Do heavier bikes make you fitter?

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  • Do heavier bikes make you fitter?
  • xiphon
    Member

    If you can cover the same ground in the same time frame – the person on a heavier bike will be “fitter” by definition – they are having to work extra hard to move the great weight along.

    too subjective imo

    Yes.
    A mate of mine bought as his 1st bike, a Marin Quake cos it was cheap but weighed about 2 tons (not you Ton). Anyway he rode it for a year all over the Dales & NYM but always lagged behind (except on the DH’s where he absolutely flew) Then he bought a 5 which weighed about 15lb less & had not so bouncy shock & forks & now he flies up as well as down & I can’t keep up with him!

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Subscriber

    The other side is that if I had a lardy old bike I’d be less likely to ride and therefore not get fit at all. 😉

    cynic-al
    Member

    they are both right in a way, as xiphon says, if he wants to get a properly fit then a decent regime will make way more difference than a heavier bike.

    crikey
    Member

    Except the

    great weight

    isn’t really all that much when considered in the context of all the weight that’s being moved.

    The difference between a 35lb bike and a 25lb bike is 10lbs, or 4 kg.

    It’s not a large percentage of an all up weight of 80-90-100kgs. It will feel differently, but it’s still not a great deal.

    Bit more at play than just weight – my DH bike is 5-10lbs heavier than my pedally full sus, but much much harder to pedal uphill because of angles, suspension, etc.

    As someone said above, it probably will make you fitter, but the wrong tool for the job will more than likely put you off altogether.

    No, obviously it won’t make you fitter riding a heavier bike.

    Training properly will make you fitter.

    Duffer
    Member

    There are too many variables.

    A 35lb bike with skinny, high pressure tyres will be more efficient than a 25lb bike with soft, fat tyres.

    The weight of a bike should only ever be considered in the context of the complete riding package; ie the bike, rider, camelback, etc. If the rider is carrying an extra 20lb, then what’s the point in trying to pay extra for a lighter bike?

    Stop worrying about it, and enjoy riding!

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Of course a heavier bike makes you fitter. That’s why the folks who book uplifts for their MTBs are in such great shape and pro tour riders are all fat biffers.

    Premier Icon vondally
    Subscriber

    going with zilog when they ask me…still arguing

    Premier Icon Clobber
    Subscriber

    Hmmm is Duffer being serious about the tyres or just trolling…

    No, obviously it won’t make you fitter riding a heavier bike.

    Training properly will make you fitter.

    But by riding a heavier bike (with the other stuff that George mentioned) & different gearing etc, shirley that is a form of training?
    Anyway, my mate got fitter, & thats a fact!

    Of course a heavier bike makes you fitter

    njee will be along in a minute to tell you you’re wrong. 😉

    Premier Icon vondally
    Subscriber

    the question is a heavier bike may increase your strength but not work your VO2 as much………….intensity is the key here ……apparently 😕

    TexWade
    Member

    If you have a lighter bike and can move it faster then you should do more work and therefore get fitter than lumbering around on a heavy bike slowly. There is also a school of thought that riding a lighter bike more quickly gives you better handling skills – why bother training on a heavy bike if you are unable to take advantage of the higher speeds allowed by a lighter bike ?

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    I don’t make any attempt to save weight on my winter road bike. Full bottles, saddlepack, guards, lights etc. The aim is to be ride the same hilly loops at the same pace as on my summer bike. It’s a subtle difference (bike weighs ~6-7lbs more) but it works me a bit harder over long rides.
    I’ve also come back from bikepacking trips of 10-12 days and after some recovery time, found my SS climbing was better. Partly down to the volume of riding during the trips, partly the weight on the bike adding to the work done and building some strength.

    So weight’s only a part of it but it can be useful resistance training. Agree with vondally, it may not make you fitter but it should make you a bit stronger.

    But by riding a heavier bike (with the other stuff that George mentioned) & different gearing etc, shirley that is a form of training?
    Anyway, my mate got fitter, & thats a fact!

    Is this a troll? 😀

    Yes, training on a heavy bike with funny angles is good training…..for riding an inappropriate bike.

    But if you spent 10-12 days SS climbing you would probably also find your SS climbing was better at the end.

    Premier Icon vondally
    Subscriber

    Currently that arguement is raging between my nephew and eldest daughter both early 20’s……..he is insistant that it all makes you fitter and healthier have a big 35lb bike, she is stating fitness will come on any bike it is about a training regime…..so in preperation of being the arbitor any views?

    TiRed
    Member

    Ride a tandem, with a kid on the back. Ride up hills. Heavier bike will make you fitter as you need to do more work.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    But if you spent 10-12 days SS climbing you would probably also find your SS climbing was better at the end.

    If I tried to spend 10-12 days of 10-12hrs+ a day on a SS in proper hills I’d be broken after 3, loaded or not )

    I did think that after I posted. 🙂

    Is this a troll?
    You tell me, but I didn’t start the thread did I?

    My pal didn’t take my advice when he bought the bike & I told him it wasn’t the most suitable bike for what we ride, which is mainly Yorkshire Dalesy stuff. But here’s proof that he did take the wrong bike (for about a year till he could afford something else!)…


    008 by jimmyg352, on Flickr

    He got fit. (or did I mention that already?)

