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Cycling in the Wind
#1
The weather is finally warming up where I live, but we're still having lots of windy days. I find that riding when its really windy wears me out much faster than on calmer days - can anyone relate? Is it my state of mind or is it really that much more work?

I was also wondering if different bikes handle the wind better? Say an aerobike verses a gravel bike with slicks? What are your thoughts?
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#2
I can understand the exhaustion caused by the wind. Riding upwind in strong winds drains my energy, although not as much as riding uphill does. I make a conscious effort to pace myself during windy rides and stay positive. I believe that riding against the wind is akin to riding uphill, knowing that it will be easier on the return journey with the wind at my back.
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#3
I will be honest when I say I never understood or felt the effect the direction of the wind had on my rides. My friends always wished, "May the wind be behind you." Some even mentioned how they faced headwinds, but sadly/interestingly, I rarely faced the wrath of the wind gods.

I ride long distances and not for speed. So, I am a slow rider, and that's why I rarely felt the wind's effect. Many a times I have officially finished last during organized century rides. Now, I tour on a fat bike, so probably feel wind less..


(04-15-2024, 10:52 PM)TrailJoe Wrote:  I can understand the exhaustion caused by the wind. Riding upwind in strong winds drains my energy, although not as much as riding uphill does. I make a conscious effort to pace myself during windy rides and stay positive. I believe that riding against the wind is akin to riding uphill, knowing that it will be easier on the return journey with the wind at my back.
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#4
I live by the sea so wind is always being a jerk. It's not unusual for me to deal with gusts of 40-50+mph while cycling.

Did a 20-mile ride today, including several laps of my local bike track. Constant 14mph wind. What a jerk!

If you use a Garmin head unit, check out the Windfield ConnectIQ app!
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#5
Aero bikes definitely do, but one thing I always recommend is an oval chainring.

It helps with against the wind riding, as well as climbing, and maintaining cadence.

Snail has double chainrings for road now as well for a fraction of the cost that the big brands charge.
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#6
(04-17-2024, 11:21 AM)GirishH Wrote:  I will be honest when I say I never understood or felt the effect the direction of the wind had on my rides. My friends always wished, "May the wind be behind you." Some even mentioned how they faced headwinds, but sadly/interestingly, I rarely faced the wrath of the wind gods.

I ride long distances and not for speed. So, I am a slow rider, and that's why I rarely felt the wind's effect. Many a times I have officially finished last during organized century rides. Now, I tour on a fat bike, so probably feel wind less..


(04-15-2024, 10:52 PM)TrailJoe Wrote:  I can understand the exhaustion caused by the wind. Riding upwind in strong winds drains my energy, although not as much as riding uphill does. I make a conscious effort to pace myself during windy rides and stay positive. I believe that riding against the wind is akin to riding uphill, knowing that it will be easier on the return journey with the wind at my back.

Do you find the fat bike is slower than other bikes? I was thinking about getting an entry level fat bike just for fun, but I don't know how much I would ride it. In my head, I think it would be a lot slower with the huge tires, but then again, that would be a good workout! Much like riding into a headwind....

The other day it was so windy I almost got knocked sideways into the - or at least it felt that way haha!
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#7
You're definitely going to get much more rolling resistance from the fat tires.

This is why they utilize smaller chainrings up front to help keep the proportions in balance.

You should certainly get a good workout from that, and you should enjoy the extra comfort you experience rolling over bumps, cracks, uneven sidewalk, and other obstacles on the ground.
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#8
(04-26-2024, 12:40 AM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  Aero bikes definitely do, but one thing I always recommend is an oval chainring.

It helps with against the wind riding, as well as climbing, and maintaining cadence.

Snail has double chainrings for road now as well for a fraction of the cost that the big brands charge.

Wait wait wait - help me out - how does an oval chainring help with wind? (This is a serious question - I'm so curios!) Thanks!
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#9
(04-15-2024, 06:16 PM)Amanda_W Wrote:  The weather is finally warming up where I live, but we're still having lots of windy days. I find that riding when its really windy wears me out much faster than on calmer days - can anyone relate? Is it my state of mind or is it really that much more work?

I was also wondering if different bikes handle the wind better? Say an aerobike verses a gravel bike with slicks? What are your thoughts?

Lower body position and smaller gears Thats the hack!
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#10
(04-29-2024, 06:57 PM)Amanda_W Wrote:  
(04-26-2024, 12:40 AM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  Aero bikes definitely do, but one thing I always recommend is an oval chainring.

It helps with against the wind riding, as well as climbing, and maintaining cadence.

