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How much effort did this cost me?

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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
View Poll Results: What was the main factor costing me energy?
Wider tires with the knobby edges
7
14.29%
Aero penalty due to rack & fenders
0
0%
Aero penalty due to wide bar and posture
8
16.33%
No one thing; it was a combination of those things
30
61.22%
Other
4
8.16%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

How much effort did this cost me?

Old 07-21-23, 01:49 PM
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How much effort did this cost me?

I joined a group ride yesterday. It was about 20 miles and was one of the slower weekly rides; supposed to be 10-13 mph. Because of that, I decided to bring my hybrid bike and stretch its legs.

Average speed of the ride wound up being 12.6 mph, as reported by my Strava app. It was a windy day and I felt like I was DYING just to gradually fall behind a couple riders who are not any stronger than me. Everyone else was on a road bike with 32 mm or narrower tires. I was on 700x45 mm tires. Bike has rack & fenders and a flat bar.

What do you think made the majority of the difference? (please vote in the poll above)
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Old 07-21-23, 03:40 PM
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What about the poll option, “I’m too fat for this sport.”
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Old 07-21-23, 03:54 PM
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Option is what I used to tell my students was always the answer, but in writing your essay you have to come down to one main determinant. Of course it's a combination, but which factor is the most decisive? Take away Option 4 and make people choose!

(I choose Option 1, but I know the answer is probably something aero, as the videos always tell us.)
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Old 07-21-23, 04:29 PM
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Other: You mentally psyched yourself into being slower by thinking about all those things.
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Old 07-21-23, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Other: You mentally psyched yourself into being slower by thinking about all those things.
What he said! Every once in a while I'll take my old, heavy, steel mtn.bike out for a workout. I don't look at the cyclometer. At the end of the ride I usually find my avg speed is very close to my road bike. PS--I'm not fast on either bike, could have something to do with it!
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Old 07-21-23, 06:05 PM
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If you're built like an NFL linebacker, getting aero will be tough.
I can get more aero on my flatbar 29er but I will only go a few minutes to cut through some headwinds.
Otherwise, I just accept I'm on the wrong bike for speed.
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Old 07-21-23, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I joined a group ride yesterday. It was about 20 miles and was one of the slower weekly rides; supposed to be 10-13 mph. Because of that, I decided to bring my hybrid bike and stretch its legs.

Average speed of the ride wound up being 12.6 mph, as reported by my Strava app. It was a windy day and I felt like I was DYING just to gradually fall behind a couple riders who are not any stronger than me. Everyone else was on a road bike with 32 mm or narrower tires. I was on 700x45 mm tires. Bike has rack & fenders and a flat bar.

What do you think made the majority of the difference? (please vote in the poll above)
How do you know those riders are not any stronger than you?

Anyway, both your tyres and aero are not helping here.
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Old 07-21-23, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
How do you know those riders are not any stronger than you? ...
Because I've ridden with some of them on my Domane and had no problem keeping up.
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Old 07-21-23, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
What about the poll option, “I’m too fat for this sport.”
Well, I do need to lose some weight. I'm 5'8, 180 lbs. I should lose about 30 more, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Originally Posted by urbanknight
Other: You mentally psyched yourself into being slower by thinking about all those things.
Nope, I can assure you it was not on my mind at the time. I was giving 100%, spinning up those hills and still falling behind.

Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
If you're built like an NFL linebacker, getting aero will be tough.
I can get more aero on my flatbar 29er but I will only go a few minutes to cut through some headwinds.
Otherwise, I just accept I'm on the wrong bike for speed.
Yeah, I'm overweight, but not THAT big. (see above)

I was certainly on the wrong bike for speed, but I didn't think a 700x45-tired aluminum-framed hybrid wasn't THAT bad. It felt like a huge difference yesterday though.

I'm thinking now it was a combination.

The bike is heavy, with the fenders, rack, tail bag, handlebar doodads. It's 29 lbs. without the rack fenders and doodads.
The bike is non-aero, with the fenders, rack, tail bag, flat bar, upright posture
The tires are widish, but I think the knobby edges are the bigger penalty than the width or pressure.

I'm not taking that bike on any more club rides, even the slow ones. It's gonna be my gravel bike or bike to ride with my slow wife from now on.
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Old 07-21-23, 08:23 PM
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Gearing
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Old 07-21-23, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Nope, I can assure you it was not on my mind at the time. I was giving 100%, spinning up those hills and still falling behind.

