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How much faster would a real road-bike get me? - Page 2  

post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

One thing I like about the hybrid is I can take it off road, even up into some gnarly stuff if I'm cautious.  It's kind of like a versatile mid-fat ski... it does everything OK.



If you think about it this way, you might start building yourself a bike quiver (road, hybrid, and heaven forbid a MTB).  Crazy thought, eh?

 

Dennis

post #32 of 59

I think the proper term is 'stable'?

post #33 of 59

VS, you're making this harder than it needs to be.  You want to get into cycling and ride further and faster in groups on the road.  That's great. But from your posts you're trying to do this with relatively few miles on an ill-fitting hybrid bike on which you may or may not be gear vs. efficiency bound.  

 

1.  You need a bike that fits.  Cycling is about maximizing the effect of power input.  You can't do it on a bike that's 7cm or more too small.  I'm 5'8''.  I ride a 53 cm traditional 853 road bike properly fit with seat height, seat position, crank length, and stem length and rise.  You need to go to a shop that knows what they are doing and get properly fitted.  That is going to mean a change in frame size, and then swapping out the above mentioned components until you get the right fit.  There is no substitute.  And since you're a newbie and don't really know how a good fit should feel, you need to find a reputable and knowledgeable shop that is not just trying to make a sale to measure you, help you out, and make sure you get what you need.  FYI, most good shops should do this as part of any bike purchase, to including swapping out changeable components for free.

 

1(b).  In that regard, it probably is a lot like going to a real bootfitter.

 

2.  Yes, you can ride a bike that is too small.  But you say you're doing 60 miles per week.  That's a small amount, but still enough to put you at risk for injury.  Fine for cruising around the neighborhood with kids.  Not fine if you goal is advancement in cycling.  

 

3.  You should not reasonably expect to see marked improvements in cycling efficiency, handling skills, speed, or anything else to do with cycling riding what you have the way you are riding it.

 

4.  You would be better off in my opinion riding a properly fit mountain bike with slicks on the road than a poorly fitting hybrid.  You would easily be able to get your 16mph average for longer distances.  If you want to ride on dirt, then put the knobby tires back on.  2 bikes for the price of one, and something I did for years before deciding to take up road biking more seriously.

 

5.  You do not have to buy the latest and greatest road bike or any new bike for that matter.  I've seen and bought some cool stuff on Craigslist for a good deal to mess around with and make fixed gears, etc. That said, I popped for a very nice bike in 1999 and it's the one mentioned above.  I've had to replace a lot of components over the years as they wear out, but the frame is still as good as it was back then and it has many 1000s of miles on it.

 

Like I said before, I think it's awesome that you're into the sport and want to get better at it.  It's a fun endeavor.  It will be more enjoyable for you if you start at the right place with a good shop, good advice, and good help.

post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

I think the proper term is 'stable'?



I like how you think.

 

Dennis

post #35 of 59

Vitamin:

 

I picked up this thread just after I got in from my first road ride of the season, on the SRT (if you're in SE PA you know what that is). Still smiling.

Google Phila Bike Club, Suburban Cyclists Unlimited, and Central Bucks Bike Club for rides in the area, and PM me so we can talk about riding, equipment, etc, and get together for a ride (I'm near Chestnut Hill).  A nice road bike and clipless pedals will make an amazing diff in feel, if not speed right away. Get one and keep the hybrid for dirt. Or get a cross bike - I'm going to look at one I saw on craigslist tomorrow.

post #36 of 59
Thread Starter 

Oh no, a small bike is now dangerous for the knees?

 

Shame on the kid who told me 45 cm was: "yeah, that'll be great, man."  Especially after I asked him if I belonged in a 54 cm bike.

 

Oh well.

 

If this is the case I may try and get a new bike anyway, if for no other reason than to have the right size.

post #37 of 59

If your knee is almost fully extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke and you're comfortable on your bike, it's not too small.

post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

Oh no, a small bike is now dangerous for the knees?

 

Shame on the kid who told me 45 cm was: "yeah, that'll be great, man."  Especially after I asked him if I belonged in a 54 cm bike.

