let's settle this once and for all
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  1. #1
    Frog Whisperer
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    let's settle this once and for all

    so I have been having an ongoing debate with a friend. I say little guys get beat up by the wind worse than the big guys. He says big guys get it worse. I contend that as far as frontal/surface area, we are not that much different. If you were to take a 12" x 12" wooden block and drop it from 6 feet in a 25 mph wind, it would fall almost directly down. If you took a 9" x 9" block weighing 1/2 as much, the wind would affect where it landed much more so wouldn't it? wouldn't that correspond to wind hitting a 125 pound rider opposed to a 250 pound rider?
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  2. #2
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    Little guys suffer far, far worse than big guys.

    Not only is there a minimal difference in frontal area, the lighter rider tends to have less power and struggles more at holding a pace into a wind or a crosswind. They also get thrown around much more by the wind, when a crosswind, they will move across the road more than a heavier rider ... though, admittedly, wheel depth likely plays a bigger role in getting thrown around in the wind than rider size.

    With that said, I love flat, road races with crosswinds ... being a larger, powerful rider. I just move the side of the lane and gutter the field, spit the little guys out the back and see them well after the race is over.

    There is a reason Pro Teams bring at least one big guy to the three week races ... they are there for protection of their team leaders. They block the wind for them on flat stages, and protect them in the group by being a large presence.

    Whoever says little guys have an easier time in the wind, doesn't have a clue.

    If they think it's because they can get lower, they obviously have not seen a flexible big guy get low.
    Snakebit: "How many times do I have to tell you that I don't have a source? I don't make a note of everything I see or hear on the internet and you don't have to take my word for it."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray View Post
    so I have been having an ongoing debate with a friend. I say little guys get beat up by the wind worse than the big guys. He says big guys get it worse. I contend that as far as frontal/surface area, we are not that much different. If you were to take a 12" x 12" wooden block and drop it from 6 feet in a 25 mph wind, it would fall almost directly down. If you took a 9" x 9" block weighing 1/2 as much, the wind would affect where it landed much more so wouldn't it? wouldn't that correspond to wind hitting a 125 pound rider opposed to a 250 pound rider?
    Applying exactly 0% science, I say that the larger rider is always at a disadvantage via extra mass without a corresponding excess of muscle energy output (a 200 pound rider does not generate twice the watts of a 100 pound rider).

    Part of the larger rider's power has to go with moving the extra weight regardless of weight (save for some of those quadzillas that do track racing).

    There, SOLVED!

  4. #4
    tlg
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    You are correct.

    2) Use CdA estimation formula developed from historically observed relationships.
    https://www.cyclingpowerlab.com/Cycl...odynamics.aspx

    You can use the above to get an idea of the frontal areal. Give your example of a 125#/250# rider (both the same height). There is only a 20% increase in frontal area. But a 100% increase in weight.

    The 125# (56kg) rider has a frontal area of .3938m^2
    The 250# (113kg) rider has a frontal area of .4735m^2

    Give the frontal area, you can calculate the wind load
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/w...ad-d_1775.html

    A 30mph wind will exert 43N (9.7lb) force on the 125# rider
    A 30mph wind will exert 51N (11.5lb) force on the 250# rider

    There is only a difference of 1.8lb force for a mass difference of 100%

    The momentum of the larger rider is 100% more. (every object has an equal and opposite reaction). It requires 2x as much force to affect the larger rider an equal amount.
    momentum(p)=mass x velocity
    p=125# x 25mph = 142.461 lbf·s
    p=250# x 25mph = 284.923 lbf·s
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  5. #5
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    As a 'big guy', I can confirm that smaller guys do have more problems with the wind. 40 years ago, I kinda gave up on team cycling once I realized that I was considered a good wind-breaker, and nothing more....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    As a 'big guy', I can confirm that smaller guys do have more problems with the wind. 40 years ago, I kinda gave up on team cycling once I realized that I was considered a good wind-breaker, and nothing more....
    Are we talking about the same thing here?
    Too old to ride plastic

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Are we talking about the same thing here?
    Hehehehe
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  8. #8
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    Wind beats everyone up, but big bucks it better.

    I shoot black powder cartridge rifles, .40 and .45 caliber and know others that shoot .38 caliber at yardages from 200 thru 1000yds. and the larger calibers need less windage corrections. I don't remember ever seeing anyone using a .38 past 500yds and even at that range those using the .38's are trying to beat the wind with higher velocity, but it doesn't work. Out to 1000 only the recoil sensitive use the .40's. They know that the wind is going to put them at a disadvantage, but have decided that what they lose to the wind they get back by not developing a flinch.

    This is all with the same bullet shape and form, just sized up for the different calibers. About 1100-1350fps, faster for the .38's based on larger cases. At these speeds the bullet is subsonic for all or most of its flight, and subsonic is where the wind affects movement the most.

    Between cycling and shooting I can hardly go past a flag without it catching my attention.
    Too old to ride plastic

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akirasho View Post
    Applying exactly 0% science, I say that the larger rider is always at a disadvantage via extra mass without a corresponding excess of muscle energy output (a 200 pound rider does not generate twice the watts of a 100 pound rider).

    Part of the larger rider's power has to go with moving the extra weight regardless of weight (save for some of those quadzillas that do track racing).

