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Watt Weenie Racing Setup

Old 06-11-10, 12:07 PM
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Watt Weenie Racing Setup

I've said that I've recently gotten a Ptap, which puts numbers to all this for me.

So now I'm looking at my feeble ftp and thinking how I can punch above my weight class. A little look at what is up there shows that you can actually save an impressive chunk of power by a careful selection of what you race.

I ride a round-tubed bike on conventional everything. My wheels are AC420's.

Possible gains (at approx. 25 mph):

Wheels (change to 404's): 5 watts per wheel
Tires (Spec. Mondo instead of Schwalbe Ultremo): 4.5 watts per tire
Tubes (latex vs. butyl): 2 watts per tube
Skinsuit vs. normal jersey/bibs: 10 watts (fine for crits)
Bike Frame (aero vs. standard): 10 watts (estimated based on manufacturer propoganda)

So, assuming we can add these up, we get a savings of 43 watts at 25mph! Bumping your ftp this much would be a massive gain and would take a hell of a lot of work if it were even possible.

It appears that pro teams have things figured out when it comes to wheels and tires. Skinsuits might work for a crit, but it's not generally an option for a road race. The aero bike frame seems to only have moderate acceptance by the pro's for some reason. Cervelo, Felt and other provide an aero frame, but often the riders choose a conventional frame for whatever reason. Does anyone know why this is?

Am I missing something important here or is this pretty much reality? Do you do things specifically for racing to address aero and mechanical drag?

Last edited by Fat Boy; 06-11-10 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-11-10, 12:09 PM
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People don't use skinsuits and race wheels/tires because they think they look cool...
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Old 06-11-10, 12:11 PM
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sure, it all adds up, we can quibble about the actual numbers but it all adds up, and when "money is no object" then why not?

but, as a 43 year old cat 3 I always ask myself, how long will this upgrade take to pay me back from increased prize winnings?
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Old 06-11-10, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post

but, as a 43 year old cat 3 I always ask myself, how long will this upgrade take to pay me back from increased prize winnings?
For me, the answer would be infinity for any significant purchase, given that race winnings wouldn't cover the time value of the money.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:11 PM
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10 watts for a skinsuit, really?

Fwiw I'm about to be a 3 racing on 64-spoke'd Open Pros, butyls, and no skinsuit. I know that's not award-worthy, but still..

My advice is HTFU, STFU, and race. (unless you just want to blow money, then go for it!)
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Old 06-11-10, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
10 watts for a skinsuit, really?

Fwiw I'm about to be a 3 racing on 64-spoke'd Open Pros, butyls, and no skinsuit. I know that's not award-worthy, but still..

My advice is HTFU, STFU, and race. (unless you just want to blow money, then go for it!)
He's been racng for a while. A 3 IIRC.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:21 PM
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IIRC. What does this stand for?
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Old 06-11-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
He's been racng for a while. A 3 IIRC.
Ok.

I still like the HTFU-and-race option as compared to the buy-more-efficiency option. Though I suppose there's room for both.

Just wondering if the OP has fully maxed out the engine or not..
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Old 06-11-10, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bmxsykes View Post
IIRC. What does this stand for?
if I recall correctly
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Old 06-11-10, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Ok.

I still like the HTFU-and-race option as compared to the buy-more-efficiency option. Though I suppose there's room for both.

Just wondering if the OP has fully maxed out the engine or not..
Find me someone who has? It's like losing weight...I'm 142 in race shape...I can with a massive amount of effort get to under 140lbs..I'd have to cook separate meals from what my family would eat...I'd have to weigh everything I eat and basically live like a monk..or I can buy a really light frame and wheelset that I'll ride for 2-3 years and be done with it.

At some point given that we cannot train like pro's we have to just buy like pro's.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
if I recall correctly
Thank you.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo View Post
Find me someone who has? It's like losing weight...I'm 142 in race shape...I can with a massive amount of effort get to under 140lbs..I'd have to cook separate meals from what my family would eat...I'd have to weigh everything I eat and basically live like a monk..or I can buy a really light frame and wheelset that I'll ride for 2-3 years and be done with it.

At some point given that we cannot train like pro's we have to just buy like pro's.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo View Post
Find me someone who has? It's like losing weight...I'm 142 in race shape...I can with a massive amount of effort get to under 140lbs..I'd have to cook separate meals from what my family would eat...I'd have to weigh everything I eat and basically live like a monk..or I can buy a really light frame and wheelset that I'll ride for 2-3 years and be done with it.

At some point given that we cannot train like pro's we have to just buy like pro's.
You forgot the bulimia option.. but yeah I guess at some point you've got to buy your way to speed.

