"Good bike" V "Winter Bike"

comsense
comsense Posts: 245
edited April 2014 in Road general
My winter bike is a kilo and a half heavier than my "good bike". It has cheap wheels, 32C durano plus tyres and Tiagra hanging on an aluminium frame complete with big mudguards. My good bike is carbon from one of the big players, 25C Conti GP4000's and Chorus with zonda wheels

Yesterday I rode my good bike and checked the Garmin - there is NOTHING in the times between the bikes. The good bike feels quicker and the winter bike feels more comfortable - both bikes are setup as close as possible with regard to measurements and position. I have checked a fair few of my ride records and the stats are fsairly even between the bikes.For background, I have been cycling for 35 odd years, worked as a mechanic in shops for years, raced and ridden sportives and audax.

also, now that I think about this more, I remember a lad coming out on a tractor of a bike with marathon plus tyres and he wasn't noticeably slower.

What do you think? am I losing the plot or is it possible we buy "more bike" than we actually need?

Comments

  • DiscoBoy
    DiscoBoy Posts: 905
    Of course we buy more bike than we need. Is a 90kg mamil really going to go faster with Dura Ace instead of Ultegra? Of course not. But we buy things because we get pleasure from them.
    Red bikes are the fastest.
  • comsense wrote:
    What do you think?

    Should be good for a few pages of mindless bickering I reckon :D
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    comsense wrote:
    What do you think?

    Should be good for a few pages of mindless bickering I reckon :D

    Aye, reckon. We've not had one of those for an hour or two so now is probably the right time!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • ravenvrider
    ravenvrider Posts: 198
    There is a difference, i ride the same hill 5 days a week all year round, probably 7 months on my winter bike and 5 on my summer bike, every ride is on strava and has been for over 18 months, on this hill (not big) there is about 8-10 seconds difference between the bikes admittedly based on my perception that the wind/weather were similar but that perception is regular enough to say it with some conviction.

    There is about 1.7Kg and ally versus full carbon difference between the 2.
  • I used to be sceptical of the idea that a better bike will make you faster - same engine every time, after all - but every time I've upgraded over the last 12 years I've found the newer, more expensive, lighter bike around 10 to 20% faster than the previous one. I thought at first this was a sort of placebo effect, but I still have two of the bikes I upgraded from, (the most recent two) and the results there are consistent and repeatable.

    The sequence of bikes goes like this: Cheap mountain bike, low/mid range hybrid, slightly better hybrid, mid range cross bike, mid range aluminium frame road bike, high end carbon road bike. The biggest performance jump seems to be between the last hybrid and the cross bike, and between that and the aluminium road bike, with the newest one still adding a good 10% average speed over the aluminium road bike.

    Of course, it could be I'm getting fitter as I go, but then I'm also getting older...
  • BrandonA
    BrandonA Posts: 553
    comsense wrote:
    My winter bike is a kilo and a half heavier than my "good bike". It has cheap wheels, 32C durano plus tyres and Tiagra hanging on an aluminium frame complete with big mudguards. My good bike is carbon from one of the big players, 25C Conti GP4000's and Chorus with zonda wheels

    Yesterday I rode my good bike and checked the Garmin - there is NOTHING in the times between the bikes. The good bike feels quicker and the winter bike feels more comfortable - both bikes are setup as close as possible with regard to measurements and position. I have checked a fair few of my ride records and the stats are fsairly even between the bikes.For background, I have been cycling for 35 odd years, worked as a mechanic in shops for years, raced and ridden sportives and audax.

    also, now that I think about this more, I remember a lad coming out on a tractor of a bike with marathon plus tyres and he wasn't noticeably slower.

    What do you think? am I losing the plot or is it possible we buy "more bike" than we actually need?

    This is a joke right?

    What is your wattage for these rides, I trust you have power meters to be able to backup this claim? The mudguards on a bike will add to drag and slow you down, let alone the weight.

    I think you need to look at selling your better bike, it is clearing surplus to requirements and possible a dud.
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    ...with the newest one still adding a good 10% average speed over the aluminium road bike...

    As long as you ride in identical position and use the same tyres at the same pressure (on similarly wide rims), and test both bikes in a short space of time, a road bike A isn't going to be 10% (1.5-2.00mph) faster than a road bike B just because it's made of carbon. It's just not going to happen.
  • Barteos wrote:
    ...with the newest one still adding a good 10% average speed over the aluminium road bike...

    As long as you ride in identical position and use the same tyres at the same pressure (on similarly wide rims), and test both bikes in a short space of time, a road bike A isn't going to be 10% (1.5-2.00mph) faster than a road bike B just because it's made of carbon. It's just not going to happen.

    Well, obviously precise comparisons are next to impossible; you'd need to do the same route in the same conditions, and if you tried to do that by going twice on the same day whichever bike went second would have the disadvantage of having a tireder rider which would skew the results. But, over time I've found that the average speed of the carbon bike does indeed seem to be consistently 1.5 to 2mph faster, over a variety of distances, given approximately similar weather conditions (especially wind speed and direction). Not just because it has a carbon frame; because it's lighter, has better quality components, better wheels. Similar tyre pressures, though and similar riding position (as one bike is a Specialized Secteur elite and the other is its carbon cousin, a Roubaix expert.

