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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 05-14-21, 01:08 AM
  #201  
HTupolev
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Again, all things being equal. Trying to skew the comparison by having one person do all the pulling just avoids the question at hand.
I'm not just whimsically pointing out that it's synthetically possible for force the desired amount of workout for everyone by adjusting pull intensity and lengths. My point is that this happens naturally as a self-regulating process: if someone is riding for exercise and has some extra legs, they'll generally just use them.
This breaks down if the advantage is so massive that the person can just effortlessly ride off the front, but that's an astronomically larger difference than "mid-range road bike versus high-end road bike." As long as that rope isn't snapping, someone who feels like pedaling a little harder more can just do it.

This assumption you're making that everyone riding for exercise in a pack is expected to take equal pulls of constant intensity strikes me as fairly bizarre. It has certain obvious consequences in a very synthetic comparison, but it doesn't actually translate to a faster bike resulting in someone doing less effort in real-world group riding.

Last edited by HTupolev; 05-14-21 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:04 AM
  #202  
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I didn't think this argument could have gotten more ridiculous, but a "thought experiment" as to whether the grams shaved from mid-level bikes (good luck defining that, btw) and top-end makes the workout better or worse has done it. Let's all make up a bunch of psychological crap about how people will react to tiny variations in effort needed to climb or accelerate and then make up conclusions from that crap.

Let's be real here, the weight of the vehicle is the weight of the rider and the bicycle. Small differences in the weight of the bikes is a very small percentage of the weight of the vehicle you are ppropelling. We can argue all day over whether the small difference in performance is worth the difference in price, but that's clearly an individual preference issue. But just as a matter of math and physics, the difference in effort at any given mph is really small, and the likelihood that affects your overall workout energy use is probably close to zero. Now, if you think you're going to want to ride the $8000 bike more than the $3000 bike, go for it, but don't assume that's true for anyone else, nor should anyone assume that anyone 's quality of workout been adversely affected because they burned 5 fewer calories on the last hill. Buy a featherweight and do five jumping jacks at the end of the ride if you're that obsess.

Short answer --difference isn't worth considering.
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Old 05-14-21, 06:37 AM
  #203  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

If you both had the same bike, and you peddled harder to go faster, That would give you a better workout.
So close.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:33 AM
  #204  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
I'm not just whimsically pointing out that it's synthetically possible for force the desired amount of workout for everyone by adjusting pull intensity and lengths. My point is that this happens naturally as a self-regulating process: if someone is riding for exercise and has some extra legs, they'll generally just use them.
This breaks down if the advantage is so massive that the person can just effortlessly ride off the front, but that's an astronomically larger difference than "mid-range road bike versus high-end road bike." As long as that rope isn't snapping, someone who feels like pedaling a little harder more can just do it.

This assumption you're making that everyone riding for exercise in a pack is expected to take equal pulls of constant intensity strikes me as fairly bizarre. It has certain obvious consequences in a very synthetic comparison, but it doesn't actually translate to a faster bike resulting in someone doing less effort in real-world group riding.
I'm not making the assumption that everyone riding in a pack does anything. I also think, in this discussion, people are confusing cycing for cycling sake and cycling as a form of exercise.

l would say it is more likely, on average, that two people get together and ride a predetermined distance together as a form of exercise rather than as a larger pack. This is what I observe a lot on the road in two very popular cycling areas. Pairs or small groups riding together but not drafting. They do the same distance at about the same relative speed. Husband and wife, two friends, small social group. It's not what everyone does but it's a pretty common way people exercise by cycling.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I didn't think this argument could have gotten more ridiculous, but a "thought experiment" as to whether the grams shaved from mid-level bikes (good luck defining that, btw) and top-end makes the workout better or worse has done it. Let's all make up a bunch of psychological crap about how people will react to tiny variations in effort needed to climb or accelerate and then make up conclusions from that crap.

Let's be real here, the weight of the vehicle is the weight of the rider and the bicycle. Small differences in the weight of the bikes is a very small percentage of the weight of the vehicle you are ppropelling. We can argue all day over whether the small difference in performance is worth the difference in price, but that's clearly an individual preference issue. But just as a matter of math and physics, the difference in effort at any given mph is really small, and the likelihood that affects your overall workout energy use is probably close to zero. Now, if you think you're going to want to ride the $8000 bike more than the $3000 bike, go for it, but don't assume that's true for anyone else, nor should anyone assume that anyone 's quality of workout been adversely affected because they burned 5 fewer calories on the last hill. Buy a featherweight and do five jumping jacks at the end of the ride if you're that obsess.

Short answer --difference isn't worth considering.⁹
If there is no difference it's pretty hard to justify buying a more expensive race oriented bike on "better workout" grounds... which is my premise.

