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For Road Bikes, HEAVIER is BETTER!

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

For Road Bikes, HEAVIER is BETTER!

Old 04-08-05, 10:41 PM
  #1  
Adgooroo
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For Road Bikes, HEAVIER is BETTER!

OK, if I'm really honest with myself, I ride for three key reasons:
1. I love to ride. I love the whirr of the wheels, the wind in my face, being able to see, feel, smell and hear everything around me; I love to just crank away; just like I did when I was 8 years old.
2. I want to improve my physical condition - strengthen legs and heart, raise my heart rate, build endurance, lose unneeded fat, etc.
3. I enjoy setting goals that challenge me. - Better times, better speeds, better hill-climbing ability, etc. - the whole self-fulfillment thing.

Notice I didn't say that I love to race (except perhaps a couple hundred feet when I want to show off).

I'll just bet that my reasons for riding are like many, many others on this forum. NONE of them depend upon a super-light, super-expensive bike. In fact, all of them are perfectly well-fulfilled by a heavy bike. Pushing the logic, the heavier the bike, the better it works my cardiovascular system. My self-imposed goals are all relative, and I can show progress on a heavy bike just as well as on a light, finicky one. A heavy bike doesn't even compromise the sheer joy of riding. So, clearly, when it comes to road bikes, heavier is better.

Right?
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Old 04-08-05, 10:44 PM
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Unless you are racing.

Heck, I race and I enjoy riding my 23lb steel Bianchi. No fancy carbon bits on that bike, just plain, Reynolds 853 steel all around.

But I do have a sub-20lb specialized E5 for racing. It's also my hammer bike. When I want to go all out I ride it. The Bianchi is a more laid-back ride.

Of course, I'm racing pure road anymore. Planning on a tri, so the bike isn't *as* important as it was before.
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Old 04-08-05, 10:51 PM
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what makes you think lighter are finicky?
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Old 04-08-05, 10:56 PM
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"what makes you think lighter are finicky?"

Good question. I have a 15# carbon bike, and it so far, is just as smooth, if not smoother, and just as stable as my old steel bike, which is an unbelievably beautiful ride. My carbon is just as good, if not better.
However, if I was to commute to work, I would use my older steel bike. It is very comfortable, and I wouldn't worry about the everyday abuse as much. Steel is real. Carbon is the future.

Happy riding.
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Old 04-08-05, 10:59 PM
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I'll never own steel myself, if my bike breaks it will be because I crashed it hard enough to do so and not because it rusted from inside out.
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Old 04-08-05, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by larue
I'll never own steel myself, if my bike breaks it will be because I crashed it hard enough to do so and not because it rusted from inside out.
I've never owned a steel bike that rusted.
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Old 04-08-05, 11:04 PM
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My cousin gave me a steel bike, and it was quite rusty. Are you telling me you don't believe steel rusts?
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Old 04-08-05, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Adgooroo
So, clearly, when it comes to road bikes, heavier is better.
Wrong! Heavier is not better. But I clearly agree with the idea you subscribe to - cycling doesn't have to be about racing or performance or goals - most of us just enjoy the sport and get some fitness along the way.

Any bike in the range of 18 - 23 lbs should be light enough and sturdy enough to serve its owner well. If your location was Sierra Mts/Rocky Mts/Cascade Mts/Appalacian Mts/Alps/etc. instead of Indiana & Florida, then the advantages of a lighter bike would be more instantaneous to you. My 20 year old, steel, 27lb tourer is still a great bike, but in the hills and mts, give me 18lbs (or less) of modern bicycle with better shifters, brakes, etc.
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Old 04-08-05, 11:06 PM
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well cared-for steel that hasn't been left out in the elements with chipped paint doesn't rust. An occasional treatment of frame saver doesn't hurt, either.
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Old 04-08-05, 11:10 PM
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reasons i ride:
-burn fat,
-stay healthy
-beat the bust to work and save money doing so
-explore the province, and go as fast as possible while doing so (non commuting)
-feed my need for speed

reasons i chose something above what i needed:
-needed a bigger frame (duh)
-way to many hills on my commute route, added resistance only helps you work out harder to a certain point then it can cause injuries
-stiffer, more efficient then a cheap aluminium frame, there's no harm in effeciency, just lets me enjoy working out more as i go faster and see more of my province while going on my 3 or 4 hour rides (note i don't limit myself to distance), also if work outs are to hard, it can also act as a detourant, or wear you out for the rest of the day (commuting)

just my view and reasons, but we're not a borg collective so...
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Old 04-09-05, 12:07 AM
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I'm a gear loving poser - plain and simple.

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Old 04-09-05, 02:43 AM
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"So, clearly, when it comes to road bikes, heavier is better. "

I agree. i just started riding now . using my super heavy old bikes from 1982. i don't even know how much they are but they ARE heavy.
i'm using them to get in shape. And to build some muscles.

for the non racer (and I bet most of the people are not) why to get lighter bikes ??? and pay for that big time.

Im doing it for the work out , if Im climbing with them , then with heavier bikes it's like steeper hill that's all.
buying a lighter bikes kinda defeats the purpose here of the work out. Do I want to work out hard and get in shape or am I looking for short cuts ?


when i'm working in the gym i'm adding weight all the time to increase the resistance of my work out. i never take weights out to decrease it.

yeah sure it's not cool to buy heavier bike today , and even myself ...i' don't feel like buying heavy bikes, but ask me why ...i dont know why I guess I was brained wash as well.


