Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

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d_green
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Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by d_green »

I recently brought my road bike into my local bike shop for service. While there, a salesman tried to sell me a newer bike with a carbon fiber frame that I think was 3 pounds lighter than my current bike. My current bike was purchased new in 2008 (Fuji Rubaix SL) and was among the lightest non-carbon fiber frame bikes you could buy back then (cost me about $1600). My current bike weighs about 18 pounds and the one the salesman was trying to sell me weighs about 15 pounds and he was asking about $1800 for it.

My body weight is about 10 pounds heavier than a year ago. If I lose 3 pounds of body weight, is that the equivalent of buying a 3 pounds lighter bike? I'm not a super serious rider. I don't race, I'm more of a weekend biker who like to get about 50 miles in a week. Thanks
TradingPlaces
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by TradingPlaces »

Oh, c'mon, you know the answer to that: one issue has nothing to do with the other.

If you are overweight, then, yes, by all means, lose weight.

But to tie that with the decision to buy an $1,800 bike. That is just not related.

If I were happy with my bike, I would not buy a new bike, let alone an $1,800 bike.
sawhorse
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by sawhorse »

TradingPlaces wrote:Oh, c'mon, you know the answer to that: one issue has nothing to do with the other.

If you are overweight, then, yes, by all means, lose weight.

But to tie that with the decision to buy an $1,800 bike. That is just not related.

If I were happy with my bike, I would not buy a new bike, let alone an $1,800 bike.
Given that you ride 50 miles a week, I find it hard to believe that you would be overweight. But if you are, it still is only tangentially related to the bike. That tangential relation, however, can be significant. If you feel the new bike is much more comfortable and more enjoyable to ride, and that in turn would lead you to ride it more often, then it could be worth it.
furwut
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by furwut »

Lose some body weight if you like but no way in h*ll do you really need a carbon fiber 15lb bike unless you feel the desire to pose as a Tour de France rider.

I also would find another bike shop as I could no longer trust their advice any further.
Grateful1
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Grateful1 »

Your Fuji Rubaix SL is a great bike to start with. I doubt your would find more than a miniscule improvement with the small weight difference.
Frame fit and geometry is probably more important than the small 3 lb difference. Getting carbon fiber may seem sexy but I "upgraded" from a very light aluminum road bike to carbon fiber bike and still find myself riding the aluminum framed bike because of its greater stability. I can ride it at great speed hands off. The carbon fiber bike is twitchy and requires constant attention. I love both bikes but next time I will do a more extended test ride. The upgrade was clearly NOT worth my investment. Best of luck in whatever you decide, and do be sure to take an extended test ride if you continue to be tempted. A professional bike fitting can be a good investment.
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walkabout
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by walkabout »

I don't think losing weight (or not) and the new bike weight are related. You can certainly lose weight cheaper than you can by a lighter bike. OTOH, if you want the bike, can afford it, and will ride it, go ahead and buy it. It will be a very nice ride and you will notice an immediate improvement in your rides. If you don't want the bike or don't want to pay $1800 for it, then don't. Only you can answer those questions.

If it were me, I'd consider buying it. But then again, I have a carbon fiber bike (old) and when I was still riding, I was riding quite a bit more than 50 miles per week.

Good luck!
lightheir
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by lightheir »

you will have essentially no speak again from buying a lighter bike compared to your current bike. If you say you notice it it's almost certainly a placebo effect compared to your current bike.

that said, there is a very real effect of people being excited to ride their new bike even if it isn't any objectively faster handwriting more will increase your enjoyment and fitness in the sport.

But your Roubaix is likely 98% as fast as the top of the line bikes out there.
mattsm
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by mattsm »

Most of the comments are good, but I'll say one thing. I need to lose weight and refuse to buy a nicer bike until I do. Losing weight will go faster with my heavier bike. If I lose the weight I'll considering treating myself.

By the way, my bike is similiar to your current bike, it's still quite a nice bike. Just not Carbon.

