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  1. #1
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    so is lance right, it isnt about the bike?

    So I am searching around for a new bike like a mad man but is it really necessary? The bike I have seems fine. It is a hard tail but I seem to prefer them over FS due to my over analyzing everything simple works better for me. Its not heavy, good components but some reason I am under the impression that if I get a nice new shinny bike I will be faster next season.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I think for some people buying a new or better bike is motivating to them to train and/or push harder...if that's the case then you might well be faster next season on a new bike.
    '10 Pivot Cycles Mach 5! -- 07' C'dale Prophet 3 -- 08' C'dale Caffeine HT /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ Pivot FTW

  3. #3
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkenn
    but some reason I am under the impression that if I get a nice new shinny bike I will be faster next season.

    Any thoughts?
    I think that a new bike will not make you significantly faster. Training smarter could make you faster though.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  4. #4
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    It's not about the bike, never was, never will be.

  5. #5
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    New bike , same engine . Some engine work for next season might be more productive .

  6. #6
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    I know my training picked up when I bought a new bike. Just seemed more motivated because I wanted to ride it. Then again I suffer from new bike syndrome. And new car syndrome. Pretty much new anything syndrome.



  7. #7
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    Yea I agree the motivation of a new bike is great, but in the end its the same engine
    cheers
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  8. #8
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    If you talking professional ranks where everyone is on a top level uber bikes, it's not about the bike. At the amateur level if you're trying to compete on a 26 pounder against someone on a sub-20 professional level machine, it can be about the bike. Also if you're on an old decrepit bike that can finish a race without mechanical problems, you have a great chance of losing more time to someone with significantly inferior fitness, but can ride steady for the whole race.

  9. #9
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    Even at the amateur level, Johnny Fat Boy on a 26 pound hardtail vs. Frank Fatty Pants on a 20 pound Scott Scale isn't going to make a big difference. If you're out of shape and/or have lousy bike handling skills you're not going to have the ability to get the most out of the bike.

  10. #10
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    Agreed with it's not the bike but the rider.... but the one thing that can make a difference is if it's a different geomotry. If you are cramped on your bike, then a bike with, say, a longer top tube may make you faster. There's a lot on a bike that can make a bike feel more comfortable to YOU, I emphasize the you because it's not the bike making you faster but being more comfortable on the bike that makes you able to be faster.

  11. #11
    AZ
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    If the difference between a podium and an also ran is your current ride then step up to a new one .

  12. #12
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    buy a new component or 2. it might help tons. it may just give that extra willingness to suffer through a little more training. its that new syndrome.
    Ride & Smile

  13. #13
    It's about showing up.
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    Actually

    If you listen to the folks on MTBR it's about the bike if you switch to a 29er, SS, or fully rigid.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the advice. One thing I noticed on my race bike from last year is the cranks are 170mm. I thought they were 175mm's. That might be a problem.

  15. #15
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    A refreshing article on pro 24hr racer Kelly Magelky.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/ar...-fuel-98-23633

    2nd at the 24hr MOAB on astock standard Top Fuel - and not even the top model.
    cheers
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  16. #16
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    To a degree, if your pushing a 18kg bike and someone with less strength but the same agility pushing a sub 10kg bike they are going to have a better chance. But when it comes down to it there is a small difference.

  17. #17
    LCW
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    I think wheels and tires can play a big part... low rolling resistance and low rotating mass help reduce fatigue, especially if a tight twisty course where you're constantly having to slow down and re-accelerate...

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  18. #18
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    That is where the smart $ is.

    Quote Originally Posted by MI_canuck
    I think wheels and tires can play a big part... low rolling resistance and low rotating mass help reduce fatigue, especially if a tight twisty course where you're constantly having to slow down and re-accelerate...
    For technical courses a solid bike that the rider is comfortable on can be more more of an asset than absolute fitness levels. Heavy wheels and tires will turn any bike into a slug.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  19. #19
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    If it wasn't about the bike, why would Lance and Co. have been spending all that time in wind tunnels on bikes increasingly made of plastic over the last decade or so? Surely those scientists weren't taking accurate measurements of Armstrong's determination and grit. My friends, we should look at that sentence for what it is, a nice title for a book.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  20. #20
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    LOL at calling BS.

