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  1. #1
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    It's not in the bike, it's in the legs that pump the pedals... not always

    I did my first duathlon on my Specialized Globe Sport Hybrid, which is a great bike for touring but really isn't built for speed. My overall time for the 3.2km run, 17km cycle and repeat of the 3.2km run was 1:36:12. On Friday, I got my brand new road bike, a Lapierre Audacio 400, and today I did the second in the race series, same course for the run and bike. My time?

    1:18:04.

    While I did better in the run, the most significant difference was in the bike time: 51:53 last time, today that was down to 39:45. I also shaved time off my transitions, but not much more than 30 seconds overall. So while I agree you can't not train and expect to do well just because you're on a good bike, I now also think the right equipment makes a big difference. Race times for everyone in the race can be found here if you're interested, I placed 123rd out of 132 entries.

    Yes, I am over the moon, and yes, this is a bragging about my new bike and my greatly improved race time post disguised as a remark on equipment. The equipment remark is still valid though, it was probably the biggest lesson for today.
    I want to be out there
    where dark green fingers
    draw lines on wind-tossed,
    rain-grey skies.

    http://www.nadiawilliams.co.uk

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    YAY! I bet that you would have done better this time even on the same bike though.

    I will have to look into duathlons, it would be nice to build up some confidence as I am sure my swim training will whittle away at it.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

    - Dr Samuel Johnson

  3. #3
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    well yeah when you make that drastic of a change, obviously the bike can make a huge difference.

    but don't think money can always buy you speed! cause if you keep that mentality up your wallet is gonna be hurtin and your times won't be getting too much faster (at a certain point).
    i think the mentality you should have (like you wrote it): "the right equipment makes a big difference".
    you could have a $10,000 bike w/ $2,500 wheels but if it's uncomfortable or not fit properly, it won't do you any better than a $500 bike that fits you perfectly.

    anyways, congrats on the bike and better times!

  4. #4
    Col du
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    well yeah when you make that drastic of a change, obviously the bike can make a huge difference.
    THIS!

    Going from a hybrid (or a MBT!) to a road bike is a drastic difference. Rolling resistance is less, and you've got better power transfer to the pedals, and you are better motivated! Motivation is a HUGE factor. There's also slightly better aerodynamics, but only slight. Next get clip-on aerobars and learn a proper position on the bike. That will be the next best equipment upgrade you could possibly make.

    Unless you plan to contest the races please don't bother with aero helmets or TT frames or wheels. The differences they bring to the table are measured in minutes over an Ironman distance. In a sprint tri it wouldn't even be one minute.

    Work on the engine! To that end, get a HRM. They are indispensable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourmalet View Post
    Going from a hybrid (or a MBT!) to a road bike is a drastic difference. Rolling resistance is less, and you've got better power transfer to the pedals, and you are better motivated! Motivation is a HUGE factor. There's also slightly better aerodynamics, but only slight.
    Actually better aerodynamics is the largest difference. The drop in drag and resistance between sitting upright in a hybrid/mountain bike and the hoods/drops on a road bike makes up almost all the difference in speed. Rolling resistance from the tires is a factor but not a huge one
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  6. #6
    Col du
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    I'm not sure what you are arguing for, exactly.

    Yes 75% (give or take) of power goes against defeating the air resistance. That's not the issue.

    We are discussing the difference in speed between a hybrid and a road bike, not a TT bike. Rider position on the road bike (in the hoods) doesn't make that much difference from a rider position on a hybrid. The road bike benefit is there of course, but it likely isn't noticeable unless you go out of your way to measure it.

    Rolling resistance, power transfer, and motivation are the reason why she's going so much faster. The tires on the hybrid were probably knobby and the the road bike has slicks. Drive components on the hybrid probably sucked. Pedals weren't clipless. Etc etc...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Any comparison should be riding a road bike in the drops. This is a race.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Hey all, sorry to not reply for so long, busy week.

    On the hybrid, I had the habit (well, probably still will do this when I ride the hybrid) of dropping down on my elbows on the handlebars once I got going, so my back was pretty close to horizontal. Yes, I know how strange this sounds, and it's very hard to explain how I did this, but I'd end up with my elbows on the grips and my hands clutching whatever I could hang on to closer to the middle of the handlebar. It was a pretty comfortable position, really, and because the bike is long, I think I was quite stretched out. That said, I do feel lower on the road bike, even when I'm not in the lowest position on the drop bars.

    The road bike is almost 6kg lighter than the hybrid. It's smaller, too, which I found intriguing. The wheel size seems a tad smaller and the bike is definitely shorter, from front to back.

    Was it perhaps greater motivation that led me to push harder? I'm not so sure on that one. I was pretty worried about the second run, so I pedalled easy to save my legs. Everytime I felt strain in my thighs, I'd gear down or pedal slower. Yet I could tell I was flying on the bike. It's true I did a bit more cycling outdoors than on a training bike in the gym between race 1 and race 2, and that could well have made the difference.

    For interest's sake, here are the split times from last race and this race, it might give more insight into where exactly the eighteen minutes were slashed from. The course was exactly the same in both races. To my shame, I haven't even looked at it closely myself to see what the time-savers were:

    Race 1 = Run 1 - 21:33 T1 - 1:04 Bike - 51:53 T2 - 0:54 Run 2 - 20:44
    Race 2 = Run 1 - 17:56 T1 - 0:59 Bike - 39:45 T2 - 0:31 Run 2 - 18:50

    The biggest difference was definitely in the bike section, but looking at the times compared side by side like that, I realise for the first time that I had actually done every single section faster than before. With the run, one thing I'm very impressed with is that I discovered on the treadmill I could increase my speed while still putting in about the same effort if I just loosened my hips, kind of, and lengthened my stride. A more relaxed run gait, I hope. It certainly seems to have worked, but I did also put more effort into it.
    Last edited by Racingboo; 03-24-10 at 12:38 PM.
    I want to be out there
    where dark green fingers
    draw lines on wind-tossed,
    rain-grey skies.

    http://www.nadiawilliams.co.uk

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