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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:29 pm 
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waltthizzney wrote:
LOL you actually think these things make any difference? Are you at the absolute limit of your performance and fitness?

If the pros ride it... it to TO GOOD for you.

As someone who races Cat 1/2 it makes little to no difference once you are riding a 105 level bike.
So true, so true.

Oh, and pros ride it because the sponsor provides it. Hard to pass on free. If it does suck they'll often mask a substitute to look like the sponsors product.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:39 pm 
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rossjm11 wrote:
super stiff set of bars and a stem definitely helps in a sprint. Lightweight wheels, specifically carbon wish depth, save a ton of energy in races


Sorry, not true or at least inaccurate. Stiff bars and light wheels might feel better, but won't save you *any* energy in a flat race.

Saving some weight will make you slightly faster on climbs however, and of course (very) slightly slower on descents.


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Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:39 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:41 pm 
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rossjm11 wrote:
waltthizzney wrote:
LOL you actually think these things make any difference? Are you at the absolute limit of your performance and fitness?

If the pros ride it... it to TO GOOD for you.

As someone who races Cat 1/2 it makes little to no difference once you are riding a 105 level bike.


Respectfully, I believe that just isn't true. A super stiff set of bars and a stem definitely helps in a sprint. Lightweight wheels, specifically carbon wish depth, save a ton of energy in races over 105 level wheels, because you freewheel way more. Equipment will not win you a race, but little to no difference?

To OP;
I think in certain situations you can say pros riding it proves something. If pros are racing it, banging out 1900 watt sprints and such, it isn't shit. It shows the company is actually testing the stuff very heavily and theoretically improving it as time goes on.

With that said, you're not wrong that the pros ride it isn't a great argument.


You clearly do not race at a high level..... and if you are a master racer, lusting for gear to get faster is even more stupid. Its fine to have nice stuff, but the concept that PROS are riding gear inferior to yours is insane.

There is a split second decision in every race where you have to decide if you are going to put down the power or not, that is what makes a difference, a functioning bike with an aggressive position is all you need.

Working on your flexibility will get you faster than any set of wheels ever will.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:19 pm 
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Sean Kelly is probably the all time poster child for equipment, and maybe even bike fitting, mattering far less than fitness, skill, and determination.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Posts: 1371
The "pros ride it so it must be good" argument holds no water.

Many pro teams select their gear based on the best financial deal (either most gear, most $, or both).

It is my contention that we get to ride better bikes than the pros. We can have the lightest, custom made, etc.. Most pros do not have the option.

I have seen many pro riders oogle over a nice custom ti frame-


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:18 pm 
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It holds water because the pros are only riding top of the line name brand equipment. It's certainly good enough.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:27 pm 
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Posts: 183
My own take is that this used to matter, but doesn't any more. I have a number of old bikes, and a number of new ones.

All the new ones shift perfectly, and are easily stiff enough to cope with my max power. They all handle without real faults, and although I can detect geometry differences, it's not really important - you can ride around it. I have aero, weenie and "regular" bikes; again, I can tell the difference, and I'd take my R5Ca to the mountains rather than my S5, but I suspect I'd do OK on the S5, frankly, if it had the R5s 34x32 bottom gear rather than 36x25; it's only 3kg heavier (which means 9w at 7%).

On the other hand, the old bikes...

My ALAN Record Carbonio is probably the best example. I've built it cost-no-object with NOS or as-new C-Record, but it's horrible in comparison to any of the modern stuff. It has the torsional rigidity of wet pasta - I daren't really hoof it, but even at 600w I'm getting something like a 7.5% deflection in the BB. The fork is so flexible that it develops near-terminal speed-wobble if you try to ride it no-hands downhill, and you can watch the front wheel moving backwards and forwards as you ride along. The Turbo saddle is period-correct, but profoundly uncomfortable compared to any modern design with a perineal channel. The C-Record aero pedals and toeclips are a faff to use and hurt my feet when going hard (and weigh a ton). The C-Record groupset was described even at the time as beautiful to look at, and so well made that it would shift as badly in 50 years as it did when new. Which I can confirm is true, even when you don't try to use the (completely hopeless) Syncro II. Oddly, the Deltas - which had a poor reputation even when new, to the extent that the pros *didn't* use them, preferring rebadged Super Record "Cobaltos" - actually work quite well.

