Experiencing Suspension Losses

Off The Beaten Path

reiter_road

Suspension losses cause a significant resistance when riding your bike. We knew this from our testing, but it was illustrated in a powerful way during a 300 km brevet a few years ago.

My friend Ryan and I rode in a group of about 10 randonneurs. Everybody was taking equal pulls at the front, until we got to a particularly rough road. It wasn’t chipseal, but an old road surface where the asphalt had eroded away over time between the aggregate. It was hard for us not to miss the fact that the rough road caused more resistance. Even though the gradient hadn’t changed, you could hear one rider after another shift to an easier gear. The pulls at the front became shorter as riders were trying to maintain the group’s speed.

One rider curiously seemed unaffected by the surface change. Ryan was riding his randonneur bike with 650B x…

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