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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone gone from say 150 lbs down to 140 lbs ? did you notice any REAL difference in speed? power? endurance? would be great to hear from someone who trains with power on this. it would be great to hear of test at one weiight, then at another.

obviously there should be some gains, but how much?
 

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Actually I have found that I reach a point when being too light makes me slower.
I once weighed 198 - 200, got down to mid 170's, I can get down to 165 if I try
but find that I am slower than if I am at say 172. I also 'bonk into a wall'
when I am at 165 way faster than at 172.

YMMV.
 

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Out there
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FWIW I'm 5'10.5 down from about 190 to 173 and the difference is pretty amazing. I'm not racing but I'm SO much faster nevertheless. I can feel that I'm beginning to hit diminishing returns now. I would like to get down to somewhere around 162-165 but I think anything less than that would be counter-productive.
 

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rad to the power of sick
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Even a 10lb weight drop will be noticeable, youll handle the bike quicker, ascend climbs quicker and feel less fatigued.

Next time you go riding put a 10lb weight in a backpack and you'll see.
 

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I always tell folsk who are new to the sport and ask me the same question...

"Just put a 10lb dumbell in your camelback and go for a ride and tell me what you think"


:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks but...

i have heard the 10 lbs in a pack idea, but that is just not accurate. a back pack is not the same as body weight. specially if you're already fit. I am not overweight, i am in good shape and race at a comp level. but i could lose 10 lbs (which would make me a rail).

anyway, i know it is faster if you have weight to lose (extra weight), just kinda wondering if anyone has some test data to back it up? even how much faster on the local loop?
 

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kevbikemad said:
i have heard the 10 lbs in a pack idea, but that is just not accurate. a back pack is not the same as body weight. specially if you're already fit.
Disagree. Assuming there is no change in fitness (+ or -) while losing the 10 lbs, then it is actually the same as simply putting 10 lbs of weights on your body. The minor flaw in the backpack concept is that instead of distributing the extra weight over your entire body it's instead all in one area, which would feel more cumbersome obviously.

The key point most people don't to make when asking about the effect of dropping weight is that they fail to distinguish between the effect of the lost weight in itself, versus the gains in fitness from the work that is usually done to accomplish the weight loss. You'd really have to isolate these 2 factors to be able to answer your original question properly.

Some of the other posters are also correct in that weight loss isn't an enternal source of performance gains. There is a weight for everyone that is too light for robust ongoing health, and also there are some events (typically not mountain biking) that depend on physiological abilities that may benefit from more muscle mass e.g. track sprint, perhaps even a road race like Paris Roubaix.
 

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kevbikemad said:
has anyone gone from say 150 lbs down to 140 lbs ? did you notice any REAL difference in speed? power? endurance? would be great to hear from someone who trains with power on this. it would be great to hear of test at one weiight, then at another.

obviously there should be some gains, but how much?
I've always been in good shape but I had some weight to lose. I lost more than ten pounds, but I do remember the drop from 150 to 140. I was able to climb hills that I was never able to climb before. There was this one loop that I'd do everyonce in a while to gauge my fitness and it had two hills that my legs would just stop on about halfway up. I was getting ready for a sport class race so I did it twice to see how I'd do at racing speed for two hours. On the first lap I amazed myself by being able to ride both hills. On top of that, I was able to ride 'em both again on the second time around.

Yes, to more speed. Tough to say on power becuase I was lifting a lot of weights trying to lose weight so the increase of power may have been attributed to that. Not sure about more endurance per se, but I was able to go faster longer. So for all practical purposes, yes.

Doubt you could do a real scientific test due to all the variables. I'd say, as long as your body fat doesn't drop to unhealthy levels and your weight loss isn't muscle loss, how could you go wrong? :confused:
 

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LW Coaching
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Here is the link to prove lighter is faster.
www.analyticcycling.com

Use their online calculator to input weight/speed/power

In addition to the basic physics that something lighter weight will move faster for the same power, leaner riders are more efficient at shedding heat so perform better on hot days.

