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Any opinions on Planet X carbon-fiber frames?

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Any opinions on Planet X carbon-fiber frames?

Old 11-30-17, 05:52 AM
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OP, you should know that not being able to use the extreme crossed gear combinations is not a defect in your gearing setup. It is normal and expected. Extreme cross-chaining is generally not recommended. But no matter. You aren't supposed to have 10 truly different gear ratios on a "10-speed" bike. You are supposed to have two sets of gears, a high gear set (big front ring) and a low gear set (small front ring). The small front ring gives you your smallest gear, and the big ring gives you your top gear. The inability to combine the big ring and the biggest small cog didn't change that. Similarly the lack of utility for the small front, small rear combination is considered fairly formal. You ride one set for different conditions than you ride the other set. You don't generally alternate back and forth to use all the combinations all the time. These tactics have certainly become more prominent as the number of gears has increased, but they were always common.

I see a problem. You are infatuated with vintage frames and components, but you want to ride like folks do today, bunches of gears and all the rest. My advice is to do both. Enjoy your vintage bikes, the appearance, the comfort, everything. But get yourself something else totally up to date. Enjoy both worlds.
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Old 11-30-17, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by raria
I've heard they are flexy at the front end. Comments?

Also there appears to be multiple version. The version you have can you give us a pointer to the website and let us know if it puts you in a more endurance or a racy setup.

Finally, what size did you order and what are your dimensions. It look like the size 52 has a 57cm ETT.
I did not notice any excessive flexion at the front, but it is my first carbon frame so i cant compare it to any other.

From what i gather there is only one pro carbon frame https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FRPXPC...-road-frameset

With regard to setup i think its kind of in the middle, i dont think it s particularly aggressive.

Keep in mind that those are compact frames, i am 177cm and ordered size M, fits me perfectly. There is sloping top tube so although mine seat tube is about 48 cm c-c it can be counted as a standard 54-55.
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Old 11-30-17, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ
It's that the 120psi pressure implies that he's riding 23mm in the first place, which means he's having to use high pressure to make up for a lack of sufficient air volume, and higher pressure is stiffer, harder, and harsher on real roads. I'm firmly in the "wider is better" camp, having seen the improvements at each size upwards that I've used. He'd probably see improvements in speed from going with a high quality wider tire at lower pressure, and then there's a comfort factor. Over 200 miles comfort also has to result in more speed in some ways, due to lower fatigue and whatnot.
I definitely prefer my 28s to the 23s I used to use. I find them more comfortable, no doubt, and I feel like they have more grip when I corner. But I don't think they make me faster than I used to be.
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Old 11-30-17, 12:35 PM
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They are quite popular and have a good rep in the UK. I know several people who own them, and they have no complaints
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Old 11-30-17, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Its a UK brand, OP is in like Seattle, so no one in the USA, may have one

but you are free to take a risk and buy it without hand holding security..
OP is in Olympia. Olympia is not Seattle. Know how you could have known that? Because they have different names.
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Old 11-30-17, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Still the seller is in England, and not in USA , so service after the sale will be zero.
I can't speak specifically for Planet X, but I ride a Ribble, and have contacted them quite a few times regarding parts/questions. They have been nothing but pleasant and helpful, even though i'm a US customer.

I think the Brits still like us ... maybe.
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Old 11-30-17, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Owen
I can't speak specifically for Planet X, but I ride a Ribble, and have contacted them quite a few times regarding parts/questions. They have been nothing but pleasant and helpful, even though i'm a US customer.

I think the Brits still like us ... maybe.
I can think of one guy they don't like since yesterday...
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Old 11-30-17, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I definitely prefer my 28s to the 23s I used to use. I find them more comfortable, no doubt, and I feel like they have more grip when I corner. But I don't think they make me faster than I used to be.
I've measured speed improvements from one day to the next going from my old bike to my new bike, where the new bike was using very high quality 32mm tires and the old bike was using a 25mm/28mm combo. Unfortunately the tires aren't the only variable in that equation, so it may not mean much.

