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Wouldn't you get a better workout with a heavier bike ?

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Wouldn't you get a better workout with a heavier bike ?

Old 05-06-21, 07:55 AM
  #126  
rosefarts
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Maybe so but whatever I was having a laugh. It was a dumb topic and I just decided to have some fun. Obviously yes riding a heavy bike won't always have issues but a Wally-mart special could fall apart and hurt someone if built like a Wally-mart special usually is.
Really, aren't most threads here about butt chugging, when you get to the root of the matter?
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Old 05-06-21, 08:14 AM
  #127  
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Up until now, I have never heard of butt chugging. See, if you pay attention you can learn something everyday on BF!
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Old 05-06-21, 08:50 AM
  #128  
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The OP's original question was written with too much hyperbole to be taken as a serious premise but if one looked at it more realistically, the case could be made that an decent mid-range bike would give as good or even better a work out as a very expensive racing oriented bike. That would be a better comparison to argue as it has real life implications in the way many people, who purportedly get into cycling for the exercise benefit, buy bikes far beyond the stated goal of exercise (buying bikes designed for racing instead).

In some ways a very light race oriented bike does subjugate the exercise goal as they are designed to go faster and cover more distance with less effort and many people do not ride them at the intensity required to equal the wattage output of riding a more reasonably priced bike.

Also consider riders of fixed gear or single speed bikes. Besides aesthetic/social and other considerations, an increased workout in comparison is one stated benefit of "underbiking".

That premise could be argued in a more realistic way.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-06-21 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 05-07-21, 05:58 AM
  #129  
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The quality of the workout is determined by the rider, not the bike (as pointed out many, many times by earlier posters). Additionally, you get to be fast by training at high speed. If you intentionally slow yourself down with a heavier/less efficient bike, you don't learn how to handle your bike at speed (cornering, braking, etc.), and more importantly you don't learn how to go fast in the first place.

In terms of racing, the ability to go fast is only part of racing, there's also learning how to conserve your energy, tactics, moving within the peloton, etc. none of which is aided by using a heavier bicycle.

The idea of using a heavier bike seems to make sense on the surface, but when you think about it, it doesn't make sense.
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Old 05-07-21, 07:31 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
The quality of the workout is determined by the rider, not the bike (as pointed out many, many times by earlier posters). Additionally, you get to be fast by training at high speed. If you intentionally slow yourself down with a heavier/less efficient bike, you don't learn how to handle your bike at speed (cornering, braking, etc.), and more importantly you don't learn how to go fast in the first place.

In terms of racing, the ability to go fast is only part of racing, there's also learning how to conserve your energy, tactics, moving within the peloton, etc. none of which is aided by using a heavier bicycle.

The idea of using a heavier bike seems to make sense on the surface, but when you think about it, it doesn't make sense.
Why does it always come down to racing in these better workout threads? (I'm not just referring to you noimagination, you just happen the be the last to mention it)

OP (bless his heart) was very clear this thread was NOT about racing, and even admitted upfront that a "featherweight bike" was best for that.

Originally Posted by OP
Featherweight bike seems good for speed like if racing or Tour De France.

But, what if cubicle worker go for bike rides for exercise ? Not racing.

If it’s for exercise, is it counterproductive to have a light/fast bike.?


It's a fair point that never fails to get knickers in knots and entertain on BF.
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Old 05-07-21, 08:00 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Why does it always come down to racing in these better workout threads? (I'm not just referring to you noimagination, you just happen the be the last to mention it)
OP (bless his heart) was very clear this thread was NOT about racing, and even admitted upfront that a "featherweight bike" was best for that.
It's a fair point that never fails to get knickers in knots and entertain on BF.
Actually you missed this gem in the OP where he actually says pro racers should train on a heavy bike:
"Even for pro bikers who are training, it seems the most logical training bike would be the heaviest bike you can find."

SO yes, he asserted featherweight bike for racing, heavy-ass bike for race training.

Normally, I'd be on the side of "don't assume training=getting ready to race", but OP made this fair game.
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Old 05-07-21, 08:50 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
The quality of the workout is determined by the rider, not the bike (as pointed out many, many times by earlier posters). Additionally, you get to be fast by training at high speed. If you intentionally slow yourself down with a heavier/less efficient bike, you don't learn how to handle your bike at speed (cornering, braking, etc.), and more importantly you don't learn how to go fast in the first place.

In terms of racing, the ability to go fast is only part of racing, there's also learning how to conserve your energy, tactics, moving within the peloton, etc. none of which is aided by using a heavier bicycle.

