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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 05-11-21, 10:25 AM
  #151  
Eric F
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
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.
For me, doing a road ride, my windows of time are not precise down to exact minutes. However, if the choice of bike made a 15+ minute difference, I might alter my route if I had time limitations on both ends.
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Old 05-11-21, 02:51 PM
  #152  
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Gino Bartali used to haul a trailer around on training rides. When asked, he said it was for strength training. Of course, he was actually couriering for the Italian Resistance. He would roll up documents and stuff them in his bike frame, and if he knew he had to carry a lot, he'd take the trailer and stuff the documents in the trailer frame. And the people asking were Fascists and Nazis -- they didn't know any better.
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Old 05-11-21, 03:16 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by sincos View Post
...the people asking were Fascists and Nazis -- they didn't know any better.
Tends to be a feature of that crowd. Did they think the heavier bikes made for a better workout? Asking for a friend.
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Old 05-11-21, 04:45 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by SteveG23 View Post
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.
Yes, and you'll get there faster, thereby having a shorter workout and ultimately doing less work.
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Old 05-11-21, 05:06 PM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Yes, and you'll get there faster, thereby having a shorter workout and ultimately doing less work.
Not what he said. "Faster or further" .

I can't believe that after this whole thread, you're still sticking with that nonsense.

You show us any evidence that people who ride lighter bikes actually engage in shorter duration workouts? Didn't think so.
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Old 05-11-21, 06:22 PM
  #156  
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I hate getting into these Ďmagical thinkingí threads, but Iím bored, so here goes:

Physics: Once youíre up and rolling at a given speed, (bike) weight plays very little part in how much effort it takes to go down the road.

You can do things to make it harder, though: push a bigger gear, or only ride uphill. You can under-inflate your tires, and run a super -aggressive off-road knobby tire on pavement.
Fixed-gear bikes are an option, too since you canít stop pedaling.

I think part of it also stems from the misconception that bicycles are some kind of resistance training. You can expend a lot of effort on a bike, but you have to do things like accelerating, climbing and sprinting.
Even then, how heavy of a bike are we talking about? 30 lbs? 40 lbs? Youíre not going to find a 40 lbs road bike, unless itís some vintage tank like a Schwinn Varsity. I have an old Bridgestone that checks in right around 30 lbs. itís not any slower than my lighter, more modern bikes. It can be a little more work to ride, not because of the weight, but the 5-speed cluster and 42-t ring (instead of 39-t) that means you gotta push a little harder, and hold the gears longer before you can shift to the next one.

To really make a notable difference you have to add a lot of weight, like a trailer. 60-80 lbs of trailer and kids or cargo, and the 9-10 sq.ft of extra frontal area are way more noticeable than 10 lbs of bike.
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Old 05-12-21, 12:51 AM
  #157  
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Imagine a stationary bike for exercise (not training) at a gym that charges by the resistance level selected.

High resistance is cheap, cheap like a Walmart bike, but so hard to pedal for any length of time that it makes a workout unpleasant.

Moderate resistance levels are moderately priced, but provide a decent workout.

The least resistance, least effort settings are also the most expensive. You pay a premium for the machine to provide the easiest pedaling.

If the goal is exercise, not training to cycle better (a means to an end and not an end in itself) then the moderate resistance option may be the better choice according to HIIT and Resistance based exercise theory.

The only case where less resistance makes more sense is endurance or base training. Not usually the goal of those primarily interested in exercise, not sport specific training.


Some people seem to be saying you should pay more for the less resistance machine because you can work harder on it to match the output required for the more moderately priced machine to get the same workout...

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-12-21 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 05-12-21, 03:06 AM
  #158  
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Other things being equal, lighter bikes are faster than heavier bikes; riding a bike faster means working against higher wind resistance (wind resistance increases as the square of speed and is the major resistance factor at speeds above about 15 mph); therefore, you get a better workout with a lighter bike.

