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  1. #1
    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    headwinds and being a bigger dude...any tricks to maintain your speed ?

    I really find being a bigger guy at 205 for a cyclist that headwinds really effect me

    I have a broad build and some times feel like I'm' a parachute when donig my pulls

    last night I found we would be riding along at 38km/h but then on my pulls we'd drop down to say 32 and my legs were not feeling snappy at all

    I found the more the wind picked up the harder it was for me to hide my bigger frame even in the drops....where I rarely ride

    so anyone have any tips for hiding a bigger frame from the winds so you can keep pulling at the same pace with smaller riders who seem to thrive in the wind

  2. #2
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    I weigh 310, and the trick of course is to get as low as you can. When I'm descending I often have my head directly over the handlebars as in an aero tuck, but I'll have my rear out of the saddle out over the top tube to get even lower.

    If Im taking a pull or riding hard its be down in the drops because it pulls your whole body down. When Im in the tuck my elbows are bent but usually to the back instead of the side.

    Still I feel your pain and as bigger dudes while we get benefits on downhills and long flats, we have losses in headwinds and climbs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rockdog's Avatar
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    205? You mean if I lose 40 more pounds I will still have trouble riding into the wind? Yeah, I know what you mean, sometimes I feel like a sail mounted on top of my bike. My advice, stop riding with freakishly skinny people ;-)

  4. #4
    Senior Member obiwan kenobi's Avatar
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    Draft or get stronger. If you can ride in the drops do it. I'm 190 and have a wide chest so the frontal mass causes drag.

  5. #5
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    If you figure it out, let me in on it! I'm just under 300# and I've got a pretty broad upper body. The other night I felt exactly the same way. I was trying to climb into a strong headwind and was happy to reach 8-10 mph. It seriously felt like I had people trying to hold me down while I was riding.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  6. #6
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    For short stints up front, put your hands close to the stem, drop your elbows and lower your shoulders. You can get your torso down into the same position as if you were on the drops, but you present far less frontal area.
    It's not just about getting low; it's about being narrow. Don't recall the issue number, but ROAD magazine did an article over the summer about aero positioning. The author did a bunch of wind tunnel testing and showed that there was a better increase in aero capacity from getting narrow vs. getting lower (once you're already in a decent riding position to begin with.)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  7. #7
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    For short stints up front, put your hands close to the stem, drop your elbows and lower your shoulders. You can get your torso down into the same position as if you were on the drops, but you present far less frontal area.
    ^^This. But you won't be able to control the bike as well in this position in situations where reacting fast is required.

    And if it's any consolation, little guys hate headwinds too.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  8. #8
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    And if it's any consolation, little guys hate headwinds too.
    Sure they do! They could get swept away like in the Wizard of Oz!
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  9. #9
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    Someone once said, and I wish I knew the source, "hills make you strong, headwinds make you mean".

    I find that at 6 foot and 180 pounds, still quite large by cycling standards, I have a big advantage in headwinds. I kind of get pissed off at the wind and put the energy from that into the fight. I punch through the wind in a gear that allow me a high cadence with the power I can generate as a large rider. I think that my strength to mass ratio may actually tip to my advantage in headwind, at least on the flats.

    During a double century this spring I was pulling a pace line and my buddy cccorlew, who goes about a buck fifty, asked me to slow down. I backed it down to 18.5 mph and after a few miles we came to a stop sign and he cried out "That's, what you call turning it down a notch?, 18.5 into a headwind?" As a smaller rider he was having trouble holding my wheel, even with me shielding him from most of the wind.

    Use your size, use your power and get mean in your fight with Mr. Wind.

    So my tip is, get low in the drops and wrestle that headwind to at least a draw.
    In Escendo Est Verum

  10. #10
    Senior Member rjc100's Avatar
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    I am at 205 now, lost 45 lbs from last year and I do not have near the problems with wind I used to. I use the drops a lot more, and also use windy days as an opportunity to build strength.
    I have about 20 lbs more to drop to be where I want to be, but the wind will always be a struggle for everyone, sometines I think more mental than physical.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
    Someone once said, and I wish I knew the source, "hills make you strong, headwinds make you mean".

    I find that at 6 foot and 180 pounds, still quite large by cycling standards, I have a big advantage in headwinds. I kind of get pissed off at the wind and put the energy from that into the fight. I punch through the wind in a gear that allow me a high cadence with the power I can generate as a large rider. I think that my strength to mass ratio may actually tip to my advantage in headwind, at least on the flats.

    During a double century this spring I was pulling a pace line and my buddy cccorlew, who goes about a buck fifty, asked me to slow down. I backed it down to 18.5 mph and after a few miles we came to a stop sign and he cried out "That's, what you call turning it down a notch?, 18.5 into a headwind?" As a smaller rider he was having trouble holding my wheel, even with me shielding him from most of the wind.

