19. Juli, 13:05 Uhr
Sorry in advance for the wall of text. This is purely a thought experiment.
Some time ago I stumbled over the quote:
> _"Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades"_ - Eddy Merckx
Upon reading this i immediately rode up a steep gradient, but later realized that this doesn't
necessarily mean to _ride up grades_ specifically, just ride more, as
_up grades_ might just be the necessary word play to make the quote more
It seems plausible to me that _training_ achievements (compared to other riders)
doesn't mean much as long as the equipment differs. This made me thinking
about theoretical vs. practical training efficiency:
_For those of us who want to get better themselves instead of just being better
than others, does - and if yes - in what way does equipment quality make a difference?_
Some derived examples including my assumptions (lets say, all unmentioned
variables like road quality, bike type (drop bar vs. straight, geometry) and
other equipment are basically the same):
1. Rider A rides a good bike for 100km in 1 hour. Rider B rides a worse
bike (say 50% efficiency of A's bike) for 100km in 2 hours. Can I assume that
watts, calories burned, heart rate and training effect are roughly the same in
both cases? Air resistance is obviously an issue here, but if that was
1. Rider A rides a good bike for 100km in 5 hours. Rider B rides a worse
bike (say 80% efficiency of A's bike) for 80km in 5 hours. Can I assume that
watts, calories burned, heart rate and training effect are the same in both
1. Or both have the same bike and both ride for an hour, but rider A rides a flat
path while rider B rides at a slight incline and slightly slower (say, in a
lower gear and the same cadence/power output as A). Again, I guess air
resistance might be an absolute physical factor, but apart from that? Is riding
up grades inherently better or worse than riding further or faster in flat terrain?
1. At the end, if rider A and rider B are identifal twins (clones); A trains on a
good bike, B on a bad bike but both put the same effort in, and then race each
other on the same bikes, would there be fundamental difference?
Generally: if two clones ride vastly different quality bikes on different
terrain, but both put the same effort in, what would the differences in training
The things I can think of is _technique and mental skills_:
there's an absolute difference if A is able to go
60km/h downhill on a good bike instead of B going 40km/h on a trash bike.
B might not aquire the skills to ride at absolutely higher speeds which A has,
so if both compare each other on the same good bikes, A might have slight
Also if the "incline experiment" is repeated with a very steep incline and thus a huge
speed difference, the skill set becomes different as riding uphill very slowly
adds a _balancing_ overhead (say the road is otherwise perfectly even without
obstancles, so no mental overhead from high speeds).
And of course training options - with certain bikes you might not even be able
to attempt certain styles of training (i.e. super high cadence or very steep
inclines on a fixie).
Note that this is a purely theoretical thought experiment, I'm not looking for a
guide to min/max my training or something. One of the reasons the question came
to my mind is that I'm riding a mid-range gravel bike with broader tyres and
obviously have to put more effort to keep up with a friend riding a better,
lighter bike with more gears and narrower tyres on the same tour. But if we
put the in same effort and then both competed on a cross bike ... ?