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Old 06-25-08, 01:28 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Bicycle Weight Not Reported

In researching bikes for my wife, I've found that weight is rarely reported. For example, in these specs

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt1000.htm

There's no information on how much the bike weighs. I know that different frame sizes will have different weights, but isn't this an important aspect of the bike?
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Old 06-25-08, 01:45 PM   #2
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To me weight is an important factor in choosing a bike- but the way it rides has proved to be more important.

I'll be honest and tell you that I will only be looking at sub 20lb bikes for my use. My OCR3 was only 19lbs but I Think it was at least double the price of this one.

Looking at the spec of this bike- I should think it will be around the 25lb mark. Not that it will be a disadvantage unless you are into lots of hills or want to stay with the fast boys. A heavier bike will accelerate slower- but once up to speed- it will be no different.

And this is where the way the bike rides is important. Just ask some of the riders of the older Chromoly bikes. Some of those will be heavier than this bike but there are plenty of older bikes around- because they suit the rider- and the riders suit the bike.
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Old 06-25-08, 01:53 PM   #3
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If the bike is light enough, the manufacturere will make it known what it weighs, else, that number is left in the closet.
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Old 06-25-08, 02:22 PM   #4
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Just make up a number you would like to be the weight of your bike. It is likely as close to reality as the number a manufacturer would list if they did list it.
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Old 06-25-08, 03:05 PM   #5
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Bike Weight That Important?

Educate me please. Within reason what difference does a few pounds make in bike weight? Isn't it much more important to have a bike that is balanced and has high quality components? Sure, the two may go hand in hand; but not always.

After all, if you want to take some strain off your legs isn't it cheaper and easier to just take it off the gut or butt?
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Old 06-25-08, 03:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
Educate me please. Within reason what difference does a few pounds make in bike weight? Isn't it much more important to have a bike that is balanced and has high quality components? Sure, the two may go hand in hand; but not always.

After all, if you want to take some strain off your legs isn't it cheaper and easier to just take it off the gut or butt?
You are correct that taking weight off the rider will make any bike perform better. However, newer...lighter bikes also perform better. They are as you have noted better balanced and have higher quality components. Why do they have these higher quality components................because they are lighter bikes (more upscale versions...higher quality components are lighter...the upscale frame is lighter)

Money in the bike industry is invested in "lighter" therefor the best stuff will come attached to the lighter bike.

Could you build a slightly heavier bike that performs pretty well.................... yes, but you often can't buy one.
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Old 06-25-08, 03:40 PM   #7
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I was going to post something, but I think I'll let you guys enjoy your light bike fantasies.
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Old 06-25-08, 07:35 PM   #8
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Unless one is racing or lifting the bike onto a roof rack, an extra kilo of frame weight means absolutely nothing. I would rather have reasonably light, durable components and frames than race-bred wonders which are too flimsy to last more than a season.
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Old 06-25-08, 07:49 PM   #9
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I was going to post something, but I think I'll let you guys enjoy your light bike fantasies.
An odd post. Not being judgemental. It was just weird. Nothing wrong with that.

Not to set off a religious furor, but aluminum tends to give you a harsh ride. Carbon and ti are light and smoother. Steel is real but not as light. Shimano 2200 components are not so great. Sora is OK, Tiagra is better, but bike snots who use Shimano prefer 105 and above.

If I were getting someone into road biking and believed they would get serious about it, I would get an "entry level" full carbon bike. They are smooth, and the difference between 105 and up is not so great.

But that's just me.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:02 PM   #10
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Is weight the most critical factor in bicycle performance?
- no

Is it a relevant specification of the bike - along with component group, frame materials, fender clearance, frame angles, chainstay length, bottom bracket height, etc.?
- yes

Should manufacturers report the weight of every bicycle they sell, for each size?
- yes

I think the OP raises a good question - I think that manufacturers *don't* report the weight of bikes because they fundamentally don't trust consumers with the information. They don't want to have to defend why their $1,500, well made, well balanced, durable 20 pound bike is actually better than a competitor's 19.5 pound bike that might not be as well made.

