How "balanced" are we on our race bikes?

Hi,

We all know that every serious rider weights their bike & themselves separately. But what about the distribution of their weight on the bike? After all, Formula 1 & MotoGP teams spend a lot of their time on the "balance" of their machines.

I'm looking to collect information on the distribution of weight of your bike and of your weight on the bike. I think it will be interesting to see how "balanced" we are on our racing bikes.

I will be grateful for the following information about you & your race-bike :

type of rider : elite, 1st cat, 2nd cat, 3rd cat, casual-rider. male or female. age group 16 to 20; 21 to 25; 26 to 30; 31 to 35; 36 to 40; 41 to 50; 51 to 60; 61 & above.

You will need a set of scales [any type will do as long as you know that it is accurate] and your race bike. You do not need to be in your race gear but wearing your race-shoes will help to collect more accurate data.

1. put the front wheel on a scale, with the back wheel on the ground, holding the bike steady by the stem with minimum effort & note the weight; [e.g. my race bike showed 4.0kg].

2. take the front wheel off the scale and now put the back wheel on the scale with the front wheel now on the ground, holding the bike steady by the saddle with minimum effort & note the weight [e.g. my race bike showed 4.4kg].

please do be very careful with the next part when you are getting on & off your bike. [please note this is a voluntary exercise and I will not be liable for any accidents you may cause before, during or after your attempts in collecting the data]

3. take the bike & the scales close to a wall. place the bike parallel to the wall. again put the front wheel on the scales. this time, get on the bike, feet on the pedals, hands on the drops of your bars in a comfortable position, keeping your balance by leaning gently against the wall & note the weight on the scale. You may need a helper to read the scales for you depending on your type of scales [e.g. in my case, it showed 31.2kg].

4. carefully dismount from the bike. take the front wheel off the scales. place the rear wheel on the scale, get on the bike, feet on the pedals, hands on the drops of the bars in a comfortable racing position, keeping your balance by leaning gently against the wall & note the weight on the scale. You may need a helper to read the scales depending on the type of scales. [e.g. in my case, it showed 44.2kg].

Please post your data on this forum or directly to me. I will collect as much data as I can, depending on how many people responds to this request, and I will publish the information/results on this forum.

#### David Suro

Typical weight distribution is for 40% of the weight to be on the front wheel and 60% of the weight on the rear wheel.

Criterium racers usually have slightly more weight on the front wheel for improved handling in the corners.

Climbers usually have more weight on the rear wheel since they spend more time in an upright position rather than on the drops.

I'm inetrested to see the results, too. Cool post.

[as of 09:05 GMT 7th Feb 2010] 480 views of this thread so far but not one set of data received ???!!!

Does this tell us what type of reader we have on cyclingnews.com? Surely, you are not all so tired from your over-training that you can't spare 5 minutes to weight yourself & your bike? We know from the forum that everyone is weighting their bikes & themselves separately but it would appear that you don't care much about the more important element of the combined weight of bike & rider. Afterall, won't a bike work better with the right distribution of weight on it? This is your chance to participate and to find out.

If we can get sufficient data from different categories of riders, it just might indicate there is [or not] a particular distribution of weight for different groups. Now, that would be really valuable information for all of us.

Come on folks, you can do much much better than this. This data will be so so so useful for all of us to use.

It's now up to you.

David Suro said:
Typical weight distribution is for 40% of the weight to be on the front wheel and 60% of the weight on the rear wheel.

Criterium racers usually have slightly more weight on the front wheel for improved handling in the corners.

Climbers usually have more weight on the rear wheel since they spend more time in an upright position rather than on the drops.

I'm inetrested to see the results, too. Cool post.

Where did you get the "Typical weight distribution" of 40% front 60% rear from?

#### Big GMaC

480 views of this thread so far but not one set of data received ???!!!

Does this tell us what type of reader we have on cyclingnews.com? .

You know, talking like that is not going to make people any more likely to contribute...

#### elapid

Big GMaC said:
You know, talking like that is not going to make people any more likely to contribute...

