Is it time to just ride?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
RocketRacing
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

This is a bit of a tongue and cheek question, but i am getting bored.

I started cycling for fitness, but got deeper into it around tech, Aero, design, data analysis, etc. I read a lot, tried a lot, learned a lot.

I am no expert, but i kind of feel i have learned what i can to engineer/buy performance (free speed).

Now i just feel it is up to me to ride and keep getting stronger. And that is ok, because that is what i enjoy most... but... the bike nerd in me is a bit sad. The learning part of the hobby is dying a bit... or is at least out of the “everything is new and awesome, look at this cool data” honeymoon phase.

I think i may need to accelerate my “aero weenie” bike project. But then, after researching what i need to achieve my optimal performance balance... buying and riding the bike is almost secondary. The fun was already completed in my head.

Maybe i have ”leveled up” to focus less on the bike, and more on the ride. That is probably a good thing.

Maybe my upgrades made my bike 10-15% faster than when i bought it. My training in the last 2.5mths has made my ftp go up 23%.

by Weenie


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wheelbuilder
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:10 am

by wheelbuilder

I'm a traditional road bike style guy, and my bike has been upgraded to the point where no more upgrades appeal to me nor make any sense. Short of buying exotic WW parts, which I am not really into (but enjoy building customer's bikes with them), My bike is about as expensive as it can get, and I have been completely satisfied with it for over 2 years now. I get excitement from fitness goals, getting stronger, increasing weekly totals, and the experience of riding solo and with fast groups. I know what you are saying, and probably most here do as well, but for me, once I achieved what I wanted bike-wise, I can now happily enjoy riding it.
Never cheer before you know who is winning

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silvalis
Posts: 701
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Aus

by silvalis

Isn't this the point where you backflip and go lugged steel?
Chasse patate

RocketRacing
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

silvalis wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:11 am
Isn't this the point where you backflip and go lugged steel?
Haha. My buddy just did. Singlespeed also. (In his credit he has always been a singlespeed guy)

I think it goes like this:

1. Get affordable bike
2. Learn a crap ton. Upgrade to midrange bike. Discover strava segments. Feel like a biking god.
3. Get a “throw the credit card out the window” bike. Spend too much reading about gear online.
4. Realize you are a small fish, and you have the perfect bike.
5. Just ride bikes
6. Get a retro style steel bike to feel young/hip again (paying top dollar for a bike not much better/faster than your first bike... but now you are cool)
7. Resist all progress in bike tech from this point on. (Example: people who still think campy 10 speed is the best groupo ever... and use it till death).

User avatar
wheelsONfire
Posts: 2963
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

Curiousity becomes a need, which triggers the excuse for getting better (aka more expensive) parts/ components.
Is this what we should deem vanity?
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

exctasy
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:34 am

by exctasy

RocketRacing wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:23 am
This is a bit of a tongue and cheek question, but i am getting bored.

I started cycling for fitness, but got deeper into it around tech, Aero, design, data analysis, etc. I read a lot, tried a lot, learned a lot.

I am no expert, but i kind of feel i have learned what i can to engineer/buy performance (free speed).

Now i just feel it is up to me to ride and keep getting stronger. And that is ok, because that is what i enjoy most... but... the bike nerd in me is a bit sad. The learning part of the hobby is dying a bit... or is at least out of the “everything is new and awesome, look at this cool data” honeymoon phase.

I think i may need to accelerate my “aero weenie” bike project. But then, after researching what i need to achieve my optimal performance balance... buying and riding the bike is almost secondary. The fun was already completed in my head.

Maybe i have ”leveled up” to focus less on the bike, and more on the ride. That is probably a good thing.

Maybe my upgrades made my bike 10-15% faster than when i bought it. My training in the last 2.5mths has made my ftp go up 23%.
I've got the same thought!

robeambro
Posts: 613
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

RocketRacing wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:38 am
silvalis wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:11 am
Isn't this the point where you backflip and go lugged steel?
Haha. My buddy just did. Singlespeed also. (In his credit he has always been a singlespeed guy)

I think it goes like this:

1. Get affordable bike
2. Learn a crap ton. Upgrade to midrange bike. Discover strava segments. Feel like a biking god.
3. Get a “throw the credit card out the window” bike. Spend too much reading about gear online.
4. Realize you are a small fish, and you have the perfect bike.
5. Just ride bikes
6. Get a retro style steel bike to feel young/hip again (paying top dollar for a bike not much better/faster than your first bike... but now you are cool)
7. Resist all progress in bike tech from this point on. (Example: people who still think campy 10 speed is the best groupo ever... and use it till death).
Interesting discussion, I feel the same. I am lucky I am still at point 2, and will pull the trigger on a “throw the credit card out the window” bike possibly in the next couple weeks. So I still have some time before the honeymoon phase disappears.

I also think that the nerdy/tech-y side of things is very interesting, but to keep it alive for a long time, I reckon one must be racing (even if it's a fondo, an audax or whatever, so long as there is some kind of competitive aspect to it.. Doesn't need to be red hook crit). If you're racing, while training is still king, optimising your equipment and position is also important at all times, and for each race you can do stuff like course modelling to figure out what bike/wheels/what-have-you would be best etc. Which again, would be far less important than training, but would keep you busy doing what you like.
And also, this would give you a very good reason to become nerdy about training, which unlike equipment, has no upper limit. You will always learn something new, try a new training session, change your nutrition to see how it affects performance, try yoga to be able to slam the stem more, etc.

