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I am going to be riding a 27 year old vintage mountain bike for commuting here and there for workout reasons. Probably about 35% of my riding. Why? simple....it is heavy and way different geometry to ride. The bottom bracket is way out in front. It weighs around 45 pounds. It almost reminds me of the electra bike and their flat foot design. The bike i am preparing is an MONTAGNA SIX. What a tank!? need to get rear wheel fixed though. But man...motorcycle style brake levers are cool.
 

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I rode an old beater Trek rigid fork Mtb with street tires for many years because I could ride it right out of the garage.. No so much because it was heavy, but because it was a rigid frame and I enjoyed riding it on the pavement.
 

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I am going to be riding a 27 year old vintage mountain bike for commuting here and there for workout reasons. Probably about 35% of my riding. Why? simple....it is heavy and way different geometry to ride. The bottom bracket is way out in front. It weighs around 45 pounds. It almost reminds me of the electra bike and their flat foot design. The bike i am preparing is an MONTAGNA SIX. What a tank!? need to get rear wheel fixed though. But man...motorcycle style brake levers are cool.
I don't exactly ride a beater bike, I ride a chromag sakura commuter with drop bars, fenders and a 2,5kg lock. All stuff on it I hand picked for durability, so its kinda heavy. like 4kg or more than I could have built it for the same money.

However I ride on the streets only. I don't know how much I lose in speed/time by going so heavy. probably nothing. What matters is comfort, tires and aero position.

If you want most out of the workout, the more tired you get by riding it the better right. If you are riding on the streets only I would recommend some good tires. Like Schwalbe marathon supremes or Continental Contact 2 or similar smooth ones. Mine goes like a rocket with these.
 

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Sorry man. Flawed logic. As Elwood eluded - you'll get just as good of a workout on a $10,000 race bike as a $100 beater, assuming you put out the same effort. Now, if you're riding with a group - and sort of limited by the fitness level of that group, e.g. not dropping them, well sure... you'll work harder on a heavier bike.

This comes up all the time with roadies - "If I put weighs in the panniers... ", "If I fill my water bottles with sand...", "If I put a sand bag in the Burley..." The answers are always the same. Nope - makes no difference. You get the same workout... you just ride slower.

In fact, you might be doing more harm than good. If your beater is not set up the same as your primary bike, e.g. "The bottom bracket is way out in front" or seat height, setback, seat to bar drop, etc. You'll be engaging different muscles - not a bad thing, but not helping you get faster on your primary bike... or worse, you could develop knee pain from that variance in the saddle height and BB location.
 

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I disagree. My 85 lb loaded touring bike gives me a better work out than my commuter cross check.
Nope. Your bike doesn't "give" you a workout. You put forth an effort. If you ride your 85 lb bike on a given route at an avg pace of 16 mph and then ride the route at the same pace on a 16 lb bike - sure, you worked harder on the 85 lb bike. But that's now how training works. Most cyclists ride at a given % of their max based on the intent of the ride, e.g. interval day, easy day, whatever.

If you ride that 85 lb bike in granny gear at an average pace of 10 mph then replicate the route on the other bike at a pace of 20 mph, which is the "better workout"?
 

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What? My touring rides are not about speed, it is distance. If I ride my bike touring bike 70 miles, verses my 30 lb crosscheck, which gives a better work out? OK, more effort, same thing. And I"m not most riders, I don't train, intervals etc.
 

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If you rode the two bikes the SAME speed over the 70 miles, you'd work harder (get a better workout) on the heavy bike.

It's just straight/simple physics. Bike weight matters when you're competing or riding with a group - when your effort and speed are relative to others. If you ride a heavy bike slower, the effort could be the same as riding the light faster.

Wind is the same. You could ride at the same effort into the wind and net 17mph, turn around and ride with the wind, netting a 24 mph average. So, training on a windy day is no better workout than a calm day. It's ALL about the effort.
 

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I bought a beater bike so that I can do just that. There aren't many trails around my house and sometimes, I like to just go out and do some cardio. My knees aren't going to hold up running on asphalt, so I just hop on my 2011 Giant Seek 2 that I picked up at my local LBS as a former rental bike. It was beat to hell, but as long as it worked, I was fine.
 

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I disagree. My 85 lb loaded touring bike gives me a better work out than my commuter cross check.
It depends. If you put equal saddle time on both bikes and put the same horsepower to the pedals you will get the same workout, but you will go faster and travel farther on the lighter bike.

If you have a set distance to travel and pedal both bikes using the same horsepower you will use more energy on the heavy bike, but only because you're on it a lot longer. Faster is more fun for me so I'd just as soon ride a lighter bike fast and get the same workout than slog along dragging an anchor.

