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Can a better bike improve results?

Old 07-22-19, 08:01 PM
  #51  
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This is how I would go about improving. Ask a good rider to pace you. Just sit on his wheel. Learn to ride really close to the wheel in front of you. Before you know it your 16 mph will turn into 20 mph. Learning to draft effectively is key. Getting used to a distance of 6 inches off a wheel and sitting comfortable there takes a lot of miles. Once you get it...you got it.
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Old 07-22-19, 08:38 PM
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Best part of this thread is that never once did the OP say or even imply that he thought better equipment would make up the full gap yet multiple people took it upon themselves to reply as such. The very first person to reply got it dead wrong lol.

Last edited by downhillmaster; 07-22-19 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 07-22-19, 08:49 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. This is exactly what I was looking for. We all get excited about the prospect of a new bike but if I'm not going to get much of a return on investment then it wouldn't make any sense. With that said, I may still make an change/upgrade but just to a lesser extent. My current ride is made to be really upright and I'm ready to get lower. It's also heavier than what I'd really like. I'll probably look at one of the bikes I mentioned in my original post but move down to a 105 instead of Ultegra and save some. I feel I'll be happier and more confident on something a little more built for speed and comfort as opposed to almost mainly comfort.
Maybe try spin classes too? I felt like I improved by taking them occasionally. It was also a good way to think about cadence and power, in a lower stress way. While I was waiting for my new bike, I have been taking spin here and there. Definitely noticed a difference in how I rode when I got onto a faster bike.
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Old 07-22-19, 10:09 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Best part of this thread is that never once did the OP say or even imply that he thought better equipment would make up the full gap yet multiple people took it upon themselves to reply as such. The very first person to reply got it dead wrong lol.

I'm not going to complain about people trying to give me good and helpful advice, but only a small percentage have addressed the actual question

I hope everyone believes me when I say I know the answer to getting better is training and practice.
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Old 07-22-19, 11:07 PM
  #55  
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Yeah, training and all that,

but if this: I still prefer a more comfortable ride without being head completely down all the time means sitting up

then you'll have to be stronger than those strong guys to keep up- a tough equation. There are a few who can go fast while sitting up,

but I'll bet that the riders that you aspire to keep up with are not wasting energy pushing extra air out of the way- they have pretty low & streamlined positions.
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Old 07-23-19, 12:53 AM
  #56  
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A 30%+ improvement simply via equipment? Ditto, on the above sentiments: not likely.

Best investment, I'd think: better fitness, strength, stamina, efficiency.

Which isn't to say better tools don't help. In middle- to long-distance running, I've had better performance from shoes that were lighter, more-solid for the surfaces I have run on, and which didn't "sap" energy so badly (via the midsole). In racquetball, I noticed solid jumps in repeatable accuracy with stiffer, stronger, larger-sweetspot racquets. In cycling, lighter rotation weight (wheels+tires), better gearing, a lighter/stiffer frame/fork ... all of these can help. But I wouldn't think it'd be sufficient to nix a 30% or greater difference in speeds.
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Old 07-23-19, 04:28 AM
  #57  
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Late to the thread, but my answer would be yes.

I went from a steel touring bike to a carbon endurance bike (Trek Domane) and on identical rides I was faster. I'm not a fast rider (62 year old, carrying much "relaxed muscle") but pretty much immediately was closer to keeping up with the B group on local group rides (not races) vs. CC.

Some of that was surely psychological (new shiny toy!), most of it was probably just the carbon bike is much lighter. But, throw in a few watts for the improved drive chain and much, much better wheels. Another factor: I had rotator cuff surgery (not due to biking) 6 years ago and it made me wimpy on descents - I don't want to have a high speed downhill crash that might damage the repair. Around here, deer, groundhogs and other varmints are pretty common road crossers, and at my weight going downhill the rim brakes on my Trek 520 were slow stoppers, so I tended to ride the brakes and slow down on descents.

