Ask Josh Anything #004

Q&A Episode 4 -

We didn't set out to turn every other episode of the Marginal Gains Podcast into the "Try to Stump Josh" game show, but at least 2/3 of the hosts of the show are glad it worked out this way. In this episode, we ask Josh what he thinks of Zipp's new MTB rims, puzzle over why the GoPro is so non-aero (and how to mitigate that non-aero-ness), discuss aero cranks and why they aren't any bigger of a deal than they are, talk about why it's faster (sometimes) to ride the white divider line, wonder why ceramic bearings don't (usually) turn back into sand, detail the steps for figuring out CRR in the field, explain why heavier riders descend faster, and — believe it or not — more. Enjoy this new Q&A episode of the show that makes a big deal about the little things, and how those little things can be a big deal.

Got a question you’d like to ask Josh? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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  • Josh Poertner

    Good call, somebody should tell them to market it as such!! I don’t use things like this, so no comments on functionality, but looks much better than the brick!
    Thanks Alex

  • Josh Poertner

    Just answered this in Q&A 5 which will go live next week and it was the most fun question of the show.. thanks a ton for asking!

  • Josh Poertner

    So the challenge with manufacturing patents is that they are really hard to enforce.. it would take real money to prove that company B is violating your manufacturing patent behind closed doors. So if the violating entity was Zipp in this instance, one of the largest and most successful companies around, pretty much any attorney is going to take this case as the potential upside is quite large.. whereas if the company is a one man show or even a moderate regional player the story is quite different…as they likely don’t have the money to defend themselves and really what damages could the patent holder receive other than putting them out of business, which, might be fine for some people, but risks making the patent holder look like a jerk causing a situation where they win the lawsuit, but lose the PR battle.

    There are really only 2 types of patent disputes in our industry: big companies slugging it out and little guys going after big guys. This follows the flow of money and importance to the companies involved but also takes into account the PR risk that a bigger company faces if they go after a little guy. Remember the Specialized trademark letter to the Roubaix bike shop? This was technically just a cease and desist letter and it caused Specialized heartburn for months and had no possible upside. My guess is that the patent holder in this case faced a similar situation.

  • Phillip Mercer, Brisbane

    Hi, I have a question for the next ask Josh anything pod. Josh mentioned about the obsession that continues with weight over aero. However I assume there reaches a point that weight “outweighs” aero especially when hills are involved. Is it a 20kg aero bike? A 15kg bike? 10kg? How do you determine which way to go? For my commute, I ride a BMC Timemachine TMR01 over 21km with approximately 200m climbing all up. How do you determine aero versus their relevant weight penalty?

  • Josh Poertner

    Frederic, awesome question and it will certainly make a future Q&A episode.. the short answer is that you need to eliminate all wrinkles while making the athlete as small as possible (compression) while at the same time not making it such that the fabric is placing undue forces on the pedaling action of the rider.. oh, and all the seams have to be in the right places and the fabric textures and directionality relative to the wind can be super important.. and most of the riders will have different positions.. so in a sense, this is a massively multi-variate question that is super hard to answer, but we’ll tackle it in a future Q&A!

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