is it all the bike?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by tiggere, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. tiggere

    tiggere New Member

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    I do understand that weight is a factor and equipment of better quality will help...but just how much...I have a Giant OCR3 with Shimano Sora components and an FSA Vero crank...I did change the tires to a 700x23 with noticable improvements...so I was wonder how much better a high dollar carbon bike with all the bells and whistles would actually improve my speeds...not taking into account my fitness...but just swapping bikes...
     
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  2. lohsnest

    lohsnest New Member

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    It's always the rider first. You are defined by yourself, not your bike. You could spend $12,000 on a Pinarello Prince, but that wouldn't make you a better or faster rider. That being said, I agree with Camilo that you should buy a bike that you can afford and a bike that you like. If this bike makes you go out and ride more often, then half the battle is won. Riding should be all about having fun and enjoyng life.:D
     
  3. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    Buy whatever bike you want to spend the money on and can afford. Whatever you do, don't worry if you're a "good enough rider" to justify it (seriously). But, more than likely, it won't make you appreciably faster, but it might be more fun to ride, you might enjoy it more and/or ride more.
     
  4. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    The changes to certain aspects will be small, and the influence of those aspects on your speed will be small. If you were a big strong rider, increases in stiffness will likely have a bigger influence (debatable still). However an unfit rider upgrading thier bike will have less benefit than a fit strong rider who can get more out of the equipment.

    The biggest influences on how fast/long you ride are (in order):
    Fitness
    Bike fit/geometry (notice these two are really the rider!)
    quality equipement/tyres
    wheels/aerodynamics
    weight

    most bike related improvements have deminishing returns once you get to a certian level as well.

    However you will notice a difference in how fast the bike feels, and the ride quality. I believe having a bike you really enjoy riding makes you ride harder more often, and as a result you get faster!

    Another point view is that very few of us will ever own a Ferrari or merc etc, but it is more affordable to have a nice bike to be proud of!
     
  5. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Small to zero. Many things have a significant impact of cycling performance, none involving equipment unless you are talking about a 40 pound bike vs a 15 pound bike and even then, it's not huge compared to fitness, bike fit, fat on the rider, training/riding smart, diet....
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Since you aren't a Flatlander & presumably not just riding around-town, IF you noticed the shifting to EVER be balky WHEN YOUR ARE GOING UPHILL (I did with some Ultegra 6500 shifters, BTW), then could/should consider getting Campagnolo shifters ... 10-speed Campagnolo shifters ARE compatible with 9-speed Shimano drivetrains if you simpy use the hubbub.com alternate rear derailleur cable anchor position.

    Campagnolo shifters can shift the chain smoothly from one cog to another when the drivetrain is already under load ... so, you WILL undoubtedly notice a very slight improvement in your speed because you won't have to pre-shift onto a larger cog at the bottom of the hill OR wait for the chain to shift as it tries to grab the next cog.
     
  7. tiggere

    tiggere New Member

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    well I was looking at it from speed, weight, rigidity, and comfort point of view...my aluminum bike is 22#'s...so if a CF bike was 15#'s thats 7#'s I don't have to drag around with me...also I was thinking that a stiffer bike might not flex as much so I would be putting all my power to the ground vs flexing the frame and therefore being slightly faster...as I have never ridden a CF bike I assume they are more comfortable than the bouncy aluminum bike or more people would ride aluminum...

    I also understand that my reasoning is flawed hence the question...and I thank you forthe responses...
     
  8. Dietmar

    Dietmar New Member

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    Yes, but keep in mind this is 7 pounds off of a total of something like 200 pounds (bike plus rider, clothes, shoes, water bottle, etc.). And 15 pounds is really pushing it: Now you are talking top-of-the-line frame and components. That's gonna cost you serious bucks.

    There is pretty much zero evidence that frame flex affects performance in any significant way. Understand that it is not clear how much, if any, of the energy you put into flexing the frame is actually lost.

    Plenty of people ride aluminum frames; whether or not a frame is comfortable depends a lot on its geometry, so there's comfortable aluminum frames, and harsh carbon frames, too.