Originally Posted by caloso View Post
So close.
Thank you for bolding that text as a perfect example that it is equally possible to do that on a mid grade bike as with a far more expensive one. That decision resides within the rider and is not an objective function of the bike. Remembering we are talking exercise as the goal, and not cycling for its own sake.

If the goal is to.maximize exercise by increasing effort, using a bike that decreases effort runs contrary to the goal.

There are lots of very valid reasons to buy that sort of bike but saying it objectively increases the workout isn't one of them

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-14-21 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-14-21, 09:09 AM
  #205  
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Next up--can more angels dance on the head of a $250 pin vs. a $500 pin?
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Old 05-14-21, 09:34 AM
  #206  
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Admittedly I have not followed this thread closely. But, I believe the premise that a heavier or lighter bike gives a better workout is so obviously false. It is never about the bike as the differences in weight are dwarfed by the weight of the rider. It has always been about proper diet and rider weight when it comes to maximizing the workout and obtaining the highest level of performance.

The following is such an inspirational video. I think it proves that if one works hard and uses his/her weight to an advantage even things that are unimaginable can be accomplished. I get goosebumps every time I watch it.


John
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Old 05-14-21, 09:36 AM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Next up--can more angels dance on the head of a $250 pin vs. a $500 pin?
Or...

Why people try so hard to cancel discussions they are not interested in.

Real life application:

guy walks into a bike shop looking for a bike to "exercise" with.

Sales person shows him mid grade bikes, well made and decent components.

also shows him more expensive, race oriented bikes; very lightweight, high end components.

The second series of bikes, while "nicer" comes with a couple of caveats:

More expensive
More fragile
More expensive to repair

The shopper is looking for a bike only for exercise and is not interested in getting into cycling as a sport.

Would we say the salesperson is being forthright if they said, in that case, the customer could get just as good a workout from the mid range bike - or - would we support pushing the customer towards the more expensive option with claims it will give them "a better workout".

Does that ever happen in real life? Having been involved in several equipment intensive outdoor pursuits for many years I would say yes. Thus my perspective in this discussion.
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Old 05-15-21, 06:47 AM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I believe the premise that a heavier or lighter bike gives a better workout is so obviously false.
Really? It is so obviously TRUE to me that I never considered anyone would refute it.
Imagine putting pedals on your car. Now, pedal that thing up a hill.
You're telling me that's the same amount of work (exercise) as your bike?
Heavier bike so obviously requires more work.
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Old 05-15-21, 07:32 AM
  #209  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Heavier bike so obviously requires more work.
But does not necessarily give you a better workout.

I have pedaled this up many mountain passes out west. But I have a 24x34 low gear, and Iím rarely pushing myself to the limit heart rate-wise, like someone who is climbing those same passes training for racing.

Get it now, or are you being intentionally obtuse?


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Old 05-15-21, 07:46 AM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Really? It is so obviously TRUE to me that I never considered anyone would refute it.
Imagine putting pedals on your car. Now, pedal that thing up a hill.
You're telling me that's the same amount of work (exercise) as your bike?
Heavier bike so obviously requires more work.
I guess you didn’t watch the video.

You don’t get out much, do you?

John

Edit added: You don’t need a heavier bike, you just need to eat more little chocolate donuts. That is where the weight and strength comes from.

Last edited by 70sSanO; 05-15-21 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 05-15-21, 09:33 AM
  #211  
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I don’t mean to rant, but that is what is wrong with so many people, including the OP, they just want to take the easy route. Just buy a heavier bike.

Some people who are stuck with lighter bikes just can’t buy their way to a better workout. They have to finish off that bag of chips, have another beer, hit the fridge at 1:00am. It takes hard work, but it is worth it.

Watch a 140lb rider going up a hill, and then a 200lb rider. The 200lb rider is sweating profusely, his heart is pounding out of his chest, and he is gasping as if it is his last breath. You just can’t get to that level by buying a heavier bike.

Sorry for the rant.

John
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Old 05-15-21, 10:12 AM
  #212  
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I think the OPís point is well taken.
Would it be a lesser or a worse workout on a heavier bike?
Would it be more or a better workout on a lighter bike?
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Old 05-15-21, 10:31 AM
  #213  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Really? It is so obviously TRUE to me that I never considered anyone would refute it.
If you thought it was so obvious and no one would refute it, why did you start a thread about it?
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Old 05-15-21, 11:37 AM
  #214  
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Originally Posted by jzink0883 View Post
I think the OPís point is well taken.
Would it be a lesser or a worse workout on a heavier bike?
Would it be more or a better workout on a lighter bike?
Would it be a lesser or a worse workout if you gained 40lbs?

