Originally Posted by Old Town
You guys always make noises like you're so doggone fast. In all my years of riding a bicycle I've been passed many times by conventional bikes, but never by a bent. It is true I do not see very many. But my goodness how slow are the ones I see. Of course, to be fair, they ALL seem to be powered by middleage fat buggers with beards. This is not a slight of fat middleage buggers - I'm in that club too.
I used to race local time trials and low key events in my area. We allowed anything to compete. Sometimes we got some bents from up Tampa way. They always got crushed by most of our riders. Even our young women on standard frames outdistanced the bents. Even this fat, old bleep had no trouble losing the bent crowd.
I know there are elite athletes riding your choice of ride pretty fast. But it takes an elite engine to make those dogs run. Any goofball on a good standard frame can beat 99% of the bent goofballs all day long.
Bents blow and always have.
If you're interested in actual facts:
I am NOT an elite athlete. I know of guys that race in my area that are full time cyclists (not even international pro level) that are 100 watts stronger than me. I'm about 40years old and ride about 6-8 hours a week.
I ride a hiracer. I can only speak to that particular bent platform. I added a Power Tap this year, so I've been collecting a fair amount actual data. I ride with 3 Cat 3 guys periodically (they generally train 15 hours a week). They also measure their power.
If I pull @ 26-27 mph I'm going to see 265-310 watts, depending on the condition of the pavement, mild wind direction, and small undulations in grade. Behind me the upright guys are seeing about 220-270 watts. When they come around to do their turn, they pop to 350-420 watts.
(I don't load my power data into strava, so those numbers are meaningless. the 2 guys I rode with, do though, so theirs are pretty solid. If you feel like diggin through and cropping and comparing speeds vs power etc.)
As the grade increases my benefit seems to as well. I sometimes see less power pulling up a 1-2% hill then they do behind me. Once the speeds are below 12mph, then Power:Weight is the only real factor.
If you follow that route up OK mill to the Y in the road, I spent the bulk of the time up front (about 90%) @ 270 watts and one guy did 250 behind me. We averaged 24.4mph.
I put a sec gap on them when we entered the OK Mill segment, because you can't pedal through steep corners on an upright like you can on a bent. Another huge benefit in my book.
There are other guys that I follow on Strava who see under 200watts to do 27mph on their lowracers. Takes about 280 watts on my Corsa to do 27.5 on an indoor track. I've seen guys on upright TT bikes with better numbers, too. I did 27.4mph down on the Portland track last weekend. It was a little breezy and I averaged 297 watts for 21min. I managed 310 watts a month ago on a rougher paved TT in much windier conditions and averaged just over 26 for about 22 minutes. 2nd place guy averaged 315 and did about 25.5 mph.
Keep in mind, the Corsa is a 26lb, aluminum framed bike with a triple and 'down tube' shifters that I bought for $1200. Dollar for watt, it's simply the fastest bike you can buy at that price on a regular basis (used).
I was beaten by a guy in Portland on the ITT by a full minute on a Nocom low racer. The next day, in the open road race, he rode a bike that is nearly identical to mine, and I rode him off my wheel on the last lap for the win. I think I'm stronger than him is my point, but on the low racer he still did a full MPH faster.
My Corsa is ~30-100 watts faster than a standard, racing-equipped road bike. The Nocom may be 20-50 watts faster than mine.
Upright TT bikes are even more unpredictable for wattage calcs, because the skill of the rider impacts the wattage requirement even more than it does on a bent. On a bent you sit/lay down and you're finished "position training". You still have to work on power generation and bike handling, though.
It is what it is, nothing more. Watt for watt, my bikes are faster.
oh, and I'm a climber. That's what I do. Don't even get me started on talking about climbing.