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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-13-07, 07:54 AM   #1
9Rings
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Are "upgrades" a waste of money?

OK, so I'm as much a weight weenie as the next guy, and I love buying new stuff for my bikes (when I can sneak perchases past the Mrs.!). But are we all simply wasting our money?

To whit, please peruse the following articles for the sake of the enligtened discussion that is sure to follow:
http://www.biketechreview.com/archive/wheel_theory.htm

and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance

From what I can discern, the biggest performance gain that we can get would be to have drop bars and use them for best rider aerodynamics. And perhaps even spandex roadie outfits too.

Risers definitely kill bike performance (I ride flop&chop bullhorns, so I'm guilty of that) because you are in a very upright position.

Bigger ticket items like deep V's are perhaps still worth it as it may gain you ~2% better efficiency, but weight weenieism gains you diddly****, like under a percent.

And fast rolling tires look to be a legit goal.

So, get aero, don't sweat having a "heavy" bike.

What do you think?

Last edited by 9Rings; 08-13-07 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Rings View Post
OK, so I'm as much a weight weenie as the next guy, and I love buying new stuff for my bikes (when I can sneak perchases past the Mrs.!). But are we all simply wasting our money?

To whit, please peruse the following articles for the sake of the enligtened discussion that is sure to follow:
http://www.biketechreview.com/archive/wheel_theory.htm

and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance

From what I can discern, the biggest performance gain that we can get would be to have drop bars and use them for best rider aerodynamics. And perhaps even spandex roadie outfits too.

Risers definitely kill bike performance (I ride flop&chop bullhorns, so I'm guilty of that) because you are in a very upright position.

Bigger ticket items like deep V's are perhaps still worth it as it may gain you ~2% better efficiency, but weight weenieism gains you diddly****, like under a percent.

And fast rolling tires look to be a legit goal.

So, get aero, don't sweat having a "heavy" bike.

What do you think?
I think you misspelled "to wit," that is, you spelled it "to whit." If you can appreciate the grammatical pun, you are whitty indeed.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:05 AM   #3
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[QUOTE][To whit, please peruse the following articles for the sake of the enligtened discussion that is sure to follow:
/QUOTE]

The enlightened didscussion is already underway...
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Old 08-13-07, 08:08 AM   #4
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I think you have a point, then agian i think you just might be vexed your wife dosn't let you spend as much money on your ride as the next bloke, Don't be jealous of the guys with the zipp's! Leave him in the dust, and make he look the pillock for spending $$$$$ on wheels that let him get smoked by a guy on a rusty conversion with spokeandwheel.com wheels!
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Old 08-13-07, 08:08 AM   #5
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Skanking, you're a grammatical witch :-)
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Old 08-13-07, 08:14 AM   #6
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I think there's something to be said about being more aero - but only if it's a big change, like going from the high and wide simulated braking parachute position of many hybrids/mountain bikes to a narrower, more stretched out and lower road bike position. The little changes from one road bike to another might not matter as much.

You can really tell the difference when riding in a head wind. All else being equal, the road bike rider can generally go faster for the same effort.

I think that narrower, harder tires make a big difference too, but by the time you are down to 23-25 mm, not much more can be gained.

V-section rims, I'm not too sure about. I find that even a relatively mild V really catches the wind sideways like a sail. I would prefer a more conventional rim if not racing.

But as far as weight goes, unless it's a lot, it won't make any difference. You can spend very big bucks and end up saving less weight than that of a water bottle. A full water bottle is about a litre, so, it weighs about a kilogram. What's shaving a few grams here and there going to do? So, the moral of the story is that if you really want to save weight, I guess you have to ride with a team car behind you to carry the water.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:23 AM   #7
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The upgrades that are of most interest to me are reliability at a good price. That's why i love things like Shimano 105 parts (relatively inexpensive but perform great) and handbuilt Velocity Deep-V wheels (strong and still not too expensive).

Weight is not a priority for me. I just see it as resistance training.

I'll worry about aerodynamics when i have more $$$ to play with. I already got aerobars and a TT helmet for doing triathlons on my road bike (which may find their way to my fixed gear next year), but again, they were the best bang-for-the-buck purchases for better aerodynamics (less than $200 for both). The $800 aerodynamic rear wheel will come next year.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:27 AM   #8
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The Links don't work, so I cannot participate yet. lol
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Old 08-13-07, 08:35 AM   #9
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"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades."
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Old 08-13-07, 08:38 AM   #10
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Eddy Merckx, for the quote above.

I agree that in a flat race weight is not much of a concern, but in the hills it can make a big difference. I have lost 15lbs in the last couple months, and I certainly have noticed that climbing has become increasingly easier. Part of this, of course, has to do with climbing more. But I had a dramatic 5lbs loss in week and certainly have noticed a huge difference after that. I feel lighter when going up hill.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:40 AM   #11
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Sorry, fixed the links now.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:40 AM   #12
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One of the best quotes I've heard on here, forgot who said it, was "the best thing you can upgrade on your bike is the rider".

