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Old 12-12-10, 02:47 AM   #1
stapfam
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Heavy cheap bikes are as fast as l/W Expensive ones

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11958903

Hopefully you will be able to read the link but it is not often we get "Good" cycling content on the news over here.

Don't care what he says- I prefer Boreas to the Bianchi for commuting anytime.
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Old 12-12-10, 06:19 AM   #2
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I don't think this is all that surprising. I mean a couple of million or so commuters in Amsterdam or Copenhagen can't be wrong ... look at the bikes they ride ...

Now, when it comes to a hilly Century that's another story.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:17 AM   #3
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They cite Dr. Groves saying it took him 98 minutes on his old heavy bike to do his commute and 97 minutes on a new bike. Both bikes were road bikes but they did not give the models, specs, or weights.

Look if you are into even a Shimano 105 equipped road bike, you are going to get something like 98% of your performance. By paying more $$$$$$$$$$$, you can get a bike that is more dialed into your personal preferences, maybe nicer shifting, better handling, lighter, cooler paint job, more wow factor and that stuff. If you are a die hard cyclist and spend a fair amount of time at it, even a pretty high end bike gets to be reasonably cost effective.

But does it make that much of a difference?

But what they did not look at was the difference between a 105 equipped road bike and say a really cheap and heavy bike of perhaps problematic functioning like a big box retailer special. I would think that the commute would be noticeably different. It might not be so different in time but it might be very different in how it felt to ride the dern thing. Also, I don't know how well the brakes work on the really, really cheap bikes.

Let me make a differentiation here. There are inexpensive bikes. These are perfectly mechanically functional, maintainable and safe bikes. They just might be heavy, clunky and a handle adequately. I think there are cheap bikes out there that are not very funcional mechanically, not really capable of being maintained and not horribly safe because of poor brakes and handling. These bikes are made to hang up in the garage and maybe ride around they neighborhood at a walking pace.

Now, I used to ride with a bunch of strong hard riding cyclists. Virtually everyone in the group rode on Dura Ace equipped bikes. I was considered a bit of a fred for riding 105. The amusing thing was that the strongest and fastest rider in the group (not me, I did just fine on good days though) rode the cheapest bike.

So why do the pros ride high end bikes? Well think about it. How much does it cost for the care and feeding of a professional cyclist if you are a sponser? It is far more than the cost of even a top end bike. A top end bike may get you another .3% of performance out of your rider over that same guy on a 105. Given the fact that in cycling events, the top 10 places are only seperated by less than a 1%, you would be nuts not to pay for the bikes that would give the top performance.

For recreational riders, however, no one is going to pay me $$$$$$ for climbing the local big hill in 5 seconds less than normal. A minor performance advantage given by a bike that costs far more is not really meaningful to me. Heck, I can get a far greater performance boost by any number of other things like training or losing some weight.

I think the article is misleading. It says the bike does not make a difference. A quality bike makes a world of difference. It will ride better. It will be easier to maintain. More importantly, it will be FUN to ride and not something you have to fight constantly. What is true is that in order to get a bike that rides well, is easy to maintain and is fun to ride, you don't have to spend big bucks.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:25 AM   #4
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If a doctor saves 2 minutes a day, he'll pay for a carbon fiber bike after a couple of years.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:03 AM   #5
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Some years back we had a charity fun run and 10 mile bike ride here in the small town where I live. So I signed up for the 10 mile ride, all inside the city limits. It was a five mile course with a turnaround.

I met one of the local school boys, an all-state linebacker, at the 3-1/2 mile point as I was going out. He was coming back. He was riding a NEXT fully sprung mountain bike and just smoked everyone.

Sometimes it's not about the bike.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:13 AM   #6
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They cite Dr. Groves saying it took him 98 minutes on his old heavy bike to do his commute and 97 minutes on a new bike.
You got it backwards, the old bike was faster. Here is the article. Obviously this is not a serious study ... it was tongue in cheek for sure.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:18 AM   #7
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"A reduction in the weight of the cyclist rather than that of the bicycle may deliver great benefit at reduced cost," the study says".

I agree with that.

However, when I traded up from my 33 lbs 700c Hybrid to a 25 lbs Cyclocross bike, I saw a huge increase in speed. Yes, 17mph average is faster than 14 mph.

I also started doing longer rides. My typical long ride on the Hybrid was about 35 miles. Now my short fitness rides are 55 miles and a 200k is something I look forward to.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:23 AM   #8
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You got it backwards, the old bike was faster. Here is the article. Obviously this is not a serious study ... it was tongue in cheek for sure.
That is the case; this one has suckered a lot of people on various forums.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:27 AM   #9
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I think it was a Serious study and only published 3 days ago. But reading through-I can see several flaws that could have occured. The bikes are not identical in set up- tyres or suitability for the test. Get traffic and the fastest of bikes will be slowed. I found this on a 4 mile ride along Brighton Seafront. Just at the start two riders came past me going a lot faster---I got away from the last Pedestrian crossing before them. Not the bikes but this was a slow rider up against two fit- fast ones. I had better luck with the traffic or as I like to call it-"Better Traffic Management"

How many hills involved- How tight were the corners.

