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  1. #1
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    LBS: "Buy this S-works frame and you'll be 5 mph faster." Me: Bull....

    i did a forum search, but, haven't found what i'm looking for.

    info for comparison:
    lbs specifically showed him a S-works Tarmac frame
    currently on 2007(?) Roubaix Comp (carbon w/ 105)
    friend is recreational rider / relatively newbie so his performance can definitely increase with better equipment.
    most continuous time on a saddle is 30 miles / 1:50 time / 16.5 mph
    signed up for an ironman (112 mile cycling) and need the best equipment to survive the journey.

    .....i know......i know.....i told him people will be calling him "fred" if he gets this bling.

    please help me help my friend. if he gets a guarantee of 3mph+, then he'll buy the S-works frame and put aero bars on it. if i can show him real stats, studies, testimony etc. to dismiss this myth, then he might consider buying a tri / tt specific bike.

    if you have any information why he should use a tri bike instead of a road w/ aero bars including any stats on performance, please send let me know as well.

    thank you.
    .

  2. #2
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    Just get a custom fitting session with aero bars. Guessing doesn't usually work.

  3. #3
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    I have a 2006 Roubaix Expert, 2008 S-Works Tarmac. It will not make him 3+ mph faster.

    Just get a custom fitting session with aero bars.
    ^^^ This is the way to go.

  4. #4
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    I have a 30 pound steel bike from 1983 and a 14 pound carbon bike from 2011 that retailed for almost 60 times what the steel bike retailed(!). Over a 40 mile flat ride, I might be 0.3 to 0.5 mph faster on the bling bike. The biggest determinant of speed is the engine. You can't buy fitness! Training and fitness are the only thing that can get you through an IM triathlon!

  5. #5
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    thanks for your testimonies and recommendations.

    he's a scientist and very stubborn so i'm hoping that there is some convincing research studies available.

    thanks again.

  6. #6
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    That claim's a little much, but all I know is that I feel faster and I enjoy riding more on a "better" bike.

    If that makes me a "fred", so be it.
    Last edited by RkFast; 06-04-2012 at 05:10 AM.

  7. #7
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    If he is a scientist, he shouldn't have much trouble understanding why going from a high end bike to a slightly higher end bike won't increase his average speed by 5mph at the same effort, or even by 1mph, for that matter. Tell him to think about all the supposed aero advantages of the Tarmac frame compared to the Roubaix, the smoother bearings in the wheels and BB, and the slight weight reduction, and then compare those relatively minimal effects to him simply losing 5 pounds, spending 15 more minutes per ride in the drops, or increasing his threshold power by a few watts with training. No comparison.

  8. #8
    wots...uh the deal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bq_or_bust View Post
    most continuous time on a saddle is 30 miles...
    signed up for an ironman.
    Since he is a scientist, ask him about how big a jump this is percentagewise. Ask if he can put some numbers behind total training time this week, vs expected time the month before the tri.

    Not trying to discourage someone from making and hitting a (stretch) goal...but hoping to avoid the bad experience or one timer thing. Better to change lifestyle then go thru a one day of torture to check off a bucket list item. (Buy the bike or not, but it's about the engine. When he knows that he can finish, then he'll know what bike he should be riding). Just sayin.
    martymoose

  9. #9
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by bq_or_bust View Post
    please help me help my friend. if he gets a guarantee of 3mph+, then he'll buy the S-works frame and put aero bars on it. if i can show him real stats, studies, testimony etc. to dismiss this myth, then he might consider buying a tri / tt specific bike.

    he's a scientist and very stubborn so i'm hoping that there is some convincing research studies available.
    He's a scientist? Then he should know that the person making the assertion has the burden of proof. So ask the LBS for this magical proof that the frame can make you go 5mph faster. That is quite an assertion!

    There are sooo many variables, you will NEVER get a guarantee of anything so give up on hard evidence. If there were stats/studies/proof, the LBS would be showing them to you.

    most continuous time on a saddle is 30 miles / 1:50 time / 16.5 mph
    A 5mph increase would be 30% faster! If that were true, I think we'd all be rushing out to buy new frames.
    Last edited by tlg; 06-04-2012 at 06:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Find another shop
    formerly "backinthesaddle"

    Strava is Latin for 'bench-racing"

  11. #11
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    If your friend thinks the Tarmac is going to save a few seconds or minutes on an Ironman and this is going to get him to the podium. Then I say get the Tarmac.

    In reality, he is not going to podium. He should keep his current bike and use the Ironman as an experience. If he decides to start doing more Tri's, keep his current bike and buy a Tri-bike.

  12. #12
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    Sounds like the shop is all about pushing high end bikes instead of what the customer needs.

    If they wanted to sell him on a decent bike, why not push the new Venge Expert model instead? It's got the high end carbon, but is an aero shape and actually used by road/tri guys.

    Still not going to give him 5mph, but that claim is ridiculous unless he was coming from a wal-mart mountain bike.

  13. #13
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    Your friend sounds like a really bad scientist if he is asking you to prove this to him...I am guess he is a biologist.

    First off he could just google the answer, but here is a synopsis: livestrong.com/article/193083-tri-bikes-vs-road-bikes/. Besides Tri bikes being more aero and having different gearing, there is also the bigger factor of muscle actuation. If he is going to do an Ironman, one of my goals as well, he is going to be doing a lot of running and Tri bikes actuate your quads more than your hamstrings, which means your hamstrings won't be dead by the end of 112 miles. I would highly recommend finding a shop that sells and fits bikes for triathletes, it is not something your average shop can do.

