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Do I Want a Fast Bike?

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Do I Want a Fast Bike?

Old 08-14-20, 04:26 AM
  #1  
Sorg67
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Do I Want a Fast Bike?

I have been thinking of getting a better bike. A faster bike. I am not sure why. I do not ride with a group. Why do I want to ride faster. I suppose riding faster allows me to ride further. But my principle objective is to become fitter. That requires effort over time. I can ride a slow heavy bike a short distance and get a similar exercise benefit as riding a light fast bike a long distance.

And riding slower is probably safer.

I got my hybrid up to 30 mph the other day. That is boarding on fast enough to wear my motorcycle helmet.

I am probably going to get a light new fast bike because I want one and they are cool. But I am not sure I really need one.

Maybe I will find a group to ride with and I will need a light fast bike to keep up.
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Old 08-14-20, 04:43 AM
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When it comes to bikes it's best to have one of each.
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Old 08-14-20, 05:17 AM
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Getting one because it's fun is ok. I don't group ride or race road bikes. I have a road bike with 2x10 gearing. It's fun to ride. I have another road bike with a 3sp Sturmey Archer hub. It's a fun, reliable bike to ride to work on. I think it's cool.

I race BMX bikes. I have an older BMX race bike with plain tubing (FMF) - I probably could have gotten a new one that would be lighter with more modern geometry for the same price. I don't care, it's a blast to ride, and I like it.

Bikes are fun. Don't overcomplicate it with 'need'
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Old 08-14-20, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Bikes are fun. Don't overcomplicate it with 'need'
I do like to complicate everything. It is how I roll. But to be fair, I did not say "need", I said "want". I definitely "want" a faster bike. I am just not sure why.

There would be a lot of things I have that I would not have if I only had what I need. Do I need a bicycle at all? Probably not.
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Old 08-14-20, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
But my principle objective is to become fitter.
In that case your hybrid is all you need. Maybe add a backpack filled with canned goods or other heavy stuff. An indoor trainer will be convenient and keep you out of the weather. Some folks actually enjoy riding some distance out on open roads and a lighter more responsive bike can be more fun. Others enjoy shorter distances at a pace that allows them to sightsee and appreciate the birds and wildflowers. That's a good scenario for a hybrid. It's nice to have choices to fit our principal objectives.
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Old 08-14-20, 06:21 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
In that case your hybrid is all you need. Maybe add a backpack filled with canned goods or other heavy stuff. An indoor trainer will be convenient and keep you out of the weather. Some folks actually enjoy riding some distance out on open roads and a lighter more responsive bike can be more fun. Others enjoy shorter distances at a pace that allows them to sightsee and appreciate the birds and wildflowers. That's a good scenario for a hybrid. It's nice to have choices to fit our principal objectives.
Yes, if I get the lighter faster bike (I probably will) I will keep my hybrid and my MTB. It is nice to have choices.

I think I probably will enjoy the lighter more responsive bike. And the appeal of bicycle riding for exercise rather than an indoor trainer is that it is more fun.
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Old 08-14-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I have been thinking of getting a better bike. A faster bike. I am not sure why. I do not ride with a group. Why do I want to ride faster. I suppose riding faster allows me to ride further. But my principle objective is to become fitter. That requires effort over time. I can ride a slow heavy bike a short distance and get a similar exercise benefit as riding a light fast bike a long distance.

And riding slower is probably safer.

I got my hybrid up to 30 mph the other day. That is boarding on fast enough to wear my motorcycle helmet.

I am probably going to get a light new fast bike because I want one and they are cool. But I am not sure I really need one.

Maybe I will find a group to ride with and I will need a light fast bike to keep up.
It really depends on your route if it's safe to ride fast. If it's mostly low density traffic roads (and the traffic is quite predictable) and you think it's safe to ride fast in there then by all means, get a fast bike if you think it's more fun.

But if your route is mostly in the city with medium/high density traffic, sharing the streets with pedestrians, motorists, couriers (that make lots of random stops), etc, it would be dangerous to reach high speeds in a bike in such conditions (bicycles have very poor/dangerous emergency braking performance/handling compared to cars or motorcycles, thus, unsafe to use at high speed in chaotic city traffic, ironic exceptions are cruiser bikes with low saddle height). A hybrid or MTB or even a fatbike is better suited to such conditions (so that even if you ride slow, you'll still get a very good workout because an MTB or fatbike has considerably greater drag than a road bike.

I'm actually training myself at the athletic level with cycling. But since most my route is along busy city streets, I'm using a MTB that is setup with road bike geometry. The tires are stock, wide knobby ones for higher drag. To further increase drag, I installed full fenders, large mudflaps, and train with very loose hoodie jacket. The bike is 40 lbs in the training setup.

I did that so I can train really hard and avoid getting too fast (in the city streets) at the same time. It's actually quite effective if you are unable to train along low traffic roads.
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Old 08-14-20, 06:52 AM
  #8  
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Welcome to bikeforums Sorg67 . This has been discussed many times before and irrefutable scientific research and testing proves that the correct number of bikes is n+1.

