SS weight vs cog: which has more effect on work done?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SS weight vs cog: which has more effect on work done?

    Yes an odd title for a thread.

    Anyway: i have a Kona Unit (steel) with a 20 tooth and a Kona Big Unit (aluminum/scandium) with an 18 tooth cog.

    For you physics and math folks out there i am wondering if i do more work (get a better workout) with the lighter bike and higher gear or the heavier bike and the lower gear.

    I can absolutely feel a difference between the 2 bikes if they both have same cog but I put the higher geared cog on the Big Unit thinking I could get a better work out in a higher gear and am now wondering if the ligher frame is offsetting the gear increase.

    Hope my question is understandable.

    I do find myself riding the higher geared Big Unit more often as it feels more "flickable"

    I have heard that steel feels better but I cannot feel this.

  2. #2
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    Your question is a bit woolly and a bit pointless in my opinion.

    Get yourself a geared bike and use that for working out.

  3. #3
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    yes

  4. #4
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    Whats the difference between a Unit and a Big Unit? 26" vs "29" wheels? If so that would be it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    Whats the difference between a Unit and a Big Unit? 26" vs "29" wheels? If so that would be it.
    He mentions it in his first postů frame material thus weight

  6. #6
    EAT MORE GRIME
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    total bike weight and time over distance is all you need to think about.

    If you move X weight Y distance in Z time, that is where your power calculation goes

    gears, cadence, doesn't matter. how fast can you move weight a specific distance
    Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 07-09-2015 at 08:32 AM.

  7. #7
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    I think it is helpful if you first define your terminology correctly.

    Work = F * d

    So, if the same force is applied to an SS with a taller gear and it moves the same distance, the work done is the same. If more force is required to move the same distance, more work is done. If the same force moves the bike a greater distance, than more work is done. If you apply a force and the bike doesn't move (you've stalled on a hill) then you aren't doing ANY work. But this definition of "work" doesn't mean anything when it comes to training, as even if you haven't moved something, you did some amount of training work trying to move it.

    I think the term you want to use here is training load. Which gives you more training load, a lighter bike with a taller gear, or a heavier bike with a lighter gear? I would say neither gives you more training load because what you train on has no effect on training load. How you train on it does. For example, if you ride the lighter bike with taller gear on flat roads and cruise at 70rpm cadence, that would be WAY different than riding that bike on a hillier route, off road, pushing 90rpm cadence. The training load in the second scenario would be significantly higher.

    Can you get enough of the type of training load you need with the lighter bike with taller gear? On the heavier bike with easier gear? That is entirely up to you, where you ride, how your ride, and what sort of training load you need.

    TL;DR: No, the bike has nothing to do with it.

  8. #8
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    Not sure about frame weight, but I have had to change gearing when either adding or losing a couple pounds in the wheels and tires.

    I had a Salsa El Mariachi with stock wheels and was experimenting with a Minion DHF 2.5 front tire and an Ikon 2.35 rear, both with tubes. I replaced the wheels with carbon and the front tire with a 2.35 ikon. I also set them up tubeless. I can't remember exactly but it was over 2 pounds difference and I had to drop a tooth on the rear cog because the other became too easy.

  9. #9
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    Looks like a lot of people stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  10. #10
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    On my light alloy 26" rigid (9.5kg) I run 34/20 and on the Kona Unit (12.5kg) I run 32/21.
    Taking wheel size into account, the light bike is higher geared than the heavy one but still feels easier to pedal in the hills.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    I think it is helpful if you first define your terminology correctly.

    Work = F * d

    So, if the same force is applied to an SS with a taller gear and it moves the same distance, the work done is the same. If more force is required to move the same distance, more work is done. If the same force moves the bike a greater distance, than more work is done. If you apply a force and the bike doesn't move (you've stalled on a hill) then you aren't doing ANY work. But this definition of "work" doesn't mean anything when it comes to training, as even if you haven't moved something, you did some amount of training work trying to move it.

    I think the term you want to use here is training load. Which gives you more training load, a lighter bike with a taller gear, or a heavier bike with a lighter gear? I would say neither gives you more training load because what you train on has no effect on training load. How you train on it does. For example, if you ride the lighter bike with taller gear on flat roads and cruise at 70rpm cadence, that would be WAY different than riding that bike on a hillier route, off road, pushing 90rpm cadence. The training load in the second scenario would be significantly higher.

    Can you get enough of the type of training load you need with the lighter bike with taller gear? On the heavier bike with easier gear? That is entirely up to you, where you ride, how your ride, and what sort of training load you need.

    TL;DR: No, the bike has nothing to do with it.
    Well said. That's why his question is woolly and why I suggested he gets a geared bike where he can vary the gear and train as hard as he likes.

  12. #12
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    With the exception of the couple of d-bag answers, I think most others hit it when they said it doesn't really matter. With only a 2 tooth difference, going all out on either will get you a good workout.

    That said, I do have a training bike with hefty wheels (same gearing as my race bike) which gives me a good workout.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by c8stom View Post
    Get yourself a geared bike and use that for working out.
    isn't it usually the opposite?

    'get a singlespeed bike for working out'

  14. #14
    Clyde on a mission!
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    You'll get the best workout from the bike you enjoy riding the most as it should make you ride longer, faster and more often..

  15. #15
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    +/- a tooth or two won't make a significant difference. neither will a pound of weight in the frame.

    heavy wheels will give you a better workout, but YOU ultimately decide the intensity of your workout regardless of what your riding.

    if you really want to punish yourself, get a 40 lb fatbike and do your normal training ride.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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