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Confirmation on weight and speed

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Confirmation on weight and speed

Old 10-20-13, 12:40 AM
  #1  
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Confirmation on weight and speed

I know the answer will be more weight = slower riding but want confirmation from the pros. Normally, on my 18 lb bike I can do this 25 mile loop (800 ft elevation gain) between 15-17 mph depending on wind. On the tour build with total weight of 40 lbs (working up to 60 including all gear/bike), I am averaging 11-12 mph on same loop, the climbing part slows me way down. I have a tough time with this ride as well, tiring way sooner, like I just completed a century. Is this much drop normal?
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Old 10-20-13, 02:48 AM
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caeteris paribus

you may be comparing apples to something other than another fruit.

one bike has drop bars, another has flat bars? different postures?
one bike has slickie tires, the other has knobblies?
different tire pressures and materials?
change in geometry and tires putting you in different gears?
one bike is aerodynamic, the other has racks/panniers?

why not compare your sport bike naked, then with 15 pounds added,
or compare your tour bike with empty vs. loaded panniers?

Last edited by saddlesores; 10-20-13 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 10-20-13, 06:16 AM
  #3  
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Thanks, pretty much all of those but both have drop bars, 25mm tires vs 35 schwalbe mondials. Sounds like I need more saddle time on the touring bike. I don't care about the speed, worried about getting tired.

Last edited by jeepseahawk; 10-20-13 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 10-20-13, 06:20 AM
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What Is your gearing on the touring bike?

Found it...Nice bike and color.

2013 Kona Rove frameset with tour gearing by way of Deore crank 26/38/48, 12-34 cassette
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 10-20-13 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 10-20-13, 07:30 AM
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Yeah, for me comparing between my 15 pound road bike and my 85 pound fully loaded bike, the tour bike is 30-50% slower. Total tiredness is about the same per hour, (caveat - if you have low enough gearing!) but it takes way longer for any given distance. The more up-hill, the more extreme the difference vs the road bike. How much it affects you will somewhat depend on your total body size / power output, but it's fairly pointless to try to calculate it. Once you get going on your tour, you will discover what a comfortable distance/day is for you, and based on the terrain.

Mainly, don't get discouraged by the weight/speed, just accept your daily distance isn't going to be anything near what it would be on your unloaded road bike. Manage your output by feel, not by your speedometer. And remember, you have all day to ride on your tour, so stopping for a rest or going really slow is just fine.

So - for that caveat - make sure your gearing on your tour bike is low enough so you can climb at some sort of decent cadence, and not have to stand or mash. Personally, as a small woman, my raw wattage is low, so I need really low gearing on my tour bike. I put a mountain bike triple on it, my low gear is 22x34, and I can climb at 2.5 mph. it's slow, but it doesn't wear me out the way it would if I had to push a bigger gear.

When I've toured with bigger companions, they have been less affected by the weight, I assume b/c their raw power is higher, so the watts/kg equation is less affected by the change in the denominator (ie, their denominator might be plus 40% where mine is plus 80%).
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Old 10-20-13, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
caeteris paribus

you may be comparing apples to something other than another fruit.

one bike has drop bars, another has flat bars? different postures?
one bike has slickie tires, the other has knobblies?
different tire pressures and materials?
change in geometry and tires putting you in different gears?
one bike is aerodynamic, the other has racks/panniers?

why not compare your sport bike naked, then with 15 pounds added,
or compare your tour bike with empty vs. loaded panniers?
This.

Weight only matters when climbing and accelerating, and even then it is the ratio of total weight (rider + bike + stuff) that matters.
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Old 10-20-13, 08:22 AM
  #7  
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Thanks all, what I need to do is get another mind-set when riding the touring bike. I switched the small chain-ring to 22 from a previous recommendation, it is needed going up hills with all the weight. It seems that I am spinning at a higher cadence, that might be the tiring out part, will get used to it. All I need to do is get another cadence sensor for this bike to check averages.
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Old 10-20-13, 09:46 AM
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I believe that most folks who ride loaded touring bike quickly arrive at the realization that there is no such thing as flat. There are just very gentle grades, hills, and downhill. On a light road bike these slight inclines are hardly noticeable, but on a loaded touring bike the speed tends to drop. I find myself shifting much more on supposedly flat ground than I do in the mountains. So when people tell me "weight does not matter on flat ground", I just nod and silently wonder where they find that flat ground.

Even in places like The Nethrelands which is supposed to be flat we would have some days with a 2,000 foot elevation gain.

FWIW- My speed around a loop I've ridden hundreds of times varies about 2 mph between my road bike and my bare touring bike while expending approximately the same effort. I also feel a noticable difference in effort when keeping the same speed as my wife on her training rides when I'm on my road bike than when I ride my cyclo cross or touring bikes.

Last edited by Doug64; 10-20-13 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-20-13, 09:50 AM
  #9  
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jeepseahawk, I know I had to develop a "touring mindset" when riding the touring bike, including my riding position which has become less aggressive when compared to even my distance roadie. Preparing for the initial phase of a climb is also different because I tend to downshift earlier on the touring bike.

