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"speed" of different types of bikes ?

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"speed" of different types of bikes ?

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Old 12-13-11, 06:06 PM
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mr,grumpy 
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"speed" of different types of bikes ?

I have long wanted a " do it all " kind of bike and just recently bought a Specialized Tricross. Initially, I felt that it slotted in, as expected, between my MTB and my.road bike in terms of "speed". However, I had the chance to ride the CX bike and road bike back to back yesterday and the impression that I had was that the road bike wasMUCH faster than the cross bike. Given that the two bikes are similar in size and weight, why is this? The vast majority of my riding is done on a steel framed MTB generally dragging around 30 pounds of 2 yar old on the back. If I was forced to say which bike the Tricross was most like "speed wise" I would now say it was the mountain NOT the road bike. Do any of you more experienced riders have any insight as to why I am left feeling this way?
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Old 12-13-11, 06:23 PM
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Tires, probably. If you put 23mm tires on a CX it will feel a lot more like a road bike than if you put on 34mm knobbies. (I don't know what tires you actually have, but I cite these just for sake of comparison.)
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Old 12-13-11, 06:42 PM
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Weight? Gears? Tires? Need specifics.
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Old 12-13-11, 06:53 PM
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What do you mean by "faster"? Higher gearing?

It is a fact that a typical CX bike will normally have higher gearing than a MTB bike, yet lower gearing than a dedicated road bike. I.e. the highest gear on a road bike will provide faster ride than the highest gear on a CX bike (at the expense of greater effort).

Is that what you are talking about?

BTW, what version of TriCross were you riding? Elite, Sport, something else?

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Old 12-13-11, 07:02 PM
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No. Not like "top speed". Clearly that would be gearing. I don't know how much bike weight plays into it at MY weight class either. Just the perception of speed. Like, in any given situation I felt that the 1500 was quicker to accelerate and handle and felt to be just going faster for the amount of effort that I was putting out. I was not so scientific as to compare exact shifter positions to one another, just going by feel as i was actually comparing comfort levels of the two bikes. It was a secondary observation that the Trek was faster. I have the base model. I wish that I had found it in "sport" for the similarity in shifting with the 105s on the Trek. I was buying used though and on a pretty tight budget.
Originally Posted by AndreyT View Post
What do you mean by "faster"? The higher gearing?

It is a fact that CX bike will normally have higher gearing than MTB bike, yet lower than a dedicated road bike. I.e. the highest gear on a road bike will provide faster ride than the highest gear on a CX bike.

Is that what you are talking about?

BTW, what version of TriCross were you riding? Elite, Sport, something else?
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"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
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Old 12-13-11, 09:07 PM
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I recently responded to a thread about the actual effect of bike weight on performance.

My feeling is that every bike ride starts at zero MPH. Over the first couple hundred feet even minor weight differences have a noticeable affect on acceleration. After that it probably doesn't matter so much but it's hard to get the feeling of those first hunderd feet out of your mind.
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Old 12-13-11, 10:56 PM
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Here is what I have observed. I had a Road bike that weighed 20 pounds and a flat bar cafe bike that weighed 21-23 pounds. I had lighter wheels on the road bike but they had the same gearing. The road bike had 700x23s the cafe racer had 700x 28s. The road bike had Ultegra cranks bottom bracket and bearings. The cafe racer had a shimano cartrage bottom bracket and FSA crank. I ride with a group at least 3 days a week so measuring effort is easy. Like the other poster the heavier bike took more to get up to speed but wasn't all that off of the pace once we were all in the draft. However if we started to slinky closing the gap took more effort on the heavier bike with the bigger tires. When riding by myself I noticed it took more effort to cruise with the heavier bike unless the road was board flat. Lots of different things can make a bike feel slower.
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Old 12-13-11, 11:35 PM
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You didn't say what tires you're running on the cross bike, but if they're cross tires, that explains probably 90+% of the difference.
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Old 12-14-11, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by matimeo View Post
You didn't say what tires you're running on the cross bike, but if they're cross tires, that explains probably 90+% of the difference.
They are the stock 700x32s. Not as "crossy" as I would have expected. Look like street tires, not 23 slicks by any stretch but not knobbies either.
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"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
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Old 12-14-11, 08:12 AM
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mr.grumpy, My daughter liked the difference when I rebuilt her CX bike into a more road defined bike. The lighter wheelset with smaller tires and closer ratio gearing upped the responsiveness quite a bit. It is still not as responsive as a race frame based road bike because of the CX geometry.

Because of the drought last summer and it's negative effect on the road base I've used my tourer much more often than my roadie because of the tourer's 35 mm tires. If I ride the roadie back-to-back with the tourer, the tourer feels like a slug yet travel time on my favorite routes are much the same. True enough, the roadie is a faster bike when pushing for speed, but it's the difference in response that heightens overall perception.

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Old 12-14-11, 08:18 AM
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It is the tires. Remove the 23s from your road bike and install them on the cross bike for an expiriment, and there will be virtually no difference (provided the cross bike is running properly and there is not something wrong with a hub or the BB or brakes rubbing badly or something)
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Old 12-14-11, 08:30 AM
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I know what you mean by feeling, I think it's cause the weight and aero dynamics. You feel faster when you have less wind resistance which for example, wider tires have more wind resistance compared to thinner ones and slicks cut through the wind more than knobbies. You can feel the wind resistance, that's how I judge my speed.

For me it's if you don't have enough wind, your not pedalling fast enough!

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Old 12-14-11, 11:33 AM
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Still have to push the air molecules out of the way, and more aerodynamic,
and a smaller frontal area is the key.

drop the diamond frame entirely..

A low racer recumbent, fully faired, shaped
like doing speed week on the Bonneville Utah salt flats is the right kit.
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Old 12-14-11, 01:54 PM
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Were your really faster on the road bike? or did you just feel slower on the cross bike?

Those 32 'cross tires will soak up a lot of vibrations that the 23 road tires will transmit straight to vibration sensors in your hands and crotch. Everybody "knows" road bikes are fast, and it's easy to confuse that high-frequency buzz with real speed.

If you haven't, try riding a loop with each bike and clocking your rides. I'd bet two stale nutrition bars that the road and cross times are close to each other, with the mountain bike coming in much slower.
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Old 12-14-11, 05:25 PM
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Black bikes are fastest.
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