Ask Josh Anything #18

Look, we love every listener question we get here at Marginal Gains. But this episode, Max King asked one that got Josh so excited he said he was pretty sure he was going to lose sleep over it. Of course, we saved that one to the end, but you'll want to listen to the whole show anyway because we've got great questions about the super tuck and dropper posts, off-label use of lube (and many more lube-related questions), marginal gains and handlebar bags, FKT updates, and more. As always, it's a can't-miss AJA episode of Marginal Gains.

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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  • Matthew Glowacki

    Hey Josh, Fatty, and Hottie,

    In a recent episode of the Criterium Nation podcast, Zach Allison of Team Clif Bar talked about how he thinks that one of the next racing innovations could be in road tires. He said that he believes that there could be a split between consumer performance tires and professional racing tires. Saying that it makes no sense for professionals who are racing for 70-90min is criteriums up to 5 hour road races to be running tires with 5000+mi durability claims and flat protection tech. He said that he wishes for racing tires that lasted for 2-3 crits.

    He made the comparison to motorsports like MotoGP or F1 where their goal is to run the absolute softest tire that will survive the duration of the race (or only part of a race in the case of F1).

    What are your thoughts about this? Is this a real possibility? Are there real gains to be made in RR and cornering grip over already available dedicated race tires like the Corsa Speeds or others? Could we see guys railing corners at 55deg lean angle, dragging their elbows, and struggling to control the power wheelie out of the final corner??


    Matt Glowacki

  • Mike Sharkey

    Couple of questions:

    Does Josh have a data based opinion on the utility of carbon mtb bars? Specifically do they really reduce ‘trail buzz’ for long travel trail bikes. I’m also interested to know about his opinion on road (or gravel) bikes with only tires for suspension.

    Second and totally unrelated – I’m reading a book called Hell on Wheels about The Race Across American. The athletes are simply bonkers but my good Lord the bike setups made me sad. It’s almost like they tried to maximize aero and rolling resistance. Could Josh describe what an optimized set up might look like for riding 8 days straight with only the occasional power nap?

  • Olu

    Hey guys,

    first of all great podcast. Your site got my attention because of the Youtube interview with Josh from the channel “Path Less Pedaled” with the title “Your TIRES are LYING to YOU!”

    The interview was really interesting and changed my thinking about the right tire pressure. But one question referring to road cyclists wasn’t answered. That’s a copy of my Youtube comment:

    “I wish you would have asked again when you started to talk about the “right” tyre size for roadies. He said that aerodynamics are an important factor for roadies but I wonder when a tire gets too big in terms of aerodynamic? Right now I’m riding 28 but he said that they already used 32 for Roubaix, which means 32 should be still aerodynamic enough? I would love to know the answer, I’m wondering if they would even go bigger if they would have the opportunity?"

    Which tire size is the limit for a roadie who rides also on bad streets, even bigger than 32? Let’s say there wouldn’t be any rules about tire size, which size would you recommend a pro rider and what do you think which size will establish in the future because it delivers the perfect compromise of aerodynamics and “softness”?

    Thank you very much!

    Greetings from Germany

  • Ron S

    I am looking at some data Tom A. got from the Specialized Win Tunnel back in 2015, and something popped out at me. (source: that is some cases in this tunnel that there is an asymmetry at 10 to 15 deg yaw vs the -10 to -15 deg. Why if a tire and wheel system are symmetrical and for many wheel tire combos that Tom tried the sweep was also reasonably symmetrical but there are some significant exceptions like the Flo 90 trial or even the HED 6 with different tires. Why is the asymmetry of the data always on the same side of the sweep? and always it seems at the same sweep locations but it only shows up for some wheel/ tire combinations?

  • john raines

    I think you have the wrong take on waxed chains for commuting. Maybe if you work at Silca it is OK to arrive with greaasy hands when you have a flat. I’m a retired physician. Your wife is a physician. a waxed chain for a commuting bike is a great idea. And once you get the process going it, it is not hard to do an extra chain or two. Several ways to go about it depending on relative commuting/training miles. Not hard to have an extra chain for the higher mileage bike so that the waxing process is done on a convenient schedule.

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