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Old 02-19-06, 03:00 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Losing Weight

Setting aside for the moment the obvious statement that I need to lose weight, I find myself wondering about something.

My bike, fully loaded (water, keys, cell phone, etc.) weighs 33 pounds.

I weigh, fully loaded (shoes, helmet, gloves, sunglasses, etc.) weigh 258 pounds.

Which would make biking more fun and enable me to go farther and faster: the bike losing 10-15 pounds (obviously, meaning another bike), or me losing 10-15 pounds?

Why?
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Old 02-19-06, 05:06 PM   #2
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When I lost about 40 pounds and went below 200 two years ago, the hills didn't seem so long, and I got dropped while doing 22 mph rather than 18-19 mph. I'm back up to 245 and am much slower.
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Old 02-19-06, 05:10 PM   #3
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Wow, that's a good question. IMHO, I think it depends on the type of cycling. For trail riding, I think losing weight will have more impact. For road type riding, I think a ligter bike would make a bigger difference.
Either way, improving endurance is my objective this year.
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Old 02-19-06, 05:41 PM   #4
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If you lose more weight, I beleive you will find your body more cardio efficient and working better.

Otherwise, no difference.

15 pounds is 15 pounds.
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Old 02-19-06, 05:55 PM   #5
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Gary,

Lose more weight. Your bike is pretty good at self regulating its caloric intake. I, on the other hand, have a more challenging time, especially with a congregation of "feeders," as my Doc calls them.

I'm 6'2" and tip the scales pretty close to your same lbs. The good news is that is 30 lbs less than this time last year. The bad news is that I still have 50-60 lbs to lose. I hope I stay healthy until my physical later this summer. If I can lose another 15-20 by August my Doc will be thrilled.

I found that as I lost the 30 lbs I could climb hills faster and go further without a rest. For instance, we had a warm day in mid January and I took the Cannondale for a ride around Lake Sunapee--- a little over 25 miles with 6 big climbs. Even with all the winter clothing on I completed the ride faster than I ever did last summer and fall.

Lose the weight. I'm in your corner and cheering for you all the way!

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Old 02-19-06, 06:08 PM   #6
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I think that whichever of you (bike or Gary) is most likely to have a coronary is the one that ought to lose the weight. We can only ride as long as we are alive, ya know. But that should not stop you from getting another bike, or two. To quote another member, the correct number of bikes to have is n+1 where n is the number you have now.

Tim

P.S. If you get a bike that "... fully loaded (water, keys, cell phone, etc.) weighs 18 pounds" (i.e. 33-15) I trust you plan to bring lots of $$$
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Old 02-19-06, 06:24 PM   #7
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you need the tools and accessories


you don't need the fat
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Old 02-19-06, 06:49 PM   #8
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Gary,

If I were you I'd tie the two together. Set a goal: Lose X lbs. and buy a new bike. Remember, the whole idea of riding was to achieve better fitness and feel healthier. The heavier the bike, the more energy you need to move it. The more energy you use, the more fat you burn..... and on and on....


EDIT to clean up idiot english

Last edited by serotta; 02-20-06 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 02-19-06, 08:04 PM   #9
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Simple-reward yourself for losing 15 lbs with a 10 lb lighter bike.Win-Win!!For acceleration it would be better to lose the wt off the tires-rims-pedals,but at a steady speed the where the wt comes from wt matter much.Luck,Charlie
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Old 02-19-06, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Which would make biking more fun and enable me to go farther and faster: the bike losing 10-15 pounds (obviously, meaning another bike), or me losing 10-15 pounds?
Both will make biking more fun and enable you to go farther and faster.

A key point is that static mass is static mass. If you're simply talking about the amount of mass you have to haul up a hill or push through the air, it doesn't really matter if it's on the bike, on your skeleton, or in your water bottle... it's pretty much the same.

