Touring bike vs traditional "Road" bike - Should I upgrade?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tom Salzmann, May 13, 2003.

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  1. Tom Salzmann

    Tom Salzmann Guest

    Greetings,

    First some background: I am 41 years old, 6'5" and about 225 pounds. I got back into cycling in the
    year 2000 and am thoroughly enjoying it! I even rode my first century in 2001, averaging 16mph.

    In 2000, I gave away my old Schwinn Letour and bought a Trek 520. I figured I needed the sturdier
    frame for my big body. I lived in the Virginia Beach area at the time and roads were flat. The 520
    seemed like a good choice. For the past 1.5 years I've lived in some of the hilliest terrain found
    in New Hampshire. I can't go anywhere without riding some intense hills. So my question... Would
    there be much benefit to buying a lighter more nimble bike for my daily exercise rides? Would I
    notice hill climbing improvement on, say, a Trek 2300 versus what I'm doing now on my 520? OR, is
    the Rider to Bike weight ratio so high (since I'm no lightweight) that it really doesn't matter?

    Questions:

    1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.

    2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides I do here in NH?

    3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?

    4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520. Would the thinner 2300
    tires/wheels make a noticable difference?

    5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?

    My goal is to increase performance so I can ride longer distances in less time, climb better, etc...
    And I'd also like to have no glaring disadvantages (such as the 520 provides) when teaming up with
    friends to ride the countryside. Do I need a new bike to achieve this or is the 520 really not that
    much worse than a 2300 given the rides I'm doing?

    The last thing I want to do is spend 1800 to 2000 on another bike - but if it's truly a performance
    benefit that I will NOTICE, I'll do it!

    Thanks in advance for sharing your collective expertise!

    Tom
     
    Tags:


  2. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    > performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.

    A little, maybe, but not much.

    > 2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides I do here in NH?

    Don't know, but I doubt it.

    > 3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?

    Probably not.

    > 4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520. Would the thinner 2300
    > tires/wheels make a noticable difference?

    Absolutely.

    > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?

    If the gearing is ok for you, then thinner, higher-pressure tires will make the most difference. If
    you have trouble with the gears, you could try a different cassette or chain ring.

    > My goal is to increase performance so I can ride longer distances in less time, climb better,
    > etc... And I'd also like to have no glaring disadvantages (such as the 520 provides) when teaming
    > up with friends to ride the countryside. Do I need a new bike to achieve this or is the 520 really
    > not that much worse than a 2300 given the rides I'm doing?
    >
    > The last thing I want to do is spend 1800 to 2000 on another bike - but if it's truly a
    > performance benefit that I will NOTICE, I'll do it!

    IMO, you won't have enough difference attributable to just the bike to be worth the money. Just
    change out the tires (probably $50 max) and see what that does for you first.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  3. Tom Salzmann wrote:

    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    > performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.

    My Trek 520 was 26 pounds clean. The 2300 is supposed to be about 18.5 pounds, so we're talking
    roughly 8 pounds, which is significant. You can lighten up the 520 by removing the rear rack and
    slimming down the tire size if you're not really into touring or serious commuting (with all the
    "stuff" commuters often carry).

    > 2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides I do here in NH?

    I'd be surprised if geometry change made much difference in hill climbing ability.

    > 3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?

    A stiffer frame may help you climb a bit better, but I'd really be surprised if the difference was
    significant. Almost certainly not an $1800 improvement!

    > 4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520. Would the thinner 2300
    > tires/wheels make a noticable difference?

    Slim down your tires to higher pressure 23 or 25mm sized and it will make a very big difference. The
    rolling resistance between 32-35 mm tires and the 23-25 will definitely move you along easier.
    Buying a second wheel set is still much cheaper than a new 2300...or many lightweight racing
    roadsters.

    > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?

    As stated above: Pull off the rear rack and go to 25 mm tires.

    What's the gearing on the 520? My low was a 24/28 which I've reduced further to 24/30. But that's
    for touring purposes, and I'd be surprised if the stock gearing would be a problem in gear selection
    doing tough climbs unloaded.

    > My goal is to increase performance so I can ride longer distances in less time, climb better,
    > etc... And I'd also like to have no glaring disadvantages (such as the 520 provides) when teaming
    > up with friends to ride the countryside. Do I need a new bike to achieve this or is the 520 really
    > not that much worse than a 2300 given the rides I'm doing?

