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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-05-07, 08:15 AM   #1
Air
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Riding 'lighter'

Hambone mentioned this concept a few times but I was curious what other people thought about it or how they acheive that.

Is it a matter of not really being on the seat? I found when I was trying to do this my butt wasn't on the seat at all. I wasn't standing and mashing either and I couldn't really do it for more than a few miles at a shot. Is that 'floating?'

Is part avoiding potholes, bumps, etc...

Thoughts...
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Old 01-05-07, 08:59 AM   #2
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The idea is to sit lightly on the sit, and yes, it is not easy until your legs develop the strength. But, it sure makes you a better rider. You sort of use the seat as a reference point without dropping your entire weight on it.

Of course, learning how to levatate would probably help too...

I am not sure, but I would assume that having clipless pedals is a big help. I find myself moving from sitting, to standing, to sitting, to crouching half out of the seat all the time. Now granted, my roads are not asphalt, but rock and gravel. Coming down hill, I always are on the pegs, not on the seat. Going up some of my hills, if I was on the sit, I would flip over.

To move around like this, you will need strong stomache and back muscles, as well as arms and legs - which is a bonus for fitness.
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Old 01-05-07, 09:08 AM   #3
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It's the ability to shift back and forth between the legs and saddle as primary support. Always support a bit of the weight at least with the legs and use the saddle primarily as a balance reference point. I learned the technique single tracking offroad on my mountainbike. It greatly improves your control, by the way! It kept me from crashing when I got into the SOFT gravel shoulder on the Cardinal Greenway dodging a jogger!
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Old 01-05-07, 11:56 AM   #4
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Describing it seems like such a Zen-mystic kind of thing.

And (at least for me) you don't know you are doing it well when you are actually doing it so much as in retrospect. It is kind of one of those things that you realise afterwards, "Hey, that was cool. I totally see what the guys on BF were talking about." And you'll smile. Try and make it one of those things in the back of your mind as you ride, then one day you'll find you are just doing it without thinking about it.

As I think about it, the biggest thing I would say is -- make your goal having four contact points with the bike- your hands and your feet. The saddle is where you rest but it is not a seat. (This doesn't mean you never put your weight on your saddle, it is more about how you think of it. The saddle is a rest stop, not a parking place.)

As you progress, you'll find that you turn your handlebars less and less and steer with the insides of your thighs against the seat. You'll find that after a long ride, your nether area is much less sore.

Oh and you'll find you keep your ankles (and your wrists) much more flexible. So much of your "lightness" and your control comes from letting the bike (as described) kind of float under you.

I too got better with it (you never master this kind of thing, just improve) MTBing -- especially riding single track. If you think about it, that makes sense. If you are riding through trees, you can't be steering your bike where you want to go all the time. You have to, at some point, let your senses and instincts take over.

There is a sense of grace to it all to.

OK, my mystic moment is over.
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Old 12-07-09, 05:27 PM   #5
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Ride Light=Ride Right! A Few Tips To Achieve This Key Goal

This is such a key concept and I'm amazed that more people aren't dialed in to it. I know nothing about bike fit except what I've learned over 20 years of being 200+ lbs and many, many miles. The NUMBER ONE lesson I think Clydes and Athenas could learn is this type of balanced position. You call it riding light, and I'd agree. When it's good, you feel like you're flying!

For me, there are a couple of important things to think about when trying to ride like this;

First, your position on the bike should be balanced. Some weight on the bars, some on the pedals, some on the seat. If your hands are going numb, or your privates are getting tingly (and not in a good way) then that's an indicator that you're putting too much weight/pressure on that area. People point to broken seat posts as a sign of size and power. No thanks, not for me! I'm able to transfer about 450w without breaking anything! Good position draws power from arms, shoulders, legs and back.

Second is the concept of constant adjustment. I change my hand position every few minutes. I move on my seat based on cadence, power and whether I'm climbing, descending or just spinning. I'll even move the pressure points (minutely) in my feet by focusing on circular pedal stroke, knee position (out and in the wind or in tight to the top tube), etc., etc. This becomes second nature before long and very natural.

Third important concept is to make adjustments to the bike. So often, I meet people who complain that the bike isn't comfortable, that they're feeling numbness or pain. But when I ask what they've changed, they'll look at me like I'm an alien. It's not rocket science but people seem to be afraid to adjust their position. So they ride with pain and get hurt or quit. Don't make a bunch of radical changes. My rule is small changes, one at a time. Find some basic bike fit info on line (http://mikesbikes.com/how-to/bicycle...hniques-ig131/ or a really interesting article from Keith Bontrager who knows a few things at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html.)