I went with disc brakes on the new bike - way stronger at stopping. So, I find myself going a bit faster on downhills, definitely not keeping up with the really fast descenders but no longer falling off the back of a group on the bigger downhills. So, that was a factor for me but may not be for you.

Another factor on longer rides: last weekend I did the Seattle to Portland 206 mile ride two day versions, with a 122 mile day followed by an 84 mile day. I did it on a rental aluminum Fuji Sportif road bike (using my seat) with about the same geometry as my Domane, and not much heavier, but the Domane has a lot of vibration reducing features. Towards the end of the days I had more hand and upper body fatigue - the ride was definitely much harsher. I don't really know if that translated to any lower speed but my average speed was a bit lower than what I've done in century rides at home that were similar in hilliness.

Now, the gain in speed was definitely not as much as when I lost 30 lbs of that relaxed muscle back about 10 years ago!
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Old 07-23-19, 06:16 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
A 30%+ improvement simply via equipment? Ditto, on the above sentiments: not likely.

Best investment, I'd think: better fitness, strength, stamina, efficiency.

Which isn't to say better tools don't help. In middle- to long-distance running, I've had better performance from shoes that were lighter, more-solid for the surfaces I have run on, and which didn't "sap" energy so badly (via the midsole). In racquetball, I noticed solid jumps in repeatable accuracy with stiffer, stronger, larger-sweetspot racquets. In cycling, lighter rotation weight (wheels+tires), better gearing, a lighter/stiffer frame/fork ... all of these can help. But I wouldn't think it'd be sufficient to nix a 30% or greater difference in speeds.
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Old 07-23-19, 06:48 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
16mph solo on an entry level bike is probably more watts than 21 in a group on a nice bike.

Sounds like time to work on your group riding.

Try to minimize gaps they create on hills and corners. Don't take a turn pulling the first ride or two, just sit in. Ride closer than you want to.

If you want to get that serious feeling without spending money, shave your legs.
Fine advice!

I only have one (working) bike right now - a ~25 lb touring bike with 35mm flat resistant tires. I can hang with group rides where the other people are on lighter road bikes... not because I am stronger than them, but be cause I am experienced in pack riding and know how to hold on to a wheel when it's the only thing keeping me from exploding and falling off the back.

OP's description of being able to maintain 25km/h alone but not hang with a group at 33 km/h is a very clear indicator that they are not maximizing the benefits of riding in a group. When properly tucked into a draft, it should take almost zero effort to stay with the pack at 33 km/h, unless there is something wrong with your bike - buggered wheel bearings or significantly underinflated tires, for instance.
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Old 07-23-19, 06:52 AM
  #60  
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Probably 98% of my miles are solo. So if I get behind anything providing a draft, I feel like I'm barely working at all.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:18 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
A 30%+ improvement simply via equipment? Ditto, on the above sentiments: not likely.

Best investment, I'd think: better fitness, strength, stamina, efficiency.

Which isn't to say better tools don't help. In middle- to long-distance running, I've had better performance from shoes that were lighter, more-solid for the surfaces I have run on, and which didn't "sap" energy so badly (via the midsole). In racquetball, I noticed solid jumps in repeatable accuracy with stiffer, stronger, larger-sweetspot racquets. In cycling, lighter rotation weight (wheels+tires), better gearing, a lighter/stiffer frame/fork ... all of these can help. But I wouldn't think it'd be sufficient to nix a 30% or greater difference in speeds.

Thanks, Clyde. So in reference to the original question, would you say there could be any room for improvement in results with a high quality bike?