Snail has double chainrings for road now as well for a fraction of the cost that the big brands charge.

Wait wait wait - help me out - how does an oval chainring help with wind? (This is a serious question - I'm so curios!) Thanks!

Because it increases the efficiency of your pedal stroke, thus giving you a better continuous tension dynamic.

This accentuation in your cadence potential gives you more drive power uphill and against the wind.
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#11
(04-15-2024, 06:16 PM)Amanda_W Wrote:  The weather is finally warming up where I live, but we're still having lots of windy days. I find that riding when its really windy wears me out much faster than on calmer days - can anyone relate? Is it my state of mind or is it really that much more work?

I was also wondering if different bikes handle the wind better? Say an aerobike verses a gravel bike with slicks? What are your thoughts?

The faster you go the harder it will get, cycling 30kph against the wind and with the wind would feel very different. and yes Aero bikes handle the wind much more effectively, you literally feel like you cut through the wind with less effort versus a gravel bike or endurance road bike with slick tires.

Although this sounds like an exciting new reason to checkout an aero bike from your local bike shop because having more bikes is always better, please do note that most gains can be accomplished by changing your riding position like grabbing the drops instead of the hoods or doing the sphinx pose or puppy dog position (yes it kinda sounds like doing yoga at this point but it does feel like that sometimes)
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#12
A bike has very little effect regarding aerodynamics compared to the rider's size and their riding position. Aerodynamic effects beneficial to the average cyclist are neglible and most claims for increased aerodynamic benefits are only achieved by being able to cycle at a constant high speed. If you cannot maintain a speed at or above 25 mph average then you are not really benefiting in a measureable sense (assuming no wind). Bike companies are happy to make money off of selling professional equipment to those who will never get the benefits of all the stiff, lightweight, and/or aerodynamic designs being pushed on an unwary public who have $ to spend on something they are not fully educated on. Would a lightweight aerodynamic carbon fiber bike help me some on my commute to work (80 miles round trip)? Yes, it would. Would it matter? No, it would not since the difference would not matter regarding overall time for the trip.

I regularly cycle into the wind. Simple, ride the drops and/or get your body into a more aerodynamic position; maintain cadence in same gear if possible or downshift to keep your cadence. The bike's aerodynamics are merely a "placebo effect" regarding any true benefits in most cases where the relative wind speed is not over 25 mph on average (e.g. riding at 15 mph into a 10 mph or more headwind).
Do not buy a backhoe for something you can do with a hand shovel (unless you are dying to spend a lot more money than is needed to achieve the same basic result).
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#13
   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#14

He must have been missing the faceplants he previously enjoyed on his penny farthing.
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#15
Hello Amanda, I am one of those broken records that keeps repeating the fatbike tune..

Yes, a fatbike will be slow compared to a Road/hybrid bike.

BUT, it's ATV of bikes. You can take it anywhere and everywhere. I bikepacked with it for 9 months in South America, including some 1200 miles of puré mountainous trails on Ecuador. The highest we cycled to and camped at was 15000 feet. Now, I am in India riding the same fatbike.

Safety is another advantage. I haven't felt wind as much but usually feel when a bus/truck passes by. Fatbike handles that sudden gush of air better than My other bikes used to..

And, it leads to a lot of conversations and is a great ice-breaker..

At the end of the day, I am my own competition..



(04-26-2024, 09:12 AM)Amanda_W

dateline='1714137168' Wrote:  
(04-17-2024, 11:21 AM)GirishH Wrote:  I will be honest when I say I never understood or felt the effect the direction of the wind had on my rides. My friends always wished, "May the wind be behind you." Some even mentioned how they faced headwinds, but sadly/interestingly, I rarely faced the wrath of the wind gods.

I ride long distances and not for speed. So, I am a slow rider, and that's why I rarely felt the wind's effect. Many a times I have officially finished last during organized century rides. Now, I tour on a fat bike, so probably feel wind less..


(04-15-2024, 10:52 PM)TrailJoe Wrote:  I can understand the exhaustion caused by the wind. Riding upwind in strong winds drains my energy, although not as much as riding uphill does. I make a conscious effort to pace myself during windy rides and stay positive. I believe that riding against the wind is akin to riding uphill, knowing that it will be easier on the return journey with the wind at my back.

Do you find the fat bike is slower than other bikes? I was thinking about getting an entry level fat bike just for fun, but I don't know how much I would ride it. In my head, I think it would be a lot slower with the huge tires, but then again, that would be a good workout! Much like riding into a headwind....

The other day it was so windy I almost got knocked sideways into the - or at least it felt that way haha!


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