[CR]RE: Significantly faster - ALMOST getting the point

From: hersefan@comcast.net
To: "Tom Sanders" <tsan7759142@sbcglobal.net>, "'John Barron'" <jb@velostuf.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2007 15:47:38 +0000
cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]RE: Significantly faster - ALMOST getting the point

A few posts are getting close to what the main point should be but most everyone is missing - most folks purchase a bicycle that is not optimized for the intended use.

John is right that there are incremental gains to a modern race bike? But so what? Should someone purchase a bicycle optimized for something they will never do (actually race) or instead purchase a machine for what they will do (fast club rides with often the intended "goal" being a long event or charity ride).

The bottom line is that when the actual use of the machine is considered, a vintage steel bike in most cases is the better tool for the job. Tom Sanders and Tom Dalton I think were getting at this. If one considers rider comfort and fatigue, which is of tremendous importance on a long ride, it may be that the vintage or KOF bike actually is the bike that gets the rider through the event quicker! If all you do is 20mile crits, that is another story. But if your "race" is your personal best time on a 60 or 100 mile ride, going from scandium or carbon or ti to steel (new or old) may give the incremental advantage.

For whatever reasons, folks just don't seem to do the math on what optimizes performance. For goodness sakes, don't folks realize that on a flat time trial course, after the initial acceleration, weight of a bicycle is essentially irrelevant? And for climbs (where weight does matter), calculations I've heard state that a typical rider looses about 7 seconds per 1000 feet per pound. So add 3lbs to a bike (there - now went from carbon to steel and a few heavier components), and with 8,000 feet of climbing, one uses the extra energy that would have saved almost three mins. But - if that gives added confidence on downhills, and less fatigue, it is a no-brainer to imagine that the rider might save far more time than 3 min by taking shorter rest stops and feeling more refreshed.

So most folks are just "solving" the wrong problem when they make bike choices. And the fact that our beloved vintage bikes are much better solutions for the real world cycling that most serious enthusiasts engage in should make us quite happy - but first we need to understand what our bicycles are really intended for.

Mike Kone in Boulder CO

-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Tom Sanders"

> John, I'll tell you what I'll do...I don't have access to either the $5000

\r?\n> Cinelli or the $600 Giant, but here's what I will do. If you will take

\r?\n> your Cinelli (you select the most competitive gearing, etc.) and race it

\r?\n> over a course of your choosing (as long as it is not Cyclocross or Mountain

\r?\n> or something like that) and then you borrow a $600 Giant and race the same

\r?\n> course, if you do not make better time on the Cinelli I'll buy you a steak

\r?\n> dinner at the next Cirque and here's the kicker...YOU get to ride both bikes

\r?\n> and make your best effort and even time the event if you choose. I have

\r?\n> complete confidence in your honesty...If not in your evaluation of the $600

\r?\n> Giant...

\r?\n> If that's not giving you every advantage in this bet, I don't know what

\r?\n> would be! Are we on?

\r?\n> Tom Sanders

\r?\n> Lansing, Mi USA