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  1. #1
    Senior Member sabazel's Avatar
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    How much faster can a nicer bike make you?

    So I had no idea I would improve as fast as I have, and I'm riding at a B+ pace for my local velo club rides. I'm setting my sites on riding with the A groups by the end of the summer. I'm going to the gym, doing interval/training lap rides, have rest days built into my schedule, all of the things that should allow me to get fitter and potentially faster on the bike.

    I have a solid entry level bike, aluminum frame, carbon fork, seat stays, and seat post. Tiagra up front, 105 behind, tiagra shifters. Wheelset sucks, that would be the main upgrade I can think of right now.

    My question is, how much faster would a carbon bike with ksyrium wheels and 105/ultegra make me? Right now B+ rides here are 19/20mph average and I would like to bump up to 22/23 mph average.

    I would imagine that an A rider can ride at an A pace on any bike, mine included. True? Not true? Should I just concentrate on myself?

    How much of a difference would a nicer bike make?
    "What is a Tiagra? Is that like a Liger?"

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Just be patient. Your bike is fine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    with a nice bike you can dial it to 400 watts super easy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JaceK's Avatar
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    +/- 0

  5. #5
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Minimal difference.

    Just ride more.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaceK View Post
    +/- 0
    This. Wheels may help a tiny bit, as could race tires. The rest of it (and the vast majority) is the engine, otherwise known as the rider.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  7. #7
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    A new and better bike will make a HUGE difference. Don't believe me? Just read what the bike manufacturers say about their new model lineups!



    Seriously though, I doubt it would make much difference. A new bike would feel nicer (perhaps) and may be more fun but probably not faster. 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.

  9. #9
    Member ZIPP808's Avatar
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    your bike sounds fine ....its all aboout the rider, you might wanna put full 105 on it but its no big deal , just try the a group and ee how you do, theres no shame if you cant hold it im sure theres others in your sitch to race in the A so just give it a try ...whats teh worst that could happen

  10. #10
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    A new bike might feel better - crisper shifting, cooler graphics, and even some cool whooshing sounds if you've got the right aero wheels. Psychological benefits are huge with a big money bike - this is undeniable.

    But, measure up your actual times, and it'll be pretty much no advantage. Like less than 2%, if not 1%. I bought my $$$$ Cervelo as my first bike since I was a serious runner, and expected to go fairly fast on a road bike. I needed a 2nd bike though, as I live in 2 places, and didn't want to spend big money, knowing that it's 98-99% rider.

    My 2nd bike is a Giant Defy3 with Sora/2200 components on a triple, bought on sale for $695 a year ago. Costs 1/4th my Cervelo.

    Guess what? I'm equally fast on both. To add insult to injury, I really enjoy the Giant's feel and handling - I don't feel that I'm compromising at all even on ride quality on it. It's different - softer and different geometry, but still a high quality ride. Even the "crappy" 2200 shifters shift flawlessly - I can't even justify upgrading them since they've never failed me. I know everyone says "105 minimum for components!" but after riding my Giant, I'm sure that's a load of bull.

    If you're strong enough, you can race that Giant Defy3 in the most competitive road races without problem. I ride with Cat2-3 roadies regularly with this very bike.

    Good luck on your improvement - sounds like you're a natural. I don't think I'm a natural at all, but I came from a serious marathon running background where I often ran near 10 miles per day, 7 days per week, so it was a pleasant surprise to be going over 20 mph on a 40k on my first time out (running legs have a huge overlap with cycling). It's gotten harder though, to go from 23.5 to 24 and beyond - it's definitely requiring very specific cycling work that I don't have the time to put in right now.
    =======================================
    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  11. #11
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Not much. Trust me on this.

  12. #12
    Retro-guy
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    In my own case, I think my new bike added 2-3 mph to my typical flat-road riding speed. But it was basically due to the fact that my old bike was a 30-year-old Raleigh with only a 5-speed freewheel, with a big gap between gears (around 5 mph, at the same cadence). Basically where I wanted to ride was often "between gears" on the old bike. My new bike with 10-speed cassette lets me ride with a more constant cadence, with more flexibility.

