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Are Cleats More Efficient Than Flat Pedals? | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

Are Cleats More Efficient Than Flat Pedals? | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling


– Another week passes by in a blur, and we’re here yet again in the show where you ask the questions, and we do our very best to answer them. Now first up we have
this from Anthony King, who asks, “This Saturday
I’m riding the short version of L’Etape Australia. Unfortunately, the forecast is looking rather damp, with several inches of
rain forecast to fall. Now, riding in the rain is something I can usually avoid,
living in the antipodes, however, if I wish to ride the
event I’ll need to get wet. Are there any hacks I can use
to see me through this race?” Well, hi Anthony, thanks very
much for getting in contact, and secondly, good luck with your event. Now, as you’ve mentioned, we all have to ride in the rain at some point. I personally, back in
the day, wasn’t a big fan of riding in races in the rain, myself. But a little hack, psychological hack, I think will help you, is if you think that those conditions are gonna be exactly the same for everybody. ‘Cause it is very easy to get a bit down in the dumps and lose your
morale in the cold and wet, but just think, it’s
the same for everybody. Then relation to some practical tips, the first one, and an obvious one, is to get yourself a really
good quality rain jacket. I think that’s one of the best investments you can make, in terms of kit, when you’re out on your bike, to keep the wet and the wind
out as best as possible. Because if you let your body temperature drop too much, especially in
the cold and wet conditions, that can cause you all sorts of problems. So make sure you get some gloves as well, and also some overshoes. Another little practical
tip that I’ve definitely advised, is to drop your tyre pressure by about 15 or 20 psi just to give you that extra bit of
grip in those wet roads. And also, you can watch this video for some extra wet riding tips. – Firstly, because damp skin can be a lot more fragile, but secondly, because the water being sprayed up from your bike can contain grit, which unfortunately, can make its way quickly toward some delicate areas. So, a good way to combat this, is to try using some
Chammy Cream, even if you don’t have to use it under
normal circumstances. You might just buy that bit more time of staying comfortable if
you’re facing a long day. – Next up we have this question from THEXTREMASTEREX THEXPERT
down in the comment section who asks, “Hi GCN, I just want to ask if cleats are more
efficient then flat pedals. For uphills, flats, and for sprinting, although I actually ride a mountain bike. Also, if I use pressurised water to wash my mountain bike, can
it be bad for my bike? Thanks very much, I’m actually just a kid, but I love cycling.” Well, first and foremost, thanks very much for getting in contact,
cracking name, by the way. What I’m gonna do first, is answer question number two about jet washing. If you don’t hold the nozzle
too close to the moving parts, your bike should be absolutely fine. Regularly, pro bike mechanics jet wash bikes all the time, with mountain bikes and road bikes, with no problem at all. And I used to jet wash my mountain bike and my road bike regularly,
and I had no problem. So just made sure that I lubricated all the moving parts afterwards, and that was the main thing, no problems at all. There is another video on
that that Simon did as well, which you can watch in your spare time. And now the question about flat pedals, and it’s one of the questions that we get asked frequently here at
GCN, ’cause so many people are making that transition
from flat pedals to cleats. Firstly, there’s the issue of confidence, that can take quite a little bit of time. And then secondly, is it
really worthwhile at all? Well that very question we explored in this video here, down in the Dolomites. Even has some full-faced
visor action as well. (upbeat music) – [Simon] So, if some
downhill mountain bikers prefer the freedom that
flat pedals give them, could they be of any benefit
to us on road descents? Well, it is gonna be a
hard one to quantify, but what we’re going to
do, is a couple of descents of the Valparola and see how it feels. – Ow.
– (laughing) – Time now for the rapid fire round. Adam? Count me in please, sir. – [Adam] Beep, beep, beep, BEEP. – First up, this from Jake Nicholls, “I was wondering, after watching your tips on the winter, I lowered
my tyres to 60 psi. It was a much tougher ride for two days; I went back to 110 psi,
and it was far easier. Did I have a bad couple
of days in the saddle, or is this normal when
lowering tyre pressure?” Jake, I think the simple
answer to this one, you’ve lowered your tyre pressure just a little bit too
much. Knock it back up to 80, 90, even 95, you should be fine. 60 is gonna be a pretty hard day out on the road, almost
like riding through treacle. Next up is this from Sam Bailey, “What’s the range of
FTP in the Pro Peloton?” Well I’ve seen as low as 340, 335 for some very light, slight
riders, right up to 430, 440 for some of the most
powerful riders out in the bunch. Which is mostly impressive, so
pretty broad spectrum there. Next up is this, from Erian Dragonborn, “I changed my chain, but my
bike is running less smooth. Will I have to replace the cassette, or can it be because the chain has grease and the cassette has WD-40 on it?” Well, I doubt very much it’s
the grease and WD-40 combo. It’s more likely, Erian,
that your cassette is worn, to get that changed ASAP
and it should be fine. M_Emden asks, “Love the
show,” thanks very much. “I’m running 700’s on a 23c wheels on a road bike, and the minimum recommended pressure on