And the cure for "buyer's remorse" (if any) is to pedal harder until you forget what you were thinking about.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:00 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Welcome to bikeforums Sorg67 . This has been discussed many times before and irrefutable scientific research and testing proves that the correct number of bikes is n+1.

And the cure for "buyer's remorse" (if any) is to pedal harder until you forget what you were thinking about.
I have found that the n +1 formula also applies to the necessary number of motorcycles and pairs of snow skis.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:05 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I have been thinking of getting a better bike. A faster bike. I am not sure why. I do not ride with a group. Why do I want to ride faster. I suppose riding faster allows me to ride further. But my principle objective is to become fitter. That requires effort over time. I can ride a slow heavy bike a short distance and get a similar exercise benefit as riding a light fast bike a long distance.

And riding slower is probably safer.

I got my hybrid up to 30 mph the other day. That is boarding on fast enough to wear my motorcycle helmet.

I am probably going to get a light new fast bike because I want one and they are cool. But I am not sure I really need one.

Maybe I will find a group to ride with and I will need a light fast bike to keep up.
cyclings a tech-centric sport, and itís nice to have some new tech. 99.9% of the people here riding CF or Ti uber-bikes donít need such machines, but they like having them. Get the new bike because itíll be more fun to ride, youíll achieve higher average speeds and go further for the same effort and time. Youíll still get your workout
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Old 08-14-20, 07:13 AM
  #11  
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Just don't have unrealistic expectations about what "fast" means. A bike with racier geometry may well feel much faster, but in actual practice it may only be a few tenths of a mile per hour faster, in the mph/kph sense, over the course of a ride.

I have two bikes, a 90's aluminum touring bike with 35mm tires, rack and fenders; and a custom steel "stage race" geometry bike with 25mm tires (which is, unfortunately, hors de combat until I get a broken rear dropout fixed). The racier bike feels much faster - quicker to accelerate, quicker handling, lighter when pedaling out of the saddle and when going uphill. The actual difference in speed is less than 1 mph, however, average speed over a ride. It is definitely a significant difference, but moving from one to the other doesn't all of a sudden make me a contender for the Tour de France (or even a Cat 5/citizen race).

That said, I obviously didn't get the racier bike because there is any real benefit to having it, but exactly because the feeling of speed is fun. Does it matter to anyone that I can ride up that 7% grade at 8.1 mph rather than 7.3 mph? (Those numbers are fantastical, but in the ballpark.) No. It doesn't matter even to me. It is a fun feeling to accelerate up to speed after a stop light, beating the car beside me for a few yards, it feels fun to swoop through a corner and to go up a climb feeling a bit lighter and quicker. That's all, and that's enough, for me, to justify the purchase.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:13 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It really depends on your route if it's safe to ride fast. If it's mostly low density traffic roads (and the traffic is quite predictable) and you think it's safe to ride fast in there then by all means, get a fast bike if you think it's more fun.

But if your route is mostly in the city with medium/high density traffic, sharing the streets with pedestrians, motorists, couriers (that make lots of random stops), etc, it would be dangerous to reach high speeds in a bike in such conditions (bicycles have very poor/dangerous emergency braking performance/handling compared to cars or motorcycles, thus, unsafe to use at high speed in chaotic city traffic, ironic exceptions are cruiser bikes with low saddle height). A hybrid or MTB or even a fatbike is better suited to such conditions (so that even if you ride slow, you'll still get a very good workout because an MTB or fatbike has considerably greater drag than a road bike.

I'm actually training myself at the athletic level with cycling. But since most my route is along busy city streets, I'm using a MTB that is setup with road bike geometry. The tires are stock, wide knobby ones for higher drag. To further increase drag, I installed full fenders, large mudflaps, and train with very loose hoodie jacket. The bike is 40 lbs in the training setup.

I did that so I can train really hard and avoid getting too fast (in the city streets) at the same time. It's actually quite effective if you are unable to train along low traffic roads.
This is exactly what I am thinking. I like to ride bikes, but I also want to get into better shape for other things. Most notably snow skiing. I go to Breckenridge in the winter time and ski with friends who live there. Difficult to keep up when you come from Florida.

Even on my hybrid, I get up to borderline dangerous speeds in some places. But I think I would have difficulty keeping up with some of the local group rides on my hybrid. OTOH, the group rides have different levels and there are certainly rides I could keep up on.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:18 AM
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"faster" is only about the motor, that's you. If you are going to be riding roads a lot, get a road bike. There are reasons they have developed into what they are. Get into some group rides, it will keep you motivated.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:21 AM
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You want a bike that moves your soul. People on here understand that.

If that happens to be a faster bike than go for it

If you want a utilitarian touring bike with racks and bomb proof components then that is what you should do.

If you want a bike so expensive it makes you feel guilty, and you aren't raiding your kids college fund to get it, than indulge.