Every component on that bike (except, perhaps, the brakes) was used by the pros. Some of them even won races. But it's clear that the equipment was a limiting factor. Now I suspect any bike costing more than £1000 new is good enough to win a crit under the right rider, and is easily stiff, and light, enough for anyone on here. Of course we can always go lighter, and the nice thing is that weight is an absolute and easy to measure, but it won't (hush!) necessarily actually make us go faster.

It's like cars. Car reviews used to mean something, because some cars were rubbish. Now they all have 5-year warranties, ECUs, ABS and more power than anyone really needs, so the reviews have to nitpick. Same for bikes. Apparently the new S3 is 9% stiffer through the BB shell. I can't make my old one, or my S5, deflect even at max output (about 1200w, I'm no Chris Hoy), so how will another 9% help me?

We buy new bikes, and geek out over bike components, because it's a hobby and we enjoy it. For pros, it's their job, so unsurprisingly apart from the components that matter for comfort they take what their sponsors give them. They used not to - including having frames built and rebadged, and buying their own wheels - but now every manufacturer's stuff is good enough for them; and for us.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Posts: 222
I've been thinking about the variables of usage time and skill.

Time: I'm guessing the pros will be provided with brand new bikes for say Paris Roubaix. Suppose a recreational rider sees a pro riding brand / model X at PR, and says, "By the gods that is good! I buy!". Then proceeds to ride it on cobblestones every day, for 8 hours a day. When the bike eventually falls apart, he gets disgusted with the pros thinking they must have been riding something else ("They're a bunch of crooks! CROOKS! Magic tricks on TV!"). So, does the relatively shorter time equipment gets used by pros matter?

Skill: A pro used a set of wheels/tires at cyclo-cross/MTB. Things went ok even though the course was tough (lots of rocks, pointy stuff), and he won. A recreational rider thinks, "By the gods those wheels/tires are great! I buy!". He then proceeds to slam into every pointy bit on his course, causing his wheels to break and tires to puncture. He's again disgusted ("The pros' course must be a lie!") and feels cheated not realizing he doesn't have the same skills as the pros do. So, how much impact does skill have?

(Edit to add weight)

The pros are usually really skinny, especially the GC contenders. A 300lb rider looks at the GC podium bikes and thinks, "I can ride like them, like the wind, up the hills!". He buys the same bike, which then proceeds to break apart when he hits the first pothole. Is the bike good enough?


Last edited by antonioiglesius on Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:39 pm 
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Posts: 126
Marin wrote:
rossjm11 wrote:
super stiff set of bars and a stem definitely helps in a sprint. Lightweight wheels, specifically carbon wish depth, save a ton of energy in races


Sorry, not true or at least inaccurate. Stiff bars and light wheels might feel better, but won't save you *any* energy in a flat race.

Saving some weight will make you slightly faster on climbs however, and of course (very) slightly slower on descents.

Sorry Not true!
Stiffest equipment allow you maximise the maximum power (I did scientifically measure it) the biomechanics make that equipment deformation at one moment (basically cranks in the 2-4oclock position
) are not compensated by a "Spring effect" (considering limited loss in an elastic domain deformation) later in the pedal stroke.




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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Location: Vienna Austria
Very interested in your test setup!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Posts: 358
Location: Seattle, WA
If equipment is being used by professionals who can stomp 314w over 52 minutes and are still considered scrubs in the peleton, it's most certainly "good enough" for you. Sure, you can spend all you want on "better" equipment, but at that point, the marginal differences are more about personal preference and comfort than performance.

For example, if we solely talk about the 6.8kg limit being the "good enough" benchmark, I think that's reasonable. Sure, you can have a lighter bike, but if all you do is go on Sunday club rides then having a bike in that ballpark is, at the very least, "good enough."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:35 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, California
We should count our blessings of our ability to ride what the pros ride.
Imagine if the UCI allowed full custom componentry, like they largely do in F1 or MotoGP.
And that UCI 6.4kg minimum weight restriction enables us to ride better/lighter equipment than pros.

Nice to see this thread includes those corollary arguments of (1) If the pros DON'T use it, it must be crap;
and (2) Pros only ride it cuz they get it free from sponsors. :beerchug:

Have yet to see, however, the greatest cycling forum advice of all-time here: "Ride what you want." :smartass:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:19 pm 
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waltthizzney wrote:
rossjm11 wrote:
waltthizzney wrote:
LOL you actually think these things make any difference? Are you at the absolute limit of your performance and fitness?

