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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-13-11, 07:05 PM   #1
madmatt1740
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Weight Weenie and a Clydesdale!!!

I have been shopping for road bikes lately and have have had some interesting experiences. The one that has stood out the most was the guy who was trying to sell me a nice (and expensive) TREK Madone Series 5. He claimed that I would regret not getting a lightweight bike. Since I am currently riding a 34 pound GT Mountain Bike I just kind of laughed to myself and walked out. After I left, though, I got to thinking. Can one (or should one) be both a Clyde and a weight weenie? Are any of you?
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Old 05-13-11, 07:38 PM   #2
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I have a lightweight race style carbon fork aluminum framed bike. I am also in the process of removing all the goodies from it to put on a steel frame with relaxed geometry (salsa casseroll) I figure I will be adding about 4-5lbs to my roadie but I will be much more comfortable and able to ride longer and further. Now my commuter (mountain with slicks fender and rack) with full panniers weighs in around 40lbs so I am used to the load. Buy a bike that is comfortable and that you will ride the most that will trump weight and technology all day long.
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Old 05-13-11, 07:40 PM   #3
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I have a steel touring bike made out of Reynolds 531. I have a Reynolds 753 bike, two Columbus SL Italian bikes, three Tange 1 bikes, and Carbon Fiber Kuato.

Yes, yes you can be both
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Old 05-13-11, 08:02 PM   #4
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I think the trick is to find the right balance between light weight and durability. That threshold will be different for different people.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:28 PM   #5
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I think the trick is to find the right balance between light weight and durability. That threshold will be different for different people.
+1

My bike is a 10-sp roadie, carbon fiber frame. All told, about 17lbs. although I haven't put it on a scale. I don't have any issues with the bike. Wheels are a different matter.

I'm not a weight weenie: I don't obsess over weight. If I want to ride less weight, I have my morning constitutional. But, when I rode my 1990's aluminum Cannondale with 36-sp wheels, I definitely noticed the weight difference of this 22lb. bike. And, when I got my 80mm carbon tubular wheels, I can definitely feel the weight difference from my 32-sp Velocity Aerohead PowerTap rear wheel.
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Old 05-13-11, 10:01 PM   #6
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There are weight weenies and then there are weight weenies.

If you find yourself obsessing over a 50 gm $700 carbon-fibre saddle, then it's safe to say you are a weight weenie.

Just because you like have a low weight off-the-shelf road bike doesn't on its own make you a weight weenie. Although, in my case, if I got new wheels or another component, I would probably pay attention to the weight differential. (We all drink the kool-aid from time to time) So, yes, I suppose I'm a weight weenie -- light.

A couple pounds one way or the other isn't going to matter to % 99.9999 + 1 of the riders. As the others have suggested, get a durable, good fitting comfortable bike and go from there.

I'm sure you have noticed by now that it is much cheaper to take weight off yourself than your bike.

And to answer your question, yes you can be both, why not.
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Old 05-13-11, 11:15 PM   #7
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I'm a weight weenie with my fat self. I use heavy ( cyclist standards) 30 mm Deep V rims, nothing light about my bike.

I use heavy stuff and the only thing that makes me fast is losing weight and training. For me, at 250+, climbing is slow, at 230, it's faster and at 220, it's fastest....with the same rims, bike, tires, and bottle cages.

I want durability! I actually get a chuckle when other clydes my weight tell me that my rims are too heavy to climb.
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Old 05-14-11, 06:00 AM   #8
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madmatt1740, There's a little weight seenie in all cyclists, you did weigh your mountain bike after all.

At my combined (me, bike, two full bottles, pump and seat bag w/usual stuff) riding weight a bike that's five pounds lighter only makes a 2.4% difference. Yes I can feel the weight difference between the two when dead lifting my lightest and heaviest bike, but cycling isn't weight lifting.

Brad
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Old 05-14-11, 07:04 AM   #9
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There are weight weenies and then there are weight weenies.

