Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes: Bike Friday Crusoe and Pocket Tourist. Dahon Curve D3 and Speed P8. Raleigh Twenty. Bianchi Eros. Highly modified Mongoose Dynametric (hybrid)
The simple joy of small wheels.
This is just another iteration of one of the most common boasts on bicycle discussion groups. "I was riding my A, and passed a wannabe on a B", where B is a bike that you'd expect to be faster or just better. Yes, it's kind of petty, but there's a simple joy in showing people up.
Also, I'm not sure I really buy the "small wheels climb better" hype. Some people just haven't learned to climb too well.
So anyway, there I was, at the bottom of a hill, starting up. I was riding my BF Pocket Tourist, a middle gear, 20 x 1.75 Tioga Comp Pool tires, semi upright riding position with BF H bars. A roadie passed me just as I started up. Young guy, or at least younger than me. Thinner too. I said hello as he passed. No reaction, staring straight ahead. Oh well, no problem. He's concentrating on his workout. I always say hello to other cyclists. I'd guess about half of them respond.
It's not that difficult a hill. Maybe half a mile to the top. I can't estimate percent of grade just by looking, but I know that I don't need my lower gears for this one. I remained seated, and just kept going. He started struggling almost at once, standing on the pedals. I passed him about half way up. He just laughed and shook his head. I was pretty far ahead of him at the top, but he passed me not long after the road leveled out. So maybe I was the one who was shown up in the end.
So what do you think? Small wheels climb better or lousy climbing technique?