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  • - How much difference does spending money make

  • to the performance of your bike?

  • - Well, we're going to find out in

  • "Cheap Bike vs. Super Bike".

  • - Ding, ding!

  • - Two bikes at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • Firstly is this, Canyon's Aeroad bike.

  • Lightweight, carbon fibre, moulded into aerodynamic

  • shapes, but not at the expense of comfort.

  • And on board,

  • We have Shimano's latest and greatest R9170 groupset.

  • And that means electronic shifting and hydraulic brakes.

  • And also we have Shimano C40 wheels,

  • so low weight and aero too.

  • - Yeah. And then, we've got this a Raleigh,

  • which we bought on eBay, for 90 pounds.

  • To be fair to it, it is actually an awful lot of bike

  • for the money, but how much of a handicap is it going to be?

  • You know what mate?

  • I actually think it's all right.

  • Apart from the bar tape, that's not white,

  • but the rest of its all right.

  • - Yeah. It's pretty much spot on this side.

  • Round number one.

  • - It's simple on this one, climbing.

  • Man and machines, against this.

  • Which is actually a particularly uncomfortable climb.

  • Just shy of 2 km long, an average gradient of 11%,

  • which I always think is weird

  • because most of it feels like its above 20%.

  • It's a tough one.

  • Ah, I'll just grab that one for now shall I?

  • - No, no, no, no, this is mine after all Si,

  • so I'm going to have first dibs on this.

  • For the first ascent, if that's okay?

  • It's all right mate.

  • - Yeah, it's all right, 'cause you will be tired

  • then when you will be riding this one.

  • And that one will feel better.

  • Okay, that's fine mate,

  • if you want to do it that way 'round.

  • It's your call.

  • - [Matt] Oh, and have we mentioned,

  • we're going flat out?

  • Now the major difference between these two bikes

  • when climbing, it their weight.

  • The Super Bike is a lean and mean 7.3kg,

  • with a Wahoo Elemnt attached.

  • Remarkable, when you take into consideration that it's an

  • Aero bike, with disc brakes.

  • And our cheap bike, is a rather weighty 11.95kg,

  • a difference of over 50%.

  • - All right, Si you go first,

  • I'm going to give you a minute.

  • - Okay.

  • - But I'm not overly hopeful to catch you.

  • You know what to do?

  • - Yeah, alright, wish me luck.

  • Off we go!

  • - Look at that! Poetry in motion.

  • - Beep, beep, beep, boop!

  • The first time, whoa hoa!

  • - Aaahhh, I hate that climb! I absolutely hate that climb.

  • To be fair though, I do like this bike.

  • That felt cool!

  • Most importantly of all up there, big range of gears.

  • I ended up using my lowest, which is 34 at the front,

  • and 30 at the back.

  • So we'll see how it goes on the other one,

  • with racier gears.

  • He loves it doesn't he? He loves it!

  • - Well, that's my first proper hill climb for a

  • long, long, time but I didn't even need to think

  • about the bike, it worked a dream,

  • it's just me that's a little bit lacking,

  • but I certainly emptied the tank,

  • went a bit steady early on, but when that steep bit,

  • pitched up I just had to give it everything just to get up.

  • - Yeah, you can see how hard I went mate,

  • 'cause I got a patch of snot on my leg warmer,

  • that I cant' get off.

  • - I got a little bit on my sleeve as well.

  • - Yeah, British hill climbs eh?

  • - [Si] Run number two then, after a quick bike swap.

  • As well as the weight, there's also the issue of the gears,

  • pedalling doesn't feel particularly different.

  • It has to be said.

  • Even cheaper gears are remarkably efficient.

  • As a design, chains and sprockets are fantastic.

  • Just as long as you keep them clean.

  • Which as you know, I do mention from time to time.

  • The gear range of the two bikes is broadly similar.

  • Even if our Super Bike has 22 and our Cheap Bike has 16.

  • And although the Canyon is an out and out race bike,

  • the new Shimano DURA-ACE has allowed us to fit

  • an 11 to 30 cassette, which is just as well, up here.

  • - Okay, run number two, I'm looking forward

  • to this actually, weirdly enough.

  • - Super Bike time for you, Cheap Bike for me.

  • - Go on Si, give it all you got mate.

  • - Oh, will do mate. Off you go.

  • Look at that, sweet as a nut.

  • - Wah hoo! Yeah!

  • Oh my goodness me that feels good!

  • Like stiff, responsive, I'm intrigued to know the results.

  • But, purely based on perception,

  • this is another world I'm afraid.

  • - Here we go, cheap bike time!

  • First time.

  • Well, here we go, run number two,

  • and the bike doesn't feel too much different.

  • Feel the weight a bit,

  • positions a bit different.

  • But even the cheaper gears are remarkably efficient

  • and that was design, the chain and the cogs,

  • well it's just great, especially if you keep them clean.

  • As not all of us presenters do.

  • - Whoa.

  • I hate to say it, but that was,

  • that was like night and day.

  • That was very different.

  • Although, less so in the steep there actually.

  • The biggest difference was when getting out of

  • the seat and accelerating.

  • And I managed to stick it in the big ring over the top.

  • Which you see at times.

  • Well to paraphrase, three time Tour de France Champion

  • Greg LeMond, it doesn't hurt any less, you just go faster.

  • The question is, how much faster?

  • And the answer is actually quite a lot wasn't it?