    I have both a 520 and 2000. My standard 520 commuter/touring mount probably weighs in at 35 pounds
    with all my "stuff". On Fridays, I switch over to the "joy ride" bike (Trek 2000) and it seems to
    float up hills.

    You can use the 520 as a ruthless trainer when by yourself. Then swap tires and pull the rack for
    trying to keep up with the pack in a group ride. You'll be amazed at the difference! A second bike
    would be best, and it need not be a 2300! Go for any 21 pound second hand bike and you'll feel like
    you're floating to the top of the hill after spending the week on a commuter configured 520!

    > The last thing I want to do is spend 1800 to 2000 on another bike - but if it's truly a
    > performance benefit that I will NOTICE, I'll do it!

    Well I certainly DO NOTICE the difference riding the 520 most days of the week, then switching off
    to the 2000. But if you're only going to be a one bike rider, I really can't see spending $2000 on a
    bike change is going to make that much of a difference.

    If you really have no commuting/touring needs at all, ditching the rear rack and swapping in 25 mm
    tires is almost certainly the best climbing performance enhancement for the cost you can make.

    SMH
     
  4. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings,
    >
    > First some background: I am 41 years old, 6'5" and about 225 pounds. I got back into cycling
    > in the year 2000 and am thoroughly enjoying it! I even rode my first century in 2001,
    > averaging 16mph.
    >> Questions:
    >
    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    > performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.

    It will give you a *best-case* 4% climbing speed difference.

    > 2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides I do here in NH?

    Not likely, it may in fact make things worse. A "touring" geometry typically has a longer wheelbase
    & chainstays, something that improves the handling on fast downhills, especially bumpy ones, and
    especially for tall riders (I'm 6'10" and have ridden NH roads a lot).

    > 3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?

    No. It may feel a bit different, but won't change your speed.

    > 4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520. Would the thinner 2300
    > tires/wheels make a noticable difference?

    Deep tread causes higher losses and thus higher rolling resistance. If your tires are already
    thin-treaded slicks running at fairly high pressure, there won't be much change, otherwise it could
    be noticeable. A 28 mm tire is probably ideal for your weight.

    > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?

    Climbing is all about power to weight. All weight is equal, bike, rider & gear. Power comes
    from practice.

    I don't think a new bike is going to transform your hill climbing.
     
  5. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > Regarding swapping tires or wheels - can I get away with just mounting thinner tires? I don't plan
    > on ever doing true "touring" so a new wheel set seems like overkill.... BUT, how thin can I go on
    > the wheels I have today?

    You should be able to run 23mm tires with no problems. You can probably also use 20mm tires, but
    most people don't like the harsh ride.

    The advantage of putting lightweight wheels on a touring bike is that you can get a performance
    boost relatively inexpensively (maybe $200). You can also quickly swap the performance wheels for
    your touring wheels when you want to go touring.
     
  6. Ken wrote:

    > "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in
    >
    > > Regarding swapping tires or wheels - can I get away with just mounting thinner tires? I don't
    > > plan on ever doing true "touring" so a new wheel set seems like overkill.... BUT, how thin can I
    > > go on the wheels I have today?
    >
    > You should be able to run 23mm tires with no problems. You can probably also use 20mm tires, but
    > most people don't like the harsh ride.
    >
    > The advantage of putting lightweight wheels on a touring bike is that you can get a performance
    > boost relatively inexpensively (maybe $200). You can also quickly swap the performance wheels for
    > your touring wheels when you want to go touring.

    I pretty much agree with everything you say, although I do have some slight reservations.

    If Tom S. is going up steep hills, it likely means he'll be going FAST *down* some hills,
    perhaps taking some turns hard. I would want to be very certain that the wheel rim isn't too
    wide to keep a good hard lock on the tire bead during some high speed turn. Also factor in a 225
    pound rider on top.

    I *think* it's probably OK, but depending on the rim he currently has on the 520, he may want to
    talk to a few LBS people to gain some concensus on how tight the narrower tire will stick on the
    wider than usual rim.

    Also, if he should opt for a second wheelset (a very worthwhile investment IMHO), make certain its a
    good sturdy wheel. Tom S. isn't the 150 pound racer that the industry seems to think generally rides
    these bikes!

