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"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG
And lets not go into Di2 electronic shifting. With that all you need to worry about is chain wear over time.
Im not saying that it will make you faster but the less time you worry about mechanical issues the better, no? We all know how annoying it can be in a race to have the shifting go all over the place
Edit: I guess my point is only valid for an amateur racer. A pro has a team backing them up. If a bike aint performing you swap the bike... end of story
But then they spend all their time riding randonneuring bikes.
Message is there's no easy answer. But 5% sounds good upper bound for fitting bikes.
With a CAAD10 between my legs soon, my Strava data will be interesting to look at.
A few old pros have mentioned that one of their favorite frames was the Vitus Aluminum, which was notoriously UNstiff...a complete noodle.
They claimed it was more comfortable so that they felt fresher when the final sprint finally came around. I think stiffness is a minor issue. Even when a frame flexes the enrgy is not "lost" because the frame springs back, "returning" the energy of the flex.
To be at the elite level you need some basal measure of talent. I've talked extensively with some coaches and physio gurus in the area that have ran tests on a lot of riders that are now at the World Tour level, have won big races, or at the very least are on the elite domestic level. Not a single one has ever had a vo2 max of less than 78 ml/kg/min. Of the local elites, they've never seen anyone below 72. There is a required generic starting point that creates your trajectory over the long-term.
Getting away from that though its really easy to squander potential. I've seen it best described as a linear graph (by Coyle et. al who estimate this based on untrained estimated vo2 max, among other things. I can't post the information here as it is internal material for probably the biggest coaching service in the business and a big part of their methodology for training elite/pro riders):
y intercept is your basal vo2 max, y axis measures vo2 max or some measure of aerobic economy
x intercept is years
The point of y at x=10 is the max a person can possibly achieve. What they actually do can be pictured if you were to lay their PMC over that line with the PMC line becoming asymptotal over time because its extremely rare that a person ever reaches 100% given that we live a thing called life.
The waves and troughs over time represent increases in fitness, fatigue, load, and all markers thereof. Its been widely discussed that Janez Brakovich has an extremely high vo2 max and one of the highest potentials of any rider on the market right now, however, he has pissed many a DS and coach because he would sneak in extra training rides, diet too much, and was consistently off form/sick/overtrained when it mattered. He has the potential, but his troughs are too big and he will likely never hit it.
Then you have someone like Wiggins. Its taken him a long time to get where he's at and he's refined everything he does as a rider to get closer and closer to that potential.
Extrapolating this to the amateur everyone knows "that guy" that overtrains, works a stressful job, or races like a complete dipshit. His troughs come from detrimental personal choices.
Everyone also knows that random guy that doesn't really know what he's doing with his training, but he can go out and race into shape and absolutely kill it. He will never see his full potential because he will fail to realize how to have greater peaks and bring that line closer to its asymptote faster. I think that this is now why you see so many absurdly fast masters racers that made huge leaps after 20 years of riding by finally actually training in some kind of methodical manner.
Lastly there is the guy that has the low vo2 max or FTP or whatever, but still wins well because he's a tactical genius or lives in an area where all races play to his strengths. His y intercept is lower and his maximal y value is lower, but he's super close to it because he's correctly identified and raced his strengths time and time again and can get results. Pull him out of his comfort zone and he's dropped or not very successful. A local elite racer/former football player comes to mind- absurd sprint, but if the road goes up longer than 2 minutes he's shat out the back. No surprise that he is great at crits and that's about it.
The bike only matters if it contributes to these troughs somehow. If you're a cat 2 trying to get your 1 and suck at stage races then TT'ing with clip ons in an ill fit position on your road bike with shallow wheels will produce a trough when your competition has at the very least efficient fits that they can produce power and speed on. Most people will never be in this situation and when they lack poor inward control they look outward. This is again why you see more cat 4's and masters racers on really awesome equipment- they simply haven't figured out what they need to change to produce peaks and assume its something outward.
Things also take time as well, you can't rush progression or perfection.
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Yeah, that and PEDs.KWalker wrote:I think that this is now why you see so many absurdly fast masters racers that made huge leaps after 20 years of riding by finally actually training in some kind of methodical manner.
shoopdawoop wrote:@KWalker- the Vo2Max numbers that you are talking about is that trained or untrained?
Trained in all the cases I know of. Sample size isn't huge 2-3 World Tour riders, a bunch of domestic pros, quite a few pro triathletes, and a lot of cat 1 or 2 cyclists with a lot of wins under their belt.
But as for a bike. Performance difference between a $1500 and $10000 bike is 5% or less, uphill or downhill. Well as long as we are talking about similar type bikes.
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