Do you find some bikes are "easier" to ride?

Sorry if this is a dumb question but I’ve been pondering it over the last few days. I have a Lynskey GR300 with GRX Di2, aluminum wheels, 700x48 Rene Herse tires, and a P2M power meter. I also recently got a Specialized Roubaix Expert with 50mm deep wheels, GP5000 TL, and a left side 4iiii power meter.

I compared both PM’s to my Kickr and scaled the 4iiii since it seems to be a bit high. Both PMs now read about 4% higher than my Kickr which makes sense given drive train losses. Given this, I’d assume the power readings are pretty comparable.

I know the Roubaix is significantly faster with the current setups, but it seems easier to ride if that makes any sense and I can’t figure it out. Positions are similar, though slightly lower/longer on the Roubaix. 200W on the Roubaix is easy while 200W on the Lynskey seems more challenging.

Is this all in my head? Maybe going slower for the same power affects this perception? The Lynskey has an 11-40 cassette so maybe the bigger jumps are affecting my cadence more than I thought. I’m going to scrub and re-lube both chains to see if that helps.

I don’t think it’s in your head. I’ve had a similar experience, and though I haven’t yet jumped through the hoops to validate it, I think my experience is similar to yours.

I have both ti and carbon road bikes. Similar setup on both, from wheels to gearing. If I’m just hitting a medium pace on flats, they’re both pretty similar. However, if the power is going up, either from something like a rolling hill I’m trying to power over, or a sprint, the difference is pretty drastic. The carbon bike just snaps to attention and it sure seems like I’m more efficient, while the ti bike seems to give some power away in the flex.

I haven’t had the carbon bike on the trainer yet, but the ti bike has seen plenty of time there. I have the assioma pedals and they would routinely read 10-30w higher (higher difference at higher power) than my tacx neo. At the time I figured one of the power meters was off (and I complained about it on these boards, thinking the tacx read low). Now I’m beginning to think it was power loss from the frame flex. I’ll find out when I put the carbon frame on the trainer I guess.

I should also mention, I’m not a small guy (~200lb), and I imagine frame stiffness is a more of a factor as rider weight increases.

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Speed definitely decreases RPE, IME. So does “bait” (other riders).

48mm gravel tires are much slower rolling than GP5000TLs. At least 10 watts per tire, possibly 15-20.


@team_bunty That’s in interesting point about the speed affecting RPE. Assuming the power meters are close, I’m easily 2.5-3 mph faster for the same effort on the Roubaix. I was doing an outside workout on the Lynskey yesterday and didn’t have speed displayed…just 3s power, lap average power, and interval time to go. It just felt like the bike was dragging at the same power compared to other rides on the Roubaix.

@cujo I hadn’t thought about flex. I’m also a bigger rider so maybe flex is more inherent in the Ti frame.

Think aerodynamics play a role too - with increasing drag, accelerations are harder at lower speed.

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is the question “do different bikes feel different?”

Nope, not really. Sure there are differences in handling, speed, tires, weight etc. I was (perhaps erroneously) thinking a given effort (e.g. 200W) on bike A should feel like the same effort on bike B.

do they have the same geometry and your fit is the same?

Fit is close…slightly longer/lower on the Roubaix but it’s not a drastic difference (maybe 1 cm lower/longer). The gravel bike is certainly slacker from a geo perspective.

I’m guessing it’s a combination of many things as pointed out above (thanks all!!).

On the plus side, the Roubaix feels like a rocket after riding the Lynskey. And the Lynskey just eats gravel!

You are comparing an apple to an orange…700x48 gravel tires are gonna feel dog-slow vs. GP5000 TL w/ aero wheels.

And yes, speed definitely impacts RPE…think about how much “easier” 200w feels in a tailwind vs. 200w into a headwind.


This is why I like to pick people’s brains here!! I thought it was apples to apples, when using a consistent power as the means of comparison. Sure sounds like that’s not the case.


I was going to say it’s because Carbon is faster than Titanium, but Power13 may have a more scientifically correct answer

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I’ve had 3 bikes this year, with different geometries and fit. The 2nd bike I was swapping wheels, a mid aero 26c road racing wheelset and a 35c gravel wheelset. On the 3rd bike I’m swapping the 26c aero wheels with 32c wide Conti 5000 TL rubber on the gravel wheelset.

The leg-brain sensations of pushing a steady 200W feels like 200W on all the bikes, and the same as in the gym on a Stages SC3 stationary bike.

But what about other feelings? 200W into a headwind is more of a mental challenge than 200W with a tailwind. Tailwinds are fun. And my new bike feels more alive than any bike I’ve ever ridden, and its marginally faster in crosswinds. A faster bike that is eager to accelerate is more fun. Fun is better!

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I find my super lightweight carbon road bike incredibly easy to ride, but when I hop on my gravel Ti frame bike, it’s like going from Mini Cooper to a 4Runner. I love riding the gravel bike around and even have a road wheel set for it, but it doesn’t replicate the nimbleness and acceleration of the road bike. However, it’s a lot more comfortable for long distance/duration rides.

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Fore/Aft ness / angle / amount of give of the saddle would do this. The Roubaix may put you more on top of your pedals. Chainring size would also give this impression.

The Roubaix will also feel more responsive because of the stiff the bottom bracket and frame in general. The frame will transmit more peak loads than the Ti frame which will flex more and elongate that transmission period. If you “Kick” at a given point of your pedal stroke, the Roubaix will feel faster. The Ti bike might be spreading out your power to a point in your stroke that is weak.

The roubaix has shorter seat stays, so when you put down power the bike will squat more downward than the TI bike. Your body doesn’t really sense linear movement well, but it does sense tilt and vertical changes well. This would also impact your perceived feel.


I think it comes down to the way the gravel tire affects inertia. The application of torque is over a longer arc of the pedal due to the much higher rolling resistance. If you’re good at keeping the pressure on the pedals over a longer arc (lower torque/more time) then rpe will be less. If you’re better at making power over a shorter arc (higher torque/less time) rpe will be higher.

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The differences may be subtle, but 1 cm here and there can make a massive difference. One factor could be that you like the geometry of your Roubaix better. Before getting my new aero road bike, I had an endurance road bike. I hated its geometry, because I preferred a sportier position and a more agile ride.

The slacker geometry of your Lynskey gravel bike translates to slower handling on the road in corners, for example, and perhaps you want something sharper.

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I have a venge and a crux (same carbon) and I have them almost the same in fit (Retul) but they feel different at 200w. I think that is because of inertia. Crux is about 3-4kmh slower (cx tires, bad wheels…) and also doesn’t keep the speed as venge does and it has 1x drivetrain with 40 tooth chainring which also change inertia…

It is different but is not a problem to keep power.

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