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Bike weight and fighting wind

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Bike weight and fighting wind

Old 06-10-22, 12:13 PM
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sd5782 
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Bike weight and fighting wind

Theoretical question on riding into the wind on a heavier bike vs a lighter bike. I know heavier uphill is more work and less efficient. I have seen it speculated that once one gets the weight going, it doesn’t matter, but does it? I get more of a workout with my kitted up miyata 1000 than I do on my lighter sport touring bikes. 2 mph ave speed difference is usual.

Lots of variables I know, including 35mm paselas on the touring bike but I was questioning if that was that big a difference. It just seemed to me that it would take more work to keep the 5-7 pound heavier bike cutting through the wind. Am I wrong here.
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Old 06-10-22, 12:26 PM
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Adding weight won't help you ride faster into the wind, nor will it make it harder. The physics between the two aren't coupled.
Getting into a more aerodynamic position will. About the only time I move my hands down into the drops anymore is to fight a stiff headwind.
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Old 06-10-22, 12:37 PM
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Give 700 x 28's a try. They helped me.
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Old 06-10-22, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Theoretical question on riding into the wind on a heavier bike vs a lighter bike. I know heavier uphill is more work and less efficient. I have seen it speculated that once one gets the weight going, it doesn’t matter, but does it? I get more of a workout with my kitted up miyata 1000 than I do on my lighter sport touring bikes. 2 mph ave speed difference is usual.

Lots of variables I know, including 35mm paselas on the touring bike but I was questioning if that was that big a difference. It just seemed to me that it would take more work to keep the 5-7 pound heavier bike cutting through the wind. Am I wrong here.
If the Miyata is "kitted up" that sounds like it would have more wind resistance. Fatter tires and more upright riding position will have more wind resistance.

And you're probably not maintaining a constant speed, so there will be accelerations throughout the ride, which will slow you down.

Weight is not a factor in wind resistance.
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Old 06-10-22, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
About the only time I move my hands down into the drops anymore is to fight a stiff headwind.
Same here.

Noticing how 'modern' bike setups place bars much higher versus saddles than I am used to, that seems comfortable but once in the drops, perhaps not all that low and there's nowhere left to go. Perhaps a future development might be bars with a second set of drops below the first.
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Old 06-10-22, 12:41 PM
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If you have bags on the Miyata that will be the most problematic into a headwind. I love panniers until I'm riding into the wind.
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Old 06-10-22, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Same here.

Noticing how 'modern' bike setups place bars much higher versus saddles than I am used to, that seems comfortable but once in the drops, perhaps not all that low and there's nowhere left to go. Perhaps a future development might be bars with a second set of drops below the first.
A long time ago, about 35 lbs to be precise I went through a period where I was doing traithlons. On my race bike I had a set of bars that we called elephant IUD's to get into a tucked, downhill ski position. That worked really well, and you could rest your elbows on some pads. It did make steering wonky. The LBS that I worked at saw a lot of bikes come in with front end crash damage.
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Old 06-10-22, 01:07 PM
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I recommend tucking behind @gugie.
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Old 06-10-22, 01:16 PM
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wind just f'n blows, no matter how light or heavy you are.
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Old 06-10-22, 01:22 PM
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32s on my other bikes mostly, so not a great difference. The Miyata has a soft “trunk” bag on the rear rack and a small one on a front rack so obviously not aerodynamic. I do like the explanation about slowing down and speeding up causing losses. Even with those explanations I would still bet the added weight is a factor. Take a car that weighs X and gets a certain mpg. Wouldn’t it still take a bit more power to propel with 500 extra pounds in the trunk and everything else is equal?
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Old 06-10-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
32s on my other bikes mostly, so not a great difference. The Miyata has a soft “trunk” bag on the rear rack and a small one on a front rack so obviously not aerodynamic. I do like the explanation about slowing down and speeding up causing losses. Even with those explanations I would still bet the added weight is a factor. Take a car that weighs X and gets a certain mpg. Wouldn’t it still take a bit more power to propel with 500 extra pounds in the trunk and everything else is equal?
it takes more power to accelerate that weight to a certain speed - but it does not take noticeably more power to sustain that speed. the forces acting against you once you're in motion are wind resistance (a heavy object of the exact same size, shape, and surface texture as a lighter one has the same wind resistance) and friction from your bike's contact surfaces (chain, bearings, etc) and the contact of your tires with the road. those latter frictional forces are marginally higher with a heavy bike, but the difference is very tiny compared to wind at any significant speed.
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Old 06-10-22, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I recommend tucking behind @gugie.
It will slow you down, but there's the benefit of a large slipstream.
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Old 06-10-22, 01:34 PM
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I think it’s ALL about wind age and ride position. Yes, tire size can be a factor. My favorite bike for a headwind ( yea I hate head winds too) is my Medici. It has 700 x 25’s and the stem is lower , for some reason it just feels right, also the frame is a 60 when I normally ride a 63. I ride the “tops” more on this for obvious reasons ,but the drops are great down low for an aggressive position when battling a headwind.

For some reason this feels right for this bike . With aero brakes I can ride more easily on the top and drop for wind or any aggressive riding

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Old 06-10-22, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
wind just f'n blows, no matter how light or heavy you are.
I think the only thing I learned in my science class is that wind doesn't blow, it sucks.
I mentioned that in class, I think, got Zero credit for creativity. And detention.

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Old 06-10-22, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
It will slow you down, but there's the benefit of a large slipstream.
Wake turbulence?
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Old 06-10-22, 02:32 PM
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I ride a Monday Night Shootout that 95% of the time, is with the wind going out, comes back directly into a stiff headwind.

It seems worse this year, so much so that many are opting out of the ride.

I'm fortunate that I can ride various bikes on this ride, so I do.
The wide-body carbons with deep V wheels seem like a handful.
The steel C&V with box section rims don't seem quite so bad.
Funny, I'm still a bit faster on the "handful," for most rides.

Perhaps 30 years of technology does actually make a difference.
I still like the steel bikes better. Just more satisfying to some instinct.

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Old 06-10-22, 02:54 PM
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Riding into a headwind is just cranking up the need for best aero.

these mod bike guys around here seem to have 35-50mm deep front rims and 50-80 rear.
makes sense. All carbon, carbon, carbon...

they spend big for the privilege.
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