-M
dbr
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by dbr »

If you are concerned about weight a good goal very likely is to lose fifteen pounds from here. Gaining ten pounds in a year is not good news. Is there an understandable reason why that happened?

A different bike made from a different frame material may or may not be something you would enjoy. The issue is more in the fit and the components than in the frame. Your present bike is almost certainly more than adequate for your riding desires unless there is a particular deficiency such as poor fit.
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black jack
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by black jack »

http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/ ... kes_339880
Let’s answer the question you really care about: How much faster does it make me? Let’s see what will happen when our hypothetical rider rides bikes of varying weight up different hills. We’ll hold power at a constant 200 watts and have her ride up a 1-mile climb at seven different grades (1–7 percent).

Let’s look at the difference between 15-, 16-, 17-, and 18-pound bikes, with the 18-pound bike serving as the baseline. Because of the complexity involved, we’ll eliminate air resistance and analyze the impact of weight reduction only. How much time do we save?...

Take 3 pounds off your bike, pedal at a constant rate of 200 watts, and you’ll get to the top of a 7 percent climb a whole 7.5 seconds ahead of the competition. A 1-pound advantage only puts you ahead by 2.5 seconds. Over the course of an hours-long race, a few seconds per climb is not a significant advantage.

Keep in mind that the advantage only holds when the climbs are long and steep. Courses with fewer and shorter ascents will keep the difference small.
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Raybo
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Raybo »

Be aware that the feel of a bike is different depending on the frame material. If you like the way your current bike rides, there is no reason to buy another one with a different frame material whose ride you may not like. I see no reason to buy a new bike as I like to ride the (heavy, steel) bike I currently own.

Should you want to buy the new bike, I recommend you rent a lightweight carbon bike first, ride it a bit, and then decide if your like riding a carbon fiber bike.

Since you don't race and only ride for pleasure, the bike has to be about how you feel on it. OTOH, if you can't keep up with the pack, you can always dazzle them with your bike!

As for losing weight, I think it is a great way to get faster on a bicycle.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.
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dumbbunny
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by dumbbunny »

d_green wrote:a salesman tried to sell me a newer bike
Imagine that. No surprise there.
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island
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by island »

Agree, one issue has nothing to do with the other. There will always be a newer, lighter, faster, more shiny version of, whatever out there. You either want it and buy it or you don't.
Spare us the he "tried to sell me" phrasing (which is sooo common on this site); the decision will always be yours.
Good luck.
derosa
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by derosa »

From someone who averaged 6,000 miles a year when younger on a road bike.

A person will always be a nice fat potato sitting on a stick when you are riding a bike. Keep in mind that above 13mph your are spending over 90% of your energy simply to overcome wind resistance.

So lose 20 lbs and you will pass that other bike on the road.

You might want to review what your gearing on the rear hub is or the chain ring is for that matter. Or both.

Spin and grin and you will go farther - faster.
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celia
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by celia »

Suppose you didn't ride bikes. Would losing weight improve your health? With poor health (adding 10 pounds/yr), in 10 years you won't be able to ride any bike. :(
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I would never consider spending that kind of money for the difference you're talking. I raced from about 15 as an intermediate through senior (this was before cats existed) and then in college. My steel framed Colin Laing was built by me in the bike shop I worked in back in 1974. I still run tubulars but have ditched the extreme lightweight race wheel setup for something more mundane. Weight with the old race wheels and silk tires was 19 pounds with a brooks pro saddle. Now, probably 20 pounds. I could spend all kinds of money and justify it because the bike is so old. But why? Back in college, I used an old Gitane on rainy days. Weighed maybe 23 pounds. Maybe more. You're in it for the exercise and enjoyment, right? Don't need 3 less pounds to have fun.
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White Coat Investor
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by White Coat Investor »

I dunno, $600 a lb seems like a pretty good deal to me. That said, I'm sticking with the 22 lb aluminum road bike I bought in 08 for now.
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Zapped
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Zapped »

It's a little surprising to me that folks are unforgiving about a 10lb gain in a year. I'm a 5'11" male in my mid-50s who dropped from 205lbs to 159lbs during 2011, and have stayed at 168-172lbs for the last three years while not being as strict about my diet as I was while losing weight. I certainly understand your struggle and know I could push up my weight by 5lbs in a single weekend of eating anything I wanted.