Seriously, I've always found that my lighter bikes are more fun to ride and encourage me to ride faster and harder. I'm invariably more fatigued after riding my light bikes for a given duration. That is, unless I choose to maintain a specific power level during the ride. If I do, there is obviously no difference between the heavier bikes and the lighter bikes in how good the workout is.

And that last example is the real-world answer to the specious proposition that heavier bikes give a better workout. The majority of the time you're riding for a workout, you're maintaining a specific perceived level of effort. If you're on a heavier bike, you use a lower gear or slow your cadence to maintain that level of effort. An effort level of, say, 200 watts is the same regardless of the weight of the bike.

Last edited by Trakhak; 05-12-21 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 05-12-21, 04:29 AM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
I hate getting into these Ďmagical thinkingí threads, but Iím bored, so here goes:

Physics: Once youíre up and rolling at a given speed, (bike) weight plays very little part in how much effort it takes to go down the road.

You can do things to make it harder, though: push a bigger gear, or only ride uphill. You can under-inflate your tires, and run a super -aggressive off-road knobby tire on pavement.
Fixed-gear bikes are an option, too since you canít stop pedaling.

I think part of it also stems from the misconception that bicycles are some kind of resistance training. You can expend a lot of effort on a bike, but you have to do things like accelerating, climbing and sprinting.
Even then, how heavy of a bike are we talking about? 30 lbs? 40 lbs? Youíre not going to find a 40 lbs road bike, unless itís some vintage tank like a Schwinn Varsity. I have an old Bridgestone that checks in right around 30 lbs. itís not any slower than my lighter, more modern bikes. It can be a little more work to ride, not because of the weight, but the 5-speed cluster and 42-t ring (instead of 39-t) that means you gotta push a little harder, and hold the gears longer before you can shift to the next one.

To really make a notable difference you have to add a lot of weight, like a trailer. 60-80 lbs of trailer and kids or cargo, and the 9-10 sq.ft of extra frontal area are way more noticeable than 10 lbs of bike.

I pulled a kid trailer a couple decades ago. You definitely don't get a better workout because you really can't go fast at all. Handling the vehicle at speed is too risky.

I think all of the posts that postulate a benefit from weight forget entirely the effect of wind resistance, but more importantly, they forget the basic nature of the machine--a bicycle is designed to allow us to propel our own weight faster and with less effort than we can do on our own. Essentially, it's primary function is to negate the effects of weight-- rolling a heavy weight is much easier than propelling it by walking. So the effects of marginal differences in weight are going to be relatively tiny.

Heavy bikes are going slower on climbs and acceleration is more difficult. That's really about it. This doesn't translate to "better" workout, just different slightly.

I do think some of the featherweight riders won't like this argument either, btw, because it suggests very small speed gains for the relatively small and very expensive differences in weight at that level.
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Old 05-12-21, 08:51 AM
  #160  
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I've said several times that the original premise is specious. The comparison should not be between a huffy and a Tarmac, or a S works and a bike pulling a trailer. That's not really arguable. But I think between medium and top tier can be, considering the stated goals and additional cost for the bike that is designed to be easier to ride.
The top tier of road bikes are designed to give the competitive edge to racers (trickle down technology) by making it easier to ride. You are paying a lot more to do less.

I also think a lot of people are trying to justify owning a certain type of bike by claiming it does something more than it does by ascribing their own motivations to them. Bike hobbyists who participate on forums are probably not average jill or joes who just see bikes as a tool to get some exercise. Most people here, like me, are into the bikes themselves.

I own some nice bikes. I own them because I want a nice bike. That's it.
For exercise my 90's Allez or old Apollo FG gives me a really good workout. Buying a very light expensive bike would not increase that.
It might be better for riding, it might be better for competitive or amateur cycling, it might help me get more Strava segments (not really ) but beyond a certain tipping point, it won't get me better basic exercise. The proposition is for the average joe or jill, who wants some exercise, and isn't pursuing cycling for cycling's sake.

