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It really is the engine

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

It really is the engine

Old 06-12-19, 10:28 PM
  #51  
RChung
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
And position matters more than all of those... combined.
Hmmm. Actually, usually, yes, but there are situations where all of those things combined matter more than position.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:57 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
They are def good tires, I like them. The other guy that was on a gravel bike was on 32mm gravel tires, but he's a strong rider. It was a bit of a revelation to me, but as I mentioned, I think it was just my preconceived notion that a gravel bike would be slower.
I'm pretty fast (when I want to be) on a gravelish bike. 33 mm rubber. But fast wheels and fast bars. And fast clothes too.
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Old 06-13-19, 12:01 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
Depends on which helmet and wheels you started with. That's particularly so for helmets, which tend to be much more individualized. That said, for most riders, in most common sizes, clothing matters roughly about as much as a helmet, and handlebars matter roughly about as much as wheels.
I beat my best time on a segment not long ago after buying a more aerodynamic jersey. The w:speed doesn't explain it and it was two windless days. I always take this one in the same position.

I had read that the bars are about 1/3 the drag of the whole bike minus the wheels.

Thanks for quantifying this stuff for us. (I don't have a proper speed sensor, and don't really want to put one on my pretty wheels.)
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Old 06-13-19, 05:29 AM
  #54  
Rides4Beer
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
On the geometry tangent: What is the wheel base of the two bikes? Chainstay length? Head tube angle?

I've been of the mind that longer chainstays help with tracking a straighter line at the expense of a "feeling" of responsiveness. I have 2 bikes both with 20 inch (50cm) chainstays by design. I find they easily & deceptivly ride 18-22 mph on the flat/level but "feel" around 14 or 15mph.

Also the relaxed head tube angle may kick your front wheel further ahead (by comparison) making for a longer more stable bike that so you again, ride a straighter line. Also rough surfaces (which you say you ride on) is less likely to knock you to a new direction. Slacker HTA results in a bike that "rails" corners better (meaning at the expense of easy mid-corner corrections)...All this, of course, dependent on appropriate rake & trail being smartly chosen.


I ask because if your gravel bike does indeed have longer chainstays & slacker headtube than your aero bike it may help to explain your surprise. In short: In your particular situation, your gravel bike cutting through terrain may mean more than your aerobike cutting through the air.

I'm sure someone here will pipe in to educate me on my "wrongthink" but in anycase, for whatever reason, it sounds like you have a nearly optimal ride for conditions.

Rock on!
The Transonic has a wheelbase of 986mm with 405mm chainstays, while the Revolt has a wheelbase of 1036mm with 425mm chainstays. 73* vs 71* for headtube angle as well. The handling is definitely more solid/smooth with the Revolt. I also don't have any toe overlap, which is nice. And something I noticed the other day, I've never been very comfortable riding without hands on the Transonic, it just feels twitchy, while the Revolt is rock solid with no hands.

I still like my Fuji and have no plans to get rid of it, but the Giant def feels more stable/smooth. I have a feeling the Fuji will stay in TT trim while the Giant sees most of my miles.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:04 AM
  #55  
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Ok it is about the engine but I'll take this further. Unless you are paid to ride professionally this is just a cute hobby that's about increasing fitness and hopefully having fun. Don't be concerned with speed, just realize many of these cyclists out there are the basketball equivalent to a YMCA player dressing up as an NBA player. You will never be on that level regardless of what carbon bling gizmo you added. As long as you like your bike, and it fits properly, and you think it's fun to ride that's all that matters.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:18 AM
  #56  
burnthesheep
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Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
Huh, that's interesting.
Bike parts meeting the earlier "clean air" before it's churned by other bike parts or body parts are more important to aero (excluding the body itself).

Most handlebars that are round are bigger diameter than your tires are, so probably present an equal or larger "A" in the CdA than your front wheel does.

I think the wheel gets addressed before the helmet, the kit, or the bars though because aesthetically it makes people happier.

What can make the most difference aero wise though is simply doing enough intervals and miles in an aero position. Reducing the power penalty for hunkering down. Or, doing some ab workouts to be able to hold the position longer.

It may feel aero with arms locked in the drops, but isn't optimal. You're probably fastest in a "gunner" position. Not everyone can hold their forearms flat for very long though.