Here's a good article discussing suspension losses. There are many more. Bottom line: the road doesn't add energy to the bike/rider system. It can only convert it from useful forward motion energy into energy wasted jostling you around. Any energy converted from speed to jostling the rider and bike around will just mean less speed.

And then there are more obvious speedups like the fact that on my old bikes there were some roads that were so uncomfortable to ride that I had to slow down on purpose to avoid the harsh jostling, while on my new bike with the wider tires (and titanium frame) I now just ride through at full speed.
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Old 11-30-17, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
You Kids love your pointless gotchas..


Still the seller is in England, and not in USA , so service after the sale will be zero.
Strong work deviating from your typical shtick of it being made in the 'far east' and being shipped in a container.
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Old 11-30-17, 04:39 PM
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Taipei to Southampton UK is another Container port. they dominate the bike biz there too..

the small regional frame builder - shopkeepers went away 30~40 years ago... noncompetitive on price..
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Old 11-30-17, 04:57 PM
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I have two Planet-X bikes - a 2011 Nanolight Carbon Fiber road frame with SRAM Force and a 2013 Uncle John AL Cx frame. Both have performed well with over 13K miles on the Nanolight so far.
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Old 12-01-17, 12:44 AM
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Hey, I want to say thanks for all the good advice I've gotten here. Sounds like the frames I've been looking at online are solid contenders for a first carbon-fiber bike... and there may be some others worth looking at, too. So seriously, thanks everyone.

But I do guess I've kind of kicked a hornet's nest by saying I'd rather go with Campy parts, and some of you have raised points I've never considered. Worth maybe a comment or two.

When I said I've been riding with 120 psi, I don't mean exactly 120. That's as high as my hand-pump goes, and honestly it's quite a workout getting past 110. Then there's the air that escapes between the time I remove the hose and screw the valve down. So who knows exactly? But it's way, way up there.

So how come? Well, keep in mind, most of what I what I know about bikes comes from the paleolithic age, picked up after long hours in the seat.

I've been pumping my tires rock-hard since I was a teen-ager because I figured it was the right thing to do, and I doubt I have given it more than three seconds' thought since then. What I noticed back then was that I could go a bit faster than the rest of the neighborhood gang if I reduced the play in the tires to a minimum. I figured the less rubber that met the pavement, the less friction there was. I wasn't as likely to hit a bad bump and impact the rims -- which made it less likely the wheels would go out of true. And because less rubber met the road, I reduced the chance I would grind a piece of glass into the tire and get a flat.

So this is way-higher pressure than anyone else uses, hmm? Well, yes, I have noticed the ride is more comfortable with lower pressure, but always figured backing off was for wimps. Okay, point taken. I'll try a little less.

Do I have a good set of tires? Well, I had to replace my tires earlier this year -- one got a gash when I ran over something sharp. I know I'm going to sound like a Neanderthal when I say this, but until then I'd been using pretty much the same sort of tire I'd been using since the '70s, the sort you get at hardware stores and Wal-Marts. I had a pair of used tires in my closet I'd never tried and was amazed at the difference. These had a much shallower tread pattern -- practically slicks -- and with them friction was dramatically reduced. I cut 15 minutes off my 45-mile time the first time I used them. The ones I have on my current bike have a similar low-tread pattern -- they are 28mm Schwalbe Luganos. I have no idea whether they are considered "good" -- I just know they're better than what I used to use.

So yes, definitely, I'll pay a little bit more attention to this question when I build a "modern" bike.

Some of the comments here intrigue me about something else. I am absolutely dumbfounded when people say they're getting better results with wider tires. Back then, the idea was that narrower was better, and super-skinny tires were the mark of a "real bike." Seriously, people used to ooh and ahh when they saw skinny tires. I couldn't believe it a few months ago when the guys at the local bike shop told me the world was switching to wider tires, and that somehow people were able to go faster. Wouldn't more rubber on the road mean more friction? But I see people mention the same thing here. Certainly isn't intuitive, anyway.

Let me apologize for not "quoting" properly here -- I'm not sure how to quote from multiple posts. But I thought I'd answer a couple of specific points.