 

Oh well.

 

If this is the case I may try and get a new bike anyway, if for no other reason than to have the right size.



Keep in mind that hybrid and road bikes have completely different geometries.  Sizing will be different.

 

And with road bike sizing, some sizes are measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube (c to c measurement).  Some are sized from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube (c to t measurement).

 

Dennis

post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny1969 View Post



Keep in mind that hybrid and road bikes have completely different geometries.  Sizing will be different.

 

And with road bike sizing, some sizes are measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube (c to c measurement).  Some are sized from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube (c to t measurement).

 

Dennis

And most bikes have adjustable seat posts for a reason.  People are all different sizes and shapes with all different preferences. 
 

 

post #40 of 59

There is nothing wrong with wanting a nicer/faster ride. It feels a ton better to get some extra miles at a decent clip on a smooth riding bike than to slog along on something less so. I'm a broader man myself, but by the end of last summer I was doing 40 mile rides midweek, and 60-80 on the weekends. There are a lot of great deals to be had out there and you can get a lot of bike for not a ton of money. Concentrate on a smooth cadence, and the speed will invariably come.

post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

If your knee is almost fully extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke and you're comfortable on your bike, it's not too small.


 

Not exactly true. Yes you won't hurt your knees as much but too short makes for a scrunched uncomfortable ride. Not to mention there are all kinds of geometry reasons that a properly fitted bike makes you more efficient. A properly fitted bike is vital for top performance during triathlons where bike geometry is used not only to provide maximum power but to also help conserve energy in the major running muscle groups. Here's an article all about it

 

http://www.tri-ecoach.com/art11.htm

 

You mentioned in your first post about how you have trouble using your higher gears but here's the thing your really not supposed to unless your going downhill. Speed with a bike is all about high constant foot speed. ON a flat level road I could probably cruise by you at 18-20 in 1/2-3/4 the gear you are using. That's a major mistake most new riders make. Riding with some experienced riders will teach you a lot.

 

I have done 2 Ironmans and you wouldn't believe that the majority of riders out there don't really know how to ride. I freaked the volunteers out because I would come into turns at as much as twice the speed as other people simply because I knew how to corner properly. 

 

Edit: Also to get into road cycling you don't need a full carbon bike an aluminum frame would do you plenty well. If you can find a good deal I would spring for a carbon fork and seat stay with an aluminum frame. Carbon is great but it has the distinct disadvantage that if you crash and dent it or dent it by some other means you can't ride it any more as the structural integrity is no longer guaranteed. 

 

post #42 of 59

I am a noob cyclist too,

 

but my 2cents are if this is a serious question and not a troll post, to just treat it like skis and demo.  Go or find a willing (and better) bike shop that will put up with your questions; and will let you demo or rent a real road bike either for free or a relatively small fee.  It might just be a couple laps around the parking lot, it might be a resold/returned used bike, or it might be a day rental of a new bike that carries a small fee.

 

Just like skis, they should help do a basic set up of the bike for your body following basic generally established biomechanics principles.  If you want to go off on your and not follow biomechanics so be it, but maybe you should at least give the established calculations a try first.

 

So then you can see for yourself what it is all about, and decide from there rather then theorycrafting.

post #43 of 59

1. If you can afford it, you should get a dedicated road bike to ride on pavement simply for the fact that they roll better than hybrid or mountain bikes on pavement, which leads to more fun. More fun leads to wanting to write more, which leads to better fitness. In your original post, you mention riding wooded trails. I think that riding in the woods on dirt is very enjoyable, but I wouldn't use a road bike to do that.

 

2. Have you considered asking your questions on a cycling forum rather than a ski forum? Try this one: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/bikes-frames-forks/

post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

And most bikes have adjustable seat posts for a reason.  People are all different sizes and shapes with all different preferences. 
 

 


While we all have our preferred sizes, a typical bicycle frame can provide excellent fit to riders with a fairly wide variety of shapes and sizes. They are highly adjustable, within a defined set of limits of course.

