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  1. #1
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    Weight Location on Endurance Rides

    Does it make much of a difference whether the weight is on your back or on your bike? For example, am I indifferent about strapping the same weight tube and Co2 can on my bike, versus carrying it in my camelbak or in my pockets? We aren't talking about rotational weight here, just certain things you got to pack like water, tools, food, etc. Thanks

  2. #2
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    I prefer keeping as much on the bike as possible. Less strain on my neck, shoulders, etc. (or so it seems to me).

    It also keeps the center of gravity lower and, if you go without the pack altogether, is cooler for your back.

    For me, water needs dictate if I can get away without having a pack.

  3. #3
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    I prefer my jersey pockets because they are 100% reliable compared to seat bags.

    But in the long run, it's not going to matter where you carry your tube and CO2 cartridge, and in a race situation I won't even be aware of trivia like that once the gun goes off!

    As far as water goes, I always prefer to get by with bottles, provided the course has enough smooth sections to allow easy drinking. Otherwise I suck it up -- ha ha -- and strap on the Camelback. Ugh.
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  4. #4
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    Tube, and big air attached to seat with back country strap. Mini tool, lube, in jersey pocket, food in jersey pocket. Bottle or 2 on bike depending on length of race/distance between aid stations.
    I quit wearing camelbacks about a year ago, due to the weight hurting my back.

  5. #5
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    For me it depends on the course; I don't like having to reach for a bottle in long, technical sections (up or down) and so if the course has sections like that I use the smallest camelbak I can find ("hydrobak" I think it's called); it's very light and sits way up high so it doesn't get in the way of jersey pockets. However, if you can get away with just bottles, do so.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the responses, but to frame my question more specifically, in terms of the pure physics of cycling, is it more efficient or does it increase performance to carry weight on your bike, or on your person? In other words, whether or not your prefer a camelbak or bottles, or prefer to carry your tube, C02 on your bike or in your jersey pockets, what is scientifically more efficient from a physics perspective? For example, the weight location on a bike does matter, as weight on rotational parts should be minimized to the greatest extent possible. For the accessories we carry (including water, food, parts, tools, etc.) is the weight location irrelevant, and the only important factor is the sum of the weight you are carrying, or simply personal preferences? To put it another way (although it is a slightly different question), would you rather shave a pound of fat off your body, or a pound of fat off your bike? Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Weight Location on Endurance Rides

    It kinda depends on the course, and my comparison starts to cross over to bikepacking...

    Every time you stand up (steep power pedal, unweight techy spot), you are lifting the weight on your body extra vs if it was on the bike. It could add up.

    Super techy HAB, you are pushing/lifting/carrying the bike and any extra weight on the bike.

  8. #8
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    Since you've put "Endurance Rides" in the title, I think you definitely have to allow preference to be a very significant factor. Doing big races like hundies is as much mental as physical and mechanical.

    But, my short answer: as much weight as I can move off of my back and onto the middle of the bike, the better. Nothing more than a Bento box or a tube at the stem to avoid affecting steering or having too much weight forward. Weight off my back reduces the effort of holding it up on long technical descents. Any weight that is on my back should be at my hips (a Wingnut pack) to allow support from legs instead of back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    Thanks for the responses, but to frame my question more specifically, in terms of the pure physics of cycling, is it more efficient or does it increase performance to carry weight on your bike, or on your person?
    Physics doesn't care very much where the weight is. And generally it's such a low percentage of the total weight of bike and rider that it's lost in the noise even if there was any difference in how high or low the weight was wrt the center of gravity of the whole system.

    The only situation I can thing of were it might make any difference at all is standing and pedaling. Basically unless you're moving the weight when the frame is not moving, you're doing the same work regardless of where the weight is.

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