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ANOTHER WEIGHT WEENIE QUIZ for Continental(20 posts)

Dec 11, 2003 5:26 AM
Biker NGL ( now 49 years, 150 pounds, maybe 200 watts?) has a 21 pound Trel 1000 7-speed and enters the annual group Century ride ( actually 172 km). There are about 6 small hills about 2 minutes each usually starting around the 80 km mark. NGL always starts with the same pack of 14 riders ( probably 70 riders total). Usually the lead group of 7 finish in 5 hours flat. Others get dropped along the way.

For 6 years NGL gets dropped on the first or second climb.

NGL buys a speciallized ultegra 9-speed aluninum weighing 19 pounds, always takes his short pull at the front of the pace line. For 3 years he gets dropped just before the 110 km water stop and therefore is able to catch the group before they leave again. NGL always gets dropped around the 150 km mark when the remaining hills are.

NGL buys the $2500 OCLV with Ultegra 9-speed and it weighs in at 17.0 pound with improvements. NGL is able to stay in the lead pack untill the end. Sometimes he is dropped on a climb but manages to catch the pack again and finished in 5 hours.
NGL is very happy for 3 years now.

1. Please explain what happened?
2. Was the $2500 worth it?
3. Is NGL a POSER?
six years of trying is looking like training to me...Spunout
Dec 11, 2003 5:32 AM
Or else the other 70 riders in the pack are now in their 60s.

It is not about the bike.

You forgot to notice, that the other cyclists in the group were all on current technology machines, so any mechanical advantage is nixxed.
lighter bike + training = hill climbing goodnessCoolhand
Dec 11, 2003 6:10 AM
NGL made a smart move. Lighter bike plus more expereience with a ride equals profit.

The money was worth it- NGL is finishing in the right spot and sporting the cycling industry too. Everyone wins.

If NGL gets the full Postal Team kit, Lance Helmet and Lance Oakleys the poser probability rises quite a bit.

If NGL wants to buy a nice bike and gear, then NGL should buy the goodies. NGL is not hurting anyone and is helping the LBS and cycling industry. In fact, I think NGL should piny up for some 2004 Dura Ace 10 Speed goodies, and a light set of racing wheels and try and put the hurt on the group this year.

But, you have to assume that all others have a lighter bike. nmSpunout
Dec 11, 2003 6:19 AM
But, you have to assume that all others have a lighter bike. nmngl
Dec 11, 2003 6:40 AM
Spunout, I don't understand either of your answers. Also, I am the second oldest of the 14 riders in the pack.
Over the 6-8 year scope of this experimentSpunout
Dec 11, 2003 6:56 AM
are all of the other riders on their original equipment? Probably not, so by getting new bikes, you have only kept pace with the mechanical advantage.

My claim is that the bike does not a century success make. Go back to your old Trek and you will still place well.
Over the 6-8 year scope of this experimentngl
Dec 11, 2003 7:49 AM
I thank you for the comment.

I've tried my old 1000 ( my neighbour now owns it) on a wednesday night group ride some time ago. Night and day. It just reminds me of how much I love the OCLV.

Some points to consider:
1. STI vs down tube shifters. ( very very small advantage?)
2. 9-speed vs 7-speed allows a more uniform cadence. ( very small advantage)
3. Less weight. ( small advantage)
4. OCLV vs aluminum ( for the bikes tested). ( great comfort hense power advantage)
5. Note, after 12 years and turning 50,I am NOT getting any stronger.

I still appreciate any comments.
I sincerely hope this posting will benefit all who read and/or comment.
I'll bite. Sounds like motivation to mebimini
Dec 11, 2003 6:38 AM
After spending that much money on a bike you may have finally had the modivation to hang on up the hills. The shame and ribbing if you would have been dropped would have been intollerable. On a competative hill climb a lot of times it is not a matter of how strong you are and what equipment you have, but a matter of how much pain are you willing to endure and for how long. The pyschological factors are much more important than 2 pounds.

maybe the gearing was different. I always change sprockets based on the course. For hills I use a 12-25 or 13-26 for flats I use a 12-23. If I don't keep spinning up the hills I get dropped (I'm a relatively heavy rider).

You have a good set of tires on the bike and did not before.

After the years of training you got better. I got back into cycling 5-6 years ago after being away from it for 20 years.
What were major hills 6 years ago are now rollers.

The lead group you are trying to hang with knows you now and allows you to hang on. Or, the group will allow a OCLV hang on and not a Speciallized. After all, a 100K is normally a social event, not a race, I know I don't drop folks I enjoy being around on a 100K, it's just rude to drop your friends unless you ask permission or they say go ahead.

There is the slight possibility that the slight fraction of 1% reduction in power requirement generated by dropping 2 pounds of bicycle weight made enough difference to let you hang on.

2. Now was it worth it, most likely yes. If you like the bike and you feel good riding it and it makes you want to ride longer and harder, by all means it was worth it.

Even though I am Cheap, I can still appreciate a nice bike and the OCLVs are a nice bike.

3. Sounds like NGL is a somewhat competetive recreational rider. I never thought of anyone on a group ride as a poser. Even those in the full postal uniform. They are just out having some fun with others on thier bikes.
Continental's answerContinental
Dec 11, 2003 6:51 AM
Give yourself more credit. You've improved over 9 years of riding.