So now it is up to you to decide if he is right or not.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:47 AM   #10
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Isn't it well established that the best bike is the one we actually ride, ride, ride, ride, ride . . . .?
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Old 12-12-10, 11:01 AM   #11
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The weight of the bike doesn't matter. How much energy you put into pedaling does. I can pedal a 20lb bike at 20mph. I can also pedal a 30lb. bike at the same speed, but I'll use much more energy. Which would you rather pedal over long distances at this speed?
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Old 12-12-10, 11:03 AM   #12
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Cycling's dirty little secret: it doesn't really matter what you ride, as long as you ride it.

Corollaries: the nicer the bike, the more likely you are to ride it. If you can't tell the difference, get the cheaper one. Up to a point (of diminishing returns), the more you pay for the components, the easier they are to service and maintain, and the less time you'll have to spend doing these activities. And when you show up for a ride, the guys you want to ride behind are NOT the guys on the shiny new high-zoot carbon fiber art pieces; no, it's usually the guys on the old, well-used steel frames that look very business-like indeed.

L.
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Old 12-12-10, 11:05 AM   #13
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It doesn't matter what bike I use when I commute. The determining factor is whether I make the traffic lights. I can ride a decent speed on my converted mtb and I still don't get ahead of the average rider that I pass along the way. Everyone just catches up at the lights. The only place it makes a difference is on the bridge, with its long uphill, and that only accounts for about a minute max.

Unless you have a long stretch on your commute of unencumbered riding where you can really crank it, it won't matter much.
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Old 12-12-10, 11:05 AM   #14
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I bought a rather expensive lightweight bike, but it rode like a wet noodle whenever I hammer downed on it, requiring more energy to ride. Something felt wrong, but I really didn't give this much thought until I switched back over to my heavier, more rigid winter commuter.
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Old 12-12-10, 11:07 AM   #15
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I think it was a Serious study and only published 3 days ago.
There are about five threads on this subject. Do a search.

It's a joke. The british journal has a history of publishing articles like this in the December issue.
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Old 12-12-10, 11:10 AM   #16
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Isn't it well established that the best bike is the one we actually ride, ride, ride, ride, ride . . . .?
The man makes a GOOD point!
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Old 12-12-10, 12:39 PM   #17
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There are about five threads on this subject. Do a search.

It's a joke. The british journal has a history of publishing articles like this in the December issue.
I agree. Do not underestimate this group's ability to turn this into a political / religious debate on heavy versus light bikes replete with who dropped who and why a steel frame is better.
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Old 12-12-10, 01:57 PM   #18
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Come on now, let's get real. Given the choice, which would you rather be SEEN on -- a Huffy or a Cervelo?
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Old 12-12-10, 01:58 PM   #19
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You got it backwards, the old bike was faster. Here is the article. Obviously this is not a serious study ... it was tongue in cheek for sure.
It's true. If it was a serious article, it would have said the carbon bike was laterally stiff, yet vertically compliant.
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Old 12-12-10, 02:01 PM   #20
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Come on now, let's get real. Given the choice, which would you rather be SEEN on -- a Huffy or a Cervelo?
The Huffy. They're made by Serotta, right? The Cervelo is obviously a Chinese knockoff of the Cervélo. That accent aigu is worth a lot of money.
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Old 12-12-10, 02:45 PM   #21
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Guys. This is the over 50s forum. Over 50, you're supposedly entitled to start enjoying the fruits of your labor. Do you drive a Chevy/Toyota/Volkswage or a Cadillac/Lexus/BMW. Any of those aforementioned vehicles will get you from A to B in the same amount of time, but not with the same panache. Same goes for bicycles. It's time to live it up a little.
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Old 12-12-10, 03:24 PM   #22
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+1 on that!
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Old 12-12-10, 03:43 PM   #23
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IDK, it seems I can buy any high end bike while I can't seem to get my wife on board with that Porsche I want.
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Old 12-12-10, 06:41 PM   #24
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I like the MAMIL acronym.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:21 PM   #25
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Weight is not the only factor. I commute everyday on a Focus Maleta Hybrid it’s about 40 Lbs with bags, lights, Rain jacket & pants, water bottles, pump, repair kit and all the other crap I take with me every day. On days off my fun bike is a Fuji CCR1 all carbon at about 25 Lbs with all the junk on it. Given that the engine is the same (that’s me) I am about 10 to 15 % slower on the Focus on the same road and distance. I’m even slower on my 29er. Factors are the overall weight, geometry, tires, PSI, wheel weight and maybe even aerodynamics. So given the same rider over the same road what bike you riding does make a big difference. BUT! Different types of bicycles have very different uses. I wouldn’t want to ride the carbon Fuji on a muddy rocky road or do a century on the Focus.

And For the guy that blows by all of us on our expensive plastic bikes, just thinks about how much faster you would be on one.
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