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group rider singled out vs. loner rider...(12 posts)

group rider singled out vs. loner rider...dustin73
May 20, 2002 12:09 PM
ok, so everyone knows the pack will eventually reel in the single rider. but i'm curious...

if you were able to compare (head-to-head) a rider who rides 100% alone with a rider who rides 100% with a group, would the loner rider be faster? or would they be the same?

loner rider's avg speed would be lower than the group rider, but the group rider is relying heavily on drafting.
basic mathmr_spin
May 20, 2002 12:25 PM
If the group rider overtakes the lone rider, then the group rider is faster. It's that simple.

You are trying to compare effort with speed, and it really doesn't work that way. If I draft a semi on an Indiana highway, I can go 60 mph (uh, yeah) with a small fraction of the effort it would take to do that without the semi (as if it were actually possible). And the lone rider would never even see me come by.

The pack doesn't always reel in the lone rider by the way. Jacky Durand made a career out of suicide breaks, winning classics like Flanders and Paris-Tours. David Mackenzie won a Giro stage in 2000 on a very long lone break. And just yesterday, Rik Verbrugge won a Giro stage on a short lone break from about 30K. He also won a Tour stage last year on a short lone break.
I think what they wer getting atColnagoFE
May 20, 2002 12:57 PM
Is whether or not riding solo is going to make you a faster/stronger rider when you do finally get in a group and the answer is probably not unless you are riding with a group that is not pushing you. Your effort in a group will be similar but you will go faster.
Ramblings of a semi new riderPhatMatt
May 20, 2002 1:38 PM
Now I am fairly new at this sport only been doing it for a year now. But I would say yes the lone rider would eventualy get stronger. an example of this is on a Metric century I did sat I was pushing a good pace for me with a tail wind holding 21 mph. I Jumped on a train that cam by and held it for a few miles (until I realized my friends did not jump on) we were holding 27MPH comfortably and I was putting out less effort.
PhatMatt: Did you like the Salt Lake Century?Brooks
May 20, 2002 1:55 PM
The wind outbound was great, but the drawback was the ride home. I did the full Century with a fast group to Antelope island causeway until a couple of guys bumped the speed up and a couple of us couldn't hang in. I did the ride to lunch (67 miles) with a 22 mph average but the last 35 miles dropped it to 19. Fearsome headwind, mostly solo although we did get a group going for the last 10 miles or so. Got hot, too (mid 80's and climbing). As my longest ride this year was under 30 miles, I was just happy to finish well and still be able to sit on my bike today (Monday).
PhatMatt: Did you like the Salt Lake Century?PhatMatt
May 21, 2002 9:02 AM
Ya it was fun. that wind sucked. I lost my computer at mile 48.6 so I do not know what my overall was. I did a 65 miler a couple of weeks before and I think my time was a little better but there was no wind. I will do it agin next year for sure. Are you going to do the MS this year?
PhatMatt: No MS; I'll be out of town. ULCER, though. nmBrooks
May 22, 2002 9:17 AM
good questiongregario
May 20, 2002 1:49 PM
I used to ride alone almost all the time. Then, a couple years ago I found that the vast majority of my rides, when I wasn't on the tandem with my wife, were with my club. So i wondered the same thing. I *think* riding with a group pushes you more to improve if, of course, the group isn't at or below your level. The natural competitiveness makes you push harder than if you were alone. Also, I tended to ride more as I saw the club rides somewhat as commitments. Conversely, when you ride alone there is absolutely no hiding in the pack. For me, I think riding in a group was actually better for me. I found the groups that I could ride with without pushing myself too hard boring and the groups that I had to kill myself to hang on were great workouts. I don't think this will work if you always keep your nose out of the wind though. For some reason, I like to do a lot of pulls, maybe it's because i want to see what's ahead and avoid crashes ;)

For me the point is moot now since I no longer ride with that club due to squirrelly riders, ignorance of traffic laws and the "take no prisoners" attitude of the group I was riding with....
Others have tried, but the correct answer...Wayne
May 20, 2002 1:56 PM
is that your question is so muddled and has left out so many variables that it is unanswerable!
You're basic assumption that the effort you put out (on every ride?) will determine how fast you ultimately become is flawed.
Whether rider A is faster than rider B after a period of training is probably primarily determined by their genetic (and childhood environment, etc.) potential, not how hard they ride.
But lets assume A and B are twins and grew up in the same househould with all the same advantages, etc. etc.
Even so, there is very little evidence (any?) that more/harder training is what makes one rider faster than another, rather than SMARTER training. Any idiot can go out and ride himself into the ground day after day, but I'd put my money on the guy who trains intelligently, all else being equal.
But even assuming for the sake of arguement that the effort you put out in a workout yields a certain amount of fitness gain (basically a linear dose/response curve), whether you get a bigger "dose" riding by yourself or in a group is going to depend on so many factors that it becomes useless to speculate.
i agree...dustin73
May 20, 2002 3:55 PM
my question, in simplest terms, was: will a solo-only rider out perform a group-only rider?

after reading mr_spin's post, i realized that there were too many variables to consider and that in actuallity, it's comparing apples to oranges. or, well, i guess maybe Ford to Chevy; not totally different, but not alike. i was going to post something similar to what you wrote:

"But even assuming for the sake of arguement that the effort you put out in a workout yields a certain amount of fitness gain (basically a linear dose/response curve), whether you get a bigger "dose" riding by yourself or in a group is going to depend on so many factors that it becomes useless to speculate."

...but decided i'd rather see what kind of answers i'd get. i assumed most people would say "the lone rider".

i think it's about time for a "post a pic of your bike" post...
One thing is certain...elviento
May 20, 2002 5:54 PM
Unanswerable as your question is, one thing is certain: the best riders are mostly packer riders. The other thing is that you do tend to push yourself a bit harder in a pack. No one wants to be the slow one.
All right, let's define our terms. Who goes faster, orbill
May 20, 2002 1:57 PM
who CAN go faster?
Obviously, the same rider putting out the same amount of power over time can go faster in a group, because the wind resistance is less. The same power, or effort, over time will make you go faster than you would solo. I think that everyone agrees on that. Our discussion deteriorates from there.
If the question is whether you gain a better edge solo or with a group, that's a very different question, and the answer depends entirely on the solo effort and the group. If you are capable of working your solo butt as hard as a a group can make you work, if you have the discipline to do it, which ain't easy, then you will be . . .
dum da da dum.
exactly as fast.
If you can work your solo butt HARDER than your sorry-ass group makes you work, you will be . . .
dum da da dum.
Faster from working solo.
If, however, you are like most people, group riding, which is lousy for specific training but great for making you go faster, because the competition and the zeitgeist of the whole deal just plain makes you go faster, you will work harder in a group, and you will be faster from working with a group.
What's probalby best is solo, disciplined, specific training mid-week and maybe one group free for all on the weekend. Maybe two if you're a young turk. Then you'll get fastest.