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Can tires add an hour to a double century?

Old 06-23-16, 08:03 AM
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scarleton
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Can tires add an hour to a double century?

I have this one double century (DC) route I am riding every month this year. For a couple of reasons I failed in May and April. But I completed it Saturday. Here is the thing, the first three times I rode it between 18 hours and 18 hours 30 minutes. Saturday I rode it in 19 hours 40 minutes! Then I looked at the ride time vs stopped time and the ride time is also an hour longer!

Now when I say I didn't ride the DC for two months, it not that I didn't ride, just not that DC. I have over 400 miles in both months, so I was perplexed at why I was so much slower.

Then last night it dawned on me, I switch tires. I went from Continental GP4000sii 700x28s to Vittoria Randonneur II 700x32s because I hate flats!

Could the change in tires really increase the ride by an hour? Averaging 14.5 mph vs 13.4 mph. Or was I simply off my game Saturday?
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Old 06-23-16, 08:30 AM
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Could be a combination of both depending on how bad the Randonneur tires are. Many tests have been done on the rolling resistance of the GP4000s but tires like the Randonneur aren't generally tested as people don't use them when speed is important.

It's not hard to find tires with a 50% higher rolling resistance than the GP4000s. You can get a sense of the impact by plugging in the numbers into a bike calculator (e.g. kreuzotter.de) and it's conceivable you're losing 1mph due to tire selection.
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Old 06-23-16, 08:34 AM
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Sure. Last summer I did 10 rides of 100 miles or more, pretty much one every Saturday.

The first 8 were on a 700x26 road bike; average speed 16.2 mph

The last 2 were on a 650x42 road bike; average speed 15.2 mph

Climbing was the same and I got in better shape as the summer progressed. So, for me at least, had I ridden a double century on each bike the second bike would have been almost an hour slower.

Or was I simply off my game Saturday?
Why not a combination of tires, weather and fitness on that specific day? A sample size of one is hard to analyze.

You may find this interesting:

Continental Grand Prix 4000S II Rolling Resistance Review

Vittoria Randonneur Rolling Resistance Review

Continental Grand Prix 4000S II 23 25 28 mm Comparison

Buy the Gatorskin in 32 and report back.
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Old 06-23-16, 08:45 AM
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WOW, what a difference, even between the GP4000s and Gatorskin! I guess I need to learn to deal with flats
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Old 06-23-16, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
WOW, what a difference, even between the GP4000s and Gatorskin! I guess I need to learn to deal with flats
Outside the rainy season I don't flat more frequently on GP4000s than Gatorskins. Life is about the same too.
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Old 06-23-16, 01:10 PM
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Were you riding it in Ohio on Saturday, June 18? It was windy, 12-14 mph, with unusual ESE winds instead of the typical SW winds.

Your 19 hour ride was 5% slower than an 18 hour ride. The tires could have slowed you down a little. Any change in aero drag would have made a larger difference.

Tire drag
It's possible that tires could be as much as 10 watts different in extreme cases. That 20 watts is a significant percentage of the power for a long distance rider, which is perhaps 120 to 150 watts. And at the slower touring speeds, near 15 mph, wind drag is a smaller percentage of the total power required. So it could be due to the tires, but that's probably only part of the slow down.

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Old 06-23-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Were you riding it in Ohio on Saturday, June 18? It was windy, 12-14 mph, with unusual ESE winds instead of the typical SW winds.
This ride is a N-S out-n-back route, so I am use to the wind helping one way and hurting the other.

Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Your 19 hour ride was 5% slower than an 18 hour ride. The tires could have slowed you down a little. Any change in aero drag would have made a larger difference.
Actually I was more aero Saturday since I opted to ride without my handlebar bag and only used a framebag.

Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Tire drag
It's possible that tires could be as much as 10 watts different in extreme cases.
I looked at the links above at bicyclerollingresistance.com that shared results with the two tires. The GP4000iis are about 13 watts, the Vittoria Randonneur around 30 watts, about 17 watts more and over 2x as much! That blows my mind!!!
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Old 06-23-16, 04:33 PM
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Flats are easy to fix. They're infrequent, as Drew says, outside the rainy season, and only take 10 minutes to be back on the road. Practice. During the rainy season I run a slightly tougher tire, the Rubino Pro Tech III. I see these aren't made anymore, but are still available on Amazon. They're much faster than Gatorskins or 4 Seasons.

