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Why am I so slow compared to road bikes?? lol

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Why am I so slow compared to road bikes?? lol

Old 08-26-20, 01:59 AM
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eaglesandcycling
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Why am I so slow compared to road bikes?? lol

I feel I'm in pretty damn good shape. I ride from 150-200km a week on my Trek Checkpoint ALR5 with quite a bit of climbing each ride. But I get these guys that zoom ass past me on their road bikes! I dont get it. I know it doesn't really matter, it's just weird. Sure, I know a gravel bike (well mine with the stock 40x700 Bontrager GR1 tires) is slower but the way some of these roadies fly by me?? lol. oh well.. just ranting here...

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Old 08-26-20, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by eaglesandcycling View Post
I feel I'm in pretty damn good shape. I ride from 150-200km a week on my Trek Checkpoint ALR5 with quite a bit of climbing each ride. But I get these guys that zoom ass past me on their road bikes! I dont get it. I know it doesn't really matter, it's just weird. Sure, I know a gravel bike (well mine with the stock 40x700 Bontrager GR1 tires) is slower but the way some of these roadies fly by me?? lol. oh well.. just ranting here...
Ah. You have here the beginning of a desire to make upgrades on your bike. I recommend a new set of carbon rims with some really high quality hubs. After spending the money, you can work through the guilt of indulging in extravagance by riding lots more. 300km per week should do it. You'll get stronger and faster by doing intervals mixed in with longer rides. Or, as Eddy Merckx said, "Ride lots."
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Old 08-26-20, 08:51 AM
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most likely, they are pedaling hard than you are, thus propelling their bicycles at a higher speed.
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Old 08-26-20, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
most likely, they are pedaling hard than you are, thus propelling their bicycles at a higher speed.
thx
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Old 08-26-20, 09:19 AM
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I think it is mostly tire choice. I have the Bonty GR2 tires in 40c and while I like them for gravel events and unknown terrain, they are slower than the Gravel King slicks in 38c I use on a regular basis. I caught some roadies the other day with the Gravel Kings on and still thought that it was a lot of effort to catch these guys (I just chalked it up to bad tire choice for me on the road at that particular moment).
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Old 08-26-20, 09:39 AM
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I'm kind of a newbie, but could I theorize that the gearing on the gravel bike is different than the roadie?
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Old 08-26-20, 10:32 AM
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1. There will always be faster riders.

2. Your tires are designed for gravel/off road and are heavier and slower rolling on pavement than pure road tires. If you want to go faster on road, try installing some road tires. I see a noticeable difference between 35c gravel tires and 32c road tires, for example.
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Old 08-26-20, 03:27 PM
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first find out if you're actually fast or slow

You might consider getting an inexpensive GPS and a free-tier Strava account. Then go out and record some of your rides, upload them to Strava and see how you stack up against other Strava riders to find out whether you're fast, slow or in-between.

150–200 km/week to me is respectable but not a whole lot (on-road, it's a lot if it's all/mostly off-road). You also say "quite a bit of climbing" but don't quantify (perhaps because you don't have a GPS?). Is it 3000 m or more a week in those 150–200 km? That would be "a lot".

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Old 08-26-20, 05:30 PM
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Put on the high thread count Challenge Strada Bianca or Rene Herse tires, either in a 35 mm width and if the roadies are still faster at least you will know it is not your tires. Really good tires make a substantial difference. The difference in power required to maintain 20 MPH between really good and really bad gravel tires can be as much or more than 20 watts per tire. If your legs cannot make up the difference then you will need to start riding a different route with more gravel to avoid the roadies!
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Old 08-27-20, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dorkypants View Post
You might consider getting an inexpensive GPS and a free-tier Strava account. Then go out and record some of your rides, upload them to Strava and see how you stack up against other Strava riders to find out whether you're fast, slow or in-between.

150200 km/week to me is respectable but not a whole lot (on-road, it's a lot if it's all/mostly off-road). You also say "quite a bit of climbing" but don't quantify (perhaps because you don't have a GPS?). Is it 3000 m or more a week in those 150200 km? That would be "a lot".
i prob ride 60% off road or so... my climbs are anywhere from 400meters to 1100m per ride. i own a Wahoo and use Strava too.
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Old 08-27-20, 09:51 AM
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I can't believe you haven't gotten faster than them since last month.