    [QUOTE=GrantB]If it wasn't about the bike, why would Lance and Co. have been spending all that time in wind tunnels "

    Well, it's not about the bike but Lance's position and while we're at it we'll tweek the wind profile of the bike just in case it really is about the bike after all, err, uh, yeah.

  21. #21
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    bike has a lot to do with it but the law of diminishing returns is at play. For example, would an amateur riding a 30lb hardtail see an improvement by using a 26 pound short travel race bike? I would think a definite yes for most trails.

    However, would the same amateur get an equal improvement by going from that 26 pound bike to a 22 pound bike? probably not.

  22. #22
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    A great engine needs a great chassis in order to become a great car/motorcycle. So yes, the bike does matter, but there's no number you can put on how much.

  23. #23
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    I resemble that remark

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    If you listen to the folks on MTBR it's about the bike if you switch to a 29er, SS, or fully rigid.

    Well it works for me
    If you go to extremes comparing a 40 lb rigid with a 22 lb FS, yeah, the bike will make a difference. But when your in the same ballpark it's about the rider's fitness and skills.
    One way that it is about the bike is if your bike makes it to the finish line. Have your mechanical shiite sorted out so a flat or some other mishap doesn't take you out.

  24. #24
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    It's really not about the bike, but ti think what Slufyer said is 100% true and if you feel like you need a new bike it might well give you the encouragement to ride faster next year. I know when I get a new bike it sure insoires me to ride hard and try more stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by sluflyer06
    I think for some people buying a new or better bike is motivating to them to train and/or push harder...if that's the case then you might well be faster next season on a new bike.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  25. #25
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    People talk about the effect of intangibles

    and athletes can be remarkably superstitious. Yet these thing address something very tangible and that is the dispostion.

    Huge.

    As such, "it works for me."

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanbal
    bike has a lot to do with it but the law of diminishing returns is at play. For example, would an amateur riding a 30lb hardtail see an improvement by using a 26 pound short travel race bike? I would think a definite yes for most trails.

    However, would the same amateur get an equal improvement by going from that 26 pound bike to a 22 pound bike? probably not.

    Its cheaper and much more effective to get yourself into better shape and drop 5 lbs. of body weight .

  27. #27
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    and athletes can be remarkably superstitious. Yet these thing address something very tangible and that is the dispostion.

    Huge.

    As such, "it works for me."
    Some may feel the mental effects may be worth considering. Newton's laws don't explain everything.

    i.e. You are happier on your blinged out bike, and know you can't use it as an excuse when you cross the line. Can this motivate you to push harder?


    What I always observe in these "it's not about the bike" threads is that different people have a different opinion of what they consider to be a "significant" improvement. Some people spend $500 to save that extra 500g, because they want "every edge they can get" while many hold to thinking that this same 500g won't make a significant difference in 99% of races.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  28. #28
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    It's about a fit athlete applying their fitness to a bike deemed suitable for racing by virtue of its position within a broad range of criteria, some considered more or less important depending on the preferences of the athlete, but any one of which, if they were to exceed certain limits, would render the bike "unraceable".

    How's that for a book title?
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  29. #29
    LCW
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    Of course it's not about the bike when you're riding a Trek Top Fuel 9.9SSL... every component on that bike is top notch... I mean, I agree with Lance that it's not the bike per se, but that statement has to be kept in context... He ran that 9.9SSL in *pretty much* stock form, down to the Bontrager tires, so in that respect he proves that an "off the shelf" bike can win. It wasn't anything exotic with blingy parts and weenied out to the last 0.001%...

    But on the same token, when you start out with brand 'X's top bike - c'mon, that's a pretty good head start right there... then at that point it's up to your fitness level to make it happen... swapping components to lose 1/4 lb on a bike like probably won't do much, but it's already at like 21lbs!

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  30. #30
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    sure... it's not about the bike. it's about TSTWKT!

    ask anyone that has had a mechanical during a race how much it is about the bike. i seem to recall Millar throwing his bike when his chain snapped....

    at any given level there is a certain % advantage that can be gained from tweaks, if that weren't true then there wouldn't be so many millions of dollars invested in development.

