It's the legs that count

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Smudger, Apr 29, 2003.

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  1. Smudger

    Smudger Guest

    There have been tons of posts on "...help with bike choice...", "...don't buy this brand because
    they weigh 98.765 kilos..." etc.

    Let's put the record straight. It's the legs that count. Your legs propel the bike. OK, it has to be
    half decent but that's all.

    I have proof.

    Back in the early 90's I used to do time trials on the A4 near Thatcham (before they put roundabouts
    all the way along it).

    A load of us had fancy low profile bikes with teeny weeny tubs and massive chainrings. You know the
    stuff. We drove there. Spent ages rubbing oily stuff on our legs and then did mediocre times before
    packing all the stuff back in the motors.

    But there was this bloke.

    He used to cycle down from Kingston on an old Raleigh racer with bog standard wheels etc. He'd do
    the ten. Do a 22 and stuff us all. Then cycle back.

    It's the legs that count.
     
    Tags:


  2. And in the legs it's....





    Genes plus a modicum of training.

    No training will put the genes in.
     
  3. "Smudger" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    >
    > It's the legs that count.
    >
    >

    Oh, don't start talking about legs! There's just this guy, you know, who reckons he's got the bee's
    knees in legs - Myra told him so, apparently ;-).

    Rich
     
  4. Tony Rickard

    Tony Rickard Guest

    "Smudger" wrote:

    > There have been tons of posts on "...help with bike choice...", "...don't buy this brand because
    > they weigh 98.765 kilos..." etc.
    >
    > Let's put the record straight. It's the legs that count. Your legs
    propel
    > the bike. OK, it has to be half decent but that's all.

    <snip>

    Another view - I want a bike to help get fit. The marketing hype suggests there are "fitness" bikes.
    I.e. by providing the extra performance within the bike it enables the rider to reach a level a
    supermarket bike wouldn't and therefore achieve a greater rate of exercise (heart rate etc.)

    Now not being an expert in this I assumed a heavier/slower bike that was harder work would provide
    for the better work rate although at a lower speed. The only downside would be the less incentive to
    ride the thing.

    Is this "fitness bike" category all marketing hype?

    The aim is fitness rather than saving effort or breaking lap records.

    Cheers Tony

    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.476 / Virus Database: 273 - Release Date: 24/04/2003
     
  5. "Richard Goodman" <[email protected]> wrote: ( Oh, don't start talking about legs!
    There's just this guy, you know, who ) reckons he's got the bee's knees in legs - Myra told him so,
    apparently ;-).

    I wouldn't have thought that a bee's knees would have been up to the strain, having all that hollow
    muscle inside the exoskeleton.
     
  6. >Is this "fitness bike" category all marketing hype?
    >
    >The aim is fitness rather than saving effort or breaking lap records.
    >
    >Cheers Tony

    I cycle as it and walking are the only forms of exercise I *enjoy*. For me, the fitness side of it
    is, well, a side benefit. Whatever bike someone gets, perhaps a main criterion to consider is to get
    one which is *comfortable and enjoyable to ride* - unless, of course, a body has a masochistic
    tendency ;-) Basically, whatever the exercise/activity, if it isn't enjoyed, it's not likely to be
    continued.

    Cheers, helen s :)

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  7. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Smudger" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > But there was this bloke.

    <snip>

    > It's the legs that count.

    Heart and lungs come into it somewhere too. But yes, the engine is in the rider.

    --
    Dave..
     
  8. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 07:22:43 GMT, "Tony Rickard" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Another view - I want a bike to help get fit. The marketing hype suggests there are "fitness"
    >bikes. I.e. by providing the extra performance within the bike it enables the rider to reach
    >a level a supermarket bike wouldn't and therefore achieve a greater rate of exercise (heart
    >rate etc.)
    >
    >Now not being an expert in this I assumed a heavier/slower bike that was harder work would provide
    >for the better work rate although at a lower speed. The only downside would be the less incentive
    >to ride the thing.
    >
    >Is this "fitness bike" category all marketing hype?

    Any bike can be a fitness bike... I went above where my friends thought was a good price, and below
    what cyclists think is a good price, got something reasonably good quality FOR ME.

    It's a pleasure to ride. Therefore, I want to ride it often.
     
