Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
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When I got my Dahon Vitesse a few years back I was unhappy with the weight and set about trying to figure out the most efficient and cost effective way to lighten it. I was able to shed about 1 kg without buying any particularly expensive components, though the total cost of all the upgrades would have come to a fair amount. . . But you'd really have to (as I did) weigh the various components of your bike and find out which are most worth swapping out. For instance, on my Dahon the alloy handlebar was, for some peculiar reason, about 220 grams. . . there's no reason for it to be that heavy, there are plenty of cheap, decent alloy bars that are around 130g. The pedals were clunky and I replaced them with some very light, non-folding tioga pedals which saved about 300g. The chainset was a piece of crap so I spent some time trying to find a good alternative (with correct chainline) and opted for a second-hand Shimano 105 chainset on ebay, that saved another 300 grams or so.
The end result was worth the effort but my Vitesse is likely significantly lighter than the Downtube FS in the first place, i.e. 1kg as a percentage of the overall weight is more significant whereas with the Downtube it may not really be that noticeable as the fork and frame are heavy. A suspension fork of that type is about 1kg heavier than standard forks.
The tires may or may not be on the heavy side, there's probably scope to lose weight there but you have to consider comfort and durability.