Entry Level v More advanced bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Wadders
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Joined: 12 Jan 2020, 9:03am

Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby Wadders » 12 Jan 2020, 9:13am

I purchased a standard entry level bike under £1000 (Specialized Allez) last September with the intention of entering some sprint triathlon races this year. Now I’m looking to enter races, I am concerned that I will lose considerable time on my current bike, compared to other competitors with higher performing bikes! My question is; How much difference does this actually make? Let’s say I purchase a Bianci Carbon frame in the region of £3000, am I likely to knock considerable time off the bike leg of the race, or will I be okay with the my entry level bike. I hate the thought of doing all this training, only to not do myself justice against other competitors just because I have an inferior bike. Thanks in advance.

rfryer
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby rfryer » 12 Jan 2020, 9:33am

For that kind of event, your (aero) position on the bike is the most important factor. I'd be looking at that, plus aero helmet, before thinking about the bike.

FWIW, I recently bought a sub 1K winter bike to supplement my expensive all-carbon best bike. I've found that I'm not significantly slower on it, despite wider tyres and a 2Kg weight penalty. I'm still picking up PBs on many rides.

whoof
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby whoof » 12 Jan 2020, 10:04am

What's your best time to ride 10 miles?

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gaz
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby gaz » 12 Jan 2020, 10:13am

Lance Armstrong wrote:It's not about the bike

He knew a thing or two about performance enhancement :wink:.
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 12 Jan 2020, 10:41am

The bike is just the decorations, on the icing, on the cake. It’s mostly about the engine, a bit about the attitude, and a bit about technique. Unless you’re going from a 100 pound BSO, changing bikes will be a ‘marginal gain’.

Brucey
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby Brucey » 12 Jan 2020, 10:49am

concentrate on getting a good aero position, fit good (fast) tyres and just make sure your bike is well set up. The rest is either 'marginal gains' (if you are feeling generous) or just b.s. (if you are not). Worrying about how much your bike cost is just another way of taking your eye off the ball; there are far more important things to worry about than that.

FWIW, for several years in a row the 'best all rounder' time triallist in the UK was the exact opposite of a weight obsessed gearhead; his training didn't go to waste....

cheers
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simonhill
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby simonhill » 12 Jan 2020, 11:26am

There is also the mental aspect.

Are you the sort of person who will turn up with your new expensive carbon steed and think - I can trash you all with this little beaut. If so, then it may give (useful?) mental if not actual advantage.

Alternatively you might be the sort who turns up on their ageing non state of the art steed and thinks, I don't need a £nn-thousand pound steed to beat you. I am good and I know my bike works well.

Your choice.

Jamesh
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby Jamesh » 12 Jan 2020, 12:51pm

Rode 40 miles a week ago on new (to me) focus izalco bike. 15.1 avg

Did it again yesterday same course on old Cannondale six 15.6 AVG in stronger winds I don't think the new bike makes much difference tbh.

If aero is wanted than a giant propel are hard to beat value wise.

Or secondhand a Boardman air are good value too.

Wheels make more of a difference tbh so a pair of vision 35 or rs31 would be easy gains for not much money.

Cheers James

iandriver
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby iandriver » 12 Jan 2020, 1:03pm

Probably the most bang you'll get for your buck.
https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBSELKP58 ... ar---alloy
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

dim
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby dim » 12 Jan 2020, 1:25pm

the bike does make a difference ...

I am a lot faster on my carbon Trek Emonda SL6 than on my steel Miyata 1000 touring bike ...

on both bikes I ride on the hoods so aero is the same .... same wheels on both bikes (HED Belgium Plus) and on both bikes I use Continental GP5000TL (tubeless tyres) .... 25mm wide on the Trek and 32mm wide on the Miyata

Brucey
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby Brucey » 12 Jan 2020, 1:34pm

dim wrote:the bike does make a difference ...

I am a lot faster on my carbon Trek Emonda SL6 than on my steel Miyata 1000 touring bike ...

on both bikes I ride on the hoods so aero is the same .... same wheels on both bikes (HED Belgium Plus) and on both bikes I use Continental GP5000TL (tubeless tyres) .... 25mm wide on the Trek and 32mm wide on the Miyata


Aero is not the same if you have different width mudguards, racks, different width tyres, clothing etc. 'On the hoods' of course varies with exact riding position. If you can lower your shoulders by 1/2" and still breathe/pedal properly, this probably has as big an effect as the difference between an entry level road bike and a much more expensive one.

My road bike has a slightly more agressive riding position than my hack bike, and I do tend to push harder on the pedals because the riding position more or less demands it; it is the only way to unweight the handlebars, thus trading one source of discomfort for another.

cheers
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robc02
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby robc02 » 12 Jan 2020, 3:07pm

Over the years I have done a number of rides over known courses on bikes including basic 531 framed bikes, typical of those common in the 60s - 90s, a modern high end aluminium framed road bike, and a Surly LHT. Only on the Surly am I consistently slower - by about 1mph over 20 - 50 miles. Any performance difference between the other bikes was very small and lost in the "noise" - despite the clear subjective differences.

Fitting tri-bars and making appropriate changes to saddle position on an otherwise standard road bike was a different matter, though. As others have said, that is where the benefit lies.

I did find that a TT specific bike gave further advantage in that, due to its steep seat angle, it enabled me to adopt a more "aggressive" aero position than on a road bike plus tri bars.

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Si
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby Si » 12 Jan 2020, 4:15pm

simonhill wrote:There is also the mental aspect.

Are you the sort of person who will turn up with your new expensive carbon steed and think - I can trash you all with this little beaut. If so, then it may give (useful?) mental if not actual advantage.


Yep, guilty as charged m'lord.....I used to go a lot faster on my expensive bike not because it was necessarily that much faster but because I tried a lot harder in order to justify having such an expensive bike :oops: :lol:

I find that generally my 'fast' bikes haven't been much faster than my 'medium' bikes, but my 'slow' bikes have been a lot slower than my 'medium' bikes. Diminishing returns.

gxaustin
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby gxaustin » 12 Jan 2020, 4:34pm

Why not try your current bike, having made your position as aero as possible. Then see if you are losing out on the cycle, or maybe the swimming, running or transitions? If you aren't much of a swimmer then you are probably not going to make up minutes on the bike (and so on for running). If the courses are failrly flat then a lesser weight won't help much. You could look for a TT frame and transfer your groupset? You can always flog it on.

fastpedaller
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Re: Entry Level v More advanced bike

Postby fastpedaller » 12 Jan 2020, 5:02pm

dim wrote:the bike does make a difference ...

I am a lot faster on my carbon Trek Emonda SL6 than on my steel Miyata 1000 touring bike ...


meaningless statement without figures, and even then you need the same riding conditions, air temp, humidity etc to get a true comparison.