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Persistent ideas in cycling that make no sense

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Persistent ideas in cycling that make no sense

Old 04-05-21, 04:51 PM
  #51  
Leinster
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Nicer wheels might save you a minute/hr (so a little over 30s on your 13 miler) on a loop or flattish course. But a pair of wheels that weighs 300-500g less than your 2kg Axis wheels might save you as much as 2 mins/hr on a 7% gradient (or not, I dunno, I don't have the formulae to hand).

Sure, that's not a lot to a casual rider, but it might help you towards that Strava PR, which is important, and your bike might feel faster, which is importanter.
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Old 04-05-21, 05:18 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
This is going to be a scorcher of a hot take. However, it's not that it makes no sense, but it's something that's overblown.

Wheels are meant to be upgraded

I see really conflicting stuff on the amount of real world changes in speed in videos where they compare wheels. It may be a couple of mins over a really long ride, but for me (your personal calculus may vary) I think the amount of money required to cut a small amount of time in a non-race scenario
Badass carbon wheels aren't always just about going faster. They also look and sound cool (YMMV). Some people find value in those factors, too.
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Old 04-05-21, 05:50 PM
  #53  
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1. Road bikes were perfected in <arbitrary year*>; all new bike technologies are Big Bike's conspiracy to force people to ditch their perfect bikes and buy more expensive new ones. We can obviously tell how well this is working by all the Bentleys the bike industry folks roll around in when their help haven't finished washing and waxing the Maybachs back at the weekend estate.

2. No one who doesn't race should ever buy nicer components for their bike, because spending <x**> amount of money is a waste and how dare they pretend otherwise, don't they know that an angel loses its wings and weeps whenever someone buys something they shouldn't, SMH.

3. Arm-chair reasoning always wins over empirical evidence*** because those who believe this are smarter than everyone else and don't we ignoramuses know how well this worked for the Greek philosophers, who were clearly smarter than us, though arguably not quite as smart as the believers on account of not having made the same, ideal bike choices that the believers did despite a 2,000 year head start.

*: By total coincidence, typically the same year of the newest bike owned by the person proselytizing this belief to the sheeple being fooled by Big Bike.
**: By yet another complete coincidence (defying the odds, wow), x is always greater than the most expensive upgrade believers made to one of their bikes, in any year (and never, under any circumstances, adjusted for inflation or market conditions or that believers might've landed a fantastic and impossible to replicate deal).
***: Especially not any (insert derisive air-quote) evidence attained after the year defined in Belief 1 because everything to know about cycling was already established by then, and therefore anything contradicting said knowledge must be wrong, QED *mic drop*.
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Old 04-05-21, 05:57 PM
  #54  
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Just remembered two more.

A. If pros are slow to adopt some tech, then it's obviously bad and what they're using before must be the best.
B. Nothing the pros use can be referenced when debating the merits of any bike tech because they're being paid to ride and have no say in it.
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Old 04-05-21, 05:59 PM
  #55  
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That "X doesn't matter if you're not racing," where X is

clipless pedals
power meter
training plan
aero wheels
aero helmet
aero kit
Dura Ace
and my favorite: simply wanting to ride faster

Last edited by caloso; 04-05-21 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 04-05-21, 06:13 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
1. Road bikes were perfected in <arbitrary year*>; all new bike technologies are Big Bike's conspiracy to force people to ditch their perfect bikes and buy more expensive new ones. We can obviously tell how well this is working by all the Bentleys the bike industry folks roll around in when their help haven't finished washing and waxing the Maybachs back at the weekend estate.

2. No one who doesn't race should ever buy nicer components for their bike, because spending <x**> amount of money is a waste and how dare they pretend otherwise, don't they know that an angel loses its wings and weeps whenever someone buys something they shouldn't, SMH.

3. Arm-chair reasoning always wins over empirical evidence*** because those who believe this are smarter than everyone else and don't we ignoramuses know how well this worked for the Greek philosophers, who were clearly smarter than us, though arguably not quite as smart as the believers on account of not having made the same, ideal bike choices that the believers did despite a 2,000 year head start.

*: By total coincidence, typically the same year of the newest bike owned by the person proselytizing this belief to the sheeple being fooled by Big Bike.
**: By yet another complete coincidence (defying the odds, wow), x is always greater than the most expensive upgrade believers made to one of their bikes, in any year (and never, under any circumstances, adjusted for inflation or market conditions or that believers might've landed a fantastic and impossible to replicate deal).
***: Especially not any (insert derisive air-quote) evidence attained after the year defined in Belief 1 because everything to know about cycling was already established by then, and therefore anything contradicting said knowledge must be wrong, QED *mic drop*.
I concur

Originally Posted by surak View Post
Just remembered two more.

