Friday, September 16, 2011

The Not So Scientific Experiment

I was wondering what difference tyres make to your performance, so I decided to compare them on rollers with the powertap and Garmin 500.

I did 15km and tried to keep the same cadence and keep my heart rate and power in Recovery Zone: 100-115bpm and 130-160 watts of power.

I used the Bontrager R2 tyres, these are tyres designed for riding on the road, they are not especially fast and they retail for under $50. I got 3000km (about 100 hours) out of the rear and was very happy with it. They are comparable to any conti tyre I have used and they come from the local bike shop, they also don't have that sidewall issues that I found with conti tyres. One day I will try the faster R3 tyres and see what they come up with!

Then I used the Bontrager All weather tyre, these road tyres are NOT designed for speed and are similiar to continental Gator skins in design and feel. They are a fantastic tyre for commuting to and from work and for training. I believe one local rider has already 3500km on these guys, I have 500km on this set now and whilst they are certainly not a performance tyre, they are great for chucking on your bike to avoid punctures and to just roll to and from work etc. I would recommend them to anyone who does a lot of travelling to and from work and who wants to avoid as many flatties as possible. They really are well designed for that type of rider. (of course, if you want to make your ride harder to build strength and endurance, put a set of these bad boys on)

What difference do tyres make:

Bontrager R2 Tyres on rollers: Average Speed for 15km: 31.47kp/h
Average Heart Rate for 15km: 101 bpm
Average Power for 15km: 132

Bontrager All Weather Tyres on rollers: Average Speed for 15km: 27.6kp/h
Average Heart Rate for 15km: 111 bpm
Average Power for 15km: 160

The answer is heaps! As you can see, I had to work harder, I had to push 28 more watts and I was still about 4kp/h slower on the All weather tyres. Heart rate can vary depending on all types of factors, power is real and specific. This not very scientific, but all I was doing was comparing a proper road performance tyre with a genuine all weather training/commuting tyre.

Bontrager R2 - RRP $35
Bontrager R3 - RRP $50
Bontrager RXL All Weather - RRP $65