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Why does my old bike seem slower than new one??(8 posts)

Why does my old bike seem slower than new one??curtybirdychopper
Oct 17, 2003 1:57 PM
I've got a twenty year old race bike with super record components in super great shape, wheels with still silky smooth campy hubs, that weighs about 21 lbs.

But my trek 2200 at approx same weight with ultegra and stock bontrager wheels is just faster (really is faster as same exertion).

whats up with this? any plausible explanations? Does the wider range of gears on the new bike really make this much differnce? your thoughts?
Here's my takelotterypick
Oct 17, 2003 2:11 PM
I used to fence, not build them but sword stuff, and it was strange.

Every time you borrowed someone elses foil, it felt better than yours.

I think it's only because it's feels different that it seems better. Use that one for a while and then try your old bike. It'll probably feel great in a different way than your Trek.
re: Why does my old bike seem slower than new one??hudsonite
Oct 17, 2003 2:44 PM
Modern tires probably have lower rolling resistance than clinchers of 20 years ago. If your old bike had tubulars, that would not explain it.

What is your tire pressure for the old bike? and the new one?
maybe computers are the culprit ...hee hee...curtybirdychopper
Oct 17, 2003 3:30 PM
could be the tires rolling resistance. i'm not sure of the age of the tires on the old bike, but i know they're not 20yrs old; they are probably a few years old and not the orig sew ups but clinchers.

also, i just thought...it could be my two computers are calibrated differently (different from eachother). i'll have to check this!

but the old bike is pretty tight and smooth. its not rusty or creaky or whatever, so not sure this is the reason.
could be the extra gearslaffeaux
Oct 17, 2003 2:45 PM
The advantage of more gears on a road bike is not the wider range, it's the narrower gaps. On your new bike it's probably easier to find the "perfect" gear (or close to it) as there are more to choose from. Also since it's easier to shift gears, you probably do it more often and stay in the right gear, as opposed to just a little high or low. My $0.02.
IF there was a differencelotterypick
Oct 17, 2003 3:00 PM
I'd say it was related to the stiffness of the bike.

When I got a new bike the parts and everything felt as one, whereas the older bike had creaks and slop, although slight.

Again, I think it's more preception, but if it were anything other than feel, it would be in oneness of the new bike over slight slop and less joy in the old bike.

May it never be looked at that way with our wives.......
Well................BigFatSal
Oct 17, 2003 3:58 PM
Since the old bike's in great condition, and is approximately the same weight as the new bike - and from your description this sounds like the new bike is measured as truly moving faster, versus more of a perceptual "feeling" of going faster, then my guess is it's one of these two things:

1. As you mentioned, the speedometers may not be calibrated equally. Should be easy to test: You ride one bike, have a friend ride the other bike side-by-side and see if the speed readings are the same.

2. Laffeaux's suggestion that you can now be in a more optimal gear for more of the ride on the new bike. Maximizing efficiency?

Sounds reasonable. Or maybe you only experience headwinds with the old bike and only experience tailwinds with the new bike. Yes, that's it!!! ;>)
Does it SEEM faster or is it REALLY faster?Kerry Irons
Oct 17, 2003 5:45 PM
You make both statements, so it's not clear. Faster means somehow measured faster, and not just "faster on my regular route" since there are so many variables. A time trial is the best test of faster, and repeated time trials (over multiple days) are required to really say that one bike is faster than another. Accelerations are hard to measure, so if you're saying that the new bike is faster off the line, that's tough to prove. Don't let things like steeper angles, faster steering, or a harsher ride confuse you. Plus, if you really want to find out about the bike, you should be swapping wheels to separate the effect. There are lots of people who will say that something is XX mph faster, but they really have never done a consistent test to prove it. IME, unless you have faster wheels on the new bike, it's unlikely that any differences in the bikes you describe will result in speed deltas.