The basic premise of this thread is disingenuous from the start because it asks members of a bike forum to compare crappy bikes against decent bikes. Who, as a bike enthusiast, is going to champion a crappy bike. It's just an invitation to dogpile shade on the crappy bikes. Which has been done in fine Pavlovian fashion. For all the shade given to the OP he did exactly what he set out to do. My goal is simply to elevate the argument a bit beyond the reflexive by suggesting a more realistic comparison between functionally decent bikes and top tier bikes. In that comparison, considering the minor perceived benefits and far greater costs, the question becomes more interesting and less easy to objectively answer, aside from subjective biases and conventional thinking.

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Old 05-12-21, 12:19 PM
  #161  
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Has anyone actually added wraparound weights on their ultra light carbon bikes?! 😆
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Old 05-13-21, 07:13 AM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Heavy bikes are going slower on climbs and acceleration is more difficult. That's really about it. This doesn't translate to "better" workout, just different slightly.
Sure it does. On a light bike, if you fly right up a hill with less work, you've gotten a worse workout. A heavier bike will absolutely give you a better workout up all hills. For those who are not racing, this seems the desired goal. Exercise, not ease, otherwise, you'd just sit on the sofa!
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Old 05-13-21, 07:33 AM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Sure it does. On a light bike, if you fly right up a hill with less work, you've gotten a worse workout. A heavier bike will absolutely give you a better workout up all hills. For those who are not racing, this seems the desired goal. Exercise, not ease, otherwise, you'd just sit on the sofa!
Absolutely? What if you fly up a hill with more work? That's what most of us with light bikes do. My heavy rainy/snowy weather bike is not much fun for hard rides, so I take it easy. I work much harder on my light bikes.

By the way: according to my calculations, you should soon be starting a thread on your startling discovery that paying more money for lighter equipment is stupid because losing weight off the body is free!

Last edited by Trakhak; 05-13-21 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 05-13-21, 08:50 AM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Sure it does. On a light bike, if you fly right up a hill with less work, you've gotten a worse workout. A heavier bike will absolutely give you a better workout up all hills. For those who are not racing, this seems the desired goal. Exercise, not ease, otherwise, you'd just sit on the sofa!
The problem with your assertions, aside from the trollish nature of them, is that they are not narrowing the variables to a reasonable comparison. For your claim to be even close to being considerable it would be more like

A heavier bike, that one is still capable of riding completely up the hills, in good form, without strenuous cranking that could damage knees.

In weightlifting one could say using heavy dumbells to do curls will give you bigger biceps - but again, the same caveats would apply. If you can't lift them or maintain good form they won't.

And don't say absolutely. It isn't a proven hypothesis yet. I's just a claim.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-13-21 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-13-21, 10:01 AM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by RTraveller View Post
Has anyone actually added wraparound weights on their ultra light carbon bikes?! 😆
Probably not, but not because it wouldn't increase the workout. If they did it would surely void the warranty even if it didn't immediately result in a fiery asplosion. Yet many will still claim with a straight face that CF is "stronger" than steel. I vote that this be the topic of the OP's next thread.
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Old 05-13-21, 10:11 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I've said several times that the original premise is specious. The comparison should not be between a huffy and a Tarmac, or a S works and a bike pulling a trailer. That's not really arguable. But I think between medium and top tier can be, considering the stated goals and additional cost for the bike that is designed to be easier to ride.
The top tier of road bikes are designed to give the competitive edge to racers (trickle down technology) by making it easier to ride. You are paying a lot more to do less.

I also think a lot of people are trying to justify owning a certain type of bike by claiming it does something more than it does by ascribing their own motivations to them. Bike hobbyists who participate on forums are probably not average jill or joes who just see bikes as a tool to get some exercise. Most people here, like me, are into the bikes themselves.

I own some nice bikes. I own them because I want a nice bike. That's it.
For exercise my 90's Allez or old Apollo FG gives me a really good workout. Buying a very light expensive bike would not increase that.
It might be better for riding, it might be better for competitive or amateur cycling, it might help me get more Strava segments (not really ) but beyond a certain tipping point, it won't get me better basic exercise. The proposition is for the average joe or jill, who wants some exercise, and isn't pursuing cycling for cycling's sake.

