We all want that dream bike with the shiny sicklooking paint job, sugar-coated chain and the dreams of personal best that come along.  It’s no sin wanting to look good, what’s a terrible mistake is thinking one can buy speed.  With that in mind, there are certain things, investments, that make the most sense when trying to go faster. Easy Endurance offers a guide to smart spending, reasonable thinking and self-funded bling. 

DRAG – FRICTION – ROLLING RESISTANCE

With industry claims as ridiculous as a faster chain that lasts only 200 miles, today I want to be your broker.  I want you to take a calculated risk and  turn your actives into liquid gains asap. Basically, there are 3 major obstacles that prevent us from going faster while riding our bikes; drag ( air resistance created by wind forces) , friction (resistance between moving surfaces) and rolling resistance (friction or drag between and object and a surface). Drag is the main one and where we need to focus. So how can we go about that?

Optimize your bike investment portfolio…

  1. TIRES ($50-125) Good tires with low rolling resistance can change your whole riding experience. By rolling faster, improved cornering, traction and smother road feel you’ll move quicker.  As per recent results, it looks like the way to go is either Specialized or Continental.  Also Go Wide! studies showed 25-26mm to roll faster and offer better road feel. Deciding between Tubular vs clincher vs tubeless is the hard part, consider compound quality (TPI) for durability and puncture resistance. Car manufacturers have discover this and know offer better gas mileage because they use tires with less rolling resistance on their vehicles. Don’t forget latex tubes and experimenting with different PSI settings!
  2. CLOTHING ($150-250) Tight fitting  clothing can make you go fast with the additional perks of looking good and stylish. Consider a skinsuit or size down on your regular cycling kits. Industry leaders such as Specialized claim their “technical suits  can save up to 96 seconds over 40km”.
  3. BIKE FIT ($100-250) An aero frame or TT bike means nothing if you can’t hold your position for as long as possible or 90% total duration of your event. The main drag source is the rider itself so, weather you ride a road or tri bike make sure you are comfortable while been as aerodynamic as possible. Remember there is a certain amount of discomfort in riding but, it shouldn’t be something so daunting that keeps you from getting on your bike. Seek professional help, weather that is your local bike shop around the corner or that fancy bike boutique you like to hang out at friday nights, it’s up to you.
  4. DRIVE TRAIN ($0-30) yes we all want that fancy ceramic bearings, with a slick chain and gigantic pulleys that promises enormous gains, but the dough it’s just ridiculous! I guarantee you’ll be equally faster if you keep your current drive train clean and lubricated. Invest in good products and tools that allow a job well done. A clean bike is a fast bike!  
  5. BETTER, SMARTER TRAINING ($0-150) Training is free or at least it could be if you know what you’re doing or read Easy Endurance on a weekly basics. Focus on consistency, frequency, progressive build ups and smart race choices for the win.
  6. HELMET ($100-200) Some helmet manufacturers like Specialized claim their product’s “advanced aerodynamics saves 46 seconds over 40km compared to standard road helmet”. Take into consideration the type of racing you’ll be doing, ventilation and weight before pulling the trigger on that slick lid.

At the end of the day local bike shops will probably hate me for this and it’s not big deal. I would rather deliver true facts and reality checks that lead to reflection, than to sell false dreams that inflate a hollow ego. It’s ok to get all the bling if your pockets are up to it, just don’t think it’s making you any faster than regular ole’ training will. Focus on the right things, save money, save energy!

Go on, Go hard, Go smart!

-eMMa

 

References:

http://www.velonews.com/where-the-rubber-meets-the-road-what-makes-cycling-tires-fast

http://www.ceramicspeed.com/sport/why-ceramicspeed/save-watts/

https://www.specialized.com/pr/en/aero-is-everything

 

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