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  1. #1
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    Does 10 pounds make a difference?

    HI all, New Athena here. Well, an old Athena (48) just newly posting here. I've been riding for about 6 weeks now, trying to improve in distance as well as climbing. I live in a hilly area at 7,000 feet, so I would really like to get comfortable on the climbs. I'm up to 30 miles for a max distance. Saturday I did a 24 mile ride, 12 miles uphill nonstop and then back. It's very hard for me. I had the bright idea to try and lose 10 pounds (I'm 185 now) and see if that would make it easier. If it does I'd be motivated for the next 10, etc.

    So, if I lose 10 pounds at my current weight, do you think I would notice it? Or is that too small a loss to notice?

    Thanks for any input!
    Tabriz

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Yes you would notice it. And while you're doing it you'll get fitter as well as lighter, so the benefit is double.

    If you think about it, losing 10lbs will reduce the weight of you plus the bike by about 5%. That is certainly enough to notice. And the next ten will be a bigger percentage of your (now reduced) weight, and so on. It's all good.

    Welcome, btw. And well done. 12 miles uphill is hard work, keep at it..
    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.

  3. #3
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    Yes, it does make a difference. I recently dropped from 184 to 174. Before that I had dropped from 198 to 184. Both drops have made a huge difference in how I feel. Keep doing those climbs, eat a healthy diet, and the pounds will come off.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cycleWV_23's Avatar
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    Make sure to not become discouraged with what the scale says, though. When you're looking at losing these 10 pounds, there's the chance that it may not go as quickly as you want.....this will just be an illusion. With the climbs and everything that you are riding, you will be building a ton of muscle. Muscle weighs way more than fat, so even though it MIGHT not show up on the scale, the bad weight is melting off and the good weight "i.e.- rock hard legs and buns" are packing on! Good luck!

  5. #5
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I'm on week 5 since I bought my bike. You are way ahead of me and I live in flat, Central Illinois.

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    I started out at ~185lbs. When I was down to 175, I didn't really notice it, but now that I am down to 160, that last 10-15 lbs really made climbing easier. I can climb faster, or I can slow down to my old speed and climb for longer.

  7. #7
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    That's 10 lbs of tissue that your heart and lungs will no longer need to oxygenate, more oxygen for your legs to climb with. Also, in my case, I'm losing size from my fat belly and it's making it easier to breath while bent over on the bike.

    Enjoy your ride!

  8. #8
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Carry a 10lb bag of rocks up and down a couple flights of stairs 3 times...rest...then repeat without the bag of rocks and your question will be answered.

    What type of bike are you riding? Some changes on the bike might give some small advantages too.
    "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

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    Thanks for the replies. I look forward to seeing (feeling) the difference! Yes, bbeasley, there's definitely something in the way now when I'm riding that wasn't there 20 years ago! That was the first thing I noticed when I first got back on the bike.

    Chipcom, I'm riding a Giant Cadex 2 CFR that my neighbor gave me when I told him I was getting back into riding. It's slightly too tall for me, but it's so much nicer than my old Fuji.

    I'm riding 4 days a week right now and want to start riding 5 days. Do you think 80-90 miles/week is enough to lose some weight with a little tinkering with the diet? I was walking 3-5 miles/day before but an old backpacking injury was becoming chronic, so I've switched to riding, which doesn't aggravate it.

  10. #10
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I'm 8 weeks in and riding 80 - 100 per week. I'm losing weight but it was not consistent until I modified my diet also. For me, it took eating at least 1 high nutrient meal per day to curb my voracious appetite.

  11. #11
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I've gone from a high to 240 to about 210 right now. I really didn't notice a difference. I guess it's because it was so gradual.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

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    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    +1 to eeyore...errr...I mean Chipcom.