A. If pros are slow to adopt some tech, then it's obviously bad and what they're using before must be the best.
pros are probably the biggest retro-grouches out there
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Old 04-05-21, 11:57 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Most are fine with what came with the bike.

One thing to point out though. Lots of bikes come with wheels basically for shipping and test riding. The wheels that come on "race" bikes like a Propel, Evo, Emonda, or a TT bike like a Trinity are literally for training or shipping. Cheap, basic, functional.

Probably same even for mtb or gravel bikes that are really expensive.

In no way are 30mm alloy round spoked wheels an intended wheel of choice for a time trial bike. There for shipping/test rides only pretty much.
This is the issue I have with mid-range bikes coming with crappy, generic carbon wheels that weigh a ton and have no-name hubs and spokes. Or even just mid-tier carbon wheels. They're more expensive and probably less enjoyable to ride than a cheap box section alloy wheelset, and thus make the decision to upgrade to a proper carbon wheelset harder.

I'm sure carbon wheels do wonders to move bikes off showroom floors with fat margins, but I'm not sure it's in the best interest of the customer.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:03 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
This is the issue I have with mid-range bikes coming with crappy, generic carbon wheels that weigh a ton and have no-name hubs and spokes. Or even just mid-tier carbon wheels. They're more expensive and probably less enjoyable to ride than a cheap box section alloy wheelset, and thus make the decision to upgrade to a proper carbon wheelset harder.

I'm sure carbon wheels do wonders to move bikes off showroom floors with fat margins, but I'm not sure it's in the best interest of the customer.
I figure it's the idea just like motor vehicles......people just HAVE to go home with a vehicle THAT exact moment.

Vehicles would cost a lot less if they had a no inventory showroom only approach with true build to order. Same for bikes. But nobody wants to wait.

If that were the case, the wheel thing would be a non-issue. Buy it without wheels. With boxes, aero, whatever.

Most consumers don't care for this with motor vehicles, but aftermarket wheels is a huge thing still with cars. Those sweet BBS's look great on that car, but were never offered with it.
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Old 04-06-21, 09:01 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
This is the issue I have with mid-range bikes coming with crappy, generic carbon wheels that weigh a ton and have no-name hubs and spokes. Or even just mid-tier carbon wheels. They're more expensive and probably less enjoyable to ride than a cheap box section alloy wheelset, and thus make the decision to upgrade to a proper carbon wheelset harder.

I'm sure carbon wheels do wonders to move bikes off showroom floors with fat margins, but I'm not sure it's in the best interest of the customer.

This makes the grade, IMO.

Simultaneously touching the ideas that CF wheels make no difference, and that CF wheels make a huge difference.
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Old 04-06-21, 12:50 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
This makes the grade, IMO.

Simultaneously touching the ideas that CF wheels make no difference, and that CF wheels make a huge difference.
It's not so much the "CF" as it is the lack of choice. If I'm getting an expensive wheelset, I'd like to pick which one I get. For example, I might want to use a special hub or get more spokes in the rear. Or I might just want something that's top of the line rather than midrange. Or I might want something wider and optimized for 28mm tires rather than 23s. There are lots of reasons why I wouldn't want low-budget carbon wheels.

I think you're reading too much into it.

or did I misinterpret your comment lol
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Old 04-06-21, 01:01 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
It's not so much the "CF" as it is the lack of choice. If I'm getting an expensive wheelset, I'd like to pick which one I get. For example, I might want to use a special hub or get more spokes in the rear. Or I might just want something that's top of the line rather than midrange. Or I might want something wider and optimized for 28mm tires rather than 23s. There are lots of reasons why I wouldn't want low-budget carbon wheels.
Generally speaking, for complete bikes, it's unrealistic to expect a custom wheel option unless you're doing a custom build on the whole bike.
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Old 04-06-21, 01:28 PM
  #62  
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The claim that disk brakes are better then rim brakes on a road bike
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Old 04-06-21, 03:01 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Generally speaking, for complete bikes, it's unrealistic to expect a custom wheel option unless you're doing a custom build on the whole bike.
Sure. But my point is that midrange bikes should come with cheap alloy wheels rather than expensive mid-tier carbon wheels so that our money can be used more optimally.
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Old 04-06-21, 03:38 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Sure. But my point is that midrange bikes should come with cheap alloy wheels rather than expensive mid-tier carbon wheels so that our money can be used more optimally.
I'm not sure I agree. If I was shopping for a new, complete bike at a specific price range, and two bikes that I liked were spec'd similarly except for the wheels, I'm going to pick the one with the mid-tier CF wheel over a cheaper alloy wheel. Even if the price is a couple hundred less for bike with alloy wheels, I'll still probably pick the bike with CF wheels.
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Old 04-06-21, 04:09 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
The claim that disk brakes are better then rim brakes on a road bike

