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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Posts: 36
prendrefeu wrote:
Cognitive biases you should be aware of whenever you're dealing with shit-shows like the cycling industry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choice-supportive_bias (ie, I chose it, need to defend the investment, yes it's superior)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwagon_effect (ie, it's the latest and greatest and the media is saying so, the pros are riding it, the cool kids are riding it, therefore yes it's better) (this applies to a lot of social media styles/posts as well, not just in cycling. basically people with narcissism issues just copy the fck out of each other in order to try to get some kind of validation for their existence on this planet and in this lifetime even if those 'likes' are not at all genuine)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias (ie, yes it feels superior after having forked the money over for it)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_correlation (ie, the bike feels superior, not the fact that I feel better today/fitter/good weather/or whatever)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect (ie, I bought it (or was given to it by sponsor) therefore I must give it attributes to justify it)

http://coglode.com/gem/price-value-bias (this one should be obvious, if it this cognitive bias isn't obvious to you, you may in fact be the perfect idiot for any marketing department's target goals)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion (ie, you paid for a high-end item, realize that the low-priced item may be just as good, but because you paid for the high-end item/brand name/whatever you will actively and subconsciously dismiss the qualities of the low-priced item in order to compensate for your own internal struggles on being gullible to the bullshit)


It's not just in the cycling-related media (magazine, blog or otherwise) - a lot of posts on forums, WW included, are hilariously displaying these basic cognitive biases and the posters continue to hold those biases no matter what, day after day, month after month, year after year.





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Location: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California
gewichtweenie wrote:
if everything in life was reduced to measurements, no professional photographer would ever shoot a canon, or drive a miata, or choose a porsche over a lamborghini...


Quantitative data has its place in context. Qualitative data that is based on emotional response is entirely subjective.

As far as cars go:
1. You do NOT "drive" a car. The terminology was used by marketing departments long ago and somehow, stupidly, became acceptable language for operation of a car/motor vehicle. You operate it: you regulate its power usage and steer the direction of the vehicle. You do not drive it. You, in fact, DRIVE a bicycle. You power the bicycle. You, just you and your legs. Maybe your ass if you're really good at flexing it (haha), but really, your legs. You steer it with your upper limbs.

2. Because a human being operates a car and only regulates its power while completely encased by the vehicle's envelope, quantitative data can be measured and compared against others easily. Bicycles are mostly opposite: they are entirely powered by the human, whom has its own issues of power abilities and regulations. The performance of the (bicycle) vehicle is entirely affected by the organism which both powers and covers the envelope of the vehicle. A car's abilities to steer or use its xxx horsepower are not affected by the mental, emotional, nor health state of the operator. Its comfort is entirely subjective (and always will be, no matter how you frame the argument). How a car 'feels' is entirely subjective, just like a bicycle that is ridden. A person may chose one over the other at their own discretion. They can then talk about it through their cognitive biases (or, if they are self-aware, they'll keep their opinions as only personal perspectives and recommend a person do their own comparisons).

A person reviewing a bicycle is not you. They are not you. They never will be you, you will never be them. This is physically impossible both in space and time. It does not matter if this person is on a forum, a pro during an interview, a retired famous athlete, nor a professional blogger, nor a paid staff of a trusted journal. You can take their perspective, understand the cognitive biases they have (and other more blatant ones), then make your own decisions.

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Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:09 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:37 am
Posts: 24
Very interesting read so far, and one that really hits home as I'm currently in the market for a new bike. Sure, my 10 year-old Look 586 is way more bike than I'll ever need and still has a lot of life left, but dammit I want a new ride and I only have one road bike at the moment. My mountain bikes are another story.

