General Cycling Discussion - Steel vs aluminum.
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12-15-07, 10:06 PM
Countdown to the next steel v. aluminum fight in 5...4...3...
12-15-07, 11:10 PM
"Would a 150 lb rider on a 30 lb bike have an advantage over a 220 lb rider on a 10 lb bike?" The only advantage would be if he were more fit. I would expect each rider to go faster on the lighter bike, other things being equal.
12-16-07, 12:28 AM
steel vs alum I don't know. But I have been in great cardio shape at 195 pounds, and average cardio shape at 165 pounds. I am MUCH MUCH MUCH faster in average cardio condition at 165 pounds, than in great cardio shape at 195.
12-16-07, 06:34 AM
The person with the 30 lb bike will have the advantage because they will have saved US$5000 or so.
The heavier you are the more efficiency of the components is important as percentage wise knocking a few pounds off a 200 lb package does not change much.
12-16-07, 07:08 AM
If the weight difference mattered at all, it would've likely been in the wheels.
Other than that, you're just faster, that's all.
12-16-07, 08:52 AM
The lighter rider in the 30# bike would, as the 220# rider in the 10# bike would have the bike fold up under them.
12-16-07, 11:23 AM
Would a 150 lb rider on a 30 lb bike have an advantage over a 220 lb rider on a 10 lb bike?...
Firstly--10 lbs is kinda light for a bike. ;)
Secondly--a 150-lb rider will definitely have an advantage over a 220-lb rider, just based on their weights. Most of the time there's no use for the extra power that a 220-lb rider could put out, so carrying the muscle mass is just more of a burden.
There's a reason you don't see any marathon runners with huge, bulging muscles. Endurance sports do not favor the biggest and strongest.
On flat ground weight doesn't really matter. The lighter rider may have an advantage if he is smaller and has less frontal area. Climbing the rider with the lighter system, bike + rider, will have the advantage that will not completely made up for in descents. The rider with the lighter wheels when accelerating from a dead stop will have an advantage that is so infinitesimally small as to be unmeasurable by Newtonian physics but will none the less offer monstrously huge psychological benefits.
30 lbs isn't that heavy.
And none of this is important compared to the really big advantage that the more fit rider has.
12-16-07, 11:21 PM
It's more of a question of a 180# bike+rider combo vs. a 230# bike+rider. The 230# combo has A LOT of extra mass to contend with (50#) and I doubt your friend has 28% more lung-capacity or muscle-strength than you just to be even. I've lost about 60# from my most-heavy weight and I can tell you that the weight on the body makes a MUCH more significant impact on performance than the weight of the bikes.
It actually hurts more than weight on the bike because that extra weight results in a much larger body-size and blocks more wind (heavy bikes don't block any more wind than light bikes). AND that flab steals oxygen and energy from your muscles just to keep itself alive, yet contributes no power to make you go faster. About the only place the extra weight would help is on a downhill straightaway.
Rider ability is far more important than equipment.
When I was in college (and riding a lot) we had a CAT-1 racer join us for a 50-mile loop of Northern Florida (Gainesville). He was on a borrowed Raleigh Record (steel wheels, etc) and pulling his kid in a Bugger; we were all on our Campy ego boosters and he still lead the way.
As Lance's book title says, it's not about the bike (or how much it weighs).
12-17-07, 06:11 PM
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