Power Data Estimates for the climbing stages

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Jul 22, 2022
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Has there ever been a scientific test to compare modern bikes to bikes from different eras on a climb? It should be fairly easy to do on a set climb using a steady effort.

My guess would be that modern bikes are materially faster than the early to mid 90s bikes, mainly due to being a few kgs lighter and stiffer.
However I think the gains from the early to mid 00s bikes would be almost negligible once they were generally down to the weight limit. There might be more of a difference on the flat and downhill with improvements in brakes and aero, but not up the hills.

It would be good if there was something like this to put some more context on comparing climbing times from decades ago.
 
Has there ever been a scientific test to compare modern bikes to bikes from different eras on a climb? It should be fairly easy to do on a set climb using a steady effort.

My guess would be that modern bikes are materially faster than the early to mid 90s bikes, mainly due to being a few kgs lighter and stiffer.
However I think the gains from the early to mid 00s bikes would be almost negligible once they were generally down to the weight limit. There might be more of a difference on the flat and downhill with improvements in brakes and aero, but not up the hills.

It would be good if there was something like this to put some more context on comparing climbing times from decades ago.
The crazy thing is just the increase in performance since 2019 alone.
 
Jul 17, 2022
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Has there ever been a scientific test to compare modern bikes to bikes from different eras on a climb? It should be fairly easy to do on a set climb using a steady effort.

My guess would be that modern bikes are materially faster than the early to mid 90s bikes, mainly due to being a few kgs lighter and stiffer.
However I think the gains from the early to mid 00s bikes would be almost negligible once they were generally down to the weight limit. There might be more of a difference on the flat and downhill with improvements in brakes and aero, but not up the hills.

It would be good if there was something like this to put some more context on comparing climbing times from decades ago.
It's not like they didn't know that lighter=faster uphill. There's plenty of articles about modifications done to bikes back in 90s.
One of Pantani's climbing bikes used in 1998 is claimed to weigh 6.96kg, which is lighter than most pros use nowdays.
View: https://imgur.com/a/fbZyKzf
 
Light/aero bikes (and riding practice) will probably make the most difference on steadier 6%-7%-ish climbs - it would be interesting to calculate if the "estimated" VAM/WKG numbers have increased more on climbs like Peyresorude, Arcalis or even La Plange versus something with really steep ramps (that's not a new, novelty-climb) like the Marie-Blanque.

Not putting this as an explanation for everything but even a few years ago it seemed like every team had a special super-light bike for the climbers- even these now have aerodynamic elements and it's no longer unusual to just see teams straight up use the "aero bike" on mountain stages (or like Jumbo when they had Bianchis, just using the Oltre all-rounder bike for everything)
 
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