HTupolev, you were wondering about my weight and the weight of my bike? I don't have a scale, but I'd guess I'm around 200 pounds. The bike I would guess is about 24 pounds, as equipped with accessories, based on the weights of similar 531 bikes back in the day. Certainly a bit heavier than today's light-as-a-feather bikes! And by the way, thanks for the comments about the gearing. My guess was that it was one of the bigger factors in my less-than-stellar performance in the STP.

SeattleForrest, you're right -- Olympia ain't Seattle. And most of us here are glad of it. I've ridden the Burke-Gilman trail in Seattle many times, but the trail network we have in Thurston County, 60 miles south, puts Seattle to shame. Someday, wouldn't it be great if all the rail-trails were connected up and we had a route that ran from here to Seattle? Or maybe even across the state? (I work in the Legislature, BTW).

J.Owen, the idea of buying a foreign bike frame doesn't scare me. Actually it appeals to me. Back in the '70s, all decent mass-produced bikes, except high-end Schwinns, came either from Japan or Europe. If you were really serious about things you either had a Paramount or a fancy Raleigh or some exotic brand with a foreign name that had a vowel at the end. (OK, I know Trek and Cannondale may have gotten started around then, but no one in my home town of Spokane rode 'em.) Besides, I saw quite a few Planet X bikes on the STP course. The key question is whether my local bike shop can work on it, but I can't see a reason not.

Rpenmanparker, yeah, I knew about the cross-gearing problem when I got the Nuovo Record derailleur, and like everyone else I decided it really wasn't a problem -- just something you live with. You note that I seem infatuated with old gear and suggest that I ought to have a modern bike to go with my classic. Actually, that's my thought, too. Nothing like an old steel bike for a jaunt to Tacoma, but in next year's Big Ride, I would like to keep up with the pack. Or at least finish ahead of somebody else.

And finally, SethinAZ, you chide a bit for my preference for Campy. OK, I'll accept it. Yes, a lot of it has to do with my lifelong respect for the brand -- call it sentimental. In the '70s, if you were serious, that's what you rode. (Though SunTour really did shift a little better.) And maybe I still associate Shimano with the crummy low-end JC Penney bikes I started on. Maybe I'm sort of like the guys who were forced to drive Chevettes in the '70s and decided no Chevies, ever again. Maybe it makes no sense. But you know, reading the online reviews, I see no indication of a performance difference, groupset to groupset. I've always liked the look. I kinda like the idea of riding something a little different than everyone else. Any decent bike shop ought to be able to work on it. And if the price difference is less than $200 (I'm thinking about the Potenza line here), oh, why not?

Well, I just want to say how much I appreciate the comments -- they've given me quite a bit of guidance about picking a frame. And quite a bit more!

Erik Smith
Olympia, WA

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Old 12-01-17, 01:58 AM
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Olympianrider, I'll respond to this in two parts.

Regarding wider tires: yes, it was the conventional wisdom for quite some time that narrower tires at higher pressure were faster, but it turns out that this was essentially wrong. On test equipment in the lab, on smooth rollers, the higher pressure skinny tires are in fact better. On real roads with non-smooth surfaces, and even more so on really bad roads, the wider tires at lower pressures rule supreme. The reason is that they experience less suspension losses. I just linked one of Jan Heine's articles on the subject. He's written others, and they are all helpful. Even in the pro peleton nowadays you're seeing 25mm tires rather than the 23s (and narrower) you used to see. What these tires give up in weight and aerodynamics they get back in reduced suspension losses and comfort. Comfort during a ride means less fatigue, less stress, and probably will mean greater endurance.

As for the Schalbe Lugano, I've never ridden them, but if you check out this link you can see that in a comparison between a 25mm Lugano and another common tire, the Contintenal Grand Prix 4000, the Lugano is showing something like 9 watts more rolling resistance at the pressures you're talking about. Yes, you mentioned 28mm instead of the 25mm tested at this link, but there's no reason to think the situation magically fixes itself in the next size up from the tires tested. Conti makes a 28mm Grand Prix 4000, by the way. I've used them and they were a noticeable step up in ride comfort (thanks in part to being ridden at lower pressure than I rode 25s). Btw, 9 watts is a huge number. There's a good chance you weren't putting out more than 140 or 150 watts over the ride you mentioned, which means 9 watts would be like 6 or 7% (not gonna do the math for real) of your total power. That's a big deal.