    SMH
     
  7. "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings,
    >
    > First some background: I am 41 years old, 6'5" and about 225 pounds. I
    got
    > back into cycling in the year 2000 and am thoroughly enjoying it! I even rode my first century in
    > 2001, averaging 16mph.
    >
    > In 2000, I gave away my old Schwinn Letour and bought a Trek 520. I
    figured
    > I needed the sturdier frame for my big body. I lived in the Virginia
    Beach
    > area at the time and roads were flat. The 520 seemed like a good choice. For the past 1.5 years
    > I've lived in some of the hilliest terrain found
    in
    > New Hampshire. I can't go anywhere without riding some intense hills.
    So
    > my question... Would there be much benefit to buying a lighter more
    nimble
    > bike for my daily exercise rides? Would I notice hill climbing
    improvement
    > on, say, a Trek 2300 versus what I'm doing now on my 520? OR, is the
    Rider
    > to Bike weight ratio so high (since I'm no lightweight) that it really doesn't matter?
    >
    > Questions:
    >
    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration)
    buy
    > me hill climbing performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds
    apart.

    That's a pretty big difference, but I don't notice the weight between bikes which are 4 lbs apart.
    If you get new tires, you'll probably get that difference down to 6 lbs.

    >
    > 2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides
    I
    > do here in NH?

    Touring geometry is more stable.

    >
    > 3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?

    I have a very stiff, frame and a very flexible frame. Not a big difference in performance
    between the two.

    >
    > 4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520.
    Would
    > the thinner 2300 tires/wheels make a noticable difference?

    It's not the thinness so much as the pressure and the tread. Higher pressure and no tread makes
    about the biggest difference besides gearing as any other aspect of bicycle componants on
    performance and comfort. If I were you I would get a pair of 28 mm tires that work with 90-110 psi.
    I'm 155lbs and I use 25s. Much more comfortable than 23s and no noticable performance difference.

    I have a feeling the gearing on your bike now is more comfortable than what the 2300 would have.

    >
    > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?
    >
    > My goal is to increase performance so I can ride longer distances in less time, climb better,
    > etc... And I'd also like to have no glaring disadvantages (such as the 520 provides) when teaming
    > up with friends to ride the countryside. Do I need a new bike to achieve this or is the 520 really
    > not that much worse than a 2300 given the rides I'm doing?
    >
    > The last thing I want to do is spend 1800 to 2000 on another bike - but
    if
    > it's truly a performance benefit that I will NOTICE, I'll do it!

    I love bikes, and don't have a lot of money to spend on them. What I do is stay content with what I
    have, so that I can wait a long time till I come across the right size, good condition, right price
    used bike.

    >
    > Thanks in advance for sharing your collective expertise!
    >
    > Tom
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tom Salzmann wrote:
    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    > performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.

    The bike weight will make some difference (although I guess it would only be greatly significant to
    lightweight riders), but the amount of luggage carried makes more. You may be encouraged or forced
    to carry less stuff with a road bike - especially if it doesn't have a proper rack (but saddlebag or
    seatpost rack can still be used to carry a minimal but useful amount).

    I regularly ride two bikes: one is a heavy old tourer, one is a modern race-type road bike. Even
    without much luggage, I find I can do 1.5 to 2 times the distance with the same perceived total
    effort on the road bike, average speeds are higher and hills are definitely easier - doing the same
    type of rides on both.

    ~PB
     
  9. W K

    W K Guest

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Greetings,
    > >
    > > First some background: I am 41 years old, 6'5" and about 225 pounds. I
    got
    > > back into cycling in the year 2000 and am thoroughly enjoying it! I
    even
    > > rode my first century in 2001, averaging 16mph.
    > >> Questions:
    > >
    > > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration)
    buy
    > > me hill climbing performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds
    apart.
    >
    > It will give you a *best-case* 4% climbing speed difference.

    From quick calculations, I thought 3%, so 9.7 mph instead of 10 mph, or a 31 minute climb taking
    30 minutes.

    Surely its not just the marketing hype that makes everyone want a lighter bike? I imagine this is a
    classic rbc trolling topic. Of course, light bikes feel nice and handle well, but does the odd pound
    on the bike really make much of a difference to speed? [And not just stopwatch speed which obviously
    matters for racing]
     
  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    I wrote:
    > I regularly ride two bikes: one is a heavy old tourer, one is a modern race-type road bike. Even
    > without much luggage, I find I can do 1.5 to 2 times the distance with the same perceived total
    > effort on the road bike, average speeds are higher and hills are definitely easier
    > - doing the same type of rides on both.

    ps. The riding positions are similar on both so aerodymanimics is not largely responsible
    ....although I am now making the position on the tourer more upright, so I'll be even slower!

