Marginal gains.

In my last post I wrote about the fact that the tyres I’m currently using offer increased grip when accelerating and cornering at speed, and that I wasn’t noticing this because of how I’m currently riding. However, that’s not to say that I am not benefiting from what they are doing. They are undoubtedly harder wearing than the two sets of tyres I’d previously used, but just because I haven’t noticed that they offer more grips than the last tyres I used and that I am not using them to their full potential doesn’t meant that I am not seeing a benefit. Would I want to use a tyre that offers less grip? Of course I wouldn’t.

Ceramic bearings is something that I have played with the idea of, and I’ve actually come really close to ordering some jockey wheels. There are loads of stats for ceramic bearings, the majority of which may sound completely beyond how I ride. For example; if I were to change my jockey wheels together with my hub and bottom bracket bearings I could save 9 watts which would equate to a saving of 2 minutes riding at 20 miles an hour over 25 miles… or thereabouts. Replacing just the jockey wheels on their own would save between .5 and 2 watts alone. Depending on what they are replacing, and whose stats you read. Is’s likely that more emphasis is put on jockey wheels as they are the blingy but that everyone can see. However it only seems to makes sense to replace them if you’re also then replacing the BB and hub bearings. I don’t race though, or take part in Time-Trials, so would I really notice a 2 minute saving? Probably not. If that 2 minutes really mattered that much to me I could save that time by not talking to John whilst I ride, but then the ride wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

However, that reduction in resistance could mean a slight reduction in effort meaning that I can ride for longer or will feel less tired at the end of it. Also with the bearings being 30% harder than their steel equivalents, and that they have a claimed 3-5 times longer life it will mean that the will require replacing less often. Although, I will still have spent more and they require no less maintenance than steel bearings. So in summary; with how I ride in all likelihood I may not notice an increase in speed, and a decrease in times. They may offer a saving in effort on my part, so I should the be able to ride at the same pace for longer. But they will last longer.

In real life you may well not be able to measure any of this, but the one thing that hasn’t been taken into account is something that you will be able to see on any bike nerds face. Their smile when they spin the cranks, jockey wheel, or wheel and see that it just keeps on spinning.


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