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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 09-04-08, 12:00 PM   #1
pfn
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How fast to expect?

The day I'm getting my first road bike ('07 TCR C1) is coming closer
and closer--I'll probably make the final purchase in 2-3 weeks.
Since this is my first road bike, I have no idea how fast I expect to be
able to ride.

I have been riding almost daily on my mountain bike, commuting to and
from work (10mi/1way) and I'm able to maintain about 20+/-2mph on
the flats (max speed of about 27-29mph down overpasses). If my
current setup is: aluminum hardtail, Hutchinson Acrobat 1.35"
(~34mm) slicks and Shimano pedals/shoes (M515); what should I
expect to be able to do on the TCR?

That is, I keep hearing people say that road bikes are way more
"efficient" and "faster"--how much faster??

On another note, which pedals should I get? I'm currently leaning
toward the Ultegra PD-6610's at Jenson for $62 (!!); I'll probably get
shoes from the LBS. Maybe I should just go Fred and ride the SPDs
from my mountain bike.

Also, how bombproof are the Ksyrium Elites? Can I bunnyhop holes
and speedbumps with impunity? How about off of curbs?
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Old 09-04-08, 12:04 PM   #2
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Also, how bombproof are the Ksyrium Elites? Can I bunnyhop holes
and speedbumps with impunity? How about off of curbs?
Depending on your weight, you may or may not be able to get away with bunnyhopping.

Keep in mind that road wheels are NOT meant to withstand any sort of abuse like MTB wheels. You could put the road wheels out of true so much easier than MTB wheels.
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Old 09-04-08, 12:05 PM   #3
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I weigh about 161+/-2lbs
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Old 09-04-08, 12:10 PM   #4
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If you want a road bike, but still want to play rough with it (bunny hopping, curb jumping, etc) you may want to consider a cyclocross bike. I have the Specialized Tricross which is a road bred bike but beefed up to withstand some off-road riding. The CX bike generally has slightly wider wheels/tires, beefier frames, and some other subtle feature changes.
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Old 09-04-08, 12:22 PM   #5
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I have been riding almost daily on my mountain bike, commuting to and from work (10mi/1way) and I'm able to maintain about 20+/-2mph on the flats (max speed of about 27-29mph down overpasses). If my current setup is: aluminum hardtail, Hutchinson Acrobat 1.35" (~34mm) slicks and Shimano pedals/shoes (M515); what should I expect to be able to do on the TCR?
Don't expect to go much faster if you already have narrow slicks on. Also, although I'm not "calling BS" on the speed you are claiming to maintain, let's just say that people tend to have funny ideas of what maintain really means.

Anyway, I went through this a few years ago, switching from a mountain bike with semi-slick tires to a road bike for commuting and being the data collector that I am, I logged and graphed it. In the plot below you can see the speed jump in August 2005. Note that these are average speeds. I would say that I was "maintaining" much higher speeds...

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Old 09-04-08, 12:25 PM   #6
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When I switched from a 30-pound hybrid to my first road bike (~18 pounds), I was slower for the first few rides. I had to adjust to the new riding position and gear ratios, and get used to pedaling at a higher cadence. It took about five to ten hours on the bike before I felt comfortable with the geometry, the cadence & gearing, etc. YMMV.

A road bike is not inherently faster or slower than a mountain bike. But all things being equal, each pedal stroke on a road bike requires less energy than each pedal stroke on a mountain bike. There are several reasons for this: weight, tires, aerodynamics, body position, etc. After you've adjusted to the road bike, you should find that you can maintain the same open-road, flat-ground speeds as on the mountain bike, but with less effort.

I think the Ultegra PD-6610s, or something similar, will be fine. I'll let someone else address your wheel questions. I always stick to smooth pavement.
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Old 09-04-08, 12:34 PM   #7
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A road bike is not inherently faster or slower than a mountain bike. But all things being equal, each pedal stroke on a road bike requires less energy than each pedal stroke on a mountain bike. There are several reasons for this: weight, tires, aerodynamics, body position, etc. After you've adjusted to the road bike, you should find that you can maintain the same open-road, flat-ground speeds as on the mountain bike, but with less effort.
I disagree, for all the reasons that you stated. For the same level of effort, a road bike will be faster than a mountain bike. The closer you set up your mountain bike like a road bike, the less the difference will be. Also, the flatter the ride is, the less the difference well be.
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Old 09-04-08, 12:38 PM   #8
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Ksyrium Elite's are pretty bomb proof but you DO NOT want to be bunny hopping anything bigger than a pot hole.
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Old 09-04-08, 01:44 PM   #9
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I disagree, for all the reasons that you stated. For the same level of effort, a road bike will be faster than a mountain bike. The closer you set up your mountain bike like a road bike, the less the difference will be. Also, the flatter the ride is, the less the difference well be.
I don't understand why you're disagreeing with me. I think we agree that the speed you achieve on a bicycle depends on your effort level, the attributes of the bicycle, and the conditions of your ride (hills, wind, etc). But since effort level is not an attribute of the bicycle, it doesn't make sense to say that one type of bicycle is inherently faster than another type. If road bikes are inherently faster than mountain bikes, then in a race between a road bike and a mountain bike, the road bike always wins, regardless of who is riding the bikes. We know that doesn't happen.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:01 PM   #10
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I don't understand why you're disagreeing with me. I think we agree that the speed you achieve on a bicycle depends on your effort level, the attributes of the bicycle, and the conditions of your ride (hills, wind, etc). But since effort level is not an attribute of the bicycle, it doesn't make sense to say that one type of bicycle is inherently faster than another type. If road bikes are inherently faster than mountain bikes, then in a race between a road bike and a mountain bike, the road bike always wins, regardless of who is riding the bikes. We know that doesn't happen.
I think you are missing the point UMD is making. If a road bike as a higher coefficient to speed vs the mountain bike yielding a higher speed with the same input, then it is inherently faster. So if two riders race and one is on mtn bike and one is on a road bike and they both put the same wattage or power to the pedal with the same gear ratio, then the road bike will win due to it's efficiency.

