Numpty IM Bike Thread

Bike ponces only welcome if they don't speak in tongues

11,461 to 11,480 of 11,977 messages
21/07/2012 at 07:06
The way forwards for me at present is probably equivalent to everyone else's way remembering how to actually ride a bike!

You lined me up to ask another numpty question though PSC..... Why are clippy pedals better?!

Sorry, I feel like such an idiot asking these questions..... If you feel the need to shove me off in the direction of an informative website somewhere then please do..... Saves me filling your thread with crap!

Thanks again!
21/07/2012 at 10:25

Clipless pedals replaced clips and straps - where your foot was strapped to the pedal.   Clipless are better than those because they were hard to get your foot out if you had to stop suddenly - or if you crashed your bike could still be attached to your foot with the potential to injure you.   

Clipless vs flats - well clipless keep your feet on the pedals in the best position for pedaling.   Your foot isn't going to slip off in a sprint is another bonus.  They also allow you to pull up with your foot and add a bit of power that way - studies have shown that cyclists don't generally actually pull up they just unweight the pedal on the upstroke - but sometimes you will and it lets you give it a bit extra maybe powering over a incline or getting out of the saddle and starting or sprint or something like that.   Personally I think flat pedals are not that much of a disadvantage for a triathlon or time trial or just riding around and people who struggle with clipless should just stay on flats for a few months til they are confident cycling but I know I'm in a minority on that.   You shouldn't really be falling off using clipless because you forgot to unclip - others will tell you everyone does sometimes but they don't - not if they are confident on a bike.   

21/07/2012 at 14:23

Could I have peoples thoughts on the Giant Defy triple as an entry level bike, would this be suitable to train for and complete a first Ironman?

Theres 2 options with this bike, triuk are selling of this years hires for £375 or I could wait till next february and hire a new bike for the season assuming they do something  either of these options would probably be acceptable to my financial advisor / wife.  I prefer the buy now option so i could train over the winter but I do have a mountain bike I can use in the meantime. I intend to get a turbo trainer too.

Rafiki    pirate
21/07/2012 at 15:59

Watching Wiggins and Frome doing the time trial and noticed their front ring is elliptical - what advantage does that provide??

21/07/2012 at 17:36

Honk - as a road bike fine, if you want to fit clip on tri bars then I'd go for something else, only because I think they have a fairly high front end and you'll struggle to get a decent position with tri bars.  


21/07/2012 at 19:00

Thanks Popsider, I don't know if I want to fit tri bars or not, I'm a bit confused about them actually, I understand that that they help you get lower and more aerodynamic on the bike but why do only tri people use them? why isnt everyone on road bikes fitting tri bars for all there races or is it a problem with the rules on normal cycle races?

My aim is to be comfortable on the cycle ride for first attempt and if that costs me some time then maybe I will come back a second time for a pb. Are tri bars comfortable or is it a case of sacrificing comfort for extra speed?

21/07/2012 at 19:31

They use them in time trials too - they aren't allowed in bunch road racing because they compromise your control of the bike.  I think the name tri bars might be just because that's where they were first popular. 

Whether they are comfy or not - depends on the set up - it is possible to get a reasonably fast set up that is also comfy - the more aggressive aero set ups maybe not so much.  

TheEngineer    pirate
21/07/2012 at 20:34

Not really a bike problem, just a random musing...

With the O-Symetrics you see Wiggins running, they tend to put a chain catcher on and spend ages faffing with the front deraileur. Looking at the bottom of the chain bouncing around though... wouldn't you have thought they would increase the spring tension on the rear deraileur to reduce that bounce??

TheEngineer    pirate
21/07/2012 at 20:42

Raf, hadn't seen your post above. 

A larger gear on the front gives more power because it has a larger radius - elliptical (and noncircular, which is slightly different by definition) chainrings allow that radius to change during the pedal stroke. When you're pushing down on the pedal you're recruiting more powerful muscle groups, so it's possible here to push a larger radius (or effectively...gear). Having a smaller radius at the top and bottom of the pedal action means you can keep the crank turning over quickly, at the cost of a smaller gear. 