I'm now riding 32mm tires on my new bike and I'm faster than ever. As in, from one day to the next all of my rides in Strava are showing faster times on the new bike with these tires for the same level of effort as I was doing on my old bike the day or week before.

Here's a link to a bike tire pressure calculator. It's based on the "15% drop" method, which was developed by some guys who did research on certain tire models to determine the tire pressure that resulted in the most efficient power usage of the tire, factoring in that the more the tire flexes at the contact patch, the more energy is being wasted, but countered in this by the lower pressure yielding less suspension loss. Those two curves met at the point of best efficiency, which is approximated by a tire "drop" when you sit on your bike of about 15% of the tire height when inflated. Note: this is just a rule of thumb that was developed by guys testing some specific tires. Nobody believes it always applies to all tires, but as nobody else seems interested in doing the research on all tires, and it wouldn't really mean anything because different rider weights would change the results anyway, it's just as good a rule of thumb as any.

If you try a tire pressure that you get for your rider+bike weight, tire size, etc., I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Especially if you're pumping 28mm tires up to like 120psi or whatever, which is insane, you'll notice a massive difference. For what it's worth, I pumped my 28mm tires up to only like 95 or 100 psi in the rear (and 10-15psi less in front) and I currently weigh around 285lbs. Note that this is much lower than the calculator would predict for someone of my weight, but I'm constrained by the tires to some degree, and consoled by the fact that at my weight suspension losses are a big deal. I was satisfied with the performance I got at those pressures.

Please note that the difference you feel in the tire will be most prominently a lack of vibration and "road feel" in that you will no longer feel every nook and cranny that you ride over. Don't be tempted to think that this sort of "road feel" is a good thing and that not feeling it means that the tire is dead, lifeless, or slow. Not feeling it means you're no longer wasting all the energy by having your leg's power output converted into jiggling your bike and body up and down with every little bump in the road.

Last edited by SethAZ; 12-01-17 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 12-01-17, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Olympianrider
And finally, SethinAZ, you chide a bit for my preference for Campy. OK, I'll accept it. Yes, a lot of it has to do with my lifelong respect for the brand -- call it sentimental. In the '70s, if you were serious, that's what you rode. (Though SunTour really did shift a little better.) And maybe I still associate Shimano with the crummy low-end JC Penney bikes I started on. Maybe I'm sort of like the guys who were forced to drive Chevettes in the '70s and decided no Chevies, ever again. Maybe it makes no sense. But you know, reading the online reviews, I see no indication of a performance difference, groupset to groupset. I've always liked the look. I kinda like the idea of riding something a little different than everyone else. Any decent bike shop ought to be able to work on it. And if the price difference is less than $200 (I'm thinking about the Potenza line here), oh, why not?
First, I do want to apologize for sounding fairly strident in my original posts on the subject. Secondly, yeah back in the 70s if you were serious that may be what you rode, but this is 2017 now, and that simply isn't the case anymore. In fact, if you're serious nowadays (or a rich MAMIL) you probably ride Shimano Dura Ace, and if you're a serious hobbyist you probably ride Shimano Ultegra (I'm a huge Ultegra fan). I personally find Ultegra to be the sweet spot, since it costs so much less than Dura Ace, but is nearly as as good. Shimano 105 costs a little less than Ultegra, but is also good. I personally just round up and stick with Ultegra. It is fantastic.

