1 horsepower = 746 watts

Bordersroadie
Bordersroadie Posts: 1,052
edited February 2014 in Road general
I've been riding past lots of horses lately and as I overtook one today going uphill I wondered about how easily it could just run past me if it wanted to - how much power can a horse produce compared to a cyclist?

A quick Google conversion of one horse's power gave me the answer - very easily indeed!
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Comments

  • That's a unit used to measure work... if the horse was angry at you, I'm sure he could go above threshold and run at 5 or 6 times that to catch you... :wink:
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  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Depends if the horse was on compact, or standard.....
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    And it's stride 'cadence'.
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  • They only run above threshold if they're comfy - new what saddle thread looming ?
  • Obviously the weight of the horse's shoes would factor in too!
  • I've been riding past lots of horses lately and as I overtook one today going uphill I wondered about how easily it could just run past me if it wanted to - how much power can a horse produce compared to a cyclist?

    A quick Google conversion of one horse's power gave me the answer - very easily indeed!

    Was the horse wearing Lycra ??
  • buckles
    buckles Posts: 694
    What I don't understand is whether 746 is the horse's FTP or power over some other duration
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  • Aye but what's that in watts per kg ?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Skin suit or jersey and bib?
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Liking the horseplay in this thread :o
    Aye but what's that in watts per kg ?

    Worked it out with the average weight of a race horse & it seemed very low about 1.3 but


    On the other hand google says:
    When it comes to power, pheasant and grouse can generate 400 Watts per kilo
    :shock:
  • RonB
    RonB Posts: 3,984
    I did pass 4 horses yesterday but I'm sure they were on a recovery day (awesomeness somewhat diminished).
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    they evolved to have long faces for two reasons, 1 - to be more aero and 2 - so the horse walks into a bar joke works
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  • Daz555
    Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    1hp is 746W but what is the max power output of say a racehorse at full tilt?

    If Chris Hoy could chuck out 2300W for a few seconds surely a horse can manage a lot more!

    A racehorse can run 200m from a standing start in under 10 secs. That would demolish the world's best "man one" riders in the team sprint.

    Wiki suggests a horse can peak as high as 15hp. Pretty impressive.
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  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Daz555 wrote:
    Wiki suggests a horse can peak as high as 15hp. Pretty impressive.
    So what does 1hp relate to?

    For me 1 mikepower (mp) = 308W for the hour, with a peak of 1300W (or roughly 4mp). Or is 1mp 1300W?
  • I never thought about the conversion from HP to watts, that's quite an interesting one. I really hope I don't hear these terms being thrown around in documentaries and such in the coming year 'oh here comes x person, he has 6 hp.......'
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    Moonbiker wrote:

    On the other hand google says:
    When it comes to power, pheasant and grouse can generate 400 Watts per kilo
    :shock:
    Yup, not surprisingly, flying is all about watts per kilo. Forget the latest carbon bike frames, what I want is some serious genetic modification - hollow bones with internal struts, unidirectional respiratory system, quads & glutes the relative size of bird's pectoral muscles... Wonder if I'd get it on the NHS?
  • Daz555 wrote:
    1hp is 746W but what is the max power output of say a racehorse at full tilt?

    If Chris Hoy could chuck out 2300W for a few seconds surely a horse can manage a lot more!

    A racehorse can run 200m from a standing start in under 10 secs. That would demolish the world's best "man one" riders in the team sprint.

    Wiki suggests a horse can peak as high as 15hp. Pretty impressive.

    These comparisons make little sense. The way horse power was measured was in how efficient the horse is at pulling a plow, for instance.... nobody ever measured how efficient a horse is at spinning cranks.
    There are many things where we can claim more power than a horse, like tightening a screw with our bare hands...
    Having a power output of 300 Watt whilst spinning legs is good, but how much power can we produce whilst strapped to a leather harness pulling a plow all day long? That's the fair comparison with the 750 of the horse...
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  • Jeez mun, just ride it and stop worrying about data :D
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  • The entire point of the horsepower measurement was so that Watt - who was building stationary steam engines at the time, could show to potential buyers just how much power they were getting for their money. So you're basically talking about the equivalent power of a horse pulling one of those things that goes around in circles to grind corn etc, much like an engine would. So it's all about sustained power output, walking, not max power from a race horse.

  • Great links, thanks for sharing - I think that horse's rig weighs a bit more than 6.8 kilos too!!

    I love the quote: "Ag2r-La Mondiale’s John Gadret upset the odds and scored a rare two-legged victory in a similar race in Reims in June. It should be noted, however, that his opponent was disqualified after breaking into a gallop at the midway point, but Cyclingnews understands that Voeckler had no objections to his defeat."
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Well I passed about 6 horses in one go on Sunday - so I reckon I'm pushing out upwards of 4000W...
  • bigmonka
    bigmonka Posts: 361
    When the unit of horsepower was first used it related to a Shire horse (the big, heavy ones), so most horses would work at less than 1hp. Ipso facto I reckon I could have one in a TT, lol.
  • Having said all that, if you do buy a horse personally I'd go for one with some solid legs above all else - you can always upgrade the shoes/saddle/reins later when you've got a bit more cash and know what you want. Make sure you have a pro there to make sure you get the right size, too.
  • James Watt determined the unit from the work done my horses walking in a circle turning a pump or something along those lines. They may have been shire horses but apparently they were pretty knackered and the unit is supposed to be an underestimate. Well that's according to my old physics teacher at school. It's amazing the things Bike Radar drags up from the memory banks.
  • If the horse had charmoise cream, it could fly like a cheetah past you
  • vertigo16 wrote:
    Having said all that, if you do buy a horse personally I'd go for one with some solid legs above all else - you can always upgrade the shoes/saddle/reins later when you've got a bit more cash and know what you want. Make sure you have a pro there to make sure you get the right size, too.

    Should my feet be able to touch the ground while I'm riding the horse?
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    The avg. moped produces about 5hp, now accepting that they are restricted, most wont touch 40mph at 5hp. If I was producing 1000w of power (which I can't btw, I can max at about 850 on the wattbike) I reckon I'd be passing a moped.

    power to weight is what matters.
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    diy wrote:
    ....power to weight is what matters.
    Only when accelerating or on a gradient. Not that important on the flat.
  • Plus the moped can sustain that power output indefinitely - as long as it's fuel lasts.