If you find yourself obsessing over a 50 gm $700 carbon-fibre saddle, then it's safe to say you are a weight weenie.

Just because you like have a low weight off-the-shelf road bike doesn't on its own make you a weight weenie. Although, in my case, if I got new wheels or another component, I would probably pay attention to the weight differential. (We all drink the kool-aid from time to time) So, yes, I suppose I'm a weight weenie -- light.

A couple pounds one way or the other isn't going to matter to % 99.9999 + 1 of the riders. As the others have suggested, get a durable, good fitting comfortable bike and go from there.

I'm sure you have noticed by now that it is much cheaper to take weight off yourself than your bike.

And to answer your question, yes you can be both, why not.
I think you hit upon a great point. True weight weenies are ones who obsess over reducing weight no matter the cost. I think we all have a little bit of weight weenie in us, but most will abstain from such obsession due to the high cost that comes with it.

I have changed a few parts on my road bike with the primary focus being performance and function. I spent about $100 on new tires, seatpost, cassette, and rear derailleur which were either the same weight (fatter tires) or a tad lighter (everything else). I was happy to shave a few ounces from the bike, but mostly like the improved comfort from wider tires and a seatpost that adjusts infinitely and better performance and more appropriate gearing from the drivetrain upgrades. I probably knocked a half a pound off the bike, too.
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Old 05-14-11, 07:11 AM   #10
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I ride a carbon road bike that is 17-18 lbs, with low spoke count (G3) wheels with a ton of carbon fiber components. I realize that I am the limiting factor, however, having a good looking bike and the envy of others motivates me. I am constantly in the biggest guy in the front of the A group on group rides.

I ride on some pot holed, frost heaved back roads and have not had some of the issues others have had i.e. flats, broken spokes, broken components, grossly out of true wheels . . . (knock on wood). I honestly believe the old adage, you get what you pay for.

Additionally, when I buy items, I am thinking long haul, my goal is to reach 175# and be a fast cyclist. If I have gear that will serve me then, I will have made a wise investment.

Ultimately, I would say get something that will make you ride. If you enjoy it and it motivates you to ride, it has served its purpose.

-Keep Pedaling
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Old 05-14-11, 12:43 PM   #11
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You can be a little of both. Own it and don't worry about what other people think (unless their right ).
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Old 05-14-11, 12:50 PM   #12
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I'm a weight weenie in putting together my new bike build. But its in the form of what is the lightest most durable and cool looking parts I can get for my funds. So I wanted 42 mm aluminum rims so I went with the 42SL rim based on this order - it looked cool, was lighter than my current 30 mm rim, and I could afford to have it put on an existing hub I like. I'm hoping to have a bike that is south of 17 lbs when I'm done as it should be the last time I buy a frame/ build a road bike for the foreseeable future. MY funds next go to my kayak collection or a functional trail/mtn bike once I sell the current bike I have. BTW any one interested in an Iron Horse Excelsior Race road bike size 54 w/ Ultegra drive train pm me.
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Old 05-14-11, 01:38 PM   #13
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I get some of the same responses you got at the shop, if only because bike shops in the United States sell to Americans. If I shopped in a country where riding a bike did not mean "racing", I'd get some more useful advice instead of.....

"I'm looking for a bike I can use for touring and commuting."

"We have the 2011 Madone in the window. It's only 14.5 pounds."

"But can I take it on a long, fully loaded tour?"

"Sure! And it's nice and light so you'll go up those hills faster."

"What sort of front and rear racks can I attach to it?"

"A what?!?"

