Carbon fibre, titanium, aluminium – throw it all away

22 Dec
December 22, 2010

If you’ve managed to get someone to buy you some sleek carbon fibre or polished titanium for Christmas then it’s probably not too late to take it back.  In the British Medical Journal a few weeks ago a study by Dr Jeremy Goves at Chesterfield Royal Hospital proved(!!) that riding an old steel lag is no slower than on a brand new carbon framed thoroughbred.  There is a summary on the bbc news here or you can read the whole bmj article here
The proof is included in the article and is (95% CI –00:03:34 to 00:02:30; P=0.72).

In fact his fastest commute to work was actually on the old steel lag but this was “as a direct result of chasing one of my fitter cycling colleagues to work”.  Probably not too difficult to figure out who that was so he must be fairly fit to keep up.

This is a great boost to my confidence.  When Pete Goodfellow drops me on Cressbrook on that old rusty steel thing with a rack and panniers it’s not because he’s fitter than me it’s because he’s riding an old steel bike thus gaining an unfair advantage.

So, we’ll no doubt see Bradley Wiggins burning off Schleck and Contador next July on an old 1970’s Raleigh.  You can’t argue with science and I expect to see plenty of supporting comments from the British Steel section of Rutland CC.

2 replies
  1. Danny says:

    The only problem I have with this article is that if he had found that the carbon bike was loads faster…no one would have read the article….it is only news because the steel bike won…therefore it was in his interest to make sure that the steel framed bike was quicker so that he could have an interesting and controversial article.

    All I know is that my winter bike is a lot more difficult to ride than my summer bike and I won’t be swapping my trusty carbon steed for steel in a hurry !!!

  2. Pete says:

    ……He’s got mirrors on the “old steel lag” too – maybe the added wind resistance is offset by the added incentive that he can see me coming….
    In all fairness it was a tongue in cheek article for a christmas journal but it was reported as serious science.

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