Ask Josh Anything #006

The ongoing "Ask Josh Anything" series is back from Summer vacation and we've got a fun — and surprisingly informative — set of questions for Josh, including:

  • What marginal gains are made by following the TTT instructions in a pre-TdF video by Team EF?
  • When you've got a tailwind, is it better to still make yourself as small as possible, or should you sit up and try to take advantage of the wind behind you?
  • What's going on when the dish changes the first time a tire is mounted on a new wheel?
  • Some riders claim their bike feels faster and lighter on climbs when they move their bottle to their jersey pocket. Is there any merit to this, or is the effect in fact the opposite? Or neither?
  • FFWD claims to have made the fastest wheel ever. Is it possible to legitimately make this claim?

All this and an in-depth discussion of what happens to your aero-ness when you grow a beard (with a side discussion on types of beards), in 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? 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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  • Matt Weaver

    With the latest generation of road tubeless tires now on the market from Continental, Vittoria and Specializes supposed tubular killer yet to be released. Is now the time to go tubeless as far as rolling resistance is concerned compared to each company’s comparable tire with a latex inner tube? I have seen some data comparing the GP5000TL and GP5000 with butyl tube but no data yet with latex tubes. If I did the math correctly figuring a 3 watt savings per tire with latex tube over butyl it is still marginally faster to run latex tubes in a GP5000 over a GP5000TL.

  • British J

    Uhm If a pencil is worth 5 watts…how much energy am I losing by strapping a number plate flat to the front of my bike and how should it best be fitted to reduce drag (without messing w the magnetic strip)?!

  • Rich Steels

    I have to ask this question, what are your thoughts on the youtube channel Hambini? He is an aeronautical engineer who has tested many wheels and claims many manufactures testing result to be utter rubbish especially Zipp. I’d love to know your thoughts on his testing results.

  • rob bell

    I have a question for Josh. In addition to cycling, I also compete in inline speed skating. My events are usually marathon distance races (26.2 miles) on paved roads.

    The general rule of thumb has always been that harder urethane wheels are faster than softer wheels. This thinking probably comes from the mind equating vibration to speed (something Josh has touched on before).

    Since we don’t have power meters for our inline skates, it’s a difficult concept to field-test. I think a roll-down test is somewhat inconclusive for skate wheels because a good wheel needs to do more than just roll well. The way we propel ourselves on skates causes the wheel to frequently change the degree in which the wheel contacts the ground (from left edge to right edge and back) and as we push down into the ground, it seems as though the wheel slightly compresses and rebounds.

    In Josh’s opinion, would a softer wheel that vibrates less be a faster option than a harder wheel? Would you suggest going with the hardest wheel that still feels smooth as it rolls across a surface?

    Aside from picking fast wheels and bearings, what other marginal gains should i be looking for? I wear an aero-road helmet and skinsuit. I’m thinking maybe some of the trip-strip socks would help. Body position seems important. Hands behind the back with arms pulled as tight into the body seems like the logical best option and feels fast, but I’m open to other suggestions.

    I’m a huge fan of Silca and this podcast. My SuperPista Digital is one of my favorite cycling-related purchases. Who would have guessed that I would ever look forward to pumping up my tires every day? Keep up the great work!

  • Rob Bell

    Thanks Hottie. The problem with the Chung Method is that it requires Power as an input, and I don’t think a power meter currently exists for inline skates.

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