The idea of using a heavier bike seems to make sense on the surface, but when you think about it, it doesn't make sense.
I am only arguing points for the fun of it. I really don't care what people ride. Having said that.

The quality of the workout is also dictated by the available time and frequency of workouts, as well as the intensity. Anyone who gets into Audax/Randoneuring bumps up against the time restraints required for training if they have a family/life. When cycling for exercise some/many people dedicate a "ride" or route as their workout routine, that they will repeat regardless the bike being used. In that way, a reasonably less efficient bike would give a better workout than one that is designed to cover the same distance with greater efficiency.

People who ride FG (less efficient) also learn about handling their bike and going fast. If you watch some of those NYC fixie videos they ride at speeds and capabilities far beyond the average rider on race oriented geared bikes. I learn more about cadence, energy conservation and strategy on my FG than any other bike and, I feel in my legs that I have gained a far better comprehensive workout when riding it, rather than my geared bike, over the same distance/route.

As far as exercise and bikes goes, most average people don't ride in a Peloton. I do ride with geared riders however, and we are able to pace ourselves accordingly. A group of riders on reasonably less efficient bikes could learn all the basics of group riding skills.

Lastly, as with my example of FG/SS bikes as a reasonable example of less efficient bike used for exercise. Many people do think it makes sense as they include this as part of their exercise/training routine. It at least makes as much sense as an average rider who wants to exercise but buys a very expensive race oriented bike designed to reduce the amount of effort required to cover the same distance. Beyond a certain "reasonable" point the better bike creates a reduced workout for the "average" rider.

Example: riders who participate in recreational group rides as their form of weekly exercise. Those on reasonable, but less efficient bikes will get a better workout than those on a more efficient bike as the routine itself is a metered activity. This is a pretty realistic and common exercise scenario.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-07-21 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 05-10-21, 11:25 AM
  #133  
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You are jumping to some strange conclusions that don't seem to be base on facts..
But: why don't you get a light bike and attach some barbells to it?
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Old 05-10-21, 11:58 AM
  #134  
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Not much of a difference

I was thinking the same thing recently, since I also am riding for exercise (and to get out of the house), but three things occurred to me:

1. I am going to push myself just as hard, i.e.., do as much work, if I get a lighter bike; I'll just be going a little faster or a little further.

2. There is only significant extra work done with more weight when you are accelerating or going uphill. Otherwise the added momentum of the heavy bike will occasionally help a little when coasting, and generally be neutral.

3. Except in extreme cases, the difference in weight between the lighter and heavier bike is relatively minor compared to your own weight. Depends how heavy you are, of course, but if you are cycling in part to lose weight . . . . The difference between a 25-lb bike plus a 180-lb rider and a 40-lb bike plus the same rider is under 7%.
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Old 05-10-21, 01:07 PM
  #135  
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I donít ride to workout, I ride because I enjoy it. Donít think that Huffy would cut it.
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Old 05-10-21, 01:41 PM
  #136  
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Well I can say that biking on my Specialized and now my Day 6 is a far cry more comfortable than it was on my original Huffy. It was geared way too high for hills, made them sheer torture to get up. And not being very well made-or in some place not put together right- they can be dangerous and fail at inopportune times. If you make it easier it will be more fun, and you will keep at it longer.
Oh and my Day 6 is much more heavy than the old Huffy, but still easier to ride. The seat feeling like a comfy bark-a-lounger more than a bike. LOL But after a long ride I am the only one without a numb butt.
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Old 05-10-21, 01:53 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Example: riders who participate in recreational group rides as their form of weekly exercise. Those on reasonable, but less efficient bikes will get a better workout than those on a more efficient bike as the routine itself is a metered activity. This is a pretty realistic and common exercise scenario.
This really depends on the rider and the group. Oftentimes someone will take longer and higher-speed pulls if they're on a faster bike, for instance.
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Old 05-10-21, 02:02 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
This really depends on the rider and the group. Oftentimes someone will take longer and higher-speed pulls if they're on a faster bike, for instance.
Sure, it's just a loose example.

Otoh, if I, on my $1000 bike go out for a ride with my friend with a $10000 bike we are both covering the same distance at the same speed, assuming one does not draft the other the whole way, the lower weight and decreased rolling resistance equals an easier ride for the second rider.

