Racing at a high level, riders do not want to be at a disadvantage due to equipment. It's not about equipment "making you faster" it's about equipment not holding you back.. Of course having every last little newfangled gimmick isn't necessary, but lighter bikes are faster up hills all things being equal (including rigidity, reliability etc). It is simply handwaving to dismiss it as "physics equations" that are immaterial relative to the determination and doggedness of the rider. That's a beautiful sentiment and all, but if the same rider has lighter equipment he will climb faster, even if only by a small increment. Also, their are genuine biomechanical advantages to having extra gear choices. Experience will tell you when you are in the optimal gear, but how does experience allow "matching ratios" if they are not present on the bike? As for Exa being hard to operate with so many gears, that's where experience come in. Although it shouldn't take much to understand gear sequences many people seem to have some trouble. Questions of "how many people actually use..." are immaterial as most riders are too inexperienced to really use their drivetrain to the fullest, while succesful competitive athletes don't generally have a problem.
Steve Neago <email@example.com> wrote: It seems to me that the CR list is being overwhelmed with "technology talk" about why newer bikes are supposedly better than older ones. These discussions about the viability of parts in winning cycling races ignore the most important component to any race - the cyclist himself!
I seriously wonder how well Exadrive or indexed shifting compares to older freewheels for competitive cycling. The fact remains that while cadence may be more constant with Exadrive, a experienced and skilled cyclist using a vintage freewheel system will be able to detect candence changes and should be able to match most Exadrive ratios. Besides, for a 8 or 9 speed cassette, how many people actually use all 16 or 18 speeds and isn't that more confusing when trying to decide the proper gear ratios to use because they are intermixed?
For all the weight savings of newer bikes the main fact remains that bike races are won by the endurance and strength of the rider. The psyche and competitiveness of the cyclist greatly exceeds the importance of how light or modern the frame and its components are.
I am reminded of an interview article about Lance Armstrong and how he was nudged from his sponsored Team because of cancer. With his cancer treatment successfully treated, Armstrong said *** he didnt care what components were on the bike nor what frame was used*** - just that he deeply wanted to start riding again. That drive and determination led him to a successful season that year.
Admittedly, using superlight frames and components may 'psych up' a cyclist in personal self-confidence for a race and there are physics formulas that equate weight savings with greater distance for extended races. However, these modern lightweight ideas pale in comparison to the personal motivation of the cyclist - the driving factor in any race. I respectfully stand to differ in opinion with e-Ritchie!
Regards, Steve Neago
> >e-RICHIE wrote:
> > > the next race you're in that has an attack on a climb,
> > > or a hilltop group finish, i hope you're on some
> > > good juice. there is NO WAY to be competitive on
> > > an ascent when all around you are standing and shifting
> > > as you decide to shift gears and realize that you must sit
> > > first to activate the gear levers. ergopower and sti rule.
> I am with Richie on this one and as I have stated in the past something to
> this effect. It is one thing to compete at a regional level (depending on
> the region) and a whole different thing competing at a National or
> International level. Richie is one of the very few on this list that has
> that kind of experience and it goes a long way in giving his words and
> opinion validity as opposed to someone with a subjective opinion.
> Mark, hate to sit to shift, Poore
> Sunny Florida