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Old 08-22-08, 09:56 AM   #1
mntbiker_ken
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bike wieght and climbing

I have a question that so far has produced various answers.

Everyone knows that the ligther a bike......the easier it is to peddle up hill.

So, lets say I have 15 pounds of stuff that I need to bring into the forest with me. I can easily put attatch this 15 pounds of stuff to the bike frame OR I can carry it on my back.

The question is.....which method will be easier for hill climbing OR does it make no difference? (leave comfort of discomfort of backpack out of equation.)

My feeling is that it doens't matter. Once you get on the bike....you are essentially powering the load/weight together up the hill one way or the other.

Thanks!
Ken
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Old 08-22-08, 09:58 AM   #2
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I have a question that so far has produced various answers.

Everyone knows that the ligther a bike......the easier it is to peddle up hill.

So, lets say I have 15 pounds of stuff that I need to bring into the forest with me. I can easily put attatch this 15 pounds of stuff to the bike frame OR I can carry it on my back.

The question is.....which method will be easier for hill climbing OR does it make no difference? (leave comfort of discomfort of backpack out of equation.)

My feeling is that it doens't matter. Once you get on the bike....you are essentially powering the load/weight together up the hill one way or the other.

Thanks!
Ken
It's only faster to peddle uphill if there are people uphill to peddle it to. The uphill market isn't always easy to peddle to. Sometimes there are people downhill more willing to buy.

As far as weight goes...if you stand up to pedal up the hill, that extra weight pushing on the pedal would be more useful than dead weight being pushed.
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Old 08-22-08, 10:12 AM   #3
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Heh! Good one one on the peddle vs. pedal! I felt there wasn't something quite right about how that looked! Nothing like an incorrect word usage to distract from the main question.

Anyway, I'll mark that reply down as one for "better to have on your back...if standing." Thanks.
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Old 08-22-08, 10:29 AM   #4
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What are you taking into the forest that weight 15 lbs?
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Old 08-22-08, 10:59 AM   #5
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On the back. You can shift the weight around to get traction.

Thats my thought anyways.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:13 AM   #6
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On the back. You can shift the weight around to get traction.
That's the only advantage to carrying the weight on your body rather than on the bike's body...you can move it around. Otherwise, it's the same amount of weight to be lifted the same distance, and thus the same amount of work to be done lifting it.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:17 AM   #7
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What are you taking into the forest that weight 15 lbs?
That does not sound like enough beer to pack in. Are we talking cans or bottles?
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Old 08-22-08, 11:19 AM   #8
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What are you taking into the forest that weight 15 lbs?
Spare parts in case he cheetos something (see what i did there?)

My vote is for on the back. It seems that if the weight was on the back, your whole body would be supporting that 15 lbs, where as if it was on the bike, it'd all be on your legs basically. The point chelboed had about that weight helping to push the pedals rather than dead weight makes sense too.

What we need is some real-world testing!
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Old 08-22-08, 11:32 AM   #9
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I prefer to carry my water on my back, rather than on the frame. All other supplies are pulled behind me on a toboggan.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:36 AM   #10
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I think it depends on the terrain. More weight higher up (i.e. on your back) may affect your center of gravity more dramatically than if it is carried on the bike. So if you are on terrain that requires a lot of balance, it might be worth playing around with to find what works best for you. Personally, though, I think I would rather have it on my back as long as I could secure it from shifting too much.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:48 AM   #11
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Its all the same: If the weight is on the rider's back while standing, your legs still have to support the weight. So the energy saved by the muscles to push the pedal is transferred to energy used to stand up.

With the weight on the back of the bike, you get more traction from the back wheel but since you move the center of mass of the whole system away from center, the bike might tend to pop-up in front more.

But what do I know?...nothing really.
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Old 08-22-08, 12:37 PM   #12
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Propelling a lighter weight bike with gear on your back makes more sense to me...no point in reducing a bikes weight so that it accelerates quicker and climbs better and then throwing two full size water bottles on it, a seat pack, etc...kinda makes all that money you spend making it lighter a little moot don't ya think?
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Old 08-22-08, 01:04 PM   #13
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And to add another point, my backpack usually traps a lot of heat on my back. If it's all the same to you, I'd rather put it on the bike.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:15 PM   #14
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If it's all the same to you
It's obviously not.

