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Why does reducing bike weight have such an impact on speeds?

5 min read

Asked by: Shane Rios

Because adding weight to a bicycle, wheels and components increases inertia, it will slow down the rate of acceleration.

Will losing weight make me faster on bike?

For the average-strength rider on the 2016 Transcontinental (TCR) route, decreasing the total weight by 5 kg would make the average speed increase by just 0.41 km/h and the total cycling time would be reduced by 3 hours 23 minutes (so the finshing time could be about 6.5 hours earlier).

Why do heavier cyclists descend faster?

Heavier riders can descend faster than light riders because heavier riders don’t have significantly more volume/surface area than their lighter counterparts, despite possibly major differences in weight.

How much slower is a heavy bike?

In this experiment, the extra four pounds added one minute to the rider’s time, which was around 50 minutes, so it made him about two percent slower. So tripling that to get your 12-pound heavier bike would be six percent slower.

How much does bike weight affect speed?

None theoretically, weight affects the acceleration, more weight makes the increase in speed slower and requires more power to cut it down. We are speaking about marginal gains, which can be critical in races; this small difference in total weight and acceleration between two riders can open gaps.

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.

Do heavier bikes go faster downhill?

A heavier bike will travel downhill faster than a lighter bike when all other factors including drag, rolling resistance, and weight of the cyclist are equal. This is due to the fact that the force of gravity has a greater effect on heavier objects.

Does a heavier person go down a hill faster?

Believe it or not, when objects roll downhill, it’s not their weight or size that determines their speed—it’s how their weight is distributed.

Are heavier cyclists 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.

Is 22 lbs heavy for a bike?

An average entry- to mid-level road bike will weigh around 20-25 pounds (9.1-11.3 kg).

What makes a bike feel fast?

Real racing bikes are fast because they use supple high-performance tires. Their frames flex just the right amount for a powerful rider. Racing bikes are fast because the rider has little wind resistance thanks to the low riding position, narrow handlebars, and tight-fitting clothing.

What is a good weight for a road bike?

18 pounds

The standard bike weight for a road bike is 18 pounds. Mountain bikes are 29 pounds, while beach cruisers can weigh up to 40 pounds. A typical road bike should not weigh more than 18 pounds, pedals and cages included. Compared to other hunting bikes, these bikes are lighter and easier to ride on paved surfaces.

What makes road bike faster?

Road bicycles have always been equipped with skinnier tires than other types of bikes such as MTB or hybrids. The key reason behind this tire choice lies in reducing the rolling resistance generated between rubber and asphalt thus increasing speed.

Does a carbon bike make you faster?

However, a small experiment conducted recently by Cycling Weekly demonstrated that a cyclist generating 200w of pedalling power on an aero carbon bike was 1.7kph faster than on a lightweight carbon bike – extrapolated over four hours riding they claimed this would translate into an extra 6.6km distance travelled.

Are lighter bike wheels faster?

Lighter wheels speed up quicker, but they also slow down faster compared to heavier wheels, which speeds up slower but carries speed longer.

How does weight affect a bicycle?

Less weight on the bicycle means less weight dragged up the hill. In addition, weight adds rolling resistance to tires. Extra weight causes a greater deformation of the sidewalls and tread of a tire, thus, increasing the rolling resistance.

How much does weight affect climbing on bike?

Quote from video: You were a little bit slower than that but i guess we have got to allow for a little bit of experimental.

What is the ideal 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).

How fast should I cycle for my age?

18–25 years: 17–18.5 mph. 25–35 years: 20.8–21.7 mph. 35–40 years: 18.6 mph. 45–50 years: 15 mph.

Is 15mph fast on a bike?

The majority of riders can average a speed of about 15 mph on a one hour ride. A good speed for a beginner is 10 mph, but you should be able to get to 15 mph pretty quickly. If you start training every once in a while, you could get your average up to 18 mph, but training on a regular basis could get you to 22 mph.

Is 20 mph on a bike fast?

Average speed – indications

Beginner, short distance (say 10-15 miles): average speed 12 mph. Most cyclists can achieve 10-12 mph average very quickly with limited training. More experienced, short-medium distance (say 20-30 miles): average 15-16 mph. Reasonable experience, medium (say 40 miles): average around 16-19