Feel like I'm always riding flat - outgrown my gear?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by xGTGx, May 8, 2006.

  1. xGTGx

    xGTGx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I currently have a very entry-level Iron Horse Triumph that I bought to get into cycling a little over a year ago (1200miles). I've been very happy with it overall, but lately I feel like I'm always riding on a flat tire. I really like riding fast and have been striving to ride more consistently above 20mph, but feel like I'm wasting energy pushing hard.

    Overall, I've taken this to be a sign that I've outgrown my current rig, but I'm really not sure! Is this a common sort of feeling? The feeling of a flat tire slowing you down? Or feeling like I've always got a headwind...

    Maybe I'm just a pansy? Maybe I need to train harder and eat healthier and ride more and that will give me a better benefit, but I'm finding it hard to train with the thought that my bike is holding me back. I've ridden with a few friends who are less experienced riders but have better bikes and they leave me in the dust on hills and sprints.

    I don't know if I'm ready for a new bike yet, but I'm thinking of maybe upgrading the wheelset or some other components (I just got new pedals/shoes and put on aero bars). Is this a wise decision? I figure wheels would be good cause I can take them to a new bike when I do get one. I want to shed weight, too and figure wheels/tires are a great place to do it because of their rotational momentum effects as well. Any recommendations to get me back up to speed? Or should I just head to the LBS and spring for a whole new bike? Or am I just a wuss? ;)

    -Grant-
     
    Tags:


  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,088
    Likes Received:
    41
    If what you want is more speed at a given power, the things you can change, in order of cost (low to high) are:
    position on bike (e.g., aerobars)
    tires
    wheels
    frame
    drivetrain components

    None of the weight-saving changes will result in much increased speed on the flat or downhill. The weight-saving benefits come into play on climbs only. Tires are a big deal. Even Zipp 404s can be reduced to no benefit with the wrong tires.
     
  3. xGTGx

    xGTGx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't have thought tires were so significant. Any recommendations? I'm not competitive, but want to go fast. Ride on mostly decent roads and trails. I don't want to spend a fortune, but can afford to go with something nice.

    I did see a pretty significant gain with the Aero bars. I still need to have one of my tri-geek friends help me tweak my position with them though.

    -Grant-
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,088
    Likes Received:
    41
    Here are some rolling resistance ratings of some popular tires http://www.rouesartisanales.com/article-1503651.html. I assume you will be running clinchers - table at the bottom right. The ones at the top of the list have less rolling resistance. There is a tradeoff between rolling resistance and puncture resistance with some of the tires. I think a couple of good options are the Vredestein Fortezza Tri Comp (not on the list) and the Michelin Pro Race 2.

    The two largest factors you can do with your position to reduce your air resistance is to get your back relatively flat (may require dropping your bars) and getting your arms close together (e.g., less than 6" between your elbows).
     
  5. John M

    John M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the feeling of riding on a flat tire is a new issue, then I suspect that it is related to some mechanical issue with bike. Check to make sure that none of the brake shoes are dragging, bearings are all turning smoothly, chain is clean, and that the wheels are properly aligned in their dropouts.

    Above 20mph, wind resistance becomes a much bigger factor than at lower speeds, so the body position issues are important.
     
  6. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had this feeling once, and it was because I was riding too much. I was pretty new to the sport, and I just rode and rode... it could have been overtraining, but I distinctly remember the "flat" feeling in my legs. Take a couple days off, do some research on overtraining, etc etc. Either that, or you've just been really unlucky and had your brake pad rubbing on the wheel. :?
     
Loading...
Loading...