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How much difference does a decent bike make ?

Hi everyone this is my first post but I have so far completed 2 triathlons, one pool sprint and an ow sprint finished the last in 1hr 32 which I was v pleased with as did it on a road bike which is about 30 years old in trainers ! Anyway I want a new bike but the boyf says its not worth it as there is nothing wrong with my bike and it now has spd-sl's on it and the owner of the bike says there is nothing wrong with it you could have won the tour de france on it in 1979 !

So how much difference would a shiny new bike make - I really want to do an OD at the end of September but I havent really been getting out on the bike much recently ! is it possible to train for that distance in the time left (I have ridden a v v hilly 40k but it took nearly 2 hours that was about 6 weeks ago ) and it didnt kill me ?


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    ShaggyShaggy Posts: 140
    Depends on...

    how good was your bike at the time and how much you can afford/want to afford to spend on a new one.

    A good 30 year old bike is still a good bike and you might be surprised how much you have to spend to find an appreciable difference.

    On the other hand a good new bike should be noticeably lighter, have brakes that work better and you'll find integrated brake/gear shifters loads easier than down tube shifters. You'll notice a carbon fork riding better than steel too. Go to a good bike shop for fitting, sit on a few, see if you can get a test ride somewhere or borrow one off a similar sized friend. One thing to be aware of is you will probably want a smaller frame than 30 years ago. Bikes then had almost no standover.

    I still have my 30 year old bike (Raleigh Banana) but it has mudgaurds fitted and is my winter trainer, it's like riding a plank but lugging all the extra up hills is good for the soul.

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    risris Posts: 1,002
    as someone said it's not about the bike... (much).

    i think that getting a new bike can be great for building confidence, getting a sense of achievement by going quicker or being a better fit or more comfortable, but a lot of the time the thing that will affect your speed most is you.

    if getting a new bike will get you out on it (and therefore help you get faster by riding more) then maybe it is what you need. if getting out on the bike more isn't about the steed and is about something else instead (finding the time, for example) then a new bike may be of less help that you think!

    one last thought... i've been champing at the bit to buy a new bike for about a month but realised that by the time i get it (bike shortages reported!) and get used to it the season will be over and i'll be into autumn/winter. do i really want to be riding my lovely new bike in the wet, cold and salt of winter? the answer had to be no, so i'm looking to feb/march to order it so i have a new rig just as the weather improves.

    anyway, i think the best way to go faster is to ride more so - if a new bike will get you out on it then maybe it is the right way forward. all new bikes are justifiable in some way!
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    huwdhuwd Posts: 228
    If an old bike works reliably and efficiently then theres no reason to replace it - my MTB is 12 years old now and still as tight as the day I bought it.

    Saying that everyone likes a new toy and as previously said - if it motivates you to get out then yes it does make a difference!
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    wafflewaffle Posts: 6
    Hmmm thanks for the advice I think I should just persevere the bike is all aluminium and is all shiny and well looked after (although one of the wheels is bent from when I crashed it last time - did my last tri on this though having not realised) Its probably I just need to get out more !

    I was doing really well at going out loads but I have been doing more off road mountain biking recently a couple of weekends away and then I was really ill ! the bike is comfy and the correct size !

    The problem is i keep drooling over a trek tt bike in the sale which is very sexy looking .................and making me want a 0% cc !!

    Thanks for all your advice x
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    andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    I recently went to a road bike from a hybrid bike...i have to say the difference between them is quite big.... noticeable on climbing really as although its not really easier on the legs i do climb much quicker and i feel the energy is going straight to the wheels.....but i would say going from an older road bike to a new road bike you probably wont go much faster...it might be lighter (probably will) so obviously there will be a small gain there.
    That said...getting a new bike is great...so bollox to it...get one bought!!!!
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    The difference between bikes can be IMMENSE.

    An MTB with 26" wheels and big tires and low gear ratio
    A reasonable Road bike

    Might be about 5% 10% with a given level (reasonably high) output.

    For example, my MTB for my favourite 10 mile circuit 50 - 55 mins. My £700 road bike, 40-45 mins. That is a hilly circuit - up and down, all on the road, at a reasonable (HR at about 140) effort level.

    Going a lot harder I can do it in 35 mins on the Road Bike.

    The difference between an ancient steel road bike and a modern TT carbon bike will also be quite marked. But so will the cost. I would guess you would still be a fair bit faster on the same course, with the same level of effort. If I ever get my hands on one I will test it out.

    Have a look for the "old school" time trial challenges.... some of the ancient guys were dusting off their pre-carbon 30 year bikes and having a go....
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    wafflewaffle Posts: 6
    Hmmm I know the difference from swapping from the mtb was about 20% I dont seem to have saved anything by swapping from trainers to spd's ! The road bike isnt steel its all aluminium .......

    hmmm the general consensus is no need for a new bike just yet but that will make the bank managers very happy !
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    Does your old bike fit properly?

    In my opinion if your old bike is mechanically sound then it doesn't need replacing, however if it doesn't fit properly then that's an entirely different story.
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    Save your money, get some coaching. Then when you can actually SEE your frame flexing under the increased wattage your putting out, then, get yourself a new bike.
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    Holy crap, how many "Whyte" name drops in that story?? Its like a Conhead bridgetown post!!!

    Botswana not known for a huge amount of cycling peddigree, and very conveniantly got his race entry and "only" had his MTB to race on. A sound publicity stunt and good story but it really only serves as an advert for Whyte MTBs.
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    md6md6 Posts: 969
    ha brilliant, I guess it kinda proves its all about the 'engine' although it probably wasn't the strongest field, but if the guy mentioned is a pro rider from SA then i guess he's got to be reasonable - well better than me anyway
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    jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    Firestarter wrote:
    Its like a Conhead bridgetown post!!!
    Is that a deliberate typo
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    andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    of course the engine counts the most...but if your legs are not much of an engine then the bike can make a big difference.
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    When I got into cycling it was as cross training for rowing... All of the crew would head out as a peleton on road bikes,with our coach bobbing away on his full suspension MTB. Inevitably he would break away and there was never anything we could do to stop him!

    Very Very depressing!
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    want to know the difference between an old steel frame road bike and a carbon frame tt bike? i did all my winter training for ironman uk on my 20 year old bridgestone steel bike. it was set up in my tt position and i have a flat out and back route i test my fitness on. ride out for 22 minutes, try get back in 20 so negative splitting it. i get about 2 kilometers further out on the carbon tt bike (planet x so not exactly the best there is, but i love it), but most importantly, i ALWAYS get back in the negative split, and if i'm running afterwards my legs feel really fresh. the carbon bike doesnt resist at all, if i push harder, it goes faster. the steel bike doesnt react like that
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