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The definitive answer.. how much faster is an expensive bike

 
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 591
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: The definitive answer.. how much faster is an expensive bike Reply with quote

Since April, I have been commuting regularly to work. My daily commute is 35km, with around 300m elevation, a few hills, including one 2km 6%, lots of traffic lights, some long fast flat bits, 7km city riding

I have been riding on 2 bikes, my expensive road bike, and cheap commuter bike:

Expensive Road bike: 2017 Canyon CF SLX 8.0 Disc Di2, with Roval CLX 32 wheels, and Vittoria Corsa G+ 25mm tyres, weight 7.0kg - cost approx 4000

Cheap commuter bike: 2000, Alloy, Specialized S-Works Festina Edition, Campag Chorus 10 speed groupset, Origninal Mavic Axiom Wheels, Michelin 25mm road tyres, weight 8.5kg - cost 190, I have spent no money on the bike whatsoever other than the purchase price

I have recorded 69 journeys, 31 on the Festina, 38 on the Canyon, I have ridden both bike in all weathers

Overall comparison

Average Speed Canyon: 32.1kph
Average HR: 139bpm

Average Speed Festina: 30.7kph
Average HR: 135bpm

So the Canyon is 4.5% quicker, but the difference may be explained a little by a higher HR when riding the Canyon (2.8%)

The margin a slightly bigger than I had expected. I think that my HR is higher when riding the Canyon for 2 reasons: Firstly if I am a bit tired, not feeling racy, I am more likely to take the Festina. Secondly there is more of a sense of occasion when riding the Canyon, it feels lighter and more agile and demands to be ridden hard.

Having said that, I do really like the Festina, it is a great bike, it is comfy, really well sorted and fits me perfectly, and doesn't feel at all outdated, I also love the ratios with a 53/39 chainset and 12-27 cassette
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1829

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hardly a "definitive answer" when you admit at the bottom whether you choose one bike or another is influenced by how fit/fresh you are feeling, and that when you are on the different bikes you choose to ride them differently!

I have absolutely no doubt that better bikes are faster. My cheap commuter is awfully heavy and slow, and the odd occasion I've ridden my normal weekend roadie to work (still only a 1k alu frame bike), I'm way faster. But it's a rather amusing thread title given your "testing methodology" Razz Wink
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 591
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stenard, you are absolutely right, it is not really definitive. I expected that over a large sample of data, riding 2 bikes on the same route, at same time of day would be statistically correct, however, the difference in HR shows that the effort levels were actually slightly different, and I hypothesis why this could be.

Also my commuter bike, albeit cheap, is actually a very high end bike from 20 years ago, it is not some heavy durable commuter bike

Now that I have pedal based Power Meter, I have started to record this data too, hopefully will see if it correlates with HR


Last edited by mattsurf on Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jayski




Joined: 30 Jul 2018
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot.
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 389
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the follow up question is really "How much faster is an expensive bike than what?"

I don't see a 3k, 5k.... road bike being faster in the majority of use cases than a 1000 road bike and maybe cheaper than that.

An old heavy beater bike fair enough; but surely once you're into a light aluminium frame, half decent wheels and well maintained components further gains are marginal at best.

My own (very basic) testing puts my TT bike approx. 3kph faster than my road bike for the same power. I put the vast majority (if not all) of that down to the better position it puts me in rather than the tube shapes of the frame etc.

I'll be interested to see your results when you add power to the equation but I think the speeds will converge. (Caveat - assuming the same position and amount of drops/hoods riding between the bikes)
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Gus




Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 2532
Location: Freezing my nads off in Aberdoom

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaRok2300 wrote:
I think the follow up question is really "How much faster is an expensive bike than what?"

I don't see a 3k, 5k.... road bike being faster in the majority of use cases than a 1000 road bike and maybe cheaper than that.

An old heavy beater bike fair enough; but surely once you're into a light aluminium frame, half decent wheels and well maintained components further gains are marginal at best.

My own (very basic) testing puts my TT bike approx. 3kph faster than my road bike for the same power. I put the vast majority (if not all) of that down to the better position it puts me in rather than the tube shapes of the frame etc.

I'll be interested to see your results when you add power to the equation but I think the speeds will converge. (Caveat - assuming the same position and amount of drops/hoods riding between the bikes)


I don't have empirical evidence or metrics, however, I have an Orbea Orca (c.3,500) and a Trek 1500 (c.1100). I did the Norseman twice, one on the Trek, one on the Orbea. I can absolutely say it was a hell of a lot easier on the Orbea, particularly climbing the big hills.

I knocked 1hr 15 off over the distance - although that was primarily to having done more training, but I remain convinced that the lighter carbon was a factor.
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FoulOleRon




Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is clearly a flawed report.

At no point have you told us what colour each bike is. How on god's green earth are we supposed to apply the math without that?
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 591
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FoulOleRon wrote:
This is clearly a flawed report.

At no point have you told us what colour each bike is. How on god's green earth are we supposed to apply the math without that?


That is a really good point, and terrible remiss of me.

The Canyon is light blue
The Festina is in Festina Team colours, yellow and blue, however it does have non matching red bar tape
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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose if the Festina one was a pre '98 vintage it'd be much faster.
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Chrace




Joined: 28 Apr 2010
Posts: 2817
Location: Eating a Yorkie

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fit and comfort makes a difference and you do seem to like the old banger there.

My "new" winter bike is a Spesh Tarmac I got quite cheap. 9sp Claris and heavy wheels, it feels like a dog to push forwards compared to my Venge. Commuting I can see a drop of about the same as you but my Venge fits and feels better.

I'd say the numbers you are seeing are consistent with my bikes, although a Tarmac SL4 is hardly an old banger really.

The Tarmac and the Venge have exact same reach and stack so at some point I'll get the Tarmac dialled in for better testing. And hopefully change the groupset and wheels for a cheap 10sp 2nd hand setup.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Canyon is red, my Boardman is Grey. No contest. The alloy Boardman is probably 4 kg heavier with the rack/guards on it too.

If I were you, I'd stick with the heavier bike as much as possible, and if needs be, put tri bars on it when you're in IM training mode, to replicate the position. I realise this will help you Matt, but I'm still confident I will dominate you at IM Hamburg next year - if either of us choose to enter.
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 591
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PhilleusPhogg wrote:
I suppose if the Festina one was a pre '98 vintage it'd be much faster.


Given that it is a Festina Bike, is motor doping allowed, or is that only for pre 1998 bikes?

mattsurf wrote:
FoulOleRon wrote:
This is clearly a flawed report.

At no point have you told us what colour each bike is. How on god's green earth are we supposed to apply the math without that?


That is a really good point, and terrible remiss of me.

The Canyon is light blue
The Festina is in Festina Team colours, yellow and blue, however it does have non matching red bar tape


I was going through my many boxes of spares and found a nice black and yellow Fizik saddle and some yellow Bontrager handler bar tape, so Festina is now fully colour matched.... I have no idea where the saddle came from
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