+1. I live in Canada and my bike has been on the trainer since the start of November and is unlikely to come off until March/April at the earliest. It is a bother to get my bike off the trainer, weigh it for the pleasure of some person I don't know (and who then writes derogatory posts about CN members) and for a purpose that I am not interested in, and then put the bike back on the trainer.

Response rates for mailed questionnaires, where everything is done and paid for by the organizers, are usually less than 30%. Your expectations are too high (of both response rate and interest in your query) and your criticisms of other posters is a turnoff. Note that your same enquiry on the Cervelo Forum has had only one reply to date. Maybe that should tell you something?

#### mountaindew

David Suro said:
Criterium racers usually have slightly more weight on the front wheel for improved handling in the corners.

.

wrong.....

#### Boeing

Interesting question. And it is amazing a lot of bike fit guys don't think about weight distribution these days from my experience

I have always worked on the advice of an old mechanic that I knew at a local bike store as a kid back in the late 70's. He was a fit guru, mechanic and builder and ex pro from Belgium and he liked me and the lads because we rode crappy old bikes fast as hell he said. so if we "didn't have the best gear we better be in the best position"

He always told me to set up fit in relation to weight distribution in the saddle spinning,,,, in theory 1/3 saddle, 1/3 pedal, 1/3 bars. I have no way to measure it but that is my theory today.

I wanted to know how to fit myself when he went back to Europe and I got more and more bikes as I grew etc. because his advice back then was so effective we got results

Another default theory he had was cool and I still check now and again. He believed in a slightly lower saddle height than some to aid weight distribution. He based it on the theory that there are 2 muscle groups Quads and Hammys and he separated them into Hammys for in the saddle and quads of out of the saddle.. SO I trained under his guidance in slightly lower saddle height giving maximum benefit to the in the saddle spinning with the hamstrings and calf keeping the quads fresher for out of the saddle.

His benchmark for both after all the measuring: He would have us sit on the bike barefoot and put our heels on the spindles and pedal backwards. His theory was if your legs lock out on the heels barefoot then you had the right saddle height because the ankle naturally positions itself above the forefoot in an athletic position.

we listened to every word and it is ingrained in my cycling life

I still check that today and it is not that far off really given the clips and cleats

over the years I have been through many fit guys and even the custom bike rack thingys and had custom bikes made etc.

All of which put me in a saddle height that is too high and loads the weight heavy there. I went through one of those electrical monitor setups where they compute your position measuring upper and lower arms and legs and the flatness of your back and in the end it was not far off the old guys results. I still opt for a slightly lower saddle

I always default to the advice of the old guy and a check and balance

Ludi. Ludi Poluti we called him because he smoked. Dude was just like the guys you see smoking cigarettes in those old tour posters. unforgettable image and I knew him only one Summer

I recently read that Lance is now opting for a slightly lower saddle height along with other pros hmmmm

I am no Psysio and am just sharing personal thoughts and only have myself as a sample survey so take it for what it is. your question reminded me of these and recently I thought long and hard about them as I prepared to cut my first integrated seatpost/frame

carry on

#### Boeing

elapid said:
+1. I live in Canada and my bike has been on the trainer since the start of November and is unlikely to come off until March/April at the earliest. It is a bother to get my bike off the trainer, weigh it for the pleasure of some person I don't know (and who then writes derogatory posts about CN members) and for a purpose that I am not interested in, and then put the bike back on the trainer.

Response rates for mailed questionnaires, where everything is done and paid for by the organizers, are usually less than 30%. Your expectations are too high (of both response rate and interest in your query) and your criticisms of other posters is a turnoff. Note that your same enquiry on the Cervelo Forum has had only one reply to date. Maybe that should tell you something?

there lives here among us in CN forums a patronizing bunch who were "here posting first" and "rode bikes first" and know more about the peloton that everyone" and have inside information and hate anything they didn't think of first just ignore them the end up eating their own intent on proving you wrong.....

I am not sure which came first the @ss or the Clown so don't worry about me

#### elapid

Boeing said:
there lives here among us in CN forums a patronizing bunch who were "here posting first" and "rode bikes first" and know more about the peloton that everyone" and have inside information and hate anything they didn't think of first just ignore them the end up eating their own intent on proving you wrong.....

I am not sure which came first the @ss or the Clown so don't worry about me