Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

What quantitative performance gains did you get by upgrading your road bike?

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 quantitative performance gains did you get by upgrading your road bike?

Old 02-23-14, 05:17 PM
  #26  
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,559

Bikes: 2 many

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 999 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by darb85 View Post
i could dial it up to 405 watts instead of 400. and my guads got bigger
The good old days.
2manybikes is online now  
Old 02-23-14, 06:18 PM
  #27  
bulboushead
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for the discussion and information, exactly what I was looking for (both sides of the coin). I know when I switched from my hybrid to my current road bike my average speed went from ~14mph to ~18mph, so I was just curious what everyone's personal experience was.
bulboushead is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 06:27 PM
  #28  
Smokehouse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by J_Boogie View Post
1) Comfort
2) Motivation
This.

Not only is my setup more comfortable and tailored to my needs…I often think "I spent a good amount on money on this dammit….I'm going to use the hell out of it!!!"
Smokehouse is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:03 PM
  #29  
jmX
Senior Member
 
jmX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orange, CA
Posts: 2,201

Bikes: Roubaix / Shiv

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
A coach sent a rider up the Alpe d'Huez (8.6 miles, avg grade 8.1%, max grade 13%, one of the toughest climbs in pro cycling) multiple times, asked him to keep his power constant, and measured the times. Without extra weight, it took 49' 40". With 4 pounds added only to the frame, 51' 40'. With 4 pounds added only to the tires, 52' 01".

So are these time savings this significant? If you're being timed in competition, then yes.
I'd say Strava and self-competition was enough for me. I'd had this goal to be top 10% on Strava up an iconic Southern California climb up Mt Baldy. It was meant to be a way to encourage myself to stay fit - I'm too busy and old to be a real racer these days and Strava hit the sweet spot of motivation I needed.

Anyway, I'd been stuck in the top 11% of that climb for nearly a year, and was taking a few seconds off every month or two, but the progress was slow. I bought a lighter bike, and first ride up I moved up 50 places or so and was in the top 10% finally. Point is, "timed competition" can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I'm in timed competitions with myself half the time I'm on my bike, and I suspect many others are too. They are relevant to me, and only me. $2500 well spent in my book.

Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
And of course, it's usually cheaper just to take the pounds off your body than off the bike. (But not necessarily easier....)
Indeed, usually...In my case I think if I lost any more weight it'd be cause for divorce and that would most decidedly be more expensive. I bought a new bike this week to help my marriage. Yup, that's the ticket.
jmX is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:09 PM
  #30  
zymphad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,538

Bikes: Super Cheap gc3 approved Bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Studies have already shown that on flat or downhill, doesn't matter what bike you have. On hills also indicates you won't be able to truly benefit from a lighter, stiffer, etc bike unless you are fit/light and damn good cyclists. At slow speeds, doesn't matter what bike you are riding, could ride a 25 lb bike and be just as fast, cause you suck on hills. I'd imagine 90% of cyclists out their suck on hills and wouldn't truly take advantage of the lightness and whatever else makes awesome about their bike.

Personally in this thread, would only take the comfort, feeling good about yourself, feeling more motivated etc seriously, rest is probably hogwash. There just aren't that many racers and bikers good enough to quantitatively gain improvements from bikes. Just saying, 90% of cyclists I see are either old, slow or fatties. Most of them fatties. I think I'm fat, but they put me to shame in fatness.

Anyone else notice fatties really take pride in their fat rolls? Wearing these super tight bike clothes, you can't miss a single roll of fat, dimples and cellulite. Just saying, before I put on any aero, form fitting bike clothes, I'm going to lose another 15lbs. Made some gains weight loss this week!

Last edited by zymphad; 02-23-14 at 07:14 PM.
zymphad is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:10 PM
  #31  
gc3 
Falls Downalot
 
gc3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DC
Posts: 3,104

Bikes: Now I Got Two

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best money I ever spent. I accelerated like the third stage of the space shuttle booster rocket. I climbed like a rhesus monkey with a roman candle stuck up it's rear. I braked like a porsche with 22 inch brembo disks. I saw unicorns and rainbows every time I turned my head. Women threw their bras and panties at me as I rode by.

Thanks for asking.
__________________
"I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."
"I understand. I just don't care"
"I don't give a f*ck" if they remember me at all" (F. Zappa)
gc3 is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:17 PM
  #32  
zymphad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,538

Bikes: Super Cheap gc3 approved Bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
Best money I ever spent. I accelerated like the third stage of the space shuttle booster rocket. I climbed like a rhesus monkey with a roman candle stuck up it's rear. I braked like a porsche with 22 inch brembo disks. I saw unicorns and rainbows every time I turned my head. Women threw their bras and panties at me as I rode by.

