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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Old-timer here. I'm in training for the Tour de Canal and stumbled on an odd phenomenon.

I sometimes ride with a group of fire-breathing roadies out of Warrenton, VA, after work. In a rush, it was my habit to change to my cycling clothes except to just fold down my crew socks. Dorky? Yeah, and occasionally resulted in some jokes, but I've never been very interested in fashion and it should not make much difference.

But a few weeks ago I picked up a package of no-show socks and figured I'd at least avoid a little ribbing. First day out with them I picked up 0.2 mph. The next time out I picked up 0.3 mph over the previous day. Third day out I picked up another 0.2.

Now, I know some wag might notice that those three days were pleasant and in the 80's, instead of 95 and code orange air quality, but hey, the air resistance is lower in hot weather so ...

Anyway, yesterday I forgot to bring socks so I rode in folded-down crews again, My speed dropped an alarming 1 mph even.

I just got back from the night's ride, in no-shows, and picked up most of that lost speed, back up 0.8 mph. The temperature was pretty hot.

I suspect I'm actually tracking thngs like temperature and my caloric intake at lunch and afternoon snack. I'm trying hard to ride consistently. But does anybody here actually think socks can make a difference?
 

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i don't think it's the socks...everybody knows it boils down to detergent...tide by far will make you the fastest.

on a serious note, maybe you're just more comfortable in the no shows.
 

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thicker socks filling the shoes better?
 

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Onto something

Tom Ligon said:
Old-timer here. I'm in training for the Tour de Canal and stumbled on an odd phenomenon.

I sometimes ride with a group of fire-breathing roadies out of Warrenton, VA, after work. In a rush, it was my habit to change to my cycling clothes except to just fold down my crew socks. Dorky? Yeah, and occasionally resulted in some jokes, but I've never been very interested in fashion and it should not make much difference.

But a few weeks ago I picked up a package of no-show socks and figured I'd at least avoid a little ribbing. First day out with them I picked up 0.2 mph. The next time out I picked up 0.3 mph over the previous day. Third day out I picked up another 0.2.

Now, I know some wag might notice that those three days were pleasant and in the 80's, instead of 95 and code orange air quality, but hey, the air resistance is lower in hot weather so ...

Anyway, yesterday I forgot to bring socks so I rode in folded-down crews again, My speed dropped an alarming 1 mph even.

I just got back from the night's ride, in no-shows, and picked up most of that lost speed, back up 0.8 mph. The temperature was pretty hot.

I suspect I'm actually tracking thngs like temperature and my caloric intake at lunch and afternoon snack. I'm trying hard to ride consistently. But does anybody here actually think socks can make a difference?
I think you're onto something, I just don't know what it is. At any rate, would you mind passing it over here? I could use a hit :)
 

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heathb said:
Try riding with no socks and see what happens.
He would be faster. His new socks were probably half the weight of his older, taller socks; get rid of them completely will probably save another 25 grams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kerry,

Remembering you from the old days, I can't imagine you need any tips!

But these are thin black socks from some name-brand underwear company, picked up at Walmart. The weight savings should be insignificant (I have been riding a 25-lb Paramount fixed-gear with no water bottle mounts, so I typically wear a Vaude backpack with a Camelback hydration bladder, about10 pounds).

The only significant benefit I can imagine is more skin area for cooling. Assuming I uncover a 3 inch band of ankle, that could be around 48 square inches, which might not be so trivial.
 

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The new socks probably mention carbon of the packaging so obviously they are going to be much faster than traditional socks. Personally, I use ceramic socks so my legs stay fresh at high cadance.
 

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Computer Virus

Tom Ligon said:
...a group of fire-breathing roadies...

...I picked up 0.2 mph. The next time out I picked up 0.3 mph over the previous day. Third day out I picked up another 0.2.

...My speed dropped an alarming 1 mph even.

...picked up most of that lost speed, back up 0.8 mph.
Those fire-breathing roadies are recalibrating your computer when you are not looking.

I sometimes put an extra magnet on the wheel of some unsuspecting rider who is always talking about their average speed. The extra magnet doubles their speed and mileage.
 

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I think if you went with compression socks you'd be faster. A bit more weight? Sure. But if you're not a shaver it could make you more aero. Also, the compression socks help you with recovery after hard efforts. :D
 

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Keeping up with Junior said:
Those fire-breathing roadies are recalibrating your computer when you are not looking.

I sometimes put an extra magnet on the wheel of some unsuspecting rider who is always talking about their average speed. The extra magnet doubles their speed and mileage.
Great idea!
 

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Just as a point of interest, have the "fast socks" been washed between uses or are they accumulating speed with repeated (unwashed) usage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
HIMEHEEM said:
Just as a point of interest, have the "fast socks" been washed between uses or are they accumulating speed with repeated (unwashed) usage?
So far I've been using them new out of the bag. This raises a concern ... do they treat new socks with a chemical that gets into the bloodstream? Am I guilty of doping?

Whoa, where are you guys all going?

I rode crews again tonight and my speed was down by about 0.3 mph from the same route the previous evening. There is just a slight possibility that needing my headlight for the last five miles could have had just a little to do with that.

BTW, these are all solo rides, and nobody is tampering with my computer. I did get a treat a couple of years back when I replaced the battery and did not realize it had reset itself to km. Looking down and noticing I was cruising at 40 was a momentary thrill.
 

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It is clear that wearing black socks all day--with shorts and clog style slip one shoes--so that you look like a Euro makes you much faster. At least 2 mph. It also psyches out the people you're riding with.

All non-cyclists think I'm nuts, but real cyclists look at me thinking holy **** that Euro dork must be fast.
 

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It's got to be in your head. That would be a lot of change for basically nothing. Interesting you watch things so closely that you would pick this up. I'd just continue to think they are faster.
 
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