 

post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post


 

Not exactly true. Yes you won't hurt your knees as much but too short makes for a scrunched uncomfortable ride.


I said "if you can get proper extension and you are comfortable, your bike is not too small." I understand that some people can feel scrunched. I've never felt that but I know it can happen.

 

post #46 of 59

I agree...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post...You mentioned in your first post about how you have trouble using your higher gears but here's the thing your really not supposed to unless your going downhill. Speed with a bike is all about high constant foot speed. ON a flat level road I could probably cruise by you at 18-20 in 1/2-3/4 the gear you are using. That's a major mistake most new riders make. Riding with some experienced riders will teach you a lot...


 

 

post #47 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

1. If you can afford it, you should get a dedicated road bike to ride on pavement simply for the fact that they roll better than hybrid or mountain bikes on pavement, which leads to more fun. More fun leads to wanting to write more, which leads to better fitness. In your original post, you mention riding wooded trails. I think that riding in the woods on dirt is very enjoyable, but I wouldn't use a road bike to do that.

 

2. Have you considered asking your questions on a cycling forum rather than a ski forum? Try this one: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/bikes-frames-forks/



Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Re: number 2, I actually had a bright idea, and put a cycling question in the cycling forum, but apparently a question about road bikes from me isn't good enough to stay in a bike forum (which is why you see in the new personally-insulting "apres-ski" forum).

post #48 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

You mentioned in your first post about how you have trouble using your higher gears but here's the thing your really not supposed to unless your going downhill. Speed with a bike is all about high constant foot speed. ON a flat level road I could probably cruise by you at 18-20 in 1/2-3/4 the gear you are using. That's a major mistake most new riders make. Riding with some experienced riders will teach you a lot.


I believe you that you would beat me, but is that because:

 

  • You have a lower weight/height ratio?
  • You are in better cardio shape?
  • You are stronger (do you leg press above 800 lbs?)?
  • You have a better bike? (or would you beat me on my own bike)?
  • You are more experienced biking, regardless of above?

 

 

If I have the front gear in 2, and the back in 5 or 6, I get WAY TOO FAST pedaling, and need to crank gear up so I can keep up.  Plus pedaling at high rpms is more tiring for me than doing it slower at a higher pedal force (higher gears)?

 

What am I missing?

post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post
Plus pedaling at high rpms is more tiring for me than doing it slower at a higher pedal force (higher gears)?

What am I missing?

 

If higher RPMs are a challenge, this is sign that steps of fitting were not done.  What exact RPMs you are going which you consider high? 100+?

Assuming positioning is correct and within the rule-of-thumbs, (and based on previous posts maybe that's a huge assumption), then

 

If you go to spin class (typically uses spd cleats though), or get your bike on a  trainer, then either video or watch yourself in the mirror then you can review how your legs are working.

 

I would bet they are not going straight up and down like efficient pistons, but probably are going in an oval, which is probably the main barrier preventing you from spinning faster and you need some wedging or shoe work or other adjustment.

 

You can also maybe try out a spin class at your local gym to get used to going at higher cadences without having to worry about everything else, and the instructor maybe can also give some tips to you on why you are having problems pedalling faster.  It is FAR easier to do higher RPMs in a spin class as you can set resistance to near-zero (even though it is not really as useful a workout as the real biking); but it can help you get more comfortable with higher rpm speeds or figure out what is wrong with your technique or fitment.

post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

 

Re: number 2, I actually had a bright idea, and put a cycling question in the cycling forum, but apparently a question about road bikes from me isn't good enough to stay in a bike forum (which is why you see in the new personally-insulting "apres-ski" forum).


The reason your question was laughed off probably is because your original question is pretty much self-answerable.  

The answer is just go out there and try it; 

 

and there's nothing to write about in terms of you didn't ask for anything technical or to choose or compare things.

nor did it seem you really wanted others' opinion (but just looking for validation of your pre-conceived answer).

 

It is in the same group of questions as 

"what's in my pocket?"

or

"how fast does my car go"

 

post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post



Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Re: number 2, I actually had a bright idea, and put a cycling question in the cycling forum, but apparently a question about road bikes from me isn't good enough to stay in a bike forum (which is why you see in the new personally-insulting "apres-ski" forum).