John
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Old 05-15-21, 12:24 PM
  #215  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I get it.
However, without a power meter one does not really know how many watts they are putting out. All they have is perceived effort.
Exactly. Said another way, you're going to ride as hard as you're going to ride. If you ride harder on the heavier bike, then you'll get a better workout. If you're already riding as hard as you can, the heavy bike will slow you down. The heavier, slower bike might cause you to ride longer, but then again you could always have ridden the lighter bike further/longer to make it up. No matter how you look at it, the difference in workouts is YOU not the bike.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:34 PM
  #216  
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I think the OP needs to formally scientifically define "workout" as a dependent variable Then, formally measure and define his independent variables before we can have a rational discussion..

So OP, what exactly are you trying to measure?

Is this strictly your own psychological ploy to a better workout that heavier = harder?
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Old 05-15-21, 12:55 PM
  #217  
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I just finished a 4 1/2-hour ride on my 19-pound track bike (48/18 gearing) in Baltimore County and Carroll County (very hilly terrain). I'm thoroughly wiped out. Last month, I did the same ride on my 34-pound hybrid bike (triple chainrings, 7 sprockets). Much, much easier ride.

Just reinforcing the point made above by BlazingPedals:

"No matter how you look at it, the difference in workouts is YOU not the bike."
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Old 05-15-21, 05:52 PM
  #218  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post

Watch a 140lb rider going up a hill, and then a 200lb rider. The 200lb rider is sweating profusely, his heart is pounding out of his chest, and he is gasping as if it is his last breath. You just canít get to that level by buying a heavier bike......,,,

200lb rider going up a hill on a 30lb bike; Yeah, this guy looks like heís done for

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Old 05-15-21, 07:32 PM
  #219  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Really? It is so obviously TRUE to me that I never considered anyone would refute it.
Imagine putting pedals on your car. Now, pedal that thing up a hill.
You're telling me that's the same amount of work (exercise) as your bike?
Heavier bike so obviously requires more work.
This may be absolutely the stupidest thing I have ever read. If I attempt to pedal power my car up a hill, I will not be able to do it, give up attempting to turn the pedals and get no workout at all.

You want a great workout? Go lift a locomotive. Obviously, that would require more energy than bench pressing 85 pounds.

And for the umpteenth plus one time, you can ride the lighter bike further or in a higher gear and thereby equalize or increase the amount of work as compared to the heavier bike.

Are you actually an adult?

Last edited by livedarklions; 05-15-21 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-15-21, 07:58 PM
  #220  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Really? It is so obviously TRUE to me that I never considered anyone would refute it.
Imagine putting pedals on your car. Now, pedal that thing up a hill.
You're telling me that's the same amount of work (exercise) as your bike?
Heavier bike so obviously requires more work.
If you use time and effort/power as your measure of workout effectiveness then the weight of your bike really makes no difference. With a lighter bike you'll go a little farther but as others have said it makes no difference to the quality of your workout. Having a heavier bike will slightly extend the amount of time you spend on a given hill but the effect is small and could be easily compensated for by repeating all or a portion of the hill. On flat sections the extra weight makes no difference.

If you train for 10 hrs a week it makes no difference what kind of bike you're riding - MTB, cyclocross, lightweight race bike or heavy bike, it's all good.
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Old 05-15-21, 08:41 PM
  #221  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Really? It is so obviously TRUE to me that I never considered anyone would refute it.
Imagine putting pedals on your car. Now, pedal that thing up a hill.
You're telling me that's the same amount of work (exercise) as your bike?
Heavier bike so obviously requires more work.
Does the car have the same gear as the bike?

The real question of this thread is; ďIs riding a bicycle resistance training?Ē I would posit that it is not (at least not a wheeled bike, on the road). Now, thereís things you can do, like riding up hills in big gears, or riding heavily treaded, under-inflated tires that make a bike harder to ride, but that doesnít really Ďimproveí the workout.
Like in the spin-vs-mash thread; high effort, low RPM riding has a higher peak effort, that you canít sustain as long.

In weightlifting terms, since thatís straight up isolated resistance ; Whatís the better workout: 5x5 at 150# or 3x12 at 100#?
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Old 05-16-21, 06:34 AM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Does the car have the same gear as the bike?

The real question of this thread is; ďIs riding a bicycle resistance training?Ē I would posit that it is not (at least not a wheeled bike, on the road). Now, thereís things you can do, like riding up hills in big gears, or riding heavily treaded, under-inflated tires that make a bike harder to ride, but that doesnít really Ďimproveí the workout.
Like in the spin-vs-mash thread; high effort, low RPM riding has a higher peak effort, that you canít sustain as long.