  9. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tony Rickard wrote:

    > Another view - I want a bike to help get fit. The marketing hype suggests there are "fitness"
    > bikes. I.e. by providing the extra performance within the bike it enables the rider to reach
    > a level a supermarket bike wouldn't and therefore achieve a greater rate of exercise (heart
    > rate etc.)
    >
    > Now not being an expert in this I assumed a heavier/slower bike that was harder work would provide
    > for the better work rate although at a lower speed. The only downside would be the less incentive
    > to ride the thing.
    >
    > Is this "fitness bike" category all marketing hype?

    Largely: people can get fit on a stationary exercise bike that has no performance whatsoever so the
    "reasoning" appears flawed.

    Though on the other hand "the only downside would be the less incentive to ride the thing" is a
    pretty damn big downside. I am a fitter cyclist than my racer-owning flatmate not because my
    Brompton and tourer are harder work, but because I ride everywhere on them where she tends to drive
    places by default. If you can go faster and further for the same effort it's generally more fun, and
    if it's more fun you're more likely to do it a lot. The key IMHO is to get a *nice* bike that you
    enjoy riding, however light or heavy it is, and get out and ride. You'll get fitter quite by
    accident and develop your smiling muscles too. I must say that when I've borrowed gaspipe clunkers
    for some reason it hasn't been that much fun and I've been happy to get off them.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  10. In message <[email protected]>, Tony Rickard
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Another view - I want a bike to help get fit. The marketing hype suggests there are "fitness"
    >bikes. I.e. by providing the extra performance within the bike it enables the rider to reach
    >a level a supermarket bike wouldn't and therefore achieve a greater rate of exercise (heart
    >rate etc.)
    >
    >Now not being an expert in this I assumed a heavier/slower bike that was harder work would provide
    >for the better work rate although at a lower speed. The only downside would be the less incentive
    >to ride the thing.
    >
    >Is this "fitness bike" category all marketing hype?
    >
    >The aim is fitness rather than saving effort or breaking lap records.
    >

    I don't know whether it's 'hype' but it certainly looks like good market segmentation. I think the
    bike manufacturers realised that they were starting to sell large numbers of mountain bikes (compact
    frames, smaller diameter wheels) to people who used them mostly on the road. These people wanted
    something that looked sportier than 'sit-up-and-beg' bikes but didn't want dropped handlebars. They
    also wanted lots of gears. The manufacturers then worked out that what many of these people really
    wanted were road bikes with straight bars. They call these 'fitness bikes' or 'hybrids'. What else
    could you call them? 'Road bike with straight bars' is a bit of a mouthful, don't you think?

    In respect to the weight of the bike this is only a factor when accelerating and decelerating - this
    includes climbing hills. If you consider that what you have to move is the combined weight of the
    bike and you then the weight of the bike is considerably less significant than your own weight - and
    the weight saved by buying one bike that is lighter than another is even less significant. Many
    people would be better off losing a few pounds of excess weight from their bodies than paying large
    amounts to buy lighter weight bikes. Having said this, if you compare a very heavy bike with a
    lighter bike then the chances are that you'll notice that riding the lighter bike is less tiring,
    you'll ride further and have more fun. And if you're having fun you'll want to ride the bike more.

    Of course, weight isn't the only factor. Besides being lighter more expensive bikes will have better
    components which work more efficiently, last longer, are more comfortable to sit on etc.

    If you're sure that cycling is 'your thing' then go out and buy a decent bike. It'll be a better
    investment than mistakenly buying a supermarket bike that you need to upgrade after six months.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  11. "Smudger" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > A load of us had fancy low profile bikes with teeny weeny tubs and massive chainrings. You know
    > the stuff. We drove there. Spent ages rubbing oily stuff on our legs and then did mediocre times
    > before packing all the stuff back in the motors.
    >
    > But there was this bloke.
    >
    > He used to cycle down from Kingston on an old Raleigh racer with bog standard wheels etc. He'd do
    > the ten. Do a 22 and stuff us all. Then cycle back.
    >
    > It's the legs that count.