Bar bag may actually decrease resistance according to Bicycle Quarterly, as it shields your midsection from the wind, acting a bit like a fairing.
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Old 06-23-16, 06:14 PM
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Without a power meter to confirm, the potential reasons for the difference in speed are myriad. Could be tires, weather, energy level, you name it. That differential over that amount of time is only about 5%-- and it's really easy to lose 5%. If the tires really were eating 17W, that would be more than enough to add an hour.
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Old 06-23-16, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
I have this one double century (DC) route I am riding every month this year. For a couple of reasons I failed in May and April. But I completed it Saturday. Here is the thing, the first three times I rode it between 18 hours and 18 hours 30 minutes. Saturday I rode it in 19 hours 40 minutes! Then I looked at the ride time vs stopped time and the ride time is also an hour longer!

Now when I say I didn't ride the DC for two months, it not that I didn't ride, just not that DC. I have over 400 miles in both months, so I was perplexed at why I was so much slower.

Then last night it dawned on me, I switch tires. I went from Continental GP4000sii 700x28s to Vittoria Randonneur II 700x32s because I hate flats!

Could the change in tires really increase the ride by an hour? Averaging 14.5 mph vs 13.4 mph. Or was I simply off my game Saturday?
Tires can absolutely do that. I have been through it many, many times over a few decades.
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Old 06-23-16, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Bar bag may actually decrease resistance according to Bicycle Quarterly, as it shields your midsection from the wind, acting a bit like a fairing.
Now that is INTERESTING, I much prefer riding with the handlebar bag, personally. What about aero bars vs handlebar bag? I would guess aero bars are better...
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Old 06-23-16, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
....
Bar bag may actually decrease resistance according to Bicycle Quarterly, as it shields your midsection from the wind, acting a bit like a fairing.

Very interesting - I currently use a handle-bar bag and find it convenient,
However, it takes up all the real-estate on the handlebar and leaves no room for a front light which my better half is wanting me to use as a safety measure even during daylight hours.
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Old 06-23-16, 11:34 PM
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Bicycle quarterly found that tire choice alone can make a 15% difference in speed. Not watts, not some abstract metric, but actual speed on the road.
I tried some Marathon racers for puncture resistance, supposedly one of Swalbe's faster tires. I would say Heine tested only fast tires, because I experienced more than 20% drop in speed.

As far as 650b x 42 tires, I feel mine is slower in the short term, but I do maintain comfort and a decent pace much, much longer than I ever did on 23mm. So anything over 25 miles or so, it is at least equal.

Handlebar bag, after much testing, seems like a wash. I am 2m tall, so it seems too low to act like much of a faring.
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Old 06-24-16, 04:19 AM
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The Vittoria Randonneur is not a speed orientation tire, in spite of it's name. Vittoria has numerous tires that are ideal for a double century, including the 700x28 Rubino Pro and the 700x32 Voyager Hyper.

This website provides independent data on bicycle tire performance and rolling resistance: http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/

In this comparison the Randonneur has approximately twice the rolling resistance of the Hyper;

http://www.bicyclerollingresistance....ger-hyper-2016

.
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Old 06-24-16, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by FamilyMan007 View Post
Very interesting - I currently use a handle-bar bag and find it convenient,
However, it takes up all the real-estate on the handlebar and leaves no room for a front light which my better half is wanting me to use as a safety measure even during daylight hours.
I wondered about the same problem.

Here's a couple of ideas (that I haven't tried) :

1. Problem Solvers mount that replaces the quick release nut, to mount the light at the hub level.

2. A clamp-on fork adapter to mount the light a little higher.
A homemade hack.
Peter White has a lot of examples

3. a handlebar accessory mount (see the google search here)
But these might not be tall enough to clear the top of the bag. Or I saw a photo of two of these clamped one to the other, to get the light below the bottom of the bag.
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Old 06-24-16, 06:59 AM
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Should have stayed with 28's
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Old 06-24-16, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
Now that is INTERESTING, I much prefer riding with the handlebar bag, personally. What about aero bars vs handlebar bag? I would guess aero bars are better...
Yes, aero bars are the shiznit. Absolutely fabulous for long rides although illegal on PBP. They're good for 1-2 mph. Plus they rest your arms and hands and are are warmer on those early season cold or rain rides. They weigh about a pound but you get back vastly more time than the tiny bit you lose on the climbs. I'm higher on the aero bars than I am tucked but faster, even coasting. Yes, incompatible with a bag or bar top lights, though some have a bridge on which a light can be mounted. I prefer lights on the fork and mount an instrument on the bridge.

OT:
Wheels can save you time, too. For long rides on my single this year, I'm building a pair of wheels with Kinlin XC 279 rims and CX-Ray spokes, 20H front, 24H rear. I'll run 23mm 4000IIs tires. My carbon bike is lovely smooth with 23mm. And fast.

But what can save you the most time, other than increasing your power at LT, is becoming flexible and getting your back and neck strong so that you can run a low position. Slammed and level stem is nice even at 71.