    There, SOLVED!
    Yes, but the wind has to generate more force to move the larger\heavier rider. If both riders are generating the same wattage and get hit by a gusting cross wind the smaller lighter rider is going to get displaced sooner than the larger heavier rider.

    I recommend another hamburger.
    Too old to ride plastic

  10. #10
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    I love math
    Last edited by Eretz; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:04 PM.

  11. #11
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    I really like hamburgers
    Too old to ride plastic

  12. #12
    Proud luddite
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    Here’s more to consider:

    Hotdogs are not sandwiches.

    Chicago pizza beats the snot out of New York pizza.

    Campy is better than Shimano.

    Lance is the #2 all-time cyclist after Merckx.

    Tomatoes are vegetables.

  13. #13
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    My Hero

    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I really like hamburgers
    I really love Hungry.



    “A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems”
    ― Paul Erdős


  14. #14
    Frog Whisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Yes, but the wind has to generate more force to move the larger\heavier rider. If both riders are generating the same wattage and get hit by a gusting cross wind the smaller lighter rider is going to get displaced sooner than the larger heavier rider.

    I recommend another hamburger.
    The wind has been working VERY hard recently!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray View Post
    so I have been having an ongoing debate with a friend. I say little guys get beat up by the wind worse than the big guys. He says big guys get it worse.
    so they should, when the road points up those little bastards have all the advantages.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    It's full of factual errors. :nono:

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    so they should, when the road points up those little bastards have all the advantages.
    Yes, yes we do!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  17. #17
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    How your Height Affects Cycling Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by HxW snip from article
    Height affects performance in most sports. This is particularly true for competitive cycling.


    During cycling, the contraction of muscles supplies the propulsion while wind resistance (drag) heads progress. The former is related to cross sectional area while the latter, surface area. Given both are related to a form of area, they would at first appear to offset one another as the body scales. However, drag scales to a lesser extent due to streamlining, thereby giving the taller cyclist an advantage on flat courses1. Hence, time trialists in the Tour de France tend to be among the tallest within the sport.


    The work done by gravity is more varied as it resists and assists progress on ascending and descending, respectively, while it is minimal on the flats. And given the force of gravity scales more quickly with body height than do muscular force and drag (square-cube law), the taller person will be at a disadvantage when ascending and advantage when descending. Of the two, the disadvantage during climbing tends to have the greater impact on race outcomes, perhaps because the equalizing factor of drafting is mostly absent at the slower speeds at which climbing occurs....
    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm 6', 150 lbs...

    I freakin' hate wind.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  19. #19
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    I'm 6', 150 lbs...

    I freakin' hate wind.
    If you read my url above, there is a decisive advantage on your "weight" and "height." Drafting can be anyone's superman moment, though.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    Ben Franklin -Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together

  20. #20
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    Drafting trucks...

    I got behind a truck and was about coasting 30 some mph when sewer covers started coming like out of a shotgun. I smartened up some and got out of there quick.

    And while driving...

    I had a mid '60's VW van that was quite underpowered that I would draft big semis when on the highway. I would tuck right up to the ICC bumper where I would just be towed down the road. That VW would go from barely keeping up with traffic to just lumbering along, no throttle needed.

    There was no way those drivers could see me, let alone know that I was there. Probably ranks up there as one of the top five stupidest things I've managed to do in my life.
    Too old to ride plastic

  21. #21
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I had a mid '60's VW van that was quite underpowered that I would draft big semis when on the highway. I would tuck right up to the ICC bumper where I would just be towed down the road. That VW would go from barely keeping up with traffic to just lumbering along, no throttle needed.
    1500 cc motor, maybe you were lucky and owned a 12v system in 1967?

    My father owned a 1966, exactly like the one pictured below. No interior heat. It was heads over tails from his Peugeot 404 which never started in humid/damp weather, so he always told me.

    I had a 1976 3CV Dyane in the mid 80's [3.000FRF used] and drafted everything that moved and even helped skateboarders in Bayonne up steep hills as they grabbed the open cloth rag top frame or rear bumper.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    Ben Franklin -Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together

  22. #22
    Frog Whisperer
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    Today was the first day this year that the wind was less than 10 mph. It was glorious!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  23. #23
    Frog Whisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Drafting trucks...

    I got behind a truck and was about coasting 30 some mph when sewer covers started coming like out of a shotgun. I smartened up some and got out of there quick.

    And while driving...

    I had a mid '60's VW van that was quite underpowered that I would draft big semis when on the highway. I would tuck right up to the ICC bumper where I would just be towed down the road. That VW would go from barely keeping up with traffic to just lumbering along, no throttle needed.

    There was no way those drivers could see me, let alone know that I was there. Probably ranks up there as one of the top five stupidest things I've managed to do in my life.
    For reference, never draft a manure spreader!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  24. #24
    Sweet Potato Kugel
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    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
    Ben Franklin -Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by azpeterb View Post
    Here’s more to consider:

    Hotdogs are not sandwiches.

    Chicago pizza beats the snot out of New York pizza.

    Campy is better than Shimano.

    Lance is the #2 all-time cyclist after Merckx.

    Tomatoes are vegetables.
    Hot dogs are not sandwiches, the lack of symmetry is disqualifying.
    Chicago pizza isn’t even pizza... Jersey pizza is better than both.
    SRAM is better than Campy or Shimano.
    Tomatoes are delicious.

    So there! Haha...
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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