In weightlifting terms, since thatís straight up isolated resistance ; Whatís the better workout: 5x5 at 150# or 3x12 at 100#?
I'm going to disagree with you a bit here, bicycling can and often is resistance training, and the degree to which it is is largely in control of the rider. There's wind, there's hills, there's riding in dirt, there's gear choices. I also disagree that mashing isn't as sustainable as ow gear/high cadence riding. The amount of energy "wasted" moving one's legs at high cadence is something people don't account for when they make statements like that. Mashing is actually much more efficient from a cardiovascular standpoint, and I'm able to do it for 150 mile plus rides. Slow twitch muscles can be trained to produce high torque over very long rides.

As many people have pointed out, op fails to grasp that the quality of a workout is not an objective judgment, you have to define "better for what?" But on any measure there is nothing that a heavy bike can do for increasing resistance that can't be compensated for on a lighter bike.

And again, the weight thing is runner's logic misapplied to cycling. Weights make a big difference in running because each step is actually a lift of the entire weight of the runner and gear. On a bike, the bike is supporting all of the weight, and the rider is just providing propulsion by lifting and putting down her legs. Nothing on a bicycle is being lifted except legs.
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Old 05-16-21, 11:14 AM
  #223  
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The weight thing, or I would say, resistance thing, does make a difference in cycling.

The runner moves by propelling weight through space by stepping forward. The cyclist moves by propelling weight through space by pushing the leading pedal forward.A bicycle provides some mechanical advantage but the physics remain the same and... The more resistance in the pedal, the harder one pushes. This is easily noted when shifting up or down gears or riding up and down hills.

If resistance did not matter, competitive cyclists would not seek out low rolling resistance tires or hubs that roll with less resistance (to name two common examples). A lighter bike also creates less resistance. Again, if it didn't, competitive cyclists would not obsess so much about it and drillium would never have been invented. Weight effects inertial resistance and the effort required to pedal.

The resistance in the pedal, a result of many factors, including weight, is what gives the cyclist a workout.

On the road, if you increase resistance (ride up a hill) you increase intensity. Ride in a higher gear, increase intensity. Ride a bike with higher rolling resistance tires, increase intensity. Ride a bike with more resistance in it's bearings, increase intensity. Ride a heavier bike, increase intensity.

To say weight makes no difference in the effort of cycling flies in the face of every thread ever started where some road cyclist seeks to reduce it, at great expense, by even a few grams.

Weight matters in the scheme of things. It is ultimately translated into resistance at the pedal that the rider has to push with effort.

Either the rider can travel farther/faster for the same effort that would be put into a heavier bike.
Equal workout.

or...

A lighter bike requires less effort to travel the same distance/speed being covered when using a heavier bike.
Less workout.

People arguing this is not so are flying in the face of the whole concept of weight reduction in cycling.

The OPS premise is flawed however, as somone else recently noted, because too heavy a bike is not suitable for exercise and will not be ridden. There needs to be a threshold of performance that makes the bike suitable to the task.

That is why I suggested a more reasonable comparison between a medium grade bike and a top tier bike. I think mid grade probably meets the bar for the average rider just seeking exercise from cycling.

If somone were seeking to progress beyond that (cycling for cycling sake as a sport) or to become competitive, the bar might be higher and a better bike might be more suitable. But... that's a separate discussion.

Some people are saying that the few pounds difference between a top tier bike and mid grade bike doesn't make a difference when compared to the riders overall weight. I agree. All the more reason why spending a lot more for a bike that provides marginal gains in weight, solely for exercise, is not necessarily a better scenario.

Or tldr: would anyone suggest an expensive carbon fiber bottle cage for a bike designed solely for exercise.

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Old 05-16-21, 11:53 AM
  #224  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Correct. However, if one is covering a set distance at a set speed (as with recreational group.rides done for exercise) you are expending fewer watts to do the same workout. Many people who cycle only for exercise do not have power meters, some/many go only speed or distance.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Group rides are often offered at different levels.

Most people plan exercise/rides based on time.

That is, people can just ride harder at a higher speed for the time they have rather than riding slower on a heavy bike.
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Old 05-16-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
This doesnít make a lot of sense.

Group rides are often offered at different levels.

Most people plan exercise/rides based on time.

That is, people can just ride harder at a higher speed for the time they have rather than riding slower on a heavy bike.
It does make sense but you are also correct.

If people want a more intense workout, they can opt into a difference group. But within that group, whatever level it is, most people are doing the same distance at the same speed.

People do base exercise mainly on time and thus select pre recognized routes that fit within that time. This is so they arrive back where they started from when that time is up (or at a meeting place). This becomes habitual.

Right now I am getting ready to go for a ride. Based on how much time I plan to ride for, I'll select the appropriate route. I have several options, from short hill climb routes, meandering canal routes or longer rural routes. I know them all ahead of time as I suspect others who exercise regularly do.

If a friend decides to join me we will ride the same distance at the same speed. If he has a race oriented bike he will revieve less of a workout than I will on my heavier, more rolling resistance, mid level bike.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-16-21 at 12:09 PM.
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