Thursday, February 26, 2015

Weight for me...uphill light bike vs. heavy bike.

Ok, yesterday we started to dissect a ride with a light bike (sub-20 pounds) and a heavy bike (30 plus pounds).  The numbers weren't all that different....less than 2 mph or a couple minutes time over ~6 miles.

Today is a follow up with comparison of the numbers on the way home (e.g. uphill).  I had to go back in time a bit (last July) to match my exact route because last night was a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting that gives a different route from my "normal".  So temperature could have played a factor in the numbers.   Anyway here they are.

Last nights ride home on the light bike.
Stats from the ride.
Same route on the heavy bike.
Stats from the ride.

So the ride time varied by 3 minutes and 30 seconds over 6.7 miles and the average moving speed varied by 1.4 mph with a elevation gain of ~600 feet .  Both are in favor of the lighter bike (as you'd expect). 

So if we combo the stats for the commute, riding the light bike will save you 5 min 30 seconds for the day and you'll travel about an average of 1.5 mph faster during your ride.  For this time gain because the light bike as no will have a sweaty back from your messenger bag or backpack, get to spend 5.5 minutes more at work/home, and if it rained you have a stripe up your back (no fenders). 

I'm not sure there is a clear winner.  One style of commute is supposed to be faster and nimble.  The other is almost a daily "tour" of Reno.  Either way, that's the comparison.  The only definitive finding is that either method is definitely more fun than driving!

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