I think we all have a personal cadence/effort range we use to cruise and with the extra weight of a loaded touring bike we just naturally gear down to achieve our preferred zone, which results in lower speeds. This is less different riding flat land compared to rolling terrain, but still a bit different when taking into account air resistance.

Two articles I read, which weren't bicycle oriented were separate acceleration tests done by Chrysler and Harley Davidson. Chrysler's compared gearing's effect on accelerating a controlled weight while H-D changed weight and kept gearing the same. Chrysler showed that by raising gear ratios a given weight can be accelerated more quickly, but top speed is less due to safe engine RPM. H-D demonstrated how extra weight slowed acceleration, but top speed remained the same. While common sense, it was the rate of acceleration's difference that was dramatic.

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Old 10-20-13, 03:09 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
... ... Mainly, don't get discouraged by the weight/speed, just accept your daily distance isn't going to be anything near what it would be on your unloaded road bike. Manage your output by feel, not by your speedometer. And remember, you have all day to ride on your tour, so stopping for a rest or going really slow is just fine. ... ...
You might consider trying a heart rate monitor. Very few bike tourists use them but I do use one. I consider it to be analogous to the tachometer in my truck. If your heart rate is comparable on a ride with both bikes, that suggests your effort is comparable. But several rides to compare is really necessary, my heart rate for a given speed varies quite a bit for different conditions. Hydration levels, how recently I ate, what I ate, how much I have worked out in the past week, etc., all affect my rate. And, it occasionally tells me that it is time to take a 5 minute break because the hill is just too _()*&)(*^&(*&^ steep.



Originally Posted by jeepseahawk View Post
... ... I don't care about the speed, worried about getting tired.
It happens.
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Old 10-20-13, 05:06 PM
  #11  
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I guess that you should ride the loop on the touring bike unloaded, then loaded and compare the difference then.
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Old 10-21-13, 04:12 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jeepseahawk View Post
Thanks all, what I need to do is get another mind-set when riding the touring bike.
Exactly, you need a change of mindset, and you won't achieve on your practice loop. It takes me two or three days, a week maybe to settle into the slower touring rhythm.
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Old 10-21-13, 10:03 AM
  #13  
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By my age,all I have is a touring mindset, I have a road bike, still,

but I dont push myself, much faster, just because I'm on it.
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Old 10-21-13, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
. So when people tell me "weight does not matter on flat ground", I just nod and silently wonder where they find that flat ground.
Sometimes I'll use my bike for grocery shopping and load it up... the bike is about 40 pounds naked and my usual lock, tools, etc. are 20 pounds more and then I might have 40 or 50 pounds of groceries on top of all that. It is amazing to have all these new little hills appear out of nowhere!
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Old 10-21-13, 09:21 PM
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There also does seem to be a difference in pedaling technique or perhaps in a particular variety of muscular effort entailed by pedaling a heavier bike. It feels very different to my legs, even if HR is the same. My sense is the the heavier bike doesn't "get out of the way" of the pedal stroke in the same way that a lighter bike does. The heavier bike accelerates more slowly, and particularly more slowly during the phases of the pedal stroke. I think it takes some time to get used to. Downshifting much earlier helps as does concentrating on spinning. You have to just spin up every little thing, which on a light bike you might just pop over. You also have to learn to make the weight of the heavier bike work for you rather than against you.
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Old 10-22-13, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
There also does seem to be a difference in pedaling technique or perhaps in a particular variety of muscular effort entailed by pedaling a heavier bike.
I think this is really true. It would be great fun to see measurements of bike speed as it varies through a pedal stroke. Also, one can use one's body weight much more effectively with a light bike. E.g. moving one's body forward at some part of the stroke, then back at a different part. And of course unweighting the bike over little humps in the road.

It's a bit like the difference between climbing a hill and riding in a higher gear. There's not much coasting up a hill! If you let up on the torque, the torque comes right back anyway!
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Old 10-23-13, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I believe that most folks who ride loaded touring bike quickly arrive at the realization that there is no such thing as flat. There are just very gentle grades, hills, and downhill. On a light road bike these slight inclines are hardly noticeable, but on a loaded touring bike the speed tends to drop. I find myself shifting much more on supposedly flat ground than I do in the mountains. So when people tell me "weight does not matter on flat ground", I just nod and silently wonder where they find that flat ground.

Even in places like The Nethrelands which is supposed to be flat we would have some days with a 2,000 foot elevation gain.
I meant to quote this when I saw it the first time simply because this is so, so true. It also shows how people new to touring and riding a much heavier bike will very often underestimate the effect a load will have, and will commonly overestimate their daily distances, especially for the first bunch of days.

and yes, even on the "flats", which as Doug pointed out, tend not to be as flat as one thinks.

I suspect that folks never really realize this until they have ridden loaded, and tend not to believe it when told--that's why the "I just nod" line made me chuckle.
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Old 10-24-13, 08:48 PM
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Touring is a whole different animal than riding your sport bike. Don't even bother comparing them. The only way to get used to the weight is to ride with the weight! What you'll notice is that after you've done a summer of touring or even just riding with the added weight is that you'll be even faster on your sport bike and it will seem even lighter and more responsive than it ever was. You WILL get a lot stronger pulling the weight.
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