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Old 04-20-08, 03:22 AM   #1
becnal
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Why is everyone so concerned with weight???

I could understand if you are a racer, or will be riding up incredibly steep, long hills, but all this talk I see on the web about the weight of a bike or certain components is just batty. People getting advised not to put fenders or a chain guard on their ride because of the "added weight", it's just silliness.

Bikes roll. If we were hiking and carrying our bikes, that would be different. But rolling things are good at bearing extra weight with minimum effort.

And besides, riding you bike will result in its engine losing weight!

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Old 04-20-08, 03:55 AM   #2
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I could understand if you are a racer, or will be riding up incredibly steep, long hills, but all this talk I see on the web about the weight of a bike or certain components is just batty. People getting advised not to put fenders or a chain guard on their ride because of the "added weight", it's just silliness.

Bikes roll. If we were hiking and carrying our bikes, that would be different. But rolling things are good at bearing extra weight with minimum effort.
It's because they have been suckered in to the common bicycle salesmanship method.

Among upright bicycles of the same basic type, there's generally not a great deal of actual difference. The basic shape of the parts is all the same. So the only argument for upgrading that bike companies can make is that a more expensive bike will weigh less, and therefore it will "work better".
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Old 04-20-08, 05:13 AM   #3
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lol, so that's why those people around me laugh when I ride my black spray painted univega as I pass them. They laugh at themselves for being suckered into the hype!
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Old 04-20-08, 06:05 AM   #4
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With bikes and components there is a law of diminishing returns. Each step up increases the bling, but there is a decreasing return in function over the next lower level for the price. When the top of the line is reached, very few people have the potential to ride to that level.

For most people the bling factor is worth the money, even though it increases the chances of theft. I used to be like this too, until I figured out that Tiagra level is perfectly suitable to what I do and there's no point at all in me going past the 105 level.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by becnal View Post
I could understand if you are a racer, or will be riding up incredibly steep, long hills, but all this talk I see on the web about the weight of a bike or certain components is just batty. People getting advised not to put fenders or a chain guard on their ride because of the "added weight", it's just silliness.

Bikes roll. If we were hiking and carrying our bikes, that would be different. But rolling things are good at bearing extra weight with minimum effort.

And besides, riding you bike will result in its engine losing weight!
You've been over in the Road Cycling forum again haven't you.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:13 AM   #6
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Conventional Wisdom; predicated on the assumption that speed and efficiency über alles is (or should be) the primary goal of any self respecting cyclist. As well as promotion of the bottom line at your friendly LBS or mail order outlet.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:14 AM   #7
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It's because they have been suckered in to the common bicycle salesmanship method.

Among upright bicycles of the same basic type, there's generally not a great deal of actual difference. The basic shape of the parts is all the same. So the only argument for upgrading that bike companies can make is that a more expensive bike will weigh less, and therefore it will "work better".
~
There is certainly truth in what you say but what is your objective?

If you have a finite objective (I want to bicycle to work) bicycle weight probably won't matter very much. If your objective is more subjective (I just want to have fun) a lighter bicycle will have a livlier feel because it will accelerate more quickly and consequently be more fun to ride. Even just thinking about owning or riding a nicer bike adds to the fun.

I have a couple of different road bikes - an early 90's steel frame Bridgestone that weighs around 24 pounds and a 2000 Klein that weighs around 19 pounds. Frankly, there isn't anything that I'm capable of doing on the Klein that I can't get done on the Bridgestone but I still find the Klein, in itls own way, to be more fun to ride. I think that fun is worthwhile. YMMV.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:47 AM   #8
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Bikes are a passion to many people....such as myself. Not just riding them but tinkering and loving the bike itself. A lighter bike is a better performing bike as long as you do not sacrifice strength for weight. So the question is .....why NOT be concerned with weight? If you need to upgrade or replace a component why not get a lighter part? This is assuming you have the money to do so. If not then the whole conversation is pointless.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:57 AM   #9
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My prior road bike started out at 20 lbs. I upgraded the wheelset and shaved a a little over half a pound off. I felt no difference (nor did I think I would). I built up a new bike in the last few weeks and it weighs 15.5 pounds. I can indeed tell you that ~5 pounds off a bike makes a huge difference. This summer it will be living in the Colorado Rockies and I (sort of) relish the thought of pedaling it up mountain passes that top out over 10k feet and even riding up a 14k mountain. I'm sure I'll still be slow (cuz I suck), but I will also no longer be able to blame the bike's weight on my slowness. Actually, I never really did. I'm fully at ease with my lack of ability.
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Old 04-20-08, 07:02 AM   #10
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If you ever have the chance to ride a noticably lighter bicycle you will know why people are concerned with weight. If you are commuting you have less weight to drag around, if you are racing, same thing. If there was no real difference we would see road racers riding bicycles with straight guage steel tubing.
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Old 04-20-08, 07:04 AM   #11
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The last two posts answer the question well in many people's views. Sure I could ride a 28 pound bike with 12 speeds, fenders, and a kickstand around town. But that's not what I like. I like to do occassional races, complete several centuries a year, do fast club rides, and just enjoy going fast and see how fast I can go and long long for a certain speed.

Cycling is a priority for me so I like shopping and don't mind spending money for the top end components. While the improvements might be marginal, they neverless are improvements. If anyone says weight doesn't matter, find a steep one mile climb and compare your times on a 28 versus 16 pound bikes. Believe me, when you're at 95% and have a long way to go, you can feel just about every ounce and the time difference shows.