I read earlier that someone was surprised you could be overweight when you ride 50 miles/wk. 50 miles was my Sunday ride this morning, and the 14 people on the ride ranged from 18 yrs old to 70 years old, with a wide range of body weight stuffed into a lycra/spandex casing. Most fitness trainers and nutritionists seem be saying the same thing these days, and I personally know it's true - you can't run (or bike) away from those pizzas and cheeseburgers and cake.

Exercise has these benefits -
  • Improves muscle insulin sensitivity
  • Improves mood by reducing stress, which releases cortisol, which in turn helps suppress appetite
  • Makes liver metabolism run faster, which burns glycogen so it doesn't get stored as fat
But it's nutrition that maintains body weight. Lower calories and especially limiting sugar and refined flour.

I typically ride my road bike a bit over 100 miles/wk when I bike 3x/wk and run 1x/wk, or 150 miles/wk if I ride 4x/wk. So I have some feedback here, although nothing better than you would find if you just went to a cycling-related forum.

Weight off the body is just like weight off the bike, and dropping weight from the body is much easier on the wallet than dropping it off the bike. The only coherent argument I've ever heard anyone make where weight off the bike is a smidge better than weight off your gluteus maximus relates to wheels - you an arguably accelerate better if you're spinning lighter rims. However if all you're doing is hard solo workouts or hard group rides, but not amateur racing, it's a waste of money to spend it on a lighter bike.

My 2013 Cannondale Supersix is carbon, it's lightweight, and it's twitchy. It's definitely more of a race geometry than a relaxed geometry like, say, a Specialized Synapse. As another reply in this thread mentioned, it requires concentration in bike handling.

My aluminum 1995 Trek, purchased last fall on Craigslist for $200, is far more comfortable to ride due to having a different geometry than my carbon bike. It climbs hills easier despite weighing 4lbs more than my Cannondale because it has a triple chainring in the front, and my Supersix has a more typical compact double chainring. On the Trek, I can adjust my helmet strap or open an energy bar riding hands-free without fearing for my life.

There's nothing wrong with a new bike if your current frame isn't a good fit Nothing wrong with a new bike if you simply don't like the color - you can decide for yourself when spending money on consumer goods is satisfying or unsatisfying.
- Jim in Austin, TX
hyla
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by hyla »

If you like your old bike and don't race, there's no need to buy a new bike just cause it's 3 lbs lighter. Lots of bike shops are way too into pushing the lightest most race-oriented gear, rather than trying to match customers with bikes that are right for them. I found this out a few years ago when I went shopping for a touring/commuting oriented roadbike and one local shop tried to convince me to buy a carbon bike that I couldn't attach racks or fenders to... A shop that tries to upsell you on a new bike when you give them business by bringing in a (perfectly good) bike for service might not deserve your business.
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mlebuf
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by mlebuf »

This is a no-brainer. If you are overweight, lose the weight. In either case, lose the bike salesman.
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by cherijoh »

lightheir wrote:you will have essentially no speak again from buying a lighter bike compared to your current bike. If you say you notice it it's almost certainly a placebo effect compared to your current bike.

that said, there is a very real effect of people being excited to ride their new bike even if it isn't any objectively faster handwriting more will increase your enjoyment and fitness in the sport.

