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comment How much speed can I buy
@Michael - While fit may not be the whole answer it is often a huge component. If money is no object (as you suggest) I would consider professional fitting in a wind tunnel. If you can reduce your drag coefficient, yet remain comfortable this could be huge gain, potentially much bigger than a lighter bike and aerodynamic wheels. How big depends on the pace you can ride at (the gains are multiplicative relative to speed). To me changing some bike specs such as weight and wheels is a very one-dimensional approach.
Jul
23
comment Always cycling in highest gear, why?
A couple points: 1) Whether or not you recruit your fast-twitch muscles depends on the total force being exerted. You can cycle at low force at a low cadence (and moving slowly). 2) You cannot exercise anaerobically for more than about a minute. A half-an-hour commute will primarily be powered by slow twitch muscle fibers.
Jul
23
comment Always cycling in highest gear, why?
@andy256 - you might want to consider having your biomechanics assessed. You may have alignment issues that are perfectly functional at a lower force, but problematic at a higher absolute force.
Jul
22
comment Long term benefits and risks of bicycling
Nice summary. A negative you might want to add: loss of bone density. Cycling is not an impact sport so you can lose bone density if it is your only form of exercise. Also body posture can be a negative and an be confounded if you sit a lot for work (hip flexers, IT band, back, shoulders, neck).
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@Michael - Indeed why don't we run bigger volume tires? Many are trying to get more people on larger volume tires, but many modern road frames can't fit much larger than 25mm (although this has recently been changing with "all road" bikes). The pro peloton probably won't go much bigger as acceleration especially sprinting on larger tires is not as efficient (or so the story goes).
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@azer89 - I agree, but who will pay for all this? Science is expensive and costs need to be recouped or future experiments cannot be run.
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - The thought experiment is to relay that the one set of experimental results you linked (while interesting), is really one piece of the puzzle and may not give you the whole picture of "real world" performance. Perhaps all of Shwalbe's marketing is crap - sure it is a possibility. Or perhaps they were also basing it off a larger set of test conditions. We don't know. None of us know because we are not privy to the testing data. Often as more data is collected under many differing set of conditions our understanding evolves.
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - Take an extreme example of comparing a supple narrow tire and supple large volume tire. Larger volume tire can be run at lower pressures, on rough roads this is a bonus as it allows for more vibration absorption and less suspension losses (losses associated with the rider vibrating on the bike). Under this scenario a roll down test would result in different ranking and relative differences. Overall there will be still be a correlation with the smooth roller test, but as the road gets rougher the correlation will likely lessen.
Jul
17
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - I am not suggesting that there would be no correlation/association, but that ranking or relative differences between tires could change depending on the test surface (as you noted). Giving Schwalbe the benefit of the doubt, speed rankings on the intended use surface (perhaps they do a series of tests across different surfaces - I don't know). As marketing tends to favour simplicity, we rarely get all the information and are essentially left with anecdotal evidence.
Jul
17
comment Why is it easier to follow a cyclist up-hill
@RoelSchroeven the problem as you point out is that your friend is an unsteady rider. In a race situation I would ditch his wheel and find a better/smoother rider. In a casual ride like you were on you are kinda stuck with what your got.
Jul
16
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - Only way to really know is to do something like a real world roll down test of the two tires. Sometimes supple tires feel slower as you get less of the high frequency vibration that many of us associate with speed.
Jul
16
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - All of the marathon series feel like bricks to me! Those thick sidewalls and thick puncture strips really slow the tire down on rougher surfaces. Your marathons are also likely a larger volume tire than the racer so its not apples to apples either.
Jul
16
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@whatsisname - I agree with your additive example, except as consumers non of us will know the proprietary chemistry of each lube. Therefore we are still in the dark. No one will be doing a gas chromatography to give us the breakdown (actually, anyone know of cycling chemistry grad students wanting to avoid thesis work?) and few if anyone will be providing testing breakdown of real-world performance.
Jul
16
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@ojs - And they were likely done on a smooth roller so we have no idea the true rolling resistance under more dynamic conditions (e.g., rougher roads where suspension/vibration losses become meaningful). That said it is consistent with my view that marketing and science have two completely different set of facts.
Jul
16
comment Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective?
@whatsisname Did you have some examples? I am doubtful they would publish it if it compromised their competitive advantage. What benefit would it be for Lube Y to publish an article saying Lube X works better than Y in wet conditions?
Jul
15
comment Bicycle Geometry 101?
I wish I did. The main modern philosophy seems to favour a rear weighting bias. The other major philosophy seems to be a front loading and a more even front back weight distribution. Each requires different geometry. Bicycle quarterly would be a good source for the latter, but I am unclear if there is a single volume summarizing what is known. Much of this knowledge seems to come form 30's and 40's, little was written down and most of it was lost with shifts in the bicycle industry to sport over transport. It seems that right now many are rediscovering this later handling philosophy.
Jul
15
comment Tall man's bike - which manufacturers?
For those who are excessively ground challenged, DirtySixer makes some of the tallest bikes around.
Jul
15
comment Weird gear ratio for a couple of seconds after crash
Seems very plausible. Given the speed prior to the crash, the OP would have likely been in the big ring. This is just my personal preference, but I would add a statement that its all speculation and the OP should have the bike checked out at a bike shop if other odd behaviours begin.
Jul
14
comment SON 28 Hub Dynamo “Rotation Lock”?
There is a bit of resistance due to the magnets, if you are holding the clamp/quick release by and and spinning the hub/wheel the axle will likely spin on the clamp/quick release due to this resistance. Once in the fork the axle will be held firmly in place and the hub will spin on the bearings. This resistance is less once the hub starts spinning faster and is only about 1 watt (small compared to wind and tire drag).
Jul
14
comment Bicycle Geometry 101?
Optimal geometry is also heavily influenced by handling philosophies. Calfee and Grant tend to share one perspective. Not to take away from either as Grant has a great series of articles, but this geometry is based on a firm perspective on how a bike should handle both with and without a load and how loads should be distributed on a bike.