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Another Op-Ed related to steel vs CF

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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

Another Op-Ed related to steel vs CF

Old 02-14-24, 09:34 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Unfortunately, these forums are incredibly disconnected with the cycling community in general. Between the aged demographic and outsized voice of the C&V community no conversation van be had without a overpowering voice of old men telling everyone how it was done back in the day and how those ways were best. Take a look at the active threads it is extremely rare to see a discussion involving current trends and insights. I tour, participate in group rides, enroll in events such as Fondos and live in a community with a large population of sporting cyclists. None of the insanity you see posted in these forums exist in the real world. Carbon predominates, disc brakes are preferred, tubeless is adopted and GPS head units are ubiquitous all of which if you looked at these forums are disasters in the making. I enjoy the gong show and the ends people go to refuse to accept reality.
Yet, somehow, I’ve been able to find helpful information from helpful people on a number of different matters. That said, I would agree that someone new to cycling, and new to this community, might get pretty confused by some of the nonsense that happens here.
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Old 02-14-24, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Yet, somehow, I’ve been able to find helpful information from helpful people on a number of different matters. That said, I would agree that someone new to cycling, and new to this community, might get pretty confused by some of the nonsense that happens here.
Yep. In all the noise here you can find some pearls. If you read people's posts you can learn who you can rely on for useful information.
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Old 02-14-24, 10:42 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Unfortunately, these forums are incredibly disconnected with the cycling community in general. Between the aged demographic and outsized voice of the C&V community no conversation van be had without a overpowering voice of old men telling everyone how it was done back in the day and how those ways were best. Take a look at the active threads it is extremely rare to see a discussion involving current trends and insights. I tour, participate in group rides, enroll in events such as Fondos and live in a community with a large population of sporting cyclists. None of the insanity you see posted in these forums exist in the real world. Carbon predominates, disc brakes are preferred, tubeless is adopted and GPS head units are ubiquitous all of which if you looked at these forums are disasters in the making. I enjoy the gong show and the ends people go to refuse to accept reality.
My forum experience is that you can be the head mechanic at a prestigious, cutting edge dealer and there will be an army of people here shouting your down for telling them exactly what you see actually working on brand new bikes. And it isn't the C&V guys shouting.
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Old 02-15-24, 12:19 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
And, wheel changes often require bike swaps later. Pad rub? Riders on ill-fitting teammate's bikes are seen a lot more now. That used to be after a mechanical or crash. Now, flats are called mechanicals!
They cancel stages for cross-winds now, too. It's an aero thing, I guess.
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Old 02-15-24, 02:29 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
I totally agree that consumers should make educated/informed choices about bike purchases. Sure, they should listen to the experts in shops and the 'journalists' in the cycling press. And from bloggers and influencers who want/need to justify their latest purchase, or maintain the flow of free trinkets from the industry. These are all completely trustworthy and independent. Right? They have zero motivations other than what is best for the consumer individually or as a whole?

So where exactly is someone supposed to get any perspective other than that of a salesman or industry cheerleader? From the cycling press who get paid by the advertisers?
If you are asking this question sincerely (which I strongly doubt) then the answer is ... . LEARN.

If the real issue you have is you cannot discern noise from signal ... learn.

I can see why you would post what seems like nonsense---you lack the critical thinking skills and analysis ability to figure out up form down and right from left. You are overwhelmed with input and unable to winnow the chaff.

And naturally you think everyone is similarly benighted.

it is not so. most people are able to discern the differences between advertising exaggerations and pure personal preference and actual information. it isn't even that hard, really, if you start applying your mind properly. Most people have been doing it for most of their lives.

You can do it too.

The world will make a lot more sense to you, once you learn how to separate noise from signal. Have hope.
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Old 02-15-24, 04:58 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
I have an unlimited bike budget. Through work and riding cronies, I get to ride a lot of different bikes. I also own a current-gen big-name road bike with Ultegra hydraulic disc. This bike is great for descending in the rain.

But for 95% of the rest of my riding, my four carbon circa-2015 road bikes are superior, mainly because they are lighter, particularly in the wheels. Carbon tubulars; 1,200 gram wheelsets with no need for rotors. The 2015 bikes are also a hell of a lot easier to work on.
I’m glad you are happy with your 10 year old bikes and their light weight, 17mm internal rims and 21mm tubs. Personally I prefer my “heavy” bike with wide rims, disc brakes and a semi-aero tube profile. It’s faster in all regards than my bike in 2015, it’s more comfortable, and I can slap some 40s on it and ride in the dirt.