So you have a rider who is B-C group caliber. Has some endurance and skills but is not an A group guy yet. His bike is definitely of fair quality but is made almost completely for comfort as opposed to real speed compared to the majority of road bikes out there. So if the rider were to get on a bike with a more race type posture/position, lighter and maybe stiffer frame, higher quality group set, and just all around better components, would any improvement been seen after riding the same route under the same conditions as he rode on the original bike? I'm not asking about a 30% improvement or even 10%, but would you expect any positive results?
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Old 07-23-19, 07:27 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
This is probably a super common question, so my apologies. I'll try to keep it brief. I have ridden for the better part of 2 years, road bike and some cross/gravel riding. 1500 miles in the last 12 months but increasing more recently with about 600 in the last 2 months. So I'm pretty serious and I'm working hard on myself at being a stronger and faster cyclist.


So I ride with a group that has some really great riders. I could only dream of keeping pace with them. They are finishing our rides at times at 21+ mph average while I'm at 16. It's definitely a skill level gap and I wouldn't try to make excuses that it's equipment. But that said, my question is could I potentially close the gap at all with a better bike? I currently ride a Fuji Sportif 1.5. It was great for getting started because I really benefited from the more comfortable upright position it provides. I wouldn't say it's a slow bike, but I know it's not fast. It's got Tiagra group set with disc brake and I really like it. But now that I have some experience and am in better shape, I wonder if a more aerodynamic posture as well as higher level components and a lighter frame could benefit me?


So I'm still looking at endurance bikes as opposed to full on race bikes because I still prefer a more comfortable ride without being head completely down all the time, but any bike I pick out would be a much more aero posture. I would also end up with a higher quality and lighter frame with most likely Ultegra components.


If I'm serious, able, and willing to put $2k-4k+ into a high quality bike, would you expect one in my position to benefit in the way of improving time and speed?
A couple things come to mind: First, unless I missed it, you haven't told us your age, as well as your height and weight, and what size is the frame you're riding on now?
You could be lugging around some seriously un-needed poundage, or that bike be significantly too large, which would all factor in to this equation.
Also, you don't need a new bike to ride in a more aerodynamic position. Simply......ride in a more aerodynamic position !
No harm in just having some money burning a hole in your pocket, and wanting a sweet new ride. But (as mentioned already, I believe), a nicer, newer bike isn't going to give you any discernible improvements in speed/avg (though the lighter wheelset it may have on it, will help noticeably).
Also, not to knock your mileage or improvements, but 600 miles in 2 months ain't really a lot of riding (depending on your age,condition, and weight). Heck, I'm creeping up on 60, and I'm doing more than that, per month, just lollygagging up and down the county hills at about a 15mph average.
Same as you, I'm also riding a mid-grade Fuji road bike, but I've owned much higher end bikes, and I'm pretty sure one of those wouldn't make much difference for me now, at least not enough to justify a couple extra thousand bucks.(I wouldn't be surprised to possibly a see a solid 1 mph increase in my avg, but no more than that, for me anyway).
The above advice on working on your group riding and drafting skills was spot on. You'll be surprised at the speed you can maintain, when properly tucked into a group of riders.
Another point, if you want to see improvements in athletic performance, focus on proper diet and recovery.
That's all I got !
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Old 07-23-19, 07:45 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Late to the thread, but my answer would be yes.

I went from a steel touring bike to a carbon endurance bike (Trek Domane) and on identical rides I was faster. I'm not a fast rider (62 year old, carrying much "relaxed muscle") but pretty much immediately was closer to keeping up with the B group on local group rides (not races) vs. CC.

Some of that was surely psychological (new shiny toy!), most of it was probably just the carbon bike is much lighter. But, throw in a few watts for the improved drive chain and much, much better wheels. Another factor: I had rotator cuff surgery (not due to biking) 6 years ago and it made me wimpy on descents - I don't want to have a high speed downhill crash that might damage the repair. Around here, deer, groundhogs and other varmints are pretty common road crossers, and at my weight going downhill the rim brakes on my Trek 520 were slow stoppers, so I tended to ride the brakes and slow down on descents.

I went with disc brakes on the new bike - way stronger at stopping. So, I find myself going a bit faster on downhills, definitely not keeping up with the really fast descenders but no longer falling off the back of a group on the bigger downhills. So, that was a factor for me but may not be for you.