I honestly don't know if this is the case. And when racing you have different motors and different bikes often, although usually road vs road, mtn vs mtn. I think there is a reason for this.

All other things aside, same gearing, same power: 26" wheels vs 700c or 27" wheels and the larger diameter wheel will top out at a higher speed due to more circumference rolling per hub rotation. It's simple math there.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:04 PM   #11
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I don't understand why you're disagreeing with me. I think we agree that the speed you achieve on a bicycle depends on your effort level, the attributes of the bicycle, and the conditions of your ride (hills, wind, etc). But since effort level is not an attribute of the bicycle, it doesn't make sense to say that one type of bicycle is inherently faster than another type. If road bikes are inherently faster than mountain bikes, then in a race between a road bike and a mountain bike, the road bike always wins, regardless of who is riding the bikes. We know that doesn't happen.
If you coasted down a hill on both a road bike and a mountain bike, the road bike would go faster. The road bike is inherently faster because it takes less effort to go the same speed, and given someone's maximum effort, will go a lot faster than the mountain bike. If that isn't inherently faster, then I don't know what is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Main Entry: in·her·ent
Pronunciation: \-ənt\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin inhaerent-, inhaerens, present participle of inhaerēre
Date: 1581
: involved in the constitution or essential character of something : belonging by nature or habit : intrinsic <risks inherent in the venture>
— in·her·ent·ly adverb
It is the essential character of a road bike that it has less rolling resistance and is more aerodynamic, and these are attributes that are intrinsic to improved speed.

But again, if you set the mountain bike up like a road bike, with narrow slicks and a low position, the differences will be less pronounced...
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Old 09-04-08, 02:04 PM   #12
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i'm gonna say +1 mph, maybe 2
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Old 09-04-08, 02:10 PM   #13
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1. Ride the TCR and you will find out what your capable of. It is useless to ask that sort of question due to so many variables.

2. SPD-SL's are great and at $62 it is a a bargain.

3. Not sure if the ELITES are bombproof but the SL's are tougher. As for bunny hopping speed bumps and etc..I personally would not; however, it is your bike do with it as you please.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:16 PM   #14
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I think you are missing the point UMD is making. If a road bike as a higher coefficient to speed vs the mountain bike yielding a higher speed with the same input, then it is inherently faster. So if two riders race and one is on mtn bike and one is on a road bike and they both put the same wattage or power to the pedal with the same gear ratio, then the road bike will win due to it's efficiency.

I honestly don't know if this is the case. And when racing you have different motors and different bikes often, although usually road vs road, mtn vs mtn. I think there is a reason for this.

All other things aside, same gearing, same power: 26" wheels vs 700c or 27" wheels and the larger diameter wheel will top out at a higher speed due to more circumference rolling per hub rotation. It's simple math there.
I don't think I'm missing umd's point. I don't know what "coefficient to speed" means.

Inherently means "existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute: an inherent distrust of strangers." To say a road bike is inherently faster than a mountain bike is to say that a road bike possesses the permanent, inseparable attribute of being faster than a mountain bike. Thus, no mountain bike will ever move faster than any road bike. That's obviously isn't true.

The speed you achieve on a bicycle depends in part on your effort level. We all agree on this. But effort level is not an attribute of a bicycle; it's an attribute of the person riding the bicycle. Thus, a road bike is not inherently faster than a mountain bike. The mere fact that we make reference to effort level to explain how fast each bike can move proves my point.

Honestly, I don't understand how we can argue about this. This isn't about simple math; it's about the definition of inherently.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:21 PM   #15
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If you coasted down a hill on both a road bike and a mountain bike, the road bike would go faster. The road bike is inherently faster because it takes less effort to go the same speed, and given someone's maximum effort, will go a lot faster than the mountain bike. If that isn't inherently faster, then I don't know what is.



It is the essential character of a road bike that it has less rolling resistance and is more aerodynamic, and these are attributes that are intrinsic to improved speed.

