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  1. #1
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Weight of "Typical" Steel Racing Frame ?

    Any idea how much a typical or standard 1980s old-school race frame would weigh ? Something like a 56 cm, full 531 tubes, Campy dropouts etc ??

    I have such a beast with 1980s components (Campy, Modolo, Cinelli etc.., but don't want to strip it down just to weigh it. It's noticably heavier than my CAAD8, running part Campy, Kyserium wheels, and other un-interesting parts.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  2. #2
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    Why? What does it matter?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I agree it shouldn't matter, but if you really want the numbers, go to the weightweenie site, where there are tables of weights for all manner of bike stuff. See if you can look up a Raleigh Professional from maybe 1974 or a Colnago from around 1980. They'll be a good indication of what you can expect. Don't be surprised if your frame does not match what you find out there, and if it is around 2 pounds heavier than an aluminum Cannondale. Just google weightweenie, it'll pop up.

    If it might make you unhappy, or make us unhappy if you start a thread crying about vintage bike weight , don't go there. We already expect vintage steel, even the lightest of the day, to weigh more than aggressively light aluminum (no, we are not considering mid-30s constructeur machines here), but we don't care. Some modern steel can give modern "other" a run for their money! Otherwise, knock yourself out and have fun with bike geek numbers!
    Last edited by Road Fan; 06-20-09 at 03:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    Why? What does it matter?
    Just curious
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    My '86 Gazelle, with a modern 10-speed Campy group and 32 spoke Open Pros, weighs about 21.5 pounds. It could easily lose 3 pounds with a carbon fork and tubulars. But it's no beast. It wants to roll forever, is solid in a cross wind but nimble over crappy pavement. A bike for the Classics!
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
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    My non weight weenie, 1980's steel bikes weigh in just under 21 lbs, less if they are the TI component versions.

    With two full water bottles, a multitool, a spare tubular, pump and Pit Stop, cell phone, snack and my fat @ss, it might be slightly more.

  7. #7
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    Bought a Raleigh Team USA racing on eBay last year (along with a few others, but the Raleigh was the only one I thought to weigh because it was the only one that didn't have a headset already installed.)
    52 cm, 531C tubing, Campy dropouts, steel fork. I forget what the two came out to together -- 'cos really, it doesn't matter -- but I know it was possible to weigh at least the frame without fork on my wife's kitchen scale that maxes out at 2.2 kg. It's quite easy (with non-super-light parts of the era) to build a 19-20 lb bike in a frame that size, and that's with a leather Brooks saddle.

  8. #8
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Weight issues...

    I recently purchased a digital scale to hang and weigh my bicycles with. I was surprised at the results and all of my bikes were weighed with pedals installed. What did I find?

    Not very many vintage road bicycles come in under 20 pounds (I ride 54-56cm bikes). The top dogs in my collection weigh between 21 and 23 pounds. The mid level rides between 24 and 26 and the entry level Bike Shop bikes between 27 and 30 pounds. Department store offerings always come in over the 3o pound mark and I have weighed about fifty bikes so far.

    As for frame set, I haven't taken the time to break the bikes down to check and will not do so unless I have a reason. Weight of a bicycle is dependent on both the frame type, make-up and size plus the components used. In closing, if you want a light old road bike, you must be prepared to sacrifice user friendliness and install tubulars at the very least. The question is, why are we so worried about this factor?

    The lighter the bike the lighter the rider must be. I have let great bikes go simply because I am too big to ride them safely. By safely, I refer to damaging the frame set itself due to over loading of the bike.

    For those of you who want to understand the weight issue a bit better, check out the engineering specifications of the different high end tube sets. You just might be surprised.

  9. #9
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    It matters!

    I think the OP was asking about frame weight. A high-end Columbus SL or Reynolds 56cm (or smaller) bare frame and fork should weigh between 5.5 to a bit over 6 lbs. depending on the builder.

  10. #10
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    My 54cm late 70's Guerciotti with Columbus SL frame, Campy SR, Cinelli Bar/stem weighs about 24lbs. My newer Guerciotti Ares with medium carbon frame, Campy Chorus weigh in at about 16lbs.

    Surprisingly, my older Guerciotti gets more attention from other cyclist.

  11. #11
    Senior Member darkmagus's Avatar
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    My '83ish Gazelle weighs in at 22 lbs built up with Ultegra 9 speed and 36 spoke wheels. The weight of the frame listed in the Gazelle catalog is 2.7 kgs (5.95 lbs).

  12. #12
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Most of them I've weighed are in the 6# range.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis View Post
    It matters!

    I think the OP was asking about frame weight. A high-end Columbus SL or Reynolds 56cm (or smaller) bare frame and fork should weigh between 5.5 to a bit over 6 lbs. depending on the builder.
    Why do you think it matters?

