Shiny bikes & their advocates

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thelawnet
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Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby thelawnet » 12 Feb 2019, 12:44am

Here's a bit on Youtube from an amateur racer. It's getting quite a lot of views.



He sets out to show the difference between a '$100 bike', '$1000 bike' and '$7000 bike'.

The $100 bike is some sort of supermarket special, the $1000 bike is actually $1400 and is a Schwinn, probably an open mould frame.

Specs:

Frame Schwinn® N LITENED Black Label® Carbon
Fork Schwinn® Race Carbon with tapered carbon steerer, 1 1/8 to 1.5"
105 5800 11sp drive train/brakes with 50-34 and 11-28 cassette
Alex® R500 doublewall 32 Hole rims
Kenda® Kriterium 700 x 25, wire bead
Weight is around 8.6kg

The $7000 bike is actually $5000, but he's put some new wheels on it, which cost $2000. Apparently he believes this gives him a $7000 bike, even though such a bike is fitted with wheels that already cost $2000+ at retail.

Anyway, full specs:

Canyon ULTIMATE CF SLX 9.0 2018
Frame & fork Canyon carbon
Drivetrain/brakes Dura-Ace R9100, except he replaced the crank for a 50/34 Ultegra
the factory wheels DT SWISS PRC 1400 SPLINE 35. 35mm deep aero wheels https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/reviews/ ... eview.html 1486 grams, RRP $2580 20/24 spokes
the 'upgraded' wheels 62.5mm deep aero wheels 1545g, RRP $2200. 16/24 spokes
Tyres are not stock, but have been replaced with the Formula Pro Tubeless Light

These are here http://irc-tire.com/en/bc/products/formula/, and weigh 265g each, and are presumed to have an extremely low coefficient of rolling resistance.

Weight is around 6.4kg

Anyway, he does his tests and surprise, the expensive bike is around 3.8% faster on the flat (at a supposed 300W constant), 10% faster downhill, amd 10% faster uphill (note: some, but not all, of this is explainable by the extra weight of the bike).

The commenters are all convinced 'it's the wheels'. This is despite the fact that it's clear that the rider is far more horizontal on the more expensive bike - they don't have the same geometry - and the heavy wired tyres fitted to the '$1000 bike' are designed to be very puncture resistant and clearly going to roll much worse than the fancy ultra-light tubeless jobs. https://bicycle.kendatire.com/en-eu/fin ... endurance/

And the aftermarket wheels aren't necessarily better than the factory ones on the Canyon. I do wonder sometimes the cognitive processes involved with people doing such testing - are they setting out to mislead, and if so in order to validate their 'investment' or is it unconscious?

It would be more interesting to compare two bikes in the same size - one cheap, one pricey - with the same geometry and both with factory wheels, and the same after-market, fast, lightweight tyres.

MarcusT
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby MarcusT » 12 Feb 2019, 5:33am

I've seen quite a few of their videos and few are factual or informative, but most are just to get views. They'll take the latest trend and try to make an interesting clip for it.
One video they took an MTB and gravel bike on single track. Of course the gravel rider could not say that a gravel bike is not ideal for single track, so he says, Because the gravel bike is more difficult on single track , it makes it that much more fun.

In the end, how many viewers were actually surprised that a $7,000 bike was faster than the cheaper ones?. The only people that may find this useful are the occasional riders trying to justify to their wives why they bought a $7,000 bike for the occasional Sunday ride.
I wish it were simple as riding a bike

Brucey
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Brucey » 12 Feb 2019, 5:51am

MarcusT wrote:…..In the end, how many viewers were actually surprised that a $7,000 bike was faster than the cheaper ones?. The only people that may find this useful are the occasional riders trying to justify to their wives why they bought a $7,000 bike for the occasional Sunday ride.


i can't be the only person who would like to see the midrange bike on the nice tyres, and the same riding position throughout, can I....?

cheers
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Samuel D
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Samuel D » 12 Feb 2019, 7:46am

thelawnet wrote:And the aftermarket wheels aren't necessarily better than the factory ones on the Canyon. I do wonder sometimes the cognitive processes involved with people doing such testing - are they setting out to mislead, and if so in order to validate their 'investment' or is it unconscious?

Like you, I’ve wondered why the tests are stacked against the losers. Tyres are a common method to introduce bias. I think that is because a lot of cyclists – sometimes including the testers – still don’t recognise the scale of rolling resistance versus other energy losses on a bicycle.

I was on a train back from a long ride the other day with a fellow who told me in all earnestness that he thought the key to a fast bicycle was good wheel bearings. I wondered where the lost energy might go in a poor hub and why it doesn’t get warm, but, seeing that made no intuitive sense to him, changed tack and said that most wheels go for over a minute when held off the ground and spun, despite having minimal kinetic energy by their light weight. He didn’t notice that was the unloaded case but pointed out that there are anyway differences in spin times. Then I compared the energy likely to be involved in flinging one arm for a fraction of a second to spin the wheel in this test versus the continuous work of two legs to ride the bicycle. I sensed none of these appeals to intuition made an impression. It was like someone explaining the queue management of an Intel processor to me: I don’t know enough to follow even a simplified explanation or ask sensible questions.

Most cyclists, like most people, are not scientifically literate or curious about the physical world. They have forgotten their high-school physics. That is okay until they try to do tests like the one in the video or interpret them.

All the Kenda tyres I’ve ridden have had stonking rolling resistance. I bet these wire-bead, boot-tough Kriteriums are no different. Your other criticisms of the test are valid too.

rfryer
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby rfryer » 12 Feb 2019, 7:53am

I thought the video was interesting. He made the point up front that he was deliberately not trying to isolate the effect of individual differences, but was trying to test the entire package. Maybe that leaves some questions unanswered, but it's harsh to criticize him for not doing tests that he never set out to do.