Another factor on longer rides: last weekend I did the Seattle to Portland 206 mile ride two day versions, with a 122 mile day followed by an 84 mile day. I did it on a rental aluminum Fuji Sportif road bike (using my seat) with about the same geometry as my Domane, and not much heavier, but the Domane has a lot of vibration reducing features. Towards the end of the days I had more hand and upper body fatigue - the ride was definitely much harsher. I don't really know if that translated to any lower speed but my average speed was a bit lower than what I've done in century rides at home that were similar in hilliness.

Now, the gain in speed was definitely not as much as when I lost 30 lbs of that relaxed muscle back about 10 years ago!

Fantastic and relevant response! And I love the "relaxed muscle" reference
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Old 07-23-19, 07:59 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
A couple things come to mind: First, unless I missed it, you haven't told us your age, as well as your height and weight, and what size is the frame you're riding on now?
You could be lugging around some seriously un-needed poundage, or that bike be significantly too large, which would all factor in to this equation.
Also, you don't need a new bike to ride in a more aerodynamic position. Simply......ride in a more aerodynamic position !
No harm in just having some money burning a hole in your pocket, and wanting a sweet new ride. But (as mentioned already, I believe), a nicer, newer bike isn't going to give you any discernible improvements in speed/avg (though the lighter wheelset it may have on it, will help noticeably).
Also, not to knock your mileage or improvements, but 600 miles in 2 months ain't really a lot of riding (depending on your age,condition, and weight). Heck, I'm creeping up on 60, and I'm doing more than that, per month, just lollygagging up and down the county hills at about a 15mph average.
Same as you, I'm also riding a mid-grade Fuji road bike, but I've owned much higher end bikes, and I'm pretty sure one of those wouldn't make much difference for me now, at least not enough to justify a couple extra thousand bucks.(I wouldn't be surprised to possibly a see a solid 1 mph increase in my avg, but no more than that, for me anyway).
The above advice on working on your group riding and drafting skills was spot on. You'll be surprised at the speed you can maintain, when properly tucked into a group of riders.
Another point, if you want to see improvements in athletic performance, focus on proper diet and recovery.
That's all I got !

All wonderful inquiries and points made here. Thank you. Believe me, I'm not here to brag about riding 300 miles a month. I know I'm a light weight. But I'm here to brag about riding 300 miles a month...because that is an improvement for ME!! I'm not necessarily asking how to become a better rider or a better group rider. I know just like most others that hard work pays off and true results come from training, nutrition, etc. So as I've responded to some others, I will reword my original question.

So you have a rider who is B-C group caliber. Has some endurance and skills but is not an A group guy yet. His bike is definitely of fair quality but is made almost completely for comfort as opposed to real speed compared to the majority of road bikes out there. So if the rider were to get on a bike with a more race type posture/position, lighter and maybe stiffer frame, higher quality group set, and just all around better components, would any improvement been seen after riding the same route under the same conditions as he rode on the original bike? I'm not asking about a 30% improvement or even 10%, but would you expect any positive results?
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Old 07-23-19, 08:20 AM
  #65  
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Don't misunderstand, as I said, I wasn't trying to sound critical of your 300 miles per month, not at all. My point was that, relatively speaking, it wasn't really a lot of training, for someone working up to hanging with a group running at 20 mph. You just gotta keep on, keepin' on !.
And, yeah, as I said above, I wouldn't be surprised to see some improvement with a nicer bike, just that I would expect it to be fairly minimal (assuming the original bike was decent with no flaws holding you back), and not really proportional to the extra couple thousand bucks. ( "the point of diminishing returns" is the phrase that springs to mind here).
Naturally, pedalling less weight around will make a difference, especially the rotating weight in the wheelset. If money is no object, then hey, you get you a new bike !!! No harm, no foul, more power to you !
But if it is, then you might consider just getting a nicer, lighter wheelset, and tires (as mentioned above,IIRC). That's gonna make the most noticeable difference, versus better shifting or shaving a pound or so on the seatpost and stuff. But be conscious of weight limits with lighter wheelsets. (which is also something you want to be aware of even when buying a new bike.)
Even with nicer Ultegra-equipped bikes, you can usually expect some parts skimping, and the wheels are about their favorite place to do this. They love to slap on some generic OEM wheels, with low-count aero-bladed spokes, that are intended to look like what the pros race up the Pyrenees on, but ain't, and anyone weighing over 190 is at risk of busting spokes on these wheelsets (in my experience).
This is why I've often just replaced OEM wheesets, right off the bat (my current 3 bikes all have very solid wheelsets from BicycleWheelWarehouse).
Anyway, that's just some more rambling thoughts, hope it's somehow useful......

