Are new bikes faster?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Michael Green, Feb 11, 2004.

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  1. In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years ago?'.
    Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other 'improvements' that
    don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is still in use. So, does
    anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?

    (This may be more appropriate over in .tech but they are a bit trigger happy with their
    flamethrowers and I don't have my asbestos bibtights on today!)
     
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  2. A.Lee

    A.Lee Guest

    On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 05:59:40 -0800, Michael Green wrote:

    > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old
    > bikes. This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty
    > years ago?'.
    snips

    Generally, yes, good quality bikes are now quite a bit lighter than they were 20 years ago.It is
    easy now to get a bike that weighs less than 20 lbs.A 16lbs bike is also quite possible, and is
    relatively affordable for the average person - I dont think this was even possible 20 years ago.

    Whether they are faster or not is a different thing.Eddy Merckx would have probably beat everyone
    even if his bike weighed 5 lb more than everyone elses in a race, so losing 5 lb off your bike is
    not going to make a vast (any?) difference in the 'real world'. Alan.

    --
    To reply by e-mail, change the 'minus' to 'plus'. http://www.dvatc.co.uk - Off-road cycling in the
    North Midlands.
     
  3. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Michael Green <[email protected]> wrote:
    : In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    : This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    : ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other 'improvements'
    : that don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is still in use. So,
    : does anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?

    New bikes are lighter. Faster, well, as ever that depends on the rider not the bike.

    531 isn't really in use for race bikes any more - it's too heavy.

    20 years ago a standard race bike would be 22lbs and a super-light, somewhat fragile bike could be
    19lbs but wouldn't be up to the job for regular use.

    Now a standard race bike is 19lbs and a super-light, but still strong one will be 16lbs (Trek Madone
    for example).

    The newer gears are lighter dispite more cogs. The combined brake/shifters levers are now as light
    as the old brake levers were after a long time in which they were heavier.

    There was a period when bikes got heavier, mostly due to STI/Ergo units being heavy, but they are
    now very light.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Michael Green wrote:
    > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    > This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    > ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other 'improvements'
    > that don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is still in use. So,
    > does anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?

    Frames of equivalent cost are generally lighter now. The best modern clincher tyres are slightly
    faster. Rest of components, I'm not so sure....

    I've completely rebuilt my 1980's "fast" Raleigh Royal tourer with modern equipment of the
    equivalent/higher price level and it's now *heavier*. Probably the only things that are now
    substantially lighter are the handlebars and headset. Dual pivot calipers are heavier than Weinmann
    centre-pulls, more sprockets equals more weight, MA2 rims no lighter than old Rigida/Weinmann
    alloys, Ergo combined brake & gear levers heavier than old brake levers plus DT levers, cranks still
    solid lumps of alloy, etc, etc. However, the better comfort and function makes the bike more
    enjoyable to ride than it ever was with the original spec, and the wider range of closer-spaced
    gears makes it faster, because I can ride more efficiently, despite the ageing of the engine!
    Clipless pedals help as well.

    ~PB
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > Michael Green wrote:
    >> In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    >> This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    >> ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other
    >> 'improvements' that don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is
    >> still in use. So, does anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?

    Carbon forks and the threadless system saves a lot of weight. I reckon modern mid-priced racers
    are faster.

    ~PB
     
  7. "Michael Green" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old
    > bikes. This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty
    > years ago?'.

    Of course new bikes are faster, unless purchased for a different property such as foldability. The
    effect of buying a new bike virtually expands mental perceptions of distance and slows perception of
    time to result in increased speed as a direct consequence of spending a lot of money on it ;-).

    Rich
     
  8. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest

    "Michael Green" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    > This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    > ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other 'improvements'
    > that don't come to mind right now.

    They are probably a few pounds lighter than some years ago and are thus 'potentially' faster. The
    cyclist must still be the most important component. I only ride mountian bikes and the upgrades from
    an origional old Boss thing to the current Marins has produced an impressive improvement in
    handling, braking and gear changing. These changes make me faster (a comparative term) but more
    importantly make the whole plot a more enjoyable ride. I love new technology and take advantage of
    it - but I do realise the principle limitation is me.

