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Does a lighter rider have an easier time going over obsticles(roots,rocks,Trees,etc.) When we ride with my friend that is between 50 and 70lbs lighter than the rest uf us.He seems to glide over everything. When the rest of us over 200 hit the same wet roots or rocks we slip. Can weight make a big difference in traction ?
 

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Strictly in terms of traction - I think weight helps.

But what you are talking about is him gliding over obstacles - in which being light may help - but you can certainly gilde over those same obstacles no matter your wieght simply by unweighting and lifting slightly over them.

Kirk
 

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he's probly just a better rider.


technically a heavier rider should be harder to deflect from course. so if you hit a slippery diagonal root you'd have a better shot at maintaining a straight course.

there's a lot of factors i guess.
 

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endurowanker said:
he's probly just a better rider.

technically a heavier rider should be harder to deflect from course. so if you hit a slippery diagonal root you'd have a better shot at maintaining a straight course.

there's a lot of factors i guess.
I agree. It is more about technique than rider weight.
 

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Weight is the biggest factor among equal talent

shiggy said:
I agree. It is more about technique than rider weight.
Weight is a major factor, at least as much, if not more of a factor as technique differences.

I would suggest any rider try adding a 30 to 50 lb. back pack, adjust your suspension springs and damping to match, then attempt doing the same technical challenges you normally have difficulty with but usually succeed at cleaning. I think you'll find you may fail many times before if ever improving your technique enough to match what your normal weigh requires in technique to clean a challenge. Afterwards without the weighted pack you'll find that what was once difficult, is much easier with your improved technique.

Obviously a much heavier 10 year experienced technical rider, will likely out perform a light weight novice. But after a year riding together the new light rider will normally out perform the heavier rider, except possibly in downhill situations.

- ray
 

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derby said:
Weight is a major factor, at least as much, if not more of a factor as technique differences.

I would suggest any rider try adding a 30 to 50 lb. back pack, adjust your suspension springs and damping to match, then attempt doing the same technical challenges you normally have difficulty with but usually succeed at cleaning. I think you'll find you may fail many times before if ever improving your technique enough to match what your normal weigh requires in technique to clean a challenge. Afterwards without the weighted pack you'll find that what was once difficult, is much easier with your improved technique.

Obviously a much heavier 10 year experienced technical rider, will likely out perform a light weight novice. But after a year riding together the new light rider will normally out perform the heavier rider, except possibly in downhill situations.

- ray
Your comparison doesn't hold water. The heavier person doesn't have all the weight distributed high and in an akward place like the backpack where it plays havoc with your balance and screws up your center of gravity. The weight is spread over the entire frame of the person. Saying that weight is as important or moreso than technical ability is absolutley ridiculous, I can't even fathom that you actually believe that to be true.
 

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Rivet said:
Your comparison doesn't hold water. The heavier person doesn't have all the weight distributed high and in an akward place like the backpack where it plays havoc with your balance and screws up your center of gravity. The weight is spread over the entire frame of the person. Saying that weight is as important or moreso than technical ability is absolutley ridiculous, I can't even fathom that you actually believe that to be true.
Ditto
 

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derby said:
Weight is a major factor, at least as much, if not more of a factor as technique differences.

I would suggest any rider try adding a 30 to 50 lb. back pack, adjust your suspension springs and damping to match, then attempt doing the same technical challenges you normally have difficulty with but usually succeed at cleaning. I think you'll find you may fail many times before if ever improving your technique enough to match what your normal weigh requires in technique to clean a challenge. Afterwards without the weighted pack you'll find that what was once difficult, is much easier with your improved technique.

Obviously a much heavier 10 year experienced technical rider, will likely out perform a light weight novice. But after a year riding together the new light rider will normally out perform the heavier rider, except possibly in downhill situations.

- ray
I agree with Rivet. Adding dead weight to a rider is nowhere near the same as comparing two riders of different weights.

You can not claim that good 160 pound XC rider is less smooth than a good 110 pound XC rider. I have ridden with 200 pound riders that flow like water and 130 pounders that look like a bag of rocks in a clothes drier.
 

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derby said:
Weight is a major factor, at least as much, if not more of a factor as technique differences.

I would suggest any rider try adding a 30 to 50 lb. back pack, adjust your suspension springs and damping to match, then attempt doing the same technical challenges you normally have difficulty with but usually succeed at cleaning. I think you'll find you may fail many times before if ever improving your technique enough to match what your normal weigh requires in technique to clean a challenge. Afterwards without the weighted pack you'll find that what was once difficult, is much easier with your improved technique.