    It makes alot of difference.
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  13. #13
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I'm not sure this flatlander could hack your ride. Well done; keep it up! Yes, you will notice 10 lb. You'll notice 20 lb. even more.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  14. #14
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    It has to be diet and exercise together.... I lost 20 lbs in April / May this year, and have put 10 back on. What a let down.
    It isn't the meals, its the snacking that is getting me.
    Everybody has heard this story a thousand times.

    Way to go on your riding. If you live at 7,000 ft, you will be into serious winter soon. Be prepared to switch to the gym for stationary bike or rowing machine when the weather gets ugly.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

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    Yes, yes, yes. total kudos on your effort. Just keep riding. do not worry about your bike's weight until two years from now and thousands of miles. Then you have earned your upgrades. Make sure you hydrate well in advance before a ride. You'll climb much better. Just be careful with your knees in the beggining. you. Too much mashing will come back to haunt you.

    On climbs, use bigger rings in the rear. Also riding fast on the flats will burn calories like mad.

    "don't buy upgrades, ride up grades"

    -Eddy Merccx.

  16. #16
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    Are you kidding? I've ridden with guys who ditch their water bottles at the bottom of a several mile climb (even though it's 98 degrees) just because it's maybe 12 more ounces they don't feel like carrying up the climb! Every bit you lose will make a difference in both how you perform and how you feel. Guaranteed.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  17. #17
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    The weight I am losing is hard for me to notice in less effort riding. What is happening to me is I am riding harder and further and with more and more effort. That is what I like about the cycling computers they give me numbers and averages to look at. So for me more weight lossed is not really helping to make cycling "easy" just more efficiency I guess. Then the real payoff is when I had to buy new pants cause my 36es were falling off. I am in 34s for the first time in about 8 years and I am also in love with cycling. Welcom aboard and just remember to relax, pace, and enjoy it or it will just become another diet and exercise program and we all know what that leads to.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    I started out at ~185lbs. When I was down to 175, I didn't really notice it, but now that I am down to 160, that last 10-15 lbs really made climbing easier. I can climb faster, or I can slow down to my old speed and climb for longer.
    Agree. Bicycles are pretty efficient. I can throw 10lbs on my touring bike, which weighs 6lbs more than my road bike, and I don't notice a whole lot of difference riding up my favorite climb (3.5mi, ~1400ft). My overall speed is a bit slower, but either way climbing feels like work...

    You will, however, notice a difference as your fitness improves. Even if you don't reduce your weight by a pound, improved muscular and cardiovascular fitness will pay dividends while climbing.

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Agree. Bicycles are pretty efficient. I can throw 10lbs on my touring bike, which weighs 6lbs more than my road bike, and I don't notice a whole lot of difference riding up my favorite climb (3.5mi, ~1400ft).
    I have to say I find this quite remarkable. Even without a load, my >30 pound touring bike is much more effort to pedal up a hill than my < 20 lb road bike. Maybe the clue is in

    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel
    My overall speed is a bit slower...
    That's the point, isn't it? The amount of power you need to put out is a function of weight and speed. Of course if you go slower, you can balance it up. But try riding the tourer with 10 lbs on it up the same hill at the same speed that you can take it on the road bike, and then tell me you don't notice a difference.
    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.

  20. #20
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    It has to be diet and exercise together.... I lost 20 lbs in April / May this year, and have put 10 back on. What a let down.
    It isn't the meals, its the snacking that is getting me.
    Everybody has heard this story a thousand times.

    Way to go on your riding. If you live at 7,000 ft, you will be into serious winter soon. Be prepared to switch to the gym for stationary bike or rowing machine when the weather gets ugly.

    I've been working on weight loss for 16 months. I've lost 170 lbs. At first,I said no more diets. I will just exercise. In 5 months I lost 25 lbs. I have since modified my eating. In the remaining 11 months I've lost 145 lbs. Cutting back on food will show much more results. If you don't exercise your metabolism will slow down to match your reduced intake.

  21. #21
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Congrats on the journey and finding this bunch. You are in good company.

