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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:23 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:26 pm
Posts: 669
Location: Lost now on the country miles
As per title, really: if you track your rides, do you have one retro MTB that you're usually faster on than the others? If so, can you identify what's making you faster on that bike?

For my part, I've been riding five different bikes recently, all 1990s bikes, and which bike I'm riding seems to make no major difference to my average speed. None of my rides are pure speed tests and there's often a bit of slowing down due to dog walkers, slower riders, high winds, etc. but these things should average out. Take the Hardrock, Rockhopper and Stumpy, just because they form a neat hierarchy, and you might think that it would be slowest through to fastest but there's no major difference - perhaps just a slight one, on a good day, due to higher gearing on the Rockhopper. (There are differences in ride quality, though.) One of the bikes is a 700c flat bar sort-of gravel bike but, no, that is not faster. It might be that I'm not pushing to the limits of either the bikes or myself so the differences between the bikes matter less; but I am pushing to be quick most of the time so I would expect some difference. As it is, the main thing affecting my speed seems to be simply how I feel on the day. :|


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:43 am 
Old School GrandMaster | Rider
Old School GrandMaster | Rider
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Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 6885
Location: peak district
For me its more how the bike makes me feel. My Brodie feels the fastest, though i have no way of measuring it in real terms, just seems to feel the most agile and responsive, it has a stretched race feel and does feel happier when im giving it some through the singletrack, whether that is pushing me that bit faster i don't know, it just feels noticeably faster than any other of my bikes, new or old, down the same trails.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:34 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:01 pm
Posts: 5579
In my youth my Serotta T Max felt the fastest due to BB stiffness/pedalling efficiency but it was just a bit too harsh for my regular longer rides. My FAT CHANCE Team Comp has that comfort and amazing perfect handling that very few bikes ever have. It seems to become part of you and just skips so lightly over everything. I have had a crazy number of now retro bikes and nothing rides better and believe me I always thought the grass must be greener. Ti bikes are more comfortable to ride but there is something about the liveliness and handling of a great steel bike. Oddly, I never liked Ti road bikes for some reason, they just feel rather slow and dead.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:04 am 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:10 pm
Posts: 154
I do a similar thing. I have a 45min ride that I do 2 to 3 times a week. Have done it for 4 years on various bikes Inc 89 team Marin ( many memories), 1999 maxlight custom build (cycling version if of a prossie) and a Scott scale 640 with suspension up front (soulless, limited feedback, stiff, blurrrrr, but does a job). I've also run it on my Mrs Prestige and scale 740. They all run on similar tread pattern and either 1.95 to 2.1 tyres.

Is one faster.....not really. I'm slower on the old Marin, but I've had her since new and I'm probably less inclined to smash it over bumps ( even if just psychologically). The Scott with shocks is certainly an easier ride, I finish feeling less beaten up ( I'm retired and am finding it harder these days not to feel like Frank bruno has been following me round the course!), but the fastest is the maxlight .. it's only 9.4kg which probably helps, no suspension to sucks a bit of power ( see newtonian physics) and I dont care about it so much, so I take more liberties.

All these factors make for a faster ride.

But, what really makes for a faster ride, is a faster rider. Keep training, keep adding the miles and you will get faster. That's the whole truth of it....face it, I'm not going to beat Mr tomac even if hes riding a Universal Kay's catalogue bike!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:47 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 32420
Location: Bournemouth's most wanted
Its a toss up between a 93 Zaskar or a a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo from 95. One is aluminium and one is True Temper steel, both USA made.

The Zaskar is just fast no matter what, it was designed to do that.

The Fisher is a retromod and rides as near to a modern flatbar gravel grinder (they do exist :facepalm: ) as possible without actually buying one. Its designed around the local roads, by-ways and bridal paths that I have around here. It also did well at Thetford last weekend too.

I did do a comparison between a 2007 GF XC full suss and a 1989 MBK with both as 'fast' as each other - same mixed off road route, the steel MBK felt better overall as it was far less noodly not having any pivot points.

I did want to try something very new against all my very old but after riding in groups who had very very new, there was some glaring omissions from the very very very new that my very crap old could take advantage of.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:59 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:19 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Leeds, for ages!
Good question.

Yes I do i suppose. It's a lightweight marin, a little tricked out.

I reckon its because of the TLC I put into it and the responsiveness of the frame
that provokes a response in me, to get on with the journey. Happy making experience.

Combo of psychology and confidence in the transport, likely explanation.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:19 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:08 pm
Posts: 4304
Location: Woking
Yes, but it depends over what distance.

A few years ago at Mayhem, I did lap #1 on my fully rigid weight-weenie '93 Explosif, I did lap two on my '97 Hei Hei King Kahuna which has posh front suspension.

The Explosif was literally a few seconds quicker, BUT left me totally drained and beaten up. Suffice to say I rode the HHKK for the rest of the event, it didn't feel so taxing to ride, despite being about a kilogram heavier and ultimately was a better race bike.

So in summary, for 45 minutes flat-out racing my lightweight steel rigid bike is quicker (marginally) but anything longer that that, the burlier, suspended ti bike is better.

SP


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:38 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3427
Location: Dorset
My 93 Explosif by a country mile, by the clock and also feels it.

The trouble is like the previous post I ache all over riding it.

It's fun though :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:45 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:02 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
I suppose it would be my Norco Torrent, a steel hardtail with a suspension fork. My Mountain Goat feels fast but as a single speed it would be course dependent. My Catamount is a nice bike but as a full suspension bike it feels a little less responsive and it is heavier than the other two.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:29 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 3273
Location: Bournemouth in 2008
Depends on my mood, I know it sounds silly, but it's proven itself over and over for me.

If I'm up for a hammering, stiff/light bikes do it. If I'm not, a comfy bike is faster.

I think Splatter Paint is probably saying the same thing...Kinda?

Plus, it gives me an excuse for having a bike for every mood :)


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