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Strava Segment - how much faster is a road bike than a hybrid?

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Strava Segment - how much faster is a road bike than a hybrid?

Old 05-01-17, 12:26 PM
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highrpm
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Strava Segment - how much faster is a road bike than a hybrid?

I like to ride a six mile loop here in Michigan and the Stoney Creek metropark. It's a popular place to ride. Lately I started looking at my lap time compared to what folks are running on Strava.


I ride a stock Trek FX 7.4 hybrid on 32 tires and a flat bar. I'm in good shape. I lift and run every day. 6'1 and 168lb.


So I did the loop in the high 19 minute range.


I looked online and the fastest times were in the 13 minutes.


My question is - how much of that time difference do you guys think is because of my bike and how much because of me? For example, if I got my hands on something like a Trek Madone, would I drop two minutes or five?
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Old 05-01-17, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post

My question is - how much of that time difference do you guys think is because of my bike and how much because of me? For example, if I got my hands on something like a Trek Madone, would I drop two minutes or five?
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Old 05-01-17, 12:34 PM
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Strava tells me that some hybrids are faster than my road bike

But, for what it's worth, if I edit the Strava "ride" and toggle between road bike and hybrid, Strava "calculates" the power requirements as 15% to around 25% lower if a road bike is used, compared to a hybrid. Speeds don't vary as much as power, so the speed difference at the same power is a fraction of that 15-25%.
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Old 05-01-17, 12:34 PM
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Before the Haterz show up, I'll take a stab at this. The main differences on the road bike, assuming it's mostly a flat stretch of road, are the rolling resistance from narrower slick tires, and the lower frontal area of a rider in a lower/longer aero position riding the drops versus an upright position on flat bars.

How much of a difference that can make will depend on a lot of things. If you swapped to a Madone 9 series today, I'd be surprised if you dropped more than 30 seconds. Mainly because your body wouldn't be used to the different positioning and it can take a while to optimize efficiency when drastically changing things.

If you had a while to work at it, you would be faster on the road bike, but 5 minutes is going to come from lots of training and not from a new bike.
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Old 05-01-17, 12:36 PM
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I don't think you would win more than a minute. 30secs is my guess
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Old 05-01-17, 12:47 PM
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Yes that's what I'm curious about. I lift but I don't ride the miles that most of you do.


And I'm not used to the road bike position. So in all likelihood, stepping up on the bike would get me another minute.


Huh.
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Old 05-01-17, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
For example, if I got my hands on something like a Trek Madone, would I drop two minutes or five?
Only one way to find out - go get your hands on one.

I wouldn't be surprised to see you placebo your way to a minute faster, but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised to see you go slower (at least initially) because of unfamiliar/uncomfortable positioning. To really see some gains, you'd probably need to get significantly more cycling fit, being able to generate more power over longer periods of time and from a more aero position.
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Old 05-01-17, 12:57 PM
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It's all about the areo
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Old 05-01-17, 12:59 PM
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Your average speed is just under 19 mph. With a road bike and good aero position, assuming you can stay in that position for the whole six miles, you might reach 21 mph. Just a guess though.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Your average speed is just under 19 mph. With a road bike and good aero position, assuming you can stay in that position for the whole six miles, you might reach 21 mph. Just a guess though.
I think that's a fair guestimate.

Which would actually put his time savings closer to 2 minutes. I think that's the absolute max change from gear though.

It might be possible depending on the specifics of his bike. If he's got super slow tires with some tread on them, and it's a pretty upright hybrid, he might pick up 2 minutes.

Last edited by Abe_Froman; 05-01-17 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
So in all likelihood, stepping up on the bike would get me another minute.


Huh.
I feel like that's the sentiment a lot of people express here when they buy something (new bike, new wheels, new whatever) and think it's going to gain them X time or X speed.

There's no replacement for time in the saddle, and particularly hard efforts/intervals if your goal is to go faster for a given distance.

FWIW, you could just put some clip on aero bars on your hybrid and swap your tires for 25mm slicks. Then the difference between your hybrid and a true road bike would be virtually nill.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:12 PM
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Many variables, but about one minute is probably a good rough estimate.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:12 PM
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@Abe Froman, see that's the number I had in mind when I asked the question. I figured that there had to be more than just 30 seconds I could clip by getting a better bike. Something along the lines of 2-3 minutes.


I'd be in a dropped riding position and not upright. My tires would be skinnier. Gearing would be better.


Otherwise I'd have to ask why it's even worth it for anyone to upgrade from a hybrid if they get near zero benefit.


So 2-3 minutes from the bike. And 3-4 minutes from me needing to train.


See that sounds reasonable.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
@Abe Froman, see that's the number I had in mind when I asked the question. I figured that there had to be more than just 30 seconds I could clip by getting a better bike. Something along the lines of 2-3 minutes.


I'd be in a dropped riding position and not upright. My tires would be skinnier. Gearing would be better.


Otherwise I'd have to ask why it's even worth it for anyone to upgrade from a hybrid if they get near zero benefit.