Thanks for asking.
I want women to throw their bras and panties at me. All I get is, "Buy a car loser!" from the girls. As long as the panties are washed and not streaked by poop/menstrual stains.
zymphad is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:33 PM
  #33  
8086bruce
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Bemidji, MN
Posts: 329

Bikes: Felt FC

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One thing that will make you faster and is more important than a few pounds is a good pro fitting. Made a huge difference for me.
8086bruce is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:46 PM
  #34  
buffalowings
Senior Member
 
buffalowings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bulboushead View Post
Thanks everyone for the discussion and information, exactly what I was looking for (both sides of the coin). I know when I switched from my hybrid to my current road bike my average speed went from ~14mph to ~18mph, so I was just curious what everyone's personal experience was.
A typical hybrid is really heavy, mine is 29lbs, in comparison, my roadie is 18.7. The roadbike is way faster because it weighs less, so it accelerates faster, but mainly I would say it is faster because of the riding position. The hybrid is not designed to reduce drag, nor generate as much power into the pedals as possible. If I had bought a new roadbike that weighed in at 15lbs, I probably would be faster, but nowhere near 14mph to 18mph fast.
buffalowings is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:49 PM
  #35  
profjmb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 325

Bikes: Mosaic RT-1, Trek Boone, Cervelo R3 Team, Surly Cross Check, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Can you measure the endowment effect and confirmation bias quantitatively?
You a psychologist? Me too!
profjmb is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 07:49 PM
  #36  
zymphad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,538

Bikes: Super Cheap gc3 approved Bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 8086bruce View Post
One thing that will make you faster and is more important than a few pounds is a good pro fitting. Made a huge difference for me.
No! That's common sense and sensible.

He should run out and buy a $10,000 Storck or Parlee. Fitness and form is not what makes you faster, it's the pricetag!
zymphad is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 08:15 PM
  #37  
darb85 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BenPS View Post
obviously positive
from negative one to 0?
darb85 is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 08:29 PM
  #38  
RoadTire 
Senior Member
 
RoadTire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,968

Bikes: '09 Trek 2.1 * '75 Sekine * 2010 Raleigh Talus 8.0 * '90 Giant Mtb * Raleigh M20 * Fuji Nevada mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In an extreme case of upgrade, yes there can be a measureable difference. I upgraded from a '75 steel 10 sp, 28 lbs to 21 lb alu/carbon/105 (triple front chainring) and the first time on the new bike I actually made it up one of the hills in our neighborhood. So yes, quantifiable - Hill or No Hill.

Another example is 30 mile flat bike path, zero increase in average speed. So again, quantifiable - no improvement.
__________________
FB4K - Every October we wrench on donated bikes. Every December, a few thousand kids get bikes for Christmas. For many, it is their first bike, ever. Every bike, new and used, was donated, built, cleaned and repaired. Check us out on FaceBook: FB4K.

Disclaimer: 99% of what I know about cycling I learned on BF. That would make, ummm, 1% experience. And a lot of posts.
RoadTire is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 08:32 PM
  #39  
zymphad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,538

Bikes: Super Cheap gc3 approved Bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
In an extreme case of upgrade, yes there can be a measureable difference. I upgraded from a '75 steel 10 sp, 28 lbs to 21 lb alu/carbon/105 (triple front chainring) and the first time on the new bike I actually made it up one of the hills in our neighborhood. So yes, quantifiable - Hill or No Hill.

Another example is 30 mile flat bike path, zero increase in average speed. So again, quantifiable - no improvement.
Makes you wonder, what if you just put on a compact crank and 28-32 cog on your old bike?
zymphad is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 08:45 PM
  #40  
RoadTire 
Senior Member
 
RoadTire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,968

Bikes: '09 Trek 2.1 * '75 Sekine * 2010 Raleigh Talus 8.0 * '90 Giant Mtb * Raleigh M20 * Fuji Nevada mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
Makes you wonder, what if you just put on a compact crank and 28-32 cog on your old bike?
Uh, yeah.
__________________
FB4K - Every October we wrench on donated bikes. Every December, a few thousand kids get bikes for Christmas. For many, it is their first bike, ever. Every bike, new and used, was donated, built, cleaned and repaired. Check us out on FaceBook: FB4K.

Disclaimer: 99% of what I know about cycling I learned on BF. That would make, ummm, 1% experience. And a lot of posts.
RoadTire is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 09:26 PM
  #41  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,075

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 582 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Why do you need people to convince you with numbers in order to justify in your mind your own spending? Be a grown up and make your own decision. Go ride a nice bike and decide for yourself.
Then post what the nice bike new bike is and let everyone criticize you. It's the 41 way!
StanSeven is offline  
Old 02-23-14, 09:32 PM
  #42  
Slackerprince
Redefining Lazy
 
Slackerprince's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Tampa via PDX, Summers on LV-426
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Synapse 5 105, 2013 Giant Escape 3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll get faster riding with other people.
Faster people.

S
Slackerprince is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 01:50 PM
  #43  
Machin
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Southampton, UK
Posts: 42

Bikes: Prorace Calisto

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think as others have said; the gains you'll get from a new bike will be marginal, unless you really do go from a very bad bike to a very good one... if you go from a reasonable bike to a very good one, you might see a little increase in speed. Below is a chart created from some testing I did using a Powertap, a nice flat road, and a day with no wind.... this is pretty much the biggest "upgrade" you can make; lower riding position.... At an output of 250watts my speed went up by about 2.5mph... this improvement was "free".



