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Comparing two bikes - slower bike wins!

Old 05-18-24, 07:22 AM
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Comparing two bikes - slower bike wins!

Just completed a 30 mile shakedown run on Orbea Terra. Cyclocross bike with wide Gatorskins. 46/36 chainrings, 11-26 cassette, about 22 lb. 3 weeks ago I had the same route done on Roubaix, same weight, 50/34 chainrings, 11-32 cassette, skinny gp5000. Yet Orbea averaged faster mph. Also, I anticipated walking most of the climbs, and upgrading cassette, yet I managed to completely finish them with less fatigue and out-of-breathness. How could you explain this? I don't think I'd change anything on this drivetrain at this point.

Also, in the event I decide to upgrade, did anyone try running a 11-32 cassette on 105? It does say 30t on rear derailleur cage...

Some simple data:
Run - Distance - Avg Speed - Duration - Weather
1- 29.71 miles - 13.3 mph - 2:13:39 - no wind
2- 29.83 miles - 13.5 mph - 2:12:40 - medium wind

Last edited by XxHaimBondxX; 06-01-24 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 05-18-24, 08:14 AM
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Different days, different results. Plus there is an interesting phenomenon that sometimes occurs where can is greater than want.

I imagine most people have experienced a climb where they are in the wrong gear and realize it at the top, but they donít feel any more worn out. Canít say if it is adrenaline, a strong day, or didnít mentally succumb to too low a gear.

I do know too low a gear can cause someone to turn the cranks a lot more and just wear out going nowhere. Sometimes the faster you go up, the less you actually work.

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Old 05-18-24, 08:28 AM
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Placebo effect disguised in a new ride?
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Old 05-18-24, 08:29 AM
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Are you sure you don't have 46-30 chainrings? And did you change out the cassette? Seems like any 2x gravel bike would have at least a 32 cog if not larger. I guess if you're not riding hills steep enough to need them it doesn't matter but seems like odd-gearing.

As far as being faster, I would guess fatter tires, which can be faster on many road surfaces.
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Old 05-18-24, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg
Are you sure you don't have 46-30 chainrings? And did you change out the cassette? Seems like any 2x gravel bike would have at least a 32 cog if not larger. I guess if you're not riding hills steep enough to need them it doesn't matter but seems like odd-gearing.

As far as being faster, I would guess fatter tires, which can be faster on many road surfaces.
Chainrings are stock. I replaced the stock 11-25 with 11-26 cassette. Perhaps it's cheaper and makes more sense to replace chainring to 30t.
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Old 05-18-24, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
Just completed a 30 mile shakedown run on Orbea Terra. Cyclocross bike with wide Gatorskins. 46/36 chainrings, 11-26 cassette, about 22 lb. 3 weeks ago I had the same route done on Roubaix, same weight, 50/34 chainrings, 11-32 cassette, skinny gp5000. Yet Orbea averaged faster mph. Also, I anticipated walking most of the climbs, and upgrading cassette, yet I managed to completely finish them with less fatigue and out-of-breathness. How could you explain this? I don't think I'd change anything on this drivetrain at this point.

Also, in the event I decide to upgrade, did anyone try running a 11-32 cassette on 105? It does say 30t on rear derailleur cage...
I often do the same ride on the same bike and speeds vary quite a bit depending on weather conditions (wind strength and direction especially) and mood. How much faster was the Orbea?
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Old 05-18-24, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I often do the same ride on the same bike and speeds vary quite a bit depending on weather conditions (wind strength and direction especially) and mood. How much faster was the Orbea?
It's only marginal 1 mph faster, however, I am more impressed with the climb difference. On paper those ratios should've been impossible for me.
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Old 05-18-24, 10:38 AM
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So crankset is fsa 110mm bcd, apparently the lowest tooth count is 33. Is it worth upgrading to 33t from 36 vs 11-30 cassette. I'm not a wiz in ratios wizardry so if anyone could chime in which gives you the best bang I would appreciate it.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:42 AM
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I rode the same route I rode 28 says ago, with the same bike, yet I was slower today.
How do you explain this? Shouldn't I be the same speed since it's the same course and same bike?



^ for those here that can't pick up on context, the above questions are rhetorical. I know why I was slower today and I asked those questions to help show the OP there are factors beyond what is cited that impact average speed on a ride.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:55 AM
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I think most are missing the point. Obviously average speed varies due to various conditions. However, hills remain constant and they seemed easier with more difficult gear ratio. I doubt I became Superman in 3 weeks. The only other variable I can think of is the Brooks c17 saddle I was riding today, which much more comfortable than stock Specialized saddle.
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Old 05-18-24, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I rode the same route I rode 28 says ago, with the same bike, yet I was slower today.
How do you explain this? Shouldn't I be the same speed since it's the same course and same bike?



^ for those here that can't pick up on context, the above questions are rhetorical. I know why I was slower today and I asked those questions to help show the OP there are factors beyond what is cited that impact average speed on a ride.
It's sad that you must provide the disclaimer...But this is bf, after all.
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Old 05-18-24, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
I think most are missing the point. Obviously average speed varies due to various conditions. However, hills remain constant and they seemed easier with more difficult gear ratio. I doubt I became Superman in 3 weeks. The only other variable I can think of is the Brooks c17 saddle I was riding today, which much more comfortable than stock Specialized saddle.
We're "missing the point" because the point is invalid. Plenty of previous posters have discussed some of the other reasons (most of which have nothing to do with the bikes) why your speed and subjective impressions of the two rides differed, but you are choosing to ignore them.

