Is 55 the new hour?

dandare

Well-Known Member
A couple of lads in my club recently got under the hour for 25 miles. Quite rightly they were well pleased. It got me thinking. It seems now that a 45 min ride is as rare as a 49 minute ride was when Alf Engers first broke 30 mph over 35 years ago. When I started racing in the early 60s aero meant riding on the drops. Training consisted of getting the mies in usually on 66 fixed and early season reliability rides. With the new aero TT bikes, wheels, clothing, helmets, power meters, coaches, training regimes, is a 55 minute ride now the equivalent to getting under was 20 or 30 years ago?.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
An hour is comprised of 60 minutes.
 
OP
dandare

dandare

Well-Known Member
I sort of knew there would be some sort of silly answer. Ok to put it another way. Does a time trialist now have to do a 55 minute ride for it to be the equivalent of a 59.59 ride 30 plus years ago.
 

Citius

Guest
I sort of knew there would be some sort of silly answer. Ok to put it another way. Does a time trialist now have to do a 55 minute ride for it to be the equivalent of a 59.59 ride 30 plus years ago.
Silly answer for a silly question. A tester has to go as fast as he/she can. I think it's always been that way.
 
OP
dandare

dandare

Well-Known Member
So you're saying that a 59.59 min ride for a 25 with all of today's equipment is just as hard as it was 35 years ago on what was available then.
 

zizou

Veteran
It is always difficult to compare different eras however it is a fair point - Things have changed and if going under the hour for a 25 was once the mark of a strong rider, then IMO that is no longer the case. That doesnt mean it is easy - it is still a decent mark to aim for, just that with developments like tt bars it is now within reach of more riders than in the past, even if they had exactly the same fitness and training (etc) as racers 40 years ago.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Of course the latest tech allows riders to go faster for the same effort, so some riders of relatively modest ability are doing times that they otherwise wouldn't be capable of. However, ultimately, all this means is everyone goes faster so to win (regardless of individual motivations for taking part, the core premise is that it is a race, with a winner), you still need to be the best on the day.

Riders have and always will utilise the latest kit available to them.
 

pubrunner

Legendary Member
When I started racing in the early 60s aero meant riding on the drops. Training consisted of getting the miles in usually on 66 fixed and early season reliability rides.
A close mate of mine was a top-level rider in time trials of the late 50s - a bit before your time, though you might have heard of him (Mick Ward).

His primary training was cycling to work and back. He didn't have a car, so he'd have to cycle to events. Nutrition was whatever food he could afford - there were no energy gels or drinks available or post event massage.

Mick was the first guy to win the National 25 & the 50 in the same year - 1958; he won the 50 in 57 minutes something. In the same year, he came 9th in the 100 and 2nd in the 12 hour, behind Ray Booty. It was only his 2nd ever 12 hour race; in the 100, he had a wheel breakage and he did the last 25 miles on a marshal's bike - couldn't see that happening today. ^_^ (He also won the National 50 in 1956 & 1959 and was second in 1957).

Mick has nothing but the utmost admiration for the riders of today . . . . . . . mind you, had he been competing today, I'm sure that he'd still be a top cyclist.

It is always difficult to compare different eras however it is a fair point - Things have changed and if going under the hour for a 25 was once the mark of a strong rider, then IMO that is no longer the case. That doesnt mean it is easy - it is still a decent mark to aim for, just that with developments like tt bars it is now within reach of more riders than in the past, even if they had exactly the same fitness and training (etc) as racers 40 years ago.
In my opinion, ^^^ this reply is accurate.

Apart from the 'obvious' technological developments. riders are much more 'clued up' on issues such as nutrition, training, rest, tapering etc.
 
OP
dandare

dandare

Well-Known Member
I don't see why not. The very latest TT bikes and wheels are far removed from what was once classed as racing bikes.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
When I first started racing in the late sixties only a handful of a full 120 rider field would go under the hour in most events, maybe none at all in courses that were considered "Sporting", ie not billiard table dragstrips. In fact the then record in the club I belonged to at the time was just a few seconds under the hour.

Not only are bikes a fair bit quicker now thanks to aerodynamic advances but training and nutrition has vastly improved, so yes I would agree that the old under the hour standard would be somewhere around 55 or 56 minutes today.
 
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