the tyres is 115 psi. Is it safe to reduce
my pressure below this, or should I be trying
to buy a larger tyre? I am 175 pounds, that’s
around 80 kilogrammes.” Shouldn’t be a problem at all knocking it to around 100 psi, but if I were you, I would start to ride
maybe 25 or 28 tyres. Far more comfortable, and you
can run a lot lower pressure and they still roll very well as well. 25’s is my advice on that one. Mr. Weasel asks, “What
is up with Matt’s hair?” What is up with my hair? Nothing at all. “And you pronounce Polzeath wrong.” No I didn’t, I got it right there I think. Kassandra Bush asks, “I’m
an 18 year old female, and this year was my first year training and doing cycling races. I rode about eight hours a week, doing very hard group rides, as well as riding by myself, and
I still managed to lose my competitors by quite a
bit in every single race. The races were about 80 k’s. Are some people not just
destined to be good at cycling? I’d really like to put in the work to be more competitive next
year, but I’m wondering if maybe I’m not just
cut out for cycling?” Well, Kassandra, thanks
for getting in contact. You’ve not been riding long enough. Stick with it, persevere, keep on doing what you’re doing, and you will make gains and you will enjoy riding your bike. Okay, there’s going to be different physiological differences between a range of people, but ultimately, stick at it. You’ll enjoy it far more,
and then you’ll find out. But 18 years of age, you’ve got a long way to go, stick at it. And finally, in the rapid fire round, This from Joe Sonson.
“After a pro switches teams, why do they continue to wear the former team’s kit? I imagine
it’s a contract issue. A good example of this can be seen in one of the latest
Fortuneo-Oscaro camp videos where Warren Burguil still wears the Sunweb kit on training rides. Cheers.” Well, basically, vast majority of pros, 99.9%, are on contracts that run from year to year, so when they change teams at the end of the year and they go to the initial training camps, they’re still obliged
to wear the team’s kit from the previous year
till December the 31st, then on the 1st of January,
they can then change kits. Slowing things down just
a little bit and we have this question, on Twitter,
in fact, from Anthony Lock. “Do pros ever use mud
guards? If, over a couple of kilometres, or through deep puddles, it can save 200 plus grammes on clothing, roughly about the weight
of the guards themselves. And with dry kits surely
it feels a lot better.” Well, thanks Anthony
for getting in contact. Firstly, in racing, pros do not use mud guards at all, despite
the obvious benefits that mud guards can give us in relation to keeping our bums and our feet dry. First and foremost,
they’re too cumbersome, they weigh too much, but
significantly they’re just not aerodynamic at all, and they’re not aesthetically pleasing
on a shiny road bike. But what the pros do use,
increasingly in fact, in the Pro Peloton, are those nifty little Ass Savers that I actually
use quite a lot as well. They weigh next to nothing, and they offer no penalty in terms of
aerodynamics either. But, in relation to your question, your interesting question on the amount of water absorbed by your clothing without mud guards or with mud guards, we went into that on a very cold and dark winter’s day last year. – Well here is the clever bit. We are gonna weigh our shorts and our leg warmers both before and after. Any increase in mass will come as a direct result then, of mud spots and water. – And finally, on this
week’s Ask GC Anything, we have this rather timely cyclocross related question from a John Mac. Now John asks, “Hi
guys, how closely should my CX bike setup replicate my road bike? From what I can gather, the CX should be a little bit more relaxed, however I use my CX frame for winter and commutes, so spend a lot of time on it. Should I keep it relaxed, or make it match my fast fitted
frame? Cheers, chaps.” Well John, thanks so much
for getting in contact. This was the very question that I asked a couple of years ago, when I made my very first foray into the world of Cyclocross with my
coaches, Lusty and Simon. Now, in relation to your position, you should keep the saddle height the same on your cross bike as you do on your road bike, but bear in mind the difference in stack height for normal road pedals and SPD pedals. And all the difference in position are at the front end of the bike, so what we’d recommend as a benchmark is to raise your bars by between one and two centimetres, and
also reduce the reach of your bars by one or
two centimetres as well. And that will really
help with your ability to control the bike in those very sketchy often treacherous conditions that Cyclocross so often throws at you. And if you’re thinking about venturing into the world of Cyclocross for the very first time, I’m gonna say two things. Firstly, do it. You won’t regret it, you’ll have an absolute blast, and secondly, watch this
video. I hope it helps. – Now the one thing I’m interested in, Matt. Have you made the ultimate rookie error, of tyre pressure? – Well, I normally run
about 105 on the road, so I’ve stuck in 100 for today. – Are you ready? – Well that’s it for another week. Thanks, as ever, for
all of your questions. Please do keep them coming using #TORQUEBACK down in the comment section, and also across on social media as well. And if by chance you
haven’t already subscribed to the Global Cycling Network, you can do so for absolutely free by clicking on the globe,
somewhere in this screen. Now, for seven winter riding hacks, how about clicking just down here. And for four bits of super cool retro tech we think you should know about, click just down here. And don’t forget to like and share.

