How much speed can you buy? | Cycling Weekly

How much speed can you buy? | Cycling Weekly


As a cyclists we’re always looking for
ways to be faster. Now without a doubt the biggest factor is you the rider
although training hard and improving your fitness is highly rewarding, but it
does take time. I’ve decided to do an experiment to see how much speed you can
actually buy. We’re all led to believe that a fancy skin suit and aero bike and
some fancy wheels will make you faster. But how much faster will they actually
make you? To test this I’m going to do two ten mile time trials back-to-back on
the G 10:42 course just south of Dorking but first we’ll be
done on an entry level road bike with entry level kit and the second will be
done on the most aerodynamic equipment I could get my hands on, the same sort of
equipment that you would see a professional using in a time trial. For
consistency both the time trials will be ridden an average power of 300 watts and
I’ll aim to keep the normalized power very close to that as well we’ll be
using a pedal based power meter and Garmin head unit. For our entry-level
road bike we’ve got this amazing Btwin Triban 300 which is incredible value
it’s available for 199 pounds right now on Decathlons website which for a
complete road bike is brilliant. So for our fastest bike possible we’ve
managed to get our hands on a Canyon Speedmax time trial bike which is the
same bike as used by Alex Dowsett and also the Movistar team. Now this bike
costs six thousand five hundred and ninety nine pounds but we’ve actually
made some modifications to it to make it even faster so the first one is this
front wheel which is a Head GT3 tri spoke the same wheel as used by Wiggins
and Froome and several other riders and it’s widely regarded to be the fastest
front wheel there is and the rear wheel is a Vision Metron disc which is the
same wheel as used by Tony Martin who’s famous for being a very fast man and the
tires on these are Continental Attack force tubulars the front one is 22
millimetres wide for aerodynamics and the real one is slightly wider for added
traction and is 24 millimetres. We’ve also got this Elite chrono bottle cage
on the bike as well which is designed to act as a fairing and improve the
aerodynamics of the bike because in a short time trial like a ten-mile time
trial you’re not really expected to drink anything. Another quite cool but
subtle modification we’ve made is the jockey wheels which is probably the
ultimate marginal gain as these are cycling ceramic jockey wheels and they
cost 95 pounds set with their ceramic bearings they’re designed to
minimize friction and make your drivetrain slightly more efficient. So
when you ride your bike it’s estimated that usually about 80% of
the drag created is from the rider and 20% is from the bike
so with that considered it’s really important what you wear if you want to
go faster. Thinking about that we’ve actually gone for a custom-made Endura
skinsuit that’s been designed in collaboration with Simon Smart that’s
got loads of really cool features on it to help you go faster in is regarded as
one of the fastest skin suits available. The material used in this skin suit is
actually faster through the air than skin and that’s been proven in
windtunnel tests but it doesn’t come cheap with a skin suit like this
typically costing around 300 to 350 pounds. Now before we get on to the results we
are aware that this is just a sample size of one and we’ve only done this
experiment one time so it’s not the most accurate in the world but it does give
you a really good idea of what’s possible if you adopt all the kit that a
time trial this would use and I’d also like to be able to test things like just
changing the wheels in isolation or just using a skin suit and see what
difference that makes but it’s also an interesting experiment to see what
difference everything makes when you combine all the possible gains you can
make together. So we have the results and first for consistency I’ll tell you the
power that I have ridged so on the Btwin I actually average 298 watts over
10 miles and the normalized power was 304 watts so that means it’s fairly
consistent and the average speed was 37 km/h. On the Canyon I averaged 297 watts
and the normalized power was 301 watts and an average speed of 43.5km/h so the
power between both bikes was fairly consistent and as close as you’ll
probably get. Regarding the times the Btwin did it in a respectable 25 minutes
50 seconds and the Canyon did it in 22 minutes 11 so unsurprisingly this set up
was a lot faster and was 3 minutes 39 seconds faster in total but that’s not
to say that the Btwin is a bad bike when you put it in perspective this bike
only costs 200 pounds and that’s pretty incredible because it’s a perfectly good
bike. The other thing about the Btwin is that for about 400 pounds all in with
the clothing that I was wearing in the helmet you can instantly start riding
whereas the set up we had here cost around 11,000 pounds so we can express
that 3 minutes 39 seconds as 50 pounds for every second saved. So the most
important thing is is that go out and enjoy cycling and if you want to go fast
and you want to spend money then you can but if you just want to go out and ride
a bike and enjoy yourself and get fit then you can do it affordably
with a bike like this. So everyone wins!

100 thoughts on “How much speed can you buy? | Cycling Weekly

  1. So, you're saying the 80% drag is from the rider and 20% from the bike, and at the same time you completely change your position when riding on the cheap vs the expensive… I hope you understand that your test is just… 😉 wrong. Can you do it properly, and take the aero position on the cheap bike (e.g. using cheapest aerobars) ?

  2. 3:39 saved over 100 miles is a lot by the way

    34:30 saved so a 4:30:00 ride could be nocked to 4:00:00 and over 24 days at a time save of say 30 means you save 12 hours

    So for tour de France and other competitions or long rides its defiantly worth it’s

  3. The most interesting data was not explored: how many watts would it take to maintain 43 km/h on the cheap bike? (That is: how many "equivalent-watts" money can buy).