But again, if you set the mountain bike up like a road bike, with narrow slicks and a low position, the differences will be less pronounced...
But "effort" is not an attribute of the bicycle. Let's just disagree and move on.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:23 PM   #16
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Inherently means "existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute: an inherent distrust of strangers." To say a road bike is inherently faster than a mountain bike is to say that a road bike possesses the permanent, inseparable attribute of being faster than a mountain bike. Thus, no mountain bike will ever move faster than any road bike. That's obviously isn't true.
That is a flawed conclusion. A Porsche (any model) is an inherently faster car than a Ford Fiesta but that doesn't mean that it is not possible to drive one slowly. I don't think the problem is in our definition of inherent, I think it is in our interpretation of faster. The fastest a road bike can go is faster than a mountain bike can go, all else being equal (i.e. same rider), and in conditions that favor a road bike (i.e. on a road).
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Old 09-04-08, 02:25 PM   #17
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Bunny hopping an obstacle is much easier on your wheels than slamming into it.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:31 PM   #18
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i have an old mtb and it is heavy, probably 35-40lbs, and i adverage say 13-15mph on the way to school. my road bike is ~20lbs and my adverage is ~18mph on the same road. i find that i can get to school, work, ect alot faster and the ride isn't that much harsher.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:43 PM   #19
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Also, how bombproof are the Ksyrium Elites? Can I bunnyhop holes
and speedbumps with impunity? How about off of curbs?
WHY would you do that on a road bike?
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Old 09-04-08, 03:02 PM   #20
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Don't expect to go much faster if you already have narrow slicks on. Also, although I'm not "calling BS" on the speed you are claiming to maintain, let's just say that people tend to have funny ideas of what maintain really means.
Thanks for the graph. By definition of maintain: I mean the speed I am able to cruise at comfortably; I typically will cruise in the 44-15 which equates to a speed of about 20-22mph. My average speed commuting is far lower, about 15.5-18mph; "maintaining" does not factor in stoplights and stopsigns.

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WHY would you do that on a road bike?
Why not? If I'm riding off of a curb (think out of an apartment, or from a parking lot somewhere), or if there are obstacles in my path. I'd much rather hop than just plod. If the wheels or frame can't handle it, I won't do it; if they can, I will.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:09 PM   #21
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WHY would you do that on a road bike?
Because you might rather hop over it than slam into it?
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Old 09-04-08, 03:10 PM   #22
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I don't understand why you're disagreeing with me. I think we agree that the speed you achieve on a bicycle depends on your effort level, the attributes of the bicycle, and the conditions of your ride (hills, wind, etc). But since effort level is not an attribute of the bicycle, it doesn't make sense to say that one type of bicycle is inherently faster than another type. If road bikes are inherently faster than mountain bikes, then in a race between a road bike and a mountain bike, the road bike always wins, regardless of who is riding the bikes. We know that doesn't happen.
Lets continue the car analogy: Lets say we have a BMW V12 and can drop it into any car body of our choice. One choice being a McLaren F1, and the other being a Datsun 510. Would you say the F1 is inherently faster than the 510, engine notwithstanding? Now lets toss in the engine (the aforementioned V12), will the F1 be faster than the 510? (Ignore the fact that one could tub the 510 and put on wheelie bars...). It is a trait of the car that one is faster than the other, the same is true of road vs mountain bikes.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:11 PM   #23
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Honestly, I don't understand how we can argue about this. This isn't about simple math; it's about the definition of inherently.
When people talk about a road bike being inherently faster they are really talking about efficiency, i.e. for the same level of input the road bike will be faster. It's just shorthand to refer to a road bike as being faster as most everyone assumes that the comparison is made with all else (rider, effort, riding terrain etc.) being equal.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:20 PM   #24
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I just threw up in my own mouth from boredom. I want my seven minutes back. This thread was useless without insults.
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Old 09-04-08, 04:57 PM   #25
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I don't think I'm missing umd's point. I don't know what "coefficient to speed" means.

Inherently means "existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute: an inherent distrust of strangers." To say a road bike is inherently faster than a mountain bike is to say that a road bike possesses the permanent, inseparable attribute of being faster than a mountain bike. Thus, no mountain bike will ever move faster than any road bike. That's obviously isn't true.

The speed you achieve on a bicycle depends in part on your effort level. We all agree on this. But effort level is not an attribute of a bicycle; it's an attribute of the person riding the bicycle. Thus, a road bike is not inherently faster than a mountain bike. The mere fact that we make reference to effort level to explain how fast each bike can move proves my point.

Honestly, I don't understand how we can argue about this. This isn't about simple math; it's about the definition of inherently.
The definition of inherently is true, however if you were to take a MTB and a Road bike and put them in a wind tunnel to completely remove the rider's motor and effort out of the equation you will find that the road bike will always be more aerodynamic and thusly "inherently" faster. I don't think that anyone is arguing that a MTB is incapable of going faster than a Road bike. We have all seen fast MTBs moving down the road with strong riders. At the end of the day on pavement given the same rider with the same wattage the road bike will go faster or at least the same speed with less work.
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