  14. #14
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    we're talking about road bikes here. It mattered when the frame was new, and some people are curious to know, we all have a little weight weenie in us or we'd be happy riding varsities.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  15. #15
    #5639 robertkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
    we're talking about road bikes here. It mattered when the frame was new, and some people are curious to know, we all have a little weight weenie in us or we'd be happy riding varsities.
    The man has a point. I tend to agree myself. If for no other reason than curiosity. My '82 Viner weighs in about 21 and some change pounds with pedals, cages, and a B17 saddle.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
    The lighter the bike the lighter the rider must be. I have let great bikes go simply because I am too big to ride them safely. By safely, I refer to damaging the frame set itself due to over loading of the bike.
    Can you offer any pointers or places to look regarding how much weight older tubing styles and frame sizes can support?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    Why do you think it matters?
    A bicycle is to convert human power to forward motion for transportation, recreation, sport, etc. A good bicycle will capitalize on design and materials to make it as efficient as possible for its intended use. Power to weight ratio is everything, and the weight of the bike counts.

    Why do you think it does not matter?

  18. #18
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    Back in the day (early 70s) 21 pounds was considered pretty light. Less than that, you were superhuman. I'd guess average race-type bikes of the day were 22-25 pounds, depending if clinchers or sewups, and what junk you added.

    In those days, wheel weight was considered most important.
    Last edited by dbakl; 06-20-09 at 09:50 PM.

  19. #19
    Bottecchia fan
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    So far I've only had the opportunity to weigh one frame, a mid-60's Bottecchia built from Falck tubing. Not much is known about Falck tubing of the period including whether or not it's even butted but here are results for a 56cm frame:

    Frame weight: 4 lb 12.4 oz (2165g)
    Fork weight: 1 lb 11.1 oz (767g)

    I would expect an 80's frame to be a bit less but there are many variables.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis View Post
    Why do you think it does not matter?
    I never said that. I was asking (you guys, collectively) why you think it matters. Just because someone asks a question, do not assume they disagree with you.

    I think the weight of the rider is more important than the weight of the bike. I will offer that much. Still, I'd like to know why weight is important.

    I have ridden bicycles extensively, literally ridden them into the ground, that were of such poor quality that a Schwinn Varsity was truly a MAJOR step up from what I was riding. I do not like the Schwinn Varsity but I do respect them.
    Last edited by Mike Mills; 06-21-09 at 12:44 AM.

  21. #21
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    The average lugged, double butted steel framesets from the '80s were about 5.5 ~ 6 lbs. They usually built up into a 21 ~ 23 lb. complete bike.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis View Post
    A bicycle is to convert human power to forward motion for transportation, recreation, sport, etc. A good bicycle will capitalize on design and materials to make it as efficient as possible for its intended use. Power to weight ratio is everything, and the weight of the bike counts.

    Why do you think it does not matter?
    One reason is that at most riding speeds without steep hills, the dominant source of resistance to motion is air resistance. Weight has nothing to do with applying this amount of pedal power.

    Weight does affect the resistance due to rolling resistance, but the relative value of this factor is usually considerably less than the air resistance.

    Caveats: Not if you're going uphill or downhill, and not if you don't ride "fast enough," and not if you accelerate a lot on some specific route.

    Plus over brevet distances, even small loss factors can make a measureable difference.

    So it isn't really right to say it DOES NOT MATTER, because there are condition where it might be dominant. The question is, how significant are these brief events considered over a lengthy ride. It is correct to say it is not significant for most riding, at least in my town.

    If you think it is very significant, what are you doing messing around with old steel bikes?

  23. #23
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    I just want to make a (very) minor technical point - when going down hill, weight is a "good thing". It gives you faster downhill accelleration and higher top speed while going down.

    I'm still watching this thread to better understand what's the deal with light weight bicycles.

  24. #24
    Senior Member oldpedalpusher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Back in the day (early 70s) 21 pounds was considered pretty light. Less than that, you were superhuman. I'd guess average race-type bikes of the day were 22-25 pounds, depending if clinchers or sewups, and what junk you added.

    In those days, wheel weight was considered most important.
    I agree...

    An old rule of thumb was that one ounce of rotating weight was worth 9 ounces of static weight.


    Greg

  25. #25
    Pug lover! Dogs and bikes Tigerprawn's Avatar
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    I can attest to curiosity being the factor. I love to know everything about my bike even if it's not ride affecting.

    With that said my Peugeot PSV10 is around 19 lbs. I'm using clinchers, a brooks team pro, a mini pump attached to the frame, and without using any special weight saving components
    Looking for;

    Rapha / Outlier - Size M or 30 Waist
    Campy Victory aero pedal mounting hardware

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