A significant exception, though, is rotating mass... which means, mostly, wheels. When you stomp on the pedals and accelerate, you not only move your total bike/body mass forward... you also spin up your wheel mass. Decrease wheel mass and you will experience better acceleration.

Overall, though, I think that reducing weight is over-emphasized from a speed perspective. Going downhill, more mass actually helps you. (It only helps a little, though, since going downhill is mostly about aerodynamics.) On the flat, mass matters little. Again, aerodynamics reigns... you're better off being narrow than wide, but not much better off being light than heavy. Mass matters when you accelerate, and it matters when you climb. When you climb, mass is mass... it's how much stuff you have to haul up the hill. And when you accelerate, wheels count more than anything else.

All of this having been noted, there are other valid reasons to lose weight off of both the bike and the bod.
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Old 02-19-06, 08:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serotta
Gary,

If I were you I'd tie the two together. Set a goal: Lose X lbs. and buy a new bike. Remember, the whole idea of riding was to get achieve better fitness and feel healthier. The heavier the bike, the more energy you need to move it. The more energy you use, the more fat you burn..... and on and on....
I agree wholeheartedly with Serotta (must be the NC connection). You will notice a significant difference by losing body weight. If you decided to get a lighter bike after you lose the weight you will notice another step change in performance. Believe it or not I can tell a difference in 175 lbs versus 170 lbs. Maybe some of it has to do with the additional conditioning it takes to get off the 5 lbs but it makes a noticeable difference on them hills.......
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Old 02-19-06, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raketmensch
A significant exception, though, is rotating mass... which means, mostly, wheels. When you stomp on the pedals and accelerate, you not only move your total bike/body mass forward... you also spin up your wheel mass. Decrease wheel mass and you will experience better acceleration.


All of this having been noted, there are other valid reasons to lose weight off of both the bike and the bod.
Jobst Brandt, author of the noted book, "The Bicycle Wheel" might disagree a bit with you:

http://yarchive.net/bike/rotating_mass.html

Quote:
From: jbrandt@hpl.hp.com (Jobst Brandt)
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.tech
Subject: Re: The weight question...
Date: 26 Mar 2000 02:30:27 GMT

Andre Charlebois writes:

> The most important weight is that which is at the periphery of a
> rotating mass. In other words, pedals, rims, tires, tubes are more
> important than cogs, BB's, hubs, etc.

This is an age old fable in bicycling and useful to cite when an
excuse for some new wheels is needed. If they are aerodynamic, then
that's easy to justify even though they are heavier, but just a bit
lighter ones are less so, so out comes the rotational inertia bit.
Inertia is important for acceleration but not at constant speed where
it is probably beneficial, although I don't know of any study that has
quantified this. Francesco Moser used a large flywheel rear wheel in
his last attempt at increasing his Hour Record but the flesh wouldn't
respond. I am sure they analyzed the effects however.

Although it may seem daunting, when another rider pulls away on a hill
or in a bike race on the flat, these accelerations, except in standing
starts, are so small as to make the rotating mass story a hoax. Sure,
the mass counts twice as much when accelerating but two times zero is
still zero, and how long does a rider accelerate. Weight of bicycle
components for climbing is the main consideration, not acceleration.
The rotating mass story is a fable that sounds good and has just
enough technical truth to be one that will probably sustain itself
indefinitely. Making equipment choices by it are a matter of faith,
not fact.

Jobst Brandt <jbrandt@hpl.hp.com>
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Old 02-19-06, 09:12 PM   #13
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Gary,

It would be healthier for (both) you and your pocket book to lose those 15 Lbs., also easier on your bike. Keep peddling, and little by little, it will happen. It's a simple formula, burn more calories than you consume. As you drop the pounds, you'll find that you can become more agressive and drop those pounds more and more easily. You've completed the most difficult part, starting... OHB
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Old 02-19-06, 09:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy
Gary,

It would be healthier for (both) you and your pocket book to lose those 15 Lbs., also easier on your bike. Keep peddling, and little by little, it will happen. It's a simple formula, burn more calories than you consume. As you drop the pounds, you'll find that you can become more agressive and drop those pounds more and more easily. You've completed the most difficult part, starting... OHB
Well, I agree with this and those above who said something similar, but...

