When racing, how important is comfort?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
User avatar
VTR1000SP2
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

11.4 wrote:Weighing in a little late, but it seems that what ails you isn't your bike or tires or tire pressure but fit, position, and fitness. I'd suggest you ease up on your position and do the longer miles. And do a re-fit. You may be fit properly for a short road race but not for a long one. And you may not have the fitness to be comfortable over longer miles. You have to ride the distances and your fitness will come, driving comfort with it.


It's entirely possible that my fitness just isn't there. Will definitely start building up my distance and make required adjustments to the fit as necessary. I'm actually more comfortable in this "aero" position than I am if more upright however that could be because of balance between contact points and saddle angle.

The genesis of my question was to find out if mechanical advantages through active dampening would allow me to maintain a relatively aggressive position but come out the other end fresher. On paper it seems possible but if it's a fitness issue then it won't make much of a positive impact until that's sorted.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
42.

User avatar
VTR1000SP2
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

mpulsiv wrote:If I had to guess, you are one of those sensitive riders. Welcome to the club. My first suggestion to you would be understand the dynamics of Steve Hog bike fit method before you see any bike fitter and before you start tweaking your position https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/faq
My second suggestion to you would be to do longer miles at slower pace, solo, with no distractions to analyze your sensitive areas.
From my direct experience, your brain doesn't trigger discomfort during a race. My goal is to fight for the position. If you are not moving up, you are moving back. I'm in the race to attack, close gaps, leads out, etc. In other word, you suffer enough that discomfort isn't something you'd think about during the race hence I suggest solo rides at a slower pace, listen to your body and take notes.


I discovered Steve Hogg in 2013 when I took up cycling. Absorbed as much as I could and applied what made sense but have since forgotten all about his unorthodox ways. On the weekend I heard a fitter mention KOPS and I chuckled to myself a little as I imagined what Steve would say in that moment. I'm not a certified fitter and have no personal opinion about what works and what doesn't for others. Anyway, I digress.

I remember my last 5+ hour race and recall that I wasn't focused on my discomfort while riding but I had made notes sub consciously and even today (this ride was in 2014), I can think of certain times during the race when I was fatigued and sore.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
42.

by Weenie


Jhomewood
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:30 am

by Jhomewood

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
11.4 wrote:Weighing in a little late, but it seems that what ails you isn't your bike or tires or tire pressure but fit, position, and fitness. I'd suggest you ease up on your position and do the longer miles. And do a re-fit. You may be fit properly for a short road race but not for a long one. And you may not have the fitness to be comfortable over longer miles. You have to ride the distances and your fitness will come, driving comfort with it.


The genesis of my question was to find out if mechanical advantages through active dampening would allow me to maintain a relatively aggressive position but come out the other end fresher. On paper it seems possible but if it's a fitness issue then it won't make much of a positive impact until that's sorted.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


The active dampening of pretty much any "comfort" frame and a "race" frame is roughly the difference between 10psi in the tyres. Run your 25's at 85-90 and it'll be a much, much nicer ride. You'll lose around 1-2w of rolling resistance on perfect tarmac, on the rough stuff you'll gain it back.

User avatar
VTR1000SP2
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

Jhomewood wrote:The active dampening of pretty much any "comfort" frame and a "race" frame is roughly the difference between 10psi in the tyres. Run your 25's at 85-90 and it'll be a much, much nicer ride. You'll lose around 1-2w of rolling resistance on perfect tarmac, on the rough stuff you'll gain it back.


If that's the case, I look forward to trying this out. Not that I don't believe you but I'm curious where you got this data?
42.

AJS914
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Jhomewood wrote:The active dampening of pretty much any "comfort" frame and a "race" frame is roughly the difference between 10psi in the tyres.


I don't agree. I had a very stiff bike that was beautiful to ride on smooth roads but beat me up on rough roads. I found I was constantly actively dodging every single imperfection in the road.

I tried 28mm tires and 10-20 psi less and while it made a minor difference, the bike was still harsh. There was nothing I could do to make this stiff frame a comfort ride. I also had a Time VXS with vectran in the weave. It was a comfort ride. It just soaked up the road like no other bike I've had. My Colnago C59 is also very comfortable and not very bothered by bad pavement despite being stiff in the BB.

User avatar
VTR1000SP2
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

Perhaps the measured variance is only applicable when comparing models from the same manufacturer: Roubaix vs Tarmac or Domane vs Madone. My Cervelo S3 is not as stiff as the S5 so I'm hoping the compliance built into the frame when combined with wider tires at a lower psi will make for a better ride. Not sure how my wheelset (ENVE 7.8 with the carbon hubs) will factor in but I do have other wheelsets at home I can use for these specific events.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
42.

