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I am shopping for a new [hypothetical] bicycle and want to pick the absolute best parts I can. I read a lot of internet advice, most of it from bicycles.stackexchange.com, which taught me a lot. How does this list look?:

  1. The bicycle shall have a carbon frame, fork, handlebars, and wheels. Chromium molybdenum steel, aluminum, and titanium are out of the question. I have a $100000 X-ray machine at home ready to use for inspecting the bike.
  2. The bicycle shall have disc brakes, but with a QR skewer wheel attachment system. Thru-axles will most certainly eject your wheels into low-Earth orbit the instant you even touch your brake levers.
  3. It shall have a ludicrous number of gears, like 3x12, shifted by brifters. Bar-end shifters are a disgrace to the cycling community. These gears should be spaced as closely as possible to minimize the gaps between gears. Having fewer than twelve cogs in the back is a crime against humanity.
  4. The tires will be Schwalbe Marathon plus in as narrow a width as possible. This is to minimize the risk of punctures. Of course, these will be set up tubeless. GP5000s in 32mm width are for losers. Having tread on these tires will save you half a watt at 45km/h.
  5. The wheels will be made of carbon fiber as previously mentioned. They will have the fewest number of straight gauge spokes possible: 16 spokes laced radially in the front and 20 in the rear. Having 36 spoke wheels with DT SWISS Alpine III spokes is ridiculous and you will break spokes in no time. The hubs will be from any brand other than Shimano, and must not use cup-and-cone bearings. The rims must not have double eyelets, let alone eyelets of any sort. In the event that carbon rims are unaffordable, hard anodized single-wall aluminum rims are an acceptable compromise. Aluminum nipples are a must too.
  6. The bicycle shall have provisions for at least three bottle cages because it is important to carry water on any ride regardless of duration.
  7. The front light shall be mounted on the handlebar and be powered by a battery. A fork-mounted light powered by a dynamo hub is not aero.
  8. After modelling a crashing cyclist as a falling rod, I have come to the conclusion that the rider will not wear a helmet because wearing a helmet is not aero. Cracking your head open during a crash is simply extra weight reduction.
  9. SPD-SL, Look, or Speedplay pedals will be used. Regular SPD is for commuters and joeys.
  10. The cranks must use an attachment system other than Hollowtech 2. HT2 is the worst invention ever to come to cycling.
  11. The chainrings on this crankset must be made of untempered 6061 aluminum. 7075T6 or T651 is the work of the devil.
  12. Finally, the bicycle should be right at the UCI weight minimum: 6.8kg. We all know that the lighter a bike gets, the more durable it is, and also the more aero your wallet gets.

Does this sound about right?

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  • TBF a helmet can be more aero than no helmet.
    – Criggie
    Apr 1, 2021 at 7:53
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    Fish shell on the handlebar for aerodynamics
    – rvil76
    Apr 1, 2021 at 9:18
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    After obtaining this bicycle, how will you approach the resulting N+1 conundrum? Apr 1, 2021 at 9:42
  • @AndrewHenle that's easy, N+1 is the "ideal reasonable MTB", N+2 is the " ideal reasonable gravel bike" and the list contains time trial, climbing bike, downhill road bike, downhill MTB, downhill gravel bike, shopper, folder, commuter, penny farthing, unicycle, trike, quad etc etc. And then every single one has an electric variant too Gotta be 40 bikes there in total, more than I can store in my garage...... " ideal reasonable bike shed for home...."
    – Criggie
    Apr 1, 2021 at 9:58
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    Obvious April Fools' Joke doesn't need to hang around.
    – DavidW
    Apr 1, 2021 at 13:32

1 Answer 1

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  1. The chainrings on this crankset must be made of untempered 6061 aluminum. 7075T6 or T651 is the work of the devil.

This may sound a good idea at first -- it is clear that untempered aluminum is far better material for chainrings than for example bad-tempered aluminum. So a good starting point for an entry-level reasonable road bike.

However, you will obtain an order of magnitude better lifetime from well-tempered aluminum. So if you are looking for a truly ideal reasonable road bike, I recommend selecting well-tempered aluminum for the material.

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    You clearly need to control your temper. Apr 1, 2021 at 12:25

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