“Dad, what makes this bike ride the way it does?” my daughter asked after riding my new Davidson bicycle fifteen miles on the Marine Drive Trail along the Columbia River. “It smooths out the rough patches on the road.”
I explained the reasons: titanium tubing, long wheelbase, 28 mm. tires, Brooks saddle, and light weight. She was surprised that she could feel the difference, and I was gratified that she did because I had spent a considerable sum of money to get it that way.
Both my reading and my experience on long rides had convinced me that comfort is one of the secrets to riding long days at a fast pace. Rough roads cause bikes to vibrate and this vibration diverts some of the cyclist’s forward motion into wasted up-and-down movement. It also forces the cyclist to absorb that wasted in energy in his or her body, thus leading to fatigue.
The conclusion is obvious. On comfortable bikes, cyclists go faster and last longer.