Last edited by Brocephus; 07-23-19 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:31 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
Completely understood. There appears to be 2 different questions being answered on this post. It turned into advice telling me to keep training and I would get better and faster. Originally I was genuinely curious if those more experienced than myself know if a high quality bike could make a low to mid level rider achieve improved results, even slightly.

You can probably tell I just have the itch to get a new bike. My current bike is a little big for my size and I think I will enjoy riding a bike that fits me better. With any luck I will zip around a little quicker too
Nothing wrong with that, a new bike is sometimes the best motivator! lol

As far as equipment goes, an aero helmet (there is a noticeable difference between my EvadeII aero helmet and my reg road helmet, but the Evade is still cool enough to wear on regular rides), and tight fitting kit will make a good difference.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:54 AM
  #67  
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I was going to say yes to the initial question but after reading a bit more think not so much.

Of course if you ride a so so bike set up for comfort in a road group a better bike will increase speed - partly because of components/weight but also because almost any serious road bike will put you in a more aggressive posture. You could also adjust the current bike to do this as well probably. But, if you want to buy a "better" bike and set it up in the same comfortable posture you will still be at a disadvantage with the A group. They aren't riding relaxed. There is simply no getting around the fact that at some point posture plays a part in performance for the type of riding you want to do.

I'd say deal with your posture issues first before buying an expensive bike that you will regret down the road when posture again becomes the issue.
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Old 07-23-19, 09:06 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Don't misunderstand, as I said, I wasn't trying to sound critical of your 300 miles per month, not at all. My point was that, relatively speaking, it wasn't really a lot of training, for someone working up to hanging with a group running at 20 mph. You just gotta keep on, keepin' on !.
And, yeah, as I said above, I wouldn't be surprised to see some improvement with a nicer bike, just that I would expect it to be fairly minimal (assuming the original bike was decent with no flaws holding you back), and not really proportional to the extra couple thousand bucks. ( "the point of diminishing returns" is the phrase that springs to mind here).
Naturally, pedalling less weight around will make a difference, especially the rotating weight in the wheelset. If money is no object, then hey, you get you a new bike !!! No harm, no foul, more power to you !
But if it is, then you might consider just getting a nicer, lighter wheelset, and tires (as mentioned above,IIRC). That's gonna make the most noticeable difference, versus better shifting or shaving a pound or so on the seatpost and stuff. But be conscious of weight limits with lighter wheelsets. (which is also something you want to be aware of even when buying a new bike.)
Even with nicer Ultegra-equipped bikes, you can usually expect some parts skimping, and the wheels are about their favorite place to do this. They love to slap on some generic OEM wheels, with low-count aero-bladed spokes, that are intended to look like what the pros race up the Pyrenees on, but ain't, and anyone weighing over 190 is at risk of busting spokes on these wheelsets (in my experience).
This is why I've often just replaced OEM wheesets, right off the bat (my current 3 bikes all have very solid wheelsets from BicycleWheelWarehouse).
Anyway, that's just some more rambling thoughts, hope it's somehow useful......

