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The imaginary benefits of modern race equipment

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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

The imaginary benefits of modern race equipment

Old 03-08-13, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
ok ftfy.
That is better. Lakeshore cycles my still have one in the back we can borrower for the race.
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Old 03-08-13, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Inertianinja
typical bikeforums post. i'd think it was trolling if there wasn't so much text.

the only bike worth buying is the one I have
all products are gimmicks until I buy them
Yep.

If a product is something I don't own then it's a pointless gimmick and the only people who would buy it are only out to show off how wealthy they are and what posers they are.

If it's something I do own then it's essential to the sport and the only reason anyone could possibly justify not having one is if they can't afford it, in which case they're wasting their time taking part at all.
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Old 03-08-13, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01
Especially when climbing.

Or when you realise you need 1 more gear mid-sprint.
Oops, I meant to say while climbing. Sprinting is another example of when STI is far, far superior to DT shifters.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:02 AM
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Nice job on the rant SJ. Nachoman approves.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidney Porter
I think you missed the OP point about cages and straps. When cages are properly used they are just a secure (if not more secure) than clipless. The problem is that most people do not use cycling shoes with the cages nor do they tighten them down enough. People use regular tennis shoes rather than stiff cycling shoes that are made for toe straps. I believe that toe straps are still used in some velodrome races because they are more secure and those guys can rip the feet out of clipless.

The problem with properly set up toes straps is that you have to reach down an loosen the strap prior to pulling you foot out not really safe in traffic for you average rider. Clipless are better imo because the are easier to use and safer.
The problem with clips and straps is they suck out loud. Some of us were riding before there were clipless, or at least before they were widely used and used all kinds of shoes. It doesn't matter if they're wood with nailed on cleats or hard plastic or touring shoes. Clips and straps make my feet numb, especially when it's cold. The other issue is float, as in they don't have any. I filed the slot in my cleats to get some but my knees still hurt.

If there is anything more modern I have to have, it's clipless pedals.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:19 AM
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No mention of LeMond and his aerobars in the rant?
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Old 03-08-13, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
No kidding. So did I.

You ride DT shifters, I'll ride STI. Then I'll attack or at least change tempo constantly. Good luck with that.
How about barcons?
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Old 03-08-13, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sced
How about barcons?
A step in the right direction but still not as easy to shift and certainly not while climbing hard or sprinting.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidney Porter
?.. I believe that toe straps are still used in some velodrome races because they are more secure and those guys can rip the feet out of clipless.

...
I just switched to clips and straps on my track sprint bike. Big, burly double straps and an aluminum slotted cleat and my feet are more secure than anything out there. It's an advantage in sprint events. The advantage of clipless is you get most of the retention of a strap setup, but you don't have to futze with the strap; you have to loosen them when you go to get your foot out and your foot falls asleep when the straps are too tight. There are a couple sprinters at my track that use clips and straps; one mass start race had one of them pulling their foot on the last lap sprint because the straps were set up too loose to keep his feet comfortable during the longer race.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
A high end modern bike is not going to turn a plow horse into a thorobred. And stronger riders will beat weaker riders even with inferior equipment.
But at the margin with 2 virtually equal riders, the 5lbs, the better shifting, the more aero is going to be the difference.
What category do you race and where are you finishing?
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Old 03-08-13, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina
A step in the right direction but still not as easy to shift and certainly not while climbing hard or sprinting.
How so? The ratchets seem to work really well.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by sced
How about barcons?
Once you have barcons, and STI is invented, it's a small step and a huge advantage to switch to STI.

A lot of the OPs discussion is a simple exercise in confusing "sufficient" with "optimal". The newer stuff is closer to your optimal bike than the older stuff; however, the old stuff is sufficient. There is no racer throughout history who will give up the chance to ride a modern 2013 bike and components. Warp time and give Coppi or Merckx or Hinault a high end 2013 road bike in the middle of their respective careers and they'd kiss you on all four cheeks.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sced
How so? The ratchets seem to work really well.
Barçons work great but it's still not as convenient to shift as STI and if you're in a competitive situation being able to be in exactly the right gear all the time is a benefit.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Once you have barcons, and STI is invented, it's a small step and a huge advantage to switch to STI.