    ~PB
     
  11. Tom Salzmann

    Tom Salzmann Guest

    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > I pretty much agree with everything you say, although I do have some
    slight
    > reservations.
    >
    > If Tom S. is going up steep hills, it likely means he'll be going FAST
    *down*
    > some hills, perhaps taking some turns hard. I would want to be very
    certain
    > that the wheel rim isn't too wide to keep a good hard lock on the tire
    bead
    > during some high speed turn. Also factor in a 225 pound rider on top.

    Now I feel like a real beluga... But I have heavy bones - honest... But seriously, The rims are
    Bontrager Fairlanes with a 17.8mm inside width (where the tire mounts). Is there a proper term for
    this measurement? My gut tells me that 23mm and less is too narrow for this rim. But what about 25?
    Is that borderline or OK? I have an Email in to Trek to see what they say.

    I found the Continental Ultra 3000 Road Tire at Nashbar on sale. It comes in 700x25. I haven't
    mounted road tires since I was a college student - any tricks?

    If conventional wisdom says my Fairlanes are too wide for this, please let me know. If I have to buy
    another wheelset I will but the frugal in me would rather just swap tires. I don't have plans for
    any loaded touring and will probably never want the 700x35s on there again. My other concern with
    replacing wheels is - will I have brake issues? The Trek 520 uses the mountain bike style brakes
    (wider pads, etc). So I'd prefer a simple tire swap IF I can get away with it. Or is the brake issue
    not an issue?

    > Also, if he should opt for a second wheelset (a very worthwhile investment
    IMHO),
    > make certain its a good sturdy wheel. Tom S. isn't the 150 pound racer
    that the
    > industry seems to think generally rides these bikes!

    Yes... but in my simple way of thinking this is again more reason to stick with the Fairlanes if I
    can. These wheels on the Trek 520 have been perfect over the past 3000 miles. So I know they handle
    my heavy bones nicely.

    Thanks for all this excellent advice and analysis!!

    Tom
     
  12. Tom Salzmann

    Tom Salzmann Guest

    Sheldon Brown's web site has a very handy chart on tire width verus rim width. Looks like 25's are
    borderline for my rims. So Sheldon, if you're listening, do you think I can go with 25s on the
    Fairlanes? 17mm interior rim width and 25mm tire width are OK according to the chart... but 19mm is
    not. The Fairlanes are 17.8. Close enough? What a great website, btw.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html#width
     
  13. "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Greetings,
    >
    > First some background: I am 41 years old, 6'5" and about 225 pounds. I got back into cycling
    > in the year 2000 and am thoroughly enjoying it! I even rode my first century in 2001,
    > averaging 16mph.
    >
    > In 2000, I gave away my old Schwinn Letour and bought a Trek 520. I figured I needed the sturdier
    > frame for my big body. I lived in the Virginia Beach area at the time and roads were flat. The 520
    > seemed like a good choice. For the past 1.5 years I've lived in some of the hilliest terrain found
    > in New Hampshire. I can't go anywhere without riding some intense hills. So my question... Would
    > there be much benefit to buying a lighter more nimble bike for my daily exercise rides? Would I
    > notice hill climbing improvement on, say, a Trek 2300 versus what I'm doing now on my 520? OR, is
    > the Rider to Bike weight ratio so high (since I'm no lightweight) that it really doesn't matter?
    >
    > Questions:

    >
    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    > performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.
    >
    > 2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides I do here in NH?
    >
    > 3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?
    >
    > 4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520. Would the thinner 2300
    > tires/wheels make a noticable difference?
    >
    > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?
    >
    > My goal is to increase performance so I can ride longer distances in less time, climb better,
    > etc... And I'd also like to have no glaring disadvantages (such as the 520 provides) when teaming
    > up with friends to ride the countryside. Do I need a new bike to achieve this or is the 520 really
    > not that much worse than a 2300 given the rides I'm doing?
    >
    > The last thing I want to do is spend 1800 to 2000 on another bike - but if it's truly a
    > performance benefit that I will NOTICE, I'll do it!
    >
    > Thanks in advance for sharing your collective expertise!
    >
    > Tom