  4. I guess it's not that usefull compare timetrial to roadbike, due their specific purposes. Should be TT highend vs TT low budget and roadbike the same. Surely you ride faster on cheap TT than on highend Roadbike yet for the better position. nice comparision on the money spended on every second though 😀

  5. You should do a test where you draft the more aero setup with a cheaper one, switch, and then compare the power required to stay in the draft

  6. I bought a pre-owned 2015 Scott Speedster 40 with Sora components for $400 a year ago (roughly 10kg with standard wheelset) and I recently spent another $200 on a lightly-used chinese carbon wheelset (1.6kg) with 25mm Continental GP4000's.

    The point is: I don't think it matters how much money you spend; it matters how much money you save.

    Could I have spent several times as much and have something 500g lighter? Sure… but why?

  7. So basically.. unless you're competing on a professional level, or money is not an object to you, then buy the cheap bike.

  8. #cycling weekly i wanna know where you guys locate? Am serious or this channel is personal not for a company

  9. Are you tryna match those two power out put? Then my next question is I'm sure if u compare the two u will save at least 20% more energy

  10. u will never do that same power in race in one day, u should wait 2 days to recover and then check other bike

  11. I wonder how much Btwin would hit in same clothing and with aero bars. I think around 40km/h. 80% drag is from body anyway.
    But cheap bearings come into play here too imo.

  12. $9000 Pounds in the BANK BETTER !!!!!!!!!!
    try to sell the bike you lucky to get $2000 pounds for it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I think you can ride in TT position in a road bike. All you have to do is spend a few bucks on aero bars.

    That should close the gap from 37kph to 40kph

  14. I bet most of the time difference is because of the aero position in the second ride, not much to do with the bike…

  15. i cycle at 20 mph on average when im commuting to work, and that is accounting to all the traffic and traffic lights.. and you wanna do a review cycling at 25mph average on both bikes..

    disgusting.. what a fuck shit youtube is nowadays..

  16. So how much more of a gain, would you get from testing the faster bike first ? 😉 I assume it significantly lighter weight. So testing the heavier slower bike with less overall energy ???

  17. A shame to think people won't get the "change in the phone booth" gag in the not too distant future. Nice one 😀

  18. I think today to have a nice bike that you can have all you need , you can buy for about 2000$ . For less than 1000$ you can also buy nice bike but it wont less for a long time. Spending more than 2500$ is a stupid. I'm 58 yrs old and planing to retired very soon and than will ride every day around 50-60 km for the rest off my life , and will spend around 2000$ . Curently have Cannondale R1000 , about 20 yrs old with around 60-70K km ( with Ultegra package) and still is in good condition. I'm still rading every day ( without rain) 30-35 km and bike is perfect .

  19. Nice video
    We also have to keep in mind that the faster we get, the higher the difference between an aero setup and a basic one.
    If you ride the btwin and 37kph you can spend £11000 to gain 15% in speed.

    But if you can only ride the btwin at 25 kph, the same investment will improve your average speed by far less !

  20. What a bad example. Position is everything! Compare crap bike+crap position with most aero bike+most aero position??
    Making people believe, that they would need to spend more to get faster… thats ridiculous.

  21. Back in the 60s /70s i used to a self employed nocturnal pharmaceutical supplier so the answer as much as you like ,my dispensary was 1963 Ford Capri 1500 GT !

  22. Depends on the rules and course, if fairing and recumbent bans are lifted, and the course is much or less flat , even a ~5000 USD M5 CHR and Cruzebike Vendetta V20 will be faster than a 20,000 standard road or tri bike, and adding a fairing of ~500 USD, they will be faster

  23. Like we say in Puerto Rico is not the cage, is the Bird. Speed and Power come from the Person not the bike, and by saying this I don’t mean that with better equip you can improve but spending 11,000 £ on a bike is INSANE

  24. Modern TT bike vs tt bike from a couple of years ago (front rim brake with no fairing, bolts on stem, cables, cables, and cables). Go!

  25. Ha ha .as if all for £11000 and only 3 mins faster than a £200 bike lol what a complete joke .. Awesome test that tells the difference Of £50 per second more lol … goes to show how much you are getting ripped off by these manufacturers… cheers buddy great vid

  26. Because this was done on open street with cars, there are plenty of additional aerodynamic variables unaddressed here. For example, as a large truck passes from behind, the rider will enjoy a aerodynamic "windfall" while riding in the vortex.

  27. What is the G10 42 course? Is this an out and back course? Flat or hilly? Was there any wind? direction of wind? Why not add a cheap set of aerobars onto the BTWIN since this is a time trial and that is the cheapest add on to get one into the proper position for doing a time trial?

  28. I find the biggest gains are psychology. I buying something that makes me a bit quicker then I feel I have to train better to justify the purchase.

  29. The gear eficency is exactly the same on all bikes (sora or dura ace). All the difference is made by the friction force with the air. If you had no air all the bikes had exactly the same speed. And when it comes to the price: nowadays we started to pay the brand more than the actual product. You can build same bike with around 1500£ on aliexpress. And the quality is around there

  30. I think the test would be better using a complete novice…i rode my uncles 1500$(usa) bike and my times were barely seconds off, the pricier one was just smoother, which is where those seconds went…shifting issues on the cheaper one..

  31. Not sure if anyone has pointed this out yet but…. I didn’t see a power meter on that BTWIN…. is this test bogus?

  32. Ollie!!!!!!!!! I'm om 2019 now and great seeing you're now on GCN. My speed came for a Cannonadale Supersix Evo and 175 cranks. Of course training as well. Love it!

  33. Spend 7000 £ on a bike to be few seconds faster than you on a cheaper bike ,and complain if gets stollen,what do you aspect ?

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