Matt28NJ
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:16 am

by Matt28NJ

Cover all your bases - get a seat post known for its flex, tires, wide rims, etc. then work on your fitness and ride, ride ride and let your body adapt.

And +1 to getting re- fit.

User avatar
VTR1000SP2
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:21 pm

by VTR1000SP2

Can't do anything about the seatpost as it's proprietary and aero.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
42.

User avatar
mpulsiv
Posts: 1041
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:17 pm

by mpulsiv

AJS914 wrote:
Jhomewood wrote:The active dampening of pretty much any "comfort" frame and a "race" frame is roughly the difference between 10psi in the tyres.


I don't agree. I had a very stiff bike that was beautiful to ride on smooth roads but beat me up on rough roads. I found I was constantly actively dodging every single imperfection in the road.

I tried 28mm tires and 10-20 psi less and while it made a minor difference, the bike was still harsh. There was nothing I could do to make this stiff frame a comfort ride. I also had a Time VXS with vectran in the weave. It was a comfort ride. It just soaked up the road like no other bike I've had. My Colnago C59 is also very comfortable and not very bothered by bad pavement despite being stiff in the BB.


Not every tire is created equal. For example, 28mm Continental 4season is far from supple. The ride quality is so poor that width makes no difference.
Racing is a three-dimensional high-speed chess game, involving hundreds of pieces on the board.

:arrow: CBA = Chronic Bike Addiction
:arrow: OCD = Obsessive Cycling Disorder

AJS914
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

It wasn't a 4Season (actually it was a 25mm GP 4000S II) which measures 28mm.

Jhomewood
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:30 am

by Jhomewood

VTR1000SP2 wrote:
Jhomewood wrote:The active dampening of pretty much any "comfort" frame and a "race" frame is roughly the difference between 10psi in the tyres. Run your 25's at 85-90 and it'll be a much, much nicer ride. You'll lose around 1-2w of rolling resistance on perfect tarmac, on the rough stuff you'll gain it back.


If that's the case, I look forward to trying this out. Not that I don't believe you but I'm curious where you got this data?


https://silca.cc/blogs/journal/part-3-t ... nd-comfort

As you can see, there is no gain (in comfort) in running a bigger tyre at the same pressure. it negates any gain. The chap who runs silca used to work for Zipp and helped make the 303 work at Paris-Roubaix, it took a while and a lot of testing. His blogs are legit.

J

Jhomewood
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:30 am

by Jhomewood

Image

Also worth looking at. Don't worry about running your aero wheels with old tyres. :D

AJS914
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Most riding though is under 10 degree yaw so there isn't much need to worry about 15 degrees.

As you can see, there is no gain (in comfort) in running a bigger tyre at the same pressure. it negates any gain.


Rolling resistance tests show that the bigger tire at the same pressure is faster. You just have to prioritize whether you want speed or comfort.

jih
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:54 pm

by jih

hack wrote:Weigh in around 180lbs and run between 100 to 105 front and rear. Some guys I race with are similar in weight, but run less pressure. I don't like how the bike feels when the pressure is much lower though. Almost too compliant.


That's quite a high pressure. I'd recommend dropping to 90 and 95 and see how that feels. It may also be faster - better the tyres absorb the vibrations than your body does.

If you're having discomfort after 100km, there's more of an issue than a stiff frame at play. Virtually any frame should be able to be set up so that a regular, fit rider can do centuries without a great deal of discomfort. I've done several rides over 200km, and a few over 250km on my Cervelo s5 - ending tired but not beaten.

I'd suggest:

  • Lower pressure
  • Perhaps, wider rims. Wide tyres on narrow rims could be causing the strange handling you're getting at lower pressures. Then lower the pressure some more.
  • Raise the bars a bit. If you like being low on short rides, just use the drops more and the hoods less

Edit: I converted your 180lbs to measurements I understand. Depending on your height, 80kg is fairly heavy for a cyclist. Unless you're tall, could losing weight be an option? That would reduce strain on your body in general. Of course, if you're just tall, ignore this.

by Weenie


Jhomewood
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:30 am

by Jhomewood

AJS914 wrote:Rolling resistance tests show that the bigger tire at the same pressure is faster. You just have to prioritize whether you want speed or comfort.

Yeah, no doubt. But if you care about speed so much as to run 5-10psi more you'd better be riding in a San Remo Speedsuit every day as well.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post