Unless you’re always riding up 12% grades at 4mph, aero > lightweight anyway.
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Old 02-15-24, 01:51 PM
  #107  
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Hate to harp on this, but I'm talking about performance bikes for use on good (First World) roads. Not bike path hybrids, gravel bikes or cargo bikes or unicycles or whatever. But road bikes for riding long distances at high speeds. And being able to hang onto of the wheel of the hammerheads in front of you when your tongue is dragging on your front wheel and you are within 1 watt and 3 seconds of getting shelled off of the back.

I have a 30 pound hybrid for shorter rides on gravel. Works great. Is it slower than the 2015 carbon road bike with di2? Absolutely. Is the 2015 road bike faster than a 2024 $12,000 road bike? Yes again.
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Old 02-15-24, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Hate to harp on this …
Feel free to stop.
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Old 02-15-24, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Hate to harp on this, but I'm talking about performance bikes for use on good (First World) roads. Not bike path hybrids, gravel bikes or cargo bikes or unicycles or whatever. But road bikes for riding long distances at high speeds. And being able to hang onto of the wheel of the hammerheads in front of you when your tongue is dragging on your front wheel and you are within 1 watt and 3 seconds of getting shelled off of the back.

I have a 30 pound hybrid for shorter rides on gravel. Works great. Is it slower than the 2015 carbon road bike with di2? Absolutely. Is the 2015 road bike faster than a 2024 $12,000 road bike? Yes again.
I live in the suburbs of the second largest metropolis in the US. Road surfaces can vary from excellent to pretty mediocre. I've ridden narrow high-quality road tires pumped up hard, and wider high-quality road tires a bit softer. I'm never going back to narrow and hard. Especially for long distances and riding hard.

Your experience of riding fast, being strung out, and barely holding on to the wheel in front of you, is not unique. Been there. Done that. Some days, I still do.
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Old 02-15-24, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
It has no more merit than

"A steel/aluminum/titanium bike is thrillingly cutting edge until it's about two or three seasons old, at which point it becomes yesterday’s hunk of metal and nobody wants it, including you."
Originally Posted by Eric F
I live in the suburbs of the second largest metropolis in the US. Road surfaces can vary from excellent to pretty mediocre. I've ridden narrow high-quality road tires pumped up hard, and wider high-quality road tires a bit softer. I'm never going back to narrow and hard. Especially for long distances and riding hard.

Your experience of riding fast, being strung out, and barely holding on to the wheel in front of you, is not unique. Been there. Done that. Some days, I still do.
Yes, once ran 20/23 front/rear @ 110-120 psi. Don't know if my corpse has changed or the roads, or both but no more of that setup for me.
Luckily, clinchers have progressed a lot, as well, and the better ones seem more compliant while retaining some level of puncture resistance. Our local street repair has not kept up, that much seems irrefutable.
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Old 02-16-24, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Hate to harp on this, but I'm talking about performance bikes for use on good (First World) roads. Not bike path hybrids, gravel bikes or cargo bikes or unicycles or whatever. But road bikes for riding long distances at high speeds. And being able to hang onto of the wheel of the hammerheads in front of you when your tongue is dragging on your front wheel and you are within 1 watt and 3 seconds of getting shelled off of the back.

I have a 30 pound hybrid for shorter rides on gravel. Works great. Is it slower than the 2015 carbon road bike with di2? Absolutely. Is the 2015 road bike faster than a 2024 $12,000 road bike? Yes again.
I assume you’re referencing my post right above, but, this is a “high performance” bike built to ride fast which includes hanging with the pack and riding long distances at high speed on “first world” roads. It has electronic shifting, aggressive geometry, does not have fender mounts and bike packing nonsense and is in all regards faster than the 16 pound bike I rode in 2015 despite being heavier. The added bonus is that it’s far more comfortable than an 8 year old bike on narrow wheels and tires pumped to 110PSI.