    John
     
  9. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    [email protected] (Michael Green) writes:

    > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    > This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    > ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other 'improvements'
    > that don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is still in use. So,
    > does anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?

    _Everyone_ knows that _red_ bikes are fastest.

    Simon, only rides black bikes.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; in faecibus sapiens rheum propagabit
     
  10. Johnb

    Johnb Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    >
    > 20 years ago a standard race bike would be 22lbs and a super-light, somewhat fragile bike could be
    > 19lbs but wouldn't be up to the job for regular use.
    >
    > Now a standard race bike is 19lbs and a super-light, but still strong one will be 16lbs (Trek
    > Madone for example).

    I managed to get my TT bike down to a shade over 19lbs - and I still use the frame and wheels.
    Tubing was 531SL (a rare breed) and I had drilled out bits everywhere. I've still got the slotted
    Zeus cranks in near pristine condition.

    John B
     
  11. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "John Mallard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Michael Green wrote:
    > > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.

    > Washing my bike always makes it go faster.

    Made me chuckle :)

    My new tyres convinced me I was faster, however my average speed is still the same. I thought that a
    long time on tyres flatspots them all around, therefore more tyre on the road. Then I realised that
    I was just giving it more :)
     
  12. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 17:19:19 -0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Michael Green" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >
    >> This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty
    >> years ago?'
    >
    >Always. Even if they weigh the same ;-)

    Is the correct answer. What other reason whould there be for buying one? :)

    James
     
  13. On 11/2/04 11:42 pm, in article [email protected], "JohnB"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Arthur Clune wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> 20 years ago a standard race bike would be 22lbs and a super-light, somewhat fragile bike could
    >> be 19lbs but wouldn't be up to the job for regular use.
    >>
    >> Now a standard race bike is 19lbs and a super-light, but still strong one will be 16lbs (Trek
    >> Madone for example).
    >
    > I managed to get my TT bike down to a shade over 19lbs - and I still use the frame and wheels.
    > Tubing was 531SL (a rare breed) and I had drilled out bits everywhere. I've still got the slotted
    > Zeus cranks in near pristine condition.

    I didn't really try to get a lightweight when I built my road bike 14 years ago. It tipped the scale
    at just under 20lbs when new.

    The key things that got the weight down:

    I am short so a 50cm 653 frame is pretty light. I have short legs so 165mm cranks save a few grams.
    competition 19mm clinchers and latex tubes.

    With a bit of work I could have probably dropped the weight by another half a pound by trimming the
    saddle, seatpost and handlebars. Then again losing a kilo off the bike won't make much difference
    when I weigh about 90kg (though this is dropping rapidly, I was pushing 105kg last summer and quite
    unfit) which is a bit much for my shoe size. (OK, I have a not so nutty theory that obesity charts
    should be based on shoe size rather than height. That is partly because when I was riding 200 miles
    a week, fit as a fiddle and had just got back from a month walking/climbing in the dolomites I
    weighed a tad over 70kg which puts my 165cm into the 'seriously overweight' category. Total bull.
    Yes that does make me a 'stocky' build but my target weight of 80kg is generally right for my shoe
    size of 9.)

    ..d
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Guest

    I've recently bought a new bike in an attempt to get back into shape (and maybe even race again
    after a 21 year gap!) and I would make the following observations comparing my new bike (Airborne
    titanium) to my old steel bike from the early '80s.

    New frames (and especially carbon forks) are a lot lighter - easily a pound plus for the frame and
    half a pound plus for the forks. Other bits such as handlebars/stems also seem a bit lighter. But
    many other components are definitely heavier, especially wheels/tyres. My old 28 spoke sprint rims
    and ultralight tubs must be a pound lighter than my new Campag Neutron wheels, although the new
    wheels are staying perfectly true which the old ones never did. My old 5 speed alloy freewheel
    weighed next-to-nothing, as did my pedals, brakes and tubulars.

    I was a total equipment nut when I used to race and weighed everything down to the spoke nipples. My
    road bike weighed under 19lbs in 1982 and it wasn't equiped with megabucks components, just
    carefully chosen lightweight bits. I don't believe many people would do this today; bikes are now
    bought with groupsets so you get all of the good and bad bits from one manufacturer just so that the
    bike looks aesthetically pleasing.

