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Article How much can you perceive?


Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
`During a recent forum discussion [on Slowtwitch] about bike sizes, stem length and test rides, Josh Poertner of Silca added a few thoughts on science and perception based on his experience while working for Zipp Speed`

`I've participated in numerous blind product studies over the years where we controlled bikes or the wheels (I've done this twice with a bike manufacturer during development work around a pro team, and many times with wheels) with fabric shield tensioned between seat post and stem, flat black rattle can paint on everything, etc. In each of these studies, the entire subject group including pro riders, engineers, and other industry people with LOTS of experience, struggled to find any real differences between any of the bikes, until after the study was de-blinded and everybody (including me) instantly began to try and rationalize it all…`

`The strongest correlation we ever saw was to tire pressure, but not in the way you would expect. Almost everybody assumed the setups with lower tire pressure to be the endurance bike and would then score it exactly as you would expect a magazine review of a comfort bike to look…so we determined that we all naturally would latch onto something we were confident in, in this case comfort, and then would proceed to perceive everything you expected from that bike: less aero, less stiff, better damping, etc. Imagine the shock for the group when it turned out that the it might have been a super stiff race bike, or an aero road bike! Let the rationalizing begin!`

Full article here
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