If you want to keep believing that your bike is faster than. 12k super bike- knock yourself out. But don’t act like we’re sheep because of how we want to spend our money. I guarantee a guy with the same weight, riding position and power profile as you on a new $12k S5 or Madone would smoke you on a 40k course riding solo.
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Old 02-16-24, 11:58 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09
I guarantee a guy with the same weight, riding position and power profile as you on a new $12k S5 or Madone would smoke you on a 40k course riding solo.
Why?
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Old 02-16-24, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Why?
Wider tires with less rolling resistance, aero frame and 52/63 wheels that measure 35/34 externally allowing 28s to be pretty aero.

Aerodynamic frame stem and bar setup. I’d venture 10-15 watts less effort to maintain “fast ride” speed vs an 8 year old frame, even if it were designed with aerodynamics in mind.

Edit- referring specifically to the S5 here
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Old 02-16-24, 03:07 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
As it happens I got to ride a friend’s 2002 (approx year) Trek carbon road bike while I was on holiday in Nice back in 2019. The first thing that really struck me was how harsh the ride was compared to my own bike, running tubeless 28c tyres at that time. Braking grip was also notably lacking. None of these things used to concern me BITD when I had my own similar bikes with skinny tyres and rim brakes, but I sure as hell have no desire to go back! Tyres have evolved for good reason. I’m now running tubeless 30c tyres on matching wider rims and they are great. I think I will try the 32c version of this tyre next.
Yeah, you're probably right. I would find the new bike smoother and certainly with better brakes. OTOH, my current mount is free and has done everything I've asked it to do, from winning sprints to reasonably fast 400ks and doubles. And like I said, it's never tired me out while doing that stuff. I've been fastest in the last 25 miles compared to other riders. So it's a great bike, cost me under $2k, and Lance had his first TdF win on that frame. It's true that those I ride with have much newer bikes, but I haven't seen an association between bike age and finishing sequence on club rides and events.

I totally agree with the folks who say carbon is the thing. I was the first person in my group to buy carbon, hence my screen name. I was a proselytizer when everyone else was ordering custom steel. I'm still riding my bike, those custom steel bikes haven't been seen on the road in years. However the inflation between 2000 and 2023 tells us that $1.00 in 2000 is now worth $1.79. So a little calculation is in order: $1850 in 2000 = $3313.42. Of course for that price point I got Ultegra, not Dura Ace. But otherwise a top of the line race bike. I guess things are a lot fancier today? I did get my bike on sale in a SF area bike shop. What's the equivalent now?
https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inf...00?amount=1850
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Old 02-16-24, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
They cancel stages for cross-winds now, too. It's an aero thing, I guess.
And for farmers’ protests Never had that with steel frames.
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Old 02-16-24, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09
Wider tires with less rolling resistance, aero frame and 52/63 wheels that measure 35/34 externally allowing 28s to be pretty aero.

Aerodynamic frame stem and bar setup. I’d venture 10-15 watts less effort to maintain “fast ride” speed vs an 8 year old frame, even if it were designed with aerodynamics in mind.

Edit- referring specifically to the S5 here
Wider tires do not have lower rolling resistance unless they are over-inflated. Set tire pressures appropriately for weight load and 23-25c tires still have the lowest rolling resistance.

The difference between an old S5 and the most aero bike made today is less than the difference between a tight and loose helmet strap. However, that difference in aerodynamics isn't due to disc brakes, so old tech hanging on a new aero frame wouldn't give up anything.

And all this is ignoring weight - which might be limited by the UCI, but most cyclists aren't governed by the UCI. So if your closed course is hilly, I think you're misjudging the aerodynamic advantage and false rolling resistance claims of new bikes with big tires.
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Old 02-17-24, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Wider tires do not have lower rolling resistance unless they are over-inflated. Set tire pressures appropriately for weight load and 23-25c tires still have the lowest rolling resistance.

.
I thought that was the surprising thing from recent research, that they don’t, once you take into account real world road surfaces?
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Old 02-17-24, 03:08 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by choddo
I thought that was the surprising thing from recent research, that they don’t, once you take into account real world road surfaces?
I don't know. There is always someone new "demonstrating" that this thing or that is legit or not. There is money in supporting industry trends, and money in bucking them. Or you can be like Rene Hearse and say that fat tires are faster and then that it actually is just the sidewall flexibility that matters.