    Overall I don't reckon there's that much weight difference between a good steel-framed bike (say
    Reynolds 753) from 20 years ago and a typical aluminium bike now, but getting a really light bike is
    now possible without spending a year's salary and without sacrificing strength and durability.

    "Michael Green" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    > This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    > ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other 'improvements'
    > that don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is still in use. So,
    > does anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?
    >
    > (This may be more appropriate over in .tech but they are a bit trigger happy with their
    > flamethrowers and I don't have my asbestos bibtights on today!)
     
  15. Graeme

    Graeme Guest

    [email protected] (dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Does there have to be "a reason" to buy a new bike? Don't think so....

    The act of purchase is reason enough itself surely? Or perhaps it is the knowledge that you are
    setting one free to live in it's natural environment?

    Graeme
     
  16. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Nick <[email protected]> wrote:

    : I was a total equipment nut when I used to race and weighed everything down to the spoke nipples.
    : My road bike weighed under 19lbs in 1982 and it wasn't equiped with megabucks components, just
    : carefully chosen lightweight bits

    The thing is that an equivalent bike now (owned by someone who choose the components with weight in
    mind but without megabucks) would be 17lbs....

    Someone with megabucks can make a 15lb bike pretty easily (carbon forks, carbon wheels, carbon
    crankset, carbon bars, carbon saddle, carbon seatpost, super-light Al or cabron frame...you get
    the idea).

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
  17. On 12/2/04 10:03 am, in article [email protected], "Arthur
    Clune" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Nick <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > : I was a total equipment nut when I used to race and weighed everything down to the spoke
    > : nipples. My road bike weighed under 19lbs in 1982 and it wasn't equiped with megabucks
    > : components, just carefully chosen lightweight bits
    >
    > The thing is that an equivalent bike now (owned by someone who choose the components with weight
    > in mind but without megabucks) would be 17lbs....

    So when I replace my ageing road bike with something that can take mudguards and a rack, 27 speed
    STI, I should be able to get something about the same weight..? Being the son of a metallurgist I am
    more likely to go for a steel frame and forks than aluminium and carbon. I'd like the bike to last
    another 20 years.

    ..d
     
  18. W K

    W K Guest

    "Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Nick <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > : I was a total equipment nut when I used to race and weighed everything
    down
    > : to the spoke nipples. My road bike weighed under 19lbs in 1982 and it wasn't equiped with
    > : megabucks components, just carefully chosen
    lightweight
    > : bits
    >
    > The thing is that an equivalent bike now (owned by someone who choose the components with weight
    > in mind but without megabucks) would be 17lbs....

    Sorry to repeat my usual chant .... but would 2lbs really make you go that much faster?

    (OK, enough to make a difference in a serious race)
     
  19. Peter Storey

    Peter Storey Guest

    Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > [email protected] (Michael Green) writes:
    >
    > > In another thread Richard Goodman said that new bikes were supposed to be faster than old bikes.
    > > This lead me to thinking 'are new bikes any lighter than the equivalent of, say, twenty years
    > > ago?'. Newer bikes have more gears, heavier combined levers and probably some other
    > > 'improvements' that don't come to mind right now. Reynolds 531 was introduced years ago and is
    > > still in use. So, does anyone have a direct comparison they can offer?
    >
    > _Everyone_ knows that _red_ bikes are fastest.
    >
    > Simon, only rides black bikes.

    Quite right! Color is critical.

    The disappearance over time of all of those British Racing Green and dark blue bikes has upped the
    average speed of the worldwide fleet. But the real advances have come with the Cannondale "Bad Boy",
    carbon fiber, and all the other all-black bikes. Everyone knows that black absorbs more sunlight,
    which makes the molecules vibrate faster. The resulting kinetic energy makes the bikes lighter and
    also stores forward momentum. These days I always lock my black bike -- not for fear of theft, but
    just to keep it from running away.

    Peter Storey
     
  20. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    W K <[email protected]> wrote:

    : (OK, enough to make a difference in a serious race)

    As I said in my response to the first post in this thread, speed is up to the rider, howver the
    question was about weight as well.

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
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