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Carbon Bikes

Old 10-25-18, 01:36 PM
  #1  
Qwertyportne
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Carbon Bikes

I've been thinking about replacing my Specialized Allez (23.2 pounds) with a Trek Emonda SL 6 (16.6 pounds) to improve my climbing ability. Anyone have any feedback on the Emonda itself or how significant weight is on hilly routes? Thanks!
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Old 10-25-18, 03:05 PM
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It would probably makes much less difference than you would imagine. According to an article in Bicycling, if you weigh 180 pounds...on a 6 mile climb of 3% grade, losing 5 pounds will put you at the top of the hill about 30 seconds faster.


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Old 10-25-18, 03:09 PM
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Yeah...Bike Calculator

Enter, say 200 for watts. Then enter your weight, the bike weight, distance and grade. Look at the estimated speed in the top right box. Then lower the bike weight and notice the effect on speed.

If you use Strava, you can plug in the info for a given segment and see how the lighter bike would affect your time, for the same effort.


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Old 10-25-18, 04:38 PM
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If you want to improve your climbing ability, the best way to do that is by climbing more hills.

If you want a new bike because the new bike looks cool or makes you want to ride more, then go for it.

You will feel the difference between the two bikes, but like others have said, you won't be exactly flying up the hills - but it might be a more enjoyable experience.

I say if you can afford it then go for it. Blessings (or anything, really) from these forums is worth what you pay.

I decided after riding my bike 20,000 miles that I wanted a new bike, so I got one. There is nothing wrong with my old bike. My new bike is way nicer than I need, but so what?
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Old 10-25-18, 05:11 PM
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Yep. Buy the new bike if you want to. I bought a Domane at the beginning of the summer and love it.
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Old 10-25-18, 05:14 PM
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Regularly riding up grades will do more for your climbing ability than just buying upgrades.
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Old 10-25-18, 06:10 PM
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My unprofessional opinion is that the bigger factors improving hill climbing are:

1) As other noted, just riding more hills

2) gearing


I say gearing from my own anecdotal experience with a Trek Domane (don't know the weight but probably in the ballpark of the Emonda) and a Surly Disc Trucker - steel frame with fenders and racks. The Surly with all the 'stuff' on it is probably around 30 pounds, maybe evet more. But it's got a triple crank with the lowest granny gear ratio of 26/32. While I don't fly up hills (I'm 65 and speed isn't a high priority for me) as I'll usually go into just about the lowest gear on steeper hills, for my purposes in riding, both bikes feel fine. So, I'd say, if you're looking for a new bike and found one you like, great. Not sure if you'll find a substantial improvement in hill climbing all other things being equal.
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Old 10-25-18, 06:31 PM
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No question a lighter bike is unlikely to afford big gains. Super light wheels will make a bigger difference than a light frame. I adopted lower gears and learned how to spin them when standing as well as sitting. This made a huge difference, and it seems the pros do the same.
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Old 10-25-18, 11:34 PM
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Riding more is the most effective means of improving your cycling strength and abilities. If getting a new carbon bike means you will be more likely to increase your time in the saddle, then that's the way to improve your cycling strength and abilities.
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Old 10-26-18, 12:18 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Qwertyportne View Post
I've been thinking about replacing my Specialized Allez (23.2 pounds) with a Trek Emonda SL 6 (16.6 pounds) to improve my climbing ability. Anyone have any feedback on the Emonda itself or how significant weight is on hilly routes? Thanks!
I agree with others that riding more gets you up hills faster. Try riding up the hill, turning around and then go up it again. 3 or 4 times in a row. Do that each time you go and you'll get better at climbing for sure

As to the weight, I think it does make a difference. I have a regular route that has a 2 mile climb, 4% average over the whole climb but theres a good 1/3 mile on this climb in the 10% range. My fastest time ever was on my 16.5lb bike in 10:49.

Today I hit it pretty hard with my 21lb bike (one of my better attemps and I thought Id come close to beatng my PR) but Strava said I finished in 12:13. Both bikes are carbon with Ultegra (50/34), this bike is 11-30, my lighter bike was geared at 12-25. This heavier bike has 33c multi surface tires, the other corsa evos.

