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Bike weight vs body weight

Old 04-25-20, 08:02 PM
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Bike weight vs body weight

So I been on a diet past six months. I lost ten pounds. But i dont notice any improvement in riding speed...particular uphill in my single speed.

but if i switch to a bike that is ten pounds lighter...and i attack the same hill, i can definitely feel a massive difference...much easier.

despite conventional wisdom, bike weight is very important.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 04-25-20 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 04-25-20, 08:11 PM
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Of course a bike that weighs 10 pounds lighter than another one can be felt. But 2 pounds would not matter hardly. Unless the distances are really long.
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Old 04-25-20, 08:17 PM
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A heavy clunky bike is going to be a heavy clunky bike regardless of your weight. If you ride a bike that is 10 pounds lighter that is significant and might also be a higher quality bike.
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Old 04-25-20, 11:02 PM
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You probably got weaker while losing weight, it is very hard to lose weight without losing muscle though you can do it with fasting or very low carb diet. I always thought bike weight was overrated but then I am a weight lifter more than a cycler so a couple pounds on my legs are pretty unnoticeable and I can zoom up steep hills very easily.
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Old 04-25-20, 11:34 PM
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If you watch races like the Tour de France, you will see that all the best climbers are really fat .... but they have really light bikes
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Old 04-25-20, 11:45 PM
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One thing you are forgetting is you lost ten pounds, then you switched to a bike ten pounds lighter. That is now twenty pounds total. That is a big difference.
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Old 04-26-20, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict
but if i switch to a bike that is ten pounds lighter...and i attack the same hill, i can definitely feel a massive difference...much easier.

despite conventional wisdom, bike weight is very important.

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Old 04-26-20, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JayKay3000
Itís his M.O.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:30 AM
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The Bike mass you have to accelerate and it’s a little different than moving your body mass. The round spinny bits (wheels, pedals, drivetrain) all have to accelerate differently than your frame and body and can take noticeably more energy to propel yourself forward as a result.

Frame stiffness or compliance is also going to feel a lot different at 10# as you have to transfer your loads through it. Frame material (aluminum vs steel vs carbon) are all going to feel and respond a bit different.

I’m a Clydesdale at 6’4” 265# and I notice a couple #s difference between bikes for sure. Whereas if I lose 10# body weight, is a smaller difference.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:44 AM
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perception is everything, especially w/o empirical data. personally, if I feel faster, does it matter what my actual speed is? often, when I feel like a good strong rider, I get my doors blown off, by actual good strong riders. canít do anything about that, so it canít matter to me, other than to keep me informed of my position in the food chain. sure, I keep track of my stats & I like seeing better #s but thereís no way Iíll see my #s from a decade ago. but operating a machine, an operator always strives for optimization
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Old 04-26-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict
So I been on a diet past six months. I lost ten pounds. But i dont notice any improvement in riding speed...particular uphill in my single speed.

but if i switch to a bike that is ten pounds lighter...and i attack the same hill, i can definitely feel a massive difference...much easier.

despite conventional wisdom, bike weight is very important.
You need to put your theory to the test. Gain 10 lbs, then try riding up the hill on the lighter bike.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:47 AM
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Power to weight ratio is the key here using the same bike. For most of us, when we loose 10 lbs and maintain the same activity level, 3 - 4 lbs of that might be muscle. You probably lost the same proportion of strength that you saved with the loss of 10 lbs.

Reducing bike weight will reduce the power requirements proportionly for climbing and accelerating, So with the same engine...I would expect a noticeable improvement. Cruising on flat ground weight plays a much smaller role when you're tires are properly inflated.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 04-26-20 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 04-26-20, 08:01 AM
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First, congrats on the weight loss!

Ten pounds is two, 2-liter bottles of water, plus a 500-ml bottle (or ~20 oz.)

Figure out how to carry this amount of water while you ride (basket/backpack/pannier/rack). Then remove the weight and ride again on the same bike...you will definitely notice a difference, especially uphill.

You will also be amazed at how much extra weight 10 pounds is to carry around on your body.

Again, congrats on the weight loss!
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Old 04-26-20, 08:44 AM
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The placebo effect is real and measurable. Because the difference in effort between a 15lb bike and a 25lb bike (for a rider of my weight) to climb a 4% grade @ 12mph is less than 3%-- 292W for the lighter one, 301W for the heavier.

If you weigh 140lbs (like a Tour rider) bike weight can be significant. For someone my size, it doesn't matter quite so much. I have two bikes ~8lbs apart, and the lighter one is faster because it has 22 gears while the heavier has just one gear. The weight is mostly a non-issue.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG
First, congrats on the weight loss!
/thread.
Seriously. I doubt the o.p. had more than this as inspiration. What I like about a very low 20lbs+ road bike is the ease of putting it on the hook on the light rail train or putting it where I want to lock it up or taking it inside after a ride ... IOW off the bike maneuvering of a very light bike is nicer than off the bike maneuvering of a fully loaded tourer or ... a tandem. The few minutes of time difference in riding a touring bike five miles vs riding a road racer the same difference doesn't inspire me to start threads about it. I don't find it at all strange that a 10lb change in weight is not perceptible on the bike. Unless one is hanging themselves on bike hooks. That I would find very strange.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
If you watch races like the Tour de France, you will see that all the best climbers are really fat .... but they have really light bikes
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Old 04-27-20, 12:27 AM
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OP congrats and keep it up, that's the key to losing weight, not doing it once, but keeping it up and not putting it back on.
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Old 04-27-20, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
perception is everything, especially w/o empirical data. personally, if I feel faster, does it matter what my actual speed is?
This. Tires pumped up rock hard "feel" faster too. I wonder if OP has tried that?

Originally Posted by DrIsotope
The placebo effect is real and measurable. Because the difference in effort between a 15lb bike and a 25lb bike (for a rider of my weight) to climb a 4% grade @ 12mph is less than 3%-- 292W for the lighter one, 301W for the heavier.

If you weigh 140lbs (like a Tour rider) bike weight can be significant. For someone my size, it doesn't matter quite so much. I have two bikes ~8lbs apart, and the lighter one is faster because it has 22 gears while the heavier has just one gear. The weight is mostly a non-issue.
Right. Bike weight, as a percentage of the riders body weight, is greater for lighter riders. As such, a few pounds difference in bike weight will matter more for them.
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Old 04-27-20, 05:15 AM
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One more reason the difference in bike weight is more noticeable -- the loss of bike weight is immediate, the human weight loss takes some time. Gradual transitions are harder to notice.

It also matters a lot where you lost the body weight -- fat and upper body muscle won't affect your strength as a rider, but loss of leg muscle will.
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Old 04-27-20, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict
So I been on a diet past six months. I lost ten pounds. But i dont notice any improvement in riding speed...particular uphill in my single speed.

but if i switch to a bike that is ten pounds lighter...and i attack the same hill, i can definitely feel a massive difference...much easier.

despite conventional wisdom, bike weight is very important.
u failed ti share what u weigh.
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Old 04-27-20, 06:29 AM
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I love GCN and thought that this might be of interest.

Last edited by bruce19; 04-27-20 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 04-27-20, 06:31 AM
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https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fit...es-you-faster/
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Old 04-27-20, 08:49 AM
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The weight weenies have always tickled me. They worry about grams of difference in some component, yet thing nothing of pounds on their belly. Weight is weight no matter where it is, and has to be pedaled up that hill.
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Old 04-27-20, 09:21 AM
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Does weight even matter when you're lounging in a hammock?
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Old 04-27-20, 09:38 AM
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Two Bikes
Same Weight, same gearing, same tires

Which one is faster?

Spoiler
 


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