In fact, here's the language that Cannondale puts on their website defending their reason not to publish weights:

"Donít see a weight listed for this bike? Wondering why that is? Well we used to list our weights only to realize that while Cannondale will weigh a medium or 56 cm frame and err on the side of caution when we know there will be variances due to welds etc, our competitors (and you know who they are) are weighing their small or extra small frames and rounding down (because hey, who will know?) and youíre left wondering whatís going on and making an important decision based upon BS.

So because weight is too important to you as a consumer, we ask that you PLEASE do your homework and visit your local shop so you can compare our bike weights to their bike weights for yourself� apples to apples with no marketing BS. Donít believe us. Donít believe them. Go see it, feel it, weigh it and test ride it for yourself. Yes, weíre that confident. You should be too."


In other words, we can't trust our competitors, so why should you trust us? Go to your LBS and sort it out.

I kinda see why bike manufacturers don't want to be caught in a "race to the bottom" to compete for the attention of the weight-obsessed consumers, but I think in the long run consumers should have the info. before they buy. Is horsepower (or wheelbase or curb weight or rear axle ratio) the most important aspect in choosing a new car? No, but I can't find it out on any car I want to buy.
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Old 06-25-08, 10:02 PM   #11
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Weight matters but is very overrated. Not all newer lighter bikes are better than older, slightly heavier bikes. A good, mid-high level steel framed road bike from 16 years ago with 600/Ultegra components and hand made wheels might weigh about 22-24 lbs. A new, entry level road bike with Sora components and machine made wheels might weigh a few lbs less. Which is better?
IMHO, the older bike (let's say it is NOS with fresh tires) will have a smoother, more refined ride and will hold up better. The components will lack some modern features, but they will work quietly and efficiently. I'd rather ride the older bike.
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Old 06-25-08, 10:21 PM   #12
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My own order of importance in bike choice

1. Frame that fits - really fits
2. Wheels - it's all in the hubs
3. Quality of components
4. Total weight

Tons of other factors such as budget enter into the equation.
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Old 06-26-08, 12:03 AM   #13
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This is my idea of an entry level bike, from the same dealer:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._08_carbon.htm
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Old 06-26-08, 08:06 AM   #14
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Thanks, I understand now why manufacturers don't publish it.

No one has mentioned hill climbing -- doesn't weight play a bigger role there?
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Old 06-26-08, 08:41 AM   #15
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A steel frame is at most 2 lbs heavier than a carbon fiber frame. But we think of steel frame bikes as being heavier because we associate them with the gas pipe bike boom bikes of the 70's that people are still riding today. To reinforce this, modern day buyers of steel frame bicycles are usually the sort to choose setups that favor larger tires, fenders, racks, leather saddles, robust wheels and other choices that add up to a bike that is several pounds heavier than a racing bike but is nonetheless the bike for their type of riding.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
In researching bikes for my wife, I've found that weight is rarely reported. For example, in these specs

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt1000.htm

There's no information on how much the bike weighs. I know that different frame sizes will have different weights, but isn't this an important aspect of the bike?
Mostly you don't see weight advertised, exception is sometimes the high end road bikes. Most that I have researched for myself or my wife have not mentioned weight. Sometimes the guys at the LBS will give a fairly accurate guesstimate.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
Educate me please. Within reason what difference does a few pounds make in bike weight? Isn't it much more important to have a bike that is balanced and has high quality components? Sure, the two may go hand in hand; but not always.

After all, if you want to take some strain off your legs isn't it cheaper and easier to just take it off the gut or butt?
Are you a communist?
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Old 06-26-08, 10:17 AM   #18
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Are you a communist?
He's merely a rational man who has yet to swallow the kool-ade
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Old 06-26-08, 12:31 PM   #19
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What I was alluding to in my weird post above was that bikes weigh what they way, and within the same general category of bike (hybrid, road, etc.), there won't be much difference in weight between the different ones - certainly not that you would notice when riding. There will be some weight difference between an entry-level road bike, and a $4000 all carbon bike, but unless you're really racing competitively, it's not going to make much difference in your actual riding. Now, if you're comparing a 1970's all steel 10-speed which weighs 35 lbs against a current road bike which weight 20-25 lbs, well then you're definitely going to feel a big difference. But once you get a bike down to about 25 lbs, you start talking weight differences that are in the same range as the weight of a full water bottle or two. Personally, I've never felt a difference between when my water bottle is full and when it's empty.

