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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've made a few tweaks recently. Since these changes, I shaved 10 minutes off my 14 mile (one-way) commute.

  • Shimano M520 SPD Pedals
  • Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek Bike Shoes
  • Ergon Performance Grip GC2
  • Adjusted my stem 50 degrees forward

By adjusting the Ergon grips accordingly with my stem adjustment, it's still a very comfortable ride, but combined with the clip-less pedals/shoes, it turned out to be a very significant improvement.

Anyways, I'm a little anal retentive about shaving as much time off as I can from my commute and these few changes helped quite a bit.
 

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Nice! That's a huge improvement.

So is your commute hilly, or mostly flat? Only reason I ask is that after going clipless, it's real easy to fall into the upgrade-itis trap. Some cases of this horrific affliction lead to riding a carbon fiber roadie with aerobar clip-ons and a rack with panniers on the back. :D

All kidding aside, keep up the commutes, add in some longer rides on the weekends and if you really want to increase your speed, add some green-light-go sprints and/or some climb-this-hill-AFAPs (as fast as possible). I don't want to call it interval training, but that's basically what it is.

I always like to use a car upgrade metaphor. If you wanted a faster car, would you: a. spend a ton of money to replace the hood with carbon fiber, add a spoiler that's questionably performance enhancing, and put new fancy tires/rims on it; or b. swap out the stock motor with a racing one you have just laying around? Making your bike faster with really expensive parts isn't going to make you (the motor) produce more watts (horsepower). Get yourself as comfortable on the bike (with a bike fit maybe? as your tweaks sound position/comfort oriented mainly), ride lots and ride fast to make your motor faster, lose any and all weight from yourself to become as efficient as possible, then you can start delving into bike upgrade-itis.

This coming from a former cat 2 road racer turned mainly bike commuter. No amount of bike gadgetry will make up for a high level of fitness. I have the same nice road bike from my racing days, but darn it if it doesn't go as fast as it used to! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
mitmoned - Thanks for the reply. My commute has a LOT of elevation changes (I live in Colorado Springs). I'm really not about performance as much as I am about comfort. My Marin Fairfax had the old-school strap-style pedals which are just too damn annoying for me, so that's the main reason why I upgraded the pedals and shoes. The grips were a must for me since my commute is an hour long one way and in terms of comfort, those Ergon grips really save my hands/wrists.

I seriously don't think that I'll need to do any more "pay-for" mods for quite a while. I'm really content with the bike right now ( although I'm sure you've all heard that before :p ). I spent a good amount of time over the weekend getting everything dialed in just right (stem, grips, saddle, etc) and I think that the ergonomics actually made the biggest difference.

The next mod will be the rider mod - building up my endurance. :)
 

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*Sigh* Oh how I miss Colorado. I grew up in Windsor till I was 7 and have always had family living around the Denver area so we visit often. I live in Nebraska now and while we do have some hills, I really would love to live near the mountains again.

My commute is 3 miles each way with a whopping 200 feet of elevation gain over 2 bumps. To have an hour commute with some serious climbing would get me in way better shape. Color me jealous of your commute.

Ergons are amazing aren't they? I have them on my mtb. It just makes sense that your hand would fair better on a flat surface the Ergon provides compared to a relatively sharper point of a round grip. Surface area distribution and all that stuff. I've thought about getting one of those fancy flat top bars for my road bike, but they're too expensive. Though there might be some happy mediums out there. Granted, that's the nice part about road bars - you can change hand positions often to alleviate pressure on certain points.

Well, anywho. Enjoy your commute and say hello to the mountains for me.
 

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I commute on my Eddy Merckx once a week or so just to go faster and enjoy the ride. Most days I am riding my Bob Jackson touring bike, which is great for hauling gear but the larger tires and gear take their toll on the hills. Most of the time, however, my speed is more affected by the wind, weather and how tired my legs are than the bike I ride. Eg, my morning commute took 5 minutes longer today than yesterday -- mainly because I rode 62 miles yesterday and my legs were fried.
 

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speed is fun!

tarwheel2 said:
I commute on my Eddy Merckx once a week or so just to go faster and enjoy the ride. Most days I am riding my Bob Jackson touring bike, which is great for hauling gear but the larger tires and gear take their toll on the hills. Most of the time, however, my speed is more affected by the wind, weather and how tired my legs are than the bike I ride. Eg, my morning commute took 5 minutes longer today than yesterday -- mainly because I rode 62 miles yesterday and my legs were fried.
Every once in a great while I take my time trial bike, a Cervelo P2C with Zipp 999 wheels, and crank it up between stop lights, for no other reason than "it's fun." Yes, I only use the aerobars in places without traffic and driveways...
 

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mitmoned said:
I've thought about getting one of those fancy flat top bars for my road bike, but they're too expensive. Though there might be some happy mediums out there. Granted, that's the nice part about road bars - you can change hand positions often to alleviate pressure on certain points.
Or try these for less than $50.... IRD Blackbird Bars. I've got a set on my Gunnar & love them.
 
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