Unless I was actually on a bike tour.
 

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I would have to also say no. Thirty years ago I had a Sears road bike with delusions of grandeur that I could make it into a real road bike. Took it down to a shop and they basically told me to junk it an get a real road bike. I got a Cannondale and it was night and day. All those miles on that heavy piece of junk did nothing compared to the miles I put on that Cannondale. Things I never could do well on the Sears bike like learning to spin (real bearings), really getting out of the saddle and sprint up hills, etc. made me stronger.

That said I do have a couple of bikes that I use when I am just riding a trail and I don't want to put the miles on my good bike. They are not beaters, but they weigh a few pounds more.

John
 

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Sorry man. Flawed logic. As Elwood eluded - you'll get just as good of a workout on a $10,000 race bike as a $100 beater, assuming you put out the same effort. Now, if you're riding with a group - and sort of limited by the fitness level of that group, e.g. not dropping them, well sure... you'll work harder on a heavier bike.

This comes up all the time with roadies - "If I put weighs in the panniers... ", "If I fill my water bottles with sand...", "If I put a sand bag in the Burley..." The answers are always the same. Nope - makes no difference. You get the same workout... you just ride slower.

In fact, you might be doing more harm than good. If your beater is not set up the same as your primary bike, e.g. "The bottom bracket is way out in front" or seat height, setback, seat to bar drop, etc. You'll be engaging different muscles - not a bad thing, but not helping you get faster on your primary bike... or worse, you could develop knee pain from that variance in the saddle height and BB location.
I used to tow my 2 kids in their trailer up the 4000' 16 mile road climb near my house. it turned an hour long sustained climb into a 2.5 hour long sustained climb.

I'd say that it was a better workout.
 

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Also, if we're talking about riding a heavy bike on actual difficult trails, then a heavier bike will certainly give a better workout, because one is going to have to muscle around that heavy rig, using more of one's upper body and core strength, and the moves to do so should be commensurate, regardless of bike weight.
 

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Also, if we're talking about riding a heavy bike on actual difficult trails, then a heavier bike will certainly give a better workout, because one is going to have to muscle around that heavy rig, using more of one's upper body and core strength, and the moves to do so should be commensurate, regardless of bike weight.
I suppose you could argue that point but whether or not it's a better workout would depend on what the goals of your workout are. I'd argue against the theory though based on my opinion that riding an unnecessarily heavy tank takes the joy out of riding and the whole point of mountain biking is that it's fun, and therefore addictive.

Also there is a difference between beneficial workouts and work. If you earned your living digging ditches 40 hours a week for sure you would be getting a workout, but not in a good way.
 

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I used to tow my 2 kids in their trailer up the 4000' 16 mile road climb near my house. it turned an hour long sustained climb into a 2.5 hour long sustained climb.

I'd say that it was a better workout.
I agree that you absolutely got a better workout riding 2.5 hours at 6.4 mph to make that 4000'/16mi that you can ride in 1 hour.

I think where the disagreement exists is if you got a better workout than riding 2.5 hours at 16mph up 10,000' over 40miles. That is the apples to apples comparison.

John
 

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I agree that you absolutely got a better workout riding 2.5 hours at 6.4 mph to make that 4000'/16mi that you can ride in 1 hour.

I think where the disagreement exists is if you got a better workout than riding 2.5 hours at 16mph up 10,000' over 40miles. That is the apples to apples comparison.

John
Since that terrain doesn't exist, anywhere, and putting out, say, 250 watts for 2.5 hours is the same the world 'round, I'd say the workouts are identical.
 

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If you rode the two bikes the SAME speed over the 70 miles, you'd work harder (get a better workout) on the heavy bike.
While your general sentiment is correct, your statement above only applies in a practical sense if your ride route has any material amount of climbing, or starts and stops. Otherwise, on a flat ride if the 2 bikes have the same rolling resistance (function of tire choice and pressure, given same route) and aerodynamics + rider position, then it's only when accelerating that the heavier bike takes more energy. Once the bike is up to a constant speed, they require the same amount of energy input to maintain that constant speed. In other words, if you only have a couple of minor and mellow climbs, and not so many stops or near stops, then weight is immaterial for practical purposes.

Now, back to the scenario in which there is some reasonable amount of climbing or starts/stops on the route, it's all about power in for a given duration, pretty much exactly as you have stated several times in this thread. If your effort as the rider (power in, measured in watts, since many people actually have such a power meter on their bikes) is equal over the same duration of time, then it's the same workout regardless of bike weight.

In summary, you could ride a beater to help you get a harder ride (if that's your goal) or you could just ride your super-rig at the same effort for the same time duration to accomplish the exact same thing.
 
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