So you do it all: miles, intervals, a little heavy work in the gym, lose weight, low position, fast tires, fast wheels, carbon bike, tight clothes. And stay fueled and hydrated. And try to leave the controls with a good group!
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Old 06-24-16, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by FamilyMan007 View Post
Very interesting - I currently use a handle-bar bag and find it convenient,
However, it takes up all the real-estate on the handlebar and leaves no room for a front light which my better half is wanting me to use as a safety measure even during daylight hours.
Fork crown mounted lights do a slightly better job making road surface irregularities more visible.

Fork crown mounts are available for most if not all dyno lights and some battery lights including the B&M Ixon IQ Premium ($47 + shipping from Germany; where bike-discount.de has a $22 flat-rate).
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Old 06-24-16, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yes, aero bars are the shiznit. Absolutely fabulous for long rides although illegal on PBP. They're good for 1-2 mph. Plus they rest your arms and hands and are are warmer on those early season cold or rain rides. They weigh about a pound but you get back vastly more time than the tiny bit you lose on the climbs. I'm higher on the aero bars than I am tucked but faster, even coasting. Yes, incompatible with a bag or bar top lights, though some have a bridge on which a light can be mounted. I prefer lights on the fork and mount an instrument on the bridge.
I never realized the impact of 1 or 2 mph until Saturday's ride being 1mph slower and taking a whole hour longer! That is worth considering, thank you for the info!

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
OT:
Wheels can save you time, too. For long rides on my single this year, I'm building a pair of wheels with Kinlin XC 279 rims and CX-Ray spokes, 20H front, 24H rear. I'll run 23mm 4000IIs tires. My carbon bike is lovely smooth with 23mm. And fast.

But what can save you the most time, other than increasing your power at LT, is becoming flexible and getting your back and neck strong so that you can run a low position. Slammed and level stem is nice even at 71.

So you do it all: miles, intervals, a little heavy work in the gym, lose weight, low position, fast tires, fast wheels, carbon bike, tight clothes. And stay fueled and hydrated. And try to leave the controls with a good group!
Yea, I have been talking to a cycling coach and am on the fence right now on whether or not to take the plunge, the big issue is time, but... Some good training would really help me do the most important things: loose some of the 285lb I carry around and increase power.
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Old 06-24-16, 10:07 AM
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I've noticed increases in my average speed this year, I put 2 pairs of vittoria open corsa g+ tires on two bikes and a pair of compass 700x32 on another bike. I used to use schwalbe duranos and kojaks on those bikes. Much smoother ride and an overall easier time pushing the bike along. I have had one flat in the ~1600km I put on those bikes but it was ~5 minutes to change the tube, easily time I've made up.

I also used to weigh over 285lbs and have managed to stay between 200-210 for the last few years. Haven't been over 220 in about 6 years I reckon. I didn't cycle seriously when I was that heavy so I don't know how much it helps but I know my massive legs are mostly from carrying all that weight around for years.
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Old 06-24-16, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
... but I know my massive legs are mostly from carrying all that weight around for years.
Yea, my other cycling friends are normal cyclists, they demolish me on the hills but when we hit the flats my massive legs just smoke them!
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Old 06-24-16, 08:35 PM
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I used to ride Conti Gatorskins and told folks how fast and durable they were. Then I switched to Vittoria Corsa Evo CX II Isogrip tires. Wow! My regular 50 minute ride dropped to 46 minutes consistently. That is an 8% increase in speed, not to mention the great improvement in comfort and handling! Yes, there is a big difference between good and great tires. And I ain't never goin' back... The Vittorias you are riding are biid tires, but not in the speed class of the 4000s...
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Old 06-25-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
Yea, I have been talking to a cycling coach and am on the fence right now on whether or not to take the plunge, the big issue is time, but... Some good training would really help me do the most important things: loose some of the 285lb I carry around and increase power.
Pushing all that weight up the mountains would be brutal!
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Old 06-25-16, 12:57 PM
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I used the rolling resistance values from bicyclerollingresistance.com to estimate their effects at this type of riding speed and in a course of varied terrain. Based on my calculations, the difference between Conti GP4000S II tires and Conti Gatorskins of the same width would be about 1.0 kph, or 0.6 mph, which would be about 40 minutes of riding time for a double century. You would have to get several extra flats on the GP4000 tires to make the Gatorskins the faster overall choice.

My full report of these analyses is here: http://www.murray-white.net/ultra/speedRolling.html. That site also contains analyses of many other determinants of cycling speed that I investigated.
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Old 06-25-16, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
You would have to get several extra flats on the GP4000 tires to make the Gatorskins the faster overall choice.
Cmon out to the desert and you'll get exactly that!
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