Ask Josh Anything #010

We've got a great batch of questions from you for Josh to contemplate this episode:

  • Does the placebo effect apply to cycling clothes and shoes as well as to equipment?
  • Since many rims are different widths in different places, where should we measure when applying the rule of 105?
  • How much — if any — does a patched tube affect a bike's CRR?
  • Are third-party ceramic bearings and oversized pulley wheels still relevant?
  • How marginal of a gain do you get with a really nice hub?
  • Is it faster to run a deeper wheel in the front than the rear?

Josh will answer all of these — and more! — in this episode of Marginal Gains (Disclaimer: the answer almost always begins with "it depends.")

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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  • Norman Alvis


    Are you interested in working on a Master hour record attempt?

    Aside from frame pumps in the 70s I first became acquainted with you and Silca when I saw your wheel balancing hardware. I’ve been balancing my wheels for a decade but it’s never been pretty!

    Some background, I was a professional on the Motorola and 7-Eleven cycling teams in the early 90s. I set the US Hour Record at the end of my pro career. (Side note: my performance of 51.505km in 1997 remains unsurpassed for an outdoor performance). Now as a masters rider who’s kids have mostly grown up I am racing again and doing hour record attempts. My goal is to be the first rider over 50 to ride over 50km. I set the 50-54 year old world record in 2017 doing 49.3… my stretch goal is to eclipse my distance as a young man, 51.505. Notio is a big part of this effort. Other technology also contributes.

    From a marketing perspective I am putting together an effort to sell “youth,” as in one can turn back the years with new equipment like the wheel balancing, the bike, the clothes, etc. at the same time I am a masters rider like any other (aside from the pro background) in that I have kids, 6, and a full time job. I train about six hours a week and I have other relate-able issues. Last year I broke my hip and recovery from that was highly demanding.

    Let’s talk about working together on my project and how it can help market the bike industry generally to masters riders, the customers with the money to buy all this delightful technology!

    My best,

    Norman Alvis

  • Tim Gilbert

    TL;DR: What are some of the best ways to incorporate marginal gains into loaded touring?

    Are there savings (marginal gains?) to be had with using only rear panniers? How would weight distribution influence the preferred tire pressure? Would a handle bar bag act as a fairing to help save on energy expenditure?

    While I am usually on a road bike, occasionally (once or twice per year) I load up a couple panniers and break out the touring bike for a couple long rides (in the range of 8 to 10 hour each) so I think that even a small savings could add up.

    As a structural engineer and recreational cyclist, this has quickly become one of my favorite podcasts. I enthusiastically share it with friends.

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