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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 05-22-10, 03:59 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by kleinboogie View Post
+0.5 mph
Thats what I found, going from a cheapie £400 alu bike to a £3200 carbon bike my speed improved by .5mph, but it is lighter on the hills, changes gear smoothly and it looks and feels great, but at the end of the day its not the bike that makes you faster its how good your engine is.
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Old 05-22-10, 04:05 PM   #52
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Very interesting reads.

I've been biking for a year now after suffering a couple of nasty femur breaks. I recently sold my dirtbike (which caused said breaks), and have around 3k to play with, and was looking at upgrading from a Trek 1.5 to a Madone 5 series. Now I'm not so sure that's very smart to do w/my money.

Any input? I plan to stick w/cycling and do a century this summer. Should I spend my money at all? Maybe just look at a 4-series?

Thanks ahead.

P.S. love the sight.
If your happy with your Trek 1.5 and its a good fit, then invest in some training aids like a hr monitor and a turbo trainer for those horrible days you cannot get out, or even a power meter, maybe get some coaching? Those will make you faster rather than spending 3k on fancy bike.

Personally, I love having a nice carbon bike that cost alot and even though it didnt make much difference to my speed you feel great everytime you ride it, plus I already have all the training aids
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Old 05-22-10, 04:32 PM   #53
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....but a nice new nice bike is nice.
And a new nice bike is new. A bike new and nice would be, um, well, nice and new.

If we could make one point perfectly clear, it's about the engine. The Engine. THE ENGINE.

Do you know what we're trying to say?

I'd love to stay and chat but the ToC is on right now.
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Old 05-22-10, 04:45 PM   #54
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I think a nicer bike with better ride quality can make you faster. After going from a Cannondale R1000 caad3 to a carbon frame, I can ride faster and longer due to not getting beat to death. Other than that, meh.
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Old 05-22-10, 05:28 PM   #55
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Dare I say it? Ride more.
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Old 05-22-10, 05:42 PM   #56
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It will probably make you a couple mph faster.

When you first get it, you will both feel a need to justify your purchase and you will not want to be humiliated by people on cheap crappy bikes. So you will work much harder and become a better cyclist.
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Old 01-03-14, 03:36 PM   #57
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I know this is an old thread, but I thought the topic seemed appropriate...

I'm a mechanical engineer by trade and "a bit" geeky. Like a lot of other people I wanted to know how much faster "x" would make me on my bike so I wrote a little program and began gathering as much real-life data as I could... both from my own testing and other people's testing.

Once I'd written the program it seemed a waste to keep it to myself so I registered a little web domain and put it on the web... I hope nobody is upset if I post a link here.... it's totally free to use; just fill in your data hit "calculate" and it'll tell you how much faster "x" would make you on your bike over the same ride:

CYCLE SPEED MARGINAL GAINS CALCULATOR

Because the gains are presented relative to one of your actual rides then the results should be a very good indicator of what you'd expect to see -as long as you put in the same effort and the wind conditions are the same!

Any feedback appreciated!
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Old 01-03-14, 03:42 PM   #58
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sorry to tell you it's already been done.

http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

http://analyticcycling.com/
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Old 01-03-14, 03:54 PM   #59
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I went from 105 to Dura Ace and it made me SLOWER. My head got too big which increased wind resistance.
I lol'ed a little.
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Old 01-03-14, 03:58 PM   #60
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Wait.. aero overshoes takes off 33 seconds on a 17.5 mile ride?!? Surely that can't be right, right?
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Old 01-03-14, 04:06 PM   #61
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This is a bit of a drastic example but I have 35 lbs steel commuter bike with rack, bag, etc that I rode all the time until earlier this year when I got a 17 lbs bike (both bikes listed in signature). I have a 16 mile loop that I often do and it has a few hills, or at least what we call hills in FL.

With the heavier bike, my best was a 17.3 mph average (did that twice). On my first ride with the new bike, I averaged 18.1 mph. On the second ride with the new bike I averaged 18.7 mph.
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Old 01-03-14, 04:16 PM   #62
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It can make a difference but most of the benefits are not seen until you're traveling at a high speed (23-25mph+). This is due to two factors:

1. The stiffness of aluminum is enough that a low wattage will not flex it very much (pedaling at 200 watts on aluminum vs carbon will result in almost no loss of wattage to flex). Only at higher wattage is the flex enough to cause a noticeable loss

2. Aerodynamic drag increases exponentially. For example, going 20mph takes 239 watts while 15mph requires 110 watts (for the default rider stats seen here: http://kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm). That's 129 extra watts to increase 5 mph. But increasing another 5mph to 25mph, requires 446 watts (again for that "default" rider). That's 207 extra watts! So a more aero frame will make a greater advantage at higher speeds.
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Old 01-03-14, 04:34 PM   #63
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Wait.. aero overshoes takes off 33 seconds on a 17.5 mile ride?!? Surely that can't be right, right?
I agree! Seems mad right?! But a study by C.R.Kyle entitled "Athletic Clothing" for "Scientific American" found that it reduced drag by 200g at 30mph... I convert this to a Cd.A figure and the calculator recalculates the reduction in drag at your speed (the page defaults to 17.5 miles in 1 hour but you can change that) to determine how much faster you'd complete the course if you put the same effort in; 33 seconds in the default case!
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Old 01-03-14, 04:49 PM   #64
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It can make a difference but most of the benefits are not seen until you're traveling at a high speed (23-25mph+).