    (It's also a lot lighter and I enjoy riding the new bike a lot more, but it was really the increased number of gears that had the largest initial impact. Keep in mind that I am a 50+ Clyde, so I am not really taking full advantage of the new bike's capabilities....)

  13. #13
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    Upgrades from hybrid or mtn bike to pure road bike are HUGE time savings. Undeniable.

    Upgrades from a 30lbs old-school bike to a 20lbs racing bike is also significant. 10lbs is enough to feel it on climbs as well as accelerations, which are really important for fast group riding where they repeatedly accelerate hard to try and drop riders.

    Upgrades from a $695 intro road bike (like the one the OP has) to a $5000 road bike yield almost no advantage. At this level, it's 98% rider.
    =======================================
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  14. #14
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    Nicer and newer stuff would make you want to ride more often hence the better results.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  15. #15
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    The fastest guy on our A ride is riding a 6 year old Six13.
    Moving from the B's to the A's is way more about conditioning, understanding race tactics and the ability to respond when somone decides to lift the pace than it is about a better bike.
    This is the truth.
    I think a good set of aero wheels would be a better investment, especially if your riding those Shimano 105 wheels stock on Caad9s.

  16. #16
    Senior Member sabazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post

    Upgrades from a $695 intro road bike (like the one the OP has) to a $5000 road bike yield almost no advantage. At this level, it's 98% rider.
    105 RD and brakes, carbon stays/fork/seatpost, tiagra everywhere else for $695? I wish

    As for the 5000$...I wish as well.

    I'm going to stick with my ride for the rest of the season, he's done a good job for me thus far and I have no complaints. I will probably get a better wheelset, though. Thanks for the help, I had a feeling I should just keep riding and see what happens. Today I did laps with only one foot pedaling. Awkward, but it's cheaper than a new bike!
    "What is a Tiagra? Is that like a Liger?"

  17. #17
    umd
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    Asuming a modern road bike in good condition, a "nice bike" may help you if you are losing sprints by half a bike length, etc. It's not going to add significant speed or help you keep up with much stronger riders.

  18. #18
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Funny how guys spend MEGA $$$$ on TdF quality bikes,
    Get over-inflated egos,
    Become neurotic about "What tires should I buy?"
    Or "Which kit should I wear?"
    Or "What energy bar should I eat?"
    Or "Gatorade or water?"
    Or "If I ride 1,000,000 miles in a year....will I burn out?"
    Or BLAH, BLAH,BLAH!!

    How many times does it have to be said?

    IT'S THE ENGINE, boys....it's the engine.

    ....but a nice new nice bike is nice.
    I'm lame,
    I'm sore,
    I'm stonkered.

  19. #19
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    If you want to go faster try dropping your bars by a few cm and getting comfortable riding in a more aero position. You don't need a new bike to do this and it will definitely make you faster.

  20. #20
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryJo View Post
    The fastest guy on our A ride is riding a 6 year old Six13.
    Moving from the B's to the A's is way more about conditioning, understanding race tactics and the ability to respond when somone decides to lift the pace than it is about a better bike.
    This is the truth.
    I think a good set of aero wheels would be a better investment, especially if your riding those Shimano 105 wheels stock on Caad9s.
    not as good an investment as a powermeter

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    and a bike fit if you haven't had one already

  22. #22
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    Your bike is decent. If you're going to get a nice 2k+ bike I don't think it's going to make much of a difference in long group rides. It may help with sprints and climbs a bit more, but still not much.

    It's about the engine.

  23. #23
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Changing the bike won't make any difference. But upgrading your wheelset might make a small difference. I upgraded to Ksyrium Elites. My speeds, so far this year are up around 1 MPH over the same rides last year. I'm attributing a portion of that increase to the wheels.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  24. #24
    Senior Member tuxbailey's Avatar
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    very.....















    via placebo effect, that is.

  25. #25
    KTU
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    If you want to go fast the best upgrade to your bike is a trainer

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