I started biking last June. Fairly quickly, I lost 15 pounds or so, give or take 2 or 3 which is where I began to plateau, up two, down two, etc. I didn't change my diet much, but I now bike between 200-300 miles per month (compared with no miles per month).

My weight has remained stable for months now. And while I don't have a perfect diet, I also have changed it (for the better) considerably in the past year or so. Much less junk food, quite fewer trips to fast food places, many more veggies, etc. Only "bad" habit I really haven't addressed is milk -- I love milk.

Anyway, I would have thought with the increased activity over this length of time my weight would still be dropping, but it's probably been four months since that's happened.

So I know I should lose some more weight, but I'm stumped about how to go about it. I hate trying to follow a diet book. I'm not good at counting calories or that sort of thing. I don't have the will power to live on salads for three months.

Enough whining. I started this thread really from intellectual curiousity about how much does the weight of the bike really matter, not how to diet. I guess i'll continue to search for the right book, or the right plan, and eventually find one that works for me. That's how I found biking, come to think of it, as a way to get exercise! Nothing else was working, that's for sure!
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Old 02-19-06, 10:09 PM   #15
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DeeGee,
When I started this activity I weighed 270 on a 6' frame. I used my old 830 with fat knobbies on it (not my butt cheeks, though they qualified) because that's what I had at the time. A couple months later I put 1.5's on it to decrease rolling resistance, which was a great move. Now, I'm down to 228 and very fit aerobically and power-wise. I've rewarded myself with a beautiful Trek 520 which is 10 lbs lighter than the 36lb 830.

It took about 80 to 100 miles/week to do it, but no dieting since I can't do that. There are some vices I won't give up and a thick pizza with Coke or a beer are among them. I positively know that 200-300 miles a month would not have made much difference in my case. For the past two months I've averaged about 120/week. It took that to break below the last plateau at 235-240lbs.

I know you are schedule challenged so just stay at it. Besides, weight is not the final arbiter of good health. If your blood pressure is ok and your triglycerides are ok, then you are healthy. Any exercise you get with your bike is a bonus despite the weight. Keep at it.

Get the other bike anyway!
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Old 02-20-06, 12:00 AM   #16
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Switch to apples for snacks. Trust me.
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Old 02-20-06, 01:40 AM   #17
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You mainly do the longer rides and for those you have to have the body carbo- loaded. Look as your temporary overweight problem as being preparation for the Century rides you are going to do.

Mind you- you may be putting too much into the carbo load training.

I carbo load for my big ride and hope to put on 5-7lbs in the fortnight before the ride. That is from a base of 145lbs and boy do I feel overweight for that period.
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Old 02-20-06, 03:22 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=Digital Gee] Anyway, I would have thought with the increased activity over this length of time my weight would still be dropping, but it's probably been four months since that's happened.

So I know I should lose some more weight, but I'm stumped about how to go about it. I hate trying to follow a diet book. I'm not good at counting calories or that sort of thing. I don't have the will power to live on salads for three months. [QUOTE]

Here is a rule I have learned to live by and respect.

"small disciplined changes over a long period of time will reward the largest dividens"

Don't try to eat the entire elephant at one time. The very first year of cycling netted me a total weight loss of 10 lbs. But I had become a much stronger rider meaning I had gained muscle. I would reach flat spots for months without loosing any weight. I started making small suttle changes in my diet such as 2 cokes a day verses 4 and added more water. Over the past 6 years I have had a total net weight loss of 50 lbs averging almost 10 lbs per year. The past 2 years have been almost nothing but I am where I want to be and stable. I started doing weight training the past 6 months and have added back some lbs but my total body fat and pant size have decreased. Don't just pay attention to pure weight.
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Old 02-20-06, 04:40 AM   #19
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Great advise Trekke Phil! Way to go. I hope I can be in pursuit!

