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Old 04-14-09, 02:48 PM   #1
Jocache83
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bike weight question

hi all,

i'm always looking for weighs to lighten up my bike, lighter is better right? but i notice when i ride with my neighbors who has lighter bikes than me, i can keep up with them. when does the weight of the bike factor in when riding?
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Old 04-14-09, 03:04 PM   #2
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Bike weight matters in climbing and in accelerations; primarily for the pros and the pro wannabes. Great way to also lighten the bank account.

It's all in the legs anyways.
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Old 04-14-09, 03:07 PM   #3
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You may be keeping up with them, but you may be working just a teensy bit harder to do it, too.
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Old 04-14-09, 03:11 PM   #4
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IME it is more about where on the bike the weight is. e.g., Two bikes, identical total weight, one has lighter wheels, the other has a lighter frame. The one with lighter wheels is better, IMO. FWIW, in the end it is more about the legs (and brain), as bbattle suggests. Tom Boonen won the Paris-Roubaix on an eighteen pounder, several pounds heavier than many of his rivals' bikes.
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Old 04-14-09, 04:02 PM   #5
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I do not look for 'weighs' to reduce bike 'wayt'. I bike for exercise. Several, who I ride with, have suggested ways to reduce my bike's weight. They say I could win competitions in my class with a lighter bike. I bike for exercise (repeated for emphasis) not for competition. Which would allow me to receive more exercise all other factors being equal, lower weight bike or what I have? Why do you bike? That is an important question to answer.
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Old 04-14-09, 04:57 PM   #6
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Why is it that you have to spend a ton of money to save a pound on your bike?
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Old 04-14-09, 06:18 PM   #7
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Depends how heavy it is. If yours is 30 pounds, getting a 20 pound bike wouldn't be bad. Going from 20 to 18 though is not worth it unless you're a pro.
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Old 04-14-09, 06:35 PM   #8
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Why is it that you have to spend a ton of money to save a pound on your bike?
Remember that reducing the weight of a bike acts doubly: Once on the weight of the bike and once on the weight of your wallet.
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Old 04-14-09, 07:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jocache83 View Post
hi all,

i'm always looking for weighs to lighten up my bike, lighter is better right? but i notice when i ride with my neighbors who has lighter bikes than me, i can keep up with them. when does the weight of the bike factor in when riding?
I'm not sure what sort of discrepancy's we're talking about here with bike weights; i.e., are your bikes within two or three pounds of each other or is the difference closer to 10 pounds?

The weight of the bike has very little to do with anything. Take a typical person (150 pounds) on a typical bike (say 25 pounds when you include water, saddle bag, etc.). You're now moving 175 pounds of "stuff". Shave 1 pound of weight off the bike, and you have now saved a whopping 0.57% of the weight, which you will never notice on flat / rolling terrain.

When does the weight begin to matter? Mountains. Not hills. Mountains.
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Old 04-14-09, 07:32 PM   #10
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It matters the most in climbing and sprinting from what I have seen. I put lighter stiffer wheels on my road bike and I noticed the difference right away. How much was in my mind? I couldn’t tell you but it seemed quicker and easier to climb with. I pictured it this way. If two people are about to run up a hill and they both weigh the same and are about equal in fitness what would we expect the outcome to be if one were in running shoes and the other in hiking boots? What is the weight difference between boots and running shoes? Not that extreme and like others have said you wallet is lighter still.
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Old 04-14-09, 08:02 PM   #11
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Depends how heavy it is. If yours is 30 pounds, getting a 20 pound bike wouldn't be bad. Going from 20 to 18 though is not worth it unless you're a pro.
I agree with this completely. Anything under 20lbs is a perfectly fine bike. It's even fine for beginning competitive riding. That extra 2 or 3 lbs is just bragging rights and ohh/ahh look how much carbon I have. It only makes you faster in theoretical cycling analysis calculators on the internet, not in real life.

Keep your wheels true, your brakes well adjusted and get your position dialed in and you are 99.9% there.
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Old 04-14-09, 09:44 PM   #12
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Thanks guys for all your responses. I don't plan on competing any bike races, i just want to stay fit, ride, and enjoy it. it's been awhile that i've weighed my bike, but i estimate between 20-25 lbs (87-88 centurion le mans). my neighbors' bikes are weighing under 20 lbs (orbea, fuji, cannondale, and felt.. 3-4 years old these bikes.).
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Old 04-15-09, 07:09 AM   #13
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It's not the bike, it's the rider.

p.s. Greetings, fellow Centurion! I ride an '86 LeMans RS
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Old 04-15-09, 09:10 AM   #14
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If your in such a hurry, why are you on a bike?
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Old 04-15-09, 09:46 AM   #15
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If you ride for fun and not to race, then forget about it, unless you just want to spend a lotta cash. Keep weight off the wheels if you're trimming it, its worth it more to have light wheels.
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Old 04-15-09, 10:25 AM   #16
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Lets not forget rotating mass kills acceleration too. Much better to have the weight in the frame than in the hub/cassette/etc.
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Old 04-15-09, 12:05 PM   #17
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The best improvement you can do to any bike is to put better wheels on it.

Reasons have been stated already but that lighter weight of the tyres and wheels does aid hillclimbing and acceleration. BUT- once up to speed- it has no effect. In fact a heavier wheel will help maintain speed once you are up to it.

OK lighter wheels do help but the stock OM wheels that came with a "cheapo" bike can be improved too. The majority are machine built and a Wheelbuilder can work wonders on the most basic of wheels. Get them running true- get the spoke tension equal and right and even get the ovality out of them that a lot of wheels have. On top of that- You have a wheel that will be stronger so The clydes that always seem to be bending wheels- may not do that as often either.

And I can tell you- The best riding bikes I have are the light ones- but they also have the best wheels fitted.
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Old 04-15-09, 12:54 PM   #18
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A couple of points to consider...

If you are on a flat road, and riding a constant speed, weight difference is virtually meaningless. The main issues impacting speed are power input, and wind resistance.

If your friend has a bike that weighs 5 pounds less than yours, and he weighs 10 pounds more than you do, he is still pushing 5 pounds more than you are.

As mentioned, a lighter bike will be a small advantage on any climbs or accelerations (including after corners).

A light bike will theoretically be a slight disadvantage on descents. Remember that objects fall at the same rate regardless of weight, but this is in a vacuum... with wind resistance, weight is an advantage.
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Old 04-15-09, 12:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jocache83 View Post
lighter is better right?
Wrong.

Lighter is lighter.

Arguably lighter is nicer also. But lighter is not objectively better, unless all other things are 100% equal. Which they never are. Ever.


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but i notice when i ride with my neighbors who has lighter bikes than me, i can keep up with them.
Congratulations: You are at least as fast a cyclist as your neighbors.
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Old 04-15-09, 06:45 PM   #20
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If your in such a hurry, why are you on a bike?
Spoken like someone from a land without traffic jams.
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