I was having a discussion with some of the guys I work with and I wanted to get another take on this subject. Does riding a heavier bike in the winter make you a faster rider when you switch to a racing bike in the summer?
Theoretically the extra weight a heavier bike brings to the table will only come into play when you are climbing a hill or under acceleration.
Now let's take two riders of equivalent ability and place one on a heavy bike and one on a lighter bike. While climbing a hill both rider will generate the same power output and obviously the guy on the lighter bike will reach the top of the hill first at a faster overall speed. During acceleration the rider of the light bike will simply reach an equivalent speed sooner than the rider on the heavy bike. So the only difference I can see to riding a heavier bike is that on hills and during acceleration you spend a longer period of time at a high power output.
Couldn't you then get the same benefit (higher power output for longer periods) by climbing a bigger hill or accelerating to a higher speed on a lightweight bike? Am I missing something?
Couldn't you then get the same benefit (higher power output for longer periods) by climbing a bigger hill or accelerating to a higher speed on a lightweight bike?
in short, yes. this is why equipment is almost a moot point when talking about training. say you have a 15 lb bike. you ride that at your LT level for an hour and go 20 miles. now, say you have a 20lb bike and you ride at your LT level and end up with 18 miles. does that 2 miles represent anything? yes, it represents the physics of the bike but has nothing to do with your effort. you'd have the same workout either way.
the only way it would make a difference is if you had a goal of finishing a course in a set length of time. then, you'd be getting a better workout with a heavier bike. but that's a pretty unrealistic training method.