35 comments on “Are Cleats More Efficient Than Flat Pedals? | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

  1. Hey guys plz check out my channel posted my first video today! I really believe my content is good👍🏻👍🏻

  2. any tips for training in san Francisco because i always get tired after a couple hills and I use a compact chainring with a 32 cassette? is there a way to get any gear combination higher than 32 and will an ultegra derailleur fit it? #TORQUEBACK

  3. #TORQUEBACK What muscle fiber type does Gianni Moscon have? While we knew that he is a great sprinter , in this years tour de France we saw him smashing the climbs

  4. #TORQUEBACK I know you guys have already done a video comparing vintage bike versus a new carbon bike, but I was wondering if you would compare a modern steel bike with high end components with a modern carbon bike. Especially since I've seen all sorts of new fancy (and expensive) custom steel bikes lately. Thanks!

  5. #torqueback it's winter now so it's time to build up endurance before the race season. How can I do this when I have little time throughout winter to get in big rides every week? Especially when roads are icey in the mornings.

  6. #TORQUEBACK I'm wanting to improve my FTP this winter. I have been cycling for 6 years (6,000 miles a year or 7-8 hours week)and it is currently just under 400watts, what percentage improvement should I looking to be able to achieve?
    Thank you in advance.

  7. #TORQUEBACK I want a bigger cassette on my cross bike which now has a sora 11-28T cassette  can I put on an shimano 34T cassette?

  8. #torqueback hello, I am a commuter who wanted a well built road specific bike that can maintain a high average speed. So, I built my bike from the ground up using an aluminum frame from 2012 and parts from my LBS. The bike's weight is now 22.5 lbs. Is this considered too heavy ? Should I purchase a newer lighter Aluminium frame or a more expensive carbon frame ? (Like Aragon 18 frames or the like)
    Thank you , cheers 🍻

  9. #torqueback Hello GCN, we all know that The flatter the terrain, the more important absolute power becomes.
    The hillier the terrain, the more important power-to-weight becomes. since i live in a flat city (Max CAT 4 climb) .. should i hit the GYM and get strong big legs for me to generate more power? or should i be happy with my 61Kilos and 4.5W/Kilo Cat 4 climbing skills?