If the goal really is exercise and not racing there is potentially a cut off when increased performance may mean decreased results.
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Old 05-10-21, 03:36 PM
  #139  
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I ride an 18 year old giant Rincon se most Saturday mornings
itís a heavy old bike but enjoy the workout no vibrations with the suspension forks
i have a 1989 cannodale black lightning that comes out every few months and I feel every vibration on the road due to the light weight
I am happy to pedal around on the giant as I feel like Iím riding a Sherman tank and pull the black lightning out every now and then for a speed thrill👌
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Old 05-10-21, 04:18 PM
  #140  
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As I said in the other thread, you can easily test this hypothesis with a light bike and a heavy bike, each with a power meter.
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Old 05-10-21, 04:50 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Sure, it's just a loose example.

Otoh, if I, on my $1000 bike go out for a ride with my friend with a $10000 bike we are both covering the same distance at the same speed, assuming one does not draft the other the whole way, the lower weight and decreased rolling resistance equals an easier ride for the second rider.

If the goal really is exercise and not racing there is potentially a cut off when increased performance may mean decreased results.
In your example, the riders would also have to be perfectly matched for size, weight, and fitness level. A friend that I ride with sometimes is taller, heavier, and significantly more fit than me. My bike is also a couple of pounds lighter. What is an easy tempo for him is getting close to threshold for me. For the same speed and distance, he had an easy spin, and I had a tough effort.
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Old 05-10-21, 05:32 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
In your example, the riders would also have to be perfectly matched for size, weight, and fitness level. A friend that I ride with sometimes is taller, heavier, and significantly more fit than me. My bike is also a couple of pounds lighter. What is an easy tempo for him is getting close to threshold for me. For the same speed and distance, he had an easy spin, and I had a tough effort.
Yes, of course. The term " all other things being equal" applies. Otherwise it would be impossible to make any sort of comparison.

An Olympic cyclist on a Walmart bike probably works less than a grossly unfit amateur on an S works bike. This says nothing about the bikes.

If you take similar riders, doing the same route at the same speeds as many recreational group rides do, the rider on the bike optimized to go farther faster for less watts input will get less of a workout. It's not really that complicated.

What obscures the issue is the OPs hyperbole of using a crappy bike for his comparison. Elevated to a reasonable comparison it does give pause for thought to the intended purpose vs eventual purchase of some riders.
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Old 05-10-21, 05:37 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
assuming one does not draft the other the whole way
You don't have to have one person ride behind the other the whole way to swing this sort of thing one way or the other. The impact of drafting is vastly bigger than typical differences between road bikes, even $1,000 versus $10,000 road bikes; you'd really just need the person on the $1,000 bike to pull a bit less than they otherwise would.

When cyclists are trying to get a workout in, this often happens naturally.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:09 PM
  #144  
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The thing holding up this debate is the semantics of 'workout' vs. 'exercise'. As Caloso said, all you need is a power meter on 2 bikes. A HR monitor might help for accuracy Eg. a 22lb vs 17lb Domane.
Ride 50 miles on each, outputting as close to eg. 200 watts average as you can on each. After completing your ride, look at the calculated Total Work (kj), or perhaps your app will show total calories as a result.

Or don't do any of this and just imagine if you'd expect to see any differences running this experiment... just to avoid all of the predictable but, but, buts that you'd need the same wind conditions, same barometric pressure, identical postures on each bike.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:35 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
You don't have to have one person ride behind the other the whole way to swing this sort of thing one way or the other. The impact of drafting is vastly bigger than typical differences between road bikes, even $1,000 versus $10,000 road bikes; you'd really just need the person on the $1,000 bike to pull a bit less than they otherwise would.

When cyclists are trying to get a workout in, this often happens naturally.
Again, all things being equal. Trying to skew the comparison by having one person do all the pulling just avoids the question at hand.

Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The thing holding up this debate is the semantics of 'workout' vs. 'exercise'. As Caloso said, all you need is a power meter on 2 bikes. A HR monitor might help for accuracy Eg. a 22lb vs 17lb Domane.
Ride 50 miles on each, outputting as close to eg. 200 watts average as you can on each. After completing your ride, look at the calculated Total Work (kj), or perhaps your app will show total calories as a result.