While the weight is noticable, there are a lot of things that tie into the differnce in my times. Both bikes are a completely different fit. One is more aggressive road and the other more for endurance. The tires certainly play a part. The weather was certainly a factor (it was raining today).

All that being said, Im looking at getting a new bike next year but primarily for fit. I think if you are going to get a lighter bike, spend the money on a good fit and find what changes to your bike will get you the most power transfrer for each turn of the pedal. Having your new lightweight bike properly set up might make more difference then just the weight itself.
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Old 10-26-18, 12:32 AM
  #11  
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The allez is a great all rounder , but an emonda is a beast , top of the line world class title winning monster , get it, get two , get 3 . !!!

The bike you choose is stationary , reliable performance ,
you can always loose weight or gain muscle abililty but you need a solid base ,.
bike/part choice plus kit choice will be the foundations you build your physical performance ability on..
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Old 10-26-18, 04:07 AM
  #12  
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I think another factor in climbing hills is the stiffness of the frame. After buying a new carbon bike I really noticed the way it accelerated far more briskly than the old one. It weighs around 2kg less than my old bike; add on my 76kg and the total difference in weight comes to less than 3%. I seriously doubt I would notice a 3% reduction in weight when accelerating. However, the new bike is also far stiffer, meaning that it's delivering a far greater percentage of my power to the road and I believe that is what I'm noticing.

By the way, I'm 62 and I still love getting PRs on Strava. I get a lot of joy zooming by youngsters on my route and whenever someone passes me I can take comfort from the fact that I'm probably old enough to be their father. I commute 18 miles to work more days than not and I live roughly 600ft higher than where I work so I've put in a lot of hill climbing - nearly 4 Everests so far this year. It does get easier and it definitely gets faster.
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Old 10-26-18, 05:45 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I think another factor in climbing hills is the stiffness of the frame. After buying a new carbon bike I really noticed the way it accelerated far more briskly than the old one. It weighs around 2kg less than my old bike; add on my 76kg and the total difference in weight comes to less than 3%. I seriously doubt I would notice a 3% reduction in weight when accelerating. However, the new bike is also far stiffer, meaning that it's delivering a far greater percentage of my power to the road and I believe that is what I'm noticing.
Not to spark yet another debate on this topic, but this is a controversial opinion at best. Bottom bracket stiffness likely has nothing to do with "power transfer". It may feel "faster" or "more efficient", but there's no real world evidence it actually is faster or more efficient. Some people actively disagree, resulting in the concept of "planing". Here's an article on the subject, make of what you will:
https://thebicycleacademy.org/blogs/...lex-gcn-tech-1

IMO, unless you're riding an alpine stage in the Tour, aerodynamics trumps weight all day if you want to go fast. The most important factors with aerodynamics are body position and clothing. Fitness trumps all by a country mile, though. As Eddy said when asked how to succeed in bike racing: "ride lots".
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Old 10-26-18, 05:50 AM
  #14  
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Buy the Emonda just because riding a lighter bike is just more fun. Nothing else matters unless you are a professional racer.
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Old 10-26-18, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Not to spark yet another debate on this topic, but this is a controversial opinion at best. Bottom bracket stiffness likely has nothing to do with "power transfer". It may feel "faster" or "more efficient", but there's no real world evidence it actually is faster or more efficient. Some people actively disagree, resulting in the concept of "planing". Here's an article on the subject, make of what you will:
https://thebicycleacademy.org/blogs/...lex-gcn-tech-1

IMO, unless you're riding an alpine stage in the Tour, aerodynamics trumps weight all day if you want to go fast. The most important factors with aerodynamics are body position and clothing. Fitness trumps all by a country mile, though. As Eddy said when asked how to succeed in bike racing: "ride lots".
That's an interesting article ... however, I fail to see how a frame returning to it's neutral position is applying any rotational energy to the crank. I'd be interested to see a more controlled experiment taking place - although just how you'd do that I'm not sure.

