What, in cycling, is overrated?

It can be any genre or subject of cycling. But yeah, in your opinion what is overrated in cycling? I’ll go first. The thing that is overrated in cycling is “X” riders “big engine”.

I get tired of hearing this from directors/managers. “Engine size” aka VO2 Max isn’t the only thing that matters in the upper echelons of the WT, they all have “big engines.” What’s the rider’s resistance to fatigue, are they actually winning races, what’s their dynamic power curve look like, do they actually want to train hard and win races?

Not only that but research has shown that in the upper echelons of VO2 Max (>89L/min, mL/(kg*min)) that there is an inverse relationship between VO2 Max and gross efficiency. Why a Higher VO2 Max Isn’t Always Better - Outside Online

Like I’ve heard before, “the biggest predictor of performance is performance.”


I think it’s highly specific. There are top class crit racers with (relatively) average FTPs, but with superb tactics and a great sprint. Likewise, weight is (usually) very much secondary for TT riders. In the same way, produce a hilly/hard enough course and tactical awareness isn’t the be all and end all.

Many amateurs don’t work hard enough on longer intervals at 88-100% FTP, and focus too much on VO2 max.


The Tour de France. A lot of one day races and usually the other grand tours are more interesting to watch.


By very definition: marginal gains.

It may be very important at the pointy end of the sport, but for anyone else it’s usually not worth it.


Aero. Track and T.T.s yes. Drop-bar road at anything other than the very elite end (possibly), not so much.

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Patrick Lefevere.


Disc brakes?

(runs for cover)


Electronic shifting - and I say this as someone who has Ultegra R8070 on one bike. It is true that electronic shifting enables a much cleaner shifting logic than you can get with mechanical shifting - but the issue is the price.

To be honest, my next bike would likely have electronic shifting even if mechanical Ultegra or Force existed. Of course, they aren’t available in 12s.


I happily pay extra for electronic shifting and disc brakes. They have made my life easier and safer. However, bike weight is completely overrated for almost anyone besides pros. Almost nobody will benefit paying a bunch extra to save a pound or two.


Yes and no.

There’s no point trying to skim grams of weight off your bike, or bringing your own pillow and mattress to every hotel you ever stay in, but the philosophy of trying to find little improvements wherever you can, and that if you find enough little improvements, they’ll ultimately add up to a big improvement, is a sound one.

Just from a recreational cyclist’s POV, if you keep an aero position and time your feeds right early on a big ride, those little things will add up to you having more energy to finish off the ride comfortably, instead of suffering on that last climb.


What I connect to this: UNhealthy competition between hobby cyclists. A bit of competition can be fun, no doubt about that. But just for having the delusional idea that it means something that they are on top of or higher up ‘the rank’,

  • people spend crazy amounts of money to get the latest bling gear, and often look down at those who can’t
  • people take risks with their body
  • people lose a sense of togetherness and leave people that can’t follow or have a flat
  • people are accepting that others just leave them behind

So, to me, being on top of the rank is overrated for hobby cyclists.


This ^. Never a truer word said

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Regarding the threshold training comments above, what makes you say this? What experience leads you to being aware of this consistent shortcoming in people’s training?

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100% This. There’s so much better, more exciting racing at the other GT, on average. And the one-day races in the spring are even more exciting.

People may disagree but I think the Tour even drowns out the great mountain bike racing that’s out there like XCC and XCO and both of these events are so much more TV friendly than the Tour.


Another thing that is overrated is proprietary/integrated/aero everything.

I had a friend pretty much freakout when he spent nearly $350 in labor to have his wife’s aero road bike handlebars raised up 10mm. The shop had to take everything apart and put in new hydro cables.


Bit confused, are you saying that we don’t need drop-bars on a road bike?

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No, he is saying that you don’t need aero on anything road related (except for TT and track).

Kind of a ridiculous statement, but I hope everyone listens to him. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Wide tires and rims presented as better on all fronts. It can bring (edit) some / a few improvements but they got turned into a marketing gimmick to push for wheels renewal.

Wide tires can’t be better on all front, can’t have better rolling AND better confort. Compared to a narrow tire, a wide tire needs a lower pressure to preserve vertical compliance so at the end you don’t improve rolling resistance nor confort as shown by bicycle rolling resistance
Tire performance at same confort level

What wider tire can provide is expanding the pressure range on the (much) lower side without problems then improving confort. Something a 23mm tire can’t offer. To be complete, on very degraded roads, the extreme lower pressure wide tires allow can ultimately allow lower power loss (less bouncing around)… but that’s not the silver bullet they like to present.


Yes…the evil cycling industry strikes again. There is a massive effort to deceive people across multiple fronts.


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Would you mind proving where I am wrong or should I just consider that sarcasm are supporting evidences?