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· Frog Whisperer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will preface this by saying I suspect this question will leave me open to ridicule and verbal abuse, but here goes anyhow. I am riding a 2002 Bianchi Eros, with drivetrain upgrade to bring that to a full Veloce Gruppo, (including the front der. which even the veloce doesn't have) with the exception of the hubs and wheels which are the stock, mirage hubs and mavic wheels. I have a Technomic stem, Brooks B-17 N saddle and the rear cassette is 12-26, 9 speed, (Triple front). Tires are Michelin Pro Race which I keep pumped to a bit over a 100 psi. (Steel fork), Shimano A520 pedals with Answer road shoes (gotta wear what fits). I weigh 130 pounds, am 5 foot 5 and ride as often as I can in South Central WI. Hills, not mountains some steep but short. It is always windy and normally in my face. This week I logged 148 miles in like 9 hrs. 17 minutes riding time. That gives me a touch better than a 16 mph average. I rode hard.... I want to ride faster.....top end is not the issue, I can go as fast as I feel comfortable. What would my next upgrade need to be to help with that goal...(ok....no, new legs are not an option even though the ones I have are 53.5 years old) Should I bite the bullet and get new wheels? (after I pay 2nd 1/2 real estate taxes) and is that really going to help? or should I just down-grade and get rid of the computer and watch? Most rides are between 25 and 50 miles and the shorter ones are generally faster, needless to say. I know I could just ride short, 10 mile rides and get the average up, but that is not exactly what I have in mind. Today I managed 34.6 at about 16.5 average, again.....it was brutally windy. I took the Carbon Stryke aero bars off the other day because they are just ugly and since I recently moved my shifters a bit I can easily ride and shift from the drops without missing a beat (I did drop 1.4 pounds by doing that.). I'd like some constructive feedback if you have the time.
 

· Frog Whisperer
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41,516 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sdnomis88 said:
lighter wheels will almost always give you a noticble speed boost. Also, getting your pedalling technique down, i improved my average by raising my cadence.
At the risk of sounding sarcastic, which I do not mean to be, well yeah, I know that if I pedal faster I will go faster...lol

Not sure what my average cadence was today which was a fairly brisk ride, I am guessing I average around 90 or so. I generally kick it up a notch when climbing...I'll have to get my computer and see what it was. What cadence do you recomend? As usual, today, the wind was a major issue. I use my gears a LOT...I almost never coast even down hill...
 

· Frog Whisperer
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41,516 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
nix that idea...my computer does not have an average cadence function...that was the last one...never mind.
 

· Frog Whisperer
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41,516 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can't find out exactly what my wheels weigh, I researched the hubs and found what they weigh, the rims too....I have a spare spoke and nipple that I weighed at 1.18 grams 8 x 32 spokes and estimate my wheels to be 2092 grams total less "freewheel body"
Going to the LBS today to talk to them...
 

· Administrator
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Lighter wheels with a more aero rim will help with all that solo riding.

:)
 

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not the solution...

I'm your age, a little more than an inch taller, at 133 lbs.. I've been riding pretty seriously for 22 years now. If you paid $5-6,000 for one of the lightest bikes made, you might see a speed increase of .1-.2 mph, if your route has enough hills. If wind is the major source of resistance, reduced weight won't help much at all.

I rode on moderately rolling terrain (Kansas City area) for about 19 years. Wind was always a problem, but you just had to figure a speed lost of 1-1.5 mph depending on how bad it was. When I was up to 46 years old, I could count on an average speed of 19-21 mph on solo rides up to about 50 miles in length. The year I turned 47, I lost about 1mph off my average speed and never did recover it. Just old age I guess. If you ever get a chance to ride in nearly calm conditions, see how much your speed goes up. On moderately hilly terrain, 18-19 is pretty decent for a non-racer of our age.

You mention riding "hard", but have you ever worn a heart rate monitor and figured out your max heart rate, so you can train at the appropriate 80-85% level? If not, you might find that you're not riding as hard as you think. Your max heart rate drops a small amount every year. I used to be able to do 200 bpm, but now I'm down to only the low 180's. Just last year, I tried to stay in the 163-168 bpm range for 2 hours, 44 minutes, while riding from Idaho Springs to the top of Mt. Evans.

