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  1. #1
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    Does a heavier bike = faster weight loss?

    Has anyone ever determined the best way to drop weight fast with the bike being the main form of exercise? I keep hearing about how any road bike over 20 pounds is supposed to be some sort of tank or something...and it got me thinking. Is it better for the bike to be heavier = more effort to push forward and burn calories? or a super light bike to allow for faster, sustained spinning? Is a flat bar with 105s the best of both worlds for strictly weight-loss riding? Or maybe something heavier like a steel jamis quest? Anyone figure that out yet?

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    If a heavier bike meant faster weight loss, then I should be 205 pounds and under 5% bodyfat by now.

    My bike weighs 31 pounds before I factor in things like a partially loaded handlebar bag, or 2 large water bottles and my headlight battery. Before heading out on my century yesterday, my mount tipped the scales at 35 pounds fully ready, and when I'm commuting it's about the same. My 30 daily miles on this "tank" doesn't seem to be peeling off the poundage for me.

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    atop a blazing saddle idig's Avatar
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    The bike you ride the most is the bike that results in the most weight loss. Get a bike that you will want to ride again and again; the rest will take care of itself.

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Ride more eat less. There is no decent way to scam the formula.

    Ride the bike that you are comfortable, ride faster and longer (and eat less).

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    atop a blazing saddle idig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Ride more eat less. There is no decent way to scam the formula.
    Or ride more so you can eat more. I don't think most of us are Clydes because we like to eat less.

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    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    If your bike isn't fun to ride then you will ride it less which, of course, means less weight loss. Buy something that you would enjoy riding. I'm not a big fan of the flat bar because it gives you hand positions which you will need on longer rides over varied terrain.

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    RT
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    Find a good headwind and ride into it. My God, each night on my commute it's in my face, and while I'm at work it changes 180 degrees. More workout!

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    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mato_h2h View Post
    Has anyone ever determined the best way to drop weight fast with the bike being the main form of exercise? I keep hearing about how any road bike over 20 pounds is supposed to be some sort of tank or something...and it got me thinking. Is it better for the bike to be heavier = more effort to push forward and burn calories? or a super light bike to allow for faster, sustained spinning? Is a flat bar with 105s the best of both worlds for strictly weight-loss riding? Or maybe something heavier like a steel jamis quest? Anyone figure that out yet?
    Your actual weight shouldn't be the main issue, being healthy should, there are lots of healthy, but heavier people, and lots of thin sickly ones, the opposite is also true. Before starting any weight loss or exercise program, see your doctor, ask them to refer you to a nutritionist who specializes in sports or athletes. They will probably want you to get some blood tests, and will then tailor a program for you. You don't want a diet, you want to learn how to eat properly for your intended activity, which would be cycling.

    As for the bike, it depends on the kind of riding you find most interesting, if it's racing the clock or others, get a racing bike, if it's riding 400 miles in 7 days, get a touring bike, if it's riding trails and off road, get a mountain bike. Don't worry about the bike weight, your a long way from the point where you really need to care. Remember the easiest place for a bike to lose weight is the "engine"/

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    Bike weight or style don't matter if not used effeciently

    I don't see this come up often - Heart Rate Monitor!

    They aren't that expensive (saw one on ebay for $30+) and comes in very handy for weight loss program.

    The weight or style of the bike won't matter if you are not riding them efficiently for weight loss. Whatever bike you have, the heart rate monitor can be used to keep your heart rate at certain "Zone" for weight loss. Although this might not mean much, the difference of keeping it in the "zone" versus hard but inefficient ride can be several hundred calories for 2-3 hour ride. There are many other informations you can get with your HRM but that another story.

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    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    ^^^ good point

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    Bicycle have gears and this changes the weight effect. Assume you can output a certain amount of power at a certain cadance, the "extra" work required to move the weight of a"heavy" bike and you/me/us for that matter will shift the gear that you utilize while maintaining the same power ouput. In effect you will go slower for the same power output. Acceleration/deceleration is slightly different as well as if the weight shifts you out of the range of your gearing or to a point where you would fall over because you are going to slow.

    Eric
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  12. #12
    Custom XC Hoveroceros's Avatar
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    Ok, lets assume that the engine is 250 and the bike is 30 lbs.
    that is 280lbs together (yes, i am a math genius)
    if the bike loses 10lbs, it is only around 3%, which is extremely minor.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    You'd get more exercise from the heavier bike IF you rode the same place at the same speed with the same gearing. But in reality, you adjust your speed and effort to whatever feels appropriate, and it's not going to matter much.