The interesting points (to me) were that he saw similar improvements in performance between each pair of bikes, illustrating the law of diminishing returns. And that his subjective impression was that there wasn't a massive difference in "feel" between the two more expensive bikes, while the cheap one felt horrible.

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Mick F
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Mick F » 12 Feb 2019, 8:11am

thelawnet wrote:It would be more interesting to compare two bikes in the same size - one cheap, one pricey - with the same geometry and both with factory wheels, and the same after-market, fast, lightweight tyres.
Not more interesting, but more relevant, and not so pointless.
Mick F. Cornwall

rfryer
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby rfryer » 12 Feb 2019, 8:35am

Mick F wrote:
thelawnet wrote:It would be more interesting to compare two bikes in the same size - one cheap, one pricey - with the same geometry and both with factory wheels, and the same after-market, fast, lightweight tyres.
Not more interesting, but more relevant, and not so pointless.

More relevant to what?

His test was useless if you're trying to evaluate upgrades; he should have swapped pairs of components between the bikes to find out what made the biggest difference. And repeated each test several times to rule out variance. Which would have taken weeks, rather than a day.

[It was equally useless and irrelevant for helping decide which espresso grinder I should buy, but I suspect that wasn't his intention either.]

What he was trying to evaluate is how performance of the package changes at different price points, and I think he did a reasonable job of that, covering both quantitative and qualitative factors.

If I were about to buy my first road bike, I think it would be very useful information.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 12 Feb 2019, 8:35am

If the engine is no good, you can spend as much as you like on a fancy bike, you’ll still get passed by a bloke with board shorts and flip flops, on a 5.99 BSO.

rfryer
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby rfryer » 12 Feb 2019, 8:39am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:If the engine is no good, you can spend as much as you like on a fancy bike, you’ll still get passed by a bloke with board shorts and flip flops, on a 5.99 BSO.

On the other hand, if the engine is average, the fancy bike could well be the difference between enjoying a club run with a bunch of similarly average cyclists, or struggling to keep up.

Ontherivet77
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Ontherivet77 » 12 Feb 2019, 8:52am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:If the engine is no good, you can spend as much as you like on a fancy bike, you’ll still get passed by a bloke with board shorts and flip flops, on a 5.99 BSO.


Michael Hutchinson makes a similar point in his book "The Hour", he put it down to the differences in VO2 max etc that we are born with.

GCN did a similar video and found that the 1k bike was 'slower', but not so much it was worth paying the extra.

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Mick F
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Mick F » 12 Feb 2019, 9:16am

rfryer wrote:
Mick F wrote:
thelawnet wrote:It would be more interesting to compare two bikes in the same size - one cheap, one pricey - with the same geometry and both with factory wheels, and the same after-market, fast, lightweight tyres.
Not more interesting, but more relevant, and not so pointless.

More relevant to what?

More relevant as a test if he'd used two bikes in the same size - one cheap, one pricey - with the same geometry and both with factory wheels, and the same after-market, fast, lightweight tyres. .......................... like thelawnet suggested.

Pointless otherwise.
Mick F. Cornwall

thelawnet
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby thelawnet » 12 Feb 2019, 10:51am

rfryer wrote:What he was trying to evaluate is how performance of the package changes at different price points, and I think he did a reasonable job of that, covering both quantitative and qualitative factors.

If I were about to buy my first road bike, I think it would be very useful information.


But 'the package' does not include aftermarket tyres & wheels.

The biggest problem with the 'test' is that it starts with the premise that your 'Ultimate 9.0' $5k bike is in need of a wheel upgrade, and further presumes that a pair of wheels of the same RRP is an upgrade.

Secondly the pricey bike gets very fast tyres, while the cheaper bike gets slow, puncture-resistant tyres.

It is reasonable to assume that if you are going to try and race on your cheaper bike then you would obviously give it faster tyres. Possibly not tubeless ones, if the wheelset doesn't support it (I'm not too sure about such things), but the fastest clinchers at any rate.

And in any case it isn't clear that the 'performance' is measurable in the way he implies - it's a one hour ride, so perhaps comfort issues are less important than on longer rides. Assuming he already owns the $1000 bike, it's obvious he doesn't race on it, so it has a different purpose - even for him - perhaps for wet weather, or family rides, or whatever. It doesn't seem reasonable to test against the same criteria when it doesn't serve the same purpose.

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Audax67
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Audax67 » 12 Feb 2019, 11:38am

Two points:

1. Offered one of these I know which one I'd take, and it wouldn't be the $1000 effort
2. Last time I developed a constant 300W on the flat Shimano hadn't discovered indexing
Have we got time for another cuppa?

PH
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby PH » 12 Feb 2019, 12:00pm

rfryer wrote:
If I were about to buy my first road bike, I think it would be very useful information.

If you were about to buy your first raod bike, then knowing how much difference position and tyres make might get you a better bike, for less money, that makes it relevant.
I’m disappointed there’s nothing shiny in this thread.

Brucey
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Re: Shiny bikes & their advocates

Postby Brucey » 12 Feb 2019, 12:34pm

Audax67 wrote:1. Offered one of these I know which one I'd take, and it wouldn't be the $1000 effort


I'd take the $7000 bike, get a refund plus the $1000 bike and spend the other $6000 on some decent tyres, a bike fit, some training and a bunch of other stuff that would make me go faster, not flim-flam.

99.99% of amateur cyclists are limited by the amount and quality of their training, not by their bike or some VO2max figure that they are born with or not.

cheers
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