If you want an old Schwinn Varsity with yellow bar tape because that is what all the cool kids rode back when you were too poor to afford one, than full fill your childhood dream

Bikes are a lot like women, sometimes they don't make sense but sometimes a man just knows what he wants.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
But my principle objective is to become fitter. .
Consider getting a Single Speed......
I recently re-discovered my '09 Langster. After climbing a few hills my legs are pumped and my fitness level has increased vs riding my geared bikes (over the same route)..

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Old 08-14-20, 07:26 AM
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When you have an itch....scratch it. Enjoy your new bike.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
But to be fair, I did not say "need", I said "want".
Lol. You used the word need twice in your OP.
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Old 08-14-20, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
This is exactly what I am thinking. I like to ride bikes, but I also want to get into better shape for other things. Most notably snow skiing. I go to Breckenridge in the winter time and ski with friends who live there. Difficult to keep up when you come from Florida.

Even on my hybrid, I get up to borderline dangerous speeds in some places. But I think I would have difficulty keeping up with some of the local group rides on my hybrid. OTOH, the group rides have different levels and there are certainly rides I could keep up on.
If you want the bike, get the bike. You will get more enjoyment out of it and that translates to more riding and increased fitness. Are your motorcycles just a means of getting from point A to point B, or is there an element of satisfaction/enjoyment associated with riding a motorcycle? Why not just own a beater car for transportation? I would categorize cycling the same way. Same thing with skis, different stiffness, lengths, widths are tailored toward the type of skiing you do, or want to do. One could always get a pair of "rental" quality 180's and call it good, but is that what you want to do?
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Old 08-14-20, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
This is exactly what I am thinking. I like to ride bikes, but I also want to get into better shape for other things. Most notably snow skiing. I go to Breckenridge in the winter time and ski with friends who live there. Difficult to keep up when you come from Florida.

Even on my hybrid, I get up to borderline dangerous speeds in some places. But I think I would have difficulty keeping up with some of the local group rides on my hybrid. OTOH, the group rides have different levels and there are certainly rides I could keep up on.
Cycling is great training for skiing. I skied with my younger brother (genetically a much better athlete than I) at Whistler a decade and a half ago, and I DESTROYED him in a little over half a day. He quit at about 1:30 to go take a nap on the first day. (Edit: altitude isn't a factor at Whistler, however, so even with better training you'll probably be sucking wind when skiing with people who live at altitude. Your legs will last longer, though.)

Shortly thereafter, he took up cycling.

Regarding "dangerous speeds": this is a lot more about experience and anticipation than it is about speed per se. An experienced rider can ride more safely at 30 mph than a newbie at half that speed. Personally, I find it unlikely that going 1mph or so faster on a new bike significantly increases the risk. I'm not you, and I don't ride where you ride, though, so perhaps I'm wrong.

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Old 08-14-20, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post

Bikes are a lot like women, sometimes they don't make sense but sometimes a man just knows what he wants.
There are some bikes you date, and some bikes you marry. Get the one that you want.

Glenn
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Old 08-14-20, 08:03 AM
  #21  
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I have a touring bike which I consider my slow bike, but my usual ride is a Fuji Pro carbon. I also have a hybrid, but that's really slow and I reserve it for trails.

On hills, I strongly prefer the Fuji because it's lighter and feels much faster.

On the flats, the Fuji still feels faster, but I've timed myself several times on both bikes on the same route (flat commute to work) and the touring bike was effectively just as fast or at least the difference wasn't measurable. I think it's a case of perception outweighs reality.

Bottom line: ride what you enjoy.
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Old 08-14-20, 08:11 AM
  #22  
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I regularly get my 40# commuter up to 42mph on a long steep hill. Though my ave commute speed is 12 MPH in hilly terrain.

I love single speeds as well.
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Old 08-14-20, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Lol. You used the word need twice in your OP.
Busted....
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Old 08-14-20, 08:45 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Bikes are a lot like women, sometimes they don't make sense but sometimes a man just knows what he wants.
So, this analogy breaks down in the following way: Having just reached our 37th wedding anniversary, my wife and I have learned what it takes to understand and care for one another.

While I can maintain and enjoy many bikes, and keep them in top condition with periodic care, I could not possibly care for more than one woman. Even trying would be a failure. They would be miserable, as would I.

Never commit to a course on which you cannot hope to achieve success, unless your goal is destruction...

EDIT: As for the OP and his want for a "fast" bike, well... he may or may not have the capacity to appreciate the qualities of a good bike that is responsive and expertly ridden. But, it's still worth a shot.

To the OP: the vast majority of bikes that you'll find are only so-so, functional but uninspiring. You're searching for the real thing, not some over-hyped dead-feeling racing machine, but something with a soul. You'll only know what this means when you experience it. Good luck in your journey.

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Old 08-14-20, 08:45 AM
  #25  
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Is this "fast" bike also the "gravel" bike you're considering in the other thread? In other words, are you buying one bike or two?
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