I was certainly on the wrong bike for speed, but I didn't think a 700x45-tired aluminum-framed hybrid wasn't THAT bad. It felt like a huge difference yesterday though.
I was on a fast training ride once, with the peloton going about 30mph on a fairly flat road, lead by local pros and elite racers. The I noticed Tinker Juarez passing the entire pack, on a full suspension "downhill" mountain bike with fat tires (slicks, but still very wide). I, on the other hand, can't help but wonder if my choice to run 5 psi lower is slowing me down.
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Old 07-21-23, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Gearing
BUZZZZZER. Snot an answerve. Nice try.

The dude seriously needs a racing bike, not an all terrain commuter. In that way he can boost the average to 13 and maybe 14.
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Old 07-21-23, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Gearing
At the speeds the OP is talking about, probably not.
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Old 07-22-23, 01:07 AM
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It was your shirt flapping around in the wind. Lose the shirt.
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Old 07-22-23, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit
It was your shirt flapping around in the wind. Lose the shirt.
#Larrify
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Old 07-22-23, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Well, I do need to lose some weight. I'm 5'8, 180 lbs. I should lose about 30 more, but that's not what we're talking about here.


Nope, I can assure you it was not on my mind at the time. I was giving 100%, spinning up those hills and still falling behind.


Yeah, I'm overweight, but not THAT big. (see above)

I was certainly on the wrong bike for speed, but I didn't think a 700x45-tired aluminum-framed hybrid wasn't THAT bad. It felt like a huge difference yesterday though.

I'm thinking now it was a combination.

The bike is heavy, with the fenders, rack, tail bag, handlebar doodads. It's 29 lbs. without the rack fenders and doodads.
The bike is non-aero, with the fenders, rack, tail bag, flat bar, upright posture
The tires are widish, but I think the knobby edges are the bigger penalty than the width or pressure.

I'm not taking that bike on any more club rides, even the slow ones. It's gonna be my gravel bike or bike to ride with my slow wife from now on.
some days I am slower than other days, not sure why
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Old 07-22-23, 06:16 AM
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does aero come in to play at 13 mph? I thought fenders helped with aero...according to the guy who owns rene hersey wider tires and knobs really have no effect.maybe you were running too much psi?
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Old 07-22-23, 06:58 AM
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At that speed, aero is not much of a factor unless there is a 10+mph tail wind.
At the 20+mph speed then your aero body profile is a consideration.
Cross winds are another consideration.

Last edited by joesch; 07-22-23 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 07-22-23, 08:05 AM
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Flat vs clipless pedals anyone?
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Old 07-22-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
does aero come in to play at 13 mph? I thought fenders helped with aero...according to the guy who owns rene hersey wider tires and knobs really have no effect.maybe you were running too much psi?
OP said it was a windy day, so, yes.
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Old 07-22-23, 09:18 AM
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I can feel the difference, riding into headwinds, between being up on the hoods and going aero hoods, so, yeah - aero can be big at normal human speeds. Position and ancillary bits catching the wind. Also, some of the easiest passes I make on the road are gravel bikes running 35mm+ knobby tires. There's just more resistance.
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Old 07-22-23, 09:38 AM
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My group used to have a guy who'd come out and ride with us on his MTB, a couple fast centuries, too. His position was all that much worse than being on a road bike, but those tires! Of course he did it because it was harder and he was really too strong to get a decent workout riding at our measly pace, We were probably averaging about 17 on these hilly rides, he probably could average 20, just looking at him.

Which isn't the question the OP was asking, but it's the answer. Maybe you don't normally work hard enough to get any better. Take that bike out every group ride. Use your road bike for solo. What you experienced is just right. That's how it's done.
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Old 07-22-23, 10:31 AM
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Seat tube angle on that bike is a little slacker than a road bike and even many hybrids or fitness bikes. So that puts you at a power disadvantage where for the times you might have to go hard, you are doing more work than others with their body weight more above their legs.

If you are in good shape then the Verve still might have been a very relaxing 12.6 mph average. But if you've had a rough season like I have and haven't ridden as much as you should, then you'll struggle on any bike.

However my choice would be

No one thing; it was a combination of those things
AND
Other

Even more other things than what I wrote here. Though I'd seriously recommend getting rid of the knobbies if most of your riding is on pavement. Fit your bike out for the majority of the riding you do with it. Not the things you might do just a few times a year.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-22-23 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 07-22-23, 03:55 PM
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I think your tires were probably the major factor. As you were only going 12 to 13 MPH, the aero disadvantage would be just starting to come into play. At 16 MPH it would start to take over, and anything 18 or higher, it would be the greatest factor.

I’ve wondered about this kind of thing myself, when riding a heavy 3-speed bike with tough but inefficient tires and upright position. I am considerably slower on it vs. my road bike, over a given route. I’m sure several factors all add up to the total, but aerodynamics are minimal at low speeds and definitely the biggest one at high speed.
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Old 07-23-23, 06:08 AM
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How much effort did this cost me?

Enough that you noticed, evidently.
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