The classic problem is that if you take a 23c tire and fill it to 110 psi under a 150 lbs rider, it is slower because it doesn't absorb small bumps. But this is equally true of a 30c tire at 90 psi. Both need to be at proper pressure, and if they are the 23c tire will be faster because of less sidewall flex friction. Especially in the context of a complete bike with suspension effects from frame and fork spring.

But if you don't like that result, just keep making the road bumps bigger until they exceed the capacity of the tire to absorb. Then point at that result and say "See, real world data!".

Real world data isn't picking an average bump size and sticking them on a drum. Real world is building a robot test bike that can ride the same track on real roads precisely at a set output and measure the time. And it appears to me that most roads in the US worthy of "road biking" are smooth enough for narrower tires to absorb the majority of bumps.


The argument people also like to make is that their wide tires "feel" faster. Which is what people that like 130psi also say. And what people whose frames are so stiff that the rear tire breaks free when climbing say. But no one can "feel" efficiency - they can just feel rigidity and comfort. Neither of which are place holders for efficiency.

The fastest tire on the average US road? Could be 23, could be 28. It is almost certainly not 40. But no one actually has much of a vested interest in scientifically proving one thing or another - especially when what is true on a bike with a medium rigid fork isn't true on a completely rigid fork.

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Old 02-17-24, 06:54 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Kontact

And all this is ignoring weight - which might be limited by the UCI, but most cyclists aren't governed by the UCI. So if your closed course is hilly, I think you're misjudging the aerodynamic advantage and false rolling resistance claims of new bikes with big tires.
perhaps, but I don’t think we’re making a comparison to an older S5 here. There’s also plenty of evidence out that that aero has a more significant impact than weight except at really low speeds. There’s a reason the world tour riders are sticking with their aero bikes until they hit true mountains. There’s also a reason many are riding 28s now- and it’s not because big disc and big tire are making them do so.
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Old 02-17-24, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09
perhaps, but I don’t think we’re making a comparison to an older S5 here. There’s also plenty of evidence out that that aero has a more significant impact than weight except at really low speeds. There’s a reason the world tour riders are sticking with their aero bikes until they hit true mountains. There’s also a reason many are riding 28s now- and it’s not because big disc and big tire are making them do so.
Why would an amateur rider want to be running 23c tyres at high pressure when they can get the same speed out of 28c or wider tyres at much lower pressure? Wider tyres are undoubtedly better on less than perfect roads and offer more grip. Even the pro peloton is convinced. Seems like a no-brainer for me unless your bike frame doesn’t have clearance.

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Old 02-17-24, 11:11 AM
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Check the SILCA curves that provide Crr data. 25mm Conti GP5000 tires have the lowest rolling resistance when pumped to 100 to 110 psi. This is on 2 year old asphalt.

32mm Contis have a slightly lower rolling resistance when pumped to these pressures, but then you don't pump fat tires to 100, you pump them maybe to 60-80. Then, the fatter tires have a higher rolling resistance.

But the tedious fixation on tire rolling resistance is misplaced - a distant third-order effect. There is only a handful of watts between at play here. Aero is far far more important for the solo rider or someone on the front.

Of course, fat tires on fat rims on disc wheels are heavy and less aero, so are not competitive overall.
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Old 02-17-24, 11:20 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Check the SILCA curves that provide Crr data. 25mm Conti GP5000 tires have the lowest rolling resistance when pumped to 100 to 110 psi. This is on 2 year old asphalt.

32mm Contis have a slightly lower rolling resistance when pumped to these pressures, but then you don't pump fat tires to 100, you pump them maybe to 60-80. Then, the fatter tires have a higher rolling resistance.

But the tedious fixation on tire rolling resistance is misplaced - a distant third-order effect. There is only a handful of watts between at play here. Aero is far far more important for the solo rider or someone on the front.

Of course, fat tires on fat rims on disc wheels are heavy and less aero, so are not competitive overall.
Which is why the TdF is won by riders on bikes with rim brakes and skinny tires.

Oh, wait!
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Old 02-17-24, 11:21 AM
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Here's the thing - in my business, empirical observation trumps hypothesis.
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Old 02-17-24, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
But the tedious fixation on tire rolling resistance is misplaced - a distant third-order effect.
You clearly don't know what a third order effect is.
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Old 02-17-24, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
This is on 2 year old asphalt.
Mate, the roads around here were literally built by the Roman empire.
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