I want bars but have been waiting for locals to buy/try a few because the reach on some aero bars gets funky (longer). Like an Aeronova gets a lot longer vs. an Easton not as much.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:11 AM
  #57  
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@burnthesheep - I agree. I put a Syncros rr1 bar/stem on my Foil. I can feel the decrease in drag... kidding. I thought it looked cool




Actually... the longer stem was part of the change from 61cm frame to a 58cm frame - my effort to get lower. It's hard to get low when your headtube is the size of a paper towel roll.
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Old 06-13-19, 10:35 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Bike parts meeting the earlier "clean air" before it's churned by other bike parts or body parts are more important to aero (excluding the body itself).

Most handlebars that are round are bigger diameter than your tires are, so probably present an equal or larger "A" in the CdA than your front wheel does.
Yep. Actually, in terms of total "A", handlebars and rear wheels (and front rim shape and depth), and head tube size, have almost no effect. Their effect is almost entirely through the Cd part of CdA. Most stock handlebars are round, and most round things are a Cd disaster.

I think the wheel gets addressed before the helmet, the kit, or the bars though because aesthetically it makes people happier.
They do look damn cool, though. Hard to argue with that.
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Old 06-13-19, 11:32 AM
  #59  
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I suspect the CdA of my recumbent is lower than even a TT bike.

I'm still slow though, so it really is the engine.
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Old 06-13-19, 11:36 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
I suspect the CdA of my recumbent is lower than even a TT bike.

I'm still slow though, so it really is the engine.
You might be surprised. I've measured the CdA of several recumbent riders, and many riders on TT bikes. Most of the (unfaired) recumbent riders measure somewhere in the .17 to .35 m^2 range. Most of the riders on TT bikes measure somewhere in the .2 to .27 m^2 range (a few way under .2).
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Old 06-13-19, 12:58 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post

I'd have to agree, even looking at my Revolt, it looks like a pretty typical road bike, until you notice how much clearance the fork and chainstays have. Stack is only 26mm taller than my Fuji, so it's just a bit more relaxed. With the 28mm road tires, it's really just a comfortable endurance geo road bike.
Just curious, how wide of a tire can you fit in the back of that Revolt?
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Old 06-13-19, 02:20 PM
  #62  
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I can say with unwavering certainty it's the engine. I have made some really fast bikes go agonizingly slow.
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Old 06-13-19, 03:15 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I have made some really fast bikes go agonizingly slow.
We have a winner.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:43 PM
  #64  
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Perhaps your "Aero bike" isn't really all that aero ?
Aside from looking the part

Engine always matters
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Old 06-14-19, 07:27 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by RJM View Post
Just curious, how wide of a tire can you fit in the back of that Revolt?
Giant says 45mm. It comes with 40's and there is still a ton of clearance. There's a thread where a guy rubbed a hole in the chainstay with 45's, but it doesn't say what they actually measure out to, but Giant warrantied his frame, so that's good. Also can run 650b's, no official size specs, but I've read you can fit 2".


Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I can say with unwavering certainty it's the engine. I have made some really fast bikes go agonizingly slow.



Originally Posted by RedBullFiXX View Post
Perhaps your "Aero bike" isn't really all that aero ?
Aside from looking the part

Engine always matters
Fuji Transonic, tested about the same as the Cervelo S5, so it's pretty aero. I bought it because I liked the color and it felt good when I went for a test ride, I didn't know anything about bikes or aero when I bought it. lol
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Old 06-14-19, 10:23 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Giant says 45mm. It comes with 40's and there is still a ton of clearance. There's a thread where a guy rubbed a hole in the chainstay with 45's, but it doesn't say what they actually measure out to, but Giant warrantied his frame, so that's good. Also can run 650b's, no official size specs, but I've read you can fit 2".









Fuji Transonic, tested about the same as the Cervelo S5, so it's pretty aero. I bought it because I liked the color and it felt good when I went for a test ride, I didn't know anything about bikes or aero when I bought it. lol
A bike tested in a wind tunnel, or with a pro rider... it's really only fast if you can put the power down, so that Fuji + rider might not be so "aero-fast"
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Old 06-14-19, 11:01 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by RedBullFiXX View Post
A bike tested in a wind tunnel, or with a pro rider... it's really only fast if you can put the power down, so that Fuji + rider might not be so "aero-fast"
I think we're agreeing. The bike's "aero" is what it is (which is pretty good), how "fast" it goes is entirely up to the rider.
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Old 06-14-19, 01:00 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I think we're agreeing. The bike's "aero" is what it is (which is pretty good), how "fast" it goes is entirely up to the rider.
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Old 06-14-19, 01:24 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Ok it is about the engine but I'll take this further. Unless you are paid to ride professionally this is just a cute hobby that's about increasing fitness and hopefully having fun. Don't be concerned with speed
You realize there are a lot of people that race in amateur races, right?