I appreciate all that. Bottom line is I think I'm going to get a new bike just because...well just because Lol! It's just got in my head and now I can't get it out. So if I get lucky and the cycling gods come together with the universe in such a way that is conducive to slightly altering gravity during just the right time only while I'm am riding this bike, I might just shave 90 seconds off a 35 mile ride!
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Old 07-23-19, 09:14 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I was going to say yes to the initial question but after reading a bit more think not so much.

Of course if you ride a so so bike set up for comfort in a road group a better bike will increase speed - partly because of components/weight but also because almost any serious road bike will put you in a more aggressive posture. You could also adjust the current bike to do this as well probably. But, if you want to buy a "better" bike and set it up in the same comfortable posture you will still be at a disadvantage with the A group. They aren't riding relaxed. There is simply no getting around the fact that at some point posture plays a part in performance for the type of riding you want to do.

I'd say deal with your posture issues first before buying an expensive bike that you will regret down the road when posture again becomes the issue.

I'm glad you brought that up actually. I've been wearing my internets out with new bike searches and I believe I've changed my mind. After now riding for a couple of years, getting in better shape, and losing weight...I'm feeling much better on a bike and even in more of a racing type posture. In fact my cross bike is a traditional racing posture bike and I've very comfortable on it during my typical distance ride which I would even take on my road bike. So now I've changed my approach and I'm looking at "racing" bikes as opposed to "endurance" bikes. I'm confident in the long run I will be much more satisfied with the decision to go race bike. I'll keep the Fuji Sportif around, at least until such a time I feel I won't ride it.

But trust me, I'm not going into this thinking it's going to make me fast and I'll be right on the wheel of the A group. If I get anything out of it then great. As long as it keeps cycling fun for me and pushes me to get in more miles then it will all be worth it.

(It would be nice to look a little cooler on a cool bike though )
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Old 07-23-19, 10:36 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
I'm glad you brought that up actually. I've been wearing my internets out with new bike searches and I believe I've changed my mind. After now riding for a couple of years, getting in better shape, and losing weight...I'm feeling much better on a bike and even in more of a racing type posture. In fact my cross bike is a traditional racing posture bike and I've very comfortable on it during my typical distance ride which I would even take on my road bike. So now I've changed my approach and I'm looking at "racing" bikes as opposed to "endurance" bikes. I'm confident in the long run I will be much more satisfied with the decision to go race bike. I'll keep the Fuji Sportif around, at least until such a time I feel I won't ride it.

But trust me, I'm not going into this thinking it's going to make me fast and I'll be right on the wheel of the A group. If I get anything out of it then great. As long as it keeps cycling fun for me and pushes me to get in more miles then it will all be worth it.

(It would be nice to look a little cooler on a cool bike though )
Totally legitimate.
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Old 07-23-19, 11:28 AM
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If you know you have headtube that is overly tall for you as you have improved, I would ask: how often are you riding in the drops? Are the drops also comfort oriented? Many riders (including me) who set up a bike one way when we are out of shape will come to recognize that we can tolerate a lower stem, sometimes a longer stem and sometimes deeper drop bars. Lower more stretched out bike fit in the front gives a more planted feel that just feels better at faster cruising & descending speeds.

Did your Fuji come with an upward rise stem? If so, have you tried flipping it to horizontal to see how that feels? A more forward position might prompt you to want to rotate your pelvis forward some. This might then necessitate a few small seatpost/saddle tweaks. Your neck & back do not have to suffer as a result of changes like that.

You might check out Fizik’s sizing system where they have you look at the type of rider you are and they call you “Bull” or “Chamelion”. Deep drop aluminum bars from Ritchey or Fizik can be had for very little money and it might be time to do a bit of “race-ification” of your Fuji. The worst that will happen is that you will not like the changes. You can always go back to the original set up. But if you learn (as I did) that you get a little faster, more stable & no less comfortable with your new position - then you know you’re on the right track.

