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The physics model of cycling power and speed has been validated in the real world. Two examples are this and this. The model embedded in's online calculator is based on these two papers. Whether the amount of difference calculated by the validated models is worth it to Joe and Billy is a question that can't be answered by the physics.


Generally, you attach a bike computer or a power meter to a bicycle to collect statistics, and/or some sensors to yourself. A bike computer measures the revolutions per minute of a wheel, typically by attaching a magnet to a spoke of the wheel and using a detector attached to the frame which tells the computer every time the magnet passes the detector (so ...


This largely depends on rider goals and finances. Your example clearly highlights the advantage of a light bike (although aero is probably equally important). If Joe and Billy are racing, and they are exactly the same, we can assume Billy is going to win. If Joe can afford it, and wants to stay competitive with Billy, it will likely be worth it for him. ...

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