Obviously a much heavier 10 year experienced technical rider, will likely out perform a light weight novice. But after a year riding together the new light rider will normally out perform the heavier rider, except possibly in downhill situations.

- ray
Nahhhh. What if the extra 50 pounds in a certain rider is all in lean, conditioned, muscle rather than a jiggly sac of fat? Maybe that rider got the muscle from training lots, and has great bike handling skills.
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derby said:
But after a year riding together the new light rider will normally out perform the heavier rider, except possibly in downhill situations.
Derby, are you stating your speculations as fact again? On what evidence is your statement based? As far as technical riding goes, I'll put my money on the 10-year experienced rider over the one-year rookie.
 

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ArmySlowRdr said:
well I yo-yo and ride much better when lighter---heavy fat destroys areobic capacity--muscles and lungs fatigue much more rapidly. heaviness sux.
This is a good point. It is a lot easier to handle technical situations when you have plenty of energy, and many people's fitness level varies inversely with their weight. In this case the weight is more of a symptom of the underlying cause than a cause in itself.
 

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Assume both riders have the same fitness, skill etc.

The heavier rider should be better suited for the bumps. There is more weight so more grip, they are harder to knock off course and the ratio of unsprung to sprung weight is better.

However the lighter rider should be able to have a softer spring rate so possibly this evens out the unsprung / sprung weight argument.

Often the way to think of these situations is to go to the extremes, ie a very light rider and a very very heavy rider.

However in real terms I expect it is rider skill, from observation heavy riders tend to plough straight through stuff and lighter riders tend to dance around a bit more.

John
 

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shiggy said:
I agree with Rivet. Adding dead weight to a rider is nowhere near the same as comparing two riders of different weights.

You can not claim that good 160 pound XC rider is less smooth than a good 110 pound XC rider. I have ridden with 200 pound riders that flow like water and 130 pounders that look like a bag of rocks in a clothes drier.
I can't believe any expert would not find they ride better in every way when they drop 10 pounds, let alone 40.

I said or intended to say that rider talent is reduced in ability when heavier. And heavier riders need more talent/strength/etc. to ride the same conditions. And heavier riders normally are far from porportionalty more talented and stronger than smaller riders (sure there are extremely rare exceptions!).

The backback (secured well of course) is a very close test of the reality of the difference. I've sure those who would agree are smarter than me, and just laugh at the absurd notion that weight doesn't matter very much.

I do forget that with 23+ years of riding mountain trails, from my first decade of rigid to the most advanced FS bikes, that I have 20 years more experience over the average person posting on these forums. :madman:

Time to ride! :D

- ray
 

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derby said:
I do forget that with 23+ years of riding mountain trails, from my first decade of rigid to the most advanced FS bikes, that I have 20 years more experience over the average person posting on these forums. :madman:

Time to ride! :D

- ray
Ya, but not me. BMX riding/racing from the time I was about 9, a few years off the bike while I found beer and women but pretty much a non-stop two wheeler for 30 years. Still doesn't mean sh*t, I know guys that have been riding MTB's for 20 years that still aren't very good riders, they enjoy themselves though and really, that's all that matters.
 

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derby said:
I do forget that with 23+ years of riding mountain trails, from my first decade of rigid to the most advanced FS bikes, that I have 20 years more experience over the average person posting on these forums.
Ray, you're on a messageboard talking to hardcore enthusiasts, not a neophyte board. How you came up with 3 years average experience is unknown. Most of the people I've met via MTBR have been riding for many, many, years, and I myself have been on some sort of bike pretty much non-stop for 33 years.

Brian Lopes, for example, is not a twig. He's very bulky and damn can he handle a bike. Just because he has mass does not automatically make him less skilled than a 130 pound one-year rookie.
 

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JWB said:
the ratio of unsprung to sprung weight is better.
Speaking of which, consider that a 30# bike is 1/4th the weight of a 120# rider, whereas it's 1/6th the weight of a 180# rider.

I still think natural talent, skill, and training makes much more of a difference than simply looking at weight.
 

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Regret

Nat said:
Ray, you're on a messageboard talking to hardcore enthusiasts, not a neophyte board. How you came up with 3 years average experience is unknown. Most of the people I've met via MTBR have been riding for many, many, years, and I myself have been on some sort of bike pretty much non-stop for 33 years.
Yea on my ride after posting that I regretted saying it. My momma always said "If you don't have anything good to say, ... " (we all know the rest of that moral/ethic). I should have bit my tongue and just left my original statement to rest on reason.

:skep:

- ray
 
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