Mechanical, Compatibility & Friction – Energy and Power Use Breakdown*
% of Total Power Consumption:
Mechanics, Compatibility and Friction: 2%-100% of overall energy/power consumption
The bottom line: Friction from an adequately maintained drive train, etc. can use up to 2% of your energy. Component incompatibility and mechanical issues are deal breakers. From flat tires and loose and broken bolts to broken chains and incompatible brake shoes, if your bike breaks down or one part isn’t compatible with another you won’t finish the ride and could even injure yourself.
How to go about minimizing the negative effects: Keep your parts in good working order. Clean and lubricate your drive train and braking surfaces regularly. Inspect for worn parts and replace worn tires, chains and brake pads sooner rather than later. Finally, having a properly assembled bicycle from the start cuts back dramatically on future problems and increases the durability of the components while reducing friction. A good mechanic is important. Make sure that your bike frame and components are properly prepared (all frames should have their bearing surfaces and threads chased and faced with cutting tools before parts are put on) during assembly. Don’t balk at buying nice tires as they can save you from flatting and never use cheap tubular tires.
*Comprehensive studies have not been completed to show exact importance of all variables in relation to each other. Results are compilations from a variety of research studies within the cycling industry.