    In my weight loss from 242 to 232, my clothes fit so much better and I was riding better as well. A fun thing to do is measure the areas that bother you on your body. Keep track of those. I am stuck at @220, but my waist is still shrinking and I had to get a couple of new belts. I use that as my weight loss trophy.

    You live at 7000 feet elevation. If we ever run into you, your gonna kick our tails. That has to help you get in shape yourself.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  22. #22
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabriz View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I look forward to seeing (feeling) the difference! Yes, bbeasley, there's definitely something in the way now when I'm riding that wasn't there 20 years ago! That was the first thing I noticed when I first got back on the bike.

    Chipcom, I'm riding a Giant Cadex 2 CFR that my neighbor gave me when I told him I was getting back into riding. It's slightly too tall for me, but it's so much nicer than my old Fuji.

    I'm riding 4 days a week right now and want to start riding 5 days. Do you think 80-90 miles/week is enough to lose some weight with a little tinkering with the diet? I was walking 3-5 miles/day before but an old backpacking injury was becoming chronic, so I've switched to riding, which doesn't aggravate it.
    Not much improvement to get from the bike there...I wanted to make sure you weren't using a MTB with suspension fork and knobbies.

    As far as weight loss....I've been riding regularly for over 4 decades...at least 5k miles per year on average. It may keep me a bit slimmer and fitter than my brothers, but at 6'1" 240, I am no skinny feller. Diet is key...I still love to eat way too much of the wrong things. Riding is great...what better way to get exercise than doing something you love...but it's not a silver bullet for weight loss. You gotta adjust your diet if you want real progress...and that diet has to become your lifestyle if you want to keep the weight off. Sorry, just ain't no way to sugar coat it.

    mmmm...sugar
    "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

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    That's the point, isn't it? The amount of power you need to put out is a function of weight and speed.
    The biggest factors determining the amount of power required are speed and aerodynamic drag. Weight is a factor, but a relatively small one. At least according to my PowerTap power meter...

    Of course if you go slower, you can balance it up. But try riding the tourer with 10 lbs on it up the same hill at the same speed that you can take it on the road bike, and then tell me you don't notice a difference.
    I won't notice a difference.

    Weight only makes a big difference if you're really out of shape. I'm not. My FTP is high enough that I can pedal either bike up the hill at the same lethargic pace without noticing much of a difference. I have to use a lower gear on the touring bike, but that's about it.

    If I were racing to the top of the hill, I'm sure the results would be different... but we're not talking about racing.

  24. #24
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabriz View Post
    HI all, New Athena here. Well, an old Athena (48) just newly posting here. I've been riding for about 6 weeks now, trying to improve in distance as well as climbing. I live in a hilly area at 7,000 feet, so I would really like to get comfortable on the climbs. I'm up to 30 miles for a max distance. Saturday I did a 24 mile ride, 12 miles uphill nonstop and then back. It's very hard for me. I had the bright idea to try and lose 10 pounds (I'm 185 now) and see if that would make it easier. If it does I'd be motivated for the next 10, etc.

    So, if I lose 10 pounds at my current weight, do you think I would notice it? Or is that too small a loss to notice?

    Thanks for any input!
    Tabriz
    Everyone is pulling your leg. It won't get easier....you will only go faster Doing a 12 mile ride is great. 80/90 miles is good but what type of miles comes into play. Since you are doing hills you are getting more benefit then someone who is doing 100 miles on level ground at a slow pace.

    I find I can ride more often than I run because of the impact of running. I'm not sure how backpacking compares since you don't have the same pounding on the body. But, if you were doing 5 days a week before than riding 5 days should be a breeze.

  25. #25
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Weight only makes a big difference if you're really out of shape. I'm not. My FTP is high enough that I can pedal either bike up the hill at the same lethargic pace without noticing much of a difference. I have to use a lower gear on the touring bike, but that's about it.
    Contradicting yourself. If you have to shift to a lower gear, you're noticing a difference.
    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.

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