Thought this letter from the letters section at cyclingnews.com was interesting in the light of this ongoing thread of vintage vs new race bikes.
Bike tech a waste of time? Consider this: Leige-Baston-Liege winner's average speed in 2001 was 38.5 kmh, in 1974 it was 38.5 kmh! But get this, in 1943 it was 37.7. Makes you wonder if titanium frames, 10 speed clusters etc are making any difference at all. Another comparison: Amstel Gold winner's time in 2001 was 38 kmh. In 1967 it was 43.7. I know courses vary over the years, as do wind and weather conditions But looking at average speeds over, say, the last 40 years, you'd be hard pressed to see an upward trend of any sort. Factoring in the road surface, which would presumably be better now than in the 50's and 60's, and things look bad indeed for the expensive new bike technologies and training methods. (Read Cycling News Tech Pages) Stuart Davis Australia Saturday, April 27, 2002 Just thought it was kinda interesting. Don W. Tucson, AZ