Even your thread title is a bit goofy, since there is no such thing as a "slow" bike. They are inanimate objects, neither innately slow or fast.
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Old 05-18-24, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
It's only marginal 1 mph faster, however, I am more impressed with the climb difference. On paper those ratios should've been impossible for me.
I looked through the Orbea website (the website sucks so hard I would never buy one of their bikes ... ) and I do not see a 46-36 chain set on offer. I might have missed it ... but if you didn't swap out the chain rings, you likely have a 46-30 and this would explain the climbing prowess.

Which specific year and model do you have, and are you using the stock chain rings?
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Old 05-18-24, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I looked through the Orbea website (the website sucks so hard I would never buy one of their bikes ... ) and I do not see a 46-36 chain set on offer. I might have missed it ... but if you didn't swap out the chain rings, you likely have a 46-30 and this would explain the climbing prowess.

Which specific year and model do you have, and are you using the stock chain rings?
Same with the cassette gearing. The specs I saw were 11/36.
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Old 05-18-24, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I looked through the Orbea website (the website sucks so hard I would never buy one of their bikes ... ) and I do not see a 46-36 chain set on offer. I might have missed it ... but if you didn't swap out the chain rings, you likely have a 46-30 and this would explain the climbing prowess.

Which specific year and model do you have, and are you using the stock chain rings?
This is the bike I have, other than 11-26 cassette I had on hand.
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Old 05-18-24, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I looked through the Orbea website (the website sucks so hard I would never buy one of their bikes ... ) and I do not see a 46-36 chain set on offer. I might have missed it ... but if you didn't swap out the chain rings, you likely have a 46-30 and this would explain the climbing prowess.

Which specific year and model do you have, and are you using the stock chain rings?
a 46/36 double was quite common for CX bikes. Basically, it was thought that if you needed lower than a 36 up front, it would be faster to run up whatever you were trying to climb.

My first gravel crank was a stock Shimano 46/36 that I turned into a 46/34. It eventually became a compact double 50/34 for a road bike, but regardless- it the stock setup was a common and relatively popular combination for CX at a point in time.
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Old 05-18-24, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
I think most are missing the point. Obviously average speed varies due to various conditions. However, hills remain constant and they seemed easier with more difficult gear ratio. I doubt I became Superman in 3 weeks. The only other variable I can think of is the Brooks c17 saddle I was riding today, which much more comfortable than stock Specialized saddle.
Maybe you just had a tailwind on the climbs. Gearing is what it is and Gatorskins are not quicker tyres. Your position on the bike might have been a factor and certainly the saddle comfort.
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Old 05-18-24, 02:34 PM
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It is hard to get a useful scientific data without using scientific methods. In this case it is hard to control the weather and your body on different days. Now if you did the same tests over and over so you had a swath of maybe 10 per bike same route with the same power (so you would need identical power measuring tools for both bikes) then you could take an average and have better data.

I can step on a scale on day and be a 1 or 2 heavier or lighter and come back a day or two or more later and vice versa.

Though I will say a more comfortable bike for you will generally be faster up to certain points obviously a more aerodynamic road bike will be faster than a big clunky upright cruiser.
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Old 05-18-24, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote

Even your thread title is a bit goofy, since there is no such thing as a "slow" bike. They are inanimate objects, neither innately slow or fast.
I think you have something there. When I dropped a BMX bike from WTC it broke sound barrier.
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Old 05-18-24, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
It is hard to get a useful scientific data without using scientific methods. In this case it is hard to control the weather and your body on different days. Now if you did the same tests over and over so you had a swath of maybe 10 per bike same route with the same power (so you would need identical power measuring tools for both bikes) then you could take an average and have better data.

I can step on a scale on day and be a 1 or 2 heavier or lighter and come back a day or two or more later and vice versa.

Though I will say a more comfortable bike for you will generally be faster up to certain points obviously a more aerodynamic road bike will be faster than a big clunky upright cruiser.
I guess I'll have to ride the same route this summer for a more controlled experiment.
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Old 05-18-24, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
I guess I'll have to ride the same route this summer for a more controlled experiment.
It will help if you want more scientific data but really unless you are Team Ineos or a similar team after marginal gains don't worry about it. Ride the bike that is most comfortable for you and enjoy the ride. A second or two here or there on a ride is not really anything unless you are racing.
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Old 05-18-24, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
It will help if you want more scientific data but really unless you are Team Ineos or a similar team after marginal gains don't worry about it. Ride the bike that is most comfortable for you and enjoy the ride. A second or two here or there on a ride is not really anything unless you are racing.
Strangely, first half of the ride my left hand was aching and I thought I messed up the shifter position. However, on the way back it felt fine...I really wasn't looking forward to unwrapping...
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Old 05-18-24, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
Strangely, first half of the ride my left hand was aching and I thought I messed up the shifter position. However, on the way back it felt fine...I really wasn't looking forward to unwrapping...
Weird could be a whole lotta things but glad it is fine. Though you shouldn't have to unwrap for minor shifter adjustments like that usually it is just canted inward and needs to be adjusted there.
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Old 05-18-24, 07:10 PM
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Interesting about your gearing, thanks for clarifying .... as for why you climbed better on that day ... everything is weird so i don't know. I assume sometimes weird stuff doesn't happen, but usually it does. Glad you like the bike.
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Old 05-18-24, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX
So crankset is fsa 110mm bcd, apparently the lowest tooth count is 33. Is it worth upgrading to 33t from 36 vs 11-30 cassette. I'm not a wiz in ratios wizardry so if anyone could chime in which gives you the best bang I would appreciate it.
I have read that 33T chain rings are marginal on 110 BCD cranks; 34T seems safer. There does not appear to be a 10-speed 11-30 cassette.
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