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Old 11-07-16, 11:52 AM   #51
tds101 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jur View Post
When Moultons were allowed in racing in the early days, they proved almost unbeatable. The smaller wheels allowed closer draughting which conferred an advantage to those using them. They were banned as a result. If smaller wheels were slower then they would not have had much advantage.

Also, in speed record velomobiles, smaller wheels are used from build convenience point of view. If they were really significantly slower, they would not be used.
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http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/heritage.html
Check out the Records and Racing section.

The UCI has held back the progress of the road bike for decades to keep competition even. Think how long MTBs have had disc brakes and they are still only testing them in UCI road races. Luckily the manufacturers sell the smarter buying public more progressive bikes with disc brakes, fatter tires, or lower weights than the UCI dictates. It's sort of ridiculous that you can buy a lighter and or safer to ride bike than what the UCI pros ride. A UCI race is becoming a competitive vintage rally.

Thank you both for the excellent history lesson.
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Old 11-07-16, 12:09 PM   #52
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I find my Moulton TSR 30 to be just a little slower than my conventional road bike.





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Old 11-07-16, 02:41 PM   #53
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I find my Moulton TSR 30 to be just a little slower than my conventional road bike...
Measured (eg. GPS) or perceived?

Curious on this one given what appears to be very similar riding positions, broad range gearing, and clipless pedals.
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Old 11-07-16, 03:47 PM   #54
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Measured (eg. GPS) or perceived?

Curious on this one given what appears to be very similar riding positions, broad range gearing, and clipless pedals.


Measured, but only by way of monitoring my average speeds over various rides using my Garmin 500. I have not kept records, but after two seasons of alternating between the two bikes, which are set up with identical positions and pretty similar gearing, I find I am somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 mph slower overall on the Moulton for a given course. My rides are almost all solo, and my average speeds range from about 14 mph to about 17 mph. Climbing amounts are in the 50 to 80 feet per mile range most of the time.


FWIW, the Moulton is 5 lbs heavier. It uses Panaracer MiniLite tires that are 28mm wide. I am on 28mm wide Clement Strada LLG's on the Spectrum.


Gear range on the Moulton is 98 to 25 gear inches. On the Spectrum it's 110 to 29 g.i. (The pic of the spectrum is old; I have a triple crank on it now). The difference in the top end is not very meaningful because I can't remember the last time I pedaled above 28-30 mph or so.


On the road, the performance difference doesn't seem to be in any one particular area (flats, climbs, etc.). Although I can say, when climbing seated, they feel similar, but the Moulton is not good for out of the saddle climbing (front suspension bob), but that's not a big deal since I don't stand much anyways.


My gut says the Moulton has to have slightly higher Crr due to the smaller wheels, and probably slightly higher CdA too (due to the wide and wind catching space frame). But the right way to figure that stuff out is to do some Virtual Elevation type roll down tests using the auxiliary speed sensor I have for my Garmin. I just haven't bothered.


The only unfair disadvantage the Moulton has is that it has fenders and the Spectrum doesn't. The fenders are compact and well fitted, but I am sure they are adding some drag.


Something else to keep in mind is that you can draft (and be drafted) a bit closer on the Moulton with the smaller wheels.
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Old 11-07-16, 03:55 PM   #55
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I should add that I enjoy riding these two bikes equally well. They feel pretty different, but I guess that's the point and why I have no intention of getting rid of one. I like variety.
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Old 11-07-16, 04:06 PM   #56
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My Ti Swift feels the fastest of my bikes. I am convinced it's because it's the lightest bike. Any bit of slope and extra mass slows you down.

On my now-defunct blue Xootr Swift, I sometimes rode with a peleton as training for a big Audax ride, and I found I could keep up just fine except in one spot where there was a long, steady climb, I would tend to get dropped near the end. I recognised that was a fitness issue not a bike issue. On the same ride, in a spot where there is a steeper climb, I would be able to drop other guys again. And in one memorable long downhill, in the middle of the peleton, all of us tucked down, I reached 84km/h.

So I have never felt the bike was an issue, although I can't be as fast on all my bikes. Often people will ask me if the smaller wheels are harder to pedal, mostly I answer no, but sometimes I poke a bit of fun and say ah yeah, much harder.
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Old 11-07-16, 05:17 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Measured, but only by way of monitoring my average speeds over various rides using my Garmin 500. I have not kept records, but after two seasons of alternating between the two bikes, which are set up with identical positions and pretty similar gearing, I find I am somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 mph slower overall on the Moulton for a given course. My rides are almost all solo, and my average speeds range from about 14 mph to about 17 mph. Climbing amounts are in the 50 to 80 feet per mile range most of the time.