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Why waste money making your bike heavier when you could simply eat more and improve your fitness like that?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    In the Eighties, Women and that, used to put weighted ankle and wrist bracelets on when doing excercise so that it had further benefits and so sports shops and Sunday supplements could sell us more rubbish.

    Surely we should all be strapping bags of sugar to our bikes instead of all this weight-weenie nonsense?

    But here’s proof that he did take the wrong bike (for about a year till he could afford something else!)…

    Which one’s his?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Which one’s his?

    😀

    Premier Icon tenfoot
    Subscriber

    Not sure, but all I know is that I work harder to keep up with the pack on my Zesty, than I do on my XC bike.

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    right so we have a set of unfit identical twins
    twin 1 rides the light bike for 10 miles each day in 45 mins
    twin 2 rides the heavy bike for 10 miles each day in 45 mins

    which twin is the fittest after two months of this riding

    Which one’s his?

    The heavy one. The other one weighs 28.85lbs. 🙂

    brooess
    Member

    Getting a bike you love riding and want to ride everyday and for hours at a time will get you fittest.
    Heavy bikes are unpleasant to ride IMO

    Premier Icon ndg
    Subscriber

    Surely the pace of the ride is important – if you’re putting out 200W it won’t matter if your going slowly on an anvil, or screaming along on a carbon wunder bike.

    If you’re riding as a group moving at the same speed though, the guy on the anvil will be stronger and fitter, but won’t notice it until he gets on the carbon bike.

    motozulu
    Member

    Not sure, but all I know is that I work harder to keep up with the pack on my Zesty, than I do on my XC bike.

    This.
    Having started last summer on a 13.8kg entry level HT and riding with mates with higher end, lighter HT’s I was always the ‘rear gunner’. I’ve just got a new HT which is around 11.3kg and all my mates are amazed at the difference in me, as if I’d been on an intensive training course.
    Well in a way I have – to do the same route as them for 9 months whilst trying to keep up I must have put in half the effort again that they did.

    Yes, you will get fitter on a heavier bike as long as you are doing exactly the same route at exactly the same speed as a lighter bike is.

    fenred
    Member

    rob jackson – Member

    too subjective imo

    Agree with that^^ and SupportedinaplusonewhataSTWstoopidtrollingquestion kinda way… 🙄

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    to do the same route as them for 9 months whilst trying to keep up I must have put in half the effort again that they did.

    Not really, you only carried 2.5kg more on the old bike. Enough to feel, but not a big enough difference overall. So take more credit for your gains yourself ) the riding has got you fitter, the new bike effect and a few other performance gains it offers has added to it.

    Premier Icon vondally
    Subscriber

    the origianal question was do heavier bikes make you fitter…defo not a troll or subjective…..

    heavier bikes increase or give additional strength but not fitness, weight training in a gym can make you stronger and will oincrease your fitness but will not increase your VO2/aerobic capacity to the level of specific aerobic capacity. Crossfit is something else…

    Heavier bikes as a training choice …not really…but a big chain ring than you race with may well help Tinker Juraz trained with larger gears to give more endurance.

    so imho heavier bikes will not make you fitter but will inrease your muscle mass……

    rolling resistance now that is a whole new thread…………. 😆

    b r
    Member

    A heavier bike won’t make you quicker, but it will wear you out quicker.

    bigh
    Member

    Best riding buddy regularly beats me everywhere on a moosive Foes fly with boxxers upfront. I hate to think what he would be like on a lightweight hardtail. Oh and he’s 1×10 with a 36 tooth chainring, i hate him tbh.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    he is insistant that it all makes you fitter and healthier

    ‘fitter’ and ‘healthier’ are two different things and one doesn’t result in the other, lugging a heavy bike around could just make you stronger – and neither fitter or healthier. I’d say the pursuit of fitness is often detrimental to health, either through risk, or wear and tear or any number of other factors. Given the number of pages that threads about injuries run to, the way many of us cycle might make us fitter in a competitive sense but not healthier if the accrual of injuries curtails our longer term mobility and in turn our ability to maintain a healthy degree of activity.

    pymwymis
    Member

    Badlywireddog – you my friend are a genius. 40 years of pie eating have rendered me an Olympian by default. I feel kinda guilty but that’s natural talent for you.

    Pym

    Premier Icon ac282
    Subscriber

    Having a heavy bike won’t make you stronger. You’ll just use lower gears

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    so imho heavier bikes will not make you fitter but will inrease your muscle mass……

    disagree, the weight of the bike has much less to do with how much muscle power is needed to peddle it compared to the gearing.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Doing more work over a sustained period of time will make you fitter / stronger / what ever.

    As said before, int the grand scheme of things the weight of the bike has very little effect on overall speed IMHO.

    Granted it’s very nice to have a nice light bike with blingy bits, light wheels and fast tyres……….. but if on that bike you push a bigger gear at a reasonable cadence, you will be doing more work and get fitter anyway.

    Its not the bike but how much pain you’re in that makes you fitter… So to speak.

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