    I'll vouch for this, having been consistently humbled in Thursday evening time trials last summer by
    a former club mate riding a touring bike sans mudguards and fitted with 23c tyres. So much for my
    road bike with ITM Boomerang bar extensions, Ti BB, Ti hub spindles, carbon seatpin, Flite saddle,
    etc....[1]

    David E. Belcher

    Dept. of Chemistry, University of York

    [1] All a bit academic now, as it's been reduced to a sorry-looking bare frameset sitting on the
    bedroom floor. Still, at least it looked good at the time :-(
     
  12. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David E. Belcher wrote:

    > I'll vouch for this, having been consistently humbled in Thursday evening time trials last summer
    > by a former club mate riding a touring bike sans mudguards and fitted with 23c tyres. So much for
    > my road bike with ITM Boomerang bar extensions, Ti BB, Ti hub spindles, carbon seatpin, Flite
    > saddle, etc....[1]

    Read a thing not too long ago about Andy Wilkinson (e2e record holder) showing up at some event on a
    touring bike and giving the racer crowd a bloody good caning. But if you can do an e2e in 41 hrs 4
    mins then you would probably give them a bloody good caning on a BMX with flat tyres!

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  13. In message <[email protected]>, Smudger <[email protected]> writes
    >Let's put the record straight. It's the legs that count. Your legs propel the bike. OK, it has to
    >be half decent but that's all.

    This is disingenuous. Yes, I suspect it is true that a fit, genetically disposed cyclist on a 'half
    decent' bike will normally beat a fit, non-genetically disposed cyclist on a super lightweight bike
    (and always beat the unfit, non-genetically disposed cyclist) but it's also true that any cyclist
    will ride a lighter bike faster than a heavier bike. It depends what you want. If you want to win
    big races and you've got the wrong parents then forget it. If you want to improve your PB and/or get
    more satisfaction from your cycling then a better bike will help. (More training might help more but
    not everyone has time for this.)
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > I don't know whether it's 'hype' but it certainly looks like good marke=
    t=20
    > segmentation. I think the bike manufacturers realised that they were=20 starting to sell large
    > numbers of mountain bikes (compact frames,=20 smaller diameter wheels) to people who used them
    > mostly on the road.=20 These people wanted something that looked sportier than 'sit-up-and-beg=
    '=20
    > bikes but didn't want dropped handlebars. They also wanted lots of=20 gears. The manufacturers
    > then worked out that what many of these peopl=
    e=20
    > really wanted were road bikes with straight bars. They call these=20 'fitness bikes' or
    > 'hybrids'.=20

    Hybrids have been around for quite a long time now, pretty much as long=20 as there've been mountain
    bikes, in fact. And before MTBs they existed, =

    but just weren't called hybrids! It certainly isn't a new market=20 segment, though it is one that
    appears to be on the up. What is=20 relatively new AFAICT is what amounts to a racer with flat bars
    like the =

    Ridgeback Genesis.

    > What else could you call them? 'Road=20 bike with straight bars' is a bit of a mouthful, don't
    > you think?

    I have 3 road bikes. 1 of them has drop bars, none of them are hybrids=20 or "fitness bikes" (or
    racers). Assuming road bikes are drop-bar racers =

    strikes me as rather silly, since I'm a road rider but have no great=20 interest in racers or
    racing. It does seem to be the current fad=20 though, but I wonder if it's primarily from seeing
    bikes as sports=20 equipment for leisure use because of course you'd drive otherwise? ;-/

    > Of course, weight isn't the only factor. Besides being lighter more=20 expensive bikes will have
    > better components which work more efficiently=
    ,=20
    > last longer, are more comfortable to sit on etc.

    More expensive doesn't necessarily mean lighter. My 'bent tourer was=20 not far off =A31600, but
    weighs over 40 lbs. OTOH it's built like a tank=
    =20
    so it shouldn't break in the middle of nowhere, has full suspension, a=20 very comfy chair rather
    than a saddle on a pole, carries lots of luggage =

    without affecting the handling much and is a great pleasure to ride.=20 You can spend money on
    things other than shaving grammes off.

    > If you're sure that cycling is 'your thing' then go out and buy a decen=
    t=20
    > bike. It'll be a better investment than mistakenly buying a supermarket=
    =20
    > bike that you need to upgrade after six months.

