Are new bikes faster?



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M

Michael Green

Guest
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!)
 
A

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.
 
A

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
 
P

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
 
P

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
 
R

Richard Goodman

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?'.

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
 
E

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
 
S

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
 
J

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
 
E

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 :)
 
J

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
 
M

Martin Family

Guest
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
 
N

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!)
 
G

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
 
A

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
 
M

Martin Family

Guest
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
 
W

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)
 
P

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
 
A

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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