Jeez...and I thought I was in really good shape. lol
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Old 08-27-20, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I can't believe you haven't gotten faster than them since last month.

Jeez...and I thought I was in really good shape. lol

how is life being super bored?
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Old 08-27-20, 10:57 AM
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I dunno, I have no problems keeping up with road bikes on my gravel bike, even with 44mm tires.

But I also average over 500km a week with around 14,000m of climbing, that might have something to do with it. (and there are still plenty of folks around here way faster than me)

Ride as much as you can, your fitness will keep improving, but just remember that there is always someone faster, just how it goes.
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Old 08-27-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I dunno, I have no problems keeping up with road bikes on my gravel bike, even with 44mm tires.

But I also average over 500km a week with around 14,000m of climbing, that might have something to do with it. (and there are still plenty of folks around here way faster than me)

Ride as much as you can, your fitness will keep improving, but just remember that there is always someone faster, just how it goes.

jeeez. well, i'm a complete effing ***** to you lol.. u must have a ton of free time!!
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Old 08-27-20, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by paloaltan View Post
I'm kind of a newbie, but could I theorize that the gearing on the gravel bike is different than the roadie?
It looks like the stock drive train is 50/34 chainring with a 11-34 cassette. With 40mm tires, 50x11 is 126.5 gear inches. 33.9 mph at 90 rpm. It's not the gearing that's holding him back.
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Old 08-27-20, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by eaglesandcycling View Post
jeeez. well, i'm a complete effing ***** to you lol.. u must have a ton of free time!!
We make time for what's important to us. It's about 18 hours a week for me, the average American spends twice that much time watching tv each week.
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Old 08-27-20, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I can't believe you haven't gotten faster than them since last month.

Jeez...and I thought I was in really good shape. lol
Well a sock is gonna be a sock. Look for more of the same under prior identities.
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Old 08-27-20, 06:45 PM
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Tires make the huge difference as others already said. Night and day difference. This is why I now have two wheelsets for my gravel bike - for gravel and road rides (it is much easier to change wheels than tires). Clothes - if instead of tightly fitting road clothes you use something flapping in the wind - makes a huge difference, again. Your bike fit can be poor - body position can hugely affect muscle involvement (saddle height and setback mostly).
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Old 08-27-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Well a sock is gonna be a sock.
Some socks are considerably more aerodynamic than others!
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Old 08-27-20, 07:20 PM
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If they're running 25s with matching aero rims which are popular on bikes today and you're runnings 40s on a basic gravel rim you should expect to be slower, if they've got better hubs expect to be even slower. Add in riding position of a gravel bike vs optimized road fit and clothing as someone else said and also expect bigger differences. Either pedal faster or get a road bike.
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Old 08-27-20, 07:36 PM
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Those people flying by you are doing it because they're faster than you. It has very little to do with what kind of bike they're riding, what kind of shoes they're wearing, or how much they spent on components A, B, or C.

Faster is faster. I blow by people on my SSCX and I'm nowhere near fast (as I enjoy pointing out, according to the FTP chart, my power output is "Untrained") because there are people slower even than me.

Ride more, get faster. Or if all you want to do is blow past people, get a Spesh Turbo Creo SL and go run down some youngsters. Note: you still wouldn't catch all of 'em.
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Old 09-02-20, 12:19 PM
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I have a gravel bike and road bike.

from faster to slower:
road bike clip less pedals 28mm tires
gravel bike flat pedals with 28mm tires and wheels stolen from my road bike
gravel bike flat pedals with gravel tires

around town with stop lights the times are about the same no matter what bike I ride.
Sections time with no lights there is a HUGE difference between my road bike and my gravel bike with gravel tires.

The gravel bike is probably with tires/wheels stolen from my road bike for short distance is about fast as my road bike. Over an hour+ the difference start to add up. More aero position, pedaling smoother and higher cadence being clipped in etc..
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Old 09-03-20, 06:23 AM
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Semi knob tires are not doing you any favors.
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