There are a lot of fans and users of SRAM stuff too, and their high end stuff is very well respected. Campy is well respected too, and certainly has its fetishists who feel like it brings them a certain cachet to announce themselves as Campy users (I think it mostly just impresses other Campy fetishists). I've never ridden the Potenza groupset, but I did read this article which compares it head to head with Shimano Ultegra. It compares favorably overall, and it's considered very comparable, but still costs a little more, weighs a little more, and the reviewer at least thought that Ultegra still edged it out in a number of ways performance-wise. I'm sure you'd have a very decent groupset on your bike, and if you just really dig the shape of those hoods, or the feel of those clicks, then knock yourself out. What gets me worked up about your posts is not that you just really love some particular aspect of the current Campy lineup over Shimano for reasons you could articulate, since by your own admission you are unfamiliar with any of it from either company. For you it's just the name, and your recollection of the brand's reputation from 40 years ago.

I guess all I would suggest is that you go ride some bikes. Try out some modern Shimano-equipped bikes (which is most of what you'll try at most shops selling most brands) and see how you like them. You might just like them.

In the 70s you might have thought of Japanese stuff like this:


In 2017 from Japan you can get this:


Translate what those images evoke in you into bicycle groupset terms somehow, and you get the picture.

Anyhow, let us know what you end up getting. I'm actually feeling kind of stoked for you. I rode 70s-era bikes when I was young too, and the first real road bike I owned as a youth (after riding my dad's 10-speed for a few years) was a 1984 Univega Supra Sport. Mine was better because while my dad's bike only had 10 speeds (2x5), mine has 12 (2x6). Oooh. Ahh. Sadly that bike got thrown away at some point in a house move, but aside from sentimental reasons, I don't regret it too much, because I would never ride it; the more modern bikes I have now (2003 Trek 2300, 2005 Diamondback 29er mountain bike, 2018 Lynskey R260) are simply better in every conceivable way.

ps: once I took my Univega to an air show at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts in like 1985 or so, and rode it up the rear ramp, through the fuselage, and down the front ramp of a C-5 Galaxy transport plane.
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Old 12-01-17, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Olympianrider
Then there's the air that escapes between the time I remove the hose and screw the valve down.
There shouldn't be any. In a tube with a presta valve, the air pressure holds the valve head shut even if it's not screwed down. You might hear some air escaping as you release the pump chuck, but this should mostly just be from the pump itself.

If the valve head being unscrewed causes air to escape, then there's a problem with the valve.

Do I have a good set of tires?
Luganos are a pretty inexpensive tire, and while I haven't seen much rolling resistance testing on them, what I have seen is fairly poor. I'd say there's a good chance that you could save on the order of a mph by switching to a quality performance-oriented tire.

Decent high-performance clincher tires tend to run in the $40-$80 range. That might sound like a lot, but personally, I think quality tier is far more important with tires than with any other component on a road bicycle. Tires play a ton of roles on a road bike; they're traction, they're rolling wear, they're suspension, and they need to be nice and supple to roll well.

A good all-rounder that a lot of folks use is the Continental GP4000SII. For tan walls, a good competitor is the Vittoria Corsa G+. The tires that SethAZ is raving about are the Compass Stampede Pass; I really like Compass tires as well, they perform great and have surprisingly good wear life (I use their Rat Trap Pass Extralite on my gravel bike).

Wouldn't more rubber on the road mean more friction?
No. Unless you're skidding, the contact patch is stationary against the ground.

The sort of rolling resistance that gets caused by lower tire pressure is caused by deformation of the tire against the ground as it rolls. This is where the style of tire and its quality makes a big difference: stuff like puncture-protection layers stiffen a tire and make it take more energy to deform, and the coarser casing and lower-quality tread compounds of cheaper tires can have similar effects. A high-end performance-oriented tire tends to be thin and supple, and so takes very little energy to deform even at relatively low pressures.
A wider tire that's pumped to about "the same squishiness" as a narrower tire is deforming less, so it loses less energy to rolling resistance. Realistically, people tend to pump wider tires squishier than narrower ones, so they don't really have a large benefit in this respect.

And that brings us to the other side of rolling resistance: suspension. A tire is constantly rolling over little surface irregularities. If a tire is pumped stiff enough, it will cause the whole bike to deflect vertically as it rolls over these little bumps; this is what causes the discomfort of riding tires at super-high pressures. These constant micro-scale vertical deflections are a waste of energy, slowing you down.
By pumping the tire squishy enough, the only thing that deflects off the road irregularities is the contact patch, improving rolling resistance.

