Feeling Faster


I recently replaced my previous crankset with the White Industries VBC crankset. I lowered by drivetrain gearing by reducing my double chainring combination from 46/30 to 44/28. Ironically, I think lowering my gearing made me faster.

My theory is that the small reduction in gear ratios for my rear cassette put my “engine” in a more efficient operating zone. I don’t think the reduction was enough for me to change the rear cogs I normally use.  Instead, for any given rear cog, I “spin” faster instead of “mash” slower. This theory has not been tested scientifically, and it won’t be.

For the last ten years or so, going faster has not been the objective. But the feeling of efficient mobility is delightful. So the way the new gearing feels is the key. Who knows, I might be slower.  But, for me, feeling faster is better than being faster.

11 thoughts on “Feeling Faster

    • Thanks for the “theory plausible” comment. I didn’t care for the silver/black thing on the WI cranks at first, but it just looks right on the Rambler now.

  1. I love my WI eno single crank on my 1×8 Saluki and have been contemplating a VBC double too replace the sugino triple on the Bombadil. Can’t go wrong!

  2. About 9 years ago I swapped from a Cannndale aluminum carbon go fast road bike with full Polar bike watch set up to a fat tired steel (Handsome Devil) road bike with a simple speedo – set to KM/hour so I could feel faster than I was when I even bothered to look at my speed. I must say in looking through your blog that I am envious of your quiver of lovely steel bikes from Rivendell and Ocean Air. As a fellow Caffeinated Wheelman pin holder most of my Coffeeneuring takes place in Seattle’s excellent coffee shops but I need to try the coffee outside idea one of these days.

    • Thanks, Ryan. I’ve been fortunate to have spent so many hours on these bikes. I wouldn’t mind mixing in a few inside coffee shops into my routine, but have no plans to eliminate the outside brew-ups…so relaxing.

  3. Been admiring your Alba-ized Rambler for a while now … Did you lower your handlebar about 2cm between your Rambler Revisited and Making Perfect posts? If so, is that part of your Feeling Faster formula? Joe

    • Thanks, Joe. Yes, I did lower the bars some. But I don’t think it had much to do with feeling faster. I seems like the change affected my arms and wrists more than my body. So I don’t have the impression that I’m in a more aggressive or aerodynamic position. But, who knows, maybe you are correct.

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