I think one variable that is always overlooked and not considered and/or controlled for is temperature.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm
Posts: 3327
prendrefeu wrote:
As far as cars go:
1. You do NOT "drive" a car. The terminology was used by marketing departments long ago

I had no idea William Shakespeare was a marketing executive for an automotive company. Learn something new every day! :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Posts: 1110
Location: Loveland, CO
I'm in the market for a new bike. I see a lot of interesting and sexy new carbon bikes. Each new bike is claimed to be x stiffer and y lighter than the previous model. In other words, if your goal is have the stiffest and lightest bike then you can't go wrong with carbon bikes. But do we really need the stiffest and lightest bikes? Or are there other subjective measures that are more important? Recently I acquired a new titanium tandem. This new bike is a pure pleasure to ride. It's stiff, responsive, snappy, lively, and smooth over chip seals. It may not be the lightest bike but it's the bike that I enjoy riding the most. After much thought I have decided that my next bike (half bike) cannot be an off-the-shelf carbon bike. I have put down a deposit for a custom titanium frame. I want a bike that is made for me, and me only. It only needs to adequately stiff for my weight and power output. I want a bike that balances between comfort, stiffness, and responsiveness. It will be a bike that I want to ride everyday. My custom builder will select the tube diameter, wall thickness, and butting for each tube. He will guide me through various design trade-offs.

The latest carbon craze has consumers conditioned to buy the stiffest and lightest bikes. I, on the other hand, have decided to take a different path, a path I believe will result in a higher level of enjoyment and happiness.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:10 am
Posts: 191
prendrefeu wrote:
gewichtweenie wrote:
if everything in life was reduced to measurements, no professional photographer would ever shoot a canon, or drive a miata, or choose a porsche over a lamborghini...


Quantitative data has its place in context. Qualitative data that is based on emotional response is entirely subjective.

As far as cars go:
1. You do NOT "drive" a car. The terminology was used by marketing departments long ago and somehow, stupidly, became acceptable language for operation of a car/motor vehicle. You operate it: you regulate its power usage and steer the direction of the vehicle. You do not drive it. You, in fact, DRIVE a bicycle. You power the bicycle. You, just you and your legs. Maybe your ass if you're really good at flexing it (haha), but really, your legs. You steer it with your upper limbs.

2. Because a human being operates a car and only regulates its power while completely encased by the vehicle's envelope, quantitative data can be measured and compared against others easily. Bicycles are mostly opposite: they are entirely powered by the human, whom has its own issues of power abilities and regulations. The performance of the (bicycle) vehicle is entirely affected by the organism which both powers and covers the envelope of the vehicle. A car's abilities to steer or use its xxx horsepower are not affected by the mental, emotional, nor health state of the operator. Its comfort is entirely subjective (and always will be, no matter how you frame the argument). How a car 'feels' is entirely subjective, just like a bicycle that is ridden. A person may chose one over the other at their own discretion. They can then talk about it through their cognitive biases (or, if they are self-aware, they'll keep their opinions as only personal perspectives and recommend a person do their own comparisons).

A person reviewing a bicycle is not you. They are not you. They never will be you, you will never be them. This is physically impossible both in space and time. It does not matter if this person is on a forum, a pro during an interview, a retired famous athlete, nor a professional blogger, nor a paid staff of a trusted journal. You can take their perspective, understand the cognitive biases they have (and other more blatant ones), then make your own decisions.


Really good post. Perfect.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm
Posts: 850
Yes they are better - BUT how much better that depends on you (fitness level, expectations, etc....).
If you should buy one? that depends on your expectations and your wallet usually...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am
Posts: 249
pdlpsher1 wrote:
I have put down a deposit for a custom titanium frame. I want a bike that is made for me, and me only. It only needs to adequately stiff for my weight and power output. I want a bike that balances between comfort, stiffness, and responsiveness. It will be a bike that I want to ride everyday. My custom builder will select the tube diameter, wall thickness, and butting for each tube. He will guide me through various design trade-offs.

The latest carbon craze has consumers conditioned to buy the stiffest and lightest bikes. I, on the other hand, have decided to take a different path, a path I believe will result in a higher level of enjoyment and happiness.


I think you did the right thing. You will enjoy that bike for years.

Are newer non-custom bikes better? It depends on your definition of better. My oldest (a 2007 Storck Fascenario 07, fitted with SR EPS) never got as much attention as my, now sold, Pinarello did. And I think that is where the "better" is for a lot of us. Pinarello is ridden by Team Sky. Everybody knows it. Storck? Meh! My TI Guru (yep, they used to make those...) even more meh!

