Technology Doping

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Ducati
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Technology Doping

#1 Postby Ducati » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:32 pm

I have been riding my mountain bike on the bike trail lately and I noticed something very ironic. There are a lot of hefty people on carbon fiber bicycles and super tight cloths to counter air resistance. They don't seem to be working very hard and they probably don't have a heart rate much higher than a brisk walk.

I am sure it is better that they are out doing something rather then watching TV, but it boggles my mind why they want to make it so easy. I wonder if they are putting there stats in something like Fitday which says if they bike for an hour, they burn X number of calories. But they have made it so easy, that they are probably burning half that. It makes me think that technology doping is just another one of the things that is making people less fit.
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Re: Technology Doping

#2 Postby chrisjs » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:13 am

I would really be surprised if it makes that much of a difference in effort. That CF bike might be 10 lbs lighter than an aluminum one, but the riders you're describing are 50 lbs heavier than you. Even the wind resistance is only a small part of the puzzle, I'd imagine that mostly affects you going fast or downhill, but most of the energy spent is fighting gravity.

You can minimize the small sources of resistance but no (unpowered) technology is going to help you fight gravity.

I bet what you have here are people who know they need to lose weight but won't stick to anything. This year they run out and buy expensive bikes and clothing, they probably have a $1000 treadmill from last year currently serving as a clothes rack because their closets are stuffed with three or four of those abs crunch contraptions.

Do you really see them effortlessly riding for a while? I'd think they're just taking frequent breaks or aren't actually out for that long overall.

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Re: Technology Doping

#3 Postby Ducati » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:57 am

Chris,

At 12 MPH, half the energy exerted is overcoming friction and half is overcoming wind resistance on a standard road bike. A road bike has about 1/3 the rolling resistance of a mountain bike tire. The higher position of the mountain bike and the baggy cloths I wear probably more then well double the air resistance.

My ride yesterday averaged just under 13 MPH on my mountain bike. If I am exerting three times the force to over come friction, and double the force to over come wind resistance. then I am roughly putting out four times the effort to go that 13 MPH. Add in their increase in weight, and maybe it is only three times the effort?

I get passed all the time by these people. They aren't even breathing hard and I am sucking wind. I usually pass them going up a steep hill, but on level terrain, I am no match.

Even something that decreases energy output by 5% means 5% less calories they burn. It seems so ironic that people make exercise so easy, then wonder why they are not losing weight.
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Re: Technology Doping

#4 Postby vivalasvegans » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:12 am

I thought you were talking about this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/sport ... 4tour.html

Gear makes a difference but training and experience do too. Guys who weigh more might not have the weight to power ratio on their side for climbs, but if they've been around for a while they have their skills on their side for flats and downhills. I know what you mean though, it's frustrating. Ultimately I think you can only buy so much speed with equipment, it really does come down to training. At least I keep telling myself that.
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Re: Technology Doping

#5 Postby Ducati » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:26 am

I don't follow any type of competitive sport. Too much drama for me. I am sick of hearing everyone talk about the Tour De France, and the World Cup. They all talk about the drama and not the game. That kind of drama draws spectators more than any kind of athleticism. If people were seriously interested in athleticism, they would be watching ballet.
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Re: Technology Doping

#6 Postby Jason X » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:21 pm

meh, former bike racer chipping in.

all that you talk about isn't that big of a difference. I mean, you're right, to a very small extent. BUT, maybe they ride for fun, or maybe they LIKE spending money on bike stuff.

At the end of the day, don't worry about it. They're going to do what they want regardless.

also, the clothing you wear on a mountain bike is all but negligible. once you start getting over 20mph (for more than a few seconds) you'll start to notice a difference. some baggy shorts aren't going to mean the difference between winning and losing any mountain bike race.

besides, if you're getting passed by old slow dudes who aren't working very hard, you should probably be looking at your training techniques rather than theirs...
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Re: Technology Doping

#7 Postby Ducati » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:29 pm

Jason,

A mountain bike at 12 mph requires 4 times more energy then a road bike. If I were on a road bike, I could beat Lance Armstrong on a mountain bike.
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Re: Technology Doping

#8 Postby Jason X » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 pm

No doubt there, but it has much more to do with big tires and terrain than your attire.

not to mention your definition of a mountain bike. I suspect if you put slicks on a rigid 29er, lance would still have it in the bag.

not that lance is the be-all/end-all of bike racing/riding, though.
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Re: Technology Doping

#9 Postby Ducati » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:18 pm

That really isn't my point though. In general, not just in biking, people are finding easier and easier ways to exercise. Everything from weight machines, to sit up helpers, to bands, to swim suits, etc. People are going backwards not forwards with regards to fitness.
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Re: Technology Doping

#10 Postby Ducati » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:18 pm

Oh, and I only used Lance Armstrong as an example because he is the only cyclist I know of.
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Re: Technology Doping

#11 Postby Jason X » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:34 pm

Ducati wrote:That really isn't my point though. In general, not just in biking, people are finding easier and easier ways to exercise. Everything from weight machines, to sit up helpers, to bands, to swim suits, etc. People are going backwards not forwards with regards to fitness.



word to that. call it "low risk", "performance enhancing" or what you, but people always dread doing what's difficult. pretty much human nature.

You can further illustrate your point by watching ANY ab gizmo informercial EVER.

you know, give me convenience or give me death...
"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad." - Brian O'Driscoll

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Re: Technology Doping

#12 Postby chrisjs » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:54 pm

I happen to enjoy how easily my iron plates slide onto the sides of my 2" steel bar.

I assumed when you mentioned mountain bike that you were on a mountain, if you're just riding around a mostly flat path I can see how wind resistance could be noticeable.

Anyway if these fancy bikes and tight clothes make riding more enjoyable for them, great. I'd rather have a nice 10 mile ride than struggle through 5 miles, all else equal.

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Re: Technology Doping

#13 Postby Ducati » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:59 pm

Well, those tight clothes aren't making it more enjoyable for me, that's for sure. Spandex does have its limits. :)

I don't go on trails without a partner. Too dangerous.
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Re: Technology Doping

#14 Postby xscottx » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:08 pm

Ducati wrote:That really isn't my point though. In general, not just in biking, people are finding easier and easier ways to exercise. Everything from weight machines, to sit up helpers, to bands, to swim suits, etc. People are going backwards not forwards with regards to fitness.


It sounds to me like you are doing the first sin in any competitive sport: you're judging your opponent based on appearance. Older and with extra weight does not an inept athlete make.

It just sound like your pissed that A) they have nicer bikes then you and , B) they're faster then you. Biking is great exercise don't get me wrong but for many its more than that, its about pushing the envelope. If you really wanted to bike simply for exercise you would ride the heaviest frame you could find convert it to a fixed gear with a 5:1 ratio, and put the nobbiest tires you can find on it. But that wouldn't be any fun, because al least part of you enjoys going faster.

On a side note there is only so much speed you can buy. In my experience racing a shitty rider on a $10,000 bike is still gonna be a shitty rider.
The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. The Iron is my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

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Re: Technology Doping

#15 Postby Ducati » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:11 pm

I don't compete, and I don't care how expensive their bikes are. I worry that they are getting bigger and bigger because they think they are burning a lot more calories then they really are.
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