    I doubt there is that much weight difference in the two bikes you mentioned. Even so you will see
    little difference in you speed on flats or hills. Borrow the lightest bike you can and try it if you
    need proof. Big guys like us can have a lot of fun and get good exercise and risk out lives out
    there like everyone else but we'll never have the speed you crave. Just enjoy. Maybe you can forget
    about the guys that won't ride at your speed. Find son=me new friends or ride alone like I do. mp
     
  14. "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Greetings,
    >
    > First some background: I am 41 years old, 6'5" and about 225 pounds. I got back into cycling
    > in the year 2000 and am thoroughly enjoying it! I even rode my first century in 2001,
    > averaging 16mph.
    >
    > In 2000, I gave away my old Schwinn Letour and bought a Trek 520. ....

    Michel Gagnon replies:

    By itself, bike weight doesn't really matter. A much lighter bike will be a bit more nimble and will
    start and stop more swifty. However, the major difference comes from the geometry of the bike. By
    its geometry, the Trek 520 doesn't entice to quick starts, abrupt change of directions, etc., but it
    also is easier to handle no hands even with a full load.

    Tom asks:
    >
    > Questions:
    >
    > 1) Does bike weight alone (using my 520 -> 2300 upgrade consideration) buy me hill climbing
    > performance? The bikes are probably 8 to 12 pounds apart.
    >
    > 2) Will the change in geometry offer benefits to the hilly country rides I do here in NH?
    >
    > 3) Will the frame stiffness changes truly help to improve my performance?

    Michel Gagnon replies:

    The 2300 will react more swiftly; it's geometry will entice you to stand up on the pedals, whereas
    the geometry of the 520 entices you to sit through hills and spin them slowly. For short, steep
    hills, standing up on pedals (if you have that skill) and pushing hard will bring you sooner at the
    top; for longer hills, it's nice to sit and spin through the hill at 60-70 rpm and take your time.
    Ditto if you have to climb a hill after a full riding day.

    Frame stiffness: the 520 is actually very stiff and probably stiffer than many road bikes,
    especially if you compare them while loaded. With "only" your weight, it's mostly the short stays
    that make them stiff.

    >
    > 4) What about tire size? I still run the stock 700x35s on the 520. Would the thinner 2300
    > tires/wheels make a noticable difference?

    My 520 came with 700x32 Continental Top Touring, so I don't know how the current stock tires are.
    The main factors are:
    - smooth tires (better and more silent than knobbies or even tires with noticeable tread);
    - high pressure: 80-90 psi or more. You might get a better performance by replacing your front tire
    by a 700x32 or 700x30; but if you use a narrower rear tire, you will have to pump it very hard and
    you will feel the bumps and cracks very much.

    >
    > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner tires? Anything else?

    My definition of "performance" is different from yours. I would suggest that you either replace
    the entire crankset for something like 44-34-22 (expensive,unless done at time of purchase like I
    did), or that you replace the small chainring by a 24 or 26. Such a change will help you climb
    steep hills.

    >
    > My goal is to increase performance so I can ride longer distances in less time, climb better,
    > etc... And I'd also like to have no glaring disadvantages (such as the 520 provides) when teaming
    > up with friends to ride the countryside. Do I need a new bike to achieve this or is the 520 really
    > not that much worse than a 2300 given the rides I'm doing?

    I'm afraid you won't find any distinct advantage by getting another bike. A more nimble bike will be
    better in stop-and-go situations and you might stand up a little bit more often, but if you look at
    your overall time after a full day by riding with the 520 or with a road bike, you won't see a
    noticeable difference. So which bike to ride is mostly a matter of comfort and pleasure.

    What could you do then?
    - Optimise your position on the bike: a saddle too low (or too high) cuts performance;
    - Practice, practice, practice...
    - Change friends and get some who are in worst shape.

    Regards,

    Michel Gagnon
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    W K wrote:
    > Surely its not just the marketing hype that makes everyone want a lighter bike? I imagine this is
    > a classic rbc trolling topic. Of course, light bikes feel nice and handle well, but does the odd
    > pound on the bike really make much of a difference to speed? [And not just stopwatch speed which
    > obviously matters for racing]

    How many pounds do, though? As it's so difficult to work out what the threshold is, why bother? It
    makes sense instead just to follow the basic principle of saving weight where practically possible.