But I buy higher end and lighter parts because I enjoy it
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Old 04-20-08, 07:16 AM   #12
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I think the obsession with weight is partially influenced by the notions of instant gratification and consumerism. We want what we want right now, if not sooner, and we think that if we pay big bucks, we can get anything. So by paying 2 or 3 times the price of an entry level racer, many people think that their performance whilst riding will improve.

But what really makes the big difference for recreational riders is fitness and weight loss. Both of those take training and work at losing weight. Both of those things are caused by a change in lifestyle and a long term committment. Americans just are not good at those things because our culture just does not like that sort of stuff.

I belong to a local club and for years, the guy who was the strongest rider rode the by far the cheapest bike in the peleton. But even with decisive evidence staring them in the face, many of the riders bought really expensive bikes thinking that a more expensive bike would make a significant difference in their performance (it almost never happens).
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Old 04-20-08, 07:20 AM   #13
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I think the obsession with weight is partially influenced by the notions of instant gratification and consumerism.
So by taking 4 years to build my bike to where I like it I am guilty of instant gratification?

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many of the riders bought really expensive bikes thinking that a more expensive bike would make a significant difference in their performance (it almost never happens).
Pretty amazing mind reading skills there Pat. No chance these guys bought nicer newer bikes because.....they liked the nicer newer bikes? It really is that simple. It is the same reason we are all not driving around in identical 10 year old cars.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:06 AM   #14
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Cause I gotta carry my bike up and down four flights of stairs... And a 40 pound Rivendell is not a lot of fun to do that with.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:32 AM   #15
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Root cause: the human species is naturally lazy and if given the choice, will go to great lengths to minimize physical exertion.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:37 AM   #16
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i'm not a weight-weenie but i do enjoy lightweight bikes more than 40-pounders!
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Old 04-20-08, 08:39 AM   #17
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A lighter weight bike normally means a faster more responsive bike.

Now simply telling people not to use something to save weight is wrong. The environment in which the bike is used should determine what is on the bike. For example, people in rainy areas actually benefit from fenders as it extends the life of the expensive drive train. Likewise, a person that rides over roads in poor shape would benefit more from using wider tire instead of a light weight skinny tire.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:46 AM   #18
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Root cause: the human species is naturally lazy and if given the choice, will go to great lengths to minimize physical exertion.
And you're posting this observation on a bicycling bulletin board on which every single participant has chosen to persue a hobby that requires otherwise unnecessary physical exertion. Brilliant!

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Old 04-20-08, 09:39 AM   #19
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And you're posting this observation on a bicycling bulletin board on which every single participant has chosen to persue a hobby that requires otherwise unnecessary physical exertion. Brilliant!
Yet why do so many obsess over weight? Because they perceive it will allow them to to go faster/farther with the same or less effort, no? Hence 'root cause' - humans are always looking for ways to minimize the effort required to do things...ya freakin grouch.
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Old 04-20-08, 09:53 AM   #20
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Yet why do so many obsess over weight? Because they perceive it will allow them to to go faster/farther with the same or less effort, no? Hence 'root cause' - humans are always looking for ways to minimize the effort required to do things...ya freakin grouch.
You're projecting motivations onto other people. You may or may not be right but we've had several people who have indicated that's not their personal motivation. If you're accusing those posters of lying, maybe you're the grouchy one.

If you can afford it what's wrong with just having nice stuff? Do you have any pictures on your walls? Sometimes beauty is it's own excuse for being.
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Old 04-20-08, 10:04 AM   #21
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it's because i've got steep hills to go up, and i'd rather go up them at 20-25lbs fast rather than 30-35lbs fast.
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Old 04-20-08, 10:09 AM   #22
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You're projecting motivations onto other people. You may or may not be right but we've had several people who have indicated that's not their personal motivation. If you're accusing those posters of lying, maybe you're the grouchy one.

If you can afford it what's wrong with just having nice stuff? Do you have any pictures on your walls? Sometimes beauty is it's own excuse for being.
I ain't projecting anything, simply pointing out a root cause. Wanting nice stuff is another root cause.
Quit peeing in my Wheaties.
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Old 04-20-08, 10:12 AM   #23
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Saving weight in the right spot can make a big difference in feel* I just swapped out the stock wheels(Mavic Aksiums) on my Allez elite for a set of CK hubs with Open Pros, 28h and Revolution spokes(Off the wifes bike), just over a pound lighter. The difference accellerating was very noticeable. Then I flatted the rear, thetire had a cut so I decided to try the Serfas Seca folder(We just got some in) It was a 100grams lighter than the Fortezza it replaced. Again a noticeable difference. Losing weight from the flywheel improves acceleration and also lets the bike turn in easier.


*Feel is subjective, some people cannot tell when they have a low tire til the rim is scraping on the ground. They probably would not notice a weight change in the bike either.
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Old 04-20-08, 10:17 AM   #24
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If you want to save weight, you should go to the bathroom before you start your ride. For some people, that'd be an enormous weight reduction.
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Old 04-20-08, 10:19 AM   #25
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I ain't projecting anything, simply pointing out a root cause. Wanting nice stuff is another root cause.
Quit peeing in my Wheaties.
AHA! So now you're admitting there might be more than one possible motivation. That's all that I've been saying all along.

Sorry I spoiled your breakfast.
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