The "Feel" Factor

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by novetan, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. novetan

    novetan New Member

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    I’m 2 yrs into road cycling. Not a great one but I consider myself a good strong social cyclist. I know what’s power to wt ratio, purpose of lower and medium profile wheel, 23mm vs 25mm tire, benefit of shaving leg hairs, types of tying your hair to gain sec, reading books on power, etc. and yes, all these while I’m equipping myself with lots of reading and applying it during riding.

    I hv a bunch of friends that are not technically inclined, doesn’t really read but always have a buying urge called gear acquiring syndrome. They will change from wheel to wheel, a medium profile to a slightly higher and back to same profile of diff brand, changing bikes in the hope of lesser effort, etc. The latest craze was 3 of my friends sold of their old bikes for the latest pina F8. Nothing wrong if your pockets allowed and I agree is a lovely and pretty bike. But what amazed me was their remarks as they progressively change their gear, too often I will hear: this bike can climb, this wheel just won’t stop spinning, this wheel has holding speed, this combination damn fast , bla bla.

    I’m riding a decent 2011 Specialized Tarmac SL2 and a low profile wheel. But most of the social rides, flat or climb, I’m ahead of them. Occassionally I do test out their prized bike for a short distance (generally not more than 1km) but I just can’t feel the diff. Maybe my testing distance is too short. Or my “feel” is not as good as theirs. I just don’t have their kind of “feel” and able to tell off the cuff “this bike can climb better than mine”. What I do know, as in all bikes that if I pedal, the bike will go. If I stop pedal, the bike will obviously stop.

    I want to gain the benefit of technology but I’m losing out on the “feel” factor. And I do not wish to spend needless money for upgrading for a placebo effort that only looks good.

    Your thoughts?
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    The motor is the most important part of the equation; you are the motor.

    The single piece of equipment that offers the most bang for the buck as far as speed and climbing go is a lightweight, aerodynamic pair of wheels. The least expensive improvement to gain time is likely to be dialing in your position on the bike.

    And yes, a single kilometer is a very short distance to test equipment advantages over. Most aero and weight performance improvement claims are made as a few seconds over 40 kilometers. For a real test, go kick the gear geeks' butts over 150 Km or so. Include lots of climbing and headwinds. You just may find out that your motor is better than their motors and their equipment.

    Be kind to their Pinarellos! They are, indeed, beautiful bikes.
     
  3. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    Like Campy said, it's your own skill and ability that matters. You can go down to your local crit race and watch people on non-flashy equipment lay waste to the guys with $10k of carbon everything.

    With that said, there are marginal gains to be had with better equipment, but marginal is the key word. Unless you're the type of person that is tuned-in enough to notice these sometimes very subtile equipment differences, then they'll mean nothing to you. Regardless, no one is going any significant amount faster on equipment alone, which is why you're ahead of your friends on most rides and the Pinarello folk are usually quickly dropped on most of the group rides I go on as well.
     
  4. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    A 2011 Tarmac SL2 is a pretty fine ride. Experiment with tires and gearing, try some lighter wheels when you finally bust the originals, keep it clean and well maintained, with fresh handlebar tape (try new colors if you get bored), and continue to whup their asses. You're doing everything right.
     
  5. novetan

    novetan New Member

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    Tks all mates. All advise noted
     
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