Or don't do any of this and just imagine if you'd expect to see any differences running this experiment... just to avoid all of the predictable but, but, buts that you'd need the same wind conditions, same barometric pressure, identical postures on each bike.
You get it. If the question is whether one gets a better workout, one bike vs the other, eliminate the variables and look only at the effect of the bike. Reasonably speaking, a bike that is designed to be lighter and roll easier will require less effort by comparison Exercise is usually defined by physically stressing the body with effort. One would get more exercise with a bike that required more effort. Reasonably speaking.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:42 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

You get it. If the question is whether one gets a better workout, one bike vs the other, eliminate the variables and look only at the effect of the bike. Reasonably speaking, a bike that is designed to be lighter and roll easier will require less effort by comparison Exercise is usually defined by physically stressing the body with effort. One would get more exercise with a bike that required more effort. Reasonably speaking.
Yeah, kinda. Or it's the effort expended and duration put together. Putting out the same effort (wattage) on 22lb bike vs 17lb bike, means the duration required to complete your route or commute or whatnot, will be longer on the heavier bike.

A lot of this debate seems to follow from 2 schools of thought: 1 which thinks cyclists go out for set durations of time. The other maintaining that cyclists typically pick a distance/route of a set distance.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:59 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Yeah, kinda. Or it's the effort expended and duration put together. Putting out the same effort (wattage) on 22lb bike vs 17lb bike, means the duration required to complete your route or commute or whatnot, will be longer on the heavier bike.

A lot of this debate seems to follow from 2 schools of thought: 1 which thinks cyclists go out for set durations of time. The other maintaining that cyclists typically pick a distance/route of a set distance.
Or that people with nicer bikes will exercise more.

That may be true in the specious comparison between a crappy bike and a nice bike but less so (I think) between a mid range bike and a nice bike.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:30 AM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Featherweight bike seems good for speed like if racing or Tour De France.

But, what if cubicle worker go for bike rides for exercise ? Not racing.

If itís for exercise, is it counterproductive to have a light/fast bike.?

For exercise, won't a heavy $150 WalMart mountain bike give you a better workout ?

Better to ride the tank Huffy for 1 hour than to ride the AeroSpace bike for 6 hours to get the same calories burned ?

Less is more ? Or in this case, more is more ?


There are 2 very distinct use cases for a bicycle:

If I wanted to travel as far as I could (using bike to commute to work, or as a legitimate transportation vehicle), then Iíd want the lightest bike I can get, to increase range.

But, for fitness and exercise, Iíd want the heaviest bike I can get.

The only situation I can see a lighter bike yielding a better workout is when the hill is TOO steep to be traversed by a heavy bike, and you need to walk it.

Then a light bike works better since you can actually ride it up the hill.



Otherwise, it seems like its analogous to putting the treadmill on 3.0 At this speed, it takes very little effort, just like it takes less effort to move a light bike.

A light bike will be easier to pedal, thus yielding a less efficient workout.

So, to get the same workout on a 3.0, youíd have to jog for hours compared to putting the treadmill on 6.0 or 8.0 (riding a heavier bike)



Even for pro bikers who are training, it seems the most logical training bike would be the heaviest bike you can find.

Just like putting those donut weights on the baseball bat when youíre in the on deck circle.
depends. If youíre only interested in pedaling power or burning calories, you donít even need to go outside. Any exercise bike will provide a great workout. Lots of very good triathletes do all their training rides inside on a trainer with a power meter.

if you wish to improve cycling skills beyond pedaling or burning calories, youíll need to actually ride a bike. Additionally, a bike specifically suited to the skills you wish to improve usually works best. Want to become a better trail rider? ride a mtn bike on trails that challenges your skillset.

A walmart mountain bike will certainly work. It will likely fall short of a higher quality (ie more expensive) bike in a few ways. First, some things will be harder to do: climbing, flat hop or bunny hop, etc. second, the walmart bike will break down more often. Finally, the walmart likely will be noisier and less fun to ride.
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Old 05-11-21, 09:59 AM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
A lot of this debate seems to follow from 2 schools of thought: 1 which thinks cyclists go out for set durations of time. The other maintaining that cyclists typically pick a distance/route of a set distance.
Because life's demands on my time, my rides tend to be somewhat time based. On the trainer, it's usually a very specific time. On the road, I pick routes that incorporate the kind of effort I want to accomplish, and fit within the window of time I have available to ride. The weight of my bicycle doesn't change how hard of an effort I'm capable of, only the result of that effort. My choice of a light and efficient road bike serves my desire to ride fast and far. A heavier/slower bike would not change the intensity of my rides, but I would have to pick a shorter route to fit within my available time window.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:11 AM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
A heavier/slower bike would not change the intensity of my rides, but I would have to pick a shorter route to fit within my available time window.
So in the realm of reasonableness, if we use the hypothetical 17 vs 22 lb Domane, would you really adjust a 50 mile route's distance by the 1/4 mile or thereabouts to accommodate bike weight differentials? I'm skeptical people really think that precisely about it.
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