And then there are a lot of people that don't do USAC races, but a whole bunch of very competitive group rides?

Speed is pretty much all that matters in those situations.
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Old 06-14-19, 01:36 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
You realize there are a lot of people that race in amateur races, right?

And then there are a lot of people that don't do USAC races, but a whole bunch of very competitive group rides?

Speed is pretty much all that matters in those situations.
Not to mention all the fondo riders, gravel grinders, grass roots CX racers, TTers and triathletes. This is a weird take that I see on BF all the time. Usually it's "if you're not racing, it doesn't matter." Now it's if you're not racing with a professional license, then it doesn't matter.
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Old 06-15-19, 09:29 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I've often heard people say that it's the engine, not the bike. Last night was a good example.

I took my gravel bike to the A group ride, because my aero bike is setup for a TT on Thursday and I didn't want to mess with it. So I put on my road wheelset with 28mm GP5Ks (measure at 30mm) and ended up setting nine segment PRs, riding my non-aero, 4lbs heavier, endurance geometry gravel bike.

I think part of it is the whole "comfort = speed" thing. Some of the roads we were on are pretty crappy, on a road bike you have to be careful and you get a lil beat up in some sections. On the gravel bike with bigger tires and compliance built-in to the seatpost and bars, I was very comfortable and had no problem pushing through the rough sections.

Yes, in a lab, aero trumps all, but in the real world, sometimes it's a lil different. That being said, I'm still riding my aero bike with 88mm wheels and clip-on aero bars for the TT.
I'm a very big pusher of comfort here. i mean if its not 100% comfortable then you cant go really fast no matter what. I have gone 2 minutes faster in 20 minutes on "lesser" aero and heavier bikes than my premium ones. and there is no denying that. you just have to accept it i guess. it is what it is.
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Old 06-15-19, 09:40 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
I'm a very big pusher of comfort here. i mean if its not 100% comfortable then you cant go really fast no matter what. I have gone 2 minutes faster in 20 minutes on "lesser" aero and heavier bikes than my premium ones. and there is no denying that. you just have to accept it i guess. it is what it is.
20 minutes, is always 20 minutes.
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Old 06-15-19, 10:04 AM
  #73  
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2 minutes faster in about 20 minutes i mean.
and yes that is HUGE!!!
And i have no real way of explaining it. but i timed it.
about 10kg lynskey pro cross. vs all my other bikes. i have 4 other road bikes (and the pro cross is not even a road bike at all) ti and steel. and the pro cross was basically my beater/test platform. i used an up side down north road bar on it. maybe thats the magic potion?? kinda doubt it though. but it was very "optimal" in feel though.
All i'm saying is that it may not be up to numbers such as weight, angles, cd/cv, stiffness and so on. if one bike if faster or slower.
it could very well be:
all in your head.
comfort at speed
ergonomics at speed
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Old 06-16-19, 11:04 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
I'm a very big pusher of comfort here. i mean if its not 100% comfortable then you cant go really fast no matter what. I have gone 2 minutes faster in 20 minutes on "lesser" aero and heavier bikes than my premium ones. and there is no denying that. you just have to accept it i guess. it is what it is.
For riders who are worried about getting the most speed possible out of their setup, comfort is a secondary issue. An extreme example would match sprinters. Their setup is long and low, much more stretched out than a road setup. They are only on their bikes for a short period of time, so comfort is less important. A good aero setup allows for the best balance of aero and output for the given distance of the event, with the caveat that rider can stay in that position for the duration.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:14 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I've often heard people say that it's the engine, not the bike. Last night was a good example.

I took my gravel bike to the A group ride, because my aero bike is setup for a TT on Thursday and I didn't want to mess with it. So I put on my road wheelset with 28mm GP5Ks (measure at 30mm) and ended up setting nine segment PRs, riding my non-aero, 4lbs heavier, endurance geometry gravel bike.

I think part of it is the whole "comfort = speed" thing. Some of the roads we were on are pretty crappy, on a road bike you have to be careful and you get a lil beat up in some sections. On the gravel bike with bigger tires and compliance built-in to the seatpost and bars, I was very comfortable and had no problem pushing through the rough sections.

Yes, in a lab, aero trumps all, but in the real world, sometimes it's a lil different. That being said, I'm still riding my aero bike with 88mm wheels and clip-on aero bars for the TT.
I so agree as i took off a full minute in my Time Trial riding my 2001 old steel lemond vs my new lighter full carbon Bianchi
28s tires rock
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