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)
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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?