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Speed Survey(19 posts)

Speed SurveyAztecs
Nov 29, 2001 11:36 AM
Newbie here. Just started riding this year. What amazes me is how many cyclist are more obsessed with buying new components to increase speed instead of working on whats powering the bike. Hard work seems to be the last option for many (I know not everyone is in this group so don't take it the wrong way; Also, newbies seem more guilty than most!). My survey question is the following:

How much would you pay to increase the power of your engine (no drugs, just purchasing pure talent/genetics)? How much would 1 mph increments (adding a bit of realism to this post I will put a limit the limit on increment purchases at 5) be worth to you?

Just curious

re: Speed SurveyAztecs
Nov 29, 2001 11:42 AM
I'd dish out about $500 for my 5 mph boost. I would probably spend a lot more if I rode with others instead of solo.

re: Speed Surveymorrison
Nov 29, 2001 11:55 AM
If you start riding with others, you'll get your 5 for free. As for me, I don't race, so I don't care. I can keep up with my friends, and I stay healthy. Although, I realize I'm probably in the minority on this one.
re: Speed SurveyIndiana Rider
Nov 29, 2001 1:14 PM
looking endorsements on my chest... not being a racer I won't pay much...10 bucks.
re: Speed SurveyMikeC
Nov 29, 2001 11:54 AM
I think the issue is not just how much speed you gain, but how much you gain relative to other riders. If I gain 5mph average, but so does everyone else, I wouldn't pay anything. But if I gained 5mph and nobody else gained anything, I'd pay $20,000 and be close to a pro!
re: You may be missing the point.dzrider
Nov 29, 2001 1:33 PM
Some riders appear to be in competition to own the lightest bike. The gram shavers I've met up with are not necessarily the fastest riders. One guy needs a compact frame to keep his belly off the top tube.
If you work really hard you may gain 2-3 mph in a year...Bruno
Nov 29, 2001 4:17 PM
So a 5 mph increment with no work would be worth a lot to me. Hey, I could break some local time trial records. A very good light bike may give you 1 to 2 mph over a entry level one.
Pay for speed?Ahimsa
Nov 29, 2001 6:25 PM
I'm broke.

I would pay more for invisibility or super strength. Ooooo, or flight! Or maybe xray vision! Yes!

Pay for speed? Hee hee hee! Silly.


Totally contrary to my riding style ...Humma Hah
Nov 29, 2001 6:37 PM
... my roadbike is an ancient cruiser, and I don't care that it is the slowest, heaviest ride in the forum, by a longshot. The bike is inherently at least 3 mph slower than a roadbike. I ride for fitness, and I don't race. I'm more into endurance, and can coax that beast to century and greater distances.

But, among racers, 1 mph is a HUGE difference. Time trialers will pay to shave off a second a mile. Work that out at 25 mph, and it ain't a lot. And if climbing is involved, weight becomes a big issue for them.

But to answer your question, yes, training is supremely important. I've found that occasional very strenuous intervals, which take you to about 95% of maximum heartrate, will have a profound effect on speed.
don't necessarily conludeDog
Nov 29, 2001 7:36 PM
Don't necessarily conclude that those obesessed with equipment -- aero, weight, or whatever, are not also working their butts off. Problem is, training, especially for longer distances, takes years. It's tough to have that sort of patience. It takes no patience to buy something that will (or might) make you a little faster.

Me? I'd pay $10,000 per mile per hour, maybe more. I wouldn't even think about it if someone would guarantee it.

BTW, the best bang for the buck for buying speed is aerobars. Nothing even comes close. The second best is losing weight. That may or may not cost you, but it will take more time.

good pointsDuane Gran
Nov 30, 2001 4:50 AM
Good points, Dog. I would further emphasize that it gets tiring when a weight weenie inquires about a method of lightening the bike and several people tell him/her to lose weight. There are always gizmo fanatics without the urge to increase fitness, but more often than not the people who are obsessed about the machine are also living like a monk in order to maximize their body.

I can't tell exactly what I would pay, especially in this cruddy economy, but I do know that cycling sucks up a good deal of my finances. I'm becoming more skeptical about the ability to purchase performance though. For example, I used to try (and swear by) all sorts of supplements in the water bottle, but anymore I just drink water and eat food on the bike. Performance has been unnafected.