But your Roubaix is likely 98% as fast as the top of the line bikes out there.
"Speak again"? Did you mean speed gain?
555
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by 555 »

Buy a larger bike seat.
island
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by island »

Zapped wrote:It's a little surprising to me that folks are unforgiving about a 10lb gain in a year.
I don't see any posts saying that or any that deny the benefit of exercise or losing weight.
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2pedals
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by 2pedals »

I believe you do no need a new bike, you want a new bike. How about if you change it up a little, buy a fitness bike mountain bike, cross bike or even a fat bike. You may like them more than your road bike.
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Zapped
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Zapped »

island wrote:
Zapped wrote:It's a little surprising to me that folks are unforgiving about a 10lb gain in a year.
I don't see any posts saying that ...
In offering advice to d_green, I was trying to speak generally about my impression of earlier replies. Not sure how this helps the OP, but since you said you didn't see any replies where people were negatively judging OP's weight gain, I was referring to these specific comments -

sawhorse wrote: "Given that you ride 50 miles a week, I find it hard to believe that you would be overweight."

dbr wrote: "Gaining ten pounds in a year is not good news. Is there an understandable reason why that happened?"

celia wrote: "Suppose you didn't ride bikes. Would losing weight improve your health? With poor health (adding 10 pounds/yr), in 10 years you won't be able to ride any bike."

I don't think any of the above comments were mean-spirited, I was just surprised that a number of folks thought a 10lb weight gain was anything out of the ordinary in our current environment of abundant, inexpensive, and tasty calories.
...or any that deny the benefit of exercise or losing weight
I didn't mention that anyone denied the benefit of exercise or losing weight. I was simply (and I thought clearly) sharing my belief that nutrition is more important to losing or maintaining weight than riding more miles on the OP's current bike any other bike.
- Jim in Austin, TX
island
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by island »

Zapped- I still don't see "unforgiving" in those posts, but no matter, neither of our impressions are relevant to the OP's questions about the 3pound difference between the bikes anyway. Cheers.
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island
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by island »

error, duplicate post
itstoomuch
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by itstoomuch »

Good gosh, If you want to lose weight, buy a heavier bike with big tires. :annoyed

I still got cro-molly bikes. One with front shocks and one with straight forks. Of course I like the one without shocks since I get there faster with less work. I may upgrade because replacing the bearings are going to cost. Then again I need the friction. :mrgreen:
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stlutz
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by stlutz »

I'm not sure that I've ever seen this many incorrect answers in one BH thread.

One of the basic rules of cycling is that the correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number currently owned. As such, you should most definitely buy the new bike.

End of discussion.
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by 555 »

stlutz wrote:I'm not sure that I've ever seen this many incorrect answers in one BH thread.

One of the basic rules of cycling is that the correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number currently owned. As such, you should most definitely buy the new bike.

End of discussion.
But N+1=N in cycling enthusiasts favorite group R/Z
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_group
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

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tigermilk
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by tigermilk »

The frame is in no way 3 pounds lighter. You've got an 18 lb bike and are comparing to a 15 lb bike. Frames, whether carbon, steel, aluminum, etc, on a mid-range bike do not vary by 3 pounds. You get the 3 pound savings with several ounces in the frame, more ounces in the wheels, handlebars, etc. Even then, 3 pounds is nothing. I used to race and wouldn't even be concerned about that difference in weight. Besides, it's better to take the weight off that thing on the seat rather than the bike.
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by MoneyIsntEverything »

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gatorking
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by gatorking »

I suggest getting a heavier bike. This will give you more incentive to lose weight and might even make it easier. :)
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by midareff »

d_green wrote:I recently brought my road bike into my local bike shop for service. While there, a salesman tried to sell me a newer bike with a carbon fiber frame that I think was 3 pounds lighter than my current bike. My current bike was purchased new in 2008 (Fuji Rubaix SL) and was among the lightest non-carbon fiber frame bikes you could buy back then (cost me about $1600). My current bike weighs about 18 pounds and the one the salesman was trying to sell me weighs about 15 pounds and he was asking about $1800 for it.

