Lies, Damn Lies, and Bias

Lies, Damn Lies, and Bias

Josh, Hottie, and Fatty talk about problems in data quality, sampling bias, confirmation bias, cherry-picking, and more (including a little detour into baseball). it’s great when data bolsters your beliefs or arguments, but it’s oftentimes way more exciting and enlightening when they don’t!

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


  • John

    Hi Josh, Hottie and Fattie,

    Question 1: I really like listening to your podcasts and I especially liked the recent discussion about bias, modeling, weight and stiffness. I have a few engineering degrees, and I have been riding steel for a long time constantly pointing out that until I am under 10% body fat, there are probably more important places for me to focus my weight reductions than components. The stiffness argument, however, should be more nuanced(?) I’ve pointed out that if my steel frame flexing back and forth consumed 10 watts of energy, the tubes should be warm to the touch. But they’re not. I recently “dated” a carbon bike for a year and a half but it was not for me. I bought a new custom steel road bike that tracks downhill unlike anything I rode built from 1980’s steel (RB1, Ciocc) but it also feels better than the carbon bike I tried too. The carbon fork and newer steel tube set “feels” more glued to the road. And it is nearly silent when shifting. When you discuss your physics model, is it primarily focused on energy consumption or do you attempt to address location of the rider’s CG, bump response, and riding style? Beyond those, the sensations of flying one gets when there is no noise from carbon resonators, well, those are hard to explain to people who haven’t tried it. Maybe it’s placebo effect, but I think not. I’m so happy to know the weight is not holding me back.

    Question 2: If cross chaining is as bad as it seems (6-8 watts), shouldn’t multiple chain rings make sense? Shouldn’t a triple make sense? I’d rather have a really efficient drive train on those steep climbs than give up 6-8 watts. Certainly hard to understand a 1x on a mixed terrain or gravel bike if there’s that much power up for grabs.


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