If you don't like the idea of competitive events, inevitably at some point you will realise that once the low-hanging aero and weight fruit is gone, chasing a handful of fraction of watts here and there isn't worth the effort (time and money). You'll get to the point where you stop and think "ok, improvement X will give me 0.5 watts.. Who the feck cares!". And then it's "just ride bikes".

There's no wrong or right attitude, there will be people who ride their fancy Ti/steel bikes, there's those who are all about the aero, those who "just ride", those who are on a Brompton and commute only.. Whatever gets you out on the road to get some good exercise, while not subtracting too much time and resources to family and friends, is good for you. :mrgreen:

Multebear
Posts: 1320
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 10:11 pm

by Multebear

Know the feeling. I started getting interested in wheels - especially how you build them yourself. So many exciting aspekts of this.

1) you will aquire knowlidge that very few have, wheelbuilding is a lost art/craft
2) you will be able to build wheels to your own exact needs and looks and weight
3) you will be able to fix wheels without having to go to LBS
4) all of the above will save you a great deal of money
5) you will be able to build wheels out of other People’s binned parts like hubs or rims
6) sourcing parts and Reading reviews about the noumerous parts out there will keep you busy for a long time
7) finally you will feel a great satisfaction with riding stuff you built yourself

I have sold all my factory wheels. I only ride wheels, that I’ve built myself, and I have wheels for all purposes - i little how girls have shoes for all purposes

User avatar
Beaver
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Saxony - Germany

by Beaver

For me there was always a little improvement of light, stiff and looks in the past, which actually made the ride better. But at the moment there are only things I don't really need - my mechanical group works fine, I know an aero frame won't really make me faster, disc brakes are no benefit in the flat and so on. I now started building bikes like mine for the people around me. :D

morrisond
Posts: 946
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:34 pm

by morrisond

You just need to expand your horizons.

I'm sure your Uber fast bike would pretty well suck if it saw some gravel.

Gravel Bikes are a whole rabbit hole in themselves (and very enjoyable) of learing. I still have Road bikes and ride a lot on the road but exploring on a gravel is tons of fun and makes me feel like a kid again (I turn 50 this year). Plus you need the base miles on the road to be able to get up some of the gravel grades - they tend to be a lot steeper than paved roads and hence why super low gearing comes in handy (46/30 with 32 in the back) - it sure helps when you are carrying a load.

If you don't live in an area that has any dirt or gravel - there are always TT bikes!

tarmackev
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:59 pm

by tarmackev

I’ve been riding road bikes since 1990. Still love tech, still a geek about weight. Still love new shiny bits.
If this is waning in you after a couple of years I’m not sure what to say.
Perhaps “just ride” as you say.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

3Pio
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

I investigate and upgrade things until i got something that really fit me well, and really like to ride.. Dont believe in Aero (i think it's marketing), dont believe in Disk's on road bikes (i think it's awfull)...

In the moment i got the bike i love to ride, and have great position on it, and in same time can hold with fast riders here, i just ride.. On my C60 now im almost on that level.. Still experimenting with other bike....

This remind me like my HiFi hobby.. I was upgradeing, testing until i got something which i really liked.. And stopped experimenting any further.. And strange, when that happened i start really listening music and not test LP's or CD's.....

User avatar
tymon_tm
Posts: 2876
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

at some point upgrades actually become 'downgrades' as you realize the new set of wheels, or some other stuff doesn't really give you any edge over the old one..

been there, done that. for few years now, more or less since I got my Aeroad, I just don't give a damn about tech side. bike has to work, mine does - flawlessly. sure, I got a new Madone for this season mostly due to vanity (because I don't expect it to make me faster, perhaps I'll feel a tad better about myself and my ego will definitely be pleased) but that's it. not gonna try Campy 12 (it crossed my mind..), not going to go full LW (I'd rather donate to local animal shelter), because I see no point in it. sure, I already have top equipment = ridden by pros, so I'm kinda excused for not carying. but truth be told, there a guys - both here and in my 'hood' - for whome getting a bike like that would only be a beginning. as I said, couple years back I stopped enjoying equipment and felt I'm throwing money away for nothing. any bad day on the saddl and I'd blame my bike. at some point I thought - WTF is wrong, and then I sat back and made a list of purchases, upgrades, how many bikes I owned and for how long, how many kms I did on which one etc... it kinda felt like discovering something really bad about a close one, but this time it was about me. so I sold all the stuff (3 bikes plus a lot of stuff), got one that I knew will work, spec'ed it with proven gear (DA mixed with Ultegra, Cosmics, no fancy bits) and just moved on. focusing on riding is so much more rewarding, and so much 'liberating'.

long post short: just go and ride whatever you currently have. it's a lot healthier in many ways.
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.


by Weenie


User avatar
nycebo
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: New York, NY

by nycebo

You should have just been "riding" all along. That's the point. I had my "credit card" bike (paid cash actually, that is, until a car decided to cut it in half for me...with me on it) but I also still have my winter bike. I've been using it all winter while building up the new "credit card" bike. The deal is, they are both fun as hell to ride. For me, riding in the freezing cold is a whole different and wonderful experience than just summer riding. Really opens your eyes to how beautiful the countryside is at all times of the year.

Here's my suggestion. Just ride. Never go in over your head to buy anything. That type of consumerism best idolized here in the US is ridiculous. If you have the money and you're all set up with family and home and food and retirement, then go for whatever the heck you want. You earned it. Nice kit and parts looks beautiful. But don't delude yourself on any performance gains unless you are a pro racer getting paid for your seconds. If you're just an weekend warrior, who cares if you don't "win". The best part of racing was always the "riding".

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