    Bottom line is what has been said before: It's the engine, not the bicycle...
     
  9. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Carbon fiber may be more comfy, may not. Your tire pressure makes a bigger difference than frame material. PLUS carbon fiber is cheap, and sellable, why you see so much of today. Doesn't make it the 'ideal' material by any stretch. YES, all other things being equal, lighter going up the hill requires less energy but donno if it's WORTH the big $ to lose those 5-7 pounds, for that teeny up the hill improvement.
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    ALSO:
    If you realize that the CF frame is about 2+ lbs & the aluminum ROAD frame is often about 3+ lbs, then you'll realize that the components make up most of the difference between your bike's weight (with its "low end" components) vs. the weight of a high-zoot bike whose components will weigh considerably less AND cost considerably more ...


    In some circumstances, it's possible that you could shed a pound (or, more!) from your bike simply by changing the crankset & BB!

    Your cassette might weigh 2x what a "high end" casssette weighs.

    Conservatively, your SORA shifters weigh at least 4 ounces more than SOME "high end" shifters.

    Eventually, a few ounces here-and-there actually can add up to several pounds.

    As noted, changing the tire pressure often has more effect on how the bike feels, BTW ... 105PSI is a good place to start, and work DOWN from there (I have friends who insist on putting whatever the MAXIMUM rating on the sidewall in their tires -- 130PSI, or more -- don't do it!).
     
  11. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Alfeng, you are always making a point of this, but I have to say that I never have any kind of trouble shifting while going uphill with my Shimano drivetrain.
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1. If Shimano and Campy are setup correctly, they both shift fine while climbing. While it's reported that it doesn't shift quite as nice as the other two, SRAM prolly does just fine climbing. Usually referring to components and how they perform for the pros is meaningless, but in this case, given the monstrous amount of climbing done on the ProTour, I'll bet a component maker would get an earful if there were problems shifting on climbs.

    Sure, you can put any drivetrain in a situation where it's not ideal. If I try to shift to my bailout gear on a local 22% climb, the shift isn't the quickest nor the smoothest on my Record drivetrain. So? Any drivetrain would behave like that under a heavy load and at low RPMs.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, I say 'more power' to you, alienator, et al who feel that they don't ever have any problems shifting with Shimano's shifters ...

    BUT, I reckon that if you/(anyone!) are not having any problems then you're probably running a pretty tight cassette where slipping the chain from cog-to-cog isn't as much of a challenge.

    FWIW. I guess ONE of my typical rides begins at 6500 feet BECAUSE I'm too lazy to start at 5800 feet ... and, ends around 9000 feet ... it is basically ALL uphill with some false flats BECAUSE I'm too lazy to ride the more rigorous routes that many of the people I know occupy themselves with.

    If all I had to contend with (and this is NOT to suggest that it is what you deal with ... and, I know alienator's ride generally involves long climbs, too) with were quarter mile long bumps in the road, then I don't think I would mind Shimano's occasionally balky shifters.

    For me, the difference between Shimano's STI shifters & Campagnolo's is extraordinary -- with either an 11-32 or 12-34 (yes, it's hubbub'd on some of the bikes, and NOT on others -- they aren't all 10-speed shifters), I cannot make a balky shift onto my MEGA bailout cog(s) with Campagnolo shifters AND the only time it won't shift is when the chain is already on the largest cog -- i.e., when trying to bail-out after already bailing out!

    As I noted before, I ascertain the problem with Shimano shifters is because of the in-built "dwell" which momentarily retards the actual shift ... it probably made sense ON PAPER to someone in Osaka BEFORE the cogs were ramped, but (IMO, as if anyone cared) has continued to cripple the shifters, subsequently ...

