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CEO Product Failure
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Personally, I'd say body. But I'd need to lose a few lbs.

In general it would depend on your current body weight and your bike's current weight. If you weight 200lbs, 5lbs is a 2% weight reduction. If your bike weighs 30lbs, 5lbs is 16% reduction in weight. In this scenario, you'll notice the bike's weight loss more.
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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In general it would depend on your current body weight and your bike's current weight. If you weight 200lbs, 5lbs is a 2% weight reduction. If your bike weighs 30lbs, 5lbs is 16% reduction in weight. In this scenario, you'll notice the bike's weight loss more.
What he said but is cheaper for you to loose the weight than buying expensive parts to cut some grams off.
 

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When you say "five pounds off your body" do you mean losing body mass, or taking gear off your body, like using bottle cages instead of a pack?

My Osprey pack loaded with 3 liters of water and a few tools weighs about 7 pounds!
 

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Bikesexual
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It does matter. If you weighed more you would be slower. If your bike weighed less you would be faster.
Lol, true!
When you say "five pounds off your body" do you mean losing body mass, or taking gear off your body, like using bottle cages instead of a pack?

My Osprey pack loaded with 3 liters of water and a few tools weighs about 7 pounds!
That's how I first understood it.
 

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Formerly of Kent
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13,081 Posts
Does not matter. And in any event, 5 pounds is 2 minutes per hour maximum, even if you spend the whole time climbing.
Maybe.

5lbs would be 3% of my total body + bike weight. Given that there is a direct, linear relationship between system weight and climbing speed, weight loss alone would result in a 3% difference in climbing velocity. If I gained 5lbs, I'd climb 3% slower.

Then, we'd also have to deal with heat and energy consumption. If I gained 5lbs, I'd have a much harder time dumping heat. I would then sweat more to achieve the same power, resulting in faster dehydration. And, I would also consume more calories, because my body mass would be larger, and all of my body's cells have to be fed. And because my body mass would be larger, not only would I have more insulation to keep the heat in, but more body mass making heat that isn't contributing to going up the climb.

So, I'd be slower right from the gun, and I'd slow down more compared to the skinnier version of myself because of dehydration and other physiological processes.
 

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Land of the 230+
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There's a lot more to riding a mountain bike than simply moving weight in a linear fashion. You are constantly turning the bike over on its side, rocking it back and forth cranking out of the saddle, changing your center of gravity over obstacles, picking the front wheel up, pushing the bike out from under you. The list goes on an on. You spend a lot more energy than you think pushing the bike around.

Five pounds off the bike will ultimately benefit you more. Doubly so if the bulk is rotating weight. But it sure ain't cheap, and at some point there are trade-offs in durability to lose any more weight.

Five pounds off the body is never a bad idea either, assuming youre talking about losing fat and not muscle mass. If youre carrying around a bunch of extra weight, it will likely be easier to shed compared to someone who's already fairly fit. Dropping a few pounds of fat has cardiovascular benefits 24 hours a day, not just when on the bike. Your overall fitness will increase as you exercise, eat clean, and the bodyfat drops.

Both have benefits for sure, but in my opinion, bike weight trumps bodyweight all day every day. I regularly gain or lose 8 to 10 pounds in the course of a week, dependong on my gym routine and as I load or drop supplements. Most of it is simply water weight, but theres no doubt that I'm stronger when hiting the gym regularly, and taking my supplements and therefore carrying a few extra pounds. Now out on the trail, I'll be hard pressed to tell much difference week to week even with a 10 pound swing in body weight. However if you took 5 pounds off my bike, I would immediately notice. Climbs would be faster, but not necessarily just because I'm hauling less weight, but because theres less mass to move around as you pedal. Spend less energy moving a lighter bike side to side, and more of that energy can be put towards forward and upward propulsion. The bike will be easier move around trees, and less energy is spent pulling on the bars and pushing the back wheel forward to get over that log. Save energy there, and it can be reinvested to the pedals.

Anyway, one option takes a lot of money, and the other option demands a lot of work and dedication. Why not hit it from both ends? That's my take, anyway.
 

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why not both? If you plan to race XC and do well you need light bike and good power/weight ratio. Usually that means less body weight as most people can stand to lose a few lbs.
 

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Formerly of Kent
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13,081 Posts
I think everyone automatically assumed XC (except for me of course, since I'm highly advanced like that).
I didn't assume the OP was talking about XC racing at all.

Generally speaking, many riders (Americans?) would do very well to lose 5lbs, for reasons completely unrelated to riding. Unfortunately, I'm guessing we are fighting a losing battle on that front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It was sort of a general question. I was talking fat mainly, also carrying a lot of water. I did like LeDukes response. If you had a lot of fat to lose it would be more of a benefit off the body. In my particular case I'm 145lbs. with a 20lb. H/T. So not much way I can go one way or the other.There were a lot of good (fast) responses. Thanks.
 
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