  31. #31
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    I'm pretty sure that Lance could have podiumed on a Wal-Goose .

  32. #32
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    Sometimes, it's not if the new bike or part will make you faster, but if you will enjoy it while you are riding it. If it's just a race day bike, some things don't matter as much as if it's your everyday bike. I could put up with a lot of crap for a two hour race every couple of weeks, that I wouldn't want to deal with 5 days a week.

  33. #33
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    Remember, Lance is on a road bike. His statement about it not being the bike is much more true where your biggest changes are minimal aerodynamics, weight and durability. Of course, lance has the best across the board and when he and his competitors train to an exact optimum race weight, that is when the bike matters. In fact, I believe his statement was more along the lines of 90% of riders would benefit far more by losing 10 lbs off their gut than 10lbs off their bike.

    Now, in mountain biking, it is a lot different. On some courses, a full rigid or hard tail are the best option and it is essentially a road race on a dirt sidewalk. You can probably apply lances argument. If you get into far more technical courses, the bike can make a huge difference.

    Weight will affect acceleration; especially wheel weight. In technical terrain, you will accelerate frequently after you slow for an obstacle. Weight also is a factor in maneuvering your bike in an obstacle. If the course involves dismounting, a light bike is much easier to carry.

    Geometry is tuned to a type of riding. Some geometry is better for climbing. Other geometry is better for descending. What course are you on. A full suspension can be more or less efficient depending on terrain.

    Suspension is not an element on road bikes. It is heavy but can provide a lot of efficiency. Suspension takes a lot of effort to tune well. A well tuned suspension will give much better efficiency for racing. Some suspension capabilities come in at higher prices but respond better for both climbing and descending.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  34. #34
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkenn
    So I am searching around for a new bike like a mad man but is it really necessary? The bike I have seems fine. It is a hard tail but I seem to prefer them over FS due to my over analyzing everything simple works better for me. Its not heavy, good components but some reason I am under the impression that if I get a nice new shinny bike I will be faster next season.

    Any thoughts?
    I read that book a long time ago. I felt certain that Lance was not referring to the quality of bike he rode...instead, he was referring to a lifestyle change. My take on the book, as far as I remember was..

    Before caner = rode bike to live (ie pay bills, buy house etc almost like the "bike" dictated his life)

    After caner = lives to ride bikes (ie it is about enjoying life and appreciating it)

  35. #35
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    20% equipment 80% rider IMO.

    for me making sure I get all 20% is important.

  36. #36
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    it's worth pointing out that "it's not about the bike" refers to the content of his autobiography, meaning the book was about something more than cycling - his battle with cancer that connects him to other cancer survivors. In terms of cycling, Armstrong has always been fastidious about his equipment and an early adopter of the latest tech.

  37. #37
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    It's not about the bike. It doesn't hurt either though...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsteven
    20% equipment 80% rider IMO.

    for me making sure I get all 20% is important.
    Within reason 20% is pretty darn generous (of course a DH bike is considerably slower in an XC race then and XC bike).

    Among XC bikes I would say it is at most 5% about the bike (on my 28lb dually with 2.35 sticky tires I am within 5% of my 20lb hardtail on an extended climb).

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike
    it's worth pointing out that "it's not about the bike" refers to the content of his autobiography, meaning the book was about something more than cycling - his battle with cancer that connects him to other cancer survivors. In terms of cycling, Armstrong has always been fastidious about his equipment and an early adopter of the latest tech.
    +1

    Many folks here are commenting on bike parts while LA is talking about something else.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    I'm pretty sure that Lance could have podiumed on a Wal-Goose .

    this is the funniest post ive ever seen

  41. #41
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    Cars have frames (with steering, suspension, various materials and geometries) and engines. So do bikes. A Cobra engine wouldn't work as well in a Prius frame as it does in its own frame. A Cobra engine wouldn't work in its own frame as well, either if it weighed 30%more than it does.
    I would love to see Lance handicap himself with a Wally-world 40lb steel monster...singlespeed, of course....in next year's Leadville. Then we all could see how much of it is about the bike.......
    Misfit DiSSent

  42. #42
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    I have a sc chameleon and I rode a giant anthem and i swear the anthem was much faster then my chameleon

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