Bottom line is that the concept of riding light (riding right) will provide better balance, control, endurance and most importantly, pleasure. Using this technique I've been able to ride my stock Giant TCR1 with Mavic Cosmic rims and carbon seat tube at weights as high as 280 lbs. I can descend at speeds upwards of 50mph, bunny hop small obstacles like potholes and expansion joints and am still on the same set of rims that came with the bike almost 2600 miles ago!

Trust me, I'm no athlete. If I can do it, others can too!
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Old 12-07-09, 11:36 PM   #6
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A good start when learnign to ride light is, before you hit a bump or pothole or something, simply stand up and put as little weight as possible on the bars with your hands... the bike should be able to freely rock fore and aft as the wheels go over the obstacle, and no damage will result.

The slightly more advanced version: While the front wheel rolls over the obstacle, the bottom bracket (and by extension most of your body weight) will rise about 1/3 the distance the wheel rises. Then, as the front wheel rolls down the back side, switch your weight more to your hands and unweight your pedals to allow the back wheel to ride up and over.

The trick is to keep riding while doing this, and, IMHO, it isnt a very difficult trick, but it will be slightly more physically demanding at first while you get used to it. It is also much harder to do when you are exhaused at the end of a long ride, so you really have to force yourself then.

I have known many people who have broken multiple seatposts, saddles, wheels, suspension forks, etc... usually teenagers... who brag about it as if it means they take "sicker" jumps or ride harder - the truth is the opposite - they have not learned to ride smoothly, and their bikes pay the price.
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Old 09-18-13, 10:02 AM   #7
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Not to dig up an old thread but I feel this could be pertinent information for our posteriors. Especially since this season I have been experiencing some saddle sores after longer rides despite how well I clean right after.
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Old 07-14-14, 03:32 PM   #8
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First off, I totally follow what you all mean by 'ride light'. Beyond transferring weight around for potholes and/or bunny hops, I have never really thought about the concept. Moving forward, I will.

Being an anal engineer, I do have a question: How does this work exactly? I ask this because we call it 'riding light' but I am 315lb and when I am on a bike I except 315lb of downward force on a bike if I am sitting or standing. Something is going on, but I ain't no lighter. Can anyone speak into the physics of what is really going on? Why do you ride so much smoother when you 'ride light'?

If I had to guess, it is that when you remove the weight from the seat, most of the weight goes to the peddles, which is a lower contact point on the bike, changing the whole dynamics. Is it that the weight is shifted from simply resting on the bike to helping it propel forward, so it seems the bike is lighter? I get that I could be answer my own question here, but I would love to hear from someone that knows the in's and out's of what this is really all about
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Old 07-14-14, 05:46 PM   #9
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if you really want to learn to ride light pick up a rigid MTB (29er ideally ;-)... and hit the trails, when you get comfortable speed things up with a group ride.

you quickly learn to "ride light" or else you really punish yourself physically...
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Old 07-14-14, 06:18 PM   #10
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My interpretation...

Let your body work as the suspension. While you may have *some* weight on the bars, pedals and saddle you allow your joints/muscles to absorb shock/bumps.
Ever watch Supercross or Motocross when riders are going over the whoops? Skiers doing moguls?
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Old 07-14-14, 06:59 PM   #11
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I am totally intrigued by this concept. I'm a new\old rider and this is the first I've heard of this. I will be following this thread.
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Old 07-14-14, 08:31 PM   #12
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To the engineer:

Dwell, baby, Dwell...

Same 315, but if on your legs, well, the bike will move under giving time to spread out the shock..
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Old 07-15-14, 07:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
My interpretation...

Let your body work as the suspension. While you may have *some* weight on the bars, pedals and saddle you allow your joints/muscles to absorb shock/bumps.
Ever watch Supercross or Motocross when riders are going over the whoops? Skiers doing moguls?
Zombie Thread ... but yes, this.

To me it's as if you're an active part of the bike. If you want to sit, find a recliner, not a bike saddle.
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Old 07-15-14, 08:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
Zombie Thread ... but yes, this.

To me it's as if you're an active part of the bike. If you want to sit, find a recliner, not a bike saddle.
the name of our "seat" says a lot "saddle" watch a jockey and he's moving all the time.

I mentioned before MTBing... on a MTB a big guy has to learn to ride light or else he replaces parts way too frequently... it also uses A LOT more energy... 10-15 miles of trail riding was much more effort then a 30 mile road loop.
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Old 07-15-14, 08:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donalson View Post
the name of our "seat" says a lot "saddle" watch a jockey and he's moving all the time.

I mentioned before MTBing... on a MTB a big guy has to learn to ride light or else he replaces parts way too frequently... it also uses A LOT more energy... 10-15 miles of trail riding was much more effort then a 30 mile road loop.
As a big guy who has MTB'd a bit here and there, you're absolutely right.
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