So 2-3 minutes from the bike. And 3-4 minutes from me needing to train.


See that sounds reasonable.
You can always rent or borrow a road bike to find out one way or another.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:16 PM
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24 seconds. Exactly.

22 seconds if it's a carbon bike.

Or rather, we have no clue. But if you are riding for speed, averaging 19 MPH on a 6 mile loop, then you'll be happier on a road bike.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:18 PM
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This segment, I guess?

https://www.strava.com/segments/668864

That's a really flat segment, so aero and rolling resistance is going to make more of a difference than lighter weight.

6 miles in 19 minutes is 18.95 mph. 6 miles in 13 minutes is 27.69 mph.

Strava shows the KOM at 28.5mph in 12:55.
#411 on the leaderboard did it at 18.4mph in 19:57.

If you are doing it at that (411) pace, you are hauling ass on a hybrid already. That said, you have a 10 mph gap to make up if you want the KOM, but 24.5 mph would get you in the top 20.

I'd guess that getting on a race bike tomorrow would net you a minute better, maybe two at best right off the bat putting you around #250-300 on the leaderboard.

But if you got that go fast bike AND put some time in with faster group rides on the same segment, you could drop your time significantly in a few months.

Getting dropped (over and over) on fast group rides will do more to make you faster than just getting a fast bike ever will.

Is all of that worth it to move the leaderboard on Strava?
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Old 05-01-17, 01:24 PM
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@jarett2,


I'm not really trying to win that segment on Strava. It's more of a curiosity thing.


I was feeling pretty fast going around that place until I checked Strava.


After I saw those much faster times, I started thinking about the man vs. bike thing. Since I've been thinking about upgrading the bike in a few years anyway.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:26 PM
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The best times are probably done in a pack and/or with a big tailwind assist.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
@jarett2,


I'm not really trying to win that segment on Strava. It's more of a curiosity thing.


I was feeling pretty fast going around that place until I checked Strava.


After I saw those much faster times, I started thinking about the man vs. bike thing. Since I've been thinking about upgrading the bike in a few years anyway.
I'm in a similar boat. I feel pretty quick until I see strava segments. Some people can REALLY move.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
@jarett2,


I'm not really trying to win that segment on Strava. It's more of a curiosity thing.


I was feeling pretty fast going around that place until I checked Strava.


After I saw those much faster times, I started thinking about the man vs. bike thing. Since I've been thinking about upgrading the bike in a few years anyway.
I Strava-stalked the guy with the top time on that segment. He's averaging 280 miles a week, he's a fairly competitive Cat 2, and he did that time in the middle of a 90 mile ride. He averaged just under 310 watts for the ~13 minutes of the segment, which isn't off the charts in power terms, but is way stronger than your average recreational rider is capable of. To get to that level, it would literally take years and tens of thousands of miles of training. And, depending on genetics, there's no guarantee that any given rider can even get to that point.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
The best times are probably done in a pack and/or with a big tailwind assist.
That's what I thought, but unless he had riding buddies that DIDN'T STRAVA their rides, he was solo for the laps around that lake. It's also a loop so head/tailwind would be negligible.

Point is- with or without a draft, that kid is real strong.

OP should probably flag the ride, and all the others above him.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:42 PM
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@Dan333SP, he did that in the middle of a long ride??? Wow.


You know what I did? I did a flying start. I got up to full speed before hitting Start at the boat dock. And I flew into the boat dock entrance at speed while hitting stop. Not cheating but not exactly a standing start either.


And I was fresh. I didn't bike before this.

And still in the 19s after all that.


So all I can say is Wow!
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Old 05-01-17, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dksix View Post
i like this guy!

didn't even notice, at first, that he was getting dropped on his FG. so had no choice.

notice he slowed himself down by squeezing the rear tire with his shoes before clipping back in.

BTW, worst bike i ever had, for just about everything, finally gave it away to a flute teacher, was a hybrid. wouldn't be surprised if the OP could gain a couple of minutes in a months riding on a decent road bike. although i have to say that 6 miles at 19 minutes ain't nothing to sneeze at.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 05-02-17 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
@Dan333SP, he did that in the middle of a long ride??? Wow.


You know what I did? I did a flying start. I got up to full speed before hitting Start at the boat dock. And I flew into the boat dock entrance at speed while hitting stop. Not cheating but not exactly a standing start either.


And I was fresh. I didn't bike before this.

And still in the 19s after all that.


So all I can say is Wow!
You don't need to hit start/stop... If you are riding over a segment, so long as you ride the entire distance of the segment then your GPS computer/smartphone will record everything for you and your time will be pulled from the data when Strava gets the file after your ride.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I'm in a similar boat. I feel pretty quick until I see strava segments. Some people can REALLY move.
The best part is when you look at the KOM ride and you see it was the middle portion of a 90mile ride. -though it's also clear it was the only part of the ride they tried to ride consistently hard, and he did have at least 2 others with him.
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