There is no way to know what mechanical, physiological, psychological, and environmental factors contributed to your improvement. Laws of physics, however, prove that a 2 to 4 lb weight reduction on a course with 6 small hills is a very very small factor.

$2500 is a bargain for a bike you like and ride. If you appreciate the technology and beauty of the bike, great. If you think a 17 lb Ultegra bike makes you faster than a 19 lb Ultegra bike, you've fallen for marketing hype.

I'd never call anyone who can ride a 5 hr century a poser. I'd probably get dropped at 60 km, but I'm only 44. Maybe I'd be able to keep up when I'm 49 ;)
You also made some serious gearing improvementsspookyload
Dec 11, 2003 7:16 AM
I am guessing the time on the flats is spent in big rings. You now have a 53 instead of a 52. That just changed you big gears a little higher. Your old bike also had a 42, and now has a 39. So you are able to spin it out a little more on the climbs. Throw in the fact you are also going to benefit from the extra two cogs in the back, keeping you from making large cog jumps.

These are just some things I see. The overall weight probably doesn't make a huge difference on your performance physically, but mentally, it could be the boost you needed. The frame itself could be making a difference however. Different frame geometry, stiffer bottom bracket, and improved fork design all could lead to a better performance. The two pounds itself I don't see as a big deal. That is the equivelant of two full bottles of water.

For people who say light frames are all hype...why does LA switch bikes every year in the mountain stages to his "special" climbing bike? It isn't pounds lighter, but grams. There must be some reason to take the chance with lighter gear.
What about tire pressure? (nm)funknuggets
Dec 11, 2003 7:51 AM
That could be me; same progressionpitt83
Dec 11, 2003 7:50 AM
1990- Trek1400 Had fun riding, but never serious about it
1999- Specialized Allez, concentrated on getting stronger and faster. Competed much more often and cared how I did
2003- LOOK 461. Watch out, I'm coming for you!

I think NGL is hooked. One small sucess breeds the drive to try more often and harder. Works for me.
I am very glad this turned out to be a positive postngl
Dec 11, 2003 8:09 AM
I plugged more numbers into the Analyticcycling formula and as I stated in another post, I find their answers conservative ( never wrong).
All YOU GUYS had good answers and comments as to why NGL was able to hang. In summary, it is obviously a combination of things that have changed. A little weight, comfort, technology, training??, and maybe a whole lot of MOTOVATION.
I wish I could put some actual numbers toward each change.
I apreciate your inputs.
Merry Christmas.
It's ALL about the bike!BowWow
Dec 11, 2003 8:51 AM
Well, MOSTLY about the bike... Maybe SOMEWHAT about the bike? No, I'm back to ALL about the bike! Without the bike you'd be running, and posting on a different forum! I think you (and Doug Sloan) have the bug! It really IS all about the bike - time to upgrade, as suggested above, to 10 speed and sick-light wheels!

At 47 I just upgraded to an 18 pound bike (from 23 lbs), and have noticed absolutely no improvement in my times. BUT I AM riding MUCH more than at this time last year! Yup, it's the bike!

Merry Christmas!

Absolutely no arguing with results, ride more = better bike nmContinental
Dec 11, 2003 10:28 AM
4 pounds less = 2.3 % power/weight increase + training = yes(nm)hrv
Dec 11, 2003 8:02 AM
Dec 11, 2003 9:40 AM
Biker CM in his low 50s joins local century ride on his 20lbs Litespeed, and gets consistently dropped.

Fast forward:
2 years later, same biker CM rides with the same group (now on his grown up daughter's old steel Nishiki mnt bike, with rack and panniers, hard to roll cheap slicks, weighting 30lbs+?) and consistently drops most in the same group. Is it due to:
- added bike weight stability on downhills?
- more upright position helping him to punch bigger hole in air?
- or maybe 50-55 centuries a year he rides on avg?

Now the biggest quesion of all: is he a Fred to save his Litespeed and ride on beater?
Dec 11, 2003 11:36 AM
I will adress this on a very positive note ( I hope that is mostly what you wanted).

IF the biker CM could drop the other riders as you describe, I would congradulate him for all the hard work!!I have never riden a century a week,therefore, I would find it hard for a guy to improve that much. That being said, I have been dropped by a pace line ( which included a guy on a mountain bike using slicks) which was averaging 45kph. I just could not keep up.

At my old age I keep wondering when I will have to join a slower bunch of freinds.

I addressed the Fred/Poser comment because I thought I was being called a Poser for buying a $2500 bike. I think anyone can ride and dress however they like AND I don't mind getting dropped when I join the Weds. night fast club! If I meet up with an A-hole while riding, I will ride by myself next time. GOD DID NOT MAKE ME THE MORILITY MONITOR.
Dec 11, 2003 12:03 PM
actually CM commonly rides 2 centuries per weekend (he is in top 10 in UMCA century division), sometimes none (sick/family obligations). In 2 years he must have dropped around 20lbs off his body (and it didn't cost him as much as dropping 4lbs of NGL's bike).

With respect to 2500$ bike, hey whatever makes you tick; if it gets you out to ride and you can afford it.
No explanation needed.dzrider
Dec 11, 2003 1:32 PM
I can't explain it if you can't.

You sound happy which, I think means it's worth it.

Only NGL knows if he's a poser and if he really cares.