Danny

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Old 04-09-05, 03:52 AM
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I have two bikes that use Reynolds 525 considered a heavy frame by today standards. They are excellant bikes even though the alloy is probably 30 years or more old! If you put good wheels on these bikes, you have heavy frame but a bike that can keep up in group rides.
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Old 04-09-05, 05:08 AM
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My 29.5 pounder goes pretty good. Despite being 31 years old, and well used, it hasn't a bit of rust.
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Old 04-09-05, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Adgooroo
OK, if I'm really honest with myself, I ride for three key reasons:
1. I love to ride. I love the whirr of the wheels, the wind in my face, being able to see, feel, smell and hear everything around me; I love to just crank away; just like I did when I was 8 years old.
2. I want to improve my physical condition - strengthen legs and heart, raise my heart rate, build endurance, lose unneeded fat, etc.
3. I enjoy setting goals that challenge me. - Better times, better speeds, better hill-climbing ability, etc. - the whole self-fulfillment thing.
Yeah, I agree with that. With one extra proviso. I love going fast. And the faster I can go under my own power the better. I can go faster on a lighter bike so that's the way I've headed.

Another thing is that I enjoy quality. As a rule manufacturers when they're trying to make a quality product don't try to make boat anchors. If I want quality I've got to buy something light. That's just the way it is.
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Old 04-09-05, 05:26 AM
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Carbon fibre weights in the gym! Now there's a market for a good salesperson "Much easier workouts sir"

I have two bikes, a sub 8kg alloy/CF GT for r/racing and a 10kg steel ride for TT's. Strangely, I seam to be able to maintain better speeds on the heavier bike. It has a rear disc and aero bars but I also think that on rough-ish surfaces particularly, it 'runs on' better, something to do with kinetic energy I think. More comfortable too but wouldn't last a lap in a crit.
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Old 04-09-05, 06:05 AM
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One of my thrills of riding is the responsiveness of the bike to my power.

After I ride my mtn bike (must weigh close to 50 pounds with all the panniers and other stuff I have on it) and then ride my Lemond road bike, it is SO "enthralling" to ride that road bike.

I am not a "weight weenie" but I love the responsiveness of that light road bike just for pure pleasure!

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Old 04-09-05, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Adgooroo
In fact, all of them are perfectly well-fulfilled by a heavy bike. Pushing the logic, the heavier the bike, the better it works my cardiovascular system. My self-imposed goals are all relative, and I can show progress on a heavy bike just as well as on a light, finicky one. A heavy bike doesn't even compromise the sheer joy of riding. So, clearly, when it comes to road bikes, heavier is better.
i take it that you always ride alone, and so don't have friendly competitions out on the road with your buddies, and you don;t have to worry about keeping up on climbs, right?
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Old 04-09-05, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by berny
Carbon fibre weights in the gym! Now there's a market for a good salesperson "Much easier workouts sir"
Ha! I was just thinking that very thing! Someone probably could sell them to certain folks. Let us extoll the virtues of Carbon Fiber weights for a bit:
- they won't rust
- they can be shaped out of a single, seamless piece (no more dropping weights on your foot!)
- not as noisy as traditional weights
- they are just so darn cool!

I'm sure these would be must-haves for any true gear weenie. Sure, the 200-pounders take up half of a city block, but you'll get a much better workout!

Call me, let's write up a business plan!
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Old 04-09-05, 06:39 AM
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"Better" is a subjective term, it is different for everyone.

If you are alone and just working out, typically a heavier or lighter bike just changes your speed, not the degree of workout. It's up to you how hard you want to work.

Unless you are on a hill that you can just barely get up with the lighter bike. But, heavier bikes come with lower gears to make up for this. A typical lightweight racing bike is geared higher than a heavy touring bike, on a super steep hill the touring bike is about the same or easier, but you travel slower. Changing gears can make more of a difference than the weight if you want it to.

Training in a group is totally different. The light weight bike allows you to keep up. You get plenty of exercise.

edit post: If you have a favorite ride route and want to get stronger and faster take a bike with only one gear. A fixed gear bike, or a single speed road bike will increase your average speed over most rides, and you will get a better workout than just a heavy bike. it's more FUN because you are still going quickly, especially if there are other cyclists around. You can blast by then up a hill...

Last edited by 2manybikes; 04-09-05 at 06:51 AM. Reason: incomplete
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Old 04-09-05, 06:42 AM
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I have two bikes (well, three if you count the Wally World MTB!) anyway, the Trek hybrid is considerably heaverier than my Lemond. After riding a few miles on the Trek ( I use it for commuting) The Lemond seems to float along like a feather!! I love that feeling. I'm no weight weenie, but I do appreciate a lightish bike with top quality components.
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Old 04-09-05, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
I'm a gear loving poser - plain and simple.

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That's not what Patriot says about you!
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Old 04-09-05, 08:22 AM
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Um......yes it is.
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Old 04-09-05, 10:44 PM
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Just bought a mangalloy steel Peugeot Versailles (27lbs). Already I prefer it over my new Giant OCR3 (22lbs).
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Old 04-10-05, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Um......yes it is.
Oh, ah....yes...that IS what Patriot says about you!
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