Nederlands | English | Deutsch

Project Sports

Questions and answers about sports

How does weight and strength of a person effects the riding of bicycle at higher speeds?

5 min read

Asked by: Laura Nelson

How does weight affect cycling speed?

If you’re carrying a lot more body fat you’re less aerodynamic as well. That’s an additive effect: not only is your power-to-weight ratio lower, but you’ve also got more drag, so that’s going to make you slower as well.

How does weight affect power in cycling?

Larger cyclists often produce more power than smaller riders because they have more mass they can use to generate force. On the other hand, lighter riders have less inertia to overcome when trying to get their smaller mass moving.

How much does weight affect a bicycle?

Even at the steepest grade he tested (7 percent), a one-pound difference between bikes only saves about 2.5 seconds—and the lightest bike only reaches the top 7.5 seconds faster than the heaviest one.

What affects speed in cycling?

Environmental Factors



If the surface you’re riding is loose and provides little traction, you’ll have to work harder to move the same distance than if you were riding on firm ground that provided plenty of traction. Terrain that allows you to maintain a consistent pace will encourage a higher average biking speed.

Why is weight so important in cycling?

The more weight your wheels weigh, especially the outer weight (the rims, tubes and tires), the more energy it takes to get your wheels turning due to rotational inertia. Reducing wheel weight results in a more responsive, faster accelerating bike.

Does weight really matter on a bike?

Additional weight increases inertia and wheel inertia matters a lot in cycling because the rider has to overcome it to accelerate. Heavier wheels require more energy to overcome this inertia. Many riders, even novices, can feel the difference when riding lighter wheels.

How much does weight affect speed?

Unsurprisingly, the extra weight slowed them down. On average, they lost 1.4 seconds per mile per pound. For example, if you carry an extra 10 pounds, you’ll add 14 seconds per mile to your run.

How does weight affect power?

The heavier the load, the more power it takes to move it.

Is being lighter better for cycling?

Reducing weight from your bike and body can help you be a faster, more competitive athlete. Weigh your gear and look for lighter options if you’re able. If you have excess body weight, focus on losing a few pounds.

Are heavier bikes harder to ride?

For a new rider, a heavy motorcycle is harder to ride, for a few reasons(weight, power). For an experienced rider, it’s just a matter of getting used to how a bigger motorcycle handles and performs. All the skills you have learned from riding a lighter motorcycle will easily transfer over.

Do bicycles have a weight limit?

Bicycles do have weight limits. But with so many different types, geometry, materials and parts used, it’s impossible to standardise. Generally however, most bikes will have a weight limit of between 275 lbs and 300 lbs.

Do heavier cyclists go downhill faster?

‘When you increase the mass the speed increases by cubic function, whereas if you increase the aerodynamic drag the speed decreases by a square function. Hence why cyclists who are heavier can go faster,’ Fonda says.

What is the best weight for cycling?

Rule of thumb equation for appropriate weight is to take 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height (for women) and 106 pounds (for men). Then, add 4-6 pounds per inch of height above this base (women), and 5-7 pounds per inch (men).

What is a good weight for a bike?

17 – 17.5 pounds

17 – 17.5 pounds is the normal range. The real discussion is about 1.5 to 2 pounds. The performance advantage of a lighter bike is greatest when the hill is steepest.

What is the average weight of a cyclist?

On average, professional cyclists weigh 70 kilograms (155 lbs). However, their weight differs heavily based on their specialty. The difference between the lightest (climbers) and the heaviest group (time trialists) is 21%. Climbers are the lightest of them all.

How much does weight affect speed?

Unsurprisingly, the extra weight slowed them down. On average, they lost 1.4 seconds per mile per pound. For example, if you carry an extra 10 pounds, you’ll add 14 seconds per mile to your run.

Do heavier cyclists go downhill faster?

‘When you increase the mass the speed increases by cubic function, whereas if you increase the aerodynamic drag the speed decreases by a square function. Hence why cyclists who are heavier can go faster,’ Fonda says.

How much should a cyclist weight?

Rule of thumb equation for appropriate weight is to take 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height (for women) and 106 pounds (for men). Then, add 4-6 pounds per inch of height above this base (women), and 5-7 pounds per inch (men).

What is a good power to weight ratio for a cyclist?

Power-to-weight ratios vary across a wide spectrum. Generally, untrained riders have an FTP below 2.0 W/kg for men and 1.5 W/kg for women, while professional racers may be capable of sustaining more than 6.0 W/kg for men and 5.5 for women.

How does weight affect power?

The heavier the load, the more power it takes to move it.

How can I increase my cycling power?

5 Simple Ways to Increase Cycling Power

  1. Ride in Bigger Gears for Higher Power Output. …
  2. Ride Uphill to Increase Muscular Endurance. …
  3. Ride Into Headwinds. …
  4. Use Block Training to Boost Cycling Power. …
  5. Follow the 75% Rule.