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Making my bike faster... IE. Bike mods + tips

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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

Making my bike faster... IE. Bike mods + tips

Old 02-21-11, 12:56 AM
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AndySchleckfan
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Making my bike faster... IE. Bike mods + tips

I have a Tomasso Imola w/ carbon fork which has Shimano Sora components on it. I am a junior, 14yo, and I have about 500miles on my bike. I just today figured I could flip my stem and I did to make my position more Aero as I am looking to be as-fast-as-possible. I need some help: Is there anyway I can convert my Shimano Sora Triple into a double, I definately do not need my granny ring. As the bike weighs 23 pounds, I need to take off as much weight as possible. Any other ideas to gain some speed through (cheap and relatively simple) bike modifications (other than the obvious "train more"). Also, I am starting up in a junior circuit with Cat4s soon, any tips on that?

PS. I am no noob, I ride for speed, usually 19.5-20.5 on moderately hilly 35mile, solo, route. My proficency is probably climbing, but I want to be strong at everything.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:06 AM
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Just ride what you got. Not really worth upgrading until you can point out things that need to replaced. For example, Junior gearing maybe, or a new saddle, or a new stem or bars to make the bike fit better. If the shifting isn't having any problems, I wouldn't worry about replacing that right now. I ride a triple on my 22lb bike and compete just fine in races.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:40 AM
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at 14, just ride what you got and look forward to your next ride. remember you should still be growing...you're going to out grow your current ride soon nuff.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:51 AM
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Hey! I am also a junior rider (15) And I recommended that you don't upgrade. I got my Cannondale CAAD9 in September(have ridden about 1500miles) and I am already saving up for new carbon wheels(even though my old ones are perfect) and I am also looking at a new frame(Look 566). My advice: Save your money and get a better bike once you grow. At this point you wont feel the difference of dropping a couple of ounces off your bike.
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Old 02-21-11, 01:56 AM
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You don't need to upgrade your bike.

Cycling, if divided into two percentage categories, is probably this:

95% YOU. You're the motor.
5% the bike.

Work on the motor more - it'll pay off far more than working on making your bike "faster," because really, you don't make your bike faster. You just make your legs pedal it faster. It's not the bike, it's you.

This is coming from a 16 year old. I ride a 22pound steel bike. I race it too. And I race pretty well. I work on my motor a lot.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:28 AM
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As every one said, the only effective way to make your bike faster is through training. Save your money for a lighter frame in a few years.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:36 AM
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Focus on fitness
Focus on aero
Focus on having fun!

Ride safe.
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Old 02-21-11, 07:23 AM
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Just
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Old 02-21-11, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by AndySchleckfan View Post
I have a Tomasso Imola w/ carbon fork which has Shimano Sora components on it. I am a junior, 14yo, and I have about 500miles on my bike. I just today figured I could flip my stem and I did to make my position more Aero as I am looking to be as-fast-as-possible. I need some help: Is there anyway I can convert my Shimano Sora Triple into a double, I definately do not need my granny ring. As the bike weighs 23 pounds, I need to take off as much weight as possible. Any other ideas to gain some speed through (cheap and relatively simple) bike modifications (other than the obvious "train more"). Also, I am starting up in a junior circuit with Cat4s soon, any tips on that?

PS. I am no noob, I ride for speed, usually 19.5-20.5 on moderately hilly 35mile, solo, route. My proficency is probably climbing, but I want to be strong at everything.
Hmmm...

At any rate, as everyone else has said, you'll be out-growing your current bike soon enough. Then, you'll be needing to buy a new one. When you do buy a new one, then you can get everything you think you need. (Remember, though: just 'cause it's more aero doesn't mean it's efficient.)
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Old 02-21-11, 08:22 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by AndySchleckfan View Post
I have a Tomasso Imola w/ carbon fork which has Shimano Sora components on it. I am a junior, 14yo, and . I have about 500miles on my bike. I just today figured I could flip my stem and I did to make my position more Aero as I am looking to be as-fast-as-possible. I need some help: Is there anyway I can convert my Shimano Sora Triple into a double, I definately do not need my granny ring. As the bike weighs 23 pounds, I need to take off as much weight as possible. Any other ideas to gain some speed through (cheap and relatively simple) bike modifications (other than the obvious "train more"). Also, I am starting up in a junior circuit with Cat4s soon, any tips on that?

PS. I am no noob, I ride for speed, usually 19.5-20.5 on moderately hilly 35mile, solo, route. My proficency is probably climbing, but I want to be strong at everything
.
how do you make that bike faster?