Now that I'm 53 and riding the Colorado mountains, my average speeds are about 2-3 mph slower, due to the difficult terrain and altitude. My regular route has a continuous 10 mile climb with about 3000 feet of elevation gain and a total gain of over 4000 feet. I don't worry too much about average speed. I just keep track of my time over a 15 mile section that includes the 10-mile climb. The time over this section and the lowest gear I need to get up the steeper sections pretty much tell me my fitness level.
 

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Intervals. Upgrading your training will have more effect than any bike parts you buy.

If you absolutely have to buy something for your bike, get aero wheels. Weight isn't that important unless you are doing long climbs. Rotating weight isn't any different from regular weight except when you are acellerating hard, and if you are riding solo, you aren't doing that.

If you want to see the effects of various changes, look at the models on analyticcycling.com. You'll see that the biggest speed improvement will come from increasing your wattage, which you do by riding intervals.
 

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I second what ericm979 said, upgrade your bod, not the bike-- no text w/in

no text within


ericm979 said:
Intervals. Upgrading your training will have more effect than any bike parts you buy.

If you absolutely have to buy something for your bike, get aero wheels. Weight isn't that important unless you are doing long climbs. Rotating weight isn't any different from regular weight except when you are acellerating hard, and if you are riding solo, you aren't doing that.

If you want to see the effects of various changes, look at the models on analyticcycling.com. You'll see that the biggest speed improvement will come from increasing your wattage, which you do by riding intervals.
 

· Frog Whisperer
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41,516 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
C-40 said:
I'm your age, a little more than an inch taller, at 133 lbs.. I've been riding pretty seriously for 22 years now. If you paid $5-6,000 for one of the lightest bikes made, you might see a speed increase of .1-.2 mph, if your route has enough hills. If wind is the major source of resistance, reduced weight won't help much at all.

I rode on moderately rolling terrain (Kansas City area) for about 19 years. Wind was always a problem, but you just had to figure a speed lost of 1-1.5 mph depending on how bad it was. When I was up to 46 years old, I could count on an average speed of 19-21 mph on solo rides up to about 50 miles in length. The year I turned 47, I lost about 1mph off my average speed and never did recover it. Just old age I guess. If you ever get a chance to ride in nearly calm conditions, see how much your speed goes up. On moderately hilly terrain, 18-19 is pretty decent for a non-racer of our age.

You mention riding "hard", but have you ever worn a heart rate monitor and figured out your max heart rate, so you can train at the appropriate 80-85% level? If not, you might find that you're not riding as hard as you think. Your max heart rate drops a small amount every year. I used to be able to do 200 bpm, but now I'm down to only the low 180's. Just last year, I tried to stay in the 163-168 bpm range for 2 hours, 44 minutes, while riding from Idaho Springs to the top of Mt. Evans.

Now that I'm 53 and riding the Colorado mountains, my average speeds are about 2-3 mph slower, due to the difficult terrain and altitude. My regular route has a continuous 10 mile climb with about 3000 feet of elevation gain and a total gain of over 4000 feet. I don't worry too much about average speed. I just keep track of my time over a 15 mile section that includes the 10-mile climb. The time over this section and the lowest gear I need to get up the steeper sections pretty much tell me my fitness level.


uh huh, I have a HR monitor but don't normally wear it any more, I have a pretty good feel for where I am. I average around 147 for a good ride, 25 to 50 miles and try not to get a whole lot over 168.
I am not worried about speed per say, I guess maybe I am trying to rationalize buying myself something. I know I could work on the "engine"..that is the weak link and my rides are indeed almost always solo. In a group my speed is much improved if it is a fast group.
I ride because I love it...but riding solo leads me into playing these stupid little games....loke faster...or harder...of no shifting...LOL.
Thanks for all the feedback......so all I can tell my wife is I need new wheels....hehehe....She already thinks I am crazy
 
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