    Use your size, use your power and get mean in your fight with Mr. Wind.

    So my tip is, get low in the drops and wrestle that headwind to at least a draw.
    +1 a good headwind will knock anyone's speed down - but I think bigger guys have an advantage in the wind. Our frontal area is not that much bigger, but we're able to produce a lot more power (particularly if you climb regularly - we have to produce more power just to get over the hills).

    JB
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  12. #12
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Find a tandem to get behind.
    Pedal faster and harder.

    Ride down wind!

    Sorry other than that I haven't found a sercert. If I do, I won't tell a person.

  13. #13
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I tried doing Contadors booty under the seat position. I fit and its only for downhills. It freaked me out. I won't do it again. Just be happy that chicks/your wife/girlfriend digs a broad chested He man.

    A lot is attitude. I have learned to tell myself to push through that wind. If you stay positive and push it helps. When I start complaining in my mind (and I still do that a lot, color me grumpy) it effects my effort. If it don't kill you it will make you better.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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  14. #14
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Funny, as a fluffier gal I have no problems with wind. Hills, yes gravity is my enemy but wind, my leg strength and size is helpful. It is good, if riding with others, to draft. Unfortunately people usually like to ride behind me in a headwind (wonder why) and won't help me out!

    The key is to get stronger. Larger people actually do better in wind than the smaller guys who get blown around (I saw a whole group of lightweights blown right over once. They were knocked down like dominos!).
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  15. #15
    Senior Member snowman40's Avatar
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    I downshift and spin faster, get the rhythm down (at which point, my speed goes back up), then go back to a longer gear maintaining the pace and I gain back everything I lost. Not sure how well that would/could work in a pace line though....

    I personally hate headwinds that are 45 degrees from facing forward to my side.....I seem to present a nice sail from the side and I get pushed all over the place.... I'm a healthy 265ish. That same angle but from the rear present nice little surprises when turning too....but that is fun, and more manageable for me.

    My touring/commuter is stupid unresponsive/numb feeling when turning, so I found when turning by shifting my weight (most likely reason for numb/unresponsive feeling) back, I can get it really snappy/twitchy. Which is fun for me! Then I go ride my Felt and everything changes....
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman40
    If you must speed up to pass me, you don't deserve to pass me
    Quote Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
    farts are greatly appreciated as long as the other riders are talented and experienced. at the precise moment of release, a vacuum is formed. this is the optimal time for the rider behind you to get as aero as possible and "ride the brown rhino". his face should be within 2-3mm of the anus to receive maximum benefit (reduced drag...duh, its in a vacuum). i have hit speeds of over 53mph in such conditions.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
    And if it's any consolation, little guys hate headwinds too.
    Sure they do! They could get swept away like in the Wizard of Oz!
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Shave your chest it will cut down on the drag.

  18. #18
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I always found using a bigger gear into headwinds works better for me..

  19. #19
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I don't buy it! Big engine into headwinds is better than little engine into the headwinds.

  20. #20
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I don't buy it! Big engine into headwinds is better than little engine into the headwinds.
    Yep....
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  21. #21
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I don't buy it! Big engine into headwinds is better than little engine into the headwinds.
    +2..

  22. #22
    gbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I don't buy it! Big engine into headwinds is better than little engine into the headwinds.
    Exactly, your mass increases much faster than your frontal area.
    Assuming "not all the extra weight is fat" that leaves a lot more muscle propelling not that much more frontal area.
    A second benefit is that once up to speed you are a lot less affected by gusts since mass in motion tends to stay in motion.
    Hills are another story.

  23. #23
    Senior Member redvespablur's Avatar
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    I spin up to higher than my average cadence into a headwind - I tried mashing instead but the computer says the higher cadence works better for me

  24. #24
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    Smallguy, Headwinds don't get easier when you're lighter. Attitude counts a lot, headwinds are there to make you stronger... make the most of them.

    Brad

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    Exactly, your mass increases much faster than your frontal area.
    Assuming "not all the extra weight is fat" that leaves a lot more muscle propelling not that much more frontal area.
    A second benefit is that once up to speed you are a lot less affected by gusts since mass in motion tends to stay in motion.
    Hills are another story.
    I'm 5'10", 205lbs, and my shoulders measure close to 2ft across. Those headwinds suck. They suck even more with my laptop backpack.

    Lean over the handlebars, downshift for a bit, inertia is your friend, and feel free to get pissed off at the wind. Combined, it works wonders.

    (And people wonder how I've lost close to 30 pounds this summer...)

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