Monday, May 31, 2010

Bike 'servations

I have two Rivendells. A "Road" and an "All Rounder". Same size & dimensions, even built by the same guy (Joe Stark) in the same year (2001). The AR has heavier gauge tubing, but not a whole lot so. It's about seven pounds heavier due to the tubing, a rear rack, triple chainrings & mech, Brooks B17, and 40mm Conti Top Touring 2K tires on Sun CR-18 rims. The Road has downtube shifters on a compact double, ti cassette, ti WTB Deva and Pasela Tourguards (30mm actual) on Open Pro rims (28 spoke front). While the bars are the same (46cm Nitto Dirt Drops), they are about 30mm higher on the AR.

So here's the much-promised 'servatin': I went on back to back rides over two days on these bikes. First on the Road, then the next day on the AR. Same route, a 33 mile out and back that has a pretty consistent grade (THIS is approximately the ride, but a different route back). Both days I was feeling good and had a nice espresso. Priorities!

I don't normally do the time keeping thing, but this was a test. For science.
Road stats: 61 minutes to turn around spot @ 16.6 miles. Return home was 80 minutes (uphill, and tired)
AR stats: 66 minutes to turn around spot. Return was the same at 80 minutes.

Two variables to throw in. I was playing leapfrog with some cyclists on the "Road Day". Finally got tired of it and dropped down and spun past them. I kept up the speed so they wouldn't catch me. Lame, but I was tired of passing/being passed by them cuz' they wouldn't say "hi". Serious.

Second thing is that I ate a snack bar thingie at the turn around today. I may have bonked a little bit on the last little bit the previous day. So possibly my time was artificially faster going down on the Road, and possibly artificially faster returning on the AR.

The conclusion: It appears that for a couple hours of riding, in a non-competitive manner, weight doesn't matter much. Again, this was only 30+ miles, by myself and no real hills. I was just as comfortable on both bikes, which is a big factor. I sure love the way the Road feels, but am having a hard time justifying keeping them both!

A kewl aside: another roadie who didn't want to say hi had to stop and dismount to lift his delicate bike over the gate getting off the trail. I simply road around the gate on the pea gravel and kept on going. Fat tires sure are nice!


Protorio said...

You should submit this to BQ!

cyclotourist said...

I think Jan likes having a few more data-points than this set!

I was actually trying to see if there was any "planing" going on as well. If there was, it sure didn't help me any. I'm guessing the Road has 8-6-8 tubing and the AR has 9-7-9. Both are OS.

leaf slayer said...

I think what you need to do is find a way to measure the size of your grins and grimaces while riding each bike and then figure out a formula to determine which bike is more fun to ride.

cyclotourist said...

There should be some sort of a gauge available for that. I'll check ebay!

cyclofiend said...

Would jettisoning the Road continue your moral slide and negative Riv-flow which began with selling the Quickbeam? We may have to show up for an episode of Intervention...

Semi-seriously, though - more climbing probably equals more difference. However, it serves as an excellent reminder that bicycle weight differences don't play as much of a factor for most people as the popular press/memes would have you believe.

cyclotourist said...

I'm even considering a double squish (but not really so much so).

I figured the climbing would make a difference. The AR wheels are significantly heavier and tires are probably twice if not three times as heavy.

I hope to collect some data points tomorrow!!! :-)

Roy said...

66 minutes for the AR and 61 minutes for the Road is consistent with my experience comparing my AR against my various road bikes. The AR cruises a little slower, even on the flats. My AR has 26in wheels and I've always felt the wheel/tire combo was the biggest difference, but I haven't really tried to test the hypothesis. The AR experience can be as good or better,unless your hustling to keep up with a fast group ride.

cyclotourist said...

Yes, the AR has the advantage of being able to roll off the trail and into the muck at any point! That's worth five minutes an hour. If I sold the Road, I'd take some of the proceeds and get a nice lightweight wheelset built up, probably around Velocity A23 rims. Or just keep the CR18s on there and not worry about it!!!

And for the record, the WTB saddle is not comfortable on rides over 30 miles.

Billiam58 said...

It would be interesting to compare HRM readings for the rides. I've ridden the same route on my all-Campy Calfee, and on my steel 650B Kogswell with a front rack and rando-type bag. I find on the same hills I'm slower on the Kog but also have a higher heart rate. I still enjoy the ride of the Kog, but it's a lot easier to keep up with the club group on the Calfee.

I don't find the Pasela Tourguards to be particularly fast. I wonder how a set of 30mm Grand Bois would affect your results?

I replaced a WTB Vigo with a Specialized Alias on the Calfee, and I find it much more comfortable.

cyclotourist said...

Now you're really getting scientific-ish! Half the route is on a class 1 MUT, so no stops/starts and level grade. On that part I bet it didn't matter. I'm sure the accelerations from stops on the other half take more energy.

As for tires, I have a love/hate relationship with Grand Bois. I had some 30's which pretty much fell apart. I didn't feel comfortable with them even after they were warrantied. Sold the replacement, went back to Paselas, then bought a set of 27's that I'm currently using and am happy with so far. I don't ride on trails with them at all, which is kind of a lame limitation. I'm considering some Challenge Paris-Roubaix 28's to replace them as they're supposed to be a bit sturdier.

Thanks for checking out my words of wisdom!

Noel said...

9/7/9 OS? That's some stout tubing! I'm using 9/7/9 standard diameter on my "all-road" bike - and I'm 200 pounds riding a 63 cm. frame. So I guess you could say I think Grant over builds 'em a bit.

But having said that, I can lose the weight difference between your two frames by skipping lunch. So I really couldn't care less about bike weight, within reason.

I throw my lot in with the tire folks. I think that makes a much bigger difference than most of us suppose, at least at the speeds we're riding. And I really dislike the Paselas - they last forever, but that just means you get to experience slow, mushy tires for a really long time! But I was also disappointed by the Gran Boise 30s, which rolled wonderfully but were horribly unreliable. I'd urge you to try the Challenges, as they roll at least as well as the GBs but last much better.

cyclotourist said...

I am guesstimating the tubing, but knowing what Riv/Grant specs, I think it's a pretty good one. It's thicker than on the road. So there's also the planing issues as well. I know the AR doesn't, and doubt the Road does, although would be more likely to.

Lighter wheels are definitely a plus. I run the lightest wheels I think I can on each bike, while also having a heavy-duty wheelset I swap in for trails (like Santiago Peak!). I've had REALLY good results with Paselas, although I'd like to try some Jack Browns some day. Challenge P-Rs are next on my list, although I'm kinda' diggin' the Grifos. Probably woulnd't fit the Road, and too light/skinny for my AR.

It's tough being me...