I'm just holding out for as long as possible. Being unemployed right now also helps with that..
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Old 06-11-10, 01:32 PM
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I'm not 'optimized'. I'm a very run-of-the-mill Cat 3. Some good days and some that aren't. I work to do the best I have with the compromises I'm willing to make in terms of training, diet, job, life, etc. Ya, my handle is Fat Boy. BMI of about 22.5 right now, which is 5# over where I can/should be. And, yes, that makes me a fat cyclist. At least I can admit it.

All this crap about me personally is extraneous. I had just never put numbers to these things before and after doing so, came up a bit surprised by what I've found in terms of their overall effect. It's probably not going to change the outcome of a sprint, but in terms of break-away strength, it's gotta make some sort of a difference.

------------------------------------------------

FWIW, the skin suit numbers I found were 7-20 watts at 25-30 mph.

Last edited by Fat Boy; 06-11-10 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 06-11-10, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Being unemployed right now also helps with that..
So long as we're criticizing other people's life choices without any context...maybe you should spend less time training/racing and more time finding a job?

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Old 06-11-10, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
So long as we're criticizing other people's life choices without any context...maybe you should spend less time training/racing and more time finding a job?

This made me laugh.
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Old 06-11-10, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
So, assuming we can add these up, we get a savings of 43 watts at 25mph! Bumping your ftp this much would be a massive gain and would take a hell of a lot of work if it were even possible.
Keep in mind that even if all of those gains(except for rolling resistance) can be added together it is only applicable when you are out front. Most of the time when you are in a draft the gains would be lower. That's not to say it isn't worth it, just to frame the expected benefits.
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Old 06-11-10, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
So long as we're criticizing other people's life choices without any context...maybe you should spend less time training/racing and more time finding a job?

lol - Given the amount of free time I've got these days, I should be able to train like a pro.. but I'm training more like a 4/neo-3... too lazy I guess.

Anyway you'll be happy to know I put the resume on Monster.com last night, and have received no fewer than 10 calls/emails from recruiters this morning. The net has been cast, I should have a job soon. I'll keep ya posted.
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Old 06-11-10, 03:00 PM
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you missed the joke
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Old 06-11-10, 03:03 PM
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Not my fault, it wasn't good enough then.. =]
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Old 06-11-10, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Not my fault, it wasn't good enough then.. =]
Don't worry, it was.

Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo View Post
At some point given that we cannot train like pro's we have to just buy like pro's.
I thought they didn't really buy anything but the bare essentials and that too is only if they had to/could afford to.
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Old 06-11-10, 03:48 PM
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In the mail today:

Description: (3) Vittoria Latex tubes

----------------------------------------

What can I say, I'm weak...physically, mentally, morally and in all other applicable ways. And, yes, they've already been installed in the 'race' wheels.
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Old 06-11-10, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
I've said that I've recently gotten a Ptap, which puts numbers to all this for me.

So now I'm looking at my feeble ftp and thinking how I can punch above my weight class. A little look at what is up there shows that you can actually save an impressive chunk of power by a careful selection of what you race.

I ride a round-tubed bike on conventional everything. My wheels are AC420's.

Possible gains (at approx. 25 mph):

Wheels (change to 404's): 5 watts per wheel
Tires (Spec. Mondo instead of Schwalbe Ultremo): 4.5 watts per tire
Tubes (latex vs. butyl): 2 watts per tube
Skinsuit vs. normal jersey/bibs: 10 watts (fine for crits)
Bike Frame (aero vs. standard): 10 watts (estimated based on manufacturer propoganda)

So, assuming we can add these up, we get a savings of 43 watts at 25mph! Bumping your ftp this much would be a massive gain and would take a hell of a lot of work if it were even possible.

It appears that pro teams have things figured out when it comes to wheels and tires. Skinsuits might work for a crit, but it's not generally an option for a road race. The aero bike frame seems to only have moderate acceptance by the pro's for some reason. Cervelo, Felt and other provide an aero frame, but often the riders choose a conventional frame for whatever reason. Does anyone know why this is?

Am I missing something important here or is this pretty much reality? Do you do things specifically for racing to address aero and mechanical drag?

i have no problem with this at all. but can you give us a source for these #'s?
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Old 06-11-10, 04:43 PM
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reminds me of this article:

http://www.truesport.com/Bike/2007/a.../druber15.html
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Old 06-11-10, 04:44 PM
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I think the tubes and possibly tires are the 'worst' upgrades, especially for road races, as the lighter tubes and tires flat MUCH more easily than their slightly heavier, less aero, counterparts.

For crits, if you have a spare wheelset, then go for it.
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