My body weight is about 10 pounds heavier than a year ago. If I lose 3 pounds of body weight, is that the equivalent of buying a 3 pounds lighter bike? I'm not a super serious rider. I don't race, I'm more of a weekend biker who like to get about 50 miles in a week. Thanks

Just a salesman doing what salesmen do. If you are looking for validation to buy a new bike because it is what you want and your self-esteem needs it, than you have my blessing. If you look at it objectively, that's $600 a pound .. + the price of the beer and pizza. :sharebeer

I had a real nice road bike... 100% alloy with top grade Shimano's and Mavic's. Had not ridden it for years and finally sent it to a wounded warrior in upstate NY who likes to ride and can no longer drive. A feel good ending to my riding days.
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greg24
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by greg24 »

d_green wrote:I recently brought my road bike into my local bike shop for service. While there, a salesman tried to sell me a newer bike with a carbon fiber frame that I think was 3 pounds lighter than my current bike. My current bike was purchased new in 2008 (Fuji Rubaix SL) and was among the lightest non-carbon fiber frame bikes you could buy back then (cost me about $1600). My current bike weighs about 18 pounds and the one the salesman was trying to sell me weighs about 15 pounds and he was asking about $1800 for it.

My body weight is about 10 pounds heavier than a year ago. If I lose 3 pounds of body weight, is that the equivalent of buying a 3 pounds lighter bike? I'm not a super serious rider. I don't race, I'm more of a weekend biker who like to get about 50 miles in a week. Thanks
Do you desire a new bike? All I see is an explanation that someone tried to sell you one.
TFinator
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by TFinator »

1 pound of body weight = 1 pound of bike weight
This is true unless you're talking about rotating weight (wheels/tires).
I bet you can save 1/2 a pound of rotating weight with a $500 wheel upgrade (but don't go too light - durable is good!).

I did the math on what a couple pounds would save me on the closest (significant) climb to my house. It's ~400 of vertical - under 10% the whole time. I think it saved something like 8 seconds.

I still ride aluminum and even steel. I make sure my wheels and tires match my goals, and I can tell you that makes more difference than anything (other than upgrading that sexy engine atop the saddle :wink: ).
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by dad2000 »

I wouldn't buy a carbon fiber bike just because it is 3 lbs lighter. IMHO, the main benefit of a *good* carbon fiber bike is that they are more comfortable on longer distance rides (2 hours+) because the frame softens road vibrations. The reduced weight of the frame will help you a little on climbs, but the effect is negligible on flats, especially if you do not race.

As for a previous comment about it being hard to be overweight if you ride 50 miles weekly, that's simply not true. There are many regular cyclists that are overweight. If you eat more than you burn, it will be hard to keep weight down.

I still ride my aluminum bike on some shorter rides. I switched to a carbon fiber as my preferred bike because I regularly participate in endurance cycling events (60-100 miles per day).

You have a good bike. Just make sure it is comfortable (fitted properly) and well-maintained. If you start riding a lot more, you'll know when it's time to upgrade.
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by frenchje »

I have a 2009 Roubaix Pro. These are really nice bikes, especially for the price you could get them at the time. Like previous posters have said you could probably save just as much weight by upgrading wheels/saddle/components etc as you would from the new frame. I know I added some lighter/stiffer/more aero wheels to my bike and I noticed a huge difference in performance.

As far as comfort of carbon goes, I believe you already enjoy some of the benefits as you probably already have a carbon fork and carbon seat stays (at least I know my 2009 Roubaix has them. So to me, the benefit to go full carbon just isn't worth the price. (Especially since I picked my roubaix up for about 1/2 price brand new).
SamB
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by SamB »

Just don't eat or drink anything when you ride the 50 miles and you can save the money. Before Gatorade, and the sports food industry this is how endurance athletes trained, and believe it or not, steel frames notwithstanding, they were faster.
Andyrunner
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Andyrunner »

I wouldn't buy the carbon fiber bike if your not a serious racer. If you crash and the carbon fiber cracks the bike is toast.
MP173
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by MP173 »

I have a 20 year old (perhaps older) Trek 380. I ride 15-20 miles 3 - 4 x weekly from April thru November. Sometimes a little more. Put me in the 50 - 75 mile per week club.