I'm not sure what you mean, as this is in the cycling section.  Regardless, it's still only a handful of (maybe) avid cyclists on a ski forum.  I likewise wouldn't ask about skiing on a car or running forum even if there were a few avid skiers on there.

 

post #52 of 59
Thread Starter 

One other thing I've done to maximize down-force on the pedal (and to increase comfort) is I've tilted my seat forward to about 30 degrees of steepness.  Someone at my bike shop told me I shouldn't do that, but quite frankly that's the ONLY way my rear end isn't massively sore after a long ride.

 

I'll consider looking at bike forums.  I probably won't join because I don't even know what "park tools" are, nor what a sprocket it, or what size tires my bike rides, or what cadence is (though I can infer here), or anything else about biking.  I just get up and go, the clueless cyclist.  I think everything evens out though because given my fitness and ignorance about biking, you'll never catch me wearing a tour-de-france speedsuit or the like.  So it's all good.

 

Yes, a bike shop I've been to demos bikes, and actually for free (though it would be in poor taste to do so unless I was seriously considering buying one that same day).

post #53 of 59

I've been riding my bike a bit since the snow is gone, and the air is warm. 

 

What has really helped me maximize pedal down force is to actually lift my  butt off the seat.  But, I can't seem to do more than that.

 

Is there a solution?

 

  The hills here in VT are steep and long.   I want them to be easy too...

 

 

all in jest

 

Cheers

post #54 of 59

So typical Vitamin Ski thread?

 

Vitamin Ski asks questions

Experienced answers are given

Vitamin Ski does whatever the hell he wants to, and discounts all the proven knowledge given.

 

You're some work of art man.

 

 

post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

One other thing I've done to maximize down-force on the pedal (and to increase comfort) is I've tilted my seat forward to about 30 degrees of steepness.  Someone at my bike shop told me I shouldn't do that, but quite frankly that's the ONLY way my rear end isn't massively sore after a long ride.

 

I'll consider looking at bike forums.  I probably won't join because I don't even know what "park tools" are, nor what a sprocket it, or what size tires my bike rides, or what cadence is (though I can infer here), or anything else about biking.  I just get up and go, the clueless cyclist.  I think everything evens out though because given my fitness and ignorance about biking, you'll never catch me wearing a tour-de-france speedsuit or the like.  So it's all good.

 

Yes, a bike shop I've been to demos bikes, and actually for free (though it would be in poor taste to do so unless I was seriously considering buying one that same day).


Vs, no one in the pro peloton squats 800lbs. Like all else, there's technique in pedaling. Like ski boots, bikes need to be fit to optimize efficiency. That includes finding a saddle, bike short, and chamois cream that works for you. Tilting the nose of your saddle down 30 degrees.is doing nothing for you at all. You also need clip less pedals and proper road shoes for power transmission through your entire pedal stroke. Then you need to work on smoothness and footspeed as well as flexibility in your hips to begin working toward an efficient riding position. There are a ton of intro to road cycling and racing books around that would be great for you to read. Many of your questions would be answered. Of course you'll need to be open to ideas different from your own. If you aren't you're in for long, painful, and expensive slog up the cycling learning curve and it'll be déjà vu all over again. Good luck and have fun with it! Winter will be back before you know it.
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post


 

I have done 2 Ironmans and you wouldn't believe that the majority of riders out there don't really know how to ride. I freaked the volunteers out because I would come into turns at as much as twice the speed as other people simply because I knew how to corner properly. 



BWAHAAHAHA!    So true.     Let me guess - none of the others would pedal through corners either.

post #57 of 59

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 flexibility in your hips


^This.

post #58 of 59

Level your saddle.

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

So typical Vitamin Ski thread?

 

Vitamin Ski asks questions

Experienced answers are given

Vitamin Ski does whatever the hell he wants to, and discounts all the proven knowledge given.

 

You're some work of art man.

 

 


icon14.gif icon14.gif to what he said!

 

 

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