A lot of the OPs discussion is a simple exercise in confusing "sufficient" with "optimal". The newer stuff is closer to your optimal bike than the older stuff; however, the old stuff is sufficient. There is no racer throughout history who will give up the chance to ride a modern 2013 bike and components. Warp time and give Coppi or Merckx or Hinault a high end 2013 road bike in the middle of their respective careers and they'd kiss you on all four cheeks.
Yup. Wide range of types of riding ... wide range of needs.
But since this thread is about "race equipment", it's a lot easier to identify the advantages of certain equipment innovations.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sced
What category do you race and where are you finishing?
Cat 3 pack fodder.
For me, I'm so far from optimizing the engine that the marginal differences in equipment pale by comparison.
I've won on a steel lugged bike with D/T shifters, and I've been dropped on a$10,000 plus CF bike.

That doesn't change the fact that high end modern equipment is better than vintage, and would make a difference at the margin.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:11 AM
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Clincher tires of today are way better than clincher tires of old. Lighter, more supple, more grippy, less rolling resistance, higher pressure.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jrobe
Let me guess, the OP can't afford a nice bike.
No I can't afford a new bike. But for some reason, my buddy thinks the reason he is kicking my ass on the hills is because he is riding a 17 Lb Madone and I'm riding a 22 lb steel Allez. When I point out to him that I've gained 25 lbs since college and he's only gained 5 lbs, I get "yeah, but a lighter bike would still make you faster!". It would, but I'm not going to spend 3K to change my overall weight disadvantage from + 25 lbs to only + 20 lbs. That would result in me being 3K poorer, and STILL having to watch him kick my ass up the hills.

By the way, there are plenty of younger, FATTER guys than me riding carbon fiber, and I can smoke them. I don't fault them for riding nice bikes - If I were buying one today, I might buy carbon fiber. If you're Eddy Merckx, you need the best. If you THINK you're Eddy Merckx, you're going to THINK you need the best - regardless of what that damn bathroom scale is telling you!
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Old 03-08-13, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by thump55
You can say whatever you want, but it comes down to this:

If we all had to toe the line in a race tomorrow to save our souls and could select any bike/components we wanted, no one is showing up with a 1982 Schwinn World Sport.


If we are racing for mythical things, could we race for a unicorn too? Because back in the day, unicorns were far superior to modern horses.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:29 AM
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I want to respond to this thread, but will refrain until my new high modulus CF keyboard arrives from Italy, in order to be able to respond better and faster.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY
If we are racing for mythical things, could we race for a unicorn too? Because back in the day, unicorns were far superior to modern horses.
you must be a union rep for the unicorns (unioncorn); everybody knows that horses faced widespread discrimination and were constantly harassed due to the prevalent unicorn nationalism.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by loky1179
If you're Eddy Merckx, you need the best. If you THINK you're Eddy Merckx, you're going to THINK you need the best - regardless of what that damn bathroom scale is telling you!
If that's what you believe, you're wrong. The majority of mid to high end owners spend the money for the enjoyment of owning the bike.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:36 AM
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If I want to go faster, I just wax my chain more.
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Originally Posted by colorider
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Clincher tires of today are way better than clincher tires of old. Lighter, more supple, more grippy, less rolling resistance, higher pressure.
I agree they ride much better. Not sure how much of a difference it makes in time, but certainly better road feel, etc.
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Old 03-08-13, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr
If I want to go faster, I just wax my chain more.
Come on, this is a PG rated forum
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Old 03-08-13, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by abstractform20
you must be a union rep for the unicorns (unioncorn); everybody knows that horses faced widespread discrimination and were constantly harassed due to the prevalent unicorn nationalism.
You are clearly a Revisionist. The horn was a significant aero advantage, as well as a convenient bottle opener.
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