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  1. #1
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    Lighten up my Downtube 9FS!

    Hi Folks,
    I just got my new DT 9FS and I really love it. I think it's a great bike for the price, and it's been a lot of fun cruising it around NYC. The only drawback is I find it a little heavy. I'd like any advice/suggestions for a newbie like me to lighten up this bike with mods, etc. Thanks all in advance for your expertise.

  2. #2
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Err, replace heavy parts with lighter parts?

    Sorry, couldn't resist the wise-ass comment.

    Here is a list of weights from Downtube's website. The data came from one of our BF regulars, Baldone. The bike was an older NS model, but you'll have a sense of what some of the weightier components are. There are some additional weight measurements on the Mega Downtube thread. Based on this data, you can decide how much money you want to spend to reduce weight.

    Crankset 838 grams
    Peddles Alloy Folding 268g each (536g pair)
    Back fender W hardware 88G (W/O hardware 59g)
    Bell 19g
    Chain Ring W Plastic Guard 305g (232 W/O guard)
    Seat Post Clamp 33g
    Seat post collar 15g
    Kick Stand W/hardware 281g
    Stem Adjustable 243g
    Rack and reflector W/o HW 630g
    Bar Ends (Pair) 107g
    Velo Comfort Seat 735g
    Seat Post 425g (20g) seat post bolt
    Threadless like post section 122g (With Star-nut)
    Top Cap 10g
    Top Cap bolt 8g
    Crank bolt 14g (each)
    Grips 8g each side
    Brake Lever “APSE” 106g and 109g
    Skewers “Quando” 117g (Front 56g Rear 62g)
    Frame bolt “M6 x10mm” 5g (x2)
    Suspension fork 1600 grams
    Alloy fork IXNS 620 grams Rear Cassette 9sp 344g
    Tire Kenda Kwest 1.5 480g
    Front Wheel 24 spoke quando hub alloy v rims w/o reflector 685g
    Rear Wheel 28 spoke quando hub alloy v rims w/o reflector 919g
    Wheel reflector 17g
    Tube Kenda 118g
    Brake arms (pair) w/o bolts 168g-170g
    Front fender 128g (with steel wire) w/o bolts that go in fork.
    Front fender/reflector bolt 55mm M6? 14g (w/washers and nut)
    Front relector and plastic assembly 29g
    Threadless bolt M8 103mm long 38g (looks as this cannot be shortened)
    Quill 46g
    Folding section of stem, complete assembly 905g (With both quick release levers, quill, and associated hardware)(Does not include upper threadless assembly)

    The big bang-for-the-buck items that come to mind are: saddle, pedals, tires and removing extraneous hardware. Next level of ROI is cranks, bottom bracket, cassette. If you don't need it, the front suspension is about 4 lbs. The folding hinge on the stem is incredibly heavy too, if you don't need it. But now, I'm getting into major changes...

  3. #3
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I own a modified 8 speed ns.Set up and modifed as fast road bike with drops ect. I have managed to get the bike a little lighter, but the main difference has been the preformance gains from gearing and riding postion. This often improves preformance more than simply weight loss. I would recomend you change to tires for a start.Then the crank and chain rings are not too clever for either weeight or quality.The soft seat is possibly not nessary on a full suspension bike either.Obviously lose the stand and reflectors also. The stem is good quality, but possibly could lose some weight.There is a downtube forum also.
    not a very techie answer, but my findins based on my experience.

  4. #4
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    Besides the suspension fork, switching lots of components might shave something like 600 grams. Better than nothing, but not that significant.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Besides the suspension fork, switching lots of components might shave something like 600 grams. Better than nothing, but not that significant.
    +1 I think you right, it's not gonna be worth it.... This is what you get for $370 or so and honestly, it's not that bad at all.

  6. #6
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy C View Post
    +1 I think you right, it's not gonna be worth it.... This is what you get for $370 or so and honestly, it's not that bad at all.
    You can swap the saddle and save 400 grams easy.

    Get rid of the chainguard and kickstand for another 300 plus grams.

    Cheap alloy (fixed) stems will lose ~90 grams. That will be a little less than two pounds total. After that, I would just be patient and wait for something to be on sale.

