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.