The basic premise of this thread is disingenuous from the start because it asks members of a bike forum to compare crappy bikes against decent bikes. Who, as a bike enthusiast, is going to champion a crappy bike. It's just an invitation to dogpile shade on the crappy bikes. Which has been done in fine Pavlovian fashion. For all the shade given to the OP he did exactly what he set out to do. My goal is simply to elevate the argument a bit beyond the reflexive by suggesting a more realistic comparison between functionally decent bikes and top tier bikes. In that comparison, considering the minor perceived benefits and far greater costs, the question becomes more interesting and less easy to objectively answer, aside from subjective biases and conventional thinking.
Yeah, no.
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Old 05-13-21, 11:11 AM
  #167  
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you would get a better work out if you jogged rather than cycled
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Old 05-13-21, 11:46 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Yeah, no.
Err... yah.

Or you could explain what you object to in the bolded section of text.

Are you saying top tier road bikes do not emphasize greater efficiencies to achieve more performance for less input?

Or are you objecting to the notion of paying more to do less? My claim is that, all other things being equal, a top tier road bike requires less input to achieve the same speed as a medium grade road bike.

If the rider of the expensive bike chooses to ride harder that's a different story. The rider of the medium grade bike could also choose that.

However, comparing the two grades of bike, side by side, on the same course at the aame speed, the more expensive bike requires less effort. If the goal is only exercise, and not racing perse, that may work to cross purposes of the stated goal. Ie. Paying more to do less.

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Old 05-13-21, 11:59 AM
  #169  
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A race bike emphasizes greater performances at all efforts, and especially at maximum effort. Bike racers do not train by putting out less effort than someone on a walmart bike. The point is that it never gets easier, you just go faster.
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Old 05-13-21, 12:06 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
A race bike emphasizes greater performances at all efforts, and especially at maximum effort. Bike racers do not train by putting out less effort than someone on a walmart bike. The point is that it never gets easier, you just go faster.
Oh. I see. It's like you objected to my post without even bothering to consider the context.

It never gets easier, you only go faster, is just a catchphrase that really makes no sense. According to basic exercise physiology it ignores the "plateau" effect.

It does get easier if you don't change the input. That's a rider decision, not a bicycle design feature.

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Old 05-13-21, 12:08 PM
  #171  
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Do people buy faster, flashier, more expensive bikes so that they can get a better workout, or is that just what they tell their spouse?
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Old 05-13-21, 02:21 PM
  #172  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It never gets easier, you only go faster, is just a jingoism that really makes no sense.
Jingoism is nationalism in the form of aggressive and proactive foreign policy, such as a country's advocacy for the use of threats or actual force, as opposed to peaceful relations, in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests.
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Old 05-13-21, 02:25 PM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It does get easier if you don't change the input. That's a rider decision, not a bicycle design feature.
Precisely. It therefore follows that neither heavier bikes nor lighter bikes give a better workout.
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Old 05-13-21, 02:35 PM
  #174  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Oh. I see. It's like you objected to my post without even bothering to consider the context.

It never gets easier, you only go faster (is just a jingoism that) really makes no sense. According to basic exercise physiology it ignores the "plateau" effect.
The hypothesis regarding the plateau effect stipulates that repeated bouts of exercise at a given load result in diminishing improvements in fitness. "It never gets easier, you just go faster" is Greg LeMond's succinct account of the only way for an ambitious athlete to overcome the plateau effect: by increasing the load.

Which, of course, anyone can do just as easily on a light bike as on a heavy bike (and in my case, as I explained earlier in this thread, I find it easier to increase the load/work harder on my light bikes, a choice that, as you say, anyone can make).
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Old 05-13-21, 02:38 PM
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The issue of whether heavier bikes give a better workout than lighter bikes would make a good college application essay topic. (For those who assert that heavier bikes do give a better workout: there's absolutely nothing wrong with trade schools.)
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