  • Nearly a minute, for both Matt and myself.

  • Which corresponds to just about 10% time difference.

  • - Yeah, what about the feeling?

  • 'Cause that's pretty important too.

  • Well for me, obviously, this bike, the Canyon,

  • the Super Bike, did feel faster.

  • Far more responsive and I must admit,

  • I spent a lot more time out of the saddle,

  • I felt the power was transmitted far better.

  • This bike, I felt more comfortable sitting down and

  • applying the power in a slightly different way.

  • It just felt generally, a little bit more sluggish.

  • - [Si] Round number two, with the climbing

  • out of the way for today, we've got a simple,

  • but very important test. Braking.

  • - These Shimano hydraulic breaks are the absolute

  • bomb, when it comes to performance.

  • They've got all the power you need,

  • but with added modulation.

  • Meaning, you can use that power to stop, far quicker,

  • rather than skidding down the road.

  • And the tyres?

  • Well they're gold standard as well.

  • Continental Competition, 25 mil, tubulars.

  • - [Matt] It's a pretty simple test, riding at

  • 40kmph, downhill, and then trying to stop

  • as quickly as possible.

  • - Woof, the weight distribution, that was impressive.

  • - Thanks mate.

  • - That's all right, went well.

  • 5.4, well 5 and a half, 5.4 so 5 metres 40, 5.40.

  • - So the markers been laid down,

  • how is our cheap bike gonna fare?

  • Well, on the positive side, the cables are super smooth.

  • Loads of life left in the pads,

  • and I have spent time setting them up.

  • However, you'll see if I squish on the lever,

  • there's quite a lot of flex actually in the calliper itself,

  • meaning that you can lose a bit of power,

  • and you're going to lose modulation.

  • And, I've got a sneaking suspicion,

  • that these pads are really hard compound.

  • Meaning that they're going to last a super long time.

  • But, they're not actually going

  • to slow us down very quickly.

  • Still, I'm going to give it a good go.

  • - Ooph.

  • - Just keep that bike steady please, Si.

  • - Sorry Matt, sorry.

  • - Thanks Mate.

  • - 10 Bang on, 10.5.

  • - 10.5, so we have 5...

  • - 10.5 metres

  • - So we have 5.4 and 10.5, ahhh...

  • - Yeah so, roughly stopped at double the stopping distance.

  • Wow Si, the results are in.

  • And I can tell you, there's nearly 100% difference

  • in the stopping distances of the two bikes.

  • I mean, let's be fair.

  • The Raleigh, it stopped safe enough

  • - Yeah, yeah.

  • - But the stopping power of the Canyon

  • is mightily impressive.

  • - Yeah. There was a significant difference.

  • Admittedly, this is quite a controlled test,

  • so there's not going to be that many occasions

  • where you'd be doing an emergency stop in real life.

  • Well, hopefully not anyway.

  • But you've go to wonder, haven't you?

  • That if that difference over the course of the whole ride,

  • even just coming up to junctions and on descents,

  • and things, you'd have thought that would have

  • quite a big effect, wouldn't you?

  • Or will it?

  • - Challenge number three. Descending.

  • Now armed with our braking knowledge,

  • just how are these bikes going to stack up?

  • Will the added confidence of better braking make us faster?

  • Will the improved aerodynamics help as well?

  • - Yeah. It's going to be interesting isn't it?

  • Now you know that we don't exactly have any Alpine

  • descents on our doorstop,

  • but this one is pretty good.

  • 3 km long, an average gradient of 5%.

  • All right, stop laughing at the back.

  • It's the best we've got okay?

  • We're not going to go flat out because it's open roads

  • and we are of course getting old, but nevertheless,

  • I think we should see how we get on.

  • - But significantly, I get to go on the Super Bike again.

  • See you in a bit Si, hee hee.

  • Okay, Super Bike run, downhill.

  • Here we go, oh no! I'm not clipped in!

  • - Okay, here we go. A descent I know well.

  • On a bike I'm not very familiar with.

  • Poor brakes, but let's give it a nudge.

  • - 25 seconds.

  • - I cannot believe that. Literally.

  • - Well, lets have a little look at this bike though,

  • aerodynamics have got to play a big part.

  • - Yeah. Yeah.

  • - Okay, on that descent. There's no...

  • And there was a bit of a headwind on the descent.

  • But, disc brakes.

  • So much power, they give me so much confidence

  • going into those corners.

  • I could brake, relatively late compared to using

  • normal calliper brakes.

  • And even in these wet conditions as well.

  • So, yeah, aerodynamics and these

  • wonderful, powerful brakes too.

  • - Yeah. I still can't believe 25 seconds.

  • There were a couple points where I, I ran out of gears

  • so I just free wheeled.

  • - And I did pedal. I've got bigger gears than you.

  • We need to add that into the mix as well.

  • - Yeah, yeah, you do. But....25 seconds!

  • I was not expecting that mate.

  • I was not expecting that.

  • That's right.

  • It's another brutally simple test.

  • Ride 10 km as fast as we possibly can.

  • Now so far, the differences between these two bikes

  • have been significant, but not, I think, insurmountable.

  • But I just have a hunch that maybe the Super Bike,

  • is just going to land the killer blow on this one.

  • - Although, you've got a 1.5 watt saving,

  • on your Elemnt Bolt there.

  • - Yep, that's not to be sniffed at.