Brucey wrote:Well, er, yes and no. Clever people are not completely immune to having odd beliefs... The jury is out on oval chainrings; if they were of some real advantage and there was really science to back this up, I suspect that the entire peloton would be on them already, despite the shifting issues. It is possible that they are 'of some advantage' in that once you get used to them it is difficult to change back to something else again.
I note you're quite careful to qualify your assessments, and that's my feeling too.
I agree smart folk can be worng, but I'm also aware that devil tends to crop up in detail to the point where "obvious" things get derailed, so I tend to hedge my bets.
A thing about advantages is they can apply differently to different people. So the great debate about whether we should be stood up or sat down or running at whatever cadence, for example, doesn't seem to be a universal Thing, which leads me to think people are biomechanically different to one another. Just as Contador can mash up cliffs out of the saddle while Froome is spinning up in the saddle, it could be the case that some styles/physiologies get more out of some things than others.
Now, it might be the case that it's all in the mind, which can make a useful difference, but there again you could make the same argument for the usefulness of a St. Christopher medallion. It's particular form is not the key point, just the belief in it.