Much about the weight of bikes is just fantasy, imagination and marketing. I haven't opened a bicycle magazine in at least a decade, but I certainly remember them publishing the weight of bikes. Either they were extremely optimistic, or they mustn't have used the same scales I did.

Yet, you're going to get dozens if not hundreds of posts about how much faster this person's or that person's latest new 15 lb bike is. It's total BS.
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Old 06-26-08, 01:06 PM   #20
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Thanks, I understand now why manufacturers don't publish it.

No one has mentioned hill climbing -- doesn't weight play a bigger role there?
Of course weight makes a difference on hill climbs. If the rider weighs 175 lbs and uses a 24 lb bike the total weight of the bike and rider is 199 lbs. Take the same rider on a 18 lb bike and the total weight is 193 lb. The lighter bike and rider weighs 3.1% less. Is 3.1% less weight being lifted up a hill much of a difference? Every 1 lb of weight lifted one foot is a foot pound and 1000 foot pounds = 1 horsepower of work. If your climb gains 1000 ft of elavation then you will have lifted 3,100 lbs, more bike, on the climb. That's equivilant to 1 and 1/2 tons of gravel, think about the work it takes to shovel the gravel pile 1 foot higher. If you are racing and don't have any additional personal weight to loose 3.1% is huge. If you're style of riding does not include big climbs or races then the weight penalty is not as important, because you can use an easier/slower gear, and the money saved on the heavier bike could be spent on other bike swaag.
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Old 06-26-08, 01:34 PM   #21
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You are right about the importance of weight, but your observation that manufacturers don't normally advertise bike is also correct. A lot of bike shops have systems set up to weigh bikes so if you find a bike in a LBS they can probably tell you what the weight is. I doubt that a mailorder company will either know or publish bike weights.
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Old 06-26-08, 02:19 PM   #22
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The point is that it would not be very useful to order a bike based on which weighs a few grams less than the other. In fact, in that context, weight is totally, irrevocably and absolutely of no importance whatsoever within the same type of bike and the same price point more or less. Of course, if you're ordering it to ride in the Tour de France next month, and you're a mountain specialist, then weight might be a consideration. But most people should be choosing on it being the right bike for them, and for durability, not weight.
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Old 06-30-08, 10:39 AM   #23
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Your comments have been educational. As I said before I'm a newbie. So I wondered if the thought process I used to buy my new bike was on track. Your comments have reinforced that it is. That is good to know as I get aquainted with my new hobby.

Interestingly the conversation has brought out how manufacturers shade their numbers to portray their products in the best light. Guess that is nothing new, eh?

Last edited by HawkOwl; 06-30-08 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:02 AM   #24
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Though I'm not a weight weenie, I do like to know what I'm buying. If you can track down the weight of the frame, you can do google searches to get the weight of the components. That will be far more accurate than what they are often willing to own-up too IMO.

I have called manufactureres/distributors to get data that I needed to make a purchasing decision.

I prefer to build my bikes. When you order a frame, you always seem to get the weight in the specs. Building a bike is fun and easy after the first time. You rarely save money, but you are able to focus the money to the more important areas like frame set and wheels

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Old 06-30-08, 11:15 AM   #25
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Educate me please. Within reason what difference does a few pounds make in bike weight? Isn't it much more important to have a bike that is balanced and has high quality components? Sure, the two may go hand in hand; but not always.

After all, if you want to take some strain off your legs isn't it cheaper and easier to just take it off the gut or butt?
It's certainly healthier and cheaper to lose body weight. That said, the lighter bike is more fun to ride, especially if the wheels are very light. It accelerates better and just feels more lively over all.

Also lighter road bikes tend to use narrower tires. There's a program somewhere on the web where I calculated that 25 mm tires had about a square foot less frontal area than 38's. A big deal especially in head winds. At the time I was riding a touring bike that weighed about 34 lbs with 38 mm tires. Put lighter wheels and 25 mm tires on it and it was definitely faster.

Then I upgraded the frame and other stuff and got the weight to about 24. It's a whole lot more fun and enjoyable to ride. That's plenty light for me as I like to add fenders during wet periods and like a luggage rack. I also like to keep the option of riding mountain forest service roads so I use a heavier cyclocross frame set.

Al
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