My bike is a lot like me....big, old, and slow. But it serves the purpose, providing a great vehicle (pun intended) for an 60-70 minute workout (solo) in which I burn 1000 calories. My bike shop keeps asking me when I will upgrade. With the money I spend on this bike, they say, I could upgrade. It does require a yearly service and things do wear out, but I like this bike.

Big bike with big tires gives you a pretty good workout. The hills are tough, no doubt, but the bike is comfortable and safe for my 240 pounds.

Ed
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by stlutz »

Actually carbon is the most repairable frame material out there.
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by Carson »

dbr wrote:A different bike made from a different frame material may or may not be something you would enjoy. The issue is more in the fit and the components than in the frame. Your present bike is almost certainly more than adequate for your riding desires unless there is a particular deficiency such as poor fit.
Just wanted to echo this times a million.

Last year I was due for a budgeted upgrade of my road bike. I went to a local bike shop that had previous years' model in stock. After about 90 minutes playing Goldilocks with two different sized bikes, the technicians zeroed in on what was the perfect fit, promote good form, and the right geometry for my body.

So this year I hop on it for the first ride, and out of the gate, I don't really think about how it is lighter, or how smooth the componentry is, but how amazing the fit is and the bike literally is an extension of my body. It sounds like you have talked yourself out of an upgrade, but I have to say even going to get your current bike fit, and perhaps changing out one or two of the key components to get it to fit you (eg, maybe you need a shorter stem or something) might make a huge difference in how your ride feels.

And don't sweat the lbs. I gained 10 myself from the end of last year's cycling season to now. It's easier to have to lose 10 lbs than it is to lose 20, is what I keep telling myself!
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stoptothink
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by stoptothink »

Zapped wrote:I read earlier that someone was surprised you could be overweight when you ride 50 miles/wk. 50 miles was my Sunday ride this morning, and the 14 people on the ride ranged from 18 yrs old to 70 years old, with a wide range of body weight stuffed into a lycra/spandex casing. Most fitness trainers and nutritionists seem be saying the same thing these days, and I personally know it's true - you can't run (or bike) away from those pizzas and cheeseburgers and cake.
To be brutally honest, most of the "cyclists" I know are overweight. It's easier on the joints than running so a lot of people looking to start doing something active begin with cycling. My uncle rides at least 100 miles per week and has done Lotoja http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LOTOJA a few times; at ~6'3" he's got to be close to 300lbs and over 30%bf.

I'm another former competitive cyclist (well, triathlete), but most of my cycling is now towing my kids behind my cyclocross bike. The OP knows the answer, even for someone who is a competitive the 3lbs. difference is very miniscule as it directly relates to performance. Far more important is the fit, being comfortable and able to get into a good position.
fourniks
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by fourniks »

Zapped wrote:It's a little surprising to me that folks are unforgiving about a 10lb gain in a year. I'm a 5'11" male in my mid-50s who dropped from 205lbs to 159lbs during 2011, and have stayed at 168-172lbs for the last three years while not being as strict about my diet as I was while losing weight. I certainly understand your struggle and know I could push up my weight by 5lbs in a single weekend of eating anything I wanted.

I read earlier that someone was surprised you could be overweight when you ride 50 miles/wk. 50 miles was my Sunday ride this morning, and the 14 people on the ride ranged from 18 yrs old to 70 years old, with a wide range of body weight stuffed into a lycra/spandex casing. Most fitness trainers and nutritionists seem be saying the same thing these days, and I personally know it's true - you can't run (or bike) away from those pizzas and cheeseburgers and cake.

Exercise has these benefits -
  • Improves muscle insulin sensitivity
  • Improves mood by reducing stress, which releases cortisol, which in turn helps suppress appetite
  • Makes liver metabolism run faster, which burns glycogen so it doesn't get stored as fat
But it's nutrition that maintains body weight. Lower calories and especially limiting sugar and refined flour.

I typically ride my road bike a bit over 100 miles/wk when I bike 3x/wk and run 1x/wk, or 150 miles/wk if I ride 4x/wk. So I have some feedback here, although nothing better than you would find if you just went to a cycling-related forum.