Last edited by PaulRivers; 04-06-21 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:56 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
1. Road bikes were perfected in <arbitrary year*>; all new bike technologies are Big Bike's conspiracy to force people to ditch their perfect bikes and buy more expensive new ones. We can obviously tell how well this is working by all the Bentleys the bike industry folks roll around in when their help haven't finished washing and waxing the Maybachs back at the weekend estate.

2. No one who doesn't race should ever buy nicer components for their bike, because spending <x**> amount of money is a waste and how dare they pretend otherwise, don't they know that an angel loses its wings and weeps whenever someone buys something they shouldn't, SMH.

3. Arm-chair reasoning always wins over empirical evidence*** because those who believe this are smarter than everyone else and don't we ignoramuses know how well this worked for the Greek philosophers, who were clearly smarter than us, though arguably not quite as smart as the believers on account of not having made the same, ideal bike choices that the believers did despite a 2,000 year head start.

*: By total coincidence, typically the same year of the newest bike owned by the person proselytizing this belief to the sheeple being fooled by Big Bike.
**: By yet another complete coincidence (defying the odds, wow), x is always greater than the most expensive upgrade believers made to one of their bikes, in any year (and never, under any circumstances, adjusted for inflation or market conditions or that believers might've landed a fantastic and impossible to replicate deal).
***: Especially not any (insert derisive air-quote) evidence attained after the year defined in Belief 1 because everything to know about cycling was already established by then, and therefore anything contradicting said knowledge must be wrong, QED *mic drop*.
I mean, I know you’re exaggerating, but I don’t 100% disagree with the first two statements. I don’t think niches are necessarily created out of thin air, but I do think they’re exploited, perhaps over engineered and thus over marketed to justify the engineering investment. I mean, y’all - gravel baggies. https://www.showerspass.com/products/mens-gravel-shorts C’mon now.

And for your second point, I don’t think people really care if you’re wasting your own money. It’s the justification that tends to irk people because it comes off as extremely self unaware. A technical justification also tends to imply that everyone else needs to waste their money in a similar way as well do be “doing cycling” right. Just own the fact that you like cool gadgets and you’ll bug everyone else less.
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Old 04-06-21, 07:27 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Phatman View Post
I don’t think niches are necessarily created out of thin air, but I do think they’re exploited, perhaps over engineered and thus over marketed to justify the engineering investment. I mean, y’all - gravel baggies. https://www.showerspass.com/products/mens-gravel-shorts C’mon now.
I must've been the only person to have fallen through the long arm of Big Bike's marketing machine, since I've never heard of those shorts despite actively reading Bike Forums and listening to industry podcasts and having most of the big name publications in my RSS feed. I'm sure tonight's subliminal programming will correct this oversight and I'll report back on how good the shorts work for wearing around 50 miles from actual gravel as Big Bike knows is the actual use case.

And for your second point, I don’t think people really care if you’re wasting your own money. It’s the justification that tends to irk people because it comes off as extremely self unaware. A technical justification also tends to imply that everyone else needs to waste their money in a similar way as well do be “doing cycling” right. Just own the fact that you like cool gadgets and you’ll bug everyone else less.
Thanks, you reminded me that in addition to clipping angel wings, the act of buying something nice also signals that the buyer's true intent is to make others who spent less feel bad. Believers are the only ones self-aware enough to know that the purchaser is wrong no matter what and that the only correct action is to passively accept the well-deserved shower of criticisms from them. Due to their superior self-awareness, believers know that they are never projecting their own insecurities, as they are the pinnacle of objective judgment on all things Bike (not to be confused with their diametrically opposed nemesis, Big Bike, who have failed to advance cycling since the invention of the believers' last purchase).
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Old 04-06-21, 07:37 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I'm not sure I agree. If I was shopping for a new, complete bike at a specific price range, and two bikes that I liked were spec'd similarly except for the wheels, I'm going to pick the one with the mid-tier CF wheel over a cheaper alloy wheel. Even if the price is a couple hundred less for bike with alloy wheels, I'll still probably pick the bike with CF wheels.
Well, yeah. But I highly doubt you'll find a bike manufacturer that only charges a couple hundred bucks for the upgrade to carbon wheels, no matter how crappy they are. Even low end chinese rims start at $200ish for a pair, vs $100 retail for a pair of DT Swiss alloy rims. Probably even less for cheap chinese alloy rims (looks like alloy rims start at $5 or so on alibaba). And there is no way a manufacturer will sell you those carbon wheels for the cost difference. They'll have you believe those carbon wheels can go toe to toe with Enves and charge accordingly.

