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  1. #1
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    How to make biking "harder"

    Hi,

    I'm looking for a way to make biking harder for me.

    Why not just pedal harder? Well that's what I do now, and it just makes me hit more stoplights.

    I live in a dense area and use biking during exercise breaks. I find it helps me to oxygenate the brain (yes I work from home)

    I want the bike to do less with more effort without modifying it in a potentially harmful way. Any ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Doesn't seem too hard. Run some really fat, heavy, knobby tires and keep them underinflated. Then add some lead shot to any bags, panniers, extra water bottles, etc. that you can put on your bike.

    But I think you'll find it to be counterproductive. I find that I get home most exhausted when the cycling conditions were most ideal - nice temperature, tailwind, hitting the lights right, etc. That motivates me to put in even more effort to take advantage of the situation. OTOH, bad conditions, like a stiff headwind, just make the ride a struggle where extra effort seems wasted so I just put out as much as needed to keep going and don't get much of a workout.

  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Some of these you might be doing already:

    Take your bike shopping; groceries, boxes of tiles from Homedepot, etc.
    If your bike has them, shift to the harder gears.
    Hills.
    Ride farther; if you're doing 40 miles now, go 50.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Captive air foam airless tires have an increased rolling resistance, over pneumatic ones..
    cyclocross up stairways, running, carrying your bike will take the wind out of you.

  5. #5
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Cycling outside is always the best but you could also turn your bike into a stationary trainer inside to workout that bit more. Examples here:

    http://www.fudgescyclestore.com/index.php?c=4527

    Otherwise I believe any mods to the bike would have a marginal affect and you would have to ride in different conditions. My only other suggestion is to stop and start in a higher gear in your environment and that will definitely increase your exertion rates. Even if you do sprint between points and start off in a higher gear, stop-start exercise is very very effective.

  6. #6
    CX, MTB, Road, SS, BMX Dion's Avatar
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    Hill intervals.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Yacht4U's Avatar
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    I have started riding with 5 pound ankle weights on each leg....I am to the point where it is getting harder to get my heart rate into the target zone because I am in much better cardio condition then when i started all of this in Feb. ..

    Now with the ankle weights I find that riding the same cadence and same speed and same gear as before it has raised my heart beat by 12% thus I am getting a better workout now.I bought the ankle weights at Sports Authority for 17.00...

  8. #8
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    Ride a unicycle.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  9. #9
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    Put coke bottle tops in your shoes.

  10. #10
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
    Put coke bottle tops in your shoes.
    Behave and go share some photos of your new super-bike with us!

  11. #11
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    These wheels have higher rolling resistance

    bike02.jpg
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dsprehe89's Avatar
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    change your gearing to something more like my MTB (17 gear inches in lowest gear). 22T front and 34T rear. Then ride around on that the whole time!
    infinitesimal - The amount of actual performance improvement gained from most cycling expenditures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    AMish hardtail = An all-black bike with no rear-suspension that is intended to be ridden on farms. It also has the ability to bunnyhop over piles of horse poop. Most also have bashguards because showing up to church with a pant leg that got ripped up by your chain is frowned upon.

  13. #13
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    These wheels have higher rolling resistance

    bike02.jpg
    Now that's funny lol!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yacht4U View Post
    I have started riding with 5 pound ankle weights on each leg....I am to the point where it is getting harder to get my heart rate into the target zone because I am in much better cardio condition then when i started all of this in Feb. ..

    Now with the ankle weights I find that riding the same cadence and same speed and same gear as before it has raised my heart beat by 12% thus I am getting a better workout now.I bought the ankle weights at Sports Authority for 17.00...

    I really like this one... thanks for the tip!

  15. #15
    The Metropolis, UK
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    With the greatest respect, why not just stop & start plus cycle in higher gears?

  16. #16
    Senior Member dsprehe89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    With the greatest respect, why not just stop & start plus cycle in higher gears?
    that would help for building up more muscle. He could also ride in a really low gear at all times with a really high cadence and that would make it harder and work out his cardio. It all depends on what is harder to him. I personally am 235#s and was a football lineman back in high school so I don't need more muscle, but I need alot of cardio. So high cadence riding is what I need to do.
    infinitesimal - The amount of actual performance improvement gained from most cycling expenditures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    AMish hardtail = An all-black bike with no rear-suspension that is intended to be ridden on farms. It also has the ability to bunnyhop over piles of horse poop. Most also have bashguards because showing up to church with a pant leg that got ripped up by your chain is frowned upon.

  17. #17
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Simply find a place with a few miles of open roads and light traffic and do intervals involving all out sprints and/or hills and you will get more in less time.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  18. #18
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    wet suit. oxygen tanks optional
    My Cycling Log: http://www.endomondo.com/profile/202754 BikeForums Cycling Team on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/teams/1747411

  19. #19
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsprehe89 View Post
    that would help for building up more muscle. He could also ride in a really low gear at all times with a really high cadence and that would make it harder and work out his cardio. It all depends on what is harder to him. I personally am 235#s and was a football lineman back in high school so I don't need more muscle, but I need alot of cardio. So high cadence riding is what I need to do.
    True to a point and depends on the person's natural musculature too. However slightly higher gearing and cadence is the key unless very unfit. Low gear/high cadence is only useful surely on a sustained incline or hill?

  20. #20
    Senior Member dsprehe89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    True to a point and depends on the person's natural musculature too. However slightly higher gearing and cadence is the key unless very unfit. Low gear/high cadence is only useful surely on a sustained incline or hill?
    Very true, but seeing as the OP said there was a stop sign or light at pretty much every intersection, a low gearing would give him much more strokes in between stop/rests and would make his ride more difficult without having to spend any money or really do anything except shift. Thats all I was trying to get at. That he could just change gearing and make his ride more difficult without spending any money or riding any farther.
    infinitesimal - The amount of actual performance improvement gained from most cycling expenditures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    AMish hardtail = An all-black bike with no rear-suspension that is intended to be ridden on farms. It also has the ability to bunnyhop over piles of horse poop. Most also have bashguards because showing up to church with a pant leg that got ripped up by your chain is frowned upon.

  21. #21
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    ^Yes my area is dense and about to get denser as I will be moving close to the heart of LA.

    Why not just go somewhere less crowded/open/hilly? Well remember from my first post that I do a lot of intermittent biking during work breaks to improve my focus and productivity. so my biking paths make up the dense, stoplight-riddled area around my home

    To be honest the focus/productivity reason is more important than the cardio aspect of the exercise these days. But it's only effective if I strain myself, and I have only a boardwalk S1 to work with (Hopefully I can upgrade to a Downtube Nova soon)

  22. #22
    jur
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    Get a second beater bike and drag it behind you on a rope. That would get you some attention too.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  23. #23
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    Buy a really cheap full suspension bike and make the suspension really soft. It will suck the power out of your pedalling.

  24. #24
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    If reducing the bike efficiency for training is a common need, Brompton could add a feature to their coming electric model a mode where the motor is loaded electrically to have a negative assist. The extra energy can get dissipated as heat or used to charge the battery (regen). With a little bit of digital smart, the negative assist could be adjusted automatically based on the conditions. Like stationary training bike that actually moves.

    Just thinking out loud...
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  25. #25
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    Y'know, just thinking the very same thing. I'm a total noob, my first post should have been an intro but this one seems so apt.
    Been riding less than 3weeks, went to the park for practice and I thought, "why does it seem so easy to pedal, how am I going to get fit?"

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