Of course, if you're already in the low position then you basically have two options; marginal gains from a slightly better bike/components, or training....
Machin is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 03:03 PM
  #44  
rpenmanparker 
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,408

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6343 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
simply put, IME, a 25lb bike is a hindrance as far as performance goes. i'd get a lighter one.

a recent purchase of a very inexpensive aluminum Performance Bike frame and a mix of oldschool parts and a DIY wheel build resulted in a 15 lb bike for about 600. it could have been less if i hadn't splurged on a NOS Campy Athena crank and brake.
Huey, please take no offense, but your report of a 15 lb bike based on a Performance Al frame and old school odds and ends parts is highly dubious. First are you including pedals, cages, and computer mounts. Did you take a few steps back in technology such as using down tube shifters? That would help. But even so, those frames weigh close to 4 lb. And for the money you spent, it wouldn't seem like you bought a 300 g fork. Without SRAM Red, ultralight brakes, and a really light cockpit, I cannot see how the numbers could add up to 15 lb with or without the pedals, etc. I do this all the time, and I have to say, what you are reporting just doesn't make any sense to me. Perhaps if you listed all the parts of your build, I could see more clearly how you accomplished what your are claiming.

Some folks say, "Without a photo, it didn't happen!" I personally find that attitude insulting, but I have to say a photo with the bike and a scale readout and a parts list would shut me up in this case.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 03:14 PM
  #45  
dtrain
L-I-V-I-N
 
dtrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Stafford, OR
Posts: 4,801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Maybe 15 lbs and 60 oz?
__________________
"The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

'14 carbon Synapse - '12 CAAD 10 5 - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur

Last edited by dtrain; 03-12-14 at 03:25 PM.
dtrain is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 03:39 PM
  #46  
bikerjp
Beer >> Sanity
 
bikerjp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,449

Bikes: 2014 Evo DA2, 2010 Caad9-4, 2011 Synapse-4, 2013 CaadX-disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BenPS View Post
obviously positive
You must be single. Pretty sure the correlation for married men is negative.
bikerjp is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 04:32 PM
  #47  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
You want numbers...wheelset upgrade alone, I'm consistently 1-2 minutes faster over a 6.5 mile, 6% hill climb.

Going from a 25 lb tank to a "real" road bike...who knows what you could do.
What climb is this?
ovoleg is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 05:33 PM
  #48  
RoboCheme
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Moraga, CA
Posts: 1,701

Bikes: 2008 Cervelo RS, 2011 Scott CR1 Elite, 2014 Volagi Liscio

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
OP,

I have a powermeter and I've found this calculator to be incredibly accurate. So, if you have a hill around you where you have a good idea of the percent grade, you could try different bike weights and see how the speed varies at the same power output.

You'll also see that bike weight makes very little difference on the flats.

Bike Calculator
RoboCheme is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 05:52 PM
  #49  
Zero7
More Speed = More Work
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 79

Bikes: Wilier Zero7, Litespeed Tuscany, Santa Cruz Superlight

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
OP, unfortunately I can't give you quantitative measurements, so feel free to ignore this But here's what I've experienced, Litespeed vs. Wilier:
  • In the saddle, not climbing, relatively little difference (possible none)
  • Out of the saddle, high power (flat) - faster acceleration and terminal velocity on the Wilier
  • Out of the saddle, climbing - faster speed on the Wilier

The difference in frame stiffness is significant between the two, the Wilier responds IMMEDIATELY. But the difference is more apparent at large power levels - when spinning, it seems to largely disappear.

The Wilier is more comfortable on rough roads, and the Litespeed with carbon fork is pretty good at that.

Cheers
Zero7 is offline  
Old 03-12-14, 05:54 PM
  #50  
clones2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You're going to get a lot of "great" answers to this question... :-) hahaha. But I can give you my experience from equipment upgrades from my entry level aluminum, to entry level carbon, to upgraded carbon, and finally upgrade wheels over a 4 week time period.

10 mile square loop by my house... no stop lights... It was almost my daily ride.

After a year of riding a 20lb aluminum bike - I was at 18.15 mph avg as my best route time. Bought an entry level carbon, next ride was fastest ever at 18.56mph.... started racing the next week, decided to upgrade immediately and went from a Trek Madone 3.1 to 5.2 and immediately the next ride was 19.25mph, the next week I got upgraded wheels around 1500 grams, dropped a pound in wheel weight and rode my 10 mile loop under 30:00 for the first time ever at 20.05 mph.

So I road this loop for 6 months...and went from a 17.5 to 18.15mph...just gains from riding... dropped the bike and wheel weight, added stiffness, and a little aero etc... and gained almost 2 mph in 4 weeks.

After gaining almost 2 mph in equipment... the gains then were much slower over the next year from strictly training...but got it up to about 21.5mph.

going from an aluminum 20lb bike to a very good racing bike with racing wheels at 16lbs was a huge difference to me. Someone above mentions ~4 minutes over a 33 minute ride... That's about what I experienced as well going from entry level aluminum to racing carbon. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY
clones2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.