Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
freeflow
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby freeflow » 14 Jul 2017, 6:16pm

freeflow probably knows more about fast cycling than I do,


I doubt it. But there is little point is spending money on a new bike to get an aero position if you are not going fast enough that using an aero position produces a significant gain in speed. My understanding is that the speed where aero starts to become an issue is at around 17 mph.

I last did a 100 mile ride at 17.1 mph average about 5 years ago. My current Audax average moving speed is about 14 mph or less.

rfryer
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby rfryer » 14 Jul 2017, 6:46pm

If aero gains become significant at 17mph, then you'll get some benefit from an aero position whenever you're going over that speed, whatever your average speed happens to be. Plus whenever you're toiling into a headwind.

Clearly, the faster you go, the more benefit you'll get, but unless you never get yourself much over 15mph, it's individual choice as to whether the benefits will outweigh the costs.

Personally, I never need to go fast. I don't race, and don't often do rides where it matters if I arrive a little later. However, I like to challenge myself, and I enjoy the feeling of cycling on a maximally efficient machine, so that justifies the luxury of a fast road bike, for me.

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531colin
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby 531colin » 14 Jul 2017, 8:56pm

For the same rider, in the same riding position, the "difference" between a "fitness" bike and a "road" bike will be vanishingly small.
I'm going to guess that "two scoops" is a "new cyclist" and doesn't have the benefit of either years of personal experience, or of sharing the experience of other cyclists in a cycling club.....if I'm wrong in my guess, the following "advice" will have an element of teaching granny, etc.
There are lots of things you can do to make riding for a (long) distance easier, more comfortable, and quicker, if speed is important to you.....in no particular order, here is my list of things that will make more difference than a slightly different (marketing) category of bike.......
1) A riding position that is both comfortable and efficient. Thats not a contradiction. There is no point convoluting your body into a position thats uncomfortable, however fashionable or aerodynamic that position happens to be. An uncomfortable position robs performance, its that straightforward. theres a fit guide in my sig. strip. A good position means you can distribute your weight between the contact points to "ride" over the bumps, not just crash through them
2) Pedal quickly (high cadence) Aim to turn the pedals 70 times a minute, don't get into a big gear and strain. High cadence will make you out of breath quickly until you get used to it, but stick at it....in the end, its more efficient than shoving your guts out, and kinder to your knees.
3) Adjust tyre pressures for your weight and the tyre size. If you blow them up rock hard, they will shake you about, which in itself saps your energy. And where does the power come from that shakes you about?....out of your legs, where else?
4) Use cleats. Never mind the naysayers, the great majority of cyclists who ride 100 mile days use cleats. There are advantages to be had in terms of performance, foot stability, and comfort.....but they need to be set up right.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Jul 2017, 10:46pm

Hi,
531colin wrote:4) Use cleats. Never mind the naysayers, the great majority of cyclists who ride 100 mile days use cleats. There are advantages to be had in terms of performance, foot stability, and comfort.....but they need to be set up right.


Please tell, or give us a link?
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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531colin
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby 531colin » 15 Jul 2017, 9:05am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
531colin wrote:4) Use cleats. Never mind the naysayers, the great majority of cyclists who ride 100 mile days use cleats. There are advantages to be had in terms of performance, foot stability, and comfort.....but they need to be set up right.


Please tell, or give us a link?


I can push forward over the top, pull back at the bottom, and pull up out of the saddle. My foot is secure in the right position, I don't have to work to prevent slipping off the pedals and yet i have (angular) free float, no constriction from straps, no pedal digging into my foot. My double-sided pedals mean I clip straight in, first time every time.
But we have been round this loop several times before. The only real way to find out how cleats work for you is to try. I can give you some hints about how to get the best from cleats, but you have to try them. ....you can't think your way to knowing how cleats will work for you, any more than you can think your way to a perfect riding position, or think your way to balancing a unicycle.

iandriver
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby iandriver » 15 Jul 2017, 11:27am

You wouldn't be the first person if you simply put a bolt on Tri bar onto your existing bike.

The aero advantage of a road bike can be highly dependant on the individual. If you are slim and flexible with good core strength, then a size with a 10 inch difference between the saddle and bars is a big thing. This is almost always reserved for club riders and pros who have been through one heck of a learning curve. As others have said, these people are going fast enough to justify it. For us mortals, the difference is far more dubious.
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.....

PH
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby PH » 15 Jul 2017, 12:31pm

iandriver wrote:You wouldn't be the first person if you simply put a bolt on Tri bar onto your existing bike.

The aero advantage of a road bike can be highly dependant on the individual. If you are slim and flexible with good core strength, then a size with a 10 inch difference between the saddle and bars is a big thing. This is almost always reserved for club riders and pros who have been through one heck of a learning curve. As others have said, these people are going fast enough to justify it. For us mortals, the difference is far more dubious.

+1
There are plenty of reasons to choose the bars, hand positions, controls, aesthetics... but from what I see for the vast majority of cyclist aerodynamics isn't one of them.
As for the original question, the answer probably to get one. IME of such questions is that those asking already have the idea so firmly implanted that the only one who can answer it is themselves. No harm in that, it's a leisure activity and trying different things is all part of the fun. Possible downside is you no longer have the excuse of a "slow" bike.
I forget who, but I read a well known pro being asked what the best £500 upgrade was and answering a weeks serious training.

