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  1. #1
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    My LBS said,true or false

    This came to mind when I was out riding this morning.I ran into a group of riders today and I just fell in with them. After 15 miles they stopped to take a break and I was looking at the tires of all or most of the bikes and it got me thinking(and that's bad)my LBS said if I can go 30 miles with the bike I have FX 7300 with 700x35 size tires on it I could double that with a road bike.That is hard to believe. I was staying up with part of the group at 16 MPH, but this guy came flying by me. He was taking about 1 stroke to my 2.I was wondering if I got different tires but not the 24s one guy said to get and pick up more speed. I know I'll pickup more speed but will it be close to double. I'm thinking if what he said was true,and I didn't get the road bike he was talking about and I got the different tires maybe 28s,like the ones I've been reading about I should go at least a 1/3 faster. I don't want to race and I still would like a smooth ride and use the bike for touring.What do you guys think? Thanks George
    George

  2. #2
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Thinner tires are faster, but nowhere near twice as fast. The geometry or body positioning is faster on a road bike than a hybrid, but again, not double. So you would almost certainly be noticeably faster, but more likely in the range of 10%, not 100%, at a very crude guess.

    A road bike is probably also more comfortable for touring based only on the fact that there are different hand positions available on the drop bars than on a flat bar.

    The guy who passed you was obviously using a higher gear, but that alone doesn't make him faster. In fact there's an argument to be made that higher cadence spinning is better in the long run...much easier on your knees, for example.

  3. #3
    Ti #18 Senior.
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    I agree with your bike shop. If you can comfortably ride your present bike 30 miles - with a road bike and skinny tires, you will be able to easily ride 60 miles. It's not just about speed.

    Jim

  4. #4
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    George,
    This calculator below will answer your question plus give you the option to change many parameters. This thing has been around on this BF for some time. It is a German creation in English but that does not make it bad.
    FWIW, I train on a bike with 700 x 38 tires and I have done the same course with 700 x 25 tires.
    My average speed was up 10-15% at most.
    The claim that you can go twice as far with skinny tires? Well, I think this: You will burn out trying to keep up with other bikers with lighter bikes and skinny tires. I would not try to do that. Unless you are Superman, you need competitive equipment.

    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

  5. #5
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    The key factors for performance on a bike are about 80% bike fit, and rider position on the bike, and about 20% wheels, and tires.

    Assuming that your current bike allows you to get an efficient position, with your back at about a 35% to 45% angle to a horizontal top bar, switching to a road bike would have zero impact on your cruising speed over an hour or two of riding.

    The weight of rims and tires is of importance during acceleration and braking, but of no importance at a steady speed. The difference in rolling resistance between an "A" quality 32mm tire at maximum PSI, and a 23mm tire is of very little significance at speeds above 15 mph. At that speed, 80% or 90% of your work load comes from wind resistance.

    So, if two riders have an identical riding position, and one guy is on a 20 pound bike, with 23mm tires, and the other guy is on a 30 pound bike, with 32mm tires, the fella on the road bike has only a very slight advantage. On a level course, that advantage might be worth about one or two minutes on a sixty minute course.

    Where the difference would be significant would be when climbing a mountain, where the weight difference would have an impact, an in a "crit" style race, with the riders braking and accelerating every hundred yards, where the difference in rim and tire weight would be significant.

    Most rims will allow you to use a range of tire widths. I have a set of rims that left the factory with tires 34mm wide. I could put very light 28mm tires on those rims, and the performance difference with typical 23mm tires would leave the realm of the meaningful, into the world of theory.

    I have some light weight "racing" style bikes that I can use with 23mm tires. And, I also have some bikes that are designed more for long-distance cruising, with 32mm tires. At the end of a two hour ride on the racing style bike, I'm sore and tired. All of the shock from the broken pavement is transmitted into my body.

    After a two hour ride on the touring bike, with 32mm tires, I feel relaxed and rested, and ready for another two hours of riding. Riding 150 miles in a day on my touring bike would be a pleasure. On my most extreme "racing" bike, it would be hell. Pro riders are paid to go through hell...I'm not...so my 23mm tires don't see many miles.

