Long time lurker, first time poster. I just started commuting to work earlier this year, having bought an inexpensive aluminum hybrid (a Fuji, if it matters). As I got more into both riding and commuting, I picked up an old 70's chromoly Norco road bike and fixed it up for fun. Today, I rode it to and from work for the first time.
I was amazed how much faster it seemed. I may only have saved a couple of minutes, but I really noticed how much better it performed on hills. On climbs that I used to huff-and-puff up, I felt like I got up there faster and with less effort. The bike just seemed to GO with each stroke.
So, I'm curious... what makes the road bike seem so much faster / more efficient? It's probably a combination of things, but I'm curious what factors are the most important? Not trying to start a holy war here, just genuinely curious.
Is it the weight? The chromoly road bike feels 5-10lbs lighter than the aluminum hybrid.
Is it the wheels? 27 x 1 1/4s on the road bike, vs 700 x 35mm on the hybrid.
Is it the posture? The hybrid is quite upright.
Is it the toe clips on the road, versus flats on the hybrid?
Is it something else?
I'm really amazed at the different. It felt like I used only half the energy that I normally expend on the hybrid.