A tire should be squishy enough to not cause the bike to buzz against the road surface, but stiff enough to not lose tons of energy to tire deformation. Wider tires simply have a more favorable balance, you can make them squishier for better suspension performance without losing more energy to deformation.

On the flip side, wider tires do weigh more and can have a larger aerodynamic profile.

So that raises the question of what the best tradeoff in tire width is. And the answer is... that nobody has really characterized it. Width just doesn't make a big enough difference on flat-ground performance on good roads to be easily measured. This apparent lack of consequence is, more or less, why the industry has been trending wider on high-performance road bikes.

For what it's worth, the "wide tire fad" in road bikes is, so far, mostly a reversal of a several-decades-long narrow tire fad. It was normal for high-performance road bikes in 1980 to ship with tires of around 25mm, and plenty of recreational road bikes had room for much more than that. My 1983 Miyata 710 could probably fit 35mm tires, if I decided to bodge them in there. My 1979 Fuji America shipped with 28mm tires, and currently enjoys 27mm tires plus full-length fenders.

they are 28mm
HTupolev, you were wondering about my weight and the weight of my bike? I don't have a scale, but I'd guess I'm around 200 pounds. The bike I would guess is about 24 pounds, as equipped with accessories, based on the weights of similar 531 bikes back in the day.
If my bike+rider weight were ~224 pounds, on 28mm tires, on a sunny day on good roads I'd probably choose a rear tire pressure in the upper 90s. Front a bit lower.
For non-awesome roads or inclement weather, maybe drop the pressures a bit.

Originally Posted by SethAZ
It's based on the "15% drop" method, which was developed by some guys who did research on certain tire models to determine the tire pressure that resulted in the most efficient power usage of the tire
I haven't bothered doing any research on the matter, but according to Jan Heine, the 15% thing wasn't based on any testing, just manufacturer recommendations.

Last edited by HTupolev; 12-01-17 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 12-01-17, 06:10 AM
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Nobody except OP has mentioned tread. OP, tread on a road tire are both meaningless and useless. Slicks have thoroughly taken over road cycling.
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Old 12-01-17, 06:12 AM
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Has anyone else noticed that there is a Rip Van Winkle aspect to this thread?
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Old 12-01-17, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ
Shimano 105 costs a little less than Ultegra, but is also good. I personally just round up and stick with Ultegra. It is fantastic.