  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Thanks Will, I really think that calculator is something to keep and use,and I will.I'm just finishing the book about Lance Armstrong "It's Not About the Bike" and he was using this calculation before the Tour De France while training and I told my wife I wonder how he doe's that.Thanks everybody for your answers and you sure are saving me a lot of money.Lets see Trek FX 7300, Brooks saddle,Clipless pedal,what else can I do but buy another bike. I better wait awhile with that too so I can find out what it's all about. Who would think there was so much to learn, besides riding the bike.George
    George

  7. #7
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    George:

    My experience over a two year period was +2 to 3 mph going from 37 to 32 tires on a hybrid, then another +2 to 3 mph going to a flat bar road bike.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  8. #8
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    George,
    I read the post above by "alanbikehouston" and find this well informed.
    I did this 50 mile ride with a strong 28 year old yesterday. We had both Trek Hybrids, same 700 x 38 tires, straight bars. The young man is a soccer player and has strong legs. His size and approximate weight was about the same. We timed our fastest speed on a flat straight stretch of Limestone. His was 20-21 MPH, My was 25-26 MPH. It was a friendly race meaning that I waited for him to catch up. So what was the difference?
    He sat much more vertical. I used Aerobars, he did not have them. I used clipless, he used toe straps.
    My saddle height was carefully calibrated, he sat too low. My bar is set at or below saddle height, his is several inches higher than the saddle.
    At the end of 50 miles he was exhausted, I was not.
    The purpose of this post is not to brag but to illustrate the importance of proper posture and basic biking equipment.
    I test my capability all the time on this hill. Going from a 25 lb. size 60 Cannondale to a 17 lb. size 58 Trek Madone increased my top speed by 10%.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by George McClusky
    Lance Armstrong "It's Not About the Bike"
    Since you are reading books.
    There is this book by Daniel Coyle, "Lance Armstrong's War". This book gets into the fine points of biking.

  10. #10
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Thanks Will ,that was going to be my next one.I got the bug, just about as bad when I started sailing.George
    George

  11. #11
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho
    George:

    My experience over a two year period was +2 to 3 mph going from 37 to 32 tires on a hybrid, then another +2 to 3 mph going to a flat bar road bike.
    And my guess is that 80% of your improvement was because you expected to go faster each time, so you did... and I also assume that you made each of those changes as your fitness increased.

    It is amazing how people can push themselves harder when they don't even realize it. New equipment will almost always lead to increased speed... but the real question is how?

    The equipment changes probably made a difference, but I really doubt that knobbies to slicks is 2-3 mph different, it wasn't for me. In fact, I expected an increase, and was disappointed that there was none, but that is because at that point, I always pushed hard, so there was nothing extra to give.

    Now, after I decided to ride at a moderate pace, things changed... I eventually switched to cycling shorts (after about a year), and then I saw a 10% reduction in my time along my favorite loop from one week to the next.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  12. #12
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    And my guess is that 80% of your improvement was because you expected to go faster each time, so you did...
    Hey...I always seem to go faster when I wear a yellow shirt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Hey Will,now that your 65 are going too pull the pin.Happy birthday,George
    George

  14. #14
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    I think most of the time/speed differences for the average non-racing cylst are becuase of comfort. I find a well fitted road style bike (not racing) with drop bars to be way more comfortable over a long ride, so I ride more, get fitter and can ride faster. BUt then again, I have gone to 28mm tires, and a Brooks saddle, and generally have fenders, and have the bars up near seat height, and so on. Heck I even have a lage seat bag or a handlebar bag that i carry food, and spare tubes, a tire, and weather gear. And I do ride slower than molassas on a January day.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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  15. #15
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    My wife went from 10-12 mph average to 14-15 mph average instantly when she got her first roadie vs her comfort bike. She thought 15 felt easier on the roadie than 12 was on the comfort bike too.
    Carpe who?

  16. #16
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    true or false

    I bought my lovely wife a trek 7300 last year- her choice not mine. I pushed for the fitness hybrid style rather than the comfort stye bike but, what do I know. After about 4-5 rides, her complaining about a sore butt, wind resistance, hills too difficult each time, I found her less willing to go out on the road w/me. Bike trails were ok however we still had a sore butt. So 3 weeks ago i hauled her and her bike back to the dealer for test rides again. Now she is an eager road riding companion again and the happy owner of a Trek 7.3 FX flat bar road bike. She said to me, "Ican't believe how much faster I can ride on the new bike" Plus, no more sore butt! I'm a happy guy.
    Craig
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  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy™
    My wife went from 10-12 mph average to 14-15 mph average instantly when she got her first roadie vs her comfort bike. She thought 15 felt easier on the roadie than 12 was on the comfort bike too.
    You sure she wasn't just trying to get out of your way?
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