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Climbs like a sprinter...
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Little skinny guys stop climbing so fast after 50 miles of strong headwind. :)
 

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I learned (or should I say confirmed) that 5.5 hours in a mountain bike race is harder than 5.5 hours on a hard road ride.

Atleast when you mostly train/race on the road.

My best section was the 2-3% climb on the smooth gravel road against the 25+mph wind (that everyone else suffered on). It gave my body a break while I just set tempo passing people, for them to pass me back in some techinical sections.

Deffinately a different kind of suffering.
 

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What the what???
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bmxhacksaw said:
Little skinny guys stop climbing so fast after 50 miles of strong headwind. :)
Good to know something eventually slows them down... :) But, in theory, wouldn't 50 miles of a strong headwind slow down a not-so-skinny guy even more???
 

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Opus51569 said:
Good to know something eventually slows them down... :) But, in theory, wouldn't 50 miles of a strong headwind slow down a not-so-skinny guy even more???
That's what I was thinking. Perhaps they slowed down to hide behind the big riders until the finish.
 

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spade2you said:
That's what I was thinking. Perhaps they slowed down to hide behind the big riders until the finish.
It's a simple force balance equation... How much forward force does it take to counteract the drag for a variety of frontal profiles at a constant velocity? Of course it will take more forward force (and therefore a higher power output, which means more energy) for a larger person, but then you have to compare it to the person's output, so now we're looking at a relative measure of available power. I think you'd find that a big(ger) person can do pretty well against the wind. Yes, I am an engineer so I think of this stuff in an appropriately nerdy fashion :D

I'm 5'11" 165, so not exactly small by cycling standards, and I've found that I can just hunker down and power against the wind pretty well. I feel like I'm not blown around as much as the smaller riders.
 

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Hard to say, perhaps bigger riders can handle % change in power required a little better.

From a crosswind perspective, we get blown around a bit and it can take extra effort to hold position. Perhaps that fatigue is somewhat cumulative?
 

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Being a bigger rider (190 pounds is race shape for me) with lots of power (340 watts for an hour) and a low position on the bike....I love races with lots of wind :D

The races where I do the best are all wind oriented races, especially if we get a good cross wind going. Move to the side of the road so nobody can draft off of you, put the power down and the little guys drop off like fat guys on a climb.

A nice head wind also keeps the skinny climbers in check on the climbs....nothing like watching them pedal like crazy on a 5% climb into a 20mph headwind, while sitting in their draft for once :p
 

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Wookiebiker said:
Being a bigger rider (190 pounds is race shape for me) with lots of power (340 watts for an hour) and a low position on the bike....I love races with lots of wind :D

The races where I do the best are all wind oriented races, especially if we get a good cross wind going. Move to the side of the road so nobody can draft off of you, put the power down and the little guys drop off like fat guys on a climb.

A nice head wind also keeps the skinny climbers in check on the climbs....nothing like watching them pedal like crazy on a 5% climb into a 20mph headwind, while sitting in their draft for once :p
That reminds me, I once had a race where there was a nasty crosswind in the flats. I was being hung out in the cross winds. The hills weren't in crosswinds, but I had to use those to recover, which was a very odd strategy. I quickly learned that I don't like bladed spokes! :D
 

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I read somewhere that in an aero position there isn't a large enough difference between the frontal surface area of big riders and skinny riders to create any substantial difference in power needed to overcome drag. So a big rider who naturally has to produce more power actually has an advantage...just like skinny riders on hills.

I certainly feel the difference, being a skinny I HATE the wind. I just can't create enough power to overcome the wind like some of the bigger guys, but on climbs I can hold my own...most of the time.
 

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I guess the reason for this happening has to do with the weight added from the crosswinds. Drag in wind tunnel tests are measured using metric weight measurements, often grams or kilograms. For a light rider, a crosswind can often feel like it is adding 5lbs of extra weight. For a lighter rider this 5lbs will represent a larger proportion of their body mass as compared to a heavier rider.

So for a 100lbs rider, a 5lbs increase in weight would increase their mass by 5%. But for a 200lbs rider, a 5lbs increase in weight would increase their mass by only 2.5%. So lighter riders would have to compensate for this 2.5% through additional power output, just to match the same watt per kilogram of the heavier rider.


Or I could be totally off because I'm a complete idiot.
 
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