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Old 02-20-06, 06:01 AM   #20
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Tough choice - so do both!
Lose the weight and then reward yourself by getting another lighter bike!
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Old 02-20-06, 08:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
I agree wholeheartedly with Serotta (must be the NC connection). You will notice a significant difference by losing body weight. If you decided to get a lighter bike after you lose the weight you will notice another step change in performance. Believe it or not I can tell a difference in 175 lbs versus 170 lbs. Maybe some of it has to do with the additional conditioning it takes to get off the 5 lbs but it makes a noticeable difference on them hills.......
Hey JPPE, I've noticed if I lose weight, I definitely improve my climbing, but I notice it's perceivably harder to stay with the front group on the flats. It takes about a month or more for the flat speed in a group to return. Maybe it's just a figment of my imagination, wonder if you or anyone else experiences this phenomenon?
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Old 02-20-06, 08:35 AM   #22
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From a cost/benefit viewpoint,...

Losing weight on the bike costs money, losing weight on the person saves money (eat less, less medical expense, fewer sick days....)

So if you are looking for a cost/benefit analysis, then the right answer is to lose the weight on the rider... that is my objective.
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Old 02-20-06, 11:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekke

Here is a rule I have learned to live by and respect.

"small disciplined changes over a long period of time will reward the largest dividens"
This is so true. Say you change your behavior solely to lose weight. What do you do when you have accomplished that goal? Most people then stop their weight loss behavior and fall back into the behaviors that caused them to gain weight. They then get caught in a repetitive cycle of gaining and losing weight.

It sounds like you are now in a stage where you are maintaining a certain weight and you want to reduce your weight some more. I'd suggest making small changes (eat a little less/exercise a little more) and stay on that path until you find your new equilibrium. If that equilibrium point happens to be your goal then you have accomplished two very important things. Obviously you will have met your goal and that would be great, but you have also developed the behaviors to maintain that condition. That is more benficial in the long run. If you haven't yet met your goal then make small adjustments again and repeat the process until you get there.

And get the new bike. It will inspire you to meet your goals.
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Old 02-20-06, 11:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
If you lose more weight, I beleive you will find your body more cardio efficient and working better.

Otherwise, no difference.

15 pounds is 15 pounds.
Since our hearts have to FEED all of our cells then the less there is to feed the less work
our hearts will have to do the longer it will last. (Maybe)

As we age our bodies want to store food for those times we might not be able to "hunt" for
food. So we all need to tone up or we get fat. That's the way nature designed the human
body.
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Old 02-20-06, 01:03 PM   #25
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Gary
Your original question: "Which would make biking more fun and enable me to go farther and faster: the bike losing 10-15 pounds (obviously, meaning another bike), or me losing 10-15 pounds?"

Actually you've asked 4 questions: farther; faster; losing weight; and fun.
Farther: train harder. People have ridden around the world on highwheelers; singlespeeds, and mountain bikes. Father is endurance. You're riding farther than you did last summer already.

Faster: ride a road bike if you aren't already.

Losing weight: weight loss is more calories burned than calories consumed. If consuming less calories isn't an option, burn more--ride harder, increase your pedal rpm, use higher gears--work harder. It's interesting to read the journals of touring riders--7 to 8,000 calories a day are normal diets when you ride all day. Diet books are great for reading and learning from, but in the end, calories burned must exceed carlories consumed.

And fun: fun is what you make it. It doesn't depend on the weight of the bike, or the brand, or the style. That's about you.

Armstrong (I think he's some kind of bike rider from Texas, I think he won a race or he's an astronaut or something) said it's not about the bike. That means that it's about you. Like the groups says, lose the weight.

John in Oregon
Same boat: 20 down, 60 to go.
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