    Last year, on a warm August day, I rode 4 bikes (the three I mentioned in my earlier post plus a vintage steel framed Raleigh) over four different, flat circular routes of approximates 28 - 30 miles each, just for the novelty of riding a century using all of my bikes in one day. In spite of the Roubaix going last when I was tiredest (the Secteur went second) the Roubaix was still 1.1mph faster.
  • Two bikes - Carbon one weight 17lbs and Alloy winter bike with mudguards weight 24lbs.
    Both using power meter. As far as I can gauge there is less than 1 mile an hour difference between the two bikes over the same course at similar power outputs. I reckon this is due to the slower acceleration of the heavier bike, and also being slightly slower up the climbs. Once on the flat there is very little difference in the speed achievable, even with mudguards.

    Also I find that weather and clothing has the largest effect on speed,when riding solo, rather than the actual bike.

    In a group ride you cant tell which is the slowest, only that the acceleration and climbing is slower on the heavier bike so you have to allow for that. Average power is similar using both bikes whatever the speed of the ride, more depends on how much work you do at the front.
  • This study found that two properly fitted guards 'do not affect' rider aerodynamics, interestingly...

    http://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/05/0 ... -bicycles/
  • Two bikes - Carbon one weight 17lbs and Alloy winter bike with mudguards weight 24lbs.
    Both using power meter. As far as I can gauge there is less than 1 mile an hour difference between the two bikes over the same course at similar power outputs.

    That sounds about right to me. The fact that I have been getting better results than that might be due to knowing I'm on a better bike, and, subconsciously, making more effort. I don't have a power meter so I can't measure this. I was certainly surprised to find I have been getting up to 2mph more from the carbon bike; you'd expect a bike costing four times as much to be faster, but not perhaps by that much. However, for me, it seems to be so, and if this is explained partly by a psychological effect, does that matter? The end result, whatever the causes, is a quicker ride. And there's no doubt that such hills as there are round here are easier to get up on the better bike.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    It completely depends on the terrain and type of riding you are doing.

    If you go for a 40 mile ride on a completely flat road and maintain a constant power output the whole time, there will most likely be absolutely no difference.

    If you go for a 1 hour climb up a big hill in the Alps with a more or less constant 6% gradient and again putting out a constant wattage, the better bike will be faster by a minute or two, which will be almost entirely due to the weight difference.

    If you go for a 40 mile ride on sharply rolling terrain with lots of short hills, the better bike should be a little faster because you will be decelerating and accelerating a lot, and both the total lighter weight and the lighter weight of the wheels especially will come into play.

    Similarly if you are racing, whether on a flat or hilly course and need to respond to lots of sharp accelerations the better bike will give you an edge for similar reasons.
    As far as I can gauge there is less than 1 mile an hour difference between the two bikes over the same course at similar power outputs.
    1 mph difference is rather a lot!
  • comsense
    comsense Posts: 245
    This study found that two properly fitted guards 'do not affect' rider aerodynamics, interestingly...

    http://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/05/0 ... -bicycles/

    Thanks - that is an interesting article - I will be passing it on.
    neeb wrote:
    It completely depends on the terrain and type of riding you are doing.


    If you go for a 1 hour climb up a big hill in the Alps with a more or less constant 6% gradient and again putting out a constant wattage, the better bike will be faster by a minute or two, which will be almost entirely due to the weight difference.

    the better bike should be a little faster because you will be decelerating and accelerating a lot, and both the total lighter weight and the lighter weight of the wheels especially will come into play.

    I figured that out after I had posted. I have spent more time than is healthy thinking about this :)

    I ride most of the time solo these days.When I do group rides they tend to be steady with some hard efforts. I'll put some digs in on both bikes this week "purely for research purposes " ....

    Its not something I have a bee in my helmet over, just curious. Reading the reviews of the tyres alone, I would have thought the difference would be night and day. I am not seeing that - perhaps ignorance is really bliss.
  • Vaughan1
    Vaughan1 Posts: 65
    When I started club riding I had a real hack. But I could keep up (just). It was a steel falcon, no toe clips, steel wheels, and mudguards. Then one of the members sold a old set of 6 speed mavics, and that made a huge difference. But the best thing I ever bought was clipless look pedals. Its nice to have all the kit but its the human that makes the differance
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    My good bike has no difference in performance than my winter bike. I just prefer riding it. Nuff said
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    The main thing is your bike is setup properly and you enjoy riding it. As bike prices increase you have to know what you want and why or you won't see the benefits. An example of this is my XC Mountain bike, after 20 years of mountain biking I knew exactly what I wanted from the bike and would make good use of it so worth spending more to get it.
  • There is also the difference from summer riding and winter riding. Summer riding, warmer temperatures, lower wind speed, less clothing, etc.