(Sound of the bike shop employee fainting as The Historian walks out.)
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Old 05-14-11, 02:10 PM   #14
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I would think that they're just trying to sell what they have in the window. He'd have had the same response if it was a WallyWorld special!
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Old 05-15-11, 06:56 AM   #15
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Many bike shops have been in the mind set of bicycling equals either mountain biking or road riding in pace lines. Thankfully,for me, this seems to be starting to change. I'm starting to see more bikes designed for casual riding or for utility in the LBS that I frequent.
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Old 05-15-11, 08:07 AM   #16
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I had a couple weight weenie friends back in the 90s that kept trying to get me obsessed with weight. I kept telling them that saving a few grams on the bike wasn't going to matter a wit when I was 220 and pretty lean. I broke half of the stuff they gave me to try... So they quit bugging me. However... Stuff today seems stronger AND lighter than 20 years ago, so I don't think I'd worry too much. (although I can't imagine riding on some of the new minimal spoke wheels out there!)
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Old 05-15-11, 03:42 PM   #17
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I think the trick is to find the right balance between light weight and durability. That threshold will be different for different people.
+ whatever. :-) This is absolutely the correct answer. I go pretty light but not "ultra" light. My road bike weighs in the 17-18lb range and my tandem weighs around 26lbs. I ride/race ultra distances and the last thing I want to haul around is extra weight but on the other hand I don't want something that is going to break in the middle of nowhere.

A lot of people snear at larger people who spend money of expensive light weight parts but I say, if you got the money go for it. A lot of the objection is really just jealousy anyway.
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Old 05-16-11, 05:35 PM   #18
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I borrowed my buddy's Scott s50 and rode in the Pasadena Marathon yesterday. Besides the fact that it was raining for most of the ride, I had a great time. After 26.2 miles, I am seriously thinking of getting a beginners bike (I really liked the s50) and riding that for a while. In a year or two I could buy a new bike if I feel the need. As far as weight, I noticed that I passed a more than a few people on expensive Specs, Treks, Cervelos and others. I guess weight is not that big of an issue for me yet.
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Old 05-16-11, 05:45 PM   #19
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Passing someone on a high end bike doesn't mean a lot unless you are evenly skilled riders (and they know you're racing). The biggest impact (by a large amount) on speed is the rider. Put the same rider on a high end Cervelo then switch him/her to your Scott S50. The difference may or may not be a lot but it will be there.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:28 PM   #20
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Passing someone on a high end bike doesn't mean a lot unless you are evenly skilled riders (and they know you're racing). The biggest impact (by a large amount) on speed is the rider. Put the same rider on a high end Cervelo then switch him/her to your Scott S50. The difference may or may not be a lot but it will be there.
So is your point that, as a newbie, I should get a $6000 Cervelo, or that I am coming off like a jackass. I guess my main point was that I liked the $600 bike and I am questioning the logic of spending mega-bucks at this stage to cut weight when I am not really sure what kind of riding I want to do. Don't get me wrong, I am sure I could go faster on a better bike, but is now the right time???
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Old 05-16-11, 08:54 PM   #21
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I didn't think you were coming across as a jackass. You just hear people saying things like that often and it really doesn't mean a lot. If you are racing a few seconds here or there are much more meaningful. That could be a real race or a race with friends to the next stop sign. This is really a decision you need to make. Does it make sense to you. I have a bike that cost more than twice that Cervelo you mentioned. Was it worth it to me??? You bet. I have no qualms about someone buying a few less pounds. For some people it's easier than loosing the weight! All you really have to do is justify it yourself. Doesn't really matter what we think!!!!
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Old 05-17-11, 08:31 AM   #22
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This March, I went from a 34lb Hardrock to a full carbon Orbea Orca that weighs in at 16.85lbs. I weigh 290lbs.

I like it!
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Old 05-17-11, 11:46 AM   #23
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All you really have to do is justify it yourself.
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A lot of the objection is really just jealousy anyway.

I like the way you justify that with yourself!
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Old 05-17-11, 12:24 PM   #24
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I like the way you justify that with yourself!
You're just jealous!
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Old 05-17-11, 12:52 PM   #25
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You're just jealous!
I knew you'd say that!
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