I have looked at some more exotic solutions, such as hypoxic tents and various things that might give me an edge, but they are a bit too expensive for my budget.
Seriously, though ....tarwheel
Nov 30, 2001 5:26 AM
How much difference does it really make to shave a few ounces or even a pound or two? I have no quarrel with weight weenies, particularly those who race or have the resources to pay for ultralight equipment. However, I think way too much emphasis is placed on light weight at the expense of comfort and fit. For most riders (particularly newbies and older guys like me), I would venture that they would be better served spending their money on making their bike more comfortable -- even if that puts them on a slightly heavier saddle and frame, or a higher and less aerodynamic position. My view is that if you aren't comfortable, you won't ride as much and your training will suffer. If you're comfortable, you're more apt to put in the mileage that gets you in better shape and increases speed. When I was riding my aluminum Bianchi, I had a tough time riding more than 450-500 miles a month because my hands were so numb and beat up. After buying my steel Gios, which weighs about 2 lbs more than the Bianchi, my speed went down intially but increased after several months -- because I was much more comfortable and was able to ride more often and longer distances. I've increased my mileage to over 600 miles/month since then, and I'm faster than I was on my lighter bike because I'm in better shape. I'm also enjoying my rides a lot more.
Good call.Leisure
Nov 30, 2001 5:37 AM
confessions of a weight weenieDuane Gran
Nov 30, 2001 11:48 AM
I think you make a great argument, and it underscores the need for every person to select equipment that is appropriate for what they want to do. As one of these weight-obsessed people, I would like to shed some light on the matter.

My body fat is about 5% and I ride in the neighborhood of 800-1000 miles a month. My goal is to win races. I can't get much ligher, and I'm doing everything I can to get stronger, but if the finances permit I can get lighter components (within reason). In the very competitive arena where I ride it makes sense to buy a little bit of performance.

My only gripe is when I see people try to buy performance when they don't have the dedication to train well. That seems to be a bad investment, but it is their investment, not mine. I have personally held off on purchasing a lightweight saddle because the current one is very comfortable and I don't want to muck around with a good thing, so I empathize with your statements.
re: Speed SurveyI AM
Nov 29, 2001 11:26 PM
If you race anything with an engine(non human) there is a saying, how fast do you want to spend. It seems to me that in
cycling the marketing gurus have us all in their trance each
year buying whatever new product they have shaved a gram or two
off of even though there is nothing wrong with the part being
replaced. Racing things with engines money really does make you
faster but with bikes you are better to lose 10lbs and train
re: Speed Surveypegasus
Nov 30, 2001 12:19 AM
I bought a new bike this summer which I guess was my attempt to buy speed since there was nothing wrong with the one I had. I ride on average maybe .5mph faster on the new bike but the added benefit is I like it so much that I ride a lot more and train a lot harder. I think when I finally see a significant increase in speed I'd feel better if I earned it than if I bought it.
re: Speed SurveytacoShoppe
Nov 30, 2001 2:04 AM
buying speed is a matter of context. say for someone who doesn't have much time to train, buying lighter parts is buying speed. Or for a light rider who doesn't have much excess weight to lose and cannot generate the power to ride a heavier bike faster, buying lighter parts is also the way to gain speed.

For most riders who aren't at the extremes of these spectrums training with better riders will gain much more speed than any component.

As to how much i would pay if given a choice...i would pay $1 for every gram i lose off wheels. and a set of wheels that are a lb lighter generally rides about 1mph faster in the long haul. So $500 per mph.
Nov 30, 2001 5:33 AM
I've got this bizaare sort of narcissism where I would never want to think any of my abilities/accomplishments required any sort of artificial help (within the body of course-equipment is another story). Even if I sucked. It's not the same as paying to fix a bad back or a congenetic defect, which is a whole different story. I just want to know my accomplishments are really my own.
re: Speed SurveyBi-Psyclist
Nov 30, 2001 5:34 PM
That's a thought provoking question. I think the money should be reserved for the inanimate machine. If I had more money I would buy another bike, maybe a classic like a 1960's Cinelli.

I want to earn my fitness by riding my bike. That's a big part of the satisfaction for me. If I could buy the speed, I wouldn't value it the same way as if I earned it with all those miles on my Merlin