Overall the belief is (and a growing amount of scientific literature suggests) that this shifting of demand from smaller muscle groups to those larger ones means an overall reduction in effort for a similar power output... or for those at the sharp end, a few more watts for the same effort.  

cougie    pirate
21/07/2012 at 23:49
Did you hear that one of the other tour riders decided he wanted elliptical chainrings on his bike for a stage this year ? His team mechanic got some and fired them. But unfortunately he fitted them the wrong way round so he made the flat spot even worse.

They may make a small difference but it's not definitive.
I'd expect them to shift a lot of units though after wiggins victory.
But he'd have won on normal rings anyway.
22/07/2012 at 00:42
Saw a talk by some guy at the tcr show earlier this year about how to cycle faster....
1. Peddle harder
2. Do some intervals, so you can peddle harder
3. Buy some eliptical chain rings as the help you to peddle harder.
Rafiki    pirate
22/07/2012 at 14:08

Cheers Engineer and Cougie.....make sense!! Wiggins and Frome seem to make them work!!

The Silent Assassin    pirate
27/07/2012 at 14:39

Ok did the eirias Half IM last weekend, in training for IM Wales.

The hills killed me.

I live at the foot of the pennines and regulary ride up the cat and fiddle, but have found out that while this is a good hill and a long drag, it is not steep enough.

I have found that I can sit and spin up some climbs OK but when they start getting really step and I have to get out the saddle it toasts my legs

I currently have a standard double on the front and 12-27 on the back.

Would I better changing to a compact on the front or changing the casette to a 32 on the back?


TheEngineer    pirate
27/07/2012 at 15:01
cougie wrote (see)
Did you hear that one of the other tour riders decided he wanted elliptical chainrings on his bike for a stage this year ? His team mechanic got some and fired them. But unfortunately he fitted them the wrong way round so he made the flat spot even worse.

In their first life as Biopace, ovalised rings actually did this intentionally. The theory was that it would smooth the pedal stroke, but all it did was cause quite a bit of knee problem for riders. Consequently they drifted out of fashion until we could get the physics right!

Iron Muffin    pirate
27/07/2012 at 17:34

SA, slower has put a different cassette on the back for this reason.I will let him explain the numbers as I will get it wrong. He seems to think it helps and can keep seated and HR down for longer.

(remind me never to consider IMW)

The Silent Assassin    pirate
27/07/2012 at 18:37

Thanks Muffin, do you know what he's running on the front?


Iron Muffin    pirate
28/07/2012 at 18:42

Sorry SA dont know. He is on the turbo at the monet and I will suggets he logs on


30/07/2012 at 18:38

This post is not about bike set-ups or anything, but I have a question about the Olympic Road Races from this weekend

I checked the results for the men's and the last finishing time for the men's road race is quoted as 5:58:24 (110th).  Then there are 5 guys with 'OTL' after their name.  It seems this stands for 'Over Time Limit'.

For the women's road race, Emma Pooley is last to get a time which is 3:37:26.  Then there are 19 women with OTL.

So, I guess my question there a time cut-off for Olympic Road Racing.  If so, is it similar to TDeF where you have to finish within a certain time after the winner?

PSC    pirate
31/07/2012 at 08:09

I hadn't realised that eliptical rings caused knee problems... I've got a very old Specialised Mudhopper mountain bike in the garage (an 80's bike) that has eliptical front rings on it still.  How have the physics been sortout out....  nobody has touched my knees.

PSC    pirate
31/07/2012 at 08:13

unrelated to the above... I am thinking of converting my TT bike to a roadie by changing the bars and brakes/gear levers....  apart from the fact that I am amazed at how expensive some of the components are has anyone else done this?  My TT bike is (a) expensive, (b) fits but (c) is compromising a bad lower back at the moment as I am getting too agressive on the bars (ie back level with the road)!  The plan is that putting drops on it will bring the hand position closer to me (it's already on a very short stem) and therefore give me more options when climbing and more comfort when just cruising.  Thoughts from the experts...

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