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Riders and Racers(5 posts)

Riders and RacersMikeC
May 22, 2001 3:48 PM
I haven't raced for several years, but watching the Giro last night made me think back. So many of us now (me included) get all worked up about Campy vs Shimano, triples vs doubles, a gram here and a gram there, etc. Twenty years ago we used to get anal about drilling out components, so I guess things haven't changed that much.
HOWEVER, I don't ever remember thinking that I lost a race because I used Sun Tour instead of Campy, or because someone's bike weighed 28 grams less than mine. And when I watched the last 2K of that stage last night, it was clear that guts, desire, strategy, and luck had more to do with the outcome than did physical talent and conditioning, and the effect of equipment differences were negligable, even over more than 100 miles. My dad used to remind me that a thousand small differences can add up to a huge advantage, but I'm convinced that the bike they happened to be riding, the shoes they were wearing, and their brand of helmet were almost irrelevant. As Lance says, "It's Not About..."
Anyway, I still want a Seven Cycles Odonata. And I still love the feel of my Record 10. But I recognize that it's not about making me faster; it's just about making me feel good inside, and a little more comfortable outside. And that's pretty much irrelevant to a real racer.
Yeah!Humma Hah
May 22, 2001 4:15 PM
There are a few weight-weenies here, just one or two maybe. I ain't one of 'em, riding a 40+ lb bike and usually a 10 lb pack for good measure.

But no way will I claim that it doesn't hold me back -- it certainly does, and I'd never seriously race such a lead sled. That's OK, its a fitness bike, and working me to death is the basic idea.

One of the best participants here, Doug Sloan, is an admitted weight weenie. Someone asked a question about how much difference some small amount of weight made, and Doug ran a calculation on the Analytic Cycling website (, if I can remember correctly). That site allows you to calculate many riding parameters, in this case Doug used a long hill and calculated that on this hill, shaving that much weight would save the typical rider something like a second.

I ran the calculation myself, and determined that, alternatively, the rider could increase power a few microwatts (out of about 250 watts) and achieve the same thing.

Top racers will, of course, shave every gram possible. But who of us here can honestly say we couldn't have mustered another half a watt average (500,000 microwatts) on our last ride?
Hi Hummahdavee
May 22, 2001 4:28 PM
Okay. A few grams here and there aren't that big a deal. Nevertheless, thanks for advising me that 7 pounds is. I love my new bike, and you influenced my decision to buy it.

Thanks for the good advice.
At the elite level - weight does matter! (nm)Marco
May 23, 2001 5:56 AM
That's heresy!mr_spin
May 23, 2001 2:42 PM
Check in immediately to the nearest reprogramming station. You are obviously deluded and are becoming a threat. The marketing propaganda must be increased. This misinformation must be stamped out immediately.