Campy is well respected too, and certainly has its fetishists who feel like it brings them a certain cachet to announce themselves as Campy users (I think it mostly just impresses other Campy fetishists). I've never ridden the Potenza groupset, but I did read this article which compares it head to head with Shimano Ultegra. It compares favorably overall, and it's considered very comparable, but still costs a little more, weighs a little more, and the reviewer at least thought that Ultegra still edged it out in a number of ways performance-wise. I'm sure you'd have a very decent groupset on your bike, and if you just really dig the shape of those hoods, or the feel of those clicks, then knock yourself out. What gets me worked up about your posts is not that you just really love some particular aspect of the current Campy lineup over Shimano for reasons you could articulate, since by your own admission you are unfamiliar with any of it from either company. For you it's just the name, and your recollection of the brand's reputation from 40 years ago.
It's ironic that you choose, for no particular reason, at least not a clearly articulated one, to spend more money on Ultegra, perhaps just due to the 'certain cachet' it has when you announce yourself as an Ultegra user as opposed to a lowly 105 user. I suggest you find something more worthwhile to get worked up about other than his choice of groupsets
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Old 12-01-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Olympianrider
Some of the comments here intrigue me about something else. I am absolutely dumbfounded when people say they're getting better results with wider tires. Back then, the idea was that narrower was better, and super-skinny tires were the mark of a "real bike." Seriously, people used to ooh and ahh when they saw skinny tires. I couldn't believe it a few months ago when the guys at the local bike shop told me the world was switching to wider tires, and that somehow people were able to go faster. Wouldn't more rubber on the road mean more friction? But I see people mention the same thing here. Certainly isn't intuitive, anyway.
Wider tires are heavier and less aerodynamic than skinnier ones, all else being equal. With good tires, and in the size ranges we're talking about, the differences aren't huge though. Wider tires at appropriate pressure have less resistance over rough or poor surfaces, smaller hard tires have less resistance over polished marble floors. In the real world, wide and moderately pumped up tires have the best rolling resistance. You need to experiment a bit to find the best compromise for you personally.
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Old 12-01-17, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ
I've measured speed improvements from one day to the next going from my old bike to my new bike, where the new bike was using very high quality 32mm tires and the old bike was using a 25mm/28mm combo. Unfortunately the tires aren't the only variable in that equation, so it may not mean much.
Those speed improvements might have all been due to using wider tires, but they might have been because of your bike, and they might have come down to you being more well rested one day than the other. Having ridden tens of thousands of miles on 23 mm tires and also on 28 mm tires, I don't think tires make a noticeable difference in speed. When we were all riding 23s pumped up to 120 psi, nobody was complaining about how slow they were because they were in too much pain to work the pedals. I prefer my wider rubber because it's more comfortable to ride and feels a little more planted when I'm cornering, but I was half fast then, and I'm half fast now.
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Old 12-01-17, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951
It's ironic that you choose, for no particular reason, at least not a clearly articulated one, to spend more money on Ultegra, perhaps just due to the 'certain cachet' it has when you announce yourself as an Ultegra user as opposed to a lowly 105 user. I suggest you find something more worthwhile to get worked up about other than his choice of groupsets
I don't think that word means what you think it means. From the rest of your post it seems that the meaning you attempted to convey was "hypocritical," not "ironic." If so, then I disagree.

I did say that "I personally find Ultegra to be the sweet spot, since it costs so much less than Dura Ace, but is nearly as as good. Shimano 105 costs a little less than Ultegra, but is also good." Now this is an opinion that many may or may not share, but it is based on at least some relevant information. If we fully graphed the Shimano groupsets by price, you'd see a sharp inflection upwards in price after the Ultegra.

Pricing can be all over the map, so I'll just pick one typical outlet and demonstrate. From ChainReaction:

Claris: $289 (from eBay since ChainReaction doesn't even list it)
Sora 3000: $314 (from Ribble since ChainReaction doesn't even list it)
Tiagra 4700: $323.49
105 5800: $399
Ultegra 8000: $699
Dura Ace 9100: $1635.49

We could easily find a little variation in pricing by spending more time on it, but it's not worth it, and the above demonstrates the point well enough. One gets quite a nice upgrade from one groupset to the other for not a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things (it's all relative to one's financial situation, obviously, which is why this is all an opinion which may not be shared by all) all the way up to the Ultegra groupset. Then the price difference skyrockets. For some folks the "sweet spot" is at 105, which is close enough to Ultegra that the $300 price difference may not be worth it to them. That's fine too.

I'm not going to do the research into every change to every part that is an improvement from one groupset level to the next in order to justify not just putting full Claris on my new bike. Methinks you wouldn't either.