Nonetheless, those two are still in the stable, Pinarello is gone.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:23 am 
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Posts: 6677
Location: Athens, Greece
There are courses where I enjoy my 9.5kg Colnago Master x-light more than my 6.5kg Skylon bike althought the Time is faster, stiffer and 30 years more advanced. Sometimes you just want a smooth, slow-relaxed ride and a classic steel frame with its shiny parts may just 'feel' better. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:24 am
Posts: 307
prendrefeu wrote:
Cognitive biases you should be aware of whenever you're dealing with shit-shows like the cycling industry:

It's not just in the cycling-related media (magazine, blog or otherwise) - a lot of posts on forums, WW included, are hilariously displaying these basic cognitive biases and the posters continue to hold those biases no matter what, day after day, month after month, year after year.


*f##k* nice work! You are absolutely spot on the money.

It is a bit of a catch-22. I kinda think you need to own a bike and ride a few thousand kms on it to even hope to develop an impartial opinion of it... but the investment of time, money and favour confounds the whole attempt to form that impartial opinion! Nevertheless, I like to think that some of us are capable of providing meaningful information about a bikes qualities, irrespective of the presence of subjectivity and therefore bias. Bias doesn't entail falsehood or meaninglessness.

To add my 2c to the OP, yes flagship bikes really are that much better than low/midrange ones and yes, they typically have distinguishable characteristics that make them more or less interesting to ride. A super important caveat to this general claim is that different individuals are more or less disposed to perceive those differences contingent upon their past experience and their sensitivity to sensory input. Its a fact that some individuals are able to make finer grained distinctions between sensory inputs than others. For those less sensitive, the difference between 10 years of bike technology e.g. from a Cervelo SLC to an S5 is probably not worth the investment of resources. But to others capable of sensing and appreciating the differences, it *is* potentially worth the investment of resources. Another caveat that goes without saying is the diminishing marginal utility of high end cycling equipment. Money spent doesnt entail performance gained beyond a certain price point... but thats really obvious.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:24 am
Posts: 59
morrisond wrote:
I'm going to try and put a different spin on this.

For myself in the last 5ish years or so these are the bikes I've had just so you know where I'm coming from - I'm a big guy at at 100+KG and ride 5-7,000 Km per year. I don't race I just do this for fitness and fun.

Parlee Z5 with Campy and Fulcrum 0
Storck 0.6 with DA and Enve 3.4
Storck Fenomalist with Chorus and Fulcrum 0
Mosaic RT-1 with ISP DA Di2 and DA C50 Carbon-Aluminum Clinchers
Reynolds 853 Lugged Bike built by Myself on a course in England with Chorus and Fulcrum Zero;s
Argonaut Spacebike with SR and Bora 50 Ultra Tub's
Speedvagen Rugged Road Disc Bike with DA Hydro and Enve 3.4 Disc with CK hubs and then i9 2:1 hubs (trying to make them stiffer)
Scappa Purosangue
Parlee ESX with SR EPS and Campy Bora Ultra 50mm
Salsa Warbird Gravel Bike with SR and i9 wheels (It was patiently waiting for Campy Hydro but of course they didn't bring out PM Calipers...)
BMC ALR01 with Chorus and Fulcrum Zero Carbon
Another Mosaic RT-1 with SR EPS, and Bora Ultra 50mm Clincher
Sitting in the Garage a Storck Visioner - I bought it as a really stiff reference frame (124NM in the Head Tube, 71NM in the BB)

Safe to say I've had a bunch of experience with different materials and Groups and what works (for me) and what doesn't. When on Holiday I've also rented various less expensive Cannondales/Giants that are usually specked with 105 or Apex, that were surprisingly good, as long as nothing rattled.

My collected wisdom after blowing a lot of money and trying a lot of different bikes is that in the end the frame doesn't really matter.

As long as the frame is stiff enough so there are no handling issues (for me the Parlee ESX was scary putting the power down over rises in the drops), and the fork is supple enough to not beat you up (The CX ENVE Disc fork that was on my Speedvagen sucked as a road fork - way too stiff - they made the Road disc fork a lot more supple), buy the frame you like the look of.

After a lot of bikes and a lot of swapping parts what does seem make a lot of difference seems to be wheels and tire pressure. A stiff wheel makes a bike feel a lot more crisp than a stiff frame, especially from low speed. I think this makes sense as at low speed you are putting a lot more torque through the whole system, whereas at high speed the torque is a lot lower but more HP.