If the pros ride it... it to TO GOOD for you.

As someone who races Cat 1/2 it makes little to no difference once you are riding a 105 level bike.


Respectfully, I believe that just isn't true. A super stiff set of bars and a stem definitely helps in a sprint. Lightweight wheels, specifically carbon wish depth, save a ton of energy in races over 105 level wheels, because you freewheel way more. Equipment will not win you a race, but little to no difference?

To OP;
I think in certain situations you can say pros riding it proves something. If pros are racing it, banging out 1900 watt sprints and such, it isn't shit. It shows the company is actually testing the stuff very heavily and theoretically improving it as time goes on.

With that said, you're not wrong that the pros ride it isn't a great argument.


You clearly do not race at a high level..... and if you are a master racer, lusting for gear to get faster is even more stupid. Its fine to have nice stuff, but the concept that PROS are riding gear inferior to yours is insane.

There is a split second decision in every race where you have to decide if you are going to put down the power or not, that is what makes a difference, a functioning bike with an aggressive position is all you need.

Working on your flexibility will get you faster than any set of wheels ever will.


Well first, I clearly am not saying equipment makes up for fitness. Second, I am a high level racer, don't try to be rude to those who may be faster than you :lol:

Finally, I'd say the higher I personally get, the more I notice little fitness gains and little gear gains. Not just in bikes but also shoes etc.

One example of pros riding the best was when SRAM was not yet electric and only ONE worldtour team ran SRAM. All else went for Di2 or EPS

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BMC SLR01 2015
Redline Conquest Team


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:31 pm 
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Marin wrote:
rossjm11 wrote:
super stiff set of bars and a stem definitely helps in a sprint. Lightweight wheels, specifically carbon wish depth, save a ton of energy in races


Sorry, not true or at least inaccurate. Stiff bars and light wheels might feel better, but won't save you *any* energy in a flat race.

Saving some weight will make you slightly faster on climbs however, and of course (very) slightly slower on descents.


I did not claim they made you faster, I said they help in a sprint. My race wheels are Zipp 404s and I have a training set of Shimano RS10. When racing the RS10s there is considerably less freewheeling which means more effort... I guess this is digressing from the original post now haha

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Redline Conquest Team


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Posts: 309
Some of you guys are confusing the internal validity of the argument with its (largely though not exclusively) erroneous application to appraising differences between equipment. The pro's ride it argument does tell you that a piece of equipment probably works quite well. However, the argument itself is neither necessary nor sufficient to prove that point - you can all tell that your equipment works quite well cause it does what its supposed to do whilst you use it (among other pieces of evidence regarding the quality of contemporary kit).

The key point I'm making is that the 'pro's ride it' argument doesnt contribute anything meaningful to arguments about phenomenal experiences with the equipment - i.e. whats its like to use a piece of equipment. At the end of the day, when we ask what the difference between a Colnago C60 and a Bianchi Oltre XR4 is, we want to get a mental representation of what its like to ride both bikes so we can choose which one suits our needs the best. The problem is that users on the forum do use the pro's ride it argument to make claims about the phenomenal qualities of equipment all the time... which is just dumb.

Again here is an example of how people inappropriately use the argument:

Bob: "I'm interested in C60 vs. V1R"
Charly: "I havent ridden a V1R, but I didnt think the C60 felt as stiff through the BB as my Giant TCR SL, it just doesnt feel as racey"
Raskolnikov: "Well the pro's ride it, the C60 must be stiff and racey"

Clearly Raskolnikov's argument leaves a lot to be desired/is really annoying. All his argument is saying is that the C60 is of a sufficient standard to be raced. The problem is pretty much any bike from the major manufacturers is of a sufficient standard to be raced.

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Bianchi Oltre XR4 |BMC SLR01 16' |Cannondale SS Evo HM 12'| Focus Izalco Max | Ridley Helium SL 15' | Basso Diamante 15' | Bianchi Oltre XR2 | Scapin Dyseys S8 | Time ZXRS | Giant TCR SL 12' | Ridley Noah 08' | Look 585 | Cervelo Soloist SLC


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Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:51 pm 


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