Seems like a 50/50 split with no real substance to back it up.

I agree that it should be tested.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:32 PM   #15
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put it on the bike.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:38 PM   #16
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It also would depend where on the frame it sat. I would assume that 15 lbs. of weight strapped to the front of the bike might change the steering and cornering a bit. I've never experienced it, though, so it is only an assumption.
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Old 08-22-08, 02:20 PM   #17
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That does not sound like enough beer to pack in. Are we talking cans or bottles?
Maybe he's talking something more fun than beer. Watch out though, I imagine 15 lbs is above the 'intent to redistribute' limit.
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Old 08-22-08, 02:27 PM   #18
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I think it depends on the terrain. More weight higher up (i.e. on your back) may affect your center of gravity more dramatically than if it is carried on the bike. So if you are on terrain that requires a lot of balance, it might be worth playing around with to find what works best for you. Personally, though, I think I would rather have it on my back as long as I could secure it from shifting too much.
Wow, master Junkyard, in the time that I've been on these forums, this is the first time I've ever heard you give a real, non-BS replay. Part of me feels kinda dead.
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Old 08-22-08, 03:03 PM   #19
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Wow, master Junkyard, in the time that I've been on these forums, this is the first time I've ever heard you give a real, non-BS replay. Part of me feels kinda dead.
Oh, he can be thoughtful; fortunately he usually resists the urge to do so .

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Maybe he's talking something more fun than beer . . . .
Now you're talkin' like on o' them BC Canadians.
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Old 08-22-08, 04:51 PM   #20
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Just to clarify, the 15lbs was just an arbitrary figure to get the discussion rolling, although beer would be great! It can be 3 lbs, 5 lbs, 7...whatever.

I was kinda thinkin what WildHare was, that it seems somewhat pointless to spend $1000's extra for a few lbs lighter bike if you end up just throwing a bunch of tools, water etc on the frame......

I wish there was some research on it.
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Old 08-22-08, 05:21 PM   #21
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I've noticed that when standing, you're doing the same motions as you would on a stair stepper at the gym. That is, you are climbing stairs. In that situation, I'd rather have the weight on the bike than on my back, so that it isn't lifted up and down with each stroke.
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Old 08-22-08, 05:39 PM   #22
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Wow, master Junkyard, in the time that I've been on these forums, this is the first time I've ever heard you give a real, non-BS replay. Part of me feels kinda dead.
I won't let it happen again. To make up for it, my advice: Calculate the additional amount of weight you plan on carrying. Lose this amount of weight through unsafe dieting practices (i.e. eating only yogurt for 6 months straight). Strap the weight to your back. Climb with the same ease you would have prior to losing the weight.
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Old 08-22-08, 05:54 PM   #23
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Throw some paniers on a mtn bike, load it with 15lbs of stuff and climb a hill. Put on a back pack, load it with 15lbs of stuff and climb a hill The bike itself should still accelerate and climb the same with the load on your body, not the bike. Essentially your bike goes from, as an example, 25 lbs to 40 lbs where your legs are trying to propel that 15 extra pounds beneath you instead of "carry" it on your upper body (which normally is going to be seated). 15 extra lbs on your upper body is nothing...

Granted, a heavy pack not properly secured to your torso/back would invite all kinds of problems...
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Old 08-22-08, 07:31 PM   #24
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Way, way too many variables to make flat out claims. It comes down to personal preference, as so many of these things do.

Type of bike? Type of terrain and trail? What's the load size and shape?

I carry a lot of crap, and mostly prefer it in the pack. Once in a while for short rides, it's nice to throw a bottle and spare tube/lever/tool/pump on the bike though.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:46 PM   #25
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I'm going with the back pack, easier to handle, if you put it on the bike and need to throw the bike around a little for some reason, it's going to be harder to maneuver and will mess with the fore aft balance of the bike depending on how you secure it..

a man's heaviest part is around his chest anyway so the extra weight there would not be as bad to maneuverability. a woman on the other hand is usually hip heavy which may be a reason to put the weight on the bike.
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