Touring - Too heavy?
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05-13-09, 07:13 PM
One of the benefits of working in a warehouse is that I have access to a pretty big freight scale, which comes in handy when I feel like weighing my commuter bike. (using it to tour this summer) So as you can see in the picture, I stripped it to weigh it. Took off the panniers, the bottles, the GPS. Just racks, a rear fender, and toe clips (which came off today, SPD pedals went on). What you can't see is the digital screen above the scale that weighs the bike in at 36 lbs.
What I want to know is... is 36 lbs. far too heavy for the bike, as you see it? I'm trying not to obsess about weight, but I can't help thinking that maybe this is too heavy. I don't know really, as I have nothing else to compare it to. I've done a few "shakedown" rides with loaded front and rear panniers, tent, sleeping pad water, etc... I didn't get to weigh the bike but I did a 15 mile cruise around town and it felt fine. Am I worrying too much?
05-13-09, 07:37 PM
My touring bike weights about 35 lbs with standard touring equipment installed (e.g. racks, mirror, etc.). That weight would not be a worry to me.
05-13-09, 07:53 PM
I don't know how much your touring load or you weigh, but I doubt that the bike weight will matter much. Let's say that altogether you, the bike, bags, camping gear, food, water, etc. weigh in at 230 lbs. If you went all out to get a lighter bike you might be able to get it down to around 26 lbs. as equipped in your photo and that would get the total weight down to 220 lbs. On flat sections of your route that would have almost no impact and even on the steepest climbs it would only slow you down by about 4%. Unless you're participating in that 'touring race' in the other thread then I wouldn't think this is enough of a difference to worry about.
05-13-09, 07:55 PM
My 25" Trek 520 weighs right around 36-37 pounds unloaded. I think I put about 30,000 miles on it before I weighed it. Don't worry about it.
05-13-09, 08:19 PM
Mine weighs in the upper 30's or very low 40's, depending on which racks I have mounted. The Surly Nice Racks are huge, nice, and heavy. It's built like a truck, geared like a truck, and hauls a load like one too.
05-13-09, 08:42 PM
Weight doesn't matter that much, especially since you're going to put another 30-50+ pounds of gear onto the bike. Most touring bikes run around 25-30 pounds anyway.
If you're really that worried, figure out some other way to save 5-10 pounds from your gear - e.g. lighter tent, lighter pots, and so forth.
05-13-09, 08:42 PM
I appreciate all the responses! Thanks!
I wouldn't worry about what the bicycle itself weighs ... I'd worry more about what the bicycle + loaded panniers weighs. The lighter the better.
05-13-09, 09:30 PM
i would say so for commuting. and i thought my bike was heavy at 29lbs! :eek:
what sort of build up does that thing have?
05-13-09, 09:31 PM
05-13-09, 09:46 PM
My tiny 42cm LHT weighs 30lbs with front and rear racks and fenders.
05-13-09, 11:29 PM
My 54cm LHT weighs 32 lb with fenders, racks and bottle cages.
My bike weighs about 18 / 19 kilo's, I wouldn't worry about weight that much.
Pretty much the only time I have a 'problem' with its weight is when I take it on an airplane.
18 kilo's doesn't leave much room for luggage when 25 kilo's is the limit.
(so we either fly United or something like that, they have a two pieces of luggage of (I think) 25 kilo's each on their intercontinental flights, or we go to countries like Indonesia where you don't need to bring cookware and campinggear)
No, 36 lbs is too much for a bike that doesn't even have a front fender.
Just kidding, of course.
05-14-09, 04:00 PM
Are you asking for input on how to reduce the weight you will have to pedal down the road? I think that most touring bikes run around 30-35 pounds without racks, panniers, etc so you are not far off the norm. My own personal inclination would be to remove the kickstand (I have never found a place that I needed one), remove the rear fender(the rear rack will keep the wet off of you), and maybe look at lighter tires. But that would only save a few pounds. My guess is that you will have more useless weight and bulk in the other stuff that are on your list. We all do.
Good luck on your ride.
05-14-09, 04:20 PM
Just for your comparison:
My 2009 Trek 520 exactly as it came from the factory (with fenders, factory rear rack, front and rear reflectors and SPD pedals, but without cages, lights, front rack, pump or computer) weighed in at 28.43 pounds.
05-14-09, 09:29 PM
A few pounds one way or the other doesn't make a big difference on a tour, except, perhaps, when climbing steep hills. Your legs are doing more work to push against gravity!
But let's say you really are planning trips to the Alps or Rockies, and you want to ease your load:
1. Get a new bike. A lightweight titanium touring bike will set you back $2000 or more. Maybe much more.
2. Ditch gear. Many of us take too much. It isn't hard to carry 5 or 10 pounds more than needed. Can you get by with two water bottles instead of three? Bring one book instead of two? How about not taking an extra tire and spare spokes? (I have never carried these items.) The nice thing about this approach is that it's free.
3. Substitute lighter gear. Lightweight versions of tents, sleeping bags, jackets, cooking gear, racks, etc. are available, although these tend to be expensive. Carbon fibre water bottle holders that are almost light enough to float in air can be yours for about 30 bucks each... if you are so inclined!
4. Lose weight. If two people are equally strong, and one weighs 200 lbs while the other weights 180, there isn't a difference when the former rides a 20 lb. bike and the latter rides a 40 pound bike. In both cases, you are still pushing 220 lbs up the slope.
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