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

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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

\r?\n>

\r?\n> _____

\r?\n>

\r?\n> From: John Barron [mailto:jb@velostuf.com]

\r?\n> Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 10:25 AM

\r?\n> To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

\r?\n> Cc: tsan7759142@sbcglobal.net

\r?\n> Subject: Subject: [CR]Significantly faster on a newer bike?...only in some

\r?\n> perspectives

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> But Tom, you wouldn't really have an old bike anymore, would you?

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I want to repeat my main point: Old bikes are cool. God knows I love them.

\r?\n> I've been obsessed with them for 14+ years. BUT, to the extent that we are

\r?\n> talking about RACING bikes, the old bikes don't compare performance-wise to

\r?\n> the modern bikes. By performance, I mean first one to the finish line in a

\r?\n> RACE. Previously, someone talked about how a Ferrari was faster in a

\r?\n> straight line than a Camry. Ferrari's WERE NOT designed and built to race in

\r?\n> a straight line. You can't cherry-pick attributes about a car or a bike and

\r?\n> then claim that they're superior based on only those attributes. In racing,

\r?\n> it's who finishes first. For the Ferrari and Camry, it will take left turns,

\r?\n> right turns, straight-aways, off-camber stuff, and pit-stops for refueling.

\r?\n> Don't forget driver comfort, machine reliability, etc., etc., etc. In order

\r?\n> to win an endurance road race, (which is what vintage Ferraris were built to

\r?\n> compete in) it takes all of these things. This is what I mean by performance

\r?\n> when I refer to racing machines, both motorized and non-motorized.

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I stand by my contention that a Camry will beat a Ferrari, and a $600 Giant

\r?\n> will beat a $5,000 Cinelli.

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> John Barron

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Minneapolis

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Tom Sanders wrote:

\r?\n>

\r?\n> However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if I were to put

\r?\n> modern components like I have on my Sachs 25th Ann bike on, say, my older

\r?\n> Mooney, Masi 3V or the Paramounts, I would achieve much the same results,

\r?\n> time wise.

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2007 06:00:17 -0400

\r?\n>

\r?\n> From: "Tom Sanders"

\r?\n>

\r?\n> To:

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Subject: [CR]Significantly faster on a newer bike?...only in some

\r?\n> perspectives

\r?\n>

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\r?\n>

\r?\n> I would have to agree with John Barron's post when he recently said he was

\r?\n> significantly faster on a new bike. However, I doubt it is purely the bike.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> It is only common sense to say that if it is a few pounds lighter that it

\r?\n> takes less effort to propel it. But, it is not all that much lighter in

\r?\n> most cases...if you carry two water bottles on it instead of one, for

\r?\n> instance, the weight difference is largely gone. I do feel that I get

\r?\n> around on my longer rides a bit quicker on modern bikes than my older ones.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I also feel that the difference is a lot more related to having modern

\r?\n> indexing and ergo set ups on these bikes. It keeps me in the right gears

\r?\n> more easily, especially in heavy wind. I am a tiny bit more likely to be in

\r?\n> the right gears on hills.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if I were to put

\r?\n> modern components like I have on my Sachs 25th Ann bike on, say, my older

\r?\n> Mooney, Masi 3V or the Paramounts, I would achieve much the same results,

\r?\n> time wise. The bikes themselves are still bikes that require a good set of

\r?\n> legs to make good time on...there is nothing magical about Carbon or

\r?\n> Ti...they are just a bit lighter. A bit. They gain little in the way of

\r?\n> better geometry, the tires are negligible in difference...you can put great

\r?\n> tires on just about any older bike...and many folks do...classic riders

\r?\n> often are running tubulars or some really decent clinchers. A more modern

\r?\n> bike may have something like Zipp wheels, here again this is a decent

\r?\n> weight savings...they are butt ugly, and other than this, they could be put

\r?\n> on a classic bike, with a little planning.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I think there are two things going with these modern bikes besides the

\r?\n> obvious weight savings, one is the psychological ...the person feels like he

\r?\n> is really spending money and effort on as fast a bike as they can get and

\r?\n> this makes them feel a bit like King Kong. The other more significant

\r?\n> benefit is in components...and these could be put onto a more classic bike,

\r?\n> it is an aesthetic choice to keep the older or original stuff on them. Some

\r?\n> of us do hot rod our bikes up a bit...It is my old legs that keep me from

\r?\n> passing these college kids on my rides, not my old bikes. There is a lot of

\r?\n> grey in the beards of most of us classic bike riders, it has been noted.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> I am glad that next year Campagnolo Record will be available again in a

\r?\n> silver finish instead of black only...I just might put some of it on a

\r?\n> vintage bike for the fun of it (especially those sexy skeleton brakes!)...I

\r?\n> am much more impressed by modern components than I am by modern styles of

\r?\n> bikes.

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Tom Sanders

\r?\n>

\r?\n> Lansing, Mi USA