I like a light bike, but non crap parts would get me to as light as I care about so I don't nit pick. I'd rather my parts be strong and hold up, because I commute a lot and also have to go through some nasty roads on occasion.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:41 AM   #13
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One of the best quotes I've heard on here, forgot who said it, was "the best thing you can upgrade on your bike is the rider".

I like a light bike, but non crap parts would get me to as light as I care about so I don't nit pick. I'd rather my parts be strong and hold up, because I commute a lot and also have to go through some nasty roads on occasion.
Yes, it is all about the engine.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:48 AM   #14
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I was just thinking, there is probably a more human element that limits the effects of aerodynamic posture. For example if I'm am in the drops trying to be as aerodynamic as possible my back is gonna start hurting after awhile and eventually my performance will be effected, or I'm gonna lift up ruining the aerodynamics. I wonder how that factors in against weight, because weight is a constant effect.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:53 AM   #15
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weight can be important. there is a local hill climb every year ~16miles of around 8% ave grade. I did the math after my ride last year and every pound I saved would be close to a minute of difference. my bike is almost two pounds lighter this year and I'm around 5 lighter. I'm hoping to do much better. For next year I want to build a light weight ss (14lb?) and kick ass
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Old 08-13-07, 08:53 AM   #16
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uh yeah

buying stuff wont make you happy sexy or successful
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Old 08-13-07, 09:03 AM   #17
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yes
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Old 08-13-07, 09:04 AM   #18
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uh yeah

buying stuff wont make you happy sexy or successful
I disagree. My Pista (along with its various upgrades) has made me happier, sexier (well, at least I lost weight); and more confident.
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Old 08-13-07, 09:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Rings View Post
OK, so I'm as much a weight weenie as the next guy, and I love buying new stuff for my bikes (when I can sneak perchases past the Mrs.!). But are we all simply wasting our money?

To whit, please peruse the following articles for the sake of the enligtened discussion that is sure to follow:
http://www.biketechreview.com/archive/wheel_theory.htm

and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance

From what I can discern, the biggest performance gain that we can get would be to have drop bars and use them for best rider aerodynamics. And perhaps even spandex roadie outfits too.

Risers definitely kill bike performance (I ride flop&chop bullhorns, so I'm guilty of that) because you are in a very upright position.

Bigger ticket items like deep V's are perhaps still worth it as it may gain you ~2% better efficiency, but weight weenieism gains you diddly****, like under a percent.

And fast rolling tires look to be a legit goal.

So, get aero, don't sweat having a "heavy" bike.

What do you think?
Good rolling tires are worth the money for the performance gain but other stuff is just because we want it. Unless you are racing, that is.

Aero wheels really pay off riding fast on the flats. Their weight disadvantage in climbing is more than overcome by their gains on the flats and descents. But you need at least 40mm deep rims to see any effect. And you need to be going over 20mph, too.

Last night's alleycat had a Soma with Red Deep V's and an old Schwinn with white Deep V's(and a 52-15 gearing). Very nice looking. But I won the race on my San Jose with Alex wheels. I did put some Conti UltraGatorskins 700 x 25's on. I think they helped a lot. I could sure feel every grain of gravel in the road, though.
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Old 08-13-07, 09:06 AM   #20
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Well, actually, when new stuff arrives in the mail from Nashbar/Performance/JimmyJ's custom Wheelwerks, you have to admit it makes you pretty damn happy!

It just may not make you any faster.
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Old 08-13-07, 09:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by skanking biker View Post
I think you misspelled "to wit," that is, you spelled it "to whit." If you can appreciate the grammatical pun, you are whitty indeed.
Isn't the contraction spelled "t'wit"?
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Old 08-13-07, 09:10 AM   #22
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I disagree. My Pista (along with its various upgrades) has made me happier, sexier (well, at least I lost weight); and more confident.
no it was riding that did those things

not buying
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Old 08-13-07, 09:24 AM   #23
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Isn't the contraction spelled "t'wit"?
It is not a contraction. "To wit" literally means "that is."
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Old 08-13-07, 09:26 AM   #24
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no it was riding that did those things

not buying
But I could not have ridden had I not purchased. Further, the comfort and aesthetically pleasing qualities of my bike and its upgrades, induce me to ride more often. Thus, whilst buying does not ipso facto equate to better riding; purchasing upgrades can result in one riding more often, which, in turn, makes one a better rider.
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Old 08-13-07, 09:28 AM   #25
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But I could not have ridden had I not purchased. Further, the comfort and aesthetically pleasing qualities of my bike and its upgrades, induce me to ride more often. Thus, whilst buying does not ipso facto equate to better riding; purchasing upgrades can result in one riding more often, which, in turn, makes one a better rider.
try checking one out from the bike library
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