Ask Josh Anything #19

Ask Josh Anything #19

Drivetrains, aero tweaks, and wheels have emerged as the sweet spot for where listeners can achieve marginal gains on their current bike setups, and this episode will really scratch that itch. We do a deep dive into the why, how, and what of Silca's new diamond-polished chains, how properly-lubed chains affect cog and chainring wear and tear, and whether you really need to replace that quick link after each chain connect/disconnect cycle. We also get to the best ways to locate your hydration on long rides and the question of whether — wheelwise — deeper is always better.

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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11 comments


  • Travis Verhoff

    @Ruppert we can pose that question to Josh but the smallest saddle bag possible is probably going to be a really good option. It does increase the a of the CDA equation which will be slightly less aerodynamic. For that reason, I would recommend removing the saddlebag in a race scenario where it isn’t needed, but otherwise just ride with the smallest saddle bag that will hold everything you need to fix a flat. It might be a couple watts but standing by the side of the road because you couldn’t fix a flat will cost you a lot more time on your training ride than hiding that saddle bag behind the saddle.


  • Ruppert

    This is probably a ridiculous question to ask but I was fortunate enough to pick up a new aero road bike (a Trek Madone), my question is where is the best place for saddle bag items? I read somewhere that having a more traditional saddlebag on an aero bike destroys some of the aero benefits of an aero bike. I also know jamming things in your pockets to look like a pack animal is also less than ideal from an aero perspective. We are regular riders who need to be able to fix a flat on our fast group rides, where would Josh suggest the best place for carrying flat repair items? Love the podcast and thanks!


  • Jason

    Hey Guys

    I am looking for an ideal race morning pump that is reasonably-sized, accurate and works with a Hiro Chuck/crack pipe for easy (one man job) disc wheel inflation.

    I would love to travel with my Super Pista Digital Pump, but it’s just too large.

    I have experimented with the Fumpa & mini Fumpa compressor and while I love the convenience, it is too noisy and can only inflate 2 tires to about 90 PSI before needing a charge.

    Are there other mini compressors on the market worth trying?

    I would love to try the Viaggo, but, can’t seem to find it in stock

    Appreciate all you do, thanks!


  • Pieter

    My bartape is almost worn out after riding the long term challenge: all municipalities in The Netherlands, so its time to replace it. My hands cannot be everywhere so a lot is exposed to the (riding) wind. I like some damping so there is some height, bad for the aero I guess but maybe good for adding some texture helping the aero? Dimples on top? Lines in the drops? What texture on a tape would minimalize the drag? And are you aware of a brand to look for?


  • Erik

    Thanks for a great podcast!

    I have a “rule of 105%” question. I live in Sweden where wider tires is popular. I see a lot of people going from allready ballon shaped 25mm on narrow rims

    to 28mm that often grows to even more of a ballon shape. Often 2-3 mm wider on each side than the rim.

    This is among elite race riders. We often race in flat terrain where cross winds is more common than hills. Roads are often okay, but far from smooth.

    Race average speeds is often 42-45km/h. If you have to choose between going “ballon shape” on narrow rim to get better rolling, or going down in tire size to achieve “Rule of 105” what would you guys suggest?

    And also do you measure the rim at the widest point or where the rim ends? (braking surface)?

    Thanks again!


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