LollyKat
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby LollyKat » 15 Jul 2017, 12:47pm

Or OP could add some drop bar bar ends like these:

Image

Obviously don't use them if you need your brakes but fine for struggling into headwinds. They'd give more stable steering than tri bars.

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bigjim
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby bigjim » 15 Jul 2017, 1:13pm

Interesting posts. It's Hybrid V Road bike as I see it. I've recently returned from the Dordogne where I hired a Hybrid bike for the 9 days I was there. I went with other club members who took their own road bikes with them. I had the Hybrid as I had no other choice. I normally ride out with these guys on a lightish steel road bike. I have never ridden a Hybrid and this one was a heavy beast with standard, I assume, cheap components. I was therefore bothered about staying with my companions in the hilly Dordogne and was prepared to drop back and make my own way rather than hold them up.
The bike though strange to me, was very comfortable from the outset and I was amazed to be able to stay with my clubmates and even overtake and pull well away from them on the, to me, unforgiving hills. One thing that I did notice is that I was constantly spinning. My cadence was much higher than my companions and more than I would normally do on my road bikes which are higher geared. I also never noticed the weight of the bike affecting my ride or performance. I'm now considering going in the opposite direction to the OP in buying a Hybrid or just lowering the gearing on my current steeds.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 15 Jul 2017, 9:54pm

Hi,
531colin wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
531colin wrote:4) Use cleats. Never mind the naysayers, the great majority of cyclists who ride 100 mile days use cleats. There are advantages to be had in terms of performance, foot stability, and comfort.....but they need to be set up right.


Please tell, or give us a link?


I can push forward over the top, pull back at the bottom, and pull up out of the saddle. My foot is secure in the right position, I don't have to work to prevent slipping off the pedals and yet i have (angular) free float, no constriction from straps, no pedal digging into my foot. My double-sided pedals mean I clip straight in, first time every time.
But we have been round this loop several times before. The only real way to find out how cleats work for you is to try. I can give you some hints about how to get the best from cleats, but you have to try them. ....you can't think your way to knowing how cleats will work for you, any more than you can think your way to a perfect riding position, or think your way to balancing a unicycle.


You sort of fell it to that one 531colin :)
I could say that I can do all that and stand on my head with old fashioned clips.

But.......its called Anecdotal!

That's the problem there are plenty of studies but they all contradict the last.
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Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

MikeF
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby MikeF » 15 Jul 2017, 11:21pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
531colin wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,


Please tell, or give us a link?


I can push forward over the top, pull back at the bottom, and pull up out of the saddle. My foot is secure in the right position, I don't have to work to prevent slipping off the pedals and yet i have (angular) free float, no constriction from straps, no pedal digging into my foot. My double-sided pedals mean I clip straight in, first time every time.
But we have been round this loop several times before. The only real way to find out how cleats work for you is to try. I can give you some hints about how to get the best from cleats, but you have to try them. ....you can't think your way to knowing how cleats will work for you, any more than you can think your way to a perfect riding position, or think your way to balancing a unicycle.


You sort of fell it to that one 531colin :)
I could say that I can do all that and stand on my head with old fashioned clips.

But.......its called Anecdotal!

That's the problem there are plenty of studies but they all contradict the last.
So have you tried cleats for comparison? I use toe clips and find them fine too, but maybe cleats would be better - I don't know. However it seems one big advantage with toe clips is that there is a wider choice of shoe, which is often a problem for me.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 16 Jul 2017, 1:09am

Hi,
Never tried ever but I am not singing the praises of gains in clippless.

Convince me?

Fitness is probably the biggest gain and cheap too.......but requires a lot of hard graft.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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531colin
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby 531colin » 16 Jul 2017, 8:13am

I can't remember the Guinness advert......did it go..... "I don't like it because I haven't tried it"
....or was it.... "I haven't tried it because i don't like it" ....?

Couple of other points.....
Tri-bars on a sportive could be interesting
OPs bike has "road" gearing with a compact double

twoscoops
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby twoscoops » 16 Jul 2017, 9:05am

Turning out to be a very interesting topic and thanks for all the replies! I have cleats but haven't fitted as yet. I am averaging about 100 miles a week on the sirrus and love it. I am going to spend some time this week tweaking the setup based on the commentsame posted.

shadwellrhino
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Re: Fitness vs Road...the unanswered question

Postby shadwellrhino » 16 Jul 2017, 9:26am

I bought a Synapse to replace a Sirrus a couple of years ago. I did so because I was fed up of being overtaken by guys on road bikes. I still get overtaken (!) but the Synapse is quicker and more comfortable. I spent months finding the right bike and hesitated a great deal as I have back problems and needed a fairly upright position to mitigate this. My advice is to arrange test rides on new bikes from your LBS and this will tell you if road bikes make a big enough difference to justify the change. From my experience the difference is marginal, but a road bike of similar quality to the Sirrus will definitely be quicker.