    Of course, this also means there's not a lot of point in paying extra for a lighter bike unless you enjoy it more, or unless you need to go places, as opposed to riding for exercise.

    If you really want a workout, get one of those three-wheel cargo haulers, put a couple of hundred pounds of cement on the front, and ride off. My guess is that wouldn't be too enjoyable after the novelty wore off.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  14. #14
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    It isn't quite as simple as ride more, eat less. You gotta eat smarter, which includes ensuring that you get the proper nutrition while you are riding. The last thing you want to to expend so much energy that your body starts eating muscle instead of fat. Keep the tank full as you work..eat right before you work and after you work. Rapid weight loss will eat muscle...you want to burn the fat, so slow and steady wins the race. Did I get enough cliches in?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  15. #15
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    The first century I tried to do was on my 48 pound unloaded mtb. When my body shut down (pretty sure it was an asthma attack) after 50 miles my HRM said I was above 80% of max for a majority of the time. Simple reason - I had to work so hard to move that bike that my body was working twice as hard. The last 30 miles to get somewhere with a subway was the worst ride of my life, couldn't get above 10 mph without my chest cramping up again, any incline meant walking up.

    Now it's harder to get my heart rate up to 80% on my road bike, but I've lost a lot more weight because I can ride for hours without killing myself. Plus the doc said don't go above 80% (can do damage and no benefits).

    So, if you only have 30 mins to ride and going for longer rides is pretty much impossible I'd say get the heaviest bike you can, load it up with bricks and water and ride hard. Buddy of a buddy trains by dragging a car tire behind him on a mtb - but I'd say that's a much more intensive muscle building workout than purely cardio.

  16. #16
    Senior Member racethenation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    The first century I tried to do was on my 48 pound unloaded mtb.
    Wow! I thought my Huffy was heavy. It is a slim 35 pounds unloaded.

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    Senior Member badgermac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leamcorp View Post
    I don't see this come up often - Heart Rate Monitor!

    They aren't that expensive (saw one on ebay for $30+) and comes in very handy for weight loss program.

    The weight or style of the bike won't matter if you are not riding them efficiently for weight loss. Whatever bike you have, the heart rate monitor can be used to keep your heart rate at certain "Zone" for weight loss. Although this might not mean much, the difference of keeping it in the "zone" versus hard but inefficient ride can be several hundred calories for 2-3 hour ride. There are many other informations you can get with your HRM but that another story.
    Keep an eye on Woot.com - they have Rebooks that come up for $25 shipped. I have one and it works like a charm.
    http://homepage.mac.com/bbrowne74/sp.gif BadgerMac: '06 Specialized Sequoia / '08 Specialized Crossroads Sport / '09 Specialized Sirrus Sport / '11 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er / Motobecane Fantom CX

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...vF6/weight.png

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    Junior Member fatkid70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoveroceros View Post
    Ok, lets assume that the engine is 250 and the bike is 30 lbs.
    that is 280lbs together (yes, i am a math genius)
    if the bike loses 10lbs, it is only around 3%, which is extremely minor.
    UHH.. thats acutally 2.8%

    Who's the genius now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by badgermac View Post
    Keep an eye on Woot.com - they have Rebooks that come up for $25 shipped. I have one and it works like a charm.
    I'm so glad to hear this. I still haven't been able to use mine since I cant walk at the moment (recovering from food surgery).

    I bought one last time for $25 thinking it was cheap enough for me to try a HRM out during a workout and see if it works without loosing a lot if it didn't help me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    A few points:

    Uh, well, 2.8% is around 3%.

    If you're trying to lose weight, what you're trying to do is use your reserves. Feeding yourself first so that you avoid tapping into the reserves would tend to defeat the purpose, wouldn't you say?

    What counts is the total work done...the total energy expended. If you ride a lighter bike faster and farther you accomplish the same thing as riding a heavier bike slower and for a shorter distance. A lighter bike may even help you lose weight if riding it is more enjoyable, encouraging you to do that faster, farther thing.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Nerve View Post
    I'm so glad to hear this. I still haven't been able to use mine since I cant walk at the moment (recovering from food surgery).

    I bought one last time for $25 thinking it was cheap enough for me to try a HRM out during a workout and see if it works without loosing a lot if it didn't help me.
    Problem with any gadget is that you can go overboard, which I do frequently But I use my HRM for pretty much everything I do.

    Once you're able to resume your normal activities, make sure you do a base lining. For this you pretty much wear the HRM all day/night. Make sure you do this on your rest day (or your typical day without any excercise). With this info, you'll be able to establish your base line, which should include your average heart rate (per min/hour), and calories burned (per hour). With this info, you'll be able to calculate how much you can eat, workout, etc.

