A couple weeks ago I explained, in theory, how a tire with a better rolling resistance can help you ride as much as 1 mph faster. I compared my current tires, Continental Gator Hardshells, rated at 20 watts/each with Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires which are rated at only 10 watts/each. For those of you interested in the math, here is a calculator on power versus speed which shows how much an additional 20 watts will do for you:
In order to prove it, I bought a pair of GP 5000’s to test out. First I rode the Gators on a 25 mile course on April 27th. I then rode the Gators again on a similar, but longer, 30 mile course on May 4th. Finally I replaced the Gators with GP 5000’s and rode the same exact 30 mile course on May 6th. Each time I rode around mid-day.
DATE TIRE SPEED HR TEMP WIND
4/27 Gator Hardshells 18.6 mph 135 65 NNW@10
5/4 Gator Hardshells 18.4 mph 137 75 NNW@10
5/6 Grand Prix 5000 20.6 mph 141 65 WNW@7
According to the calculator, my speed should have increased by about 1 mph. Instead it went up by more than 2 mph! I can’t explain it, but the new tires just felt fast. Just to add another couple of data points, I compared the “Route 64 to the Old Route 1” Strava segment only. I rode that 6.8 mile stretch as fast as I could both days. The GP 5000’s beat the Gators 21.3 mph (HR=145) to 19.7 mph (HR=141) despite a stronger tailwind on Monday.
The bottom line, tires can make a big difference.
As always, let me know your ideas or comments.
Quote of the week: My ultimate fear is that when I die my spouse will sell my bikes for what I said that I paid for them.