Put more miles on it.
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Old 02-21-11, 08:41 AM
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thanks for the comments; I accidently, when I got into the sport in late August, purchased my bike too big. I looked at a sckewed chart and it told me 5'7-5'9 should buy a 56cm frame. So, thats what I have right now. On the junior circuit, does anyone have some tips/expirences to give me a heads up. I am pretty proficent at climbing hills, so is there really a pelaton in 25mile races? For Crits, what is a good time to attack and such (I know this all depends on conditions and competitors). I have heard right after a Prime Lap, if you are with the top group, and you go, you'll catch everyone off guard. Agree? disagree?
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Old 02-21-11, 09:09 AM
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^ Don't worry about any of that now. Ride smooth, predictably, and protect your front wheel. Try to stay with the wheel in front of you. Don't let gaps form. Most importantly, keep the rubber side down.

After you've finished a couple of races, you'll start to get a feel for things, and can start thinking about tactics.

Also look at the sticky thread on top of the Racing sub forum.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:07 AM
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And it's not like junior races even take advantage of tactical riding. Not until you get into 17-18 races where most everyone is Cat2 or Cat3.

Speaking of which, how long have your had your bike? 500miles isn't that much. At all. That's my approximate monthly ride amount.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:48 AM
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I got my bike in late August; however, I run Cross Country at school and since I get home around 6pm, after running 5-6miles, I don't ride on weekdays. Also, as soon as I hit november where I live, it gets around freezing. Plus, I participate heavily in a travel sports team which leaves few weekends for miles.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:53 AM
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Alright, so you've said it yourself, you don't get enough time on the bike.

Get enough time on the bike.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:59 AM
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^^^+1
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Old 02-21-11, 12:36 PM
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Ride your bike!!
If you want to race join a club and go and race. There will be people there who will gladly help you with bike set up, training, etc.
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Old 02-21-11, 12:40 PM
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Motor?
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Old 02-21-11, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AndySchleckfan View Post
I got my bike in late August; however, I run Cross Country at school and since I get home around 6pm, after running 5-6miles, I don't ride on weekdays. Also, as soon as I hit november where I live, it gets around freezing. Plus, I participate heavily in a travel sports team which leaves few weekends for miles.
This would indicate that your best investment in bike stuff would likely be a trainer, which would help you fit in training when it's too dark or cold to ride, or you just have limited time.

Also, if you've got your bike setup on a trainer and only have a limited amount of time, say 30-45 minutes, you can make better use of the time in a structured workout on the trainer, than on the road.
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Old 02-21-11, 08:04 PM
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You guys are right, I must be getting some more miles on the bike. I do have a trainer I can use, it's my mothers, but I just hate it. Any ways to make the trainer better? I think I need a fan and maybe some good songs...
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Old 02-21-11, 09:00 PM
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I'm a 50-year-old guy still trying to get in shape to ride with the other rando guys. And I've ridden 400 miles in February so far. I expect to hit 750 by the end of the month, maybe 800. If I was planning to race, I'd take this more seriously.

There's lots of ways to spend your bike money. Getting a good headlight is one of the major training aids you can come up with, lets you ride all winter while other people are sitting on their duffs. Then consider some cold-weather clothing and reflective gear. And good taillights.

Personally, I have no interest in sitting in a house pedaling anything, but to each their own. There's different types of trainers/rollers/stationary bikes, if that's what you're into. A general weight-loss stationary bike isn't intended for race training, if that helps.

I'd rather ride in the dark and cold than not ride or do anything inside. But I've recently started riding some with a local club. It's not race-training at all, but you might check around locally and see if you can find a group that rides at night. Makes it easier to get motivated to get out and do stuff.

I can't tell you how to win races, but I'm pretty sure riding 500 miles in 6 months isn't going to do it.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AndySchleckfan View Post
You guys are right, I must be getting some more miles on the bike. I do have a trainer I can use, it's my mothers, but I just hate it. Any ways to make the trainer better? I think I need a fan and maybe some good songs...
put a movie on, it helps pass the time.

Or get a training video and watch that, if you stay focused, it will give you a training regimen - much like having a coach.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:14 PM
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I like to watch "A Sunday in Hell" when doing trainer workouts.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:53 PM
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I rode all last summer on a buddies old caad-2 weighed 24 lbs still did well,got in great shape.
Just ordered caad-10, but i do not expect to be faster,its all engine
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Old 02-21-11, 09:58 PM
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I heartily agree with improving the motor, but think in terms of quality rather than quantity. Riding more "junk miles" won't help you improve - make the most of your (apparently) limited training time by mixing up interval sessions with tempo/recovery rides. Be sure to add in rest days - muscles need time to repair themselves after hard interval sessions, but once they do they come back stronger. (Voice of experience.)
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