IME so long as an athlete has a diet providing 100% of the fuel, nutrients, vitmains, minerals required daily, lighter is always faster for xc racing, always... Theoretically there is a point where you must get too light but that is very, very hard to acheive and I haven't seen it yet in an athlete with a nutrient dense diet and excellent health habits.
 

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I have done the whole weight lost to get faster thing. Back in the day, I thought lighter was better. I was down to just under 150lbs. I looked the way I wanted to, but performance on the bike suffered. I loss all my power and raw strength. I now know that my magical weight is, in and around, 160 lbs. Got to keep it all in perspective.
 

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Jeff...why do think that was in your case? Just curious. Did you lose muscle mass as well? Maybe it's different for endurance racing. Nice blog and good luck this season.

OT: We see Ernesto at some of our 24's our here in the East....nice, humble guy.
 

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ThrashNY said:
Jeff...why do think that was in your case? Just curious. Did you lose muscle mass as well? Maybe it's different for endurance racing. Nice blog and good luck this season.
Loss of muscle...and too low of body fat (as per the nutritionalist/Dr I saw). Some body fat is needed. Fat plays a factor in testosterone levels, ie: you ability to rage and throw down on the bike. Got to keep in mind genetics also. Everybody is different, so do what you have to do.

OT Reply: For sure. Ernie is a super nice guy...good for the sport and his product sponsors.
 

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NedwannaB
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I've heard......

ChrisH. said:
I read somewhere that loosing 1 pound of weight translates into a 3watt power savings while climbing. Sorry but i dont have a link or anything scientific to back it up.
....for every lb. you loose, temporary add the same to the bike, 'til reaching your wieght goal. Then at the end, dump it all and take off up the hills like a rocket! :rolleyes: :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks, better...

thanks Ruinane, LyndaW and Jeff. That was more what I was looking for.

"I was down to just under 150lbs. I looked the way I wanted to, but performance on the bike suffered.

Loss of muscle...and too low of body fat (as per the nutritionalist/Dr I saw)." - Jeff

so jeff, you actually think there are gains from some extra fat? how low was your body fat when 150?

thanks for the input.
 

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XC Andy
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Take what you need and leave the rest.

I have not weighed 140 since middle schoold but I weight 158 and am 36. I have raced xc expert since 1993 and I have a Masters In human nutrition. I do not notice the weight being the diffenrence, but more the fitness you develope in getting the weight down. If you are decently fit (no love handles) but not in peak race shape in the winter at 150lbs, that 10lbs loss is more likely to make you sick than fast. I can only reach 154lbs still be healthy and fast. Below this I get run down, thus very slow for my wieght. Its about you body type, and what you can realisticaly lose. I know skinnier people who I ride with that are not faster than my self. My advice is, train smart. Eat healthy modest meals and you will lose what your body is naturaly will. :cool:
 

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I think that as above if your power suffers then lighter may not be faster.

You could quantify this as power to weight ratio, if this increases as you loose the weight, then faster, if no then slower.

So, for me this explains why there is an optimal weight, for each person, not too light so they are losing muscle mass, not so heavy that they are gaining fat. (All that in proportion).


Measuring this, other than just doing it and finding out, would be by VO2 testing and various weights say every 1/4 of a year. (not for me).

I have been playing with a weigh scale that shows muscle mass, vs % body fat, I am sure it is very inaccurate, but it does seem to trend well, when I feel a little bit fatter it shows up as % body fat increase, and when I feel tired after a bonk, the muscle mass goes down a bit.

You might be able to make some use of this.
 

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kevbikemad said:
so jeff, you actually think there are gains from some extra fat? how low was your body fat when 150?
If I recall correctly I believe it was down near 9%. But that was almost 7 yrs ago, and I may not be 100% correct. I'll have to go back and look thru my training logs...

And, yes, I feel my gains in performance on the bike were contributed to a more normal fat content.
 

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KERKOVEJ said:
If I recall correctly I believe it was down near 9%. But that was almost 7 yrs ago, and I may not be 100% correct. I'll have to go back and look thru my training logs...

And, yes, I feel my gains in performance on the bike were contributed to a more normal fat content.
Wow, 9% doesn't sound like an unreasonable bf percentage. I was thinking unhealthy would be closer to 5 or 6 percent or less.
 
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