On our club rides I see people riding so high in their bars that they can barely ride a straight line. Their weight is disproportionally over their saddle which can make for comfort issues.

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Old 07-23-19, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
If you know you have headtube that is overly tall for you as you have improved, I would ask: how often are you riding in the drops? Are the drops also comfort oriented? Many riders (including me) who set up a bike one way when we are out of shape will come to recognize that we can tolerate a lower stem, sometimes a longer stem and sometimes deeper drop bars. Lower more stretched out bike fit in the front gives a more planted feel that just feels better at faster cruising & descending speeds.

Did your Fuji come with an upward rise stem? If so, have you tried flipping it to horizontal to see how that feels? A more forward position might prompt you to want to rotate your pelvis forward some. This might then necessitate a few small seatpost/saddle tweaks. Your neck & back do not have to suffer as a result of changes like that.

You might check out Fizik’s sizing system where they have you look at the type of rider you are and they call you “Bull” or “Chamelion”. Deep drop aluminum bars from Ritchey or Fizik can be had for very little money and it might be time to do a bit of “race-ification” of your Fuji. The worst that will happen is that you will not like the changes. You can always go back to the original set up. But if you learn (as I did) that you get a little faster, more stable & no less comfortable with your new position - then you know you’re on the right track.

On our club rides I see people riding so high in their bars that they can barely ride a straight line. Their weight is disproportionally over their saddle which can make for comfort issues.

Definitely something to consider. I will look into this. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-19, 01:19 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
Thanks, Clyde. So in reference to the original question, would you say there could be any room for improvement in results with a high quality bike?

So you have a rider who is B-C group caliber. Has some endurance and skills but is not an A group guy yet. His bike is definitely of fair quality but is made almost completely for comfort as opposed to real speed compared to the majority of road bikes out there. So if the rider were to get on a bike with a more race type posture/position, lighter and maybe stiffer frame, higher quality group set, and just all around better components, would any improvement been seen after riding the same route under the same conditions as he rode on the original bike? I'm not asking about a 30% improvement or even 10%, but would you expect any positive results?
It's hard to quantify. Some of the improvement is likely to be psychological: You feel faster and stronger, so you are faster and stronger. I admit that I do this myself sometimes. Saturday I put my race wheels on my bike to go on the River Ride. I'd gotten dropped the week before and I wanted to save as many watts as I could. Plus, I've hardly raced at all this year and it seems a shame to keep these wheels just hanging in the garage. Did those wheels mean the difference between getting dropped or not? Probably not. But maybe they helped a little bit too. It's just impossible to quantify.
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Old 07-23-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It's hard to quantify. Some of the improvement is likely to be psychological: You feel faster and stronger, so you are faster and stronger. I admit that I do this myself sometimes. Saturday I put my race wheels on my bike to go on the River Ride. I'd gotten dropped the week before and I wanted to save as many watts as I could. Plus, I've hardly raced at all this year and it seems a shame to keep these wheels just hanging in the garage. Did those wheels mean the difference between getting dropped or not? Probably not. But maybe they helped a little bit too. It's just impossible to quantify.

I hear you. I think that is probably spot on. I also feel like my truck drives better after I wash and shine it up! So I'd imagine on a slick bike I would expect to have a little extra motivation in my legs and it would probably show up on Strava afterward.

So I tell you what. I am going to get a new bike and on my first club ride I'll go balls out like I've never gone before and finish 15 minutes behind the A group instead of the usual 30-35 and come back here to share all my glory!
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Old 07-23-19, 02:20 PM
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WOW, 72 replies, I'm not even going to look at the 1st 10. Here's my take, right from the horses mouth (from an interview). As a young racer (his earliest years, juniors maybe?) Segan had a race where his bike didn't arrive on time so...........he raced using his sisters bike. Win? I don't know but I bet he spanked a bunch of folks. It's training/conditioning for amateurs and if they get to the level where carbon/wght. becomes a factor then they probably won't be here on BF.
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