Which is more important, a light bike or light body?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by steve, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. bmoberg337

    bmoberg337 Member

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    [SIZE= 10pt]Seeing how the thread spiraled into a rather elaborate physics discussion I don't think I was too far off in my assumptions regarding the target audience. And again, I am not challenging the claim of losing weight from the body vs. bike, I am challenging the claim that the vast majority (target audiences) will reap fitness and health benefits by losing weight. And to get to the Cat 1/2 level your friend obviously has to be in incredible shape and what weight he does have to lose is not “easily” affordable. Ask him how hard it is to shed those last couple of pounds. Look at him and tell me if you think he will reap fitness and health benefits by losing weight. Instead he will be flirting with problems such as glycogen depletion, chronic fatigue, and the possibility of acquiring an eating disorder. To me he sounds like a lot of the people I ride with, which in my mind is the majority. [/SIZE]
     


  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I'd say it's more likely that your assumptions about the "target group" are wrong.
     
  3. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member

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    Losing fat weight is the best way to lighten the load, unless you have a heavy bike. If you are serious about cycling, you should have a light but strong bike. Generally speaking, muscle mass is how you get power (once you are basically "in shape" or physically fit for cycling). You may even want to gain weight to increase your power.For cycling you not only need leg power, but you need power in your arms, back, and even neck.And For how long do you want to climb faster? How high are you climbing? Are you wanting to go from Townsend to Cade's Cove(about a 2000 ft climb in about 15 to 20 miles, a climb I watched people do several times a week), or are you going up a 30 ft hill on a two mile run?
     
  4. shilpa123

    shilpa123 New Member

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    I believe having a light bike is more important than having a light weight. It helps you to try and learn different way to maneuver your bike. I usually love it when the bike is very light.
     
  5. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    Is it possible to do a little of both? It almost seems like you have to.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Its always nice to have a good bike but the bike doesn't pedal or steer itself. Most important thing about the bike is that it's the correct size, the fit is correct, it's in good working order and the tires are the correct type inflated correctly. When I say correct type I mean the correct type for the intended use - fast riding needs something like a Conti GP4000S2, touring maybe Gatorskins or the old Top Touring tire.

    In terms of weight, bodyweight is king. Not only does it effect total mass more but bodyfat also acts as a great insulator which is the last thing you want on a summer day when you're riding hard in the hills. I leaned this first hand...
     
  7. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    In addition to being an insulator fat also requires blood flow. Your heart has to work harder the heavier you are, and less volume is available to the muscles that need it.
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    It's not the bike, it's the engine on the bike!
     
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  9. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    While I am several kilos above what I what I was when I was young ...

    But bike racing is not about good health. It is about power output. For that you run at the edge of falling apart.
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    ... we can close this thread now.

    I remember riding on a Peugeot back in 1985 that had "Carbolite 103" tubing, 700C rims and, shock horror, cotterless cranks. It had plastic gear levers on the down tube, a rear mech half made from plastic on the whole shebang weighed about 26lb before water bottle cages were added. I weighed ~138lbs and went uphill way faster then I do now on a bike made from high modulus carbon fiber, 10 speeds on the back (rather than 5 at the back and two chainrings on the front that made it a 10 speed bike), more computing power than the Russian space program if you count both my PowerTap hub and Garmin 810, wide rims and way better road tires than were out in the 80's, indexed/STI shifting, clipless pedals, ceramic bearings, anatomic bars and saddle.

    Basically put - I weighed less and I pushed harder on the pedals.
     
  11. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    I am by no means a weight weenie I have a "heavy" bike with heavy wheels and a huge underseat bag. For training it's probably 18.5 lbs racing maybe 16.5... At new years I was a little heavy and a little out of shape, got training and got my ftp up to ~normal for early season races. Ftp ~4.1 W/kg. Training is progressing, so if my weight had been stable I'd be about 4.5 W/kg. As it turns out I've lost ~5.5 kg (~12 lbs) and am pushing ~4.9 W/kg ftp. So I gained .4 w/kg from weight lost how much would that 12 lbs have cost coming from my bike? How much does a sturdy reliable daily ridden 4-6 lb bike cost these days?

    Of note; I'm not a heavy guy. Sure my teammates knew I was kinda fat (for me) this fall & winter but I was still pretty slim among cyclists (very small to the general public) and definitely gravity friendly in CX races and group rides. The idea that amateur category or masters racers are at their lowest safe and powerful weight is nonsense, not in California where we've been riding with essentially no weather for 2 years. Continental pros winning NRC stage races have a bit of weight to lose if they want to compete with protour guys in ToC or such.
     
  12. 6fhscjess

    6fhscjess Member

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    If you're down around 5% body fat for a male and I believe around 9% for a female weight off the bike. If you're body fat percentage is higher weight off the body would be better.
     
  13. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    If you have some pounds to shed, then, by all means, shed that weight from your body. Otherwise, you can still benefit to a lesser degree, being the average rider, by dropping a few pounds from your ride. I'm a pretty in-shape guy, so I doubt I could drop that much more weight without hitting some territory where I look haggard and dying.
     
  14. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    Well, a light bike is good for people that like to do all those crazy bike tricks. But the body weight is important if you're one that rides tough terrain and harsh elements. You'd need to be heavier then.
     
  15. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I think it depends, if you're not light in weight then you need a light bike, if you don't have a light bike you need a light weight.
     
  16. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Member

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    I like a bike that's heavier. However I'm terrified to assume that I may just be falling into a target market & being enveloped by 'advertising'.
     
  17. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    It is all relative. If you have a 50 pound bike you can get a lighter bike, if you have a 15 pound bike that is as light as you can go and meet regulations. If you weigh 200 pounds and are 5'1" you probably need to drop a few but if you are 6' and weigh 138 I would say you have bottomed out .
    The best thing is to tune the engine. Also black bike are faster.
     
  18. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    You should monitor your food intake and take precaution. Eating a lot will not make one have a lot of energy,as others think, but eating a balanced diet can. Apart from cycling, fats in our bodies have effects on how we do sporting in general. Cycling can result to shedding some weight but not as fast as when we reduce the amount of food we eat.
     
  19. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    I usually go cycling because I want to keep fit. I am not overweight and cycling has not affected me in any way. I do avoid fatty foods as I know their bad side, so I keep away from fast food cafés. I like eating energy giving foods and proteins. I love eating fruits also. These give me the necessary energy to go out cycling.
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    If you're not light in weight then youre better off losing a lot of weight.

    Figure it this way: if a regular guy/girl sets their mind to it they can loose 2lbs a week with ease if they're above 10% body fat. Do that for just a month and you've lost 8lbs. If you have a fairly heavy (by today's standards) road bike at 23lbs and you want to lose 8lb off the bike then it's gonna cost north of $5,000 to do that.

    A month off the mars bars and an hour a day, everyday, on the bike going hard or $5,000?

    It all comes down to how much you really want to be lighter.

    If you're already below 8% body fat then you're gonna have to spend a bit of time losing a bit off your body and taking some weight from your wallet too...
     
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