    It certainly COULD be suggested that I am just treating the matter of downshifting as a princess-and-the-pea situation ... BUT, clearly, OTHERS in the Forum have had problems with Shimano's shifters for whatever reason and talk about how they work around the problem by either pre-shifting to the desired cog for the end of the climb before beginning an ascent OR (most recently) I think Lennard Zinn told someone to load the drivetrain (not necessarily his words) by a momentary acceleration (I could be in error of the exact technique he suggested) & then back off slightly when making the shift to take some of the pressure off the chain to facilitate the shift ...

    SHEESH. I guess Zinn's solution would work, but clearly it reenforces my belief that Shimano's shifter is NOT quite as unqualified for shifting in all-conditions as Campagnolo's.

    I "love" Shimano -- it's a great company with great components -- so, I'm anxious to see hear how the 2009 Shimano shifters compare with the earlier STI design.

    Maybe I'm too much of a spaz to use Shimano's shifters ... regardless-or-consequently, I guess my preference for Campagnolo's shifters is mostly a matter of WHY GO THROUGH THE MACHINATIONS to downshift if I don't have to?!?
     
  14. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Shimano's "dwell" is only active on the upshift, the downshift is immediate, so this isn't the problem, if there is one. Campag's downshift works by deliberate temporary overshifting to force the ramping of the chain. This can be performed with Shimano gear - you simply ignore the shifter's click and keep pushing the lever until you feel that the shift has occurred, and then let the lever drop back. I'm not certain, but I think that this is something that I do automatically when shifting under high load.
     
  15. Julian G.

    Julian G. New Member

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    ...and I'm still using downtube shifters...
     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The differences in the way the different brands of gruppos function is essentially personal preference, so long as you compare equivalent levels between gruppos.

    I've got no stake in propping up Shimano. I'm a Campy guy. Everytime I've tried Shimano STI, I've been severely unimpressed, but that's only because it didn't match up well with my preferences.

    I can't speak to exactly how others in the forum set up their drive trains--no matter the brand--but I've heard it also said in forums that Campy drivetrains are hard to tune. I don't believe that one, either.
     
  17. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well then, thank goodness 'I' found out that Campagnolo's shifters compensate for my apparent inability to efficiently use Shimano's shifters!

    Thanks for the catch-and-release "tip" on effectively downshifting when using Shimano shifters ...

    However, I'm not sure I agree that Campagnolo is overshifting ... but, that doesn't matter.
     
  18. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. While I found Shimano's STI shifters to be fine on some roadways, I was so disappointed with the capabilities of my STI shifters that I was about two weeks away from returning to downtube shifters ... SHIMANO TOTALLY INEFFICIENT shifting is what went through my mind rather than SHIMANO TOTALLY INTEGRATED shifting!

    Consequently, I was one week away from installing a Rapid Rise XTR rear derailleur in an attempt to facilitate the downshifting; but, accidentally downshifted (what was I thinking?) with some Ergo shifters during a mindless moment when I was on a False Flat ... I didn't think that anything happened ... I looked down & back, and the chain was on a different cog!

    I deliberately repeated the downshift "tests" on VARYING grades ... Voilà! Ç'ést MAGNIFIQUE!

    I eventually decided to "test" the front shifter by installing an unramped-and-unpinned 8-speed chainring. Le même chose!

    Regardless, the flip-side of what 'I' consider to be Shimano's inefficient shifters is that Shimano compensated by developing ramped & pinned chainrings + ramped cogs -- a good thing!

    NB. Of course, you can't & don't want to "overshift" onto the large chainring (or, last cog when you may be "bailing out"), so the difference in the efficiency of Campagnolo's shifters is easier to appreciate (by 'me', at least).
     
  19. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    Fords suck! NO CHEVIES SUCK! Mopar rulz.
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'd hardly put wheels and aerodynamics behind quality equipment. Aerodynamic drag has a far bigger effect on speed, moreso when it comes to wheels. I don't think you'd tell an appreciable difference when using a Sora crank rather than Ultegra but stick on a set of aero wheels rather than a set of 40 hole MA2's and you'll see slightly higher numbers of the ol' speedometer. The only piece of bike kit that really makes a difference is that little piece of plastic/carbon/leather than your butt sits on.
     
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