The Placebo Effect and Marginal Gains

The Placebo Effect and Marginal Gains

You know you've had this suspicion: the core of the cycling industry—much of what it's really selling you—is not tech, speed, or fitness. Nope, the truth is that one of the most powerful marginal gains you'll ever get is thanks to the placebo effect. Josh, Fatty, and Hottie talk about what it is and how potent a force it is in cycling.

Articles Referenced in the MG Podcast:
https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/04/23/man-who-overdosed-placebo-12871
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1108579
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/485371


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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10 comments


  • Furniture

    Hi there, MegaCool blog mate, I really loved this page. I’ll be sure to talk about this to my cousin who would, odds are, love to check out this post too. Found this sites post through the Bing search engine by the way, incase you were curious. Many thanks for the wonderful read!


  • Neil M Winkelmann

    I don’t think anyone needs to find this episode hard. Placebo/Nocebo effects don’t mean that the performance differences aren’t real. It just means that we can reliably pick up on the differences without proper measurement. Our expectations dominate. We actually get better value-for-money as a result. We enjoy expensive gear more than we objectively should.

    Personally, I’ve always been a bit bewildered by my inability to feel the differences I am promised. Tyres are perhaps the starkest examples. People rave about the “magic carpet ride” of softer, wider tyres, yet the difference often seems non-existent to me in terms of what I can feel. I certainly can’t “feel” the speed of aero wheels. But I can measure it on Strava-timed descents. (I think I can feel the cross-wind susceptibility, though)


  • Hans Ryham

    Got your nickname for Josh…

    Silky

    Rolls off the tongue when rattling off Fatty and the Hottie…and sounds appropriate since a running theme in the shows is the search for Smooth…and obviously a play on the name Silca.


  • Wayne Utz

    By a 17 pound bike and when you loose 5 pounds- it the bike will shrink 5 pounds.. btw- a simple 1% increase in effort is huge— Do the math, ypu can surprise yourself..


  • Wayne Utz

    By a 17 pound bike and when you loose 5 pounds- it the bike will shrink 5 pounds.. btw- a simple 1% increase in effort is huge— Do the math, ypu can surprise yourself..


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