Weight off the body is just like weight off the bike, and dropping weight from the body is much easier on the wallet than dropping it off the bike. The only coherent argument I've ever heard anyone make where weight off the bike is a smidge better than weight off your gluteus maximus relates to wheels - you an arguably accelerate better if you're spinning lighter rims. However if all you're doing is hard solo workouts or hard group rides, but not amateur racing, it's a waste of money to spend it on a lighter bike.

My 2013 Cannondale Supersix is carbon, it's lightweight, and it's twitchy. It's definitely more of a race geometry than a relaxed geometry like, say, a Specialized Synapse. As another reply in this thread mentioned, it requires concentration in bike handling.

My aluminum 1995 Trek, purchased last fall on Craigslist for $200, is far more comfortable to ride due to having a different geometry than my carbon bike. It climbs hills easier despite weighing 4lbs more than my Cannondale because it has a triple chainring in the front, and my Supersix has a more typical compact double chainring. On the Trek, I can adjust my helmet strap or open an energy bar riding hands-free without fearing for my life.

There's nothing wrong with a new bike if your current frame isn't a good fit Nothing wrong with a new bike if you simply don't like the color - you can decide for yourself when spending money on consumer goods is satisfying or unsatisfying.
+1 on this.

I also average 50 to 100 miles a week and am currently about 25 pounds over my ideal weight of 155 (I'm 5'-10"). Try and lose the weight first - I know that's my plan. But maybe set a goal to get to a certain weight, and then re-evaluate your ride and speed. Consider buying it as a reward unless at that time you feel you don't need the weight savings.

Of course, having a new bike is just plain fun. I have a 2007 Orbea Onix carbon fiber bike I bought in 2008 which weighs 17.7 pounds. I bought it for close to $2k in 2008. $1800 for a 15 pound carbon fiber bike is an amazing deal, especially if its Ultegra or better. The feel of a carbon fiber bike, in my opinion, is second only to steel, and you would be paying double or triple that $1800 for a steel bike of that weight if you can even find it. The stiffness in the bottom bracket also helps in climbing (at least it did for me).
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WallyBird
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by WallyBird »

Wouldn't you get more exercise pedaling a heavier bike?
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ccieemeritus
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by ccieemeritus »

I have a $450 trek mountain bike refitted with hybrid Kevlar tires.

I prefer riding a bike that is not a thief magnet. If it does get stolen it won't be a significant financial issue to replace (albeit with a hybrid).
feh
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by feh »

d_green wrote: I'm not a super serious rider. I don't race, I'm more of a weekend biker who like to get about 50 miles in a week.
Then why would you care about how much your bike weighs?

And if for some reason you do care, then yes - dropping 3 lbs from your body makes more sense.
autonomy
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Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

Post by autonomy »

furwut wrote:Lose some body weight if you like but no way in h*ll do you really need a carbon fiber 15lb bike unless you feel the desire to pose as a Tour de France rider.

I also would find another bike shop as I could no longer trust their advice any further.
This post, x1000.

At 50 miles/week it won't matter to you one bit and you won't notice it. I have a heavy mountain bike and what made a lot of difference were the following things:
1. Buying skinny, slick tires instead of the knobby MTB tires
2. Inflating the skinny, slick tires to their top PSI of 80, instead of 30PSI for the MTB tires
3. Cleaning out the chain, the cassette, and the rear derailleur.

Still, the bike has nothing on my road bike, which is almost half the weight. But the tires are even skinnier, the wheels are lighter, and the tires inflate to over 100PSI. I've been using my road bike for commuting lately, so I put a slim rack on the back and guess what - it hasn't made a bit of difference. I've actually beaten my previous records on Strava WITH the rack and a pannier carrying work clothes. All because I've been biking to/from work and getting better at it.

If you ride 50mi each ride, then it might make a difference, but then you also need to take comfort into account. Otherwise, the salesman is just trying to get you to spend money.
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