Monday, December 13, 2010

Doctor Says A Carbon Fiber Bike Is No Quicker Than Steel

In the British Medical Journal a doctor reports that his 27-mile commute is not speeded up by his more expensive carbon race bike.

Dr. Jeremy Groves rode his 20.9 lb. carbon framed bicycle over the same commuting route as his 29.75 lb. steel bicycle from January through July 2010. He found that the average difference in travel time was a little over 30 seconds.

Please note this was not meant to be a serious report. This is the light-hearted Christmas edition of the BMJ and, while the papers published in this edition are scientifically sound, the subject matter tends to be less-than-serious. Previous Christmas BMJs have tried determining the speed of Santa's sleigh.

Dr Groves told BikeBiz:

"I should emphasise, and this has been lost in some of the reporting by the larger news organisations, the study relates to my commuting journey and to generalise this to all trips (especially competitive cycling) on light weight bicycles is taking the study a bit far!

"I do think the point holds though, when commuting there are other influences (particularly the weather, road conditions and fitness of the rider etc) that will have a far greater impact on journey time that the weight or specification of the bicycle."

Which do I enjoy riding most? Well, after the trial I have to go for the steel bike. I get there as quickly, and it is more comfortable, better value, and has more “character.”

Which we must add, "More people should listen to their doctors."

More commentary available at Bike Biz and EcoVelo. Full test report here.
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