and not the machine. I can do my commute on my beater 1988 dumpster salvage singlespeed conversion/spare parts build Trek 400 in the same amount of time as on my brand new Vassago Fisticuff monstercross build with all brand new awesomeness.
    One is more comfortable, and easier. I definitely notice the power loss to flex in the old frame and parts... though it won't stop me from riding it.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    beantown
    My Bikes
    '89 Specialized Hardrock Fixed Gear Commuter; 1984? Dawes Atlantis
    Posts
    694
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If your commute is through the SWCP, or on city streets, its more an issue of hitting green lights - in my 35 minute commute, my time varies mostly due to whether or not I make the lights. Forest Hills, Jackson Square, Roxbury Crossing, Ruggles, Mass Ave, and Dartmouth are the lights that take up most of my time - but they do tend to average out. Some days, though, I get the greens and a tailwind!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What distance?

    How many stops (stop signs, lights)?

  13. #13
    Senior Member work4bike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Atlantic Beach Florida
    Posts
    612
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a waste of money to spend thousands on a bike in the interest of speed. The biggest factor besides the "engine" is the gearing. I have catched and passed many riders on "fast" bikes on my Raleigh C500 hybrid with panniers and a gear ration of 52/11.

    Now if you're a racer and make money off this sport then my above statement is non-applicable.
    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."

    -- Paul Dirac

  14. #14
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    The Gunks
    Posts
    1,316
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Heck yeah. I have a couple of fancy bikes but when we go on vacation I usually bring an old steel Trek with toe clips. It's heavy and it doesn't always shift right, and you basically can't stop the bike from the hoods, but it still goes fast once you get it wound up and it's just as fun to ride (maybe more fun, since there's the extra thrill of mechanical uncertainty).

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    My Bikes
    2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Posts
    1,192
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    It's a waste of money to spend thousands on a bike in the interest of speed. The biggest factor besides the "engine" is the gearing. I have catched and passed many riders on "fast" bikes on my Raleigh C500 hybrid with panniers and a gear ration of 52/11.

    Now if you're a racer and make money off this sport then my above statement is non-applicable.
    Yes that's because the speed difference of a "fast" bike is a few seconds here and there from acceleration. A crap bike, no, it's just crap; but a good bike is $200, $300, $400. A fantastic $1700 Trek Portland or a $4000 Tour-de-Whatever or a $30,000 customized bike built for Lance Armstrong is a nicer bike, but it's at best shaving off a couple seconds here and there.

    A couple seconds means you get to work a minute faster, maybe. Pedal harder. Also, the expensive bikes are lighter and easier to make go up hills. A $1500 bike is a few pounds lighter than a $500 bike; a $5000 bike is slightly lighter, but once you've gone from the heavy 25lb bike to a nice light 12lb bike it's hard to squeeze another 13 pounds off...

    A couple seconds means you win races by 0.62 seconds.

    I still say geometry and comfort though
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  16. #16
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,547
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have to agree. That's why I ride my hybrid; I had a road bike that fit OK but I was never comfortable on it so I gave it away.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    782
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    I was stunned. I guess it's the engine, not the bike. And now I feel stupid for having plowed many hundreds of dollars into bikes, components, accessories, etc. It doesn't really make me faster. And if anything, the Soho is a no-maintenance all-weather commuter (also has a belt drive) whereas the road bike takes more than its share of TLC to keep going.

    sigh...

    Shhh! Don't let the secret get out. It will bankrupt the American Bicycle industry & also make it hard for us to justify all of the $ that we spend on cycling accessories. Somehow 'because I want it' seems much less convincing than 'This xxx will increase my speed/ decrease my drag/ result in less flats/ etc'

    Lots of cool advances in bike technology over the last many years, most of them very enjoyable, but in real world terms, it probably doesn't make as much of a difference as we imagine (performance-wise).

  18. #18
    Senior Member groovestew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    My Bikes
    2012 Surly Disc Trucker custom build, 2009 Kona Jake the Snake, 198? Bianchi road bike, 2012 Scott OTG-20
    Posts
    1,254
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    ... if anything, the "tank" was at a disadvantage b/c I was a little tired from the 30m round trip the day before whereas I had had the weekend off and was fresh for yesterday's ride in...
    My personal experience is that I find Mondays to be a little slower than Tuesdays - just a perception with no empirical data. Lingering inertia from the weekend makes Mondays feel slower, but by Tuesday morning, my legs are limbered up and ready to go.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    2,168
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Was the Soho as much FUN???

    Sure it's the motor and not the bike, thats a given.

    You have to factor in some degree of fun. A light quick handling bike is ALOT more fun to ride.
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    9,869
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    I was stunned. I guess it's the engine, not the bike. And now I feel stupid for having plowed many hundreds of dollars into bikes, components, accessories, etc. It doesn't really make me faster.
    Does that stuff make you more comfortable, or get you more enjoyment from your time on the bike?

    A lot of photographers are noticing that the best point and shoot camera you can spend $50 on can make exposures that are just as beautiful as a $10,000 camera system. Typically they're of mountain streams on sunny days. When it comes to getting a picture of someone doing a jump on a mountain bike after the sun sets, though, the "lesser" camera won't be able to focus in time. I notice the same thing between my two bikes: they can both hit 40+ mph going down a hill, but I would never do that on the Novara when there are curves in the road.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek Soho
    Posts
    2,161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    True, comfort matters too...
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    3,911
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am, actually, quite surprised...I wonder how more back to back tests would do...

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All else being equal, a heavier bike takes more energy to move from one point to another.

    Perhaps the difference is merely mental and you unconsciously pushed yourself harder on your "lesser" bike? Maybe you have mentally plateaued on your normal commuter bike. On your tank, you just pedalled until you reached the same apparent speed as you have grown accustomed to.

  24. #24
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Falls City, OR
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Fargo 2, Rocky Mountain Fusion, circa '93
    Posts
    1,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Compare the weights of the bikes with the motor installed. Yeah I just finished reading the latest screed from Rivendell....
    Ed Miller
    Falls City, OR
    1993 Rocky Mountain Fusion
    2012 Fargo 2

  25. #25
    Senior Member Stubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Madison WI, USA
    Posts
    75
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In my long years of commuting by bike I have found one great truth

    The older I get the less difference it makes what bike I use. I go about the same speed on all of them. Though I might work slightly more on hills with a heavier bike for me the comfort factor is much more important, so it's nice fat commuter tires, laid back geometry, leather saddles, and all the other goodies that make the idea of biking one of pleasure as opposed to just enduring it.

    Style over speed

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
  •