2. Aerodynamic drag increases exponentially. For example, going 20mph takes 239 watts while 15mph requires 110 watts (for the default rider stats seen here: http://kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm). That's 129 extra watts to increase 5 mph. But increasing another 5mph to 25mph, requires 446 watts (again for that "default" rider). That's 207 extra watts! So a more aero frame will make a greater advantage at higher speeds.
The interesting thing is that whilst the above is true, because the slower ride spends more time on the course he/she will save more absolute (as opposed to relative) time from the aerodynamics than the faster rider, despite travelling slower... take the overshoe example; a rider travelling at 17.5miles in an hour saves 33 seconds, whilst a rider travelling the same 17.5 miles in 45 minutes saves just 27 seconds.... the same effect can be seen with riding on the drops... a more aero bike, etc....

Don't take my word for it.... the nice guys at Cervelo have written a nice page on the effect here:

http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...st-riders.html

Last edited by Machin; 01-03-14 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 01-03-14, 05:05 PM   #65
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If a nicer bike makes you train harder or gets you more motivated to ride...the upgrade is worth it.

I dont know where you live or what kind of ride this is but 22 mph is FAST.
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Old 01-03-14, 05:37 PM   #66
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That said if your current bike has anything wrong with it then fixing the problem could make a huge difference. I rode a fragged bottom bracket for half a season before getting around to replacing it (on my mountain bike) and now that I have a not-broken one the bike is like a rocket. Check your BB, hubs, etc to make sure everything is turning freely and just ride the snot out of your bike.
This ^.

I had a 1998 Specialized and the hubs had lot of rolling resistance. With my new bike I easily gained 3 mph just because I had less drag.
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Old 01-03-14, 05:38 PM   #67
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seriously?? digging up old threads and it's only January 3rd????
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Old 01-03-14, 05:40 PM   #68
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If I paint my Ti bike red, will it be as fast as my carbon bike?
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Old 01-03-14, 05:51 PM   #69
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If I paint my Ti bike red, will it be as fast as my carbon bike?
Painted Ti?! Blasphemy!
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Old 01-03-14, 06:06 PM   #70
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This ^.

I had a 1998 Specialized and the hubs had lot of rolling resistance. With my new bike I easily gained 3 mph just because I had less drag.
But how do you know it was just the wheels? You should have just changed the wheels on the specialized and then see if you were 3mph faster. Somehow I kinda doubt it.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:34 PM   #71
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Kysrium wheels will probably make you slower on the flats and slightly faster on the climbs. Although somewhat light, they are some of the least aero wheels ever.

New components? You can probably save 1-2 lbs which will make you 0.5%-1% faster on steep climbs and 0% difference on flats.

New frameset? Save 0.5-1lb and make you < 0.5% faster on steep hills.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:48 PM   #72
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If I paint my Ti bike red, will it be as fast as my carbon bike?
Yes, but black is faster.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:59 PM   #73
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Is it possible that a new bike might make a person *faster* if it leaves you feeling less fatigued? "Endurance" bikes, like the Trek Domane and Specialized Roubaix, are relatively new to the cycling world and the technology they use to provide the improved comfort wasn't even possible until the use of carbon frames. Obviously, an 'endurance' bike won't make you jump from 17 mph to 20 mph in an instant, but perhaps it'll help you average a higher speed for longer?

Regardless, having the OP dump his current bike for an endurance bike prol'ly won't get him from B+ to A.
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Old 01-03-14, 07:24 PM   #74
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But how do you know it was just the wheels? You should have just changed the wheels on the specialized and then see if you were 3mph faster. Somehow I kinda doubt it.
It wasn't the tires (Pro Race 3) since those were also used on other comparison bikes. The bike was slow coasting, so that eliminates the bottom-bracket. The brakes weren't dragging. So that leaves the wheels (probably the hubs). I didn't have a spare set of wheels to try. There were no funny noises or anything. I suspect the hubs were just shot, since I had never re-greased them and they were 10 years old (<5k miles though).

In any case, on both my new and testing co-workers bikes my speed improved by about 3 mph. When they rode my bike, they lost about 3 mph. Both other testers agreed the bike was "slow".
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Old 01-03-14, 07:27 PM   #75
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It wasn't the tires (Pro Race 3) since those were also used on other comparison bikes. The bike was slow coasting, so that eliminates the bottom-bracket. The brakes weren't dragging. So that leaves the wheels (probably the hubs). I didn't have a spare set of wheels to try. There were no funny noises or anything. I suspect the hubs were just shot, since I had never re-greased them and they were 10 years old (<5k miles though).

In any case, on both my new and testing co-workers bikes my speed improved by about 3 mph. When they rode my bike, they lost about 3 mph. Both other testers agreed the bike was "slow".
My point was that it's the frame. I'm willing to bet the new bike has a stiffer frame.
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