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What % is about the bike?

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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

What % is about the bike?

Old 05-15-10, 05:53 AM
  #1  
Radix
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What % is about the bike?

Yeah, I know Lance says it's not about the bike, and it's a quasi-impossible question to answer due to the plethora of variables, but that's what the forum's for, eh? I'm sure it's been posted here before - but my search didn't come up with much.

My ride is a 2004 steel Fuiji Roubaix Pro weighing in at 21lbs 10 oz. A clunker by most serious cyclist's standards these days. I took a spin on my friend's really nice bike, a Lynsky weighing about 16lbs & change. I now understand what "responsive" means and was in awe by how fast I could go!

Is this a placebo effect or can a bike truly make a huge difference in speed? What percentage IS about the bike? Thoughts?
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Old 05-15-10, 05:59 AM
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It is all about the bike... go buy the faster one.
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Old 05-15-10, 06:01 AM
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Assuming the bike works well (shifts, brakes, etc.) and isn't like seriously overweight (30+ lbs), IME, the bike really has very little effect. I went from a 21lb alu fuji to a 16lb carbon tarmac and while I do love my tarmac and the way it handles, it hasn't made me any faster.


Aero wheels being the exception.
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Old 05-15-10, 06:05 AM
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Roughly 18.667%
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Old 05-15-10, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Jasper Storm View Post
Roughly 18.667%
You got the math wrong.
It's actually 18.62%
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Old 05-15-10, 07:02 AM
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90%+ for poseurs.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:02 AM
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I am an OCD, endorphin junkie, weight weenie, so what ever you do don't read any farther if you want a rational answer.

To me, it is 100% of both. I can't stop tweaking the bike and the more I tweak it the more I look at it and the more I look at it the more I want to ride it. Would I find excuses to not ride as much as I do if it didn't excite me sitting still? Maybe, maybe not. I know I feel great after pushing myself hard for 20 miles after work, but I also know that sometimes it is tough to get on the bike. Looks like rain, the couch and TV look so inviting, etc. I think the more excited the bike gets you the more you want to ride, and it is really all about the ride. All about the ride? Didn't I just say it is all about the bike? I'm out of here. The bike is calling me right now.

Good luck, Greg
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Old 05-15-10, 07:02 AM
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90%+ for poseurs.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:04 AM
  #9  
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This is the 41.

It's all about the bike.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
This is the 41.

It's all about the bike.
Indeed. However once we're out on the road we're forced to face the truth.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by roadiejorge View Post
Indeed. However once we're out on the road we're forced to face the truth.
Truth is over rated.

Just ask Fox News.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Truth is over rated.

Just ask Fox News.
I just did and they said the truth was irrelevant.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:32 AM
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90% is the rider, 10% is the bike. I ride two bikes, a Trek Pilot 2.1, and a 76 Cyclepro regent. The cyclepro weighs about 32 pounds, and the trek about 19.8. On flat ground, i can actually hit higher speeds on my steel. Up hills, i can manage an extra mile per hour or two on my trek. Its almost completely up to the person on the bike.

There is no noticable difference to me in a bike when it comes to 3 pounds, but yes, there is a noticable difference in 12 pounds. Most of it is just my strength. Throw an extra water bottle on your lightest bike, and the your magically on the same playing field.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:40 AM
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IMHO 90%+ the rider

Last summer I got back on my bike (2000 Klein Quantum) after some 4 maybe 5 yrs without riding. While I only rode about 500 miles (average mph was about 17.5) over the summer months it was enough to restore my enthusiasm and encourage me so spend around £2k over the winter on a new ride (Cervelo Soloist Team).

Spinning classes over the winter to keep my fitness and expected to start this summer with an average of 20mph. After 2 rides on my new bike in April my average was only 18mph!! A couple of weeks and half a dozen rides later it's nudging 19mph. Its gotta be about the rider, if not, it suggests my Soloist might be no faster than my 10yr old Klein.

Will know better in at the end of May as I'm going out on my Klein for a few rides to see how the average mph differs from the Soloist.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Truth is over rated.

Just ask Fox News.
Yep - just look at their Nielsen ratings. ~3x the daily viewers compared to CNN.

OP:

Bike is less than 5% I'd guess when you have riders of somewhat equal ability. Probably even less.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:49 AM
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I think it is, yeah.
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Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
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Old 05-15-10, 07:50 AM
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Play around with a bike speed calculator. They are pretty accurate. https://bikecalculator.com/veloUS.html

If you took 6 lbs off your bike weight, you would gain about 6 seconds in a 1 hour time trial. Add in the extra stiffness of a good bike and you would gain another few seconds.

So if you gained 10 seconds in a 1 hour time trial, that means that bike makes a 0.27% difference (ie. the rider is the other 99.73%).

Of course the high end bike companies don't want us to know this.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Yep - just look at their Nielsen ratings. ~3x the daily viewers compared to CNN.
Half the US is of below average intelligence. Some of the others are just plain nuts. Any bets which news these two groups watch?
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Old 05-15-10, 08:07 AM
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I watch Cavuto and Shep just because they're entertaining with their sharp wit and humor.
The same can't be said for that idiot Glen Beck.

Back to the subject at hand, a $6000 road bike is going to be faster than a $2000 road bike any day of the week.
Add in a set of $2500 404s and you're well on your way to becoming that tuesday night hero we all aspire to be.
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Old 05-15-10, 08:26 AM
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I might even be a tad slower on my CF Roubaix than I was on my 1979 Motobecane 2x5 speed. On the old bike with limited ratios, I'd end up on the taller one to keep the cadence reasonable. Means I pushed a lot harder then. Now I have just the gear I need, my knees hurt less, and my overall speed may have dropped a skosh. Since I don't race, it really doesn't matter. The new bike is clearly more responsive, accelerates faster, and is way more fun. What else is there?

Sure wish the heavy rain would lighted up so I can get out of here. Wussy me is all dressed up, ready to go, but waiting a bit in deference to what the doc is calling a mild case of pneumonia.
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Old 05-15-10, 08:35 AM
  #21  
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How many times do people have to be told that the answer is 42? Damn, people...
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Old 05-15-10, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by akansaskid View Post
Half the US is of below average intelligence. Some of the others are just plain nuts. Any bets which news these two groups watch?
If true, that explains the Obama victory.
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Old 05-15-10, 09:49 AM
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I appreciate several interesting comments. The % of bike influence indeed seems small. However, albeit small, that microscopic mechanical advantage had a significant impact on my psyche. I was able to ride faster with less perceived effort, and I dropped my friend who was on my bike, and he usually drops me at will...
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Old 05-15-10, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Truth is over rated.

Just ask Fox News.
Originally Posted by roadiejorge View Post
I just did and they said the truth was irrelevant.
Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Yep - just look at their Nielsen ratings. ~3x the daily viewers compared to CNN.

OP:

Bike is less than 5% I'd guess when you have riders of somewhat equal ability. Probably even less.
Originally Posted by akansaskid View Post
Half the US is of below average intelligence. Some of the others are just plain nuts. Any bets which news these two groups watch?
Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
If true, that explains the Obama victory.
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Old 05-15-10, 10:16 AM
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In my hands going from a non aero tube bike at 23lb's with 15K mileage to a aero tube bike with equivalent gear ~2 MPH increase in the flats. So definitely some bike.
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