    For example, lets say your 24 hour calorie burn rate is 3000 (or 125 calorie per hour). With this, you can now count/calculate how much you can eat per day. Now add in your exercise calories (gathered when you went riding). Let say you've burned 1200 calories over 2 hour ride. Thats 3000 minus 300 (2 hours of normal calorie burn) plus 1200 calories = 3900 calories burned per day. And since you've worked, your per day calories burn should increase (via increased metabolism - you have to do another estimated base-lining). You could see where I'm going with this. As long as you can do a net negative calorie intake, you should be able to lose weight - smartly!

    See how fun HRM can be? Not.
    Last edited by leamcorp; 05-29-08 at 11:04 PM.

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    mato_h2h's question is interesting, and something that occurred to me when I got back into biking a few years ago. I had been a serious runner, but then got arthritis in my hip, so had to look for something else. I had trouble getting enough exercise walking, so I tried carrying a backpack or using small handweights. Then I tried biking. So I come from the perspective of "carrying extra weight helps you exercise more". Imagine my surprise when I go on club rides and run into "weight weenies" who need to lose weight as much as me but are obsessed with getting their bikes as light as possible. One pointed out to me that if I switched to a racing saddle from my quite comfortable touring saddle I could get 100 grams off my bike. I patted my ample midsection and said "I need to lose a few thousand grams here before I worry about that". There was an embarassed silence, I guess my comment was a faux pas for weight weenies.
    Back to the OPs point, a heavier bike will add to your workout a bit, while accelerating or going uphill. Personally I wouldn't intentionally get a heavier bike, but if a little extra weight adds more comfort, that's fine. If you enjoy a hybrid bike instead of a road bike, for example. The most important thing is that your gears are good enough. You don't want to be grinding up a big hill at a low cadence because you don't have low enough gears.
    There is one way a lighter bike can lead to a better workout: it can make you catch the serious biking bug. That happened to me a couple of years ago when I got a decent race bike after being on a hybrid for awhile.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by leamcorp View Post
    Problem with any gadget is that you can go overboard, which I do frequently But I use my HRM for pretty much everything I do.

    Once you're able to resume your normal activities, make sure you do a base lining. For this you pretty much wear the HRM all day/night. Make sure you do this on your rest day (or your typical day without any excercise). With this info, you'll be able to establish your base line, which should include your average heart rate (per min/hour), and calories burned (per hour). With this info, you'll be able to calculate how much you can eat, workout, etc.

    For example, lets say your 24 hour calorie burn rate is 3000 (or 125 calorie per hour). With this, you can now count/calculate how much you can eat per day. Now add in your exercise calories (gathered when you went riding). Let say you've burned 1200 calories over 2 hour ride. Thats 3000 minus 300 (2 hours of normal calorie burn) plus 1200 calories = 3900 calories burned per day. And since you've worked, your per day calories burn should increase (via increased metabolism - you have to do another estimated base-lining). You could see where I'm going with this. As long as you can do a net negative calorie intake, you should be able to lose weight - smartly!

    See how fun HRM can be? Not.
    Thanks for the great info. I'll have to get started with that. You can see how much fun/helpful an HRM is when it tells you exactly what your doing.

    PS: It wasnt "Food" surgery but FOOT surgery!


    Quote Originally Posted by richking1953 View Post
    Then I tried biking. So I come from the perspective of "carrying extra weight helps you exercise more". Imagine my surprise when I go on club rides and run into "weight weenies" who need to lose weight as much as me but are obsessed with getting their bikes as light as possible. One pointed out to me that if I switched to a racing saddle from my quite comfortable touring saddle I could get 100 grams off my bike. I patted my ample midsection and said "I need to lose a few thousand grams here before I worry about that". There was an embarassed silence, I guess my comment was a faux pas for weight weenies.
    Thats REALLY REALLY funny. I could only imagine what they were thinking inside.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Nerve View Post
    I'm so glad to hear this. I still haven't been able to use mine since I cant walk at the moment (recovering from food surgery).

    I bought one last time for $25 thinking it was cheap enough for me to try a HRM out during a workout and see if it works without loosing a lot if it didn't help me.
    Keep an eye on the REI Outlet web site and Campmor's "hot deals" section, too - they usually have a few in the $25 - $30 range. I bought a Timex last year that works great. I was worried that the chest band wouldn't be big enough, but it's got room to spare...

  25. #25
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    To address the question. it is marginally harder to accelerate or ride a heavier bike uphill. Other than that, the perceived effort is about the same, but the required wattage is marginally higher, about 2.8% if you plug in different weights for the bike with a 2.8% variance.
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