In reality you're just trying to get me with a zinger, like maybe I hit a nerve or something. That's fine. I'll admit my going on to the OP was because his saying he wanted Campy because it was what "serious" people did 40 years ago hit a nerve with me. I at least explained why it hit a nerve with me.
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Old 12-01-17, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Those speed improvements might have all been due to using wider tires, but they might have been because of your bike, and they might have come down to you being more well rested one day than the other. Having ridden tens of thousands of miles on 23 mm tires and also on 28 mm tires, I don't think tires make a noticeable difference in speed. When we were all riding 23s pumped up to 120 psi, nobody was complaining about how slow they were because they were in too much pain to work the pedals. I prefer my wider rubber because it's more comfortable to ride and feels a little more planted when I'm cornering, but I was half fast then, and I'm half fast now.
Yeah I don't know what explains the speed differences, but they are certainly there. Most of my rides with the new bike have been on routes I've ridden many times on my old bike, including in the days leading up to the new bike's arrival, so the comparisons are fresh, and yet the speedups are there. I'm talking about speedups like cutting a minute off a relatively short 12-mile ride while also averaging 5 bpm lower heart rate, things like that. It's been pretty consistent, and under similar conditions, so I'm pretty sure I really am a little faster on the new bike. A lot changed, obviously, not just the tires, so who knows. At the end of the day it's sufficient to me that I'm faster on my new bike, including the 32mm Compass tires, than I was on my old bike with a 28mm/25mm combo (Conti), for whatever reason. And it's way, way more comfortable too.
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Old 12-01-17, 12:23 PM
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I had a KOM (it's since been taken from me) for a 0.78 mile hill that gains 220 feet, for an average grade of 5.8 %. Short-ish and punchy. I got the KOM on a set of HED Ardennes Discs with 28 mm tires that measure to 28 mm. Since then, I've attacked the same segment on Enve 4.5 ARs with 28 mm tires that measure 32.6 mm, but I have not been able to match my best time.

So, you're faster on a bike with wider tires, and I'm slower. Or, it's much more complicated than that. Things can feel very similar overall without being the same and we're talking about the most marginal of changes in terms of performance.
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Old 12-01-17, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ
I'm not going to do the research into every change to every part that is an improvement from one groupset level to the next in order to justify not just putting full Claris on my new bike. Methinks you wouldn't either.
Exactly. You don't need to justify your decision any more than the OP needs to. You want Ultegra because you want Ultegra. He wants Campy because he wants Campy.

You are being hypocritical. The 'state of affairs' of you criticizing another's groupset choice when he's using similar reasoning (or lack thereof) to your own is ironic.
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Old 12-01-17, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I had a KOM (it's since been taken from me) for a 0.78 mile hill that gains 220 feet, for an average grade of 5.8 %. Short-ish and punchy. I got the KOM on a set of HED Ardennes Discs with 28 mm tires that measure to 28 mm. Since then, I've attacked the same segment on Enve 4.5 ARs with 28 mm tires that measure 32.6 mm, but I have not been able to match my best time.

So, you're faster on a bike with wider tires, and I'm slower. Or, it's much more complicated than that. Things can feel very similar overall without being the same and we're talking about the most marginal of changes in terms of performance.
Yeah, it's all a complicated set of equations with a few variables, and controlling for just one variable doesn't tell you that much when all the others are changing too.

My new bike is titanium, old bike was aluminum. New bike is 11-speed, only bike was 9-speed (I find it easier to maintain whatever cadence I feel is optimal for the conditions). Old bike had slightly more saddle to handlebar drop, but I'm fat enough that my thighs will often push up my gut a little depending on my positioning, which would sap some energy. New 32mm tires have thinner and more supple sidewalls, and also have latex tubes in them. Old tires were good but not as good, and had butyl tubes. There's just no way to know what benefits from each upgrade are contributing to the overall speedup. In fact I pushed out fairly hard (not a max effort but a hard effort) a few days ago on a 32.5-mile route that I ride quite often, and cut five and a half minutes of moving time from the near-max effort I did on the same route five weeks earlier, while also working at 5 or 6 bpm average lower effort. So take all the variables that changed from old bike to new bike and add in five more weeks of working on my cardiovascular efficiency and endurance, probably three or four pounds of bodyfat loss, etc. It's probably a combination of everything. And yet the 32mm Compass tires with the latex tubes feel absolutely fantastic on the new bike, and I'm inclined to give them a lot of credit generally. It may be unwarranted, but it's the one thing other than my improved cardiovascular training over that five week period that I think is most likely to have such an effect. As much as I'd love to say it's the switch from 2003 Trek aluminum frame to 2018 Lynskey titanium, and 9-speed Ultegra 6500 to 11-speed Ultegra 6870, in terms of real actual change in energy efficiency during a ride I'd still say the tires were probably the biggest. I could be wrong.

Last edited by SethAZ; 12-01-17 at 01:24 PM.
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