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Old 07-12-20, 09:56 AM
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Doge
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
If those numbers are real, and if there wasn't treacherous wind on that day, I'd be shocked if a large majority of the speed difference wasn't due to changes in racing strategy.

I routinely ride my grandfather's Fuji America, which was made in the 1970s, and which has received almost zero modernization besides SPD-SL pedals and unavoidable features on consumables (notably modern shift housing and hyperglide tooth profiling on the six-speed freewheel). Given the speeds that I can sustain on that thing - which are extremely close to what I do on my Emonda - I don't feel any hesitation in saying that an elite racer would have no trouble doing 24.5mph solo on flat ground for 100 minutes on actual racing bikes of similar vintage. The only way that a peloton of elite racers would fail to sustain higher speeds is if they were all desperately trying to avoid doing any kind of serious effort at the front.

Also, if we're talking about a bike+rider weight of 170lbs or thereabouts, and we're acknowledging that the modern weight savings is largely away from the rims thanks to today's aero rim profiles, there's basically no situation in which a 7-pound bicycle savings increases speed by more than 4% or so. 24.5->30 is a 22% speed increase. On a flat course, even if there's lots of cornering, a 7lb bicycle weight difference is pretty much in the noise when talking about that scale of difference.
There have been significant improvements in most athletic speeds, running, rowing etc. since the mid-70s. And racing styles have changed. Men and Women's fields often race entirely differently, so yea, they could have been sand bagging the whole time. It was one data point I had of pretty good local riders. Being familiar with current crit speeds it stood out to me. Any other data points out there?

IMO - a heavy bike results in about a 1 mph difference. .5mph due to physics and .5 mph due to physiological results - that net in going slower. But I also think those racers as a whole were not as fit and didn't train as much, as long or as scientifically.
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