    Agreed. IMHO "decent" starts at about =A3200 for a no-frills rigid=20 machine. Much below that you
    can get bikes that will encourage you to=20 leave them in the shed, rather than get out and ride
    them. If you'll be =

    on the roads, get a bike for the roads (you can "roadify" an MTB, but=20 you might as well get
    something where the job's been done already, and=20 it's increasingly hard to get a rigid MTB that
    you'd want to roadify,=20 MTB suspension forks just being a power sink for the most part on roads).=

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:
    >
    > This is disingenuous. Yes, I suspect it is true that a fit, genetically disposed cyclist on a
    > 'half decent' bike will normally beat a fit, non-genetically disposed cyclist on a super
    > lightweight bike (and always beat the unfit, non-genetically disposed cyclist) but it's also true
    > that any cyclist will ride a lighter bike faster than a heavier bike.

    Not necessarily true. A TT bike with tri bars is heavier than the same bike without the tri bars,
    but by using the tri bars you can go quicker. The e2e Windcheetah had a fully enclosing fairing
    which added weight but enhanced the actual speed possible considerably (it was seen to be doing 70+
    mph on the big descents!). Sam Whittingham holds the no drafting, flying start 200m record at 81
    mph, but not on the lightest machine he rides (he uses a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket on standing start
    sprints). Flat bars aren't that great for aero, but at higher cycle speeds (even anything much over
    15 mph) aerodynamics will have a very large influence on possible speed. Which is why I can give my
    fitter friend on a much lighter racer a good run for the money into a strong headwind despite being
    on a tank just because I'm lying down a bit more.

    > depends what you want. If you want to win big races and you've got the wrong parents then forget
    > it. If you want to improve your PB and/or get more satisfaction from your cycling then a better
    > bike will help.

    Though note that "better" is not necessarily the same as "faster" or "lighter" where enjoying your
    cycling more is concerned.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  16. In message <[email protected]>, Peter Clinch
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Michael MacClancy wrote:
    >>
    >> This is disingenuous. Yes, I suspect it is true that a fit, genetically disposed cyclist on a
    >> 'half decent' bike will normally beat a fit, non-genetically disposed cyclist on a super
    >> lightweight bike (and always beat the unfit, non-genetically disposed cyclist) but it's also true
    >> that any cyclist will ride a lighter bike faster than a heavier bike.
    >
    >Not necessarily true. A TT bike with tri bars is heavier than the same bike without the tri bars,
    >but by using the tri bars you can go quicker.

    Fair point. I suppose what I meant was 'all other things being equal'.

    <Snip>

    >> depends what you want. If you want to win big races and you've got the wrong parents then forget
    >> it. If you want to improve your PB and/or get more satisfaction from your cycling then a better
    >> bike will
    >>
    >
    >Though note that "better" is not necessarily the same as "faster" or "lighter" where enjoying your
    >cycling more is concerned.
    >

    Yes, we've heard that 'bent riders get their pleasure in different ways.
    :)

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  17. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > Yes, we've heard that 'bent riders get their pleasure in different ways.
    > :)

    Smiley noted, but if 'bents didn't exist my main bike would be a tourer with full racks and
    mudguards, not the fastest, lightest thing I could find. Because I enjoy long trundles more than
    rushing around.

    Also, my hack bike is a Brompton, because "best" in that context for me is easy to park, secure and
    store while being nippy enough up to a few miles while carrying a moderate amount of baggage. It
    covers far more ground in a typical week than my flatmate's racer!

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  18. Tony Rickard <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Another view - I want a bike to help get fit. The marketing hype suggests there are "fitness"
    >bikes. I.e. by providing the extra performance within the bike it enables the rider to reach
    >a level a supermarket bike wouldn't and therefore achieve a greater rate of exercise (heart
    >rate etc.)

    This is a load of nonsense. However, if your machine is pleasant to ride and reasonably quick, it
    will be of greater utility, and that will make you more likely to use it.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Distortion Field!
     
  19. Smudger

    Smudger Guest

    "Ambrose Nankivell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In news:[email protected], Dave Kahn <[email protected]> typed:
    > > "Smudger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > >> But there was this bloke.
    > >
    > > <snip>
    > >
    > >> It's the legs that count.
    > >
    > > Heart and lungs come into it somewhere too. But yes, the engine is in the rider.
    >
    > Yes. I didn't think legs were all that significant, except for climbing.
    >
    >
    And the pedaling!
     
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