Regardless, all I can say is that my new bike feels a lot more responsive. I'd also have to say that aerodynamics really don't come in to play on some of the hills I ride on my way home; there's one in particular which is short but pretty sharp and the new bike seems to go up it much more readily. It could all be in my head, of course. I've not ridden it enough yet to get any real data for comparison. Since the previous bike was built in 1993, though, it would be surprising if frame design hadn't moved on substantially in that time.
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Old 10-26-18, 07:30 AM
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While the calculators showing very minor reductions in climbing times for a few pounds difference in weight are likely 100% accurate, what they fail to take into account is a very important factor: The Placebo Effect. Fancy high dollar equipment will likely cause you to push harder because you just "know" it has great value on performance. So go for it!

Make sure any new bike you get is a color you love for extra performance gains.
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Old 10-26-18, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
That's an interesting article ... however, I fail to see how a frame returning to it's neutral position is applying any rotational energy to the crank. I'd be interested to see a more controlled experiment taking place - although just how you'd do that I'm not sure.

Regardless, all I can say is that my new bike feels a lot more responsive. I'd also have to say that aerodynamics really don't come in to play on some of the hills I ride on my way home; there's one in particular which is short but pretty sharp and the new bike seems to go up it much more readily. It could all be in my head, of course. I've not ridden it enough yet to get any real data for comparison. Since the previous bike was built in 1993, though, it would be surprising if frame design hadn't moved on substantially in that time.

Not 100% controlled but they make a good point that the energy needs to go somewhere.
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Old 10-26-18, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
buy the emonda just because riding a lighter bike is just more fun. Nothing else matters unless you are a professional racer.
+1
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Old 10-26-18, 10:57 AM
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"It may feel "faster" or "more efficient", but there's no real world evidence it actually is faster or more efficient. Some people actively disagree, resulting in the concept of "planing"

In the 80's-90's there was this company called SlingShot. Instead of a down tube it had a cable and the frame was designed to flex using a hinge plate in the top tube just before the seat tube. I remember racing against two brothers in the Midwest that rode the SlingShot and they sprinted so darned fast that it was really tough to stay on their wheels. I firmly believe frame stiffness is highly overrated. Those two guys were tough competitors and their bikes certainly did not hold them back.

On the other hand, wheel stiffness is super important as I have played with spoke tension and various rim designs over the years and found that a stiff wheel out accelerates a more flexible wheel by a considerable margin. My guess is that with lighter bikes comes better constructed wheels and this is where the "feeling" of instant acceleration is coming from.
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Old 10-26-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Igotdibs View Post
+1
Thanks for the excellent feedback guys. Lots of food for thought. Overall I think I will enjoy cycling more on an Emonda than on my Allez for both subjective and objective reasons. Like jgwilliams, I'm considerably older (I'm 76) than everyone I ride with and enjoy the fact that I can keep up with most of them and get to the top of a long climb sooner than some of them. Where I live, most of the climbs are over two miles and generally between 6 and 10% with some 12-14% sections a few hundred yards long. All things equal (my fitness, my weight, etc) I can't imagine a 6-pound difference between my Allez and an Emonda NOT having a pleasant effect. And hey, my wife gave me the green light to buy it...
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Old 10-26-18, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Qwertyportne View Post
my wife gave me the green light to buy it...
What are you doing typing?
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Old 10-26-18, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by joelcool View Post
What are you doing typing?
Amen.

You'll enjoy your new bike, I promise.
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Old 10-26-18, 04:57 PM
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One more thing to make clear. Gearing will make or break you in a 2 mile climb at 10% grade. Make sure you get that right on your new bike or that 6 pound lighter weight will feel like 50 pounds of extra weight!
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Old 10-26-18, 05:15 PM
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Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades.
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Old 10-26-18, 05:40 PM
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My move to a carbon supersix from an alloy Synapse was a huge difference,
because I went di2 and disc I added weight 17 lbs, but still I also wasn't 23 on the Synapse either more like 22 with pedals.

I truly enjoy riding a rocket!!!!!

It goes without saying the more you ride hills the stronger you get, that will be true with any bike.

yet for no matter the amount you ride, you will always be faster on the Emonda than you will the Allez!

If you can afford the upgrade... do it!
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