  10. #torqueback I am looking at some carbin rims and I have the choice between 3k, 12k and UD carbon layups. What is good for what? Also how deep is a good? Im looking at 50mm depth.

  11. #TorqueBack Hello GCN, love what you do !
    In next June, my job as an orga member for a race, will be to transport 20 bikes from point A to point B, using a utilitary vehicle. How can I stack them ? Do you think I need to buy 20 bike cases ? Do you have a less expensive alternative ?

  12. Why do you guys always refer to the Pros about everything cycling? Washing bikes, who cares how the Pros do it, it's wrong. You never use a pressure washer to wash your bike. The Pros can afford bearings and they get new bikes way more often than we do. If you want to clean and regrease your bearings every day then go ahead blast away.

  13. #TORQUEBACK. With Christmas coming up, Santa’s elves are wondering how the materials of the saddle shell contribute to a ride. Does a full carbon fiber shell improve the ride or does it just cut weight? (Mrs Clause is asking point questions about the cost of two similar models, one with a carbon-reinforced shell and one with a full carbon shell) thanks and Merry Christmas!!

  14. #TorqueBack At this time in the northern hemisphere we are beginning to use indoor training methods. Do you count the indoor trainer miles towards the year end data? I have seen two camps yes and no. I will be shy of 10,000 miles on the road by less than 300 miles unless I use the indoor miles which takes me to 10,200 +, a snowy January is to blame.

  15. #TORQUEBACK Hi GCN, you have so many indoor training videos I just don't know where to start. Is there 2 or 3 that I should start with and to plan my training to get me back into shape for the winter so my 2018 season will be the best ever?

  16. Can you do a GCN does science on narrow Vs wide tyres of the same brand over a fixed distance at fixed power, to see if rolling resistance results in any performance difference #TORQUEBACK

  17. Building a set of wheels: deep alloy too heavy or use shallow alloy, or knock off carbon rims? I am on a pretty tight budget and want to get aero but not sure if knock off carbon rims are safe enough. I’m 170lbs. Thanks for the videos! #TORQUEBACK

  18. #TORQUEBACK   Hello there, GCN! Two questions for you: 
    1. I really struggle while riding climbs  out of saddle. Any tips to improve it on trainer during winter months?
    2. In your opinion, is it better to have two shorter trainer workouts in morning and evening or make a single long one?

    Thanx for your attention)

  19. Hi guys ! 2 questions here ; Firstly, I used to run a 110 stem (and considering upgrading to 120) on my road bike , but I recently injured my shoulder while mtbing and I now find that 3 month later I lost a lot of flexibility and feel way more comfortable on an 80 mm stem. The thing is, I'm concerned that an 1m85 rider on a 56 endurance frame with an 80 stem might look silly. What do you guys think ? And secondly, can you try to make a video about how to maintain and washing your bike while living in a tiny student room with nothing more than a small shower ? That would be greatly useful to many of use 😉 Thanks ! #Torqueback

  20. #torqueback – I am in the market for a new endurance road bike and curious your thoughts on wheel material and brake selection . I am choosing between a carbon wheelset with caliper brakes or aluminum wheelset with disc brakes based on my current bike shops offerings. I’ve never owned carbon and a little nervous of their durability as well as ability to brake in wet . I plan to use it primarily for sportifs and general training . Your suggestions? Thanks !

  21. I raced bikes for 10 years…Had over 30 road bikes…Never owned a car…Ride everyday…rain or shine and enjoy and adhere to everything this guy recommends…I’m 62.

  22. What is the optimum inner rim size for a 28c tire? I want to avoid my tires turning into mushrooms so I can get all the aero and comfort benefits of a proper fit. Help please! #TORQUEBACK

  23. Why are the small diameter 20in wheels not used much for road riding, they are lighter and accelerate faster from what I understand?

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