What Cycling Equipment Should I Buy?

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

So, like all of us, you want to find some extra performance on your bike. Whilst there might be no such thing as “free speed” we will look at a few things that could be guaranteed to make your cycling performance improve, and their associated costs.

However, it is true; you really can buy a performance advantage. Take a look at one of the many posts on the time trial forums, as to how much faster tweaking this or that can make you because of an aero advantage. Other riders look to reduce weight of components to have an advantage in the hills.

Here are a few simple ideas:

Mavic Comete Ultimate aero helmet:

Mavic says that the new helmet will save you 3 watts and 14 seconds per hour at 40kph relative to its Cosmic Pro helmet. RRP £225….but remember a poorly fitting aero helmet can cost your more time than it saves!

What about a new chain? It is claimed that a higher quality chain can save you 5W when compared to a lesser quality chain. So better get out and buy that KMC Ceramic Speed chain it’s also claimed to save you 2-5W at 40kph, so that’s possibly another 15 seconds saved. RRP £125

….but remember the life on this chain is only 600km, and by that stage you will have lost the performance advantage. Oh, and if you don’t look after your chain well, it’s claimed it could even cost you up to 30W.

Not really suited for road riding, but you could consider getting yourself a NoPinz 2020 Skinsuit?

….but if you are an average slow joe (like me) aerodynamic advantages only START becoming a factor over 18 mph, so will it really help?

Riding at an average speed of 45kph, you will save 12 sec per 10 miles over the Tripsuit.

If you really want to save fractions, you can always fit the Ceramic Speed oversize pulley wheel for your rear mech. With it claims that you reduce loses in power through the drive train by 30-60%, this is must for any serious rider!

….but as drivetrains are generally 96-97.5% efficient (https://www.cyclingpowerlab.com/DrivetrainEfficiency.aspx) the saving is likely again to only be a further 2-3W over a standard drivetrain, and at a cost of £1,300 for the top of the range model!!!

When you consider the “ideal” body fat percentage of the “typical” 80kg adult male is 15%, this relates to carrying 12kg of body fat. Whilst impossible to lose all this fat, a large majority of cyclists are in excess of this body fat, and the super elite rider (4% body fat at 70kg) is carrying just 2.8kg of fat! At bike upgrade prices this sort of weight loss is going to cost in excess of £22,500!!!!!!!

But of course we can help at Sportstest for far less.

It is really not uncommon for us to measure improvements in threshold power of 20-40W in a 12 week training block, and in some extreme circumstances we have seen in excess of 60W in the same period. Couple this with enhanced aerobic efficiency and fat metabolism, and the gains on the road are substantial in terms of both enhanced endurance and sustained speed.

Use our training guidance combined with a sensible nutrition strategy, the improvements can also be substantial, with many athletes seeing losses in fat mass of over 3kg in 10-12 weeks.

These performance benefits cost the price of a test, and in some cases a coaching or training plan, and the gains will continue to come, rather than being a one hit.

Matt P, was really happy with the progress made as a result of the Sportstest process.

As a specific example Matt has come to us to aid his training towards the Haute Route Pyrenees, already an accomplished cyclist (with a VO2max in excess of 70 ml/kg/min) some might believe the gains we could assist with would be inconsequential. We if we look at the differences in his test results between April and July the following key observations were noted:

Couple these pure performance indicators with an substantial change in his metabolism (he increased the amount of fat burning at submaximal intensities) and observed improvements in efficiency (with less energy being wasted in the riding process), he has noted substantially better performance in both training rides and when racing and riding sportives.

At just £195 for a full assessment of your cycling fitness, accurate determination of your training zones, identification of your strengths and weaknesses, AND provision of an overview training plan, can you afford not to be using Sportstest to help you go faster?

At Sportstest we believe the bottom line is unless you are in the 0.1% of athletes in the world who are at the pinnacle of your physiological potential, although by no means negligible, the gains you can achieve by spending £££ on bikes and components are nearly insignificant when you look at the gains that can be achieved from the optimal training, improved nutrition, and reduced body fat.

So get in touch now to find out more, or to book…..and don’t let your competition steal a jump on you!

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