  7. #7
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    Nothing will lighten up the 9FS

    The heaviest part of this bike is the frame and not much you can do about this .
    I own 9FS and it weighs close to 30lbs without kickstand.

  8. #8
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Please allow me to "butt in" if I may, even though I don't own one of Dr. Yan's products. The 9FS "is what it is". It's a tough, well built folder for the everyday rider who needs a no non sense bike that won't "complain" just because it's being used a little hard. And you get a lot of bike for the money too which is nice.

    You can certainly eliminate some non essential parts like the kick stand, and go with a lighter saddle, and chainring. However going to extremes like eliminating the suspension fork, or spending tons of money to get a lighter wheelset, and you: A) Kill the bike's character, and B) Wind up spending so much, that you would have been better off buying something like a baseline Bike Friday. And keep in mind, that even that bike will weigh about 27 lbs. or so. Not a huge difference.

    A better choice in DT's line would have been the no suspension model (NS), but I just looked on DT's website, and it's not there anymore. Maybe they "sold out", or it's been discontinued. But that bike would have been much easier to get the weight down a little as 24-25 lbs. just by removing the fenders, the rack, and the kickstand. Another good choice but outside DT's line would have been a Xootr Swift, which weighs in the lower mid 20s right out of the box.

    Regardless, some of the more basic suggestions given by others on this thread, will allow you to drop around 2 lbs. from the 9FS without breaking the bank.

    Continue to enjoy the 9FS. I think it's a great bike, and I wouldn't put it past myself to consider one for myself sometime in the future. In fact, I nearly bought one last November, but they didn't have it in the color I wanted. That Orange color just doesn't sit with me well.

    Regards,
    Edward

  9. #9
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
    That Orange color just doesn't sit with me well.
    !!!




  10. #10
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    I'd certainly change some components, there's no point in having a saddle that weighs 700+ grams. With the suspension you may as well go for slimmer tyres.

    I'd don't see a stat for the BB in that list of weights: if the crankset weight of 838 grams includes BB then it's light, if not then it's very heavy. So you might be able to cut 1.5 kg in total which is significant, but still won't make it a breeze to carry around.

  11. #11
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    9FS - a great bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
    Continue to enjoy the 9FS. I think it's a great bike, and I wouldn't put it past myself to consider one for myself sometime in the future. In fact, I nearly bought one last November, but they didn't have it in the color I wanted. That Orange color just doesn't sit with me well.
    Well, that orange color saved you from 9FS...
    That color was fine with me and I have this bike since Dec 09.

    It is a decent bike, has a good ride, components work fine, but this bike is not for daily commuting use.
    Downsides: The seat was real bad and had to be replaced right away. the rear shock fell apart last week. The handlebar post is swaying back and forth.

    I have posted a Testimonial on Downtube.com, which was fairly positive with some objective criticism, - that post was gone next day.

    Don't take me wrong - it is a good bike and ideal for price-conscious buyers, but needs improvements.

  12. #12
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilyabf View Post
    I have posted a Testimonial on Downtube.com, which was fairly positive with some objective criticism, - that post was gone next day.
    You could always post it here.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    I'd don't see a stat for the BB in that list of weights: if the crankset weight of 838 grams includes BB then it's light, if not then it's very heavy. So you might be able to cut 1.5 kg in total which is significant, but still won't make it a breeze to carry around.
    I changed the standard crank( on my 8NS) to an ultergra octolick with marching BB and the weight difference was noticable on carrying the bike. Do not have the weight stats though. I would recommend that you swop the originals for for a good quality secound hand crank BB and chainring.

    My 8NS Down tube was fantastic once I upgraded it. Downtubes bikes' should not be written of as simply moderate performer. Yes the frames are heavy, but stiff and very strong and potentially fast. Suitable for serious abuse! I regularly had a 10 year old passenger sitting on the rear rack! So view the bike as a solid base. Recently sold to this to get down to two folders, boo hoo!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    I swapped out my Dahon Vitesse cranks for some octalink Ultegra off ebay which were in OK condition but probably a few years old. I just managed to find some new black 105 cranks on ebay which match my bike really nicely and they've turned out to be lighter by some 20 grams (same crank length & Octalink) or so, so I assume that shimano are improving their components significantly each year.

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