Also, if the low-end carbon rims' only benefits are that they are deep and black, I'd personally prefer the alloy wheels. They're more lively, more durable against rocks etc., cheaper to replace and more compliant. Aesthetics are the only argument for cheap carbon rims being OE... which is fair enough, I guess.

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Old 04-06-21, 08:12 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Sure. But my point is that midrange bikes should come with cheap alloy wheels rather than expensive mid-tier carbon wheels so that our money can be used more optimally.
This is an interesting point. The one really cheap part of my new bike was the wheelset - a set of Fulcrum 5s on a full Ultegra Di2 build. It was about $1800 less than a similar tier bike with carbon wheels. I ended up getting a set of FFWD RYOT wheels for it that I love. Turned out well for me I think.

Fulcrum 5s aren't bad, but they are not on par with even mid-tier carbon wheels.
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Old 04-06-21, 08:35 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by ericcox View Post
This is an interesting point. The one really cheap part of my new bike was the wheelset - a set of Fulcrum 5s on a full Ultegra Di2 build. It was about $1800 less than a similar tier bike with carbon wheels. I ended up getting a set of FFWD RYOT wheels for it that I love. Turned out well for me I think.

Fulcrum 5s aren't bad, but they are not on par with even mid-tier carbon wheels.
What do you not like about the Fulcrum 5s? I'm not claiming that alloy wheels are just as fast as mid tier carbon wheels - that would be silly. It's more of a holistic evaluation.
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Old 04-06-21, 09:00 PM
  #71  
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My C3 came with HED Ardennes, I don't remember what flavor, in Ultegra Di2. They reduced the wheel quality the next year, Askiums or something. The shop couldn't give me what they're worth for them, I'm actually glad to have spares. But the bike deserves better, and the difference is night and day.
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Old 04-07-21, 05:34 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by ericcox View Post
This is an interesting point. The one really cheap part of my new bike was the wheelset - a set of Fulcrum 5s on a full Ultegra Di2 build. It was about $1800 less than a similar tier bike with carbon wheels. I ended up getting a set of FFWD RYOT wheels for it that I love. Turned out well for me I think.

Fulcrum 5s aren't bad, but they are not on par with even mid-tier carbon wheels.
It's surprising in a way that there isn't more mixing and matching of parts/wheel kits, seeing as how the big brands are making and selling most of the parts, and the distributor could just ship in whatever was ordered to the LBS to assemble the final purchased bike. eg. Aside from the groupset, is there any non-bontrager part on a Trek?
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Old 04-07-21, 06:20 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
The claim that disk brakes are better then rim brakes on a road bike
Yeah, until you hit the brakes in a downpour.

;-)
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Old 04-07-21, 06:43 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
What do you not like about the Fulcrum 5s? I'm not claiming that alloy wheels are just as fast as mid tier carbon wheels - that would be silly. It's more of a holistic evaluation.
I'm just curious to see some examples of bikes with what you believe to be poor value/quality mid-tier carbon wheels. I've seen stuff like Treks with their in-house ~$1300 msrp Aeolus wheels, bikes with Reynolds AR41 or similar, etc, and I think that, as a package, they're awesome values. Off the top of my head, I can't recall seeing any bikes with clunker carbon wheels.
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Old 04-07-21, 06:47 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by ericcox View Post
The one really cheap part of my new bike was the wheelset - a set of Fulcrum 5s on a full Ultegra Di2 build. It was about $1800 less than a similar tier bike with carbon wheels.
Front the same manufacturer? I often see similar claims of horrible upgrade values within a given manufacturer, but whenever I've looked in to them, there have always been gross oversights and the upgrade has been solid for the money (assuming the upgrades are of value to a given buyer).
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