Rider weight relative to bike weight?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rider weight relative to bike weight?

    Can bike weight go up as body weight goes up? Assuming that your at your optimal weight and donít need or want to loose weight. Iím 5í11Ē 195lbs. Thatís my happy weight. I can go down to about 190 if Iím not lifting and just doing cardio, and up to 200 lbs if Iím just lifting. I live happy at 195 if Iím study with my CrossFit program.

    So, Just throwing out numbers. Is a 155 lbs rider / 30 lbs bike the same as a 175 lbs rider / 32 lbs bike and a 195 lbs rider / 34 lbs bike?

    Common sense would tell me a heavy rider can tolerate a heavier bike. What say you math guys?

  2. #2
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    I don't know that it can be explained with math, but I would say in general, no. The fastest racers tend to be lighter weight. They are able to climb faster, which is where the majority of the time in a race is spent. A heavier rider with a heavier bike would just be slower. It's all about power to weight.
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  3. #3
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    Iíd say heavier riders should be on the lightest bike they can ride without breaking. Theyíre already at a disadvantage.


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  4. #4
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    Ok. I should have added Iím talking about 150mm trail bikes

  5. #5
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    I think a pound or two really makes very little difference for 99% of riders.
    As long as you aren't on a 45lb beast.

    But 30, 31,32lb bike really isn't going to feel much different except lifting it onto a rack or over a fence

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  6. #6
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    Within reason, a lighter rider is better off on a heavier bike compared to a heavier rider on a lighter bike. A 150lb fit rider on a 35lb bike is only a 185lb package. Im 210lb on a 28lb bike, so 238lb package. That 150lb rider has a 53lb advantage on me and will likely blow my doors off on climbs.

    The core principle is that more weight takes more work to move anywhere, but especially up. Resistance also increases with weight. There is no consideration for where that weight is, including rotating or not, sprung or not. Rotating weight does make a difference for acceleration, but not for keeping a steady pace... and even then, its less than it seems.

  7. #7
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    If you weigh 200 pounds, and you add 1 pound to the bike, I'd guess it has less of an effect than if you weigh 100 pounds and add 1 pound to the bike's weight.

  8. #8
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    Iím 225 and will take a stronger (usually heavier) bike within reason over a lighter one any day. I run old school Marzocchi Atom bomb forks (bullet proof, but heavy) and run a brake booster on rear brakes. 2-3 pounds does not make a poop to me.

  9. #9
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I don't know that it can be explained with math. A heavier rider with a heavier bike would just be slower. It's all about power to weight.
    I agree within reason. To get a difinite answer you need to evaluate the individuals body makeup. You can have a super fit 175# guy with low percentage of bf->muscle and an overweight 175# rider on a lighter bike.
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  10. #10
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    I'd also say generally no. There is something to be said for mid and upper body strength for hard DH and enduro, but even with that it doesn't take being anywhere near 200lbs at 5'11". Your legs (and associated muscles that attach and are part of the process outside of them) are producing watts and moving you. It's all about the amount of watts/weight, as everyone else is saying. All that extra weight on your body for lifting, fat, whatever, is dead weight that is just slowing you down comparatively. So as you get heavier, you aren't going to be able to make the same watts/weight as the lighter fit riders, it just doesn't happen. Even if you are stronger in deadlifts or whatever, you aren't stronger in the way that matters, compared to a fit 140lb XC racer at the top of their game. They generally have to work out in gyms too and do lifts/etc., but the difference is what they work out and how.
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  11. #11
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    Ok let me ask another way. Not in regards to XC racing. Just interested in trail riding. Letís assume a 150 lbs rider and 195 lbs rider, average Joe weekend warrior types. Letís also assume both have equal fitness levels. Both run 6 minute miles. Wouldnít the heavier rider be able to get away with a heavier bike? Iím not taking KOMs. Just normal trail riding.

  12. #12
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    It would seem that the rider with the higher strength to weight ratio (both body and bike) would have faster times on the climbs and flats. And, the heavier rider would have the advantage on the downs.

    What does the rider care more about?

    If the rider isnít racing, who cares?

    I come from a surfing background, you want to know what is never factored or cared about?

    Who completed their wave the quickest.

    Having an intentionally weak and lean upper body seems like an extreme sacrifice for someone who isnít making money racing.

  13. #13
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    Yes. A heavier bike with be less noticeable to a heavy rider vs a light rider. That extra 2 lbs of bike weight is a much smaller percentage of the total package weight. Will he be MARGINALLY slower climbing because of the extra weight, sure. Will it make a noticeable difference in a given trail ride? Probably not. For most larger riders, the extra stiffness and durability of the heavier bike will be more noticeable than the loss in power/weight ratio.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by notso View Post
    Yes. A heavier bike with be less noticeable to a heavy rider vs a light rider. That extra 2 lbs of bike weight is a much smaller percentage of the total package weight. Will he be MARGINALLY slower climbing because of the extra weight, sure. Will it make a noticeable difference in a given trail ride? Probably not. For most larger riders, the extra stiffness and durability of the heavier bike will be more noticeable than the loss in power/weight ratio.
    That's making some pretty serious assumptions, no?

    Most parts marketed as "enduro" specific aren't any stronger, stiffer or more durable than, say, "XC" parts from other companies. Are they under-engineered, heavier, and cheaper? Sure. But not stronger. Throwing more material at a problem can be a solution, yes, but often it just makes a part that is heavier and no more durable than a better engineered one.

    As an example, the Syntace MegaForce stem is an XC stem. However, it is rated for DH use, at bar widths up to 800mm, and comes with a 10 year warranty.

    https://bermstyle.com/review-syntace-megaforce2-stem/

    https://singletrackworld.com/2013/09...-for-big-bars/

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/syntac...-reviewed.html
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    That's making some pretty serious assumptions, no?

    Most parts marketed as "enduro" specific aren't any stronger, stiffer or more durable than, say, "XC" parts from other companies. Are they under-engineered, heavier, and cheaper? Sure. But not stronger. Throwing more material at a problem can be a solution, yes, but often it just makes a part that is heavier and no more durable than a better engineered one.

    As an example, the Syntace MegaForce stem is an XC stem. However, it is rated for DH use, at bar widths up to 800mm, and comes with a 10 year warranty.

    https://bermstyle.com/review-syntace-megaforce2-stem/

    https://singletrackworld.com/2013/09...-for-big-bars/

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/syntac...-reviewed.html
    I got the Megaforce and Thomson X4 both in 50mm. The Megaforce is noticeably lighter and doesn't come with those odd M3 bolts. Both are roughly the same cost.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    I got the Megaforce and Thomson X4 both in 50mm. The Megaforce is noticeably lighter and doesn't come with those odd M3 bolts. Both are roughly the same cost.
    Yeah. I love the fact that Syntace uses big, fat M5 Ti bolts with 5mm heads.

    Their destructive testing videos are fascinating, too.


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