    ~PB
     
  16. Tom Salzmann wrote:

    > Sheldon Brown's web site has a very handy chart on tire width verus rim width. Looks like 25's are
    > borderline for my rims. So Sheldon, if you're listening, do you think I can go with 25s on the
    > Fairlanes? 17mm interior rim width and 25mm tire width are OK according to the chart... but 19mm
    > is not. The Fairlanes are 17.8. Close enough? What a great website, btw.
    >
    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html#width

    Yep, Sheldon has a great site.

    You'll probably be OK with the 25s, but several people have mentioned 28s as a safe alternative.
    It's an unusual size and might not be easily obtainable.

    If you're going to end up hammering hard into turns at the bottom of a 15% downhill run, I guess
    safety says 28mm. How many Gs are you expecting to pull cornering? It seems "throwing a shoe" may be
    in the realm of possibility.

    Oh BTW, didn't mean to make you seem a beluga! I myself am 180-195 at 6'1" (depending on time of
    season) and certainly no lightweight when it comes to the road biking world.

    [I'm *really* only "just a little" overweight...at the moment!]

    SMH
     
  17. Tom Salzmann

    Tom Salzmann Guest

    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > You'll probably be OK with the 25s, but several people have mentioned 28s
    as a
    > safe alternative. It's an unusual size and might not be easily
    obtainable.

    Yes, finding the 28s is frustrating. 25s are far easier to find... better selection, etc.

    > If you're going to end up hammering hard into turns at the bottom of a 15% downhill run, I guess
    > safety says 28mm. How many Gs are you expecting to
    pull
    > cornering? It seems "throwing a shoe" may be in the realm of possibility.

    Hammering hard into a turn? Not me! :) Especially not on that long cozy wheelbase I have. The worst
    thing I do is cruise down a particular hill at about 42 or 43mph tops. But it's just a fast run over
    relatively smooth pavement (cracks here and there from winter frost heaves). The rest of my ride is
    generally rolling hills, some flat riding, and some long climbs.

    > [I'm *really* only "just a little" overweight...at the moment!]

    Me too!!! :-D

    Tom
     
  18. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "Michel Gagnon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Tom Salzmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Greetings,
    > >
    [cut]
    > >
    > > 5) What could I do to the 520 to make it better at hills? Thinner
    tires?
    > > Anything else?
    >
    > My definition of "performance" is different from yours. I would suggest that you either replace
    > the entire crankset for something like 44-34-22 (expensive,unless done at time of purchase like I
    > did), or that you replace the small chainring by a 24 or 26. Such a change will help you climb
    > steep hills.
    >
    [cut]

    What's on there now? I'm riding a racing bike with a 39/53 front. While the 39 can be brutal on some
    of the steep climbs here in CT, I would think that a 26 would be very small. A 26 is mountain bike
    territory (which isn't bad -- I rode one the entire winter; I just put studded tires on it).

    --
    Bob ctviggen at rcn dot com
     
  19. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "W K" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Surely its not just the marketing hype that makes everyone want a lighter bike?

    Pretty much. Racers might be able to take advantage of that 4%, for everybody else it's pretty much
    placebo effect.

    > I imagine this is a classic rbc trolling topic.

    rbc?

    > Of course, light bikes feel nice and handle well,

    Heavier bikes may often feel & ride better.

    > but does the odd pound on the bike really make much of a difference to speed?

    No, obviously not. Fat riders are often surprisingly fast, at least until the road heads up. There,
    it's strictly power to weight, but that's *all* weight.

    >[And not just stopwatch speed which obviously matters for racing]

    Is there any other kind of speed?
     
  20. Tom Salzmann wrote:

    > Now I feel like a real beluga... But I have heavy bones - honest... But seriously, The rims are
    > Bontrager Fairlanes with a 17.8mm inside width (where the tire mounts). Is there a proper term for
    > this measurement? My gut tells me that 23mm and less is too narrow for this rim. But what about
    > 25? Is that borderline or OK? I have an Email in to Trek to see what they say.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html#width
    http://tandem-fahren.de/Technik/Reifentips/REIFEN.HTM

    The proper place to measure is shown in the second URL.

    Personally, I'd go with 28mm tires -- certainly not less than 25mm.

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    "This isn't brain surgery; it's just television."
    - David Letterman
     
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