FWIW, the Moulton is 5 lbs heavier. It uses Panaracer MiniLite tires that are 28mm wide. I am on 28mm wide Clement Strada LLG's on the Spectrum.


Gear range on the Moulton is 98 to 25 gear inches. On the Spectrum it's 110 to 29 g.i. (The pic of the spectrum is old; I have a triple crank on it now). The difference in the top end is not very meaningful because I can't remember the last time I pedaled above 28-30 mph or so.


On the road, the performance difference doesn't seem to be in any one particular area (flats, climbs, etc.). Although I can say, when climbing seated, they feel similar, but the Moulton is not good for out of the saddle climbing (front suspension bob), but that's not a big deal since I don't stand much anyways.


My gut says the Moulton has to have slightly higher Crr due to the smaller wheels, and probably slightly higher CdA too (due to the wide and wind catching space frame). But the right way to figure that stuff out is to do some Virtual Elevation type roll down tests using the auxiliary speed sensor I have for my Garmin. I just haven't bothered.


The only unfair disadvantage the Moulton has is that it has fenders and the Spectrum doesn't. The fenders are compact and well fitted, but I am sure they are adding some drag.


Something else to keep in mind is that you can draft (and be drafted) a bit closer on the Moulton with the smaller wheels.
Thanks for sharing that...
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Old 11-07-16, 06:20 PM   #58
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When it moves offroad, the 20" wheels will be even slower?
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Old 11-07-16, 06:33 PM   #59
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I'm 56 and 190 lbs

Giant Defy Advanced III - Carbon Road Bike - heavily customized down to 17.4lb Cadence 80 - Heart Rate 140 21mph average

Giant Expressway II - Customized with giant chain ring, extra tall seat post, carbon saddle, DuraMax clip pedals, drop aluminum handlebars (no name - in the box of stuff). Aluminum Folding Bike 21lb Cadence 80 - Heart Rate 140 18mph average and a lot of wasted energy in the flexing of the frame! I can go about 20 miles and then have to stop!! :-) But it folds and goes in the plane.

More details here:

Giant Riders Unite! Show off your Giant!

and

Giant Riders Unite! Show off your Giant!
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Old 07-13-17, 02:30 PM   #60
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I've always noticed my 20" wheeled bikes accelerate slightly faster than my 700cc carbon Specialized but the 700cc hits a higher top speed. But only slightly.
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Old 07-13-17, 05:24 PM   #61
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700 faster

Bike Friday and Trek 5200. Light wheels on the Friday. Same ride of 42kms, 4 times. Road bike consistently faster by 2.4 kms per hour. Still love riding the Friday most, but those are the stats.
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Old 07-13-17, 06:49 PM   #62
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For the past seven months I have been a Jimmy John's bicycle delivery driver. I am 20-25 years older than almost all the other bikers. Earlier this week while I was a mile from the store, I found myself half a black behind a coworker that rode a single speed 700C bike. I did not try to close the gap, instead I tried to keep the gap constant until we got into downtown. Once in town I was able to hop curbs, ride on the sidewalk and turn on a dime ( to get through red lights ). I beat him by at least 30 seconds.

The 700C single speed bike was faster on long flats, but my folder was much faster in town. FYI the other biker is super fit, he's a certified personal trainer & an athlete.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 07-13-17, 08:20 PM   #63
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Bigger wheels have an advantage on rough roads.

On smooth pavement, its close enough that rider ability will be the limiting factor.
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Old 07-18-17, 09:30 PM   #64
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Here is another take on the comparison:

1963 Moultons beats big bikes!LOLs
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Old 07-19-17, 01:25 AM   #65
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To the end of the block one is no faster than the other. But on long rides there really is no comparison, 700c bikes are faster. I ride both types, one is a 20" Birdy folder with Ultetra hubs, and a Dura-Ace/XTR 22 speed driveline. My road bike is a steel-framed Gios Compact Pro with Record carbon 10 speed kit. Both bikes weigh the same, and have the same cockpit dimensions, but the Birdy is not remotely as efficient or fast. That said, the Birdy is a fast bike, but "fast" is a relative word.

Racers have been using 700c bikes for decades, and not because smaller wheels are faster. You'll sometimes see old time trial bikes with 650cc front wheels, but this was done for aerodynamic efficiency rather than because the smaller wheel is faster.

I've raced in the pro peleton, and the thought of trying to keep up on any 20" bike is enough to make me laugh.

But I ride my Birdy much more than I ride my road bike. On the big scale of things, it's not fast, but it is fast enough for me now.
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Old 07-19-17, 09:09 AM   #66
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Sangetsu, what tires do run on your Birdy?
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