    As far as getting a tri bike now, it sounds like he is a long way away from his goal...so there is no rush. For right now, he could just get a new set of wheels and clip on bars for his old bike. Then train for some local centuries and events. I don't even know if could hold myself to 16mph over 30 miles, I think my last couple of hill climbing days averaged over 17mph, so he needs to drastically lengthen his average ride and up that speed. I think if he does a recreational century he will quickly realize that it is more about him and less about the bike.

  14. #14
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    Yes it will!

    And the reason why is because he will like the bike more than his old bike, so that will get him out cycling more often and for longer, which will make him fitter and stronger and, ergo, 5+ mph faster. The contributory factor, though, is the increased thrill and enjoyment of cycling as a result from having a better frame, not the frame itself.

    But the LBS is using this poppycock logic to make your friend believe the frame is the magic ingredient. For this the shop deserves bad juju and your friend should abstain from spending his dollars there; he doesn't want to be around in any way when bad juju happens.

  15. #15
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    If he's doing an actual Ironman, tell him to buy a tri bike. Keep the current bike for training or group rides. Tell him to look at the Scott Plasma, any of the Quintana Roos, a Jamis Xenith T2 or T1, or.....
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post

    A 5mph increase would be 30% faster! If that were true, I think we'd all be rushing out to buy new frames.
    Hell - I'd buy TWO new frames and become 10mph faster!
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  17. #17
    wim
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    Excellent study comparing road- and TT bike /-equipment in terms of watts saved:
    How Aero Is Aero? - BikeRadar

    Trouble is, it assumes a steady 40 km/h (25 mph). At your friend's speed, he needs to know how many more watts it would take for him to up his speed by 5 mph. Here are three charts for that:
    Cycling Performance Simplified : Watts vs. Speed

    The last step is a simple (for him, since he's a scientist) calculation to bring the 40 km/h data to his 26 km/h level. Hint: drag increases as the square of velocity.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordy748 View Post
    Yes it will! And the reason why is because he will like the bike more than his old bike, so that will get him out cycling more often and for longer, which will make him fitter and stronger and, ergo, 5+ mph faster.
    There is no guarantee that a new frame will magically make you like cycling more. There's quite a bit more to cycling than that.
    Would you personally offer a money backed guarantee based on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    Hell - I'd buy TWO new frames and become 10mph faster!
    Scientifically speaking, if you had one bike for each leg, you'd obviously be twice as fast. And love cycling twice as much.

  19. #19
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    If he is a scientist....ask him something cool about his Science, not some hare-brained look what facts I can highlight to make you feel like a new bike is what you need article.

    Oh, and FWIW --> I passed on a similar build/model year Roubaix that he rides now as it was just too noodly under my heavy arse. That being said, it was super comfy so maybe it is perfect for him just now trying some real long-distance riding. Not that being comfy is going to save his legs for the Marathon like echtogammut said above.

    Honestly echtogammut hit it right on the head. Upgrade to some fast wheels, clip-on aero bars, and train train train...on the bike....not that other thing....you sicko.
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  20. #20
    T K
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    If he's just taking the word of the first person he talks to with no data, that's umm, not vefy scientific.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by T K View Post
    If he's just taking the word of the first person he talks to with no data, that's umm, not vefy scientific.
    Depending on his field there are a lot people who work in scientific fields that are exactly like that. Critical analysis and thought are not within the lexicon of a lot of doctors and other application fields. Even in the realm of engineering and physics there are a lot of people that will except the word of an expert before doing any analysis on their own.

    That aside, make sure your friend's bike is well tuned and isn't suffering from drive train lag and such. Then have him see someone about making sure the bike fits him. A proper fit can result in a speed increase because muscles will be fully actuating, assuming they were not doing so previously.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bq_or_bust View Post
    thanks for your testimonies and recommendations.

    he's a scientist and very stubborn so i'm hoping that there is some convincing research studies available.

    thanks again.
    ....forget the frame... go get a wheelset. A better wheelset would be lighter, which gets you up to speed faster (though rotational inertia is less), however, the hub would be better, ie less rotational friction inside the hub....

    it's all about conserving as much energy for the marathon your friend has to do after the 112 mile bike ride.

    With frame, imo, it's about aerodynamics. Less drag = conserving more energy for the marathon afterwards... the s-works Tarmac frame may be slightly more aerodynamic than a Roubaix frame, but it's not much.... A Tri-bike is designed specifically for aerodynamics.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite upgraded with 32T cassette and does not have Stan's (yet)
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by milkbaby View Post
    I have a 30 pound steel bike from 1983 and a 14 pound carbon bike from 2011 that retailed for almost 60 times what the steel bike retailed(!). Over a 40 mile flat ride, I might be 0.3 to 0.5 mph faster on the bling bike. The biggest determinant of speed is the engine. You can't buy fitness! Training and fitness are the only thing that can get you through an IM triathlon!

    The biggest determinant of speed is the engine. You can't buy fitness!"

    As far as I am concerned the post of the day.

  24. #24
    Urb
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    wheel set? wtf? Get aero bars. That's the #1 thing you can do. Typically means tri bike but doesn't have too. Clip-ons work well on road bikes.

    30 miles is his longest ride? Hope he has atleast 6 months to train or it's going to be a long miserable day for him if he can even finish.

    So IM, equipment matters. Training matters more. Nutrition just as much as training. Equipment will never makes up for your lack of training.

    From all the studies I've read the frame has the least value for money spent. Get a nice bike and all. Go for it. All that time he's going to spend riding he deserves a nice bike.

    What IM is he entered in?
    You get all the sleep you need when you are dead

  25. #25
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    Slam that stem! It's free and will help a bit.

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