As part of looking at what tweaks could be applied to Becca’s TT bike for Ironman Arizona I was directed to a report from Friction Facts. Several Podcasts I listen to had commented on the site (The TrainerRoad Podcast and the Cycling Time Trialing Podcast). I headed over and picked up the report that they had generated which covers all manner of friction points on the bike and various lubes etc. It’s a plethora of info that you pick up for $15.00, money very well spent in my mind. Check it out.
Having consumed the relevant sections of the report and weighed up the pros and costs we decided to pick up a new bottom bracket and jockey wheels. Rather than get the super expensive Ceramic Speed versions we opted for the Hawk Racing version which come with stainless steel ball bearings. To be perfectly honest the decision was financially driven. The Hawk BB was $109 vs. the Ceramic Speed $359 and the Pulley Wheels were $65 vs. $269. The grand totals $174 vs $638!
Quite frankly based on the research from Friction Facts the price differential did not match the performance differential. Put another way, the Hawk equipment gave more bang for the buck!
This is graph I liberated from Hawk which shows how close the cermaic and stell bearing perform;
An order was placed and a few days later a little box full of goodies arrived! Of course not to be left out I ordered a set myself. The only real difference was that Becca’s Argon required a PressFit BB and my Cervelo requires a good ol’ fashioned BSA or English Threaded BB. It’ been a about 8 months since I upgraded my bike to Dura Ace 9000 and I have clocked close to 5500 miles on the groupset. At face value there is plenty of life left in the Dura Ace BB but per Friction Facts it’s actually one of the most frictionly, frictioned, frictioning…sticky BBs out there, see the chart above!
So last week I finally got round to zipping over to my local Service Course, Wins Wheels and they did the honors, as well as resealing my tubeless CX tires. The bike was turned around in 24 hours and back in my trainer ready to roll….err nowhere!
But before I could get any miles rolled I had the SoCal Prestige CX races on the Sunday.
So now having put some more miles I can report that yes I can tell the difference! There is definitely a reduction in friction, the cranks spin easier and I am moving faster, at least traveling further on my trainer for less power and lower heart rate, all good things!
Becca has noticed the difference and there is no doubt that this upgrade contributed to her sub 6:00 Ironman bike last month!
Unfortunately (as such) with the increase in my FTP just before the IWBMAT Tour there are too many variables to get some real quantifiable performance data. So for now until I figure out how to get something more data driven you’ll have to take my word for it!