My super stiff Storck's really lost something when I went away from a very stiff wheel like the Fulcrum Zero's to ENVE 3.4 (really noodly) or Bora Ultra's (Medium stiffness).

My Reynolds 853 bike feels great with Fulcrum Zero's (Aluminum or Carbon - both very stiff wheels), not as good as with Bora's.

My Argonaut (which was built to be very stiff) felt okay with Bora 50 Ultra Tubs - great with Fulcrum Zero Carbons.

My current RT-1 not bad with Bora Clinchers - great with Fulcrum Zero Carbons (but doesn't look as good).

My Salsa Warbird (I have no other wheels to try as it's disc) not bad but could be better - I suspect it's the CX-Ray spokes in the i9 All Road wheels.

Tire pressure is tire pressure - lower is better and makes a much bigger difference on ride quality than the frame.

So the end the moral of the story is that it's really not the frame - in my experience wheels play a bigger role.

Save the money on the frame and buy great wheels.


Agree 100%.

At the end of the day there is nearly no difference in the net affect of one frame over another once you get to the price point where you have quality carbon and quality manufacturing techniques.

If they are all using the same materials and the same techniques why would there be any substantial objective difference?

If I pump up the tyres on my R5 too hard the ride quality is worse than if I set the tyre pressure on my S5 correctly. That has more effect than the zero compliance seatpost and frame on the S5 than the round seatpost and supposedly compliant frame of the R5.

Buy what your eyes like but I think once you spend about $2000 on a frame there is no real difference apart from geometry. Once I have narrowed down based on geo I now choose frames based on things like

-BB design (prefer threaded so I can work on it - pushes me to pinarello)

-cable routing (want my di2 cable to enter frame directly next to the rear brake cable so I can shrink wrap them together),

-does it have protection for chain suck etc (like the focus does).

-does it support direct mount brakes (I like the look better - don't think they are any more powerful),

-does it have good design of the rear derailleur hanger).

-Finally do I like the look of it and does it make me want to ride it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am
Posts: 63
nickf wrote:
I dunno I'm not one for marketing claims and hype. I have a 2015 supersix evo HM. I know for a fact no other bike will make me faster or do anything better that I would be able to actually feel to justify the "upgrade". The cdale is snappy and light. My lugged steel frame is smooth but not as responsive (long and low geometry) but can go to the same rides and take my pulls and close gaps just the same. Taking delivery of a custom steel/carbon frame in a couple months. The new bike will be great, awesome builder, the process, design, materials, geometry choices. But I'm not going to be any faster on it. More confort, maybe. Running my tubulars at 80/85psi (I'm 168lbs) I don't see how it could get much more comfortable then that. As long as the bike inspires you to ride then go for it.


I agree! I got to test ride the Madone 9 and the S Works and a slew of others, (the other two weren't available where I live when I was testing bikes to buy a new one, also I can't recall which sub models they were, but I think the Trek cost about $4900 and the S Works was about $8500), but I didn't think they were all that great, they weren't bad bikes but I guess if I was racing maybe there may be some discernable differences but for a non racer...nah. In fact the bike I ended up, a Lynskey Peloton, is actually more comfortable then either of those two bikes and it cost a whole heck of a lot less money. The wheels on the Trek are nicer than what I got but mine are much more suited for everyday riding and taking the constant banging of broken streets, jumping curbs and potholes, again if I was racing those Bontrager wheels would be more suited for that than mine. I wanted an everyday bike that could take the abuse of street riding and offer uncompromised comfort, with low cost of maintenance and low amount of time spent to maintain it, and a high degree of durability, and that's what I got with the Lynskey. I'm pretty sure if someone came up to me and said "Hey man, I'll trade you my Pinarello F10 for your Lynskey Peloton under the condition that you can't sell it." After test riding the F10 I would probably decline the offer.

Keep in mind that cycling mags have a lot of advertisers within those pages, I seriously doubt that if one of their advertisers was Colnago that the writer would bad mouth the C60, because if they did that then Colnago